Beyond The Block's Andrew Tyree On The Importance Of Community - Exclusive Interview

Andrew Tyree knows that your home is more than the four walls that surround you. As a realtor and the host of Tastemade and's award-winning series "Beyond the Block," Tyree has the scoop on what really makes a home: the community that surrounds it. On the one-of-a-kind hit series, he introduces hopeful home buyers to two completely different neighborhoods in the same city by taking a deep dive into what it is that makes each one so unique.

By visiting local businesses, dining at local restaurants, and talking with those who call a particular community home, Tyree helps familiarize potential future residents with the area and gives them an authentic understanding of what it would truly be like to live there.

In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Andrew Tyree shared details about Season 3 of "Beyond the Block" and offered advice for home buyers looking to plant their roots in a community they love.

Andrew Tyree's difficult upbringing sparked an interest in the housing situations of other people

You have a very impressive history with the arts and performing. What made you want to get into real estate, and how did you pivot from that to wanting to help first-time home buyers find their dream homes?

Great question. When I was younger, growing up, I didn't have the most fortunate situation. I spent some time in foster care and traveling around a lot, and I remember going to these neighborhoods and seeing these houses that were incredible. It was always mind-boggling that people actually lived in these homes. Finding out how people actually got into these places was amazing.

As I got older, I realized that being the catalyst of taking somebody who had that dream to live in a home or be a homeowner — being able to be that through line — was satisfying for me. I did it for myself, and then I was like, "I want to do this for other people too." It satisfies my creative side because a lot of creativity goes into figuring out how to get somebody into a house, and the satisfaction at the other end of it is really rewarding.

The importance of getting to know a community

Why do you think it's so important for people to get a feel for the community and the neighborhood that they potentially could be in before committing to buying a house?

It's the one thing that you can't change. When you buy the house, you can gut it. You can tear the whole thing down and rebuild whatever you want — change the bedrooms, change the bathrooms. But the community, while it can change, is going to take the effort of everyone. You really can't go in there and do any changes. That's the one part of the home-buying process that you're stuck with, for better or worse, so you got to make sure you love it. You got to make sure it's something that fits you. It's really important.

What are some good ways for potential buyers to get to know the neighborhood and the community before committing to a house?

You've got to do the thing that a lot of people are doing a less and less of these days, which is actually talking to people. You've got to walk up to people who live in the neighborhood, who own businesses in the neighborhood, and ask them.

The thing about people is they're pretty much the same. We all love talking about the things that we care about. If somebody does have a business in that neighborhood or has bought a home, especially if they've been there for a while, they love talking about that neighborhood. You're not bothering them; you're not disturbing them. Go ahead and ask the questions and they'll open right up, 9 times out of 10.

Consider these factors before committing to a house

What advice would you give to somebody who does find a house they love but doesn't necessarily feel a great connection to the community? Is there any situation where you would ever recommend someone buy a house they love in a location they don't love?

Number one, location is more important — but obviously, we can't know everything before we buy a house. In the event that you do move into a home or you are in the process of buying and realize that this place is not your cup of tea ... The old moniker used to be [that] you're buying a house and you're buying it for 30 years. It's not the case anymore. I would build a great two- or three-year plan to build up the equity in my house, maybe make a couple of improvements if you're in the position to do that, and then look to the market. Look to spend that time finding a neighborhood that you do love. 9 times out of 10, your house is going to build equity. You're going to have some money in the home and sell it and move on, or keep it and keep it as a rental property. It's a great investment.

Aside from location, is there a general checklist or a list of features that you recommend first-time home buyers be on the lookout for during their home search?

The things that you're going to frequent are most important. We're talking restaurants; if you have children, the parks. Do your research. Do your own research on school systems and things like that. The internet is a wonderful place and can provide you access to all the information about your neighborhood that you need to know. There's so many different apps and websites that you can go on, including, where you can figure out the things that you can't see with the naked eye.

Make sure that the neighborhood is not only good for now, but good for where you want to be in five years. You might not need a park right now, but if you plan on having kids, you might want to look for a park. Especially with the extra bedroom — maybe you don't need it, but maybe you want to make sure that there's space and the house is zoned to add an addition or things like that. Always be looking to the future, maybe the next three to five years, when you're looking.

Tyree's advice for buying in a competitive housing market

Do you have any tips for home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, when trying to navigate a competitive market?

The most obvious answer is to be quick. I would set up all my alerts [on] all of your home-buying apps. [has] these alerts that will let you know exactly when a home goes on the market, exactly when things are changing. It's like a full-time job — you want to have that phone on; you want to have your alerts on and be ready. The worst thing that you can do is have a house pop up that you want to pursue and not have your pre-approval or not have all your paperwork in order, and then you miss out because you weren't ready. Be ready before you even start looking, and know that you might have to move very quickly.

Also, I'll add in there: patience. Be patient. For some reason, when a lot of people start the home-buying process, they think, "Okay, I'm ready to buy a house, and the first house I see, I'm going to buy it." That makes sense, right? "I spent all this time preparing to get ready to be in a position to buy a house, and now that I'm ready, I'm just going to buy." That's not the case. You have to be patient the same way you are with all the other big decisions in your life. Give the home-buying process the same patience.

Tyree talks Season 3 of Beyond the Block and his newest project

What are you most excited for viewers to see this upcoming season on "Beyond the Block"?

The beautiful thing about this show and the thing I love about it is how we are shining a light on the home-buying process in probably one of the craziest times in the market in the last 30 years. It's very easy to film a home-buying show when the market is not moving, but [in] each one of our seasons, the market has been completely different. We started in 2020 — that's when we had our first season — and then 2021, and now here we are in 2022. The market has been literally in three different phases on each season.

This is a very unique season. This is when the market is still crazy. The cool-down had just started, but the interest rates were going crazy. You still have the same mixture of young people striking out on their own, Millennials trying to find their footing and push toward this American dream. Then you have all the difficulties that come along with that that are probably new — that if you're watching this and you bought your house 10, 15 years ago, you're probably not familiar with.

It's an adventure. The journey is an adventure, and each home-buying process is completely unique. Everybody who wants to own a home and wants to have a house wants it for a little bit of a different reason. That's what makes the story so rich, because you don't see the same thing twice.

Was there a unique moment in particular that stood out to you while filming this season?

There's a couple. I say this on the show too, but my job is to go and travel the country and to meet first-time home buyers. Just when you think you've seen everything or you've met everyone and this is going to be just another day on the job, you meet somebody and have this amazing connection. I always end up leaving these cities with these lifelong friends.

My time in Madison was remarkable. I met a young lady named Anna, and she was incredible and took me by surprise at how rich her story was and how amazing of a human being she was. The home-buying process was remarkable, but getting to know her as a human being was even more remarkable. That's through and through with all of our home buyers on the show, but for this season, for me, that one was one that stood out.

Since you are so multifaceted, are you working on any projects right now outside the show, or is Season 3 keeping you busy?

Season 3 is keeping me very, very busy, but since then, I started hosting a game show, the "Recess" game show. That's something that we do through a couple of producer friends of mine on my YouTube channel and it's going really well — super excited about that. [I'm] just out here hosting shows.

Stream Season 3 of "Beyond the Block" now exclusively on the Tastemade Streaming Channel, which is available across platforms like YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, Apple TV, DIRECTV, The Roku Channel, Comcast Xfinity X1, and more.

This interview was edited for clarity.