These HGTV Shows are Completely Staged

Trista - October 11, 2019
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Reality shows have been all the rage, with home improvement programs becoming increasingly popular at the moment. The cable channel, Home and Garden Television, or HGTV, has branded itself as a premium place to watch amazing shows. They are using high profile renovations and big dollar real estate purchases. However, everything is not what it seems; reality shows are not always based on reality. Several of the top-rated programs on HGTV have been proven on more than one occasion not to be entirely true television. Here are some of the reasons that viewers should notice HGTV programming is staged. Do not believe everything they see on TV.

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The show “Love it or List it” has been sued for irreparable damages.

The show “Love it or List it” has a segment where viewers can see what goes on behind the scenes of a renovation. It was assumed that all was well after the episode. However, in April 2016, a North Carolina couple filed a lawsuit against the production company behind “Love it or List it.” The homeowners used to be avid viewers of the HGTV programming. Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan answered an advertisement for the popular television show. In the suit, the couple claimed that the home was left “irreparably damaged” after the show finished filming. Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan asked the production company to clean up the construction company’s work to complete the home.

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This lawsuit revealed more than damages to Murphy and Sullivan’s home. It also shed light on other facts about HGTV’s general practices. The language used in the suit gives us a look into what goes on behind the scenes. Things look very different than the image broadly painted by many of HGTV’s reality shows. HGTV shows, as well as reality shows in other genres, present themselves as if they are showing the candid reaction of regular people who get an incredible opportunity out of the blue. What is going on, though? Keep reading for inside details from Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan’s tumultuous experience with “Love it or List it.”

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The contractors finished with subpar work.

The suit called into question the subpar contract work among its complaints. It also used language that exposed the show’s editing process in hopes of garnering more ratings. The 30-minutes show did not depict the reality of the work, according to the suit. “The show is scripted, with ‘roles’ and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners,” the lawsuit said. “The characters are actors or television personalities playing a role for the camera…” The couple would eventually settle out of court with the production company. Their lawyer has advised them not to discuss the case due to a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement.

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The idea that reality shows are scripted is nothing new to many. However, it is still surprising that some of these shows are scripted down to the homeowners’ roles. “Love it or List it” is only one HGTV reality show among many, so you may wonder which other reality shows have had participants speak out about how they bend the truth for storytelling in their episodes. Next, we dive into the hit show “House Hunters” to see how their episodes measure up to reality. As it turns out, “House Hunters” has stretched the truth on several occasions over the years.

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“House Hunters” used houses that were not for sale.

The real estate blog Hooked on Houses reported in 2012 that the fan-favorite show “House Hunters” does not seem as good at finding perfect homes as the onscreen stories suggest. Bobi Jensen was a show participant, and she described her experience with the program as entirely false. Among Jensen’s claims were that the producers make it seem like her family was in desperate need of a bigger house when, in fact, they were wanting to upgrade and rent out their existing home. It also misrepresented what houses were actually on the market. Some of the residences that were visited turned out to not exactly up for sale at the time the cameras were rolling.

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Bobi Jensen was looking to enter the real estate market, but the likeness seems to end between the story “House Hunters” presents and the actual events. “House Hunters” seems to have made up not only a canned reaction for their participants but a whole fictional housing market. Beyond editing and scripting, what has “House Hunters” had to do to make it look like a person is buying a house when they are not? The elaborate theatrics that creates a “House Hunters” episode look like reality will come into focus below.

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“House Hunters” used a house that had already been purchased on several occasions.

Bobi Jensen said the television show depicted the house that her family had already purchased as a prospective place. If the home was already purchased, then there is no point for the homeowners to look around at other listings. That was not the only drama created for the episode. It was also discovered that the houses were not available either. “The ones we looked at weren’t even for sale,” Jensen told Hooked on Houses. “They were just our two friends’ houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the houses.”

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Bobi Jensen’s episode on “House Hunters” was scripted out of thin air, and she has called it completely false. Reality does not exactly claim to be a news documentary, but, surprisingly, even the homes they tour in these shows are not always actually for sale at all. Jensen’s story of her friends preparing to pretend to show their houses to her is wild. “House Hunters,” while not an accurate depiction of the home buying process, pulls off some impressive stuff as far as storytelling and theatrics are concerned. “House Hunters” also seems to be a little less reality and a little more entertainment.

