HGTV shows homeowners if renovation was worth it

Published 12:05 am Saturday, November 22, 2008

NATCHEZ — My house is worth what?

Lawrence House owners Gayle and Michael Henry have found just that out.

HGTV’s “My house is worth what?” came to Natchez and selected the Henry’s renovated house on South Martin Luther King Jr. Street. Then, it was determine whether the renovations outweighed the cost of the house..

Email newsletter signup

For the Henry’s their house required extensive renovations.

The house was built in 1870 and when the owner prior to them was an elderly man, Gayle Henry said.

“The fellow who owned our house before was 100 years old when he died so needless to say he hadn’t done any redecorating since the 50s,” she said.

But revamped decorating was the least of their worries. Gayle Henry said they had to redo all the plumbing, air conditioning and wiring completely and they converted the kitchen into a bedroom and moved the kitchen to the sun parlor.

An upstairs deck had to be reinforced and the three bedrooms and bathrooms and the study upstairs got freshened up, too.

“It was a pretty major renovation,” Gayle Henry said.

The 10-month long process took place 10 years ago, but the Henrys relived it all for the show.

“We turned on every light in the house and went through, showed them all the rooms and different things,” she said.

And the woman judging the house to determine value versus renovations cost was the area’s own realtor, Sharon Sharp.

Sally Durkin, media liaison for the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau, was charged with setting things up with HGTV and she said part of the show is to have a local Realtor make the determination.

“They give them some insight on what improvements they have made, what other improvements could be made, whether the house has curb appeal,” Durkin said.

Gayle Henry said she wasn’t really shocked or surprised at anything Sharp suggested.

“They were very, very complimentary,” she said of Sharp and the show’s host. “There were some things they thought I should have done that I hadn’t.”

One drawback that was pointed out, Gayle Henry said, was that the house is located on a busy street.

Gayle said that’s one of the things she loves about the house, though, and its close proximity to downtown.

The house was filmed and the interviews were conducted Thursday, and on Friday, the Mellen House owned by Bradley and Emily Harrison was filmed.

Durkin said in addition to the homes, parts of Natchez will be highlighted, too.

She said they’ll talk about the history of Natchez and film some of the area.

“It’ll be fantastic publicity. It’s publicity you can’t put a price on,” she said.

Durkin began talking with HGTV in June about being on the show, and videotaped three houses to submit for consideration.

She said Natchez was suggested by the show’s executive producer, who had been to Natchez 10 years ago when he was an assistant producer on another show.

“He just fell in love with Natchez and said that one day he’d be back and 10 years later he has a new show that he’s the executive producer and here he is,” she said.

The show’s airdate has not yet been established and Durkin said the editing process is between four and six months.

And until the show airs, Gayle Henry will keep the secret of what her house is worth, but she will share one detail.

“I was surprised at the final outcome of what the house was worth,” she said.