HGTV's Jonathan Knight Totally Regrets Buying His First Home

Jonathan Knight, host of "Farmhouse Fixer," knows a thing or two about renovating old houses. According to HGTV, Knight has restored over 200 homes, many of them historic, paying special attention to their centuries-old craftsmanship. It seems as though he was destined to be an HGTV star. The former boyband member agrees, explaining, "Restoring the American farmhouse is not just a hobby for me — it's my passion, my obsession and I've been doing it for more than 25 years."

According to his timeline, Knight's renovation projects would have started around the time he said farewell to his bandmates and fellow "New Kids on the Block" stars, his brother Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. His interest in renovations makes sense because Knight's first home was far from a newly built mansion. Instead, he detailed to The New York Times how, after NKOTB rose to popularity, he spent a small fortune on a circa 1900s Georgian-style home.

The residence in North Shore, Massachusetts probably wasn't a fixer-upper, but it still needed furnishings. However, duty called in the form of a performance tour, leaving Knight's siblings and mother to outfit his new abode. "I came home and was, like, 'What is going on?'" the HGTV star recalled of his mother's tastes. Her choices were well-suited to the house's style, which usually features luxurious finishes, patterned floors, and lots of detailed craftsmanship. However, floral couches, lots of frills, and ostentatious rugs were apparently not what a teenage megastar had in mind.

Jonathan Knight couldn't wait to sell

Jonathan Knight was trying to fulfill all his dreams and those of his family, too, when he purchased the Georgian home at just 20 years old. It was reportedly a 12,000-square-foot residence that was perfect for his large family, who all moved in with him. However, not long after, the New Kids on the Block members went their separate ways, leaving Knight with a home he didn't love and no idea where his career was headed next. "Looking back, I'm like, what a dummy for buying a house like that at such a young age," He recalled to The New York Times. "It was ridiculous. Waste of money. Just stupid. Best day was when I sold that house." 

However, the North Shore home may have just given Knight the motivation he needed to pursue one of his life-long passions: home renovations. He knew the potential of historic homes and what they could become with some thoughtful remodeling and skilled labor — even if the young pop star wasn't totally sure what flipping homes entailed. "I kind of had to reinvent myself," he admitted to HGTV. "I didn't really know what I was going to do next and I felt the pressure of having to be as successful and make as much money as I did with New Kids."

So he joined forces with a friend in the Boston, Massachusetts area and began flipping neighborhood homes. "Not only was it a passion, it was doing something for the community," he explained.

Jonathan Knight has a passion for revitalizing old homes

While the Georgian home was not the best investment, Jonathan Knight couldn't shake the love he had for old homes. However, he and his partner deviated from flipping for a while in search of something more lucrative. The renovating team started a condo build project in the city, which turned into new construction neighborhoods in the suburbs. While these projects were profitable, they didn't align with the HGTV star's vision. "It got to a point where I was tired of doing all these brand-new construction houses; you know, there was really nothing special about them," the New Kids on the Block member told the home network.

Fortunately, after re-signing to NKOTB 2.0, he realized that his new tour schedule allowed him to renovate historic farm homes in his off-seasons, something he's capitalized on with his show "Farmhouse Fixer." After all, Knight may not have been able to shake the desire to remodel old homes due to his upbringing. His dad was a carpenter who used to bring him to job sites, and his grandfather was a builder who fashioned the family a cottage in Canada, according to Architectural Digest. Reportedly, the singer was getting ready to study architecture in college when the boyband found international fame.

Today, Knight owns an Essex farm that is a sort of compound for his family, not far from his first North Shore purchase. He also gets to renovate homes and go on tour with his bandmates, a win-win for the former teenage heartthrob.