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“House Hunters International” showed a realtor’s vacation home.

“House Hunters” is not the only HGTV show that has been met with controversy. Its spinoff “House Hunters International” has also come under fire for not being as authentic as it seems on the television screen. The incredible story involves a vacation home and a case of pretending shoppers. A woman had a Mexican villa portrayed on the show as a reject property for prospective buyers on “House Hunters International.” Annie told the Huffington Post in 2012 that she was hesitant about letting the show use her vacation home. She worried that the program would point out any flaws or downsides to potential buyers. She was ultimately convinced to feature the property when the realtor told her that millions of viewers would see the episode.

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“House Hunters” seems to have worked for the realtor who owned this property, but it was also wholly scripting these events down to the fictional property listings. What about the pretend shoppers, in any case? The original “House Hunters” has already allegedly scripted plots out of buyers that don’t want to buy the homes they tour and sellers who don’t want to sell their homes. “House Hunters International” fabricates just as much as the original concerning the sellers, according to the Huffington Post reporting. Read on to see what “House Hunters International” did in this case to script the shoppers’ side of things.

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“House Hunters International” has also had a history of casting other people.

Not only was her home not a serious contender for the couple highlighted on the show, but the actual homeowners were also recast for a younger couple in hopes that they will appeal to a broader audience. The real homeowners were Americans in the late fifties who wanted to own a beautiful beach retreat for their vacation getaways. The homes on this particular episode were not even ones that would be considered, and the buyers were not even the ones who would be using the space. It seems pretty suspect that the entire episode supposedly did not include the right shoppers or suitable homes for the whole episode.

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This “House Hunters International” episode shows the extent to which the so-called “reality TV” is scripted to give the appearance of spontaneous events. The more examples we see, the more it looks like these HGTV shows are willing to throw out even the most fundamental truths about their participants and their stories. Making a genuinely entertaining episode is, of course, their ultimate goal, and in this, they succeed. However, viewers should be aware that what they see on HGTV is no less fiction than standard scripted shows. Next, we’ll see a few behind the scenes details of “Property Brothers” and find out how they stretch reality.

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“Property Brothers” uses homeowners who already know what house they want.

One of the most popular programs on HGTV is “Property Brothers.”  Twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott assist homeowners in finding and fixing up a property. While it is true that Drew is a realtor and Jonathan works as a contractor, the workload is not exactly accurate. They are more personality than they are experts. However, it seems the show has some of the same real problems that other reality shows on the network have. Jonathan Scott revealed to PopSugar that the home search does not start right off the bat. The show likes to use homeowners who have already identified a house that they want. It is to keep up with the fast pace of the show and renovation process. If a home has already been identified and the house search is over, then what role would Drew play in the process other than being a television personality.

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“Property Brothers” thus continues a pattern we have already seen in some other HGTV reality shows. It seems from the examples we’ve seen so far that HGTV shows like to skip the search for the right house entirely by finding already decided home buyers and fabricating a fake house search. Of course, a story that starts half-completed will not make good TV, but the hoops HGTV participants describe jumping through to maintain the illusion feel pretty ridiculous. So much for Drew Scott’s role in the “house search” part of “Property Brothers.” What about Jonathan, however? Does he do all the show would have us believe, or is his role more TV personality than a contractor?

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The Scott brothers use lots of help during the episodes.

On many episodes of “Property Brothers,” the homeowners check in on the progress and see how the renovation is going. In several of these scenes, Jonathan is alone and tolling away on demolition or framing work. Nevertheless, that does not seem to be the case, according to Jonathan Scott. The difference between what is shown in the episode and what happened, in reality, requires several behind-the-scenes contractors and employees. Jonathan also told PopSugar: “If we find that our budget is taking hits left, right, and center, I’ll jump in and do even more because I’m not charging for my time. I’m never laying 5,000 square feet of flooring… I have flooring companies, kitchen companies, and all that jazz.”

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Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Scott does perform solo construction work with a full team’s speed like some kind of new John Henry. The reality is more mundane. He contracts other whole companies, just like the homeowners would do if he were not there. While Jonathan Scott is a contractor, his role on “Property Brothers” is a TV personality. The shots where he works alone on framing or whatnot represent the work of several different crews. Of course, Jonathan working alone looks better on TV, but viewers should not believe that he gets his hands too dirty.

