Revealing the truths of home renovation and house flipping
We hate to burst your bubble, but it’s time the truth came out. Not all of home renovation is as it seems on reality television.
You can’t blame us for believing. After all, reality television makes it all look so easy to find and flip a fixer upper. Renovations go off without a hitch. It nearly always comes in under budget. And in the end, everything looks amazing, like a picture in a magazine.
But the truth of the matter is fixing up a property can be much more complicated than it looks on television. So to set the record straight, here are the five lies most often perpetuated by DIY TV, and the reality you can expect.
The most common myths of flipping or fixing up a home
1. It’s easy money
On fixer-upper television, renovation seems like an easy way to make or save a ton of cash. But in truth, renovation can be costly depending on its scope and who is performing the work, as well as a number of other factors. Industry experts know that home renovation budgets and resale values mentioned in reality renovation or DIY television are often way off the mark. Of course, pricing differs from city to town to region, and associated costs can swing up or down. But it’s important to remember that realistically you could pay more for renovations than television would have us believe, and earn less on resale.
2. Flipping always goes smoothly
On television, everything goes smoothly. Sure, maybe there’s a small bump in the road, but all players pivot and the problems are solved before the end credits roll. But renovations can be complex and extremely time consuming and a person never knows what unexpected surprises could arise—often unwelcome ones at that. Even the best contractors are giving an estimate on the job, and it’s key to keep that in mind throughout the process. Expect a rough ride, and you’ll be happy when the road to renovation smooths out at last.
3. Finding the right property is simple
In an inventory-rich market, you may find it easier to find a great house to fix up, but these days, that’s not the case. Prices are up in our region, and inventory remains tight. Of course, you can still find options for applying your renovation know-how, but it is likely to take longer to find the ideal property than portrayed on television. And you may want to pay in cash to close quickly, lest you lose out on the opportunity.
4. Flipping is quick
When it takes an hour or half hour to complete a renovation on TV, who could blame you for thinking it might be just as easy in real life? Unfortunately, renovation in real life doesn’t fit within the confines of a single episode. Flipping a property, when it involves a mega renovation, requires not only finding the right property, but finding the right team to do the job and the right subcontractors to deliver. Will they be available when you need them? It could go either way, but in reality, a flip is never as quick as you want it to be.
5. Interior design is as simple as checking out Pinterest
If you’re like most of us, you are not only inspired by property flipping shows, but you have the Pinterest boards to prove it. And that can make it feel like it will be easy and effortless to design a space. But it’s important to remember that professional interior designers are often behind any sumptuous space, and they look great because of it. Go it alone and you may find your space comes up short—and that’s okay. It’s just important to realize that your space’s interior design may require professional help to really nail it.
Finding a space you’ll flip for and being realistic about it
Once you finally do find a property you want to flip, it’s important to have realistic expectations for how the process works, what it costs and when and where you’ll need the pros to step in and help. But first, let go of these myths of the reality TV world of property flipping and you’re sure to hit your pace in the renovation world.