Attempting to buy a home around the holidays is a stressful undertaking, as the period from October to December is often much less active. Many people take their homes off the market until after the holidays pass, and as they wait for the weather to warm up.
Real estate agent Albie Mushaney isn't afraid of this challenge in the housing market. He's hoping to spread some holiday magic to get first-time homebuyers their dream properties on the HGTV special, You'll Be Home for Christmas.
While some agents urge buyers to wait until the new year to get serious about their home search, Albie wants his clients in their ideal homes in time for Christmas.
To further drive home (pun intended) his point, Albie dresses as Santa Claus once a deal has been made. When move-in day arrives, Albie has a few other tricks up his sleeve to make the buyers' first holiday at home one to remember.
Albie Mushaney and wife Jesse from 'You'll Be Home for Christmas' dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The real estate agent was born and raised in Salem, Ore., which explains why he's so passionate about finding people their forever homes in the area. Albie is a father of five. He shares four sons and one daughter (who is named Hope) with his wife, Jesse.
Jesse often dresses as Mrs. Claus alongside Albie. While some people who dress up as Santa wear a fake beard, Albie's facial hair is all natural — meaning, he just needs the Santa suit to pull the whole look together.
Though he is now happily married, Albie went through a trying divorce in the '90s that left him homeless. During this time, he first became passionate about fitness, but he later took a 15-year hiatus from training once he began having kids.
Why is Albie Mushaney called the Big Bad Santa? He's a bodybuilder.
When he's not taking clients on house tours or wearing the big red suit, Albie is often competing in bodybuilding competitions. After Albie and his wife welcomed their fifth child, the HGTV personality wanted to make a lifestyle change.
"When my youngest was born, I realized, at 400 pounds, I need to make some changes," Albie shared in a teaser for You'll Be Home for Christmas. "So, I started working out. Five years ago, I began competing at Strongman. Now, I'm the world's strongest Santa."
Now, Albie trains four nights a week with a few pals to stay in tiptop shape for his strength competitions.
Ahead of the You'll Be Home for Christmas premiere, Albie took to his Instagram page to introduce himself to new followers, and to discuss his passion for fitness.
"I'm a real estate agent. Now, being in the Strongman community has been an incredible blessing. It's a lot of work; the athletes do some incredible feats of strength way beyond the human imagination should allow. So many of these huge feats of strength go unnoticed by the general public, but fans of Strongman are some of the most loyal fans there are," he shared. "People who just eat, drink, sleep Strongman. I've been blessed to gain such a following — a lot of times it's the beard."
Albie said that combining his passions for fitness and for Christmas helped him to get the HGTV show.
"Some people noticed me and thought that I'd be good for a television show — from being in real estate, and being a Santa and a Strongman. It was just a natural fit to put me in front of the camera and get a couple of families into a home before Christmas, and to give them some amazing gifts and turn their lives around..." he said. "I just smiled for the camera, and I was me."
The fitness aficionado, who can lift upwards of 600 pounds, hopes that the show eliminates viewers' preconceived notions about bodybuilders.
"What we were able to produce for this show is a thing of beauty. I truly believe this is going to be one of the highlights of this Christmas season, that it'll show people that the big strong guy isn't just an ogre... they have a personality. Strongmen have great senses of humor and a lot of them have really kind hearts, and give a lot."
Albie also shared that he would definitely be interested in doing another season of the show, if HGTV wanted him back.
You'll Be Home for Christmas airs on Friday, Dec. 18 at 10 p.m. on HGTV.