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The Grand Prize in HGTV’s Dream Home Giveaway is a financial nightmare.

HGTV has been running a sweepstake with a fantastic prize since 1997. Each year, the channel has the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway, where a fabulous designer home is given away along with several other extravagant prizes like cars and boats. In 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that each of the home winners could not afford to keep the home. The main reason for the hardship is the huge tax liability that is tacked on such a gorgeous home. In the first eight years of the contest, only one winner was able to retain ownership. That is not good odds, considering the houses end up going right back on the market.

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While not outright fiction like many other HGTV situations, “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway” is also not quite what it seems to be. Just as with the lottery, winning big overnight is not always a win if you aren’t already rich. In this case, the scam lies not with HGTV but with American tax codes. However, what do the “winners” of “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway” do with their new dream homes? Next, we take a look into the personal story of one “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway” winner who did everything he could to keep his dream home.

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Several Dream Home winners have sold the brand new home.

The dream home can turn into a real nightmare. Don Cruz was named the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway winner in 2005, and he reportedly wanted to live in the house so desperately that he was willing to do whatever it took. His tax liability was estimated at $800,000. He rejected the option to earn cash and other prizes as a way to try to make it work. Cruz put HGTV to the test. His insistence on taking the real home instead of comparably valued but less financially risky prizes would show if HGTV’s home sweepstakes plan could work as presented.

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Cruz was able to live there for nearly two years before it went into foreclosure. He told a local television station that he was sunk into debt by the time he had to give up the dream home by $1.43 million. Those debts included paying for costly medical procedures for two family members. To afford a dream home, a person would need to have been rich already. Furthermore, what rich people would need to be gifted a brand new home? It does not make much sense. Potential “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway” participants should take this as a cautionary tale and take a serious look at their finances before going for a “too good to be true” situation.

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“Fixer Upper” uses homeowners under contract.

“Fixer Upper” features the husband and wife team of Chip and Joanna Gaines, where she designs the spaces, and he works as a contractor. The properties on the show are often quite dilapidated, and the result can be pretty spectacular. It can be easy to see why the immaculate transformations can produce good TV programming. While this show holds a pretty good reputation for showing what the Gaines couple is doing on screen and some things are not wholly represented in real life. Just like “House Hunters,” the homeowners are typically under contract on the house. So the showing of homes does not have much to tell in terms of actual reality.

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“Fixer Upper” is not an exception to the pattern of HGTV shows foisting roles onto the homeowners and home shoppers that supposedly reach out to them with their needs. Homeowners under TV contracts are a big part of HGTV’s reality programs, but that’s not all we now know about “Fixer Upper” and what they do behind the scenes. Roles for homeowners and shoppers are just the tip of the iceberg in false appearances on “Fixer Upper.” Reality TV fans of all sorts will be surprised and astounded by the next revelation we have in store about “Fixer Upper.”

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“Fixer Upper” uses staged furniture instead of actually buying it.

While “Fixer Upper” may have some genuine moments, one of the most surprising things to discover is that after the big reveal, a homeowner who wants to keep the furniture used for the staging would have to buy it. Viewers can imagine the new owners enjoying the special page day in and day out after the episode has wrapped. According to an article in Country Living, after the cameras stop rolling, any furniture used for the reveal is taken away. It would take additional budget pricing for the pieces to stay. The exception to this is any custom pieces that are made for the home.

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We have seen that other HGTV shows fake open houses and even stage viewings for homes that are not for sale. It should come as no surprise, then, that “Fixer Upper” scripts events both at the levels of participant reactions and the actual presentation of homes. The idea of them running off with the furniture unless the participants can front an extra bill is ridiculous. Suppose you have ever wondered how these shows do what they with the project budgets they report; some of these details may answer that question. It seems that parts of the miraculous transformations we see on “Fixer Upper” that seem too good to be true are just that.

The “Yard Crashers” show supposedly selects a person at random and then transforms their outdoor space. Credit: Pixabay

“Yard Crashers” uses staged shoppers for its episodes.

