TV Home Buying & Home Renovation Shows: Fact VS Fiction:

Mortgage and Lending with NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 IL Lic 031.0006220/WI

TV Home Buying & Home

Renovation Shows: Fact VS Fiction


I just read yet another article on TV's home buying/home renovation reality shows.  This one focused on how these TV shows set the tone for real estate trends and expectations consumers have for real estate transactions.


Trends ... buyer and seller expectations ... buyer and seller needs.  Each is now uber-sensitive to the barrage of info shared (or not shared) within these shows' scripts. 

Some proof of this lies within "what's hot and what's not" in real estate.  The article I read urges us to think about granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.  These TV shows preach that these features are what buyers want ... demand ... need.  Their repetitiveness and preaching evolve into self-fulfilled prophecy.

As a Mortgage Originator, I'd love to see some info regarding home financing included within these shows on a consistent basis.  Help set trends regarding financing.

To showcase the need for new trendsetting topics featuring mortgage financing on these TV shows ... 

Consider how many times you've seen one of the following scenarios on a TV home buying/home renovation show?

  • Buyer announces their home buying budget ... only to max that budget out or go well beyond it?
  • Buyer says they are "Approved for a Mortgage" up to X dollars ... only to view and subsequently buy a home priced much higher?
  • Buyer shares their renovation budget ... and then breaks that budget by thousands of dollars?
  • Spend X dollars on a renovation ... only to reap a supposed increase in home evaluation (and Appraisal) of X PLUS?
  • Buyers shop for furniture (and more) prior to the finalization and Closing of their home?
  • Make a call to their Originator for info or guidance?
  • Make a call to their Originator prior to spending extra funds or making changes?

See my point?  

By dismissing, eliminating, and avoiding any mention of the repercussions of overspending and renovating beyond set budgets ... expectations and trends are set in the minds of viewers.  

For new home buyers seeking financing or navigating the mortgage process ... as well as those hoping to refinance for renovation and remodeling purposes ... the reality they face within modern financing can then be quite cruel.  

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What they've come to assume because of what they've seen and heard on the majority of TV home reality shows have led viewers to believe that changes to their financing are easily and quickly accomplished ... additional funds are easily (and always) secured ... and budgets can be overlooked.  When I as their Mortgage Originator must tell them differently, they're stunned or incredulous.  

From that point on, for Originators, it becomes a matter of, "Who are clients going to believe"?  The very visible TV conglomerate with TV stars broadcasting multiple times a day directly into their home?  Or the singular individual Originator on the other end of the phone/text/email telling them things they don't want to hear?  It's a real uphill battle.

I do applaud the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, for recently injecting some financing advice and info into their programs ...  

While minimal and fairly general in nature (and obviously provided as part of a beneficial partnership with a major lender), the Scott brothers through their actions have started to highlight the importance of mortgage financing   (and being educated about it) within home buying and remodeling transactions.

It's a start ...

Fact VS Fiction.  That's the drama playing out in these TV home buying and renovating shows each day.  The trend being created.  And the reality the real estate industry must combat each day ...

* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in the Chicagoland area? Contact Me! I'll put my 40 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:


Gene Mundt

Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. #031.0006220 - WI License 216987

American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
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Gene Mundt

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS 08/04/2017 03:12 PM
  2. Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 08/04/2017 12:59 PM
  3. Thom Abbott 08/04/2017 07:44 PM
  4. Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 08/21/2017 06:40 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I've not run into too many buyers that go beyond their budget.  Did, however, sell a home to a buyer a few years ago that was going to be a renovation based on taste, not on need.  Hundreds of thousands spent and the buyer is not satisfied.  Of course, they could have purchased a home for the total price of the home and renovations combined, but kept telling me they couldn't afford that. 

Aug 04, 2017 09:57 AM #1
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I wish people would just view this as entertaiment and not true reality on buying homes or the fix and flip shows which drive me crazy.

Aug 04, 2017 10:54 AM #2
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Gene - That's an interesting consideration and a great point. There's not much of anything on these shows that is real, except the expectations that are set for the gullible and uncritical among the viewers.

Aug 04, 2017 11:05 AM #3
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

You really hit the nail on the head with this blog post Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi 

Aug 04, 2017 11:55 AM #4
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bingo! Excellent post Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  A lot of it is like fake news.....


                                                  Featured in BananaTude Group!


Aug 04, 2017 12:52 PM #5
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Gene... I did a post on this subject as well some time ago. Truly nothing very real about reality tv. The only good thing that came out of it is that I no longer have to explain to prospective clients what staging  a home is.

Aug 04, 2017 01:10 PM #6
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  The TV home buying & home renovation shows can be both fact and fiction.

Aug 04, 2017 03:36 PM #7
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Gene. I have clients nearly every week quote something they've heard on a HGTV episode. Sometimes it accurate, and sometimes it's not. I hate to pop their bubble, but they soon learn that everything they see on TV isn't necessarily true. 

Aug 04, 2017 04:21 PM #8
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gene

You raise some excellent points. Anyone watching these shows might come away with a truly false sense of the reality of financing, buying a home, and renovating it. We all know that but their popularity hasn't dwindled...indeed with the housing market we are seeing more and more. I like to hear from buyers or sellers when they watch these shows so I have a glimpse into their possible perspective, which could be waaayyy off!


Aug 04, 2017 09:05 PM #9
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Gene.  Unfortunately, these shows are more fiction than fact and there should be a disclaimer to this effect.

Aug 05, 2017 04:42 AM #10
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Gene, they tried to rope me into doing a HGTV show and could not understand why I could not 'create' homes on the waterfront for under $350,000...we could not put it together but buyers do believe what they watch & I find it is stunning to them to hear differently on financing and costs when renovating...thanks for doing this informative blog!

Aug 05, 2017 03:28 PM #11
Gary 'Banana' Houghtaling
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Real Estate Agent

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi , Mr Banana here. We have to tell buyers quite often that TV isn't the real world, especially 1st time buyers. I have heard a lot about you. Come down and golf soon. Gary

Aug 08, 2017 05:30 PM #12
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Spot-on Brotha Gene! There's no reality in reality home shows, for sure!

As for me, I much prefer to find a home that fits my buyers' needs that is well below the 'top' of their budget. I tell my first time buyers that I want them to live in their homes, not for them!

Hope you have a great rest-of-the-week, Gene!

Aug 09, 2017 08:54 PM #13
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good reading for prospective home buyers.

Aug 11, 2017 10:12 AM #14
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

I have alway assumed they all have cash  Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  no way they are getting a mortgage with those terms

Aug 11, 2017 03:17 PM #15
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

They are so full of misleading information and have very little to do with the reality that is real estate today!

Aug 15, 2017 10:25 AM #16
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I love those Property Brothers. They seem so level headed and do great work. Glad they are giving out practical information about seeking sound mortgage advice.

Aug 18, 2017 08:14 PM #17
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Gene many of these shows are in my market and let me tell you six months to get building department approvals for starters for a minor remodel... and the list goes on and on...Endre

Aug 19, 2017 10:14 PM #18
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Well said my friend. There is a really good post going on in a couple home inspection FB threads about buyer's expectations about what a home inspection covers and how long that inspection "guarantees" that their new home will be perfect. Better yet, the expectation that even if something was mentioned in the report, that it is still the responsibility of the inspector to pay for the repair of that item or system, for an endless amount of time. I think I just might put a post on AR about this. You've inspired me again.


Sep 04, 2017 04:36 AM #19
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