Extremely Grateful

De Young Properties is Building the Dream

Fans rejoiced at the announcement that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) was being rebooted. Over the summer, Central Valley natives witnessed the 93619 zip get some Extreme attention, having been selected for the comeback’s first episode. While it’s apparent that Americans love a great home and garden redo, EMHE does it in a way that unites aesthetics with service—a value both the show and De Young Properties holds dear; it’s all about the bigger picture.

The EMHE production team begins with a nationwide family search. When they heard De Young Properties was interested in being a builder again for the show (they did the Fresno episode 10 years ago), the team narrowed their efforts to the greater Fresno area. Nominations for hundreds of families were received, but several families in Clovis stood out. “The City of Clovis was interested in having the show come to their community, and then it fell quickly into place with one particular Clovis family—the Reeders,” mentioned Brady Connell, Executive Producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Local CAL FIRE captain Nick Reeder lost his wife, Amanda, just an hour after giving birth to their twin daughters in April of 2018. This left Nick to raise their newborn twins, Kaia and Kelce, and their eldest daughter, Layla, on his own. While figuring out how to move forward without his wife, Nick’s mother, Jeanine, moved into the 900-square-foot apartment to assist with the girls. Imagine their surprise “when Nick and his family were greeted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, show designers, De Young Properties, and a team of volunteers ready to build the Reeder family’s new home!” on July 30th, exclaimed Ryan De Young, President of De Young Properties.

A new cast, including host Jesse Tyler Ferguson and designers Carrie Locklyn, Darren Keefe, and Breegan Jane, is the most obvious difference from the original series, but EMHE is also shifting its emphasis slightly. “As an HGTV show, the series will have more focus on design and process, as well as making sure the home design is just right for each family,” elaborated Brady.

“De Young Properties is a long-time friend of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They are part of the family!” Brady remarked, referring to the home they built a decade ago. “Their Fresno build in 2009 was a huge success, so when the reboot was ordered, we knew right away that the De Young family would be our first call.”

Preparations for an Extreme build are, well, extreme. “The builder for any episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition works closely with the design, build, production, and location teams of the show,” explained Brady of the tremendous coordination efforts. “Essentially the television industry and the construction industry come together for one common goal. They work together for months to plan the 7-day build for the selected family.”

Yet, “this home was built in just six days,” beating even the show goal, Ryan proclaimed. “What normally takes a week is condensed to one hour. Normally each trade gets to work in the home by themselves but in this case, we had multiple trades working at the same time—around the clock. It is truly incredible what you can accomplish when everyone is working together.” Considering that construction of a new home typically takes several months, this speaks volumes to the focus of the De Young Properties team and its trade partners.

The Reeder family’s new home is located in The Highlands by De Young and features one of their newest floorplans. In line with the emphasis on practicality, “The show’s design team worked hard to create a home that will allow Nick, his three daughters, and his mother to have more space and live comfortably, while also giving them a fresh start.” Ryan further described, “In addition, the new home is a Zero Energy home, meaning it is designed to produce as much clean energy as the home consumes annually, resulting in lower energy bills—helpful savings potential for the single-income family.” Build It Green even certified the home GreenPoint Rated, recognizing high performance in its five qualifying categories: Community, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Health, Resource Conservation, and Water Conservation. 

De Young Properties’ partnership with EMHE is a reflection of their dedication to the community they serve. “De Young Properties made the commitment to volunteer our time to help a local family with this life-changing effort,” said Ryan. “With that, we simply could not have completed this without the donations and support of over 2,000 local volunteers, hundreds of trade partners and our community. The construction of the new De Young home was the culmination of a united effort that saw the generous spirit of our community in full force.” 

That outpour of support was evident the day the Reeder family home was presented to the press. Community leaders, public servants, government representatives, and small business owners came out to display their support through certificates of recognition and donations of services, including: free hair services for the next six months for the whole family (grandma included), as well as preschool and gym tuitions gifted and waived (one through kindergarten, another until 12 years of age) for the girls. In all, including the announcement that more than $20,000 had been raised in cash gifts for the Reeders, the added donations far exceed the $100,000 mark. 

Nick was overwhelmed with appreciation when he addressed the team. “It’s been quite the challenge, but I can see the puzzle pieces being put back together. This is definitely one of those pieces that’s going to help … my girls here. It’s been a whirlwind of a week, let me tell ya, but, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much.” Finding a new normal is never easy, but with so much generosity and the security of a safe home, the Reeders are well on their way to finding some semblance of normalcy.

This Central Valley builder has a long history of giving back. “For nearly 45 years, De Young Properties has been committed to supporting organizations, causes, and endeavors that make a difference in our community through monetary donations and the donation of their time, labor, and counsel.” Ryan revealed. “In addition, we have served as the major donor and builder of twelve St. Jude Dream Homes, raising over $11.6 million to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This year, De Young Properties will build and donate our thirteenth home in hopes of raising another $1,000,000.”

“The opportunity to provide the Reeder family a chance for a fresh start through the combined efforts of our community, trade partners, volunteers and the EMHE team is truly inspiring,” reflected Ryan. “And my other favorite part of this experience would have to be the incredible people you meet along the way, from the volunteers in our community to the EMHE team. It is truly a neighbor-helping-neighbor life-changing experience for everyone involved.” 

Keep an eye out for the Reeder family’s De Young Properties home when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition goes live again. While the specific episode dates have not yet been announced, HGTV expects the series to begin airing in early 2020.

Photos Courtesy of De Young Properties