How much do HGTV stars make? The question is a hot one, given the increasing popularity of the network and its biggest names (and the prevalence of house flipping and home renovation in general). There’s a big difference, though, between what these personalities pull in per episode of their programming and what they actually earn based on their popularity.
How big is that difference? We’ve taken four of the biggest shows on HGTV (and DIY, its affiliated network) and honed in on the per-episode incomes of those shows’ stars, and then balanced that against what we could dig up about how much money HGTV personalities make overall. The bottom line? It pays to be in the home improvement business!
Tarek and Christina El Moussa (Flip or Flop)
We reported just over a year ago that Flip or Flop‘s Tarek and Christina receive an appearance fee of $10,000 per episode of their show. HGTV compensates the husband and wife team beyond whatever profit they manage to make by flipping that episode’s house in part because a talent fee is standard procedure in reality television. Another reason, though, is that Tarek also has a business partner, Pete De Best, from his early days as a flipper who still invests in the couple’s projects–and who receives half of all the earnings from each house.
Don’t feel too bad for them, though: according to several separate sources, Tarek El Moussa has a total net worth of between $2 and $3 million dollars. That’s separate from Christina El Moussa’s net worth, and doesn’t take into account the couple’s current status as hot commodities on the booming house flip seminar market. If you want the Flip or Flop couple to speak to a group in your town, you’ll need deep pockets: their speaking fees run as high as $40,000.
As of 2015, Tarek and Christina also own their own real estate agency.
Drew and Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers)
Like Tarek and Christina, Drew and Jonathan Scott got into house flipping almost on a whim, discovered a knack for it, and then were able to turn their talents into a hit series. Or, in Drew and Jonathan’s case, several hit series: in addition to Property Brothers, the twins have also helmed spin-offs Brother vs. Brother, Property Brothers At Home, and, most recently, Property Brothers At Home On The Ranch. They have their own production company, Scott Brothers Entertainment, and produce all their HGTV programming themselves.
As of late 2014, the Property Brothers were estimated to be worth approximately $5 million each–and a large part of that wealth does indeed come from HGTV-supplied talent fees, which, given the Brothers’ popularity, are believed to be rather larger than what Tarek and Christina pull in. Their speaking fee is substantially higher, too: a formal event with Drew and Jonathan Scott could cost you as much as $60,000, depending on how many magic tricks you want performed.
In Drew’s own words: “We are definitely not cheap, especially when it comes to our business.”
Joanna and Chipper Gaines (Fixer Upper)
Chip and Joanna receive a $30,000 fee from each participating family for every episode of Fixer Upper. According to a number of sources, though, that money goes toward Magnolia Homes’ own cost in the project; the Gainses receive a separate, undisclosed talent fee from HGTV for every episode, plus the cost of one of the three bonus features that Joanna offers for each remodel.
At this point in their still-expanding careers, Chip and Joanna have an estimated net worth–combined–of approximately $1.5 million dollars. However, the pair are also relatively new to the ranks of top HGTV stars; after all, Fixer Upper only premiered in May of 2013.
While season four films, Chip and Joanna are becoming a familiar sight on the lecture and seminar circuit; the Speaker Booking Agency, which handles appearance logistics for the two, lists their fee range at $20,000 to $30,000. (Though it’s not likely to stay that low for long!)
Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict)
Nicole Curtis is actually the longest-tenured member of home improvement’s top stars list: her show, the HGTV and DIY Network fixture Rehab Addict, debuted in October of 2010, and is currently filming its eighth season. Curtis’ total net worth is estimated at around $5 million, in part because of how thrifty and efficient she is: Rehab Addict has aired more individual episodes than any other show mentioned in this article (though the Property Brothers, because of their many spin-offs, have filmed more shows overall). In keeping with her seniority, Nicole Curtis’ individual speaking fee is the highest on this list, too: an afternoon with the Detroit native will cost you a minimum of $30,000 and a max of $50,000.
Not bad for a day’s work–but, of course, HGTV’s stars are selling an image as much as they are a tangible product; their shows, in large measure, are simply the means by which that image is transmitted.
(Photo credits: How much do HGTV stars make via Instagram)