The House Flipping Shows

house flipping shows Jan 15, 2020

We've all seen the house flipping shows and who out there doesn't talk about Chip and Joanna at some point! We do at our house. I honestly am a fan of many of them, but a few things I have to say about them.

Don't believe everything you hear! Below is an excerpt from my book about to come out. This sums up my introduction to these shows years ago.

"Speaking of TV shows - years ago, when all the flipping shows started, there was one based in South Carolina, I believe. The host was obnoxious; he screamed, yelled, and thought he was the most incredible renovator in the world.

(Can you tell I didn't care for him?) Anyway, he walked into this home he wanted to buy on a Friday. He said something along the lines of, "Let's buy it and close tomorrow. I want to renovate it next week and have an open house the following Sunday."

If that wasn't stupid enough, he then verbally went through the list of renovations he wanted to complete. OMG! This guy wanted to tear out, replace, sand, and finish new hardwoods (they were damaged), build a new kitchen, bathrooms, replace flooring throughout, complete interior/exterior paint.

On top of all that, the home ALSO needed mold remediation! He planned to have the crews come in to remove all the mold sometime at the beginning of the week so that he could get the rest of the (12-week!) renovation completed in 5 days. FIVE DAYS.

I'm not sure why this irritated me so, but I wrote the building inspector for that little city and asked him how they could allow people to do stuff like that.

A few weeks later, I received the perfect response from the building inspector. His words were, "Mr. Glenn, don't believe everything you see on television!" No truer words have been spoken!"

It has been years now since that show was on, but it drilled a crucial point home, this is for entertainment first and foremost. So, everything you see may not be as factual as they would like you to believe.

Does that mean they are not worth watching? Not at all, you just have to keep that in the back of your mind. Thinks like renovation costs and profits tend to be all over the board, too. Do not base any of your real-world numbers on something you have seen on TV! 

So many of them still tend to forget when they sell a house; you are going to have real estate commissions and closing costs. The numbers will flash on the screen, something like this:

$200,000 Purchase price

$45,000 Renovations

$245,000 Total costs

$275,000 Sales price

$30,000 Profit (Yippee)

When in reality, it should have been this:

$275,000 Sales price

$16,500 6% real estate commission

$4,000 closing costs

$9,500 Profit (Yikes)

The above is not a deal I would do. If anything were to go wrong, you could be losing money very quickly. The point I want to make, don't take everything the shows say at face value, be cautious!

Now, the good.

I love to see what types of renovations are being done around the country. We get some great ideas from the things we've seen on TV. We've done shiplap in several of our houses that I think looks great. Thanks, Joanna!

Plus, many of the shows do give you an idea of the things you can run into while flipping houses. Granted, most of these scenarios are staged, but you get to see some of the potential hazards.

Many times you will run into things like rotten floor joists under the bathroom, but 99% of the time, you should have known that before you even made an offer on the house! If you find that during inspections, it's just not quite as exciting! 

All in all, I like the house flipping shows. You have to take the good with the bad, but they can be informative and fun to watch!


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