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HGTV---and "Stick 'em UP!"


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I remember when this channel started.  My MOM was a huge fan, as SHE was an avid gardener.  AND it was rife with programs offering advice on tools, materials and techniques for home repair or maintainence.  OR furnishing ideas for redecorating projects.

 

NOW, all this channel seems to be about is "Flipping" houses, buying or selling houses, or RENNOVATING houses---

 

For example, there's sevral shows that focus on people who wish to move into a better or bigger home, and get "rooked" into having some lady do WAY too expensive( based on MY income) "reno" work, or some snide and snarky real eastate agent showing them WAY overpriced houses!  I don't know WHERE all these shows take place, but I've seen houses that here in MY neck of the woods would only go for $65-70,000  have a price tag of $400-550,000! on these shows!

 

And those two SCOTT brothers are the MOST BLATANT crooks of ALL!

 

Time today doesn't allow me, but later on, I might elaborate more on why I feel this way, or ask for an explanation of some tings I don't understand...

 

Sepiatone

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I kind of agree with you Sepia. I don't even like THIS OLD HOUSE because they often "renovate" rather than "restore". I live in an old home and am constantly getting calls to replace my windows. Sorry, I don't care HOW much my leaded glass windows leak....I'd rather slap protective storms over them than replace them with plastic "fits all" junk.

 

House "fashion" is like clothing fashion, it comes & goes...and comes back again. I mean if I were a bathroom renovation shop, I'd WANT people to renovate too, just to stay in business. But the reality is my 1910 cast iron clawfoot tub cast in Allentown is far superior to their fiberglass repro cartoon claw foot tub made in China.

But this is their business so it's their job to sell this idea to the public. And most people actually prefer vinyl siding, plastic shower surrounds, resin "marble" countertops  and all the other new innovations. 

 

MY job as an art restorer is to point out your painting needs conservation. It's a tough sell when most just live with their stuff "as-is". So I fully understand the renovation business mind set. It's tough getting people excited enough to part with their money for a promise of "better" when most of the time they can't picture it or don't care.

 

I bought my house to live in, not as an investment. Like you, in MY neighborhood investment houses are seized by the City, then auctioned for $3-8k, completely renovated to bland-dom and resold for $20-60k. We pay about $2000 a year in taxes.

 

A dump of a house in MA or NYC vicinity sells for $100k, is renovated and resold for half a million. My brother, who lives in Massachusetts, pays about $20k a year in taxes.  And I noticed just last year visiting, the depression the rustbelt has been experiencing is creeping into his area. 

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You're right in that I too, seem to think they're all trying to sell THEIR ideas of what THEY think home decoration and/or design should be, and the promotion of expensive countertops, the idea of expensive "guttings" of bathrooms and kitchens is the ONLY salvation for ANY home and ANYbody.

 

It's just that the people who "star" in some of these shows tick me off!

 

On one show, called "Love It or List It", it's always the same crap.  Some people wish to move because the house they live in has outlived it's usefulness.  ONE person, a lady designer, tries to convince them to stay in the house by promising to make it MORE livable by doing thousands of dollars worth of "rennovation", while a snarky and b!tchy real eastate agent, who gets REAL snarky and condescending if the couple DOESN'T like HIS idea of what looks good or not, tries to find them a NEW house that will "fit their bill", and after a lot of stupid nonsense, the couple THEN has to decide wether or not to stay in their newly redone house, or put it on the marked and move into the NEWER house MR. SNARK found for them!

 

But then again, not being the type of guy who constantly buys and sells houses and moves several times a year, I admit I don't understand how a lot of this works...

 

Fro example, with "The Property Brothers", it ALSO is often the same crap...

 

Some couple is looking for a house.  They, unfortunately(in MY estimation) happen upon the SCOTT brothers, Drew and Jonathan, the first a real estate agent, the other a contractor, and the agent, after finding out just what they WANT in a house, AND their "Max Budget" , AND like NORMAL people, are looking for a house that they just have to move into and they're all set(what these shows call "turnkey"  ) shows them the "house of their dreams"...but....guess WHAT?

 

It's WAY more expensive than what they can afford!  So, Drew tells them..."Well, I needed to show you the "reality"...that in order to get the house YOU wanted in MOVE IN ready condition will cost more than you can afford( not always true in REAL life!).

 

He THEN suggests that he can find them a "fixer upper" that his BROTHER can fix up the way the WANT.  But here's where I get to what I don't understand....

