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What HGTV Taught Me about Home Buying, Selling, and Decorating

By: Dawn Smith, MilitaryByOwner

More than 20 years ago, a beautiful confluence of creativity and reality began—HGTV.  The cable channel revolutionized the way everyday people viewed their homes, lawns, and gardens. The pioneer shows emphasized decorating and gardening, but later were replaced by the movement that encompasses house renovation and adventures in buying and selling real estate.

Today, HGTV has expanded their roster to include DIY Network, Travel Channel, Food Network, and Great American Country. I’ll admit to having all on my Verizon “favorites” list.

I’ve been an avid viewer along the way. While there are shows I adore now, there are the few that I miss from the past. Can we get some more decorating only shows back? Where are you, Design on a Dime and Decorating Cents?!

After hundreds of episodes of rehab shows, I know how to demo a dated kitchen. Enough already.

Note: sarcasm to follow. 

With the advent of real estate entertainment, viewers are becoming more savvy each day on how to correctly perform a plethora of jobs that used to take years of experience to learn. From real estate agent to construction site manager, we can now all become professionals. About 36 hours of straight HGTV viewing should get the job done!

These are just a few of the lessons and observations HGTV and her spin-off sisters have taught me along the way.

  • After viewing three homes, it’s totally normal to sell your worldly belongings to buy a dilapidated farmhouse in Croatia.
  • It’s also totally normal to eschew traditional house living to move into a luxurious, rolling, tiny home complete with a compost toilet. Fiber-rich diet required.
  • All the cool kids are going “off the grid.”
  • Copious amounts of shiplap make everything better.
  • Waco, Texas, has the most homes for sale under $20K in the United States.
  • The only houses worth seeing, let alone buying, come complete with stainless steel appliances, neutral paint, and hard wood floors (preferably wide-plank).
  • Canadians love real estate as much as we do, and they have a cool accent that makes you forget about the vast amount of snow up there.
  • DIY is the only channel I can find a burly construction man wearing diamond earrings in overalls that I can totally trust. I love you Mike Holmes.
  • Twin brothers = HGTV legacy franchises. Like NFL quarterbacks, they carry the whole team.
  • If I enter the Dream Home giveaway each year, I will automatically subscribe to ALL email lists of the companies providing the products for the house.
  • Flip, virgin, budget, bang, buck, tiny, or fix must be in the title of any HGTV show to succeed.
  • Vanilla Ice Goes Amish. The concept is bonkers, but it works.

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I also think HGTV is responsible for the real estate double edged sword that is “knowledge equals power.” Today, we have such an inflated view of renovation and real estate that most of us think a massive reno stays on budget because we say so, and all selling/buying negations go smoothly because the pretty lady on the show gets it done in 30 minutes.

Intellectually, we know this isn’t reality at all, but at the same time, we conjure up high expectations because we are so tuned into sources like HGTV, magazines, blogs, or websites that show us the possibilities.

Personally, I’m not ready to give up on my HGTV, as I enjoy the creative inspiration, but boy am I tired of the same celebrity faces over and over again for episodes on end.

Am I missing out? Where do you draw inspiration for your home?

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