"The house that we picked was in such bad shape, if anybody could fix it, it would be them and their team. And they did," says Rhonda Phillips, who was featured on season 4 of the hit HGTV show.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
June 26, 2020
Advertisement

If you're a fan of Ben and Erin Napier's HGTV series, Home Town, we're guessing you've daydreamed about relocating to Laurel, Mississippi, more than a few times. (Okay, only every other week.) From the welcoming small-town environs to the plethora of old homes, Laurel is definitely an idyllic Southern burgh we so adore.

But have you ever wondered what it's like to go through the process of your home being renovated for the show? Well, thanks to a recent piece from Realtor.com, we now have new firsthand intel into exactly what that experience is like.

The article gives fans a backstage glimpse into the casting and renovation experience of Rhonda Phillips, a Mississippi native and dean of the Honors College at Purdue University in Indiana, who was featured in season 4 of the show.

“When I first saw the show, I absolutely loved it,” Phillips told Realtor.com. "This [series] is about trying to make the town a better place, but to also recapture the beauty of some of the older homes that had been laid to waste.”  

Though Phillips has lived away from The Magnolia State for years, a bad storm in Indiana in 2019 inspired Phillips and her husband Jay Stein to set their sights on relocating down South. After Phillips applied and was selected to be on the show, she actually had to sign paperwork not to see the house until the renovations are complete, no easy feat for new homeowners who are eager to see how the remodeling unfolds. "After you have all the contracts signed, and they know what your preferences are, they do the design. You take a leap of faith," Phillips explained.

Later in the interview, Phillips elaborates on placing her confidence in Ben and Erin Napier: “I had a high level of trust. The house that we picked was in such bad shape, if anybody could fix it, it would be them and their team. And they did.”

Indeed, the couple's new home was in excellent hands with the Napiers, and since the renovation was being filmed for TV, they enjoyed the perk of the renovation being completed on an accelerated timeline. Little did Phillips know, however, how much work goes into shooting every scene for the episode, with multiple takes sometimes being required just to get a brief segment ready for the airwaves.

While the couple don't live in Laurel full-time yet, they were thrilled with the renovation and hope to keep the home looking almost exactly as it did when it was staged.

“I really wanted to be on the show. Because I felt it would be special and a lot of fun, and I was right about both of those," Phillips says of her experience. Read the full article here.

WATCH: HGTV's Home Town Starring Ben and Erin Napier Is Returning for Season 5

To see the renovations of the couple's Craftsman-era home, dubbed the Holloway house, stream Season 4, episode 11 here.

Would you ever considering applying to be on an HGTV show? If so, would you be leaping towards Laurel, beach hunting, forever homing, or otherwise?