Keri and Laekin Rowell moved into their new home during the first week of November and hosted their first gathering of close friends shortly thereafter.

Last Monday night, the young couple opened their home to the world on a new episode of “Home Town,” and on Tuesday, their 7th Avenue home was open to new friends, neighbors and fans of the show as Community Bank hosted an open house.

“It’s such a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting to be on ‘Home Town’ with Ben and Erin,” Keri said. 

As viewers could see, the house needed plenty of updates and repairs. The entire exterior was repainted and refurbished, complete with new steps and landscaping. The porch was also re-screened, and a swing/bed was added. Inside, some of the rooms only needed paint, new fixtures and refinished floors, but the kitchen and master bath were complete overhauls. 

“Although living in the historic district was definitely on our radar before, it is now a dream come true,” said Keri, whose family owns Lott Furniture in downtown Laurel. “My favorite is our bathroom. I’m a huge bath person, so naturally this room is my favorite. I work a lot, so this is my space to unwind.”

Laekin’s favorite part of the home is the special bed-sized swing that Ben made for them.

“I’m an outdoorsy person, so the porch is a no-brainer for me as far as my favorite part of the additions and renovations,” she said. “It was so cool being able to see our new house and ourselves on TV when the episode aired, and we both ended up enjoying the experience, even though we were nervous.”

The couple, both in their early 20s, married in January not long after purchasing the house. They had a budget of $120,000 and were able to buy the home on 7th Avenue for $27,000, then brought in the Napiers to renovate. With a budget of almost $100,000 to do that, a substantial portion had to be spent on things such as electrical work and plumbing before any of the Napiers’ modern-vintage touches could be added.

Community Bank did more “creative financing,” as bank officials have called it, to help make it all happen. 

“We really didn’t know how straightforward and easy the process of becoming homeowners would be,” Keri said. “Once we realized that Community Bank and Red Fox Realty wanted to work with us, we became more open to the idea.”

Bank representatives Michael McPhail and Scott Pickering presented the couple with a pillow and cutting board as house-warming gifts.

“We were in the middle of planning and paying for a wedding, so it was a difficult financial decision to make,” Keri said. “Thankfully, everything ended up going smoothly, and we will be grateful forever!”

The Rowells still can’t believe that people across the world have seen their charming new house and renovation process.

“Our first official gathering in our new home was Friendsgiving,” Laekin said. “We invited over some friends and siblings and cooked a huge dinner to celebrate. It was tons of fun.” 

“Home Town” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on HGTV. It can also be viewed at www.hgtv.com.

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