A few years ago, some friends appeared on a house-hunting reality TV show. They had a blast, but afterward, they revealed something that surprised me:
It was all staged. They’d already purchased a house when they filmed the episode, and that house wasn’t featured on the show at all. The houses they did look at weren’t even for sale.
Like any normal person, I accept that so-called “reality” TV is scripted to a certain extent, but I’d previously assumed there had to be some truth to those real estate shows: that the information they presented was somewhat reliable, and that you might be able to pick up at least some basics about real estate and home renovation from watching them.
The actual reality is: Nope.
Whether it’s a house-hunting show, a home renovation show, or a house-flipping show, the only thing you can rely on is that you’re probably being lied to. Buying or selling a house is more complicated than looking at three homes and having a conversation over a glass of wine, buying a fixer-upper probably isn’t a bargain, and the Property Brothers are not going to spend weeks in your house personally hanging drywall and grouting tiles.
But it’s worse than mere fakery—a lot of the information these shows give out is completely wrong. If you base your life decisions on what you see in real estate shows, you’re going to be very sorry. Here’s why.
Last week, reader TOB talked about a buyer he knew who walked away from a deal over the Rampart fireplace. Here’s a list of other issues that might be deal-killers, but we try to find a way to solve them before giving up!
The old Encina Power station site is designated for tourist uses, and open space. A seven-story hotel like this will undoubtedly be proposed – will it fly in Carlsbad? Rooms here go for $300-$2,100 per night:
Our Carmel Valley listing closed escrow yesterday!
It was the 3br/2.5 ba, 1,804sf home built in 1989 that we completed about $60,000 worth of upgrades in preparing for market (it had been a rental for years). The before-and-after photos were featured here:
The house looked great and it was vacant but this was when I did the blog post about spring break interrupting the market’s momentum. We decided to forge ahead, and I inputted the listing onto the MLS on the Thursday morning before spring break with immediate showings available that day – in hopes of catching any buyers that might be leaving for vacation the next day.
We had six showings on Thursday and Friday, and 100+ people came to open house over the weekend.
In January, I predicted that we would list for $1,750,000, and sell for $1,900,000.
On March 31st, we hit the MLS priced at $1,750,000, and closed for $1,875,000.
We received one offer.
Thankfully, the only offer included a $125,000 premium to incentivize the sellers to take the deal, instead of waiting for two in the bush. But we were already on Day 4 of open-market exposure, so I knew we were at peak market and our chances of selling for over list price would start dropping .
We contemplated whether we should counter-offer on price, or extend the two-week escrow period because we wanted the extra time for the sellers’ 1031 exchange. But given the fact that we only had one offer, the sellers signed it.
We had already completed a home inspection in advance, and thought we had fixed everything. The buyers did their own home inspection – which we always recommend to our buyers as well, and here’s why.
Their inspector noted that the water-meter gauge was running, even with all faucets being off. It’s the sign that a leak had developed, and the hot-water heater was operating the entire time too. The sellers checked their history of utilities and found their costs spiked on March 31st.
We have a ‘slab leak’, and we knew it was the hot side!
Just the thought of a slab leak causes grave concern and panic for most people. But we’ve handled them before, and know that they can be fixed with money like any other home repair.
Donna’s vendors jumped on it, and we closed in 16 days, instead of fourteen.
Nearly 75% want electric appliances? I haven’t met anyone who would give up their gas stove.
There are many ways we can make a difference, like reducing our dependence on gas to power our homes. In fact, at least 48 cities in the country have outlawed natural gas in new home construction. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your home in the new eco-friendly era, here’s where you can start.
The road to a cleaner, safer, healthier planet begins at your front door. Research shows that homeowners have a critical role to play in the race to a zero-carbon world. There are myriad ways we can make a difference, like reducing our dependence on gas to power our homes and putting more solar panels on rooftops. Here’s how to flip the switch on an all-electric house.
When it comes to cleaning up our energy habits—reducing our use of natural gas and electricity generated at coal-and-gas-powered plants—people in the West are ready to change their ways. Nearly three-quarters of Californians said that they would prefer efficient electric appliances powered by clean energy instead of fossil gas, according to a survey conducted by FM3, the California-based research organization, and released by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. And the state energy commission aims to put standards in place that would require newly constructed homes to be electric-ready. In June, on the hottest day in Oregon’s recorded history, lawmakers passed groundbreaking legislation requiring the state to convert to 100 percent clean, “responsible” energy by 2040. At press time, 48 cities in the country had outlawed natural gas in construction of new homes and commercial buildings, according to the Sierra Club’s tally.
Every piece of the technology puzzle that we need to make this dramatic shift in our power supply and our behavior at home already exists.
If you were already thinking that this is getting ridiculous and you better grab the next cheapie even if it was a little rough around the edges before you get priced out forever….this might push you over the edge:
Here it is, literally the worst house on the street! The Seller has done the hard work of cleaning up the almost half-acre property (it only took 7 dumpsters!), so now is your chance to take it from here.
Have you ever watched HGTV and thought, “I could do that!”? If so, pack up your tape measure and start Googling how to identify a load-bearing wall because it’s time to put your money where your mouth is!
The roof leaks, the floor creaks, and there’s a terrible draft, but this 3 bed, 1.5 bath home is very open concept. And by that we mean the inside is open to the outside because several of the windows are broken. There is a large, sunny window in the kitchen… and absolutely nothing else – a wonderful feature for someone interested in a bright reading space (and ordering take out for every meal).
Now I know you’ve heard of a detached garage, but have you ever heard of a detached foundation?! Because that’s what you’ll find here in the large bonus room at the right of the home. And if you’re looking for a house that screams “I’ve got bizarre and ominous energy!” then honey stop the car because you’ve found it right here conveniently located off of US-301 in North Zephyrhills.
If you need a place to stage your next post-apocalyptic zombie movie, this is it (the covered porch has really good “rest here on your way to the safe zone” vibes). And whether you like to turn up the heat or keep it cool, it won’t matter here because there is no HVAC system. Oh and don’t forget about the brick chimney that perfectly epitomizes how we all feel after 2020 – about to collapse and going nowhere (literally, there is no fireplace inside the house).
What else can be say about this one-of-a-kind opportunity? It’s not in a flood zone and will be conveyed with clear title! But we don’t have a survey and the Seller has never seen the property, so buyers are strongly encouraged to do their own due diligence. And if you’re not interested in crying yourself to sleep every night while you rehab this home, might we suggest tearing it down and building a brand new one in its place? The neighbors would likely thank you.