2020 has truly been a wild year. Between COVID-19 quarantine and presidential election drama, there’s been no shortage of curveballs, and this was also true with our favorite reality TV stars—on screen and behind the scenes.
Whether you’re a fan of Tarek El Moussa, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Drew and Jonathan Scott, or others, here’s a look back at some of the most shocking news we learned about real estate’s top reality TV stars this year. Some moved in to together; others out. Some welcomed babies while others endured scary home break-ins.
For a look back at all that’s happened, here are some of the most noteworthy reality TV events worth remembering as we ring in the new year.
1. ‘Property Brothers’ star Jonathan Scott finally became a U.S. citizen
With a big election year like this one, voting was a bigger deal than ever—so it’s nice to know that Canadian-born “Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott got to cast his ballot for the first time in the U.S. by becoming an American citizen!
He posted a photo of himself with girlfriend Zooey Deschanel wearing an “I voted” sticker.
“This is a big moment for me … I am humbled and proud to be surrounded by a partner and loved ones who also cherish the importance of having your voice heard,” he wrote on Instagram.
In fact, citizenship seems to have emboldened Jonathan to dabble in political issues now more than ever—particularly environmental issues, as seen on his new PBS documentary, “Power Trip.” In the documentary, he travels across the U.S. to study the lack of renewable energy, and even co-wrote a song bringing this issue to light, “Being Honest.”
2. Meanwhile, Brother Drew Scott announced he’s scaling back on renos—for a very good reason
Meanwhile, Jonathan’s twin brother, Drew Scott, made his own big announcement. In January, Drew told People that he and wife Linda Phan are ready to start a family, which may mean he’ll need to cut back on his crazy-busy work schedule.
“I think it’s spending less time working and more time with ourselves,” Drew said in an interview. “If we’re always on the road filming, it’s really tough to grow a family.”
With so many “Property Brothers” shows airing on HGTV this year—including “Brother vs. Brother,” “Property Brothers: Forever Home,” and “Celebrity IOU”—it’s understandable that he’d want to take a step back when growing his family. While Drew and Phan haven’t announced news of a little one yet, we’ll have to see what 2021 brings!
3. Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young moved in together
After announcing their relationship in August 2019, “Flip or Flop” star Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young of “Selling Sunset” finally moved in together in April.
Located in Newport Beach a mere block from the ocean, El Moussa’s new house with Young is a spacious 3,700 square feet and sports a huge pool in the massive backyard. Not a bad way for a couple to kick off their new life together, right? It’s no wonder, then, that these lovebirds got engaged in July.
4. Christina Anstead announced her split from Ant Anstead
El Moussa’s flipping partner and ex-wife, Christina Anstead, has had her own romantic upheaval this year. In September, after just 21 months of marriage, she announced her separation from her second husband, Ant Anstead.
In her Instagram announcement breaking the news she wrote, “We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority.”
Meanwhile, she also has two hit TV shows to keep her busy—”Flip or Flop” and “Christina on the Coast”—that are slated to return in 2021.
5. Chip and Joanna announced their long-awaited return to TV
Chip and Joanna Gaines fans were looking forward to the premiere of the Magnolia Network in October, but with COVID-19 delays, the “Fixer Upper” stars had to push back the launch.
Still, the reality TV stars aired a special in April giving fans a sneak peek at some of their upcoming shows, including footage from “Bespoke Kitchens,” a show all about kitchen renovations, and “Restoration Road,” which stars Clint Harp (who was a regular on “Fixer Upper”).
Then in August, the Gaineses posted a teaser video to announce that “Fixer Upper” would resume airing, too—sending fans into a true tizzy since, let’s face it, it’s tough for any new show to top the original.
6. ‘The Home Edit’ revealed that even celebs are messy
In September, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin debuted “The Home Edit” on Netflix, helping A-listers such as Reese Witherspoon organize her closet and Khloe Kardashian declutter her garage.
Their timing couldn’t be better, since their makeovers helped us realize that everyone, even celebs, struggle to keep their homes in top shape. Some of them, it turns out, are messy.
7. After legal dramas, Alison Victoria put her house up for sale
In October, “Windy City Rehab” star Alison Victoria put her Chicago home on the market for $2,295,000. This move isn’t all that surprising, given her legal troubles with her former business partner, Donovan Eckhardt. In fact, in the latest season of her show, she claimed to have spent $700,000 of her own money to finish the renovations she and Eckhardt once had in the works.
While her home hasn’t sold yet, once it does, here’s to hoping it will help her move on from her past—financially, emotionally, and otherwise.
8. Karen Laine’s home was burglarized for the third time
Karen Laine and her daughter Mina Starsiak are known for their renovations on “Good Bones,” but this past year, it was her own home that made headlines when it was broken in to for the third time—on her daughter Kelsy Gray‘s wedding day no less.
“It seems very personal and intentional,” Laine said, adding that throughout these thefts, a bicycle and Laine’s purse have been stolen. Laine, a former prosecutor, is working with police to find the perpetrators and make sure it doesn’t happen again, adding that “we may have people on video.”
It’s a scary reminder that home security should be a priority for all homeowners.
9. Ben and Erin Napier revealed the best, weirdest decor wisdom ever
While reality TV stars are famed for having gorgeously decorated homes we all aspire to achieve, Ben and Erin Napier gave us a smart reality check in September when they opened up about their own home’s style in a new book.
In “The New Southern Style: The Interiors of a Lifestyle and Design Movement,” by photographer Alyssa Rosenheck, Erin revealed what made her home special.
“We should let our homes be a little bit weird, like the people who live in them,” she said. For instance, she loves the smudged finish on their coffee table, as well as her porcelain bust of Elvis. It may not be everyone’s style, but that’s the whole point.
“I wouldn’t give up my porcelain Elvis bust for the world,” she said.
Keep that in mind the next time you think about purging some of your home’s more, um, unique features or tchotchkes. Embrace the weird!