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Are HGTV Shows Making Buyers Delusional?

Now, we love Fixer Upper, Love It or List It, and Property Brothers like the rest of you. It’s fun to see houses transform before your eyes with all that shiny tile, those gleaming floors, double vanities and walk-in closets. Everything is just so.

Or, is it just soo not possible?

Are Home Buyer Expectations Unrealistic?

Picture the weekend open house scene. Many first-time buyers are coming in fresh off binge-watching Jonathan and Drew, with big dreams of open concepts and freshly landscaped yards.

But the fact of the matter is, in Arlington, and New England in general, while the homes are often very beautiful, most were not built in 2006. Our homes aren’t cookie cutter, they have character. Unfortunately, character can come at a cost in the form of new electrical wiring, basement renos, HVAC systems, and taking down walls.

So, do we think HGTV shows are making buyers delusional? Yes and no.

On the up side, buyers are more likely to see the potential in a home – take down a wall and open it up, expand off the kitchen, update the lighting and fixtures… Buyers have vision, and know that the grand Victorian and mid-century ranch hold many opportunities to customize and make TV-worthy.

On the downside, today’s buyers are busy, with demanding jobs, kids, and unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day to make those updates themselves, or money in the budget to pay someone to do it for them.  Which means they want a home that is move-in ready, with all of the amenities that they see at the end of Fixer Upper.  

Given that we live in an area with low inventory and price points that are higher than the national average (although Arlington is still more affordable than surrounding towns like Lexington, Winchester, and Belmont), this can make finding that perfect home difficult to come by.

Buying a home means hope for better things to come. So go DVR that episode of House Hunters, but remember to keep an open mind, your expectations in check, and a great real estate professional at your side as you fine-tune your home search.


(Speaking of fine-tuning your search – check out our website for popular searches, and easily refine and save based your criteria. Easy breezy.)