Q+A with Leslie and Lyndsay from HGTV’s “Unsellable Houses”

A photo of Leslie and Lyndsay from "Unsellable Houses" on a white and green Q+A graphic
Leslie and Lyndsay will film the fourth season of "Unsellable Houses" later this summer. | Graphic by 6AM City, photo by Kaitlin Evans

Raise the roof, folks. Leslie Davis + Lyndsay Lamb are the two VW van-driving, boisterous twin sisters from Snohomish who host HGTV’s “Unsellable Houses.” Since 2019, they’ve been helping local homeowners make upgrades to get bigger real estate bucks (check local listings for new episodes of the third season).

The twins revealed they’re now prepping a physical space for their interior design side hustle, which should open within weeks as they continue to grow their Snohomish-based real estate company. We caught up with the two during a rare pause in their action to discuss the area’s red-hot market, a dream reno job + more.

Q: What is it about PNW real estate that is so unique?

Leslie: One of the struggles when the production company found us and wanted to do a show was that the criteria was, “You need to keep the home’s $350,000 or less; you need to be able to do renovations at $30,000 or less.” We’re like, “Whoa, go back to Texas. Sorry, here’s the reality.” And this was back when we first started in 2019, when houses here may have been in the $500,000 range — now, I mean, you can barely get into a home under $700,000[…]

In our first season, we constantly heard from people in middle America, “I could buy a ranch for 500,000. Why are people buying bungalows?” Stop and look at our typography — at our trees, at our ocean, at the mountains. That’s why we pay these prices. And it’s been such a great educational show for the nation to grasp why we all choose to live here and how beautiful it is — not that we want them all moving here[…]

We bleed the PNW. When we went on “Rock The Block” in South Carolina, we engulfed ourselves in what they had to offer there, but we still brought in so much Pacific Northwest vibes with our vegetation, the deep colors, and organic materials, because that’s who we are. It just naturally shows up in all of our choices.

Q: How do you find “Unsellable Homes” in such a hot market?

Leslie: We can see almost immediately if a home’s not going to sell when it hits the market — it’s the pictures, the condition of the home, the price, obviously. Not that a house can’t sell. Anything sells for the right price — it’s that they’re not selling at their highest potential. Let’s put in this little bit of change or this little bit of money and get you the highest potential for the home. That’s what we want to do. 

Q: What can someone do to improve their home, even if they’re not selling immediately?

Lyndsay: I always tell people, “Do what makes you happy — put in the things that you love and that you want to come home to every day.” If you don’t know where to start, start in your closet. Look at what you actually enjoy wearing in patterns and colors — and if that’s where you feel confident, maybe that’s what you need around you in the home[…] 

Kitchen and main bathroom are the big things that add value to a home. Exterior-wise, it’s the roof, it’s the garage doors, the heating system. They’re not always the sexiest project to do on a home, but they also add a lot of value[…]  

If you don’t want to dump more than $5,000 into the project, but you want the house to look like it’s got a little facelift — start with paint, hardware, light fixtures. Those things make a huge difference. Add some knobs and pulls on the cabinets if they don’t have them, or change them out if they’re dated. Change out your kitchen faucet, change up the lights, refresh the paint if it’s been there since the home was bought. That’ll get you your biggest bang for the buck.

Q: What about bathroom revamps?

Lyndsay: If you want to add a splash of style without spending too much, what I advise people to do is pick one feature wall. Just get basic, inexpensive porcelain tile for the rest of it, and then splurge on a niche tile for a sidewall or something that really blends the two [tile types] together nicely. That way, you don’t blow your budget on the whole bathroom.

Q: If you could renovate any local home, what would it be?

Lyndsay: It would be like an old, historic hotel that has kind of been forgotten. I just have a vision of doing rooms in different styles.

Q: What would Seattle’s paint color be?

Lyndsay: I really like a color called Forest Floor. It’s green, but also has a little bit of a blue undertone.

Q: What would your advice be for someone who want to get a VW van?

Leslie: Everybody should get a V-Dub — it’s a lifestyle. You have to be slow + not in a rush. You just always have time to stop for coffee.

Lyndsay: But a word of advice would be to carry a fire extinguisher with you, because there are always emergencies with those dang engines.

Leslie: And make sure your cell phone is always charged.

[The twins recommend their VW guy Vince Voss, who runs Autopia in Snohomish, if you’re interested in getting one of those bad boys.]