Philadelphia Inquirer writer Alan Heavens consistently writes great articles on real estate-related matters . His latest takes on the changes that Reality TV has brought about regarding buying a house. And it's true! Who hasn't experienced that buyer coming into a house and knowing it was "staged."
And I have been on both sides of the camera for shows going back as far as This Old House, which originated in 1979.
The net result: more buyers expect more. On the Matt Fetick Real Estate Team we've consistently counseled sellers that their house needs to reflect those expectations. We offer the services of a certified professional stage
Trouble comes when consumers take their TV lesson too much to heart. There are nuances not covered in ABC's Home Makeover or the many HGTV shows. And most dangerous are those shows about "get rich quick by flipping a house." Of course with the mortgage meltdown, there are fewer resources for some of those projects.
Heavens notes that these shows have impacted builders and contractors too. Remodeling contractor Jay Cipriani, of Cipriani Builders in Woodbury, NJ observes that homeowners mention products they've seen on TV, and have followed up with Internet research. It means more intelligent conversations between consumer and contractor.
Cipriani notes "A customer recently told us that a product that we had been installing the same way for years was being installed incorrectly," he said. "Sure enough, we checked the manufacturer's website, and those instructions had been changed."
I was chatting with a client in northern Chester County, PA who lives in a large cluster townhome community about 28 years old. She sees the need for a new style of window, based on her TV watching and internet research. She said she's "shot down by the autocratic HOA president everytime she brings up." Her guess is that he doesn't watch much TV and use the internet :) And, its hurting their home values.
Heavens writes that Design-TV host Angelo Surmelis, whose credits include HGTV's 24 Hour Design and TLC's Clean Sweep, believes the recession shifted the focus of many programs away from the "flipping houses to get rich" strategies that more than a few viewers got caught up in.
"A lot of people . . . learned the hard way that if renovating to flip was not their M.O., and if they didn't have deep pockets like the professionals, they'd fail," Surmelis said. "They discovered that it is harder than it looks, especially if they are over their heads at the start.
"People are now homebodies and have found that these same quick tips can add value to their home and their lives," he said.
Williams sees this attitude among home buyers, "that they can do such and such with a room as they have seen on the TV shows. It has made some people able to see past what is in a home now and what the potential is."