 

MY understanding of a "MAX BUDGET" would be whatever the BANK feels my income and credit rating will allow me to borrow as a mortgage.  For instance, let's, for argument's sake, say THAT amount is $250,000( a paltry sum by THAT show's standards!).  Drew will THEN show me and my wife the house of our "dreams" and it'll cost probably $290,000!  WAY over my "MAX BUDGET".

 

He THEN will suggest, and find a "fixer upper" for say, $190,000.  He THEN will claim, "This gives Jonathan(his brother) $60,000 to do "renovations" and give you the home of your dreams."

 

MY thinking is, that while I DON'T have the $250,000 in 'cash on hand", that the BANK, seeing the house only LISTS for $190,000, WON'T lend me another $60,000.  Unless it's on a seperate loan at a much different interest rate.  "WHY,"  they'll insist, "Should we loan you $250,000 at, let's say, 3.45%  for a house that lists for only $190,000?"  BUT we'll "tack on" the extra $60,000 as a "home improvement" loan at a rate of 12 to 18%!"

 

NOW I'm on the hook for MUCH MORE MONEY, in the long run, than previously understood, AND we have to wait SIX to EIGHT WEEKS for the guy to finish the renovations!  And ALL BECAUSE this clown, out of ALL the houses that MUST be on the market, CAN'T find us one that we like well enough for our "budget" to begin with!

 

So, WHAT about all this AIN'T I understanding?

 

By the way....MY "Max Budget" is WAY lower than the ones they feature on the show, which usually range up in the $450,000 to 600,000 area!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Well Sepia, I think 90% of your issue is the snark factor. 

 

I started out in the fashion industry. I would spend countless hours polishing my nails in my office reading GLAMOUR magazine. I remember one issue hawking "the hot new colors of eyeshadow for your New Years Eve celebration! Huh?

smiley-shocked019.gif

My epiphany moment came upon realizing our society revolves on buying nonsense. I liked Notan's recent post saying, "don't buy the BS about having to have all of the electronics, all of the latest and greatest, or being defined by my possessions"

 

The idea of belittling people to coerce them into buying their way to happiness is just as offensive as psychic mediums preying on the bereaved. I see this sort of "bullying" tactics all over the internet, one of my reasons for backing off on time spent here.

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Well Sepia, I think 90% of your issue is the snark factor. 

 

I started out in the fashion industry. I would spend countless hours polishing my nails in my office reading GLAMOUR magazine. I remember one issue hawking "the hot new colors of eyeshadow for your New Years Eve celebration! Huh?

smiley-shocked019.gif

My epiphany moment came upon realizing our society revolves on buying nonsense. I liked Notan's recent post saying, "don't buy the BS about having to have all of the electronics, all of the latest and greatest, or being defined by my possessions"

 

The idea of belittling people to coerce them into buying their way to happiness is just as offensive as psychic mediums preying on the bereaved. I see this sort of "bullying" tactics all over the internet, one of my reasons for backing off on time spent here.

I feel the same way.  I'm not as "high-tech" as the younger generations in my family, and it doesn't bother me in the least.  I was the last member to get a cell phone, and the one I have doesn't have all the bells and whistles on it that everyone else does.  Despite that, I still have ways to keep in touch with everyone outside text messaging and photo uploading, and that's just fine with me.

 

This spring I'll have to pull the trigger and re-finance my house.  It needs a new roof and my patio needs to be replaced with new concrete.  I'm also going to have to get a new furnace to replace my 40-year old outfit.  I've only got three and a half years to go on my mortgage, so if I can keep the same end-date I ought to be able to swing the higher monthly payments.  Three years after that, I'm looking at retirement, unless my employer offers a sweet early retirement deal (and they've done so twice in the past three years).  I promised myself I wouldn't even think of getting a newer model car until the one I've got is old enough to vote (it's 16 this year)!   Although it's a 1999 model, it still gets better gas mileage than most of the new pickup trucks and SUV's that are rolling off the assembly lines today.

 

I am considering "cutting the cord" on my cable television provider.  Every year around November or December, my bill gets increased.  In the past, I've always gotten new channels with the monthly increase.  In 2014, my monthly bill spiked by 7 bucks, and I lost BBC America!  So....if that's how they want to do business, I can play that game too!  Anyone else here dropped their cable of satellite provider recently?  If so, how do you like it?  Can you watch anything TCM has to offer through other sources or not?

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Consider this----

 

My wife for some reason just LOVES those Scott Brothers( she thinks they're "Cute").

 

Today, overhearing them on one of their shows, they sounded SHOCKED and DISMAYED that ODDLY ENOUGH( or SADLY)  some couple's BATHROOM "Hasn't been UPDATED since they FIRST moved IN, SEVEN YEARS AGO!"  So, WHADD'RE WE supposed to DO?  Change around our houses as often as some people buy NEW UNDERWEAR?

