Now I know what you’re thinking…..”but I love House Hunters and Property Brothers!” Hey, I do too. I could spend an entire day watching these shows along with Love it or List it, Flip or Flop, etc. But these shows are nothing more than that…..shows. “Reality” TV geared towards real estate. The thing is these shows are not real life. We see buyers today looking at homes and expecting all the bells and whistles without having to pay a ton of money. OR even better, buying a fixer upper and thinking it won’t cost much or take that long to do. People don’t realize that the cost of labor, project and design fees are not included in the estimate mentioned on these programs. Oh and those brands that are mentioned are either donating or heavily discounted for the placement advantage (or in advertising lingo product placement).
People watch these shows and literally think they can get a palace with their $180k budget. Now the Wisconsin market does offer quite a bit for your money but no way are you going to get acreage, granite everything, high end appliances, and open concept for that. And from a sellers standpoint, there’s zero chance you can live up to that expectation when you try to sell your home. Most people are still living in the home and while many do a great job in staging they ultimately are still living in it. Buyers need to understand that. Buyers need to remember that when they are looking at homes they need to imagine putting their own stamp on it. Their individual taste and style. What’s important are the guts of a home. Is the foundation good? What about the roof, radon systems, well/septic, heating/cooling? Paint color or kitchen hardware are things anyone can change.
There’s tons of do it yourself design sites to help a home owner create their own personal oasis with their home. I mean I get it…most of us have super busy lives and the idea of having to do a lot of work just isn’t high up on the list. But here’s the deal. Homeownership means having to do some work. If the layout works for you and your family then the sky if the limit as far as the décor. Create a project list and decide what is most important. Apps like Pinterest and Houzz offer awesome decorating ideas. Sites like Better Homes and Gardens offer lists, ideas, and design options. With some creativity you can pretty much create any type of oasis you want.
I was surprised to see that not more has been written about this topic. There are two sites that put a pretty fun spin on it. Totally worth the read!
HGTV is great and I for one am addicted to House Hunter and House Hunter International, but remember HGTV is really more about inspiration and ideas. So next time you go out looking for houses, keep an open mind and think about how you can make changes to create the home you want. Don’t discount those “dated” or “older” homes. With a little polish it could just be the ONE.