Despite what reality shows may have made you believe, living off-the-grid isn’t a challenge easily accomplished by most people. Truth be told, few of those who dare to live by their own standards and rules appreciate the complicated path ahead of them, which leads to failure in most cases.
That being said, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel for those who are resilient enough to face those challenges. That’s what we’ve been taught by “Homestead Rescue”, the Discovery show centered on Marty Raney and his children, as they help families and individuals in building their lives away from civilization, offering a friendly hand to those who really want to live differently, but don’t know where to start.
However, how do the Raneys afford helping people? Are they rich, and how much do they earn frm the show? Where does the money for their projects even come from? Keep with us to know all the financial details about “Homestead Rescue”!
How Much Do They Earn From The Show?
Although reality TV is a niche known for revealing a little too much about its stars and their private life, money is usually a topic they don’t dwell on very much. Whether it’s to maintain a general perception of genuineness in the reality genre, or just to protect their financial data, the truth is that networks, production companies and TV stars don’t often reveal how much they earn for their shows and media appearances.
While the financial information of “Homestead Rescue” cast members is also unrevealed, we can at least give ourselves a closer idea of how much they earn, thanks to online reports. According to Business Insider, while famous celebrities earn millions of dollars per show season, people new to the industry start by earning as little as $3,000 per episode, or sometimes nothing, as their shows try to gain traction. If a show surpasses the third season mark, such as in the case of “Homestead Rescue”, its cast members could earn as much as $10,000 per episode, and even more.
So considering that “Homestead Rescue” is pretty well known, and is aired by a successful network such as Discovery, we can safely assume that the salaries of Marty Raney and his children could be several thousand dollars per season. Hopefully, sometime in the future the Raneys will reveal their exact salaries, but as for now, we can only theorize how much is that.
The Raneys’ Net Worth
For a man known for enjoying the simple things in life, it’s somewhat surprising to find out that Marty Raney has a modest fortune. According to online reports, Marty has an estimated net worth of over $1 million, which comes from his work in “Homestead Rescue”, but also for appearing in shows such as “Ultimate Survival Alaska”, and “Alaska: Spirit of the Wild”.
Besides Marty owning a 40-acre property in Haines, Alaska, he’s supposedly paid for the online platforms streaming “Homestead Rescue”, and its spin-offs such as “Raney Ranch”, “Survival Shelter” and “Tools Of The Trade”. As if that wasn’t enough, Marty is a published author, having released his popular survival guide book “An Insider’s Guide to Your Great Escape”.
While Marty’s children are notably less rich, their fortunes are not to be taken lightly. For her part, Misty has an estimated net worth of $200,000; she and her husband Maciah Bilodeau apparently own a 800 sq foot property in Alaska, nearby to her family’s home.
Meanwhile, Matt has an estimated net worth of $250,000, and owns a home he built himself on his parents’ property, where he lives with his wife Katie. Both Raney siblings’ fortunes come from their TV appearances.
Who Pays For The Renovations?
While in house flipping shows the renovations are usually afforded by homeowners, things work in a different way when it comes to “Homestead Rescue”. As you might think, the fact that people who appear in this show are looking to build themselves a home away from civilization, it’s most-likely that they don’t have large financial resources to afford costly renovations.
According to Marty Raney, the money to make the homestead-owners’ dreams come true comes directly from Discovery, whose executives he ‘convinces’ to pay for his show’s projects by presenting them detailed plans to make ‘significant improvements’ to homestead.
If necessary, “Homestead Rescue” contracts local small construction companies to take part in the projects, but it’s always Marty and his children who take the major roles while rebuilding and fixing these houses. That being said, Marty and his team don’t usually start from the bottom when it comes to homestead, usually accepting projects which could be taken to completion in short periods of time: ‘The first thing Discovery wants us to do is to scour the property, and to use everything that’s not nailed down, if we can, in the betterment of the homestead’, as Marty told Reality Blurred in 2020.
All in all, it always comes down to the team’s imagination and skills for these projects to be successfully completed.
What Is The Show’s Mission?
Although there’s no shortage of renovation shows out there, what really makes “Homestead Rescue” different from those is how inspiring its mission is. More than just a show helping people to fix their homes, “Homestead Rescue” is there to prove that many Americans see themselves living off-the-grid permanently.
While the concept of living simpler lives on their own terms sounds exciting enough, becoming full-time homesteaders isn’t an easy task. However, even the widely experienced Marty Raney doesn’t judge those who adopt this lifestyle without previous experience. Instead, he thinks it’s mandatory ‘to applaud’ those who take that big step in order to live on their own terms: ‘They took a risk to change their life. What they may not have foreseen is that to live a simpler life, you’re going to live a harder life’.
Even though the initial idea for the show came from Discovery, Marty’s deep commitment with “Homestead Rescue”s mission is one big reason why the show works in the first place. It’s also unsurprising that he’s quite proud of what the project has accomplished so far: ‘this is too good to be true: I get to build, I get to help people, real people, with real needs’, as he told Reality Blurred.
Stream Homestead Rescue on the Discovery GO app! https://go.discovery.com/tv-shows/homestead-rescue/
How To Get Into The Show?