One of the most unique concepts is “Yard Crashers,” the landscape renovation show on HGTV’s sister channel DIY Network. A host walks into a big box home improvement store and picks two seemingly unsuspecting people for a once-in-a-lifetime backyard makeover. Nevertheless, the chance encounter does not seem to be precisely accurate. It is great to think that someone’s life could change at random, but unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Like other HGTV shows, “Yard Crashers: is scripted. A couple of Reddit users claimed third party knowledge that the seemingly spontaneous encounter at Lowe’s was not so random because they had a sister who knew a producer of the show. The home was pre-selected for the reality show.

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“Yard Crashers” seems to have taken a cue from “House Hunters International” and other HGTV shows that screen their applicants for people who will make better TV and even have replaced home buyers with different people in some cases. The distinct approach “Yard Crashers” uses makes this show feel more authentic, but their “spontaneous” store encounters are alleged to be just as planned as any of the HGTV shows we have looked at. It looks like HGTV and DIY Network take a pretty active role in selecting their “random” show participants.

Producers for the “Yard Crashers” show are choosy with whom they want to work with for the show. Credit: Pixabay

Some homeowners have had to fix the renovations from their episodes.

Host Chris Lambton told PopSugar that “Yard Crashers” screen participants to get a gauge on their attitude, going through at least 15 to 20 before casting a homeowner to be featured on the episode. In that case, it does not seem to be such a surprise when the camera crew rolls up to film a lucky customer about their not-so-random renovation. Other Reddit users have claimed that some of the show’s concrete work was not exactly the best, and there had to be thousands of dollars in repairs because it affected the water lines. The new renovations were supposed to make the homeowners’ lives easier, not harder, and more expensive.

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“Yard Crashers” apparently, comes with the same risks as any contractor or landscaper arrangement. It is a given that contracting work on your home will sometimes result in damages. Still, though, it feels wrong that the participants in these HGTV and DIY Network shows can end up saddled with extra bills after the cameras are packed up. These reality shows maintain an image of more or less random charity, but the reality proved to be different for some of these participants. Potential participants for these reality shows with a specific focus on renovation, construction, and landscaping should be aware that while they will get help with their project, the support will end will the crews leave, and the cameras roll out.

“Beachfront Bargain Hunt” follows potential homeowners who are looking for a diamond in the rough kind of property. Credit: Pixabay

“Beachfront Bargain Hunt” looks for specific homeowners to feature.

The show “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” follows the same concept as “House Hunters International,” only the featured properties are along US coastlines. Like the other HGTV shows, the selected homeowners have already committed to owning the house they are supposedly shopping for. There is not much reality in a pre-selected property hunt. The format is similar to other shows opting to follow the search for the “right” home. Moreover, the prospect of finding a gorgeous beachfront property with all the added perks and amenities has a certain appeal for viewers. The thing to remember is when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

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“Beachfront Bargain Hunt” is a lot like other HGTV shows in that it makes some of its participants pretend to be on a house hunt for the sake of telling a house hunting story. The quick pace of the shows alone would tip many people off that something must be scripted or altered in the presentation. The level to which plots are manufactured to fit the format, though, continues to be surprising. With some of these other shows, we’ve seen details about the roles home buyers were asked to play. We know the houses have already been selected, but what about the participants’ reactions? Continue reading to learn what wild things people were made to do while appearing on “Beachfront Bargain Hunt.”

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This show forbids the word “Nice.”

Another surprise was revealed when a realtor took to a blog to discuss her experiences with the show. Johanna said producers told her to start several scenes over when she said something that the producers did not like. In the episode, she and others were also told to re-enter each room two to four more times, repeating the same phrasing they used the first time. Another forbidden word was “nice.” Johanna claimed that the producers told her that she could not use the common adjective to describe any of the home elements. So if she were to let it slip, the cameras would quit rolling, and she would have to do another take. It is hardly reality television if the producers can dictate what is said while filming.

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It looks like “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” went pretty far on this one. “Forbidden words” is a phrase that takes us pretty far from “reality” in this reality TV show. You could see why the producers would want people to be animated and excited for entertainment’s sake. However, if they treat all the participants like scripted actors, then any detailed evaluations of the homes pictured in this show can’t be taken as “reality.” As with many of these shows, viewers of “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” should know that what they see has little to do with reality and everything to with TV.

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“Curb Appeal” had the makeover lined out ahead of time.

