Cristy Lee on Her New HGTV Show ‘Steal This House’

The local TV star is helping locals transform fixer-uppers into dream homes
cristy lee - steal this house
Cristy Lee tackles real estate and home renovation in her new HGTV show, Steal This House. // Photograph courtesy of HGTV

After starring on auto shows like MotorTrend Network’s All Girls Garage and Garage Squad and, most recently, Discovery+’s Celebrity IOU Joyride, TV personality and motorcyclist Cristy Lee is pivoting to real estate in her new HGTV series, Steal This House. Lee — who moved from Daytona Beach to the metro Detroit area in 2005 — spends the six-episode season transforming local lower-priced, fixer-upper houses into her clients’ dream homes.

Prior to the premiere of Steal This House on July 9, she spoke with Hour Detroit about her new show, her passion for real estate, and what you should consider when searching for a home.

Hour Detroit: What inspired your transition from projects centering around cars and motorcycles to home renovation?

Cristy Lee: My automotive roots run really deep, but my real estate roots in Michigan also run deep. I moved here to invest in real estate. I’m a licensed realtor. While I’ve been working very publicly in the automotive industry, real estate has been more of a behind-the-scenes passion for me. I’m excited, because with the show coming out, both of my passions are out in the open.

The market is absolutely crazy right now, but that also really excites me. In terms of the transition, [on] the previous show that I hosted, called Celebrity IOU Joyride, I was able to take a hold of the interior design component of all of the vehicles on the show. That may seem weird to people like, “What does interior design have to do with cars?” But I was able to work on an RV camping-style vehicle as well as a mobile hair salon, so we tapped into a lot of things you would see in a typical interior design scenario.

What motivated the decision to film in the metro Detroit area? 

The basic premise of the show is that I’m working with homeowners to help guide them and change their perspective on the real estate market. It features buyers who have been looking…at the top of their budget. My goal is to help them see things a little bit differently through my background in real estate and home restoration to help them find that “steal” and use some of their budget toward renovating the house to get what they really want.

I took a lot of pride in filming in my home state. Being here and knowing the market and knowing the area is a huge advantage. I’m working with people who are shopping in the areas that I’m familiar with. It helps me gain trust from the homeowners because they know I live here, and I know what I’m talking about, so it’s like, “Let’s do this.”

Is there a specific scenario on the show that you’re most excited for viewers to see? 

I’m just excited for viewers to see it all. We have a really diverse group of clients and filmed in really diverse areas of Michigan, and I think viewers will really be able to relate to the people we work with on the show. Everyone has different wants and needs, and that’s really showcased on the show.

What’s the best advice you can give to people currently looking to buy a home?

I think right now, because the market is ever-changing and is currently extremely aggressive, my best advice to potential home buyers who are considering a turn-key home or a potential renovation is to just consider all options. That’s what this show is really about; it’s about opening up that spectrum of options. It’s your home, you’ve got to love it. Changing the way you look at these houses can make a major difference, looking in different price ranges, different areas. Don’t settle, but change your perspective, because it’s more important than ever to consider all options.

What impact, if any, has filming the show had on the way you view the housing market? 

For me, when I walk into a house, I always see what its greatest potential could be. I’m able to walk into a house and see how small changes can change the entire home. I’m able to see those decisions more clearly, which is why I want to help other potential homeowners. So it hasn’t changed anything about the way I view homes, but it’s not about me — it’s about the homeowners. I’m making the house perfect for them, so taking their wants and needs and creating something that they’ll love is the most important thing to me.

Steal this House premieres on HGTV at 9 p.m. on July 9. For more information visit