Appearing on TV is a dream come true for lots of people, but it’s also a goal not easily accomplishable by many. Nonetheless, getting into “Homestead Rescue” isn’t as hard as it looks.
According to second season participants Ini and Wren, the process of being selected and featured in “Homestead Rescue” wasn’t difficult at all. As the homesteader couple told Ozark County Times in 2018, they were first contacted through Instagram to appear in the show, but seeing that they didn’t know anything about the show, nor had any experience with the world of entertainment, they laughed it off.
Even so, Ini and Wren did their best to keep in contact with the show through the ‘phone and internet, even though they had to go to public libraries for that: ‘We treated it all like a joke, honestly, but all along Ini said that we’d be chosen’, Wren affirmed. Soon enough, the couple was told that they were chosen to appear in the show, and five weeks later, they met the Raneys at their homestead.
Although Ini and Wren’s experience sounds too good to be true, it’s safe to assume that owning a homestead with lots potential for renovation played a big role in being selected, but above anything else, being willing to work with their own hands to make those improvements a reality was what ultimately sealed the deal.
Do They Get Any Outside Help?
Even though it might not be evident in the show, the truth is that the Raneys get some outside help to deliver every project on time. Reportedly, Discovery’s budget sometimes allows “Homestead Rescue” to contract independent companies, such is the case of Scout Construction, an Ohio-based entrepreneurship owned by Josh Mobley, who appeared in the show in early 2020.
As Mobley told Richland Source, his company was at first contacted by producers through social media, and were told that the show needed a contractor, carpenters and some tools for a project. Though Mobley took the offer with skepticism, it ended up being true.
However, even though contracting these small companies seems to be usual for the show, everything done to the homestead had to be approved by the Raneys first: ‘We would start the day thinking we were going to do one thing, then Marty would change his mind, and all of a sudden we’d be doing something completely different.’
Even if knowing that the Raneys receive help from third party companies might be surprising, it’s absolutely necessary, considering that the show has barely 10 days at most to complete their projects.
Why Did Marty Break A Drone?
Just like most TV stars, Marty Raney isn’t a stranger to scandals. As it happened, in January 2018, Marty destroyed an aerial drone which had been overflying his Alaskan property. As he admitted on a Facebook post, he was apparently told that the drone’s activity was illegal in the area, and seeing it himself worried him with the possibility of being filmed, Marty attempted and failed to confiscate it.
Marty then drove his truck to a parking lot near his property in Hatcher Pass, where the drone’s owner Justin Pursley and his father-in-law were testing the drone: ‘I asked them why they were filming me on my private property. They denied it’. (…) ‘I told them ‘You guys are lying and I’m calling the troopers’.’, affirmed Marty on social media. However, Pursley stated on a later-deleted post, that Marty had ‘assaulted’ him to take the drone’s control off his hand, soon destroying it. After troopers arrived at the place, Marty was told the drone’s activity wasn’t illegal.
At first Pursley requested a restraining order against Marty, but ultimately desisted from it after the TV star replaced the destroyed drone. The issue was left as a bittersweet memory, fortunately without having any lamentable or lasting consequences.
Besides being an experienced outdoorsman and homesteader, Marty Raney is quite knowledgeable in the entertainment world. Prior to “Homestead Rescue”, he’d appeared in shows such as “Ultimate Survival Alaska”, and at some point, even pitched some survival-themed project ideas to the big TV networks.
While Marty is also a dedicated musician, that side-career was overshadowed by a scandal from 1997, when Marty released a song entitled “Adam & Steve”, the content of which was heavily criticized, and regarded as homophobic. According to a Deadline 2020s report, the song contains lines such as ‘I’m an unsung hetero, but then again, only in circles where men are men. But then that circle gets smaller yes every day’, which caused concern in many viewers, and was specifically rejected by Raw TV, the production company behind “Homestead Rescue”.
As per Raw, they were ‘shocked’ to find out about the song, and didn’t ‘share any of its sentiment’, causing a backlash from various sources, ending with the removal of “Adam & Steve” from online streaming services.
While it was initially assumed Discovery and Raw TV would distance themselves from Marty, or even cut ties with him following that incident, not only was “Homestead Rescue” renewed shortly afterwards, but also its spin-off “Raney Ranch” continued with a second season the following year.
Legal problems are unsurprisingly very common in the entertainment world. However, the lawsuit filed against “Homestead Rescue” is quite interesting, given that it could potentially damage the show’s image forever.
It all comes back to the first season aired in 2017, when the show featured Kim and Josh Zabec as they improved their pig farm in Virginia. Though the couple’s episode was filmed and aired without problems, in late 2021 the couple filed a lawsuit against Discovery claiming the show had edited them to appear as homestead beginners, even though they were experienced in the field.
According to the lawsuit, the Zabecs felt that “Homestead Rescue” failed to portray them and their pig farm business in a positive way, on top of apparently being deceived about the show’s real concept.
The incident has clearly affected the show’s credibility as unscripted, but it’s important to clear up that post-production editing isn’t actually rare in the reality genre, and the usage of these methods is normally well accepted. In the end, what keeps us tuning in to “Homestead Rescue” season after season, isn’t whether their guests are experienced or not, but the show’s commitment to help build people their dream life.