Who doesn’t love the endless stream of real estate based reality television shows?

For years home reality shows have been hotter than hot. So much so, that it seems like each week there is a new “home show variation” just waiting for us on television. These shows have become so popular they have even created celebrities and dare we say superstars.

While there are many variations, the shows can include,

  • Home renovating
  • Home buying
  • Home selling
  • Home flipping
  • And then you have variations of these themes based on beach houses, lake homes, farms and so on.

It’s fair to say that almost everyone has watched these shows at some point, and since they keep cranking out more of these shows on a regular basis, clearly people are continuing to tune in. But are these shows actually good for the real estate market, real estate buyers and realtors in general? Put another way, at the end of the day, do these shows help or hurt the industry as a whole?

Not surprisingly if you ask a variety of people, they’ll all answer this question different.

Here at Hearth and Home Realty, we are also fans of several of these shows, (we can admit to this guilty pleasure ;-), but we do have issues with some things these shows bring to the “real estate table”. Our concern is based on the fact that these shows present a real estate world that often doesn’t seem “real”.

The renovation amounts!

A big issue we have is the renovation budgets these shows claim are used in many of the episodes. We’ve seen episodes with reno budgets so comically low that the projects couldn’t have been done 25 years ago for the prices they claim they did them for. Perhaps this could be due to the fact that the shows are either having the materials and/or labour subsidized, or even given free in exchange for on air mentions, however if this is the case we don’t recall seeing or hearing any mention of this.

The problem that comes from this is people get the idea that adding a deck, painting an entire interior or having brilliant landscaping done can be done for MUCH less than it can be.

Each home is nicer than the last!

Typically episodes show multiple homes, with each home seeming to be nicer than the last. Watching these shows regularly enough and it’s hard to not to not develop somewhat unrealistic expectations of whats actually available in the real world. Thanks to each of the homes on these shows being so incredible, real estate buyers can quickly become disappointed by the homes their real estate agents show them in the real world (often the buyers aren’t even aware of how they came to have such high expectations).

Anyone tuning into these shows needs to remember that these are television shows, which are made to entertain first and foremost.

At best they’re a highly modified version of the real world. At worst, they may be complete fabrications. It’s fair to assume these homes are not only hand selected, and then perhaps staged by the best of the best. Then when you add in the carefully selected camera angles, perfect lighting and who knows what else it’s no wonder people get disappointed by what is actually available.

Call it a heavy mix of fantasy with a lesser degree of reality mixed in.

Having said everything, please do continue to enjoy these shows. They do create real estate interest, but always remember these are highly crafted shows that exist to entertain above all else.