HGTV ‘Rock the Block’ houses become homes

The Winnicks stand in front of their newly purchased home that was featured on HGTV's "Rock the Block." Courtesy

A year after the premiere of HGTV’s new home-design show, “Rock the Block,” Gloria Tsang Winnick still can’t believe she’s living in a home fashioned by her favorite HGTV designer. 

Four homes in Pardee Homes’ Aliento community, located in Aliento’s Arista neighborhood in Santa Clarita, were featured on the show, where design stars Leanne Ford of “Restored by the Fords,” Jasmine Roth of “Hidden Potential,” Mina Starsiak Hawk of “Good Bones” and Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab” went head to head, each given an identical home to renovate.

With just four weeks and a budget of $175,000, the four designers competed to add the most property value to each home. 

“We had a house in the West Adams area of Los Angeles, and it was a 100-year-old craftsman,” Winnick said. “We were always watching HGTV to get ideas about fixing your own house, and it’s just something that we really like to watch. … I’ve always really liked Leanne’s work, so when I realized she was doing that show, we watched it.”

It took her awhile to realize where exactly the home was located, realizing later that it was in the SCV.

“It kind of looked like Palm Springs to me because of the topography,” she added. “I’ve never been up to Santa Clarita, so I didn’t even know it really existed.”

It got Winnick wondering what they were planning to do with the homes after the show was over. 

“I fell in love with the house that Leanne was doing just because it’s very my aesthetic and very unique and original,” she said, adding that she decided to email HGTV to inquire, only to find out they were being put up for sale.

Though the Winnicks weren’t planning on selling their home, Winnick asked her husband to go see them, just because. 

“We ended up coming up and, of course, I fell in love with the house entirely — still not thinking there was any way I could ever buy it,” she added.

Previous Division President of Pardee Homes Los Angeles Dave Little showed off the interior of what would become the Winnick’s home that had been featured on HGTV’s home-design show “Rock the Block”. November 13, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal

It was when she saw the neighborhood was perfect for her 3-year-old son that she was sold.

“I saw the little school in the neighborhood,” she said. “Then, all of a sudden, we saw kids just riding their bikes, like I did growing up in Canada, like my husband did growing up in Michigan. We didn’t think that was a possibility for our child where we were living or in California in general. We really wanted him to have a childhood similar to the ones that my husband and I had growing up, so it kind of just got the cogs turning.”

It was almost like fate, as her husband always wanted a new-build home, though she had always lived in older houses that she thought had character and history. 

“So this was actually a perfect compromise because it had all the style and the originality that I really love, yet it was brand new, which was what my husband wanted,” she said. “He was tired of dealing with old-house headaches, so it was kind of perfect.”

Winnick talked to her real estate agent, and three months later, their home was on the market and they were in contract to buy the Pardee home. 

“There were a lot of moving parts,” she added. “If we get this house, it’s meant to be our house, because so many things had to fall into place in order for us to actually be able to get it, and everything kind of just fell into place.”

For Dave Little, vice president of project management for TRI Pointe Homes Southern California, a builder brand of TRI Pointe Group, which is both TRI Pointe Homes and Pardee Homes’ parent company, participating in the show gave the Arista community the refresh it needed. 

“Also getting to know the four designers and the way they think was very insightful in some respects,” Little added. “It was really great to dissect the product a little bit and see what they did with the houses for not only a reset, but for future designs, so I’m excited to implement some of these takeaways with our future products that we’re designing right now.”

In fact, Pardee now also offers any buyer the opportunity to choose from eight “Get the Look Packages,” which include each of the four kitchen or bathroom designs created by the designers on “Rock the Block,” for their own homes.

“It gave us a lot of really cool traction in the community, which was a big help for us,” Little said. “We were very, very blessed to have that community be received so well, and this only enhanced that reception for us.”

The Winnicks agree, as they are now living in a home they’re excited for their son to grow up in.

“I would never have imagined in a million years as I was watching the show that this would end up being my home,” she said. “It was a really once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to watch a show about your house.”

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