 

THESE two jerks just P I S S me OFF!

 

 

Sepiatone

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I'm with you on HGTV.  The only show on there I enjoy watching is Rehab Addict.  I like this show because the host, Nicole Curtis, buys old homes (ones that have been condemned by the city, or are slated to be torn down, or are just derelict) and works on restoring them to their original look.  She tries to save as many of the original materials as she can.  If something is beyond repair, she tries her best to put something in that is as close to the original as possible.  She has leaded glass windows repaired, stained glass saved, repaints the clawfoot tub, anything to bring the home back to its original glory.  She'll also visit reclaimed home shops and purchase items to replace missing ones from her home.  I've seen her purchase replacement clawfoot bathtub feet and missing newel posts from the banister.  There isn't any of the contrived drama and stupid banter in this show that exists in other shows.  She'll work on the same home across the span of multiple episodes. 

 

As for The Property Brothers, while I like the remodeling aspect and I believe the overall concept is good: buy a fixer upper and you can make it your dream home.  The way they go about it is unrealistic.  My husband and I just put an offer on a house yesterday, we're waiting to hear back from the owners if they'll accept or if they have a counter offer.  We're crossing our fingers.  We loved this house.  It's a 1940 bungalow with a finished basement (a basement, let alone a finished one is a rarity in Oregon).  Anyway, we had our maximum budget and knew approximately what our mortgage would be at various price points.  We didn't even bother looking at homes more expensive than our budget.  I don't understand the logic that if you're approved for say $230k and you buy a fixer at $200k, then there is somehow $30k left over for repairs.  Last I checked, the bank will only give you a loan for the price of the home.  The way that Property Brothers portrays this is unrealistic. 

 

House Hunters is similar except without the renovation component.  These homeowners have a budget, say $300k and then the realtor will show them a home at like $350k.  They will inevitably fall in love with the house way beyond their budget and will be a little shocked when they find out the asking price.  Then at the end of the show, they'll say something like "well, it's a little above budget, but we loved it so we decided to go for it."  If you could afford a $350k house, then why was your budget $300k? Where did the extra $50k come from? House Hunters drives me crazy because it is so contrived.  I hate the fake drama and banter between the house hunters.  When my husband and I were house hunting, as a joke, I kept saying:

 

This house has great curb appeal!

Oh, the kitchen doesn't have granite counter-tops and stainless steel appliances.

Ooh a walk-in closet.  My clothes will fit in here, where will yours go honey?

We need a large kitchen for entertaining.

I want an open concept home.

Is this a load bearing wall?

 

The only House Hunters that interests me right now is Tiny House Hunters, because it involves people house hunting for homes that are less than 700 sq ft.  While I like the idea in theory of living in a small house with minimal possessions, in practicality, I think I'd be driven crazy being in such close quarters with another person.  One woman was looking at a house that was 196 sq ft!

 

Love it or List it is annoying.  I can't stand the stupid banter between Hilary (the designer) and David (the realtor).  The shows are always the same: A couple is unhappy in their current home.  One part of the couple wants to move, the other wants to stay but make the home more usable.  Hilary is given a limited budget but a laundry list of "must haves" to make these people stay.  David says something snarky to Hilary about how they'll love the home he finds and will move.  Hilary sets to work fixing up the house.  Usually there is some colossal issue (with the foundation, electrical, etc.) that has to be fixed and she's forced to sacrifice a major thing off the couple's "must have" list.  David will usually show the couple some outrageous house completely over budget.  The couple are now irritated with both Hilary and David.  David shows them a second home that the couple is lukewarm to, but like better than the first home.  Hilary is able to salvage some of the couple's "must haves." Finally, David shows them the third house that they absolutely love.  Hilary unveils their newly remodeled home, which they love.  Will they love it? or list it? Of all the episodes I've seen, they always decide to "love it" and stay.  Add more snark between Hilary and David. The show ends.

 

There are a ton of those flip-it home shows.  While I like the idea of fixing up a home instead of building something new, I think that the flipping phenomenon is unfairly driving up home prices in neighborhoods.  It's one thing to buy a fixer and fix it up yourself, but to flip these homes with no intention of living there in order to sell the home for some wild price way above the values of the other homes in the area is only driving up the comps in the neighborhood.

 

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While I like the idea of fixing up a home instead of building something new, I think that the flipping phenomenon is unfairly driving up home prices in neighborhoods.  

