The Patch Adams star always knew she'd go back to Cleveland, Ohio when the family moved to Alabama in 1987, and when she learned the guy her parents sold the house to had passed away in 2002, she started thinking about buying the old place.

"It sat there and I always knew I would buy the house back," the actress tells Access Hollywood Live. "It went on the market. It sat for, like, six years abandoned, and I got it back.

"We went inside. I brought a film crew of my own and we have, like, over a thousand hours of footage of that and (U.S. network bosses at) HGTV became interested and we just gave them the footage and started to work on it."

The show became Welcome Back Potter - a title the Parenthood star came up with - and Monica turned it into a big family affair, recruiting family and friends to help her with the fixer-upper.

"(Sisters) Jessica, Brigette, Kerry and I and my mom, we all had different experiences," she adds. "My dad passed away so he wasn't there and that was tough, but we did it in his honour.

"We had stuff in there. Since the guy (who lived there) passed away, his family never came to collect any of his stuff, so all of his stuff was on top of our stuff. We had our dining room table, my dad's invention benches... We found my yo-yo... It's come full circle. It's where my dad started his business as an inventor... It's really been a great journey."

And now Potter, 45, hopes her TV show will inspire other people who have moved away from rundown cities to return home and do what they can to help people living there today.

"I'm hoping other people in other places and cities like Detroit and Pittsburgh... will follow and do the same," she explains.

Monica isn't planning to sell the old place anytime soon, revealing her son is currently living there as he helps run the family's Monica Potter Home store in downtown Cleveland.