With shows like “Fixer Upper,” “Almost Home” and “Good Bones” becoming TV staples over the past decade, many homebuyers have looked to them for inspiration. But is that a good thing? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of HGTV homebuying.
The trend expectations of these shows can set a high bar for homebuyers. If they want a “turnkey” home, they might want to see the latest in “farmhouse chic” with shiplap and subway tiles, or a fully updated “tuxedo kitchen” with white and black cabinets. But more often than not, buyers will find a home closer to the “before” segment of the shows, with lots of work to do before becoming the home of their dreams.
Even if buyers do decide to tackle a home that will need substantial improvements, home improvement shows can give skewed expectations for how long it will take to turn a fixer upper home into their ideal living space. In a home improvement show, a home can go from a nightmare to a dream in under an hour.
While buyer expectations might not be that high, most home improvement shows have behind-the-scenes help that can expedite a project. In reality, material delays and other obstacles can make both the timeline and the cost for a project expand substantially. When creating a budget, homebuyers need to be aware of the shortcuts that their favorite shows can take that they won’t have.
Homebuyers in more expensive areas of the country can also be more surprised by the larger budget needed for their project. Many home improvement shows are based in areas of the country where both homes and materials are more cost-effective for the showrunners.
Home improvement shows give homebuyers the confidence that they can take a house in a neighborhood that they want that is outdated and make it into a home they will love. It takes vision to see a house’s potential and home improvement shows can give buyers that vision. Instead of seeing an old house and being discouraged, they can see the possibilities.
Sellers now can have a better idea of home trends that will make their home more desirable to sellers. Because these shows are leading large home trends, watching them gives potential templates to sellers for how to update important areas of the home, like the kitchen and bathrooms, before selling.
In 2020 especially, people have more time at home and these shows can provide inspiration on how to create the retreat they want in their current home or what to look for or imagine in a new home. Boosting interest in real estate and the home buying and improving process can make things a lot easier for home buyers, sellers and their realtors.
No matter what, it seems like home improvement shows have staying power. From This Old House to Fixer Upper, decades of TV watchers have taken inspiration from shows and started home projects. Viewers just need to remember that things are never quite as easy as they seem on TV. Weighing the pros and cons of HGTV homebuying is crucial before taking on a huge project. But if buyers take on a home to improve it and take inspiration from their favorite shows but keep in mind the realities of big projects, they can end up with the home they always wanted.
If you might be thinking of taking on a fixer upper, call Geva & Jane today! They have their own network of trusted vendors and designing ideas that will help you not only find your fixer upper but have a team to make it the home of your dreams.
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy
Elizabeth Marcano, Writer for Geva and Jane Real Estate
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