In 2013, The AV Club talked with an Atlanta resident featured on the HGTV show “Curb Appeal: The Block.” This show puts professional designers and landscapers to make a home look more attractive for prospective buyers looking at the residence from the outside. A more welcoming curbside can make or break a property when it is listed on the market. Cenate Pruitt was a homeowner who invited the production crew to help in 2010. The house was given a $20,000 exterior makeover. For the most part, Pruitt had nothing but wonderful things to say about the production and the work completed on the home. However, as in other shows, the makeover’s specifics were decided well before the host and the crew arrived to do the work.

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In this case, “Curb Appeal: The Block” demonstrates that even when things go perfectly well, these HGTV reality shows have to bend the truth quite a bit to fit events to their format. While it looks the homeowner has to weigh decisions with the show’s host, it seems from all of these interviews that these decisions are primarily manufactured to achieve drama and tension. That doesn’t seem to be all that was faked with Cenate Pruitt’s episode of “Curb Appeal: The Block.” We have seen that with most of these HGTV shows, the hosts are personalities first. In this case, though, the account given by the episode is faked on another level too.

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“Curb Appeal” avoided shooting other parts of the neighborhood.

Another one of Cenate Pruitt’s claims said about “Curb Appeal” was that the production crew filmed a neighborhood that was nowhere near Pruitt’s home. The establishing shots were filmed at a different location. Pruitt also said the team made sure to avoid filming a dilapidated building that was near his home. He also said the beautiful flowers that had been planted died after two or three months, and he and his wife had to hire a professional lawn service company to maintain them. It defeats the purpose of having so-called professionals do the work for you if you are just going to have to hire someone else to do it for you.

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Cenate Pruitt’s story as told by “Curb Appeal” was scripted from the beginning, in that the renovation project was decided on before the crew and host arrived to “figure out a plan.” Even with the whole story scripted on top of the events, “Curb Appeal” still had to take steps with its editing and filming to pretend they were somewhere they weren’t for the establishing shots. Reality TV is always full of things that make us wonder what is real and written in advance. We usually assume the locations are real, and they aren’t filming on a set or anything. This episode, though, makes you wonder if anything you see on reality TV is real.

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“Designed To Sell” used houses that were not up for sale.

“Designed To Sell” was a television program that provided homeowners with a budget of $2,000, and with the help of a professional design team, they prepared the house for the market. However, just like other HGTV programs, not everything you see can be believed. One homeowner told the Hooked On Houses blog that her house was not even on the market, and there were no plans to place it up for sale for more than a year. However, the show cast her for an episode. It is not reality television if the story arc is based on a half-truth about when the potential buyer plans to move.

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“Designed to Sell” looks like it’s up to some of the same tricks as many of these HGTV shows. Just as others have faked house hunts, this show casts people who have no intention of putting their house on the market at the conclusion of work and then gives them a role to play. The real interesting stuff is always in the details, and this case is no exception. You have to be curious about how “Designed to Sell” and these other shows can keep pulling off these faked home sales. Read on to find out what this homeowner revealed she was asked to do to make her house look like it was on the market.

An open house in real estate tends to let potential home buyers think that they can access a property that is on the market. Credit: Pixabay

It also held a fake Open House.

Because the house was not technically up for grabs yet, the “Designed To Sell” producers staged a fake open house at the end of the makeover process. Everyone in attendance was either friends or family. The homeowner had something to say while she was watching the episode in reruns. “It’s funny to see my mom talking about how she loves the makeover and wants to buy our house.” She also stated that two endings were filmed. One where the homeowners say the house has sold and thank the show for the makeovers. The other states that there is much interest in the place, hoping to find a buyer soon.

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It doesn’t matter if they are watching purely for entertainment or seriously considering put a house on the market. Fans of “Designed to Sell” and other similar shows should be aware that what they are seeing is not the actual process of preparing and selling a house. While undoubtedly a source of motivation and inspiration for many people’s projects, these shows do not seem to reflect the real world. If some of their open houses are entirely faked, viewers should not assume that they are getting an idea of what potential buyers would want to see in their home.

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Many “Fixer Upper” homes have been listed as rental homes.

When watching a home renovation show like the ones featured on HGTV, it can be easy to daydream about the gorgeous space that they will now get to enjoy. The renovations are often lavish and meant to make the everyday homeowner’s life more enjoyable. However, what may come as a surprise is that the homeowner is not enjoying the homes featured on the HGTV channel. According to the Waco Tribune, several houses featured on the “Fixer Upper” episodes are being turned into vacation rental homes. Owners can use the new home as either a place to get away during the warmer seasons or use it as another source of income.

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Those people who have decided not to stay in the homes featured on “Fixer Upper” still seem to have gotten a good deal out of it. A vacation or rental home is always a fantastic thing, and the happy endings are shown in “Fixer Upper” even seem real for the people who are using them for added income or vacation. However, the story offered by “Fixer Upper” again proves to be less than the whole truth. The idea of helping people start their life in a newly renovated home is more romantic than giving someone an extra property. However, as with other aspects of these shows, reality doesn’t quite match up with the story told by “Fixer Upper.”

It turns out that the “Fixer Upper” homes are becoming a tourist attraction. Credit: YouTube

There may be a new market for the home as tourist attractions.

Several renovated places by home renovation and design couple Chip and Joanna Gaines are up for grabs for the random traveler. The paper reported that nearly half a dozen “Fixer Upper” homes are listed on the rental services Vacation Rentals By Owner and Airbnb. The article also stated that none of the homeowners had intentions to rent when they first purchased the homes. It seemed to be a product of the popularity of the television show. The lucrative market for rentals has also been discussed as a future focus point on the “Fixer Upper” series. It can be interesting to see how much people would be willing to pay to see another spinoff television show featuring the married couple.

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The possibility of a spinoff show that aims to generate Airbnb-style rental homes is intriguing. It makes you wonder what the scripts would be like for a show like that. The prospect of instant TV advertising for their new vacation rental property would surely be exciting to people trying to get on such an HGTV show, should it ever exist. How much would people pay to stay in a house seen on “Fixer Upper”? How lucrative will these homes turn out to be for the people that have converted the homes to vacation rentals? Either way, all of this reveals an aspect of “Fixer Upper” not shown in the episodes themselves.

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“House Hunters International” wants to lure specific features.

Many articles have exposed the false portrayals of people on television, and the programs on HGTV are not exempt from stretching the truth. Elizabeth Newcamp wrote a guest column for Slate and The Week detailing her appearance on not just one episode of “House Hunters International.” but two. Newcamp stated that the show is often calling out for homeowners who have been abroad to feature on the episode. There is something luxurious about someone who travels for a living or visits other places on vacation. Hopefully, the appeal is to lure in other users who do not plan to pack up and cross international borders for their next home purchase.

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It is interesting enough that “House Hunters International” brought Newcamp in for two different episodes. Newcamp’s insights into how “House Hunters International” selects it’s featured people to cultivate a specific image give us an even more in-depth look into their process. That still leaves much unanswered. What did she experience during her two appearances on the show? What does “House Hunters International” script or fake in the actual episodes? We have more details on this story below. You can learn the specifics Newcamp has revealed about her “House Hunters International” experience. Even after what we’ve already covered, Newcamp’s experience is still surprising.

“House Hunters International” does not film its episode in chronological order, according to someone who has been on the show. Credit: Pixabay

It took months for the filming to be finished.

Elizabeth Newcamp started off her column by saying that her experiences with “House Hunters International” would likely burst the bubble of anyone who regularly watched the show. She wrote that even after she and her husband found out that they were cast, it took months before a film crew was brought in to document their episode. Even after they were there, the filming was not exactly how you would expect. As with other parts of these shows, the filming was done to support a scripted story more than to show what Newcamp was doing.

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The shooting was set up not in chronological order but instead based on what locations were available at what time. “One day, we would film seeing the town of Delft ‘for the first time,’ and the next day, we were all moved into our house as though we had lived there for a few months,” she said. “Keeping up with where we were in the story (and what verb tense to use) was a constant battle.” “House Hunters International” has gone quite far from reality indeed in this case. It is understood that time has to be compressed when boiling the long process of buying a home down to a single TV episode. The featured person on a reality TV show having to pretend they have lived somewhere months between two days of shooting, however, is quite a lot to take while calling it “reality.”

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“Fixer Upper” figures out a formula for repairs.

Whether you are a casual viewer or a regular watcher, it is often thought that the channel entirely covers the home’s expensive renovations. Viewers may believe that the money generated from television advertisements are the ones who help fit HGTV’s bills. Not true says a property management company. Dianne Perry & Company posted a blog revealing some behind-the-scenes secrets about shows like “Fixer Upper.” In addition to filling out an application, Perry states a precise formula for what kind of home will be accepted for the show and whom they would like to see on screen.

Photo Credit: Donald A WilliFord

It makes sense that shows like “Fixer Upper” would want to plan what kind of projects to accept. Still, the fact that shows like this have precise formulas in place takes some mystery out of the selection process. With HGTV’s selection process, what at first looks to be luck is deeply planned. This information will be interesting for the casual viewer and maybe more important for serious fans looking to apply to one of the many HGTV reality shows. Read on to find out more about screening requirements for homes on HGTV shows.

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HGTV does not fund the house renovations

Dianne Perry estimates that HGTV requires its homeowners to have a space with a purchase price under $200,000. The number of renovations that need to be completed should equal at least $30,000. That is quite an exciting development, considering how much work goes into all of the repairs. The channel does not fund the renovations. However, they will cover the cost of a bonus item in addition to a talent fee to both Chip and Joanna Gaines. “If you thought that renovation budget seemed impossible for everything Chip and Joanna accomplished, that’s because the buyers are getting the renovations done at a cost,” Perry said.

Photo Credit: Build Review

It may come as a surprise to fans that HGTV does not fund renovations. That goes for those on “Fixer Upper” and other similar shows. It seems to be another example of how these various HGTV reality TV programs are not exactly as they appear to be to the viewer. Fans of these shows should take care not to believe everything at face value. Telling what reality is and what is fiction on reality TV can always be tricky. Coming up is HGTV’s effort to get in on the tiny house trend, “Tiny Luxury.” What have the people featured on this show had to say about the whole small house lifestyle?

Photo Credit: La Times

“Tiny Luxury” romanticizes the tiny house trend.

Most people dream of purchasing a big house complete with en suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. If the price wasn’t a factor, you would probably want enough square footage for a library, gym, and more. However, HGTV likes to think people want to live in a small house. No, not something that is 1,000 square feet. In the show “Tiny Luxury,” homeowners swap their regular-sized homes for a tin house measured at around 22 square feet. Based on the tiny house trend, the show is meant to give people the perspective of lower-cost life.

Photo Credit: Intelligent Living

Much appeal of the show comes from how the homeowners adjust to minimizing what they have and fitting it into the tiny house. The show romanticizes the ideas of the eco-friendly lifestyle. Maintaining a life inside a tin house takes dedication and the willingness to downsize material possessions. The conflict has helped HGTV rank in the ratings on this show. However, this show, like the others on the network, is often staged. Keep reading to learn about the secrets behind this infamous HGTV show.

Photo Credit: Hbswk

Many on the show should rent before deciding to move in.

Would you be able to live in a tiny house? The few people who can withstand the small house lifestyle can be quite an adjustment. Real estate agents have stated that several customers have mentioned that they struggle to live there full time. It can be a total commitment to limit themselves to what they can have. Those with packrat tendencies struggle with it the most because they cannot hold onto the things they used to. Anyone who may want to see if the tiny house is a viable option for them is probably better off renting a place for a bit to see if it actually can suit their needs.

Photo Credit: Qt Moving

Why? Because most people prefer to vacation in tiny homes rather than living there full time. That does not compare to those who ditch the big house for a tiny one featured on the programming. They quickly realize how different it is residing in a super-small space. Keep reading to learn more secrets about how HGTV shows are completely staged. The following secret might break your heart, but we bet you will continue to watch the network. You can’t get enough of the shiplap!

The big reveal is one of the most anticipated parts of any HGTV renovation show. Credit: Pixabay

Producers film the reveal several times.

No matter what the show is, the best part of watching a reality show on HGTV is the same. Seeing the big reveal at the end of each episode is always worth it. You are waiting to see if they like it or not. However, it is not immediate. The homeowners are often asked to cover their eyes. They get to see for themselves the work that has taken weeks but in television times only 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Many sources have revealed that several HGTV shows use fanfare as part of their big reveal days.

Photo Credit: Love To Know

Homeowners are often asked to mimic their reactions several times to get the right shot. So while the viewer gets a sense of the big shock, it may be one of many takes. The element of instant surprise is not at all what viewers expect. Although the homeowners were surprised at one point, that probably isn’t the take the viewer watches. After all, it is made for TV, so the reactions have to be over-the-top exciting. However, the most natural, the rawest reveal is probably still the best, even if it is sub-par or angry.

Several rooms on the show “Fixer Upper” reportedly do not get the full treatment. Shutterstock

“Fixer Upper” does not show each room.

Do you love watching this family show, staged in Waco, Texas? It follows a husband-wife duo. He does the handy work, and she is the designer mind. Naturally, they make a great team, which makes for even better TV. However, this HGTV favorite isn’t exactly unedited. Any given “Fixer Upper” shows build up to a fabulous reveal, but some have claimed that one of the hosts, Chip Gaines, is only around when the cameras are conveniently rolling. Others have stated that not all of the rooms that are featured on each house episode is improved.

Photo Credit: Pure Wow

Joanna Gaines told Parade magazine that all of the rooms are not shown because those rooms are cluttered with supplies and were too full to show the audience. She said the purpose was to make sure the viewers at home can better sense the space in the house. Still, Chip and Joanna Gaines are married in real life, so there is some basis in this reality television program, even if the house is not exactly how it appears on television. Audiences should be aware that they are not getting exactly what is perceived in the program.

When a client was needed for an episode of “Beachfront Bargain Hunt,” one realtor was told to improvise. Shutterstock

“Beachfront Bargain Hunt” selected a realtor for an episode.

Have you ever watched this HGTV show? Who wouldn’t love purchasing a beachfront house for a great price? It is easy to see why this house-finding show would be a hit. However, is there a huge demand for people hunting — and buying — beachfront bargains? One realtor claimed that she had to find a specific client for an episode of “Beachfront Bargain Hunt.” The show’s producers said the program needed some pretty specific circumstances. Moreover, here come the problems, which lead to fake reality TV episodes.

Photo Credit: Vrbo

They needed someone who was under contract for a home or who already bought a house. The property was to have either waterfront or a waterview. It is also required to be at least $400,000. That is quite the list of things that the channel needed for one specific episode. She had trouble finding someone with those qualifications. so what happened? She decided to do something a little more unorthodox and not at all what viewers would expect. Keep reading to find out what happened with this insane HGTV episode.

The realtor could not find a client who fits the description, so she decided to play the part. Shutterstock

The customer had to pretend what time of year it was.

So what happened when the realtor could not find a potential client who matched what the show producers were looking for? She asked if she and her husband could be the ones featured on “Beachfront Bargain Hunt.” The show agreed, and the episode was lined. The realtor said that was not the only stretched truth in her show. The filming occurred in March, but the couple had to pretend it was the middle of summer. They even had to wear swimsuits in the colder weather!

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

The only reality was that the couple chose the house that they currently lived in. Everything else that was featured in the episode was utterly fabricated. In fact, as you are reading, most of the scenes in these shows are fake. Did you know that a realtor had to endure all of that just to shoot the scene? If you think that seems a little ridiculous, keep reading to learn about what happened on another HGTV favorite, “Love It or List It.”

One person featured on “Love it or List it” said the episode’s outcome was completely fabricated. Shutterstock

“Love it or List it” aired a different outcome.

Everyone has the right to change their minds, right? A Reddit user stated that they had relatives who were forced to record both endings for the episode of “Love It or List It.” (Shout out to Reddit for allowing people to share their stories.) The aunt and uncle ultimately decided that they loved their home and wanted to stay in it. However, when the episode aired, the ending with them listing it was featured. How weird is that? Their neighbors were probably confused.

Photo Credit: Country Living

Another Reddit user said a friend had a home on the program. However, producers did not listen to what the homeowners wanted. They completely ignored their wishes and were understandably disappointed with the direction that they chose to take. So the image of homeowners working harmoniously with the workers is not authentic. Likewise, either is the collaborating what their potential home will look like. It does seem as though people already have their minds made up if they are going to love it or list it before any remodeling takes place.

Photo Credit: Cheat Sheet

The “Property Brothers” are not licensed