Looking at the television show selection these days you would never guess that we are currently in one of the worst housing markets in years. TLC and A&E pack their line-up with shows like: Property Ladder, Flip This House and Flip That House which follow a single flipper during their quest for “quick cash” in the housing market. They buy a cheap (read run-down, outdated and falling apart) house, set a budget to renovate and give themselves a timeline to finish it all before putting it on the market to sell for a huge profit! Sounds like a great idea right?
Not in this slouching housing market!
Yet these shows are abundant and apparently people are believing they can follow in the same footsteps (even though many of those footsteps are headed over a very tall cliff). Many of the flippers are “new” to house flipping and find out the hard way that budgets, contractors and knowing your audience are vital for success. These flaws make for great TV, but surely can’t be encouraging the wanna-be-flipper to try it for themselves, would it?
I’m actually starting to wonder.
When you watch these cocky flippers on TV, making mistake after mistake, you start to think how differently you would handle it. You would surely get a home inspection before buying the property. No way you would leave your contractors on the job site by themselves while you went to play golf. And you surely wouldn’t budget $300 for an entirely new set of kitchen cabinets! You’re smarter than all of these flippers … and that’s the problem.
These shows don’t glorify house flipping to make you believe it’s a quick and easy path to riches, instead they rely on reverse psychology to draw you in. The hosts will tell you that there are major risks and that flipping is not for everyone, but at the same time show you a successful transaction for the last person in the world that should be flipping a house. If that dolt can do it … why can’t I?
Being the handyman that I am, I’ve considered being one of those dolts in the past … but now that I have my own house to work on, those urges to renovate will be better spent on fixing up my own home. Not to flip mind you, but to live in and enjoy. The housing market has no control over those results.