Beyond Reality: The Home Improvement Show Myths

A homebuilding team on a reality show may consist of much more than they show you.We have some breaking news for everyone who has fallen in love with the recent “reality” show oversaturation:  it’s not really reality! Alright, you probably already knew this, but it is worth repeating as new shows continue to pop up and offer a different spin on “reality.” One of the most popular themes for these shows is home renovations or buying and selling a home. We wanted to set the record straight on some of the common misconceptions and expectations that these shows can perpetuate and prepare you to use discernment when viewing them.

  1. Project Timelines – Home remodeling companies who have actually appeared on these reality home improvement shows, along with previous reality TV producers, have come out and said that the projects are fast-tracked. A project that takes six weeks and has multiple stages is broken down and divided by the crew of people you don’t see (sometimes 30 or more additional workers), who are working non-stop for those few days or even weeks that they don’t tell you about. Cheaper materials that provide for a quick install are preferred, and the quality suffers.
  2. Project Budgets – The budgets for these improvement projects are also skewed. Advertising partners as well as discounted rates are just a few of the tricks used to keep project costs low. Home renovation companies are asked to work at a drastically reduced rate in exchange for the publicity from the show.
  3. Buying and Selling – If you are a fan of one of the home buying reality shows like “Property Brothers,” you may have an unrealistic expectation of how long the home buying process takes. Getting approval for a mortgage loan can take a minimum of 60-90 days, and lending criteria can change in this timeframe, often causing you to get denied. If you’re a fan of the home flipping shows, it’s not as simple as they make it seem when buying and selling. You need to know the right way to invest in the home, and determine the costs versus the profit that you’ll receive on the resale. Carrying costs such as financing, insurance, taxes, and ongoing maintenance could quickly add up if a buyer is not found, and you can easily wind up taking a loss on the home when it finally does sell.

What it all comes down to is reality TV is made for TV. While small pieces may be reality, a lot goes into making it interesting for the audience. Having realistic expectations when looking into home renovations, or buying and selling homes will help you prepare for what is to come. If you need help along the journey, or are interested in our custom homes or distinctive renovations and remodeling, we’ll be more than happy to assist you. Simply contact the experts here at Norman L Graham.