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Real Estate Reality TV

What are the best real estate reality shows? Just how many real estate related reality TV shows are there? Is it really that easy to flip a house? How much does it cost to fix up my house? Man, that house sure likes nice after its fixed up...wish I could do that to my house....

By now, you know it isn’t that easy to flip or remodel a home or an investment property. From flip this to flip that, reality TV land hit the real estate industry like a match made in heaven. It’s easy to get sucked into reality shows. Watch a few minutes and soon learn intimate details about the lives of these brave souls—or actors trying to get their first break.

But if there’s one market that fits reality TV, and one that is all about networking and relationships, it has to be the real estate industry. Just think about it: there are many different relationships to manage and cultivate, such as the successful real estate investor, agent, buyer, seller, broker and many more that can be tailored individually and enticingly on TV. Jeff Lewis, for example, from Flipping Out, treats his employees like garbage and sends his cat to an acupuncturist. But character isn’t all that the reality TV producers want. They want drama, and a few real estate reality TV shows bring it to you successfully.

Here’s a comprehensive real estate reality TV shows list:

  • Income Property - Scott McGillivray
  • Million Dollar Listing (LA, New York, SF)
  • Income Property (Scott McGillivray)
  • Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott
  • Buy Me
  • Income Property with Scott McGillivray
  • Beachfront Bargain Hunt
  • Fixer Upper
  • Flip or Flop
  • Love it or List It
  • House Hunters
  • Rehab Addict
  • Date My House
  • Designed to Sell
  • Double Agent
  • Flip This House
  • Flip That House
  • Flipping Out - Jeff Lewis
  • Hidden Potential
  • Housing Hunters
  • Location, Location, Location
  • My First Place
  • Property Ladder
  • Sell This House
  • The Adam Carolla Project
  • The Bubble
  • The Real Housewives of Orange County
  • The Real Wives of New York City
  • What You Get for the Money
  • Sell This House
  • Designed to Sell
  • Get Sold
  • Weekend Warriors
  • Secrets That Sell
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
  • My House is Worth What?
  • Bought & Sold
  • Moving Up

I’m not sure if the 'real housewives' shows count as real estate related reality shows, but I thought I should add those since what’s on display is a lifestyle of the rich-and-not-so-famous, complete with large homes sprawled out in the sunny Southern California coast or summer homes in the Hamptons for those in New York.

If there’s anything you can assume from the long list of TV shows, it’s that the popularity of the real estate market is mighty healthy. To put it into perspective even further, HGTV had in 2006, a total of eight real estate oriented TV shows. This is but one channel among hundreds, so if everyone hops on the bandwagon, you can pretty much guess what we all will be watching.

An article in the Washington Post from 2005 warned us of a bubble in the real estate market and that we should be weary of all the media hype. Reality TV shows such as the ones mentioned above merely capitalize on America’s love affair with real estate and the get-rich-quick plans that resulted from favorable market conditions.  Read more here.

As the article mentions, the trouble with these shows, is that they don’t necessarily broadcast the whole truth of the real estate market situation or the most helpful of advice. But this isn’t to say you won’t learn anything, because there will always be some kind of useful information you can extract, such as new techniques or preventative measures. Just remember that although these shows may be encouraging and even suggestive of the market’s current state when the shows were filmed, the main goal is entertainment, not necessarily education. This is just the way producers choose to cash in on real estate.

In fact, as a Fox News I-Team in Atlanta, Georgia discovered, some of these shows might be straight-up lying to you. Investor Sam Leccima of the hugely popular show Flip This House has been misleading and lying to literally millions of people, claiming to have sold every house featured on the show after seemingly exhaustive and gorgeous renovations. Well, the truth of the matter is that Leccima never sold those houses, and the work performed to spruce them up was shoddy and slapdash. To make matters worse, the reporters discovered that Leccima’s real estate license was revoked before the show even started filming!

For the full broadcast as it appeared on Fox News in Atlanta, click here.

Stories such as these aren’t meant to discourage you from investing. They’re meant to protect investors from making mistakes and being misled by scam artists. Another lesson you can cull from all this is that not everything you see on TV is real or as easy to replicate in a real life setting. In fact, you might find that many of the situations on TV aren’t even applicable to yours.

Like losing weight, improving self confidence, or any other self-help program, making money in real estate takes a lot of time and hard work. Most of all, though, it takes dedication and motivation, and you can’t find that in a book or TV show.



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