 

In MY neighborhood, that's a good thing. Deteriorating abandoned houses with squatters can be found on nearly every block. A flipped house means an occupied house, usually "starters". I enjoy having them.

 

midwestern: your refinancing is for structural stuff-not decorating.

 

I am considering "cutting the cord" on my cable television provider.  Anyone else here dropped their cable of satellite provider recently?  If so, how do you like it?  Can you watch anything TCM has to offer through other sources or not?

 

I cut my cord exactly 3 years ago. I've never been happier. I mostly watch PBS and ME-TV along with local news, which I rarely watched when I had cable. I have a movie "angel" a local poster on this board who records TCM around 5 movies a month as a favor. This board assists my choices-if the library does not have it, I ask the movie angel.

 

I borrow a lot more than just movies from the library too-travel DVDs, animal training, excersize, TV series-all sorts of things! And boy, they have every Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda box sets at the library too.

 

I haven't run out of quality stuff to watch in 3 years. And I have zero exposure to cripptey crappo like Duck Dynasty, Poo-poo and only a small amount of commercials.

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The only things that bug me about "Rehab Addict" is that it forwards the idea that this sort of thing is EASIER than it really is.

 

This woman is portrayed as some sort of "expert", and a "single mom heroine", with NO indication as to what HAPPENS with the house she "rehabbed".  Is it SOLD?  AND at a price in line with what the OTHER homes on the block are valued at?  For instance, she DOES do several homes in Detroit, and as I live in the vicinity, and glad to see Detroit get ANY positive exposure, she seems to leave the impression that it was some UNKNOWN reason some "poor house" got all that neglect.  NO mention of all the "set-ups" done that make it look like SHE'S the skilled contractor, and that ALL neighborhoods in Detroit look like the Boston-Edison subdivision.

 

Reality dictates to me that her "rehabs" cost more than the real estate value of the property she's working on, and that there CAN'T be that much, if ANY, reimbursment of that expense.

 

 

Sepiatone

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The only things that bug me about "Rehab Addict" is that it forwards the idea that this sort of thing is EASIER than it really is.

 

This woman is portrayed as some sort of "expert", and a "single mom heroine", with NO indication as to what HAPPENS with the house she "rehabbed".  Is it SOLD?  AND at a price in line with what the OTHER homes on the block are valued at?  For instance, she DOES do several homes in Detroit, and as I live in the vicinity, and glad to see Detroit get ANY positive exposure, she seems to leave the impression that it was some UNKNOWN reason some "poor house" got all that neglect.  NO mention of all the "set-ups" done that make it look like SHE'S the skilled contractor, and that ALL neighborhoods in Detroit look like the Boston-Edison subdivision.

 

Reality dictates to me that her "rehabs" cost more than the real estate value of the property she's working on, and that there CAN'T be that much, if ANY, reimbursment of that expense.

 

 

Sepiatone

I've heard her talk about (or deal with) the houses she fixes up.  She's also a realtor and an investor.  Some of the homes she buys and resells them later.  In other episodes, I think someone else may have purchased the home and she's now restoring it.  I've seen episodes where she's working on one house and dealing with a sale or something involving a previous job.  I know she is based in Detroit and does do rehabs in homes in other areas as well.  I think I've seen her in Milwaukie and Minneapolis as well.  She doesn't mention the money aspect.  I'd be curious to know how much the home cost and what she sunk into it to fix it up and what the overall appraisal is now. 

 

What I like about her show is that she's all about the restoration aspect and using what the home has. Even if the 1940 home doesn't have the original 1940 cabinetry, but has some 1980s cabinetry, she'll try to use what's already there unless the cabinets are in poor condition.  She doesn't waste perfectly good things just because they "don't fit."  She tries to work with what is there and she makes it work.  She's not demo-ing perfectly good counter-tops, walls, etc. just to make the inside of the home fit current trends.  A 1910 home is going to be laid out like a 1910 home.  It's always sad to me to watch a flip-it show to see someone take a gorgeous 1920s bungalow and completely change the inside of the home so that it looks like any other cookie cutter home.  Old homes typically aren't "open concept."  It kills me when people tear out the built ins.  Unless they're falling apart and unsafe, they should stay.

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Oh, I think the "restore" aspect of that show is OK, it's other things about it that bother me....but just restoring an "old home" to ORIGINAL condition IS better than the OTHER shows, which often ALWAYS "gut" entire houses and REPLACE( "update") EVERYTHING with the LATEST and GREATEST( read: EXPENSIVE) stuff that REALLY isn't ALWAYS neccesary( read my latest post in the "Abandoned America" thread).

 

 

Sepiatone

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