How Buying a Home Is Different from How It Appears on Reality Shows

by Robert SummersDecember 15, 2015

House Hunting in the Real World

Whether you’re actually house hunting or just hunting for something entertaining to watch, reality shows like House Hunters certainly do make for engaging television. Will the stars of the segment close the deal? Which house will they choose when there’s pros and cons to each? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion – you won’t want to miss it!

As addictive as they might be, anyone who has ever purchased a house can tell you that the reality is often a very different experience from what you see on TV shows that deal with the buying and selling of homes. If you’re a first-time homebuyer and you’re basing your expectations on your favorite reality show, then it may be time for a reality check. Here’s the low-down on what buying a home in the real world is actually all about.

No Theme Songs

On TV, a suspenseful soundtrack punctuates each cliffhanger moment. When things work out for the best, in comes the jaunty score in a major key, often accompanied by smiling faces and children enjoying their brand new backyards.

There’s no music to drive the action in real life… unless you put your house-hunting playlist on speakerphone the whole time. Don’t be that person.

If Only We Had a Montage

When it’s time for renovations, hardwood floors just appear out of thin air, often to the sound of a cheerful glockenspiel. Within a few minutes, the kitchen is magically updated with stainless appliances and a generous central island. And the bathrooms only take a few minutes longer.

There are no montages in real life. If the home you’re buying needs renovations, then you’re just going to have to be patient.

So Much Paperwork

When reality-show house hunters decide to buy, that’s it: the deal is done. When real people buy a home, they often end up with cramps in their document-signing hands.

The non-televised truth is that many reality show stars have already purchased their homes when filming begins, and they and their real estate agents have hammered out all the details off-camera. And who can blame them? A marathon document-signing session wouldn’t make for very compelling television! There are contracts, disclosure documents, and a plethora of other forms to sign.

Sit down. You’re going to be here awhile.

All It Takes Is a “Yes”

When the cameras are rolling, all it takes is two or three home tours to find the perfect home. In the real world, just finding an acceptable home in your price range can be an arduous process, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Sure, you might want an immaculately restored Victorian in the heart of the city, but when you see the price tag, you might be forced to reconsider your options.

Of course, that’s part of the thrill of buying a home; finding the right home at the right price (or something pretty close) is where the sense of adventure comes from.

And even when you do find the perfect home, chances are good that you’re not the only one with that idea. You may have to find the “right one” several times before you can actually close the deal. The idea that you can simply say “yes” and in the next breath, make the call to the moving company is pure television magic.

You Only Get One Take

So you flipped out about a trivial detail? You got into a marriage-threatening argument about laminates versus hardwoods? You went on a crying jag about the location of the laundry room? Get a hold of yourself! Take a walk!

Real life can’t be retroactively changed in the editing room. Hunting for a home can be an extremely stressful and emotional process, but do your best to keep your cool.

Happy Hunting!

Okay, so buying a home in the real world is a bit different than reality television would have you believe. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and perseverance, but in the end, the feeling of owning your own home is well worth it. We wish you the best of luck on your next house hunt, whether on-camera or off.

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Robert Summers

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