I wouldn’t quite call myself a junkie but when it comes to home shows, I’ve been known to go too far with viewing marathons. I don’t know how it happens but I look up, and find myself five episodes into “House Hunters International” or “Love It or List It.” I think that there are several elements that draw me into watching home television shows, starting with a twinge of envy since I wish my home was decorated or designed like some of the ones I see on television. And sometimes, I just flat out wish I owned the gorgeous homes I see on some episodes. A girl can always dream, can’t she?
Somehow I feel like these shows better equip me to handle challenges with my own home. Watching “Extreme Home Makeover” or “The Property Brothers” sometimes feels like I’ve had a consultation with the some of the leading renovators in the nation. I always find myself writing down suggested improvements that can make my house look cozier and be more functional.
If you aren’t as knowledgeable about some of the top shows, you’re in luck. I’ve put together a well-rounded list that offers education and variety with seven home-related shows I know you’ll love.
Million Dollar Listing New York
This Bravo series features high-end real estate agents Fredrik Eklund, Luis D. Ortiz and Ryan Serhant as they deal with demanding clients and earn a living selling some of the hottest properties in the Big Apple. With home price tags of $13 million, $30 million or more, the show gives you an insider’s view into celebrity homes and the super-rich lifestyle.
My jaw drops watching some of the opulent home features of their listings and it reminds me of the good old days when I watched MTV Cribs. The cut-throat and sometimes-dramatic agents struggle to balance their massive careers with the ups and downs of their personal lives. They often learn tough lessons about the competitive real estate market and viewers do, too.
For Rent is a popular HGTV show that helps hopeful renters find the perfect rental property that fits their budget. Once the show helps the renter find their diamond in the rough, the design crew works to bring out its hidden potential and perform a miracle makeover.
Host Jodi Gilmour teaches the renter (and viewers) valuable tips on how to negotiate a lease and what to look for in an ideal rental property. If you’re like me and have made your fair share of rental missteps, you’ll appreciate some of the pointers from this show.
Yard Crashers is the type of show that will definitely make you envy the featured homeowners. The show’s host, Matt Blashaw, literally selects a homeowner in need by walking around big-box home improvement stores. Blashaw and his crew follow the lucky person home, and assess their landscaping and design needs. They then pull off a dramatic yard redesign in just 48 hours.
This DIY network show reminds me of the beloved debunk show “Curb Appeal.” The yard makeovers are truly magnificent complete with beautiful flowers, cabanas, brick work and trendy patio furniture. The crew is great at providing DIY tips, too. There’s no way you’ll get through one episode without learning something new.
Fixer Upper features Joanna and Chip Gaines, a lovable and funny couple who own and operate Magnolia Homes in Waco, TX. They help couples find an affordable existing home that needs both some remodeling and design love. Chip, the quirky carpenter, and his crew handle the renovation side while Joanna concocts some amazing interior designs for these outdated homes on the market.
You’ll fall in love with this dynamic duo that are both creative and relatable as they counsel clients on renovation costs and improvement options. You’ll admire the way these HGTV stars put their heart and soul into their projects and the unique way they complement each other as business partners.
Flip or Flop
Another husband-and-wife-team that I’ve recently started watching is income property investors Tarek and Christina El Moussa on HGTV’s Flip or Flop. The 30-somethings explore the ins and outs of buying, renovating and selling in the Oakland, CA, area. They typically tour and buy distressed homes and strategize ways to boost the selling potential and how to stage the home for an open house.
The program also focuses on their marriage and family, which includes their young daughter, Taylor, and another baby on the way. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll definitely want to tune in to find out all you can about the El Moussas and their flipping profits.
Beachfront Bargain Hunt
I like watching Beachfront Bargain Hunt because it sheds light on vacation communities, a housing option that’s usually unfamiliar to me. This HGTV show also helps me realize that vacation homes are not always expensive. The featured realtors walk the prospective buyers through three or four waterfront properties in hopes that one will be a perfect match.
My biggest lesson from watching this show is that with some savings, diligence and patience, you can find an affordable vacation home. Many of the homes on the show sell for less than $300,000. The show also does a decent job of highlighting the pluses and minuses of living in or near tourist towns.
Design on a Dime
With only a $1,000 budget, Design on a Dime’s team of decorating and remodeling experts redesign lackluster homes. In these economically trying times, a show like this really has benefits, providing practical and cost-efficient ideas to use at home.
The talented design team proves that any room (and they feature some pretty ugly ones) can be made a little better and brighter with some TLC.
So there you have it, no matter your preference, this list has something for every fan of home and improvement television. Check these out whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a retiree looking for a vacation home. If you have a must-see home show to share, list it below. Happy viewing!
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