While we are used to seeing happy endings coming from everything the Property Brothers touch, it wasn't always the case in their lives off screen.
The 39-year-old brothers open up in their new tell-all book, It Takes Two: Our Story about their road to fame and the bumps along the way. The book released in early September has already made it onto the New York Times bestseller list.
"We wanted this to be an honest, unedited, unadulterated look at what our lives are like," he said. "I think fans would feel like something was missing if we edited anything out. It was important for us to make it whole."
The main lesson that Jonathan wants people to take away from the book is: "I think it's important for people to realize that failure is part of success."
That's why it was so important that they we honest in their writings.
“We didn’t want to cut anything out of the book,” Jonathan says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “We talk about all the highs and all the lows.”
Before the success of their popular TV show Property Brothers, the twins learned tough financial lessons, where Jonathan had to file for bankruptcy and Drew racked up $100K in debt.
“We had been doing real estate for some time, but I missed my passion, acting,” Drew explains. “I went to Vancouver to pursue that, and I was taking acting courses, networking and doing all the things I had to do to make sure that I was being seen.”
After only a year, he realized he was now thousands of dollars in debt.
“In the end, that experience was really important because it created the buzz for our first auditions,” he says, “which got us on TV and made it worth it.”
Meanwhile Jonathan was pursing his dream of becoming a magician, until his collection of props and equipment was stolen, effectively putting him out of business.
“It really turned out to be a game-changer for us, because we realized how any reckless decision you make can leave you vulnerable,” he says. “Now we’ve put due diligence in and strengthened our financial situation.”
It wasn't just their bank accounts that were taking a hit in the early days, they were striking out in love, which meant a divorce for one of the brothers.
In 2007 Jonathan married Kelsy Ully, an airline-crew scheduler, but two years later the relationship was over.
The couple had moved to Las Vegas where Jonathan was pursing magic and real estate while his wife was working as a waitress and model. The couple gradually grew apart, and marriage counselling couldn't save their marriage.
“Being married was a huge part of my life,” he said. “I spent six-and-a-half years with someone, and it didn’t work. Anyone in a long-term relationship knows how hard that is.”
If that wasn't bad enough, Jonathan found out that his marriage was ending by scrolling through Facebook. As it turns out his wife had wiped her profile of any trace of him including her relationship status from "married" to blank, and he knew that wasn't a good sign.
“It’s not easy seeing someone you love going through a really hard time,” Drew says. “When Jonathan was with his ex, we didn’t see him as much as we wanted to. Our family is very, very close, so to bring him back into the fold and let him know we’re all here for support was a big thing. I said, ‘Nope, you are not sitting at home. Get your butt out here. You’re coming with me, and we’re hanging out.’ ”
His divorce dragged on in a four-year legal battle that got really ugly.
He was able to get past it and doesn't hold any resentment to his ex.
“The split isn’t something I dwell on anymore, but for one too-long, too-dark period of my life, that’s practically all I did," he continued. "It shook me right to my core."
Looking back at his life-changing heartbreak, Jonathan reflects that the experience has helped him appreciate his relationship now.
“After that I felt defeated, but I learned a lot,” he says. “I don’t think I could enjoy what I have today with Jacinta if I hadn’t gone through a failed marriage.”
Despite their failures and hard times, the twins bounced back to become huge stars in the home improvement and DIY TV world.
Now that they have achieved success in their professional lives, they're looking at the next steps in their personal lives, as well.
Drew and his fiancee, Linda Phan, recently bought a house in Los Angeles and are busy planning their destination wedding.
Jonathan is living with long-term girlfriend, Jacinta Kuznetsov, and is already thinking about kids.
“Of all the success and everything we’ve achieved, I think I’ll be a great dad,” says Jonathan. “That’s going to be exciting.”
The two live together between Las Vegas and Toronto, but are also house-hunting in New York City.
“We definitely want to get married and have kids, but we’re just finding joy in our relationship and still learning about each other as well,” says Jonathan. “We’ve only been dating a year and a half, but I don’t think we’ll wait seven years like Drew did before we decide what we’re going to do.”
With multiple HGTV shows and seemingly healthy relationships, it safe to say that the Scott brothers have become quite successful in spite of their rocky start.
"We didn't come from a wealthy family or anything like that. We had to work hard for every single penny," Drew added. "That's something that can show people, through the good times and bad times, if you have a good support net and you do really stick to your guns and go hard after your goals, you will achieve them."