Does anyone else watch this seemingly popular Canadian show? For those of you who don't know about it it's a show on HGTV that features two hosts, a renovator and a real estate agent. The premise is that there's a couple who's deciding whether to sell their house or do renovations and love it. Host 1 (Hillary) does the requested renovations while Host 2 (David) shows the couple three houses for sale. At the end the couple have to decide whether to love their newly renovated house or sell it and (presumably) buy one of the three houses they see.
I have to say I've become strangely addicted to the program if only because of all the glaringly obvious flaws that are fun to nitpick at. Here's a few:
1. The renovations always run into major (and I mean major) construction problems that eat up the renovation budget, meaning the homeowners can't get everything they want. The homeowners are often unrealistic about their wants which usually involves squeezing an extra bedroom and bathroom in a tiny rowhouse but without building a new addition. They in turn get upset at Hillary for discovering the construction problems (as if it was Hillary's fault that the house had faulty wiring or plumbing all along).
2. The first two of the three houses for sale are always clearly not what the homeowners are looking for. The homeowners often want to stay in their original neighborhood and they often have older houses with period charm. The agent shows them houses well outside their neighborhood and is gutted and stripped of any charm. No wonder they hate the houses, but suddenly the agent finds the perfect house #3 which is usually over budget by a good amount.
3. The renovations always add far more to the home's initial value than the cost of the renovations. In other words a house valued at 500K with 50K in renovation is suddenly now worth 600K.
Toronto houses are ugly. And tiny. And ugly. And tiny. And ugly. To top it they're ridiculously expensive. 750K for a tiny 1,000 sqft rowhouse that needs major work and is butt-ugly at the same time? Is this the norm in Toronto? Are there even any pretty houses at any cost in Toronto? I'm also amused at homeowners fawning over a "huge" house that's still below 2,000 square feet.
Canada seems to have more stringent planning regulations/codes than the US. One show featured a standard suburban colonial circa 1970s on what seemed to be a generous lot. There was an existing sun room that extended from the house but the plans to add an extra bedroom above the sun room was nixed by the local planners because it would have added too many square feet to the house relative to the lot size. That surprised me as the ground footprint of the house wasn't being extended.
Does anyone genuinely like basement bedrooms and fancy new bathrooms in basements? Do they actually add value to the house? Several episodes feature brand new bathrooms in the basement but the bedrooms are still on the second/third floors. How realistic is this?
The newly renovated house often showcase brand new furniture and decoration that obviously makes the house look far more appealing than the pre-renovated house with its crappy original furniture. Does the furniture come with the house or is it only staged for the purpose of the show?
Since most of us are in the planning/development industry does anyone else have views about the plausibility of the program? How much of Love it List it is staged? How much do you love it....or would rather list it.