The Real Reason The Bargain Block Duo Has A Passion For Detroit, Michigan

The stars of the HGTV renovation show "Bargain Block" aren't Detroit natives. In fact, TV Overmind reports that couple-turned-costars Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas were living in Denver, Colorado before they relocated to Motor City. Per Estate Envy, the duo have been living and working in Detroit since 2017, after Bynum first jumped on a red-eye flight to check out the city. "[I] looked at 10 houses in Detroit, put offers in on two, and got one of them for $12,000," Bynum told the outlet. "A house in Denver in similar condition would be 20 times that amount," he added.

Bynum and Thomas' approach to rehabbing homes is similar to HGTV's "Good Bones," in that their overall aim involves breathing new life back into neighborhoods. "The strategy was to go in and buy as many houses as we could in a single area," Bynum told Estate Envy. Thanks to the focus they give each neighborhood, Bynum and Thomas are able to raise property value across the area without pricing out locals. Each fully-furnished house ends up selling for no more than $100,000, via Estate Envy.

Detroit is a mecca for creatives

It's clear that Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas are thriving in Motor City, but why did they land on Detroit in the first place? As Bynum told Detroit News, it wasn't just the housing market that brought the couple there. "It was always popping up as a cool art spot," the reality star explained. "I love art and I've always been into it. It just has this really cool energy. For the art community and creatives, Detroit is a mecca." 

However, Bynum's love for Detroit goes deeper than the area's focus on art and creativity. In an April 2021 interview with PrideSource, the "Bargain Block" personality explained that he identifies with the houses that he and his partner work to transform. "I kind of personify the houses," he shared, adding that he was disowned by his family after he first came out. "I was down and beat up and even my family didn't want me after I came out, but someone believed in me and I'm in such a better place now. The houses are the same. They just need someone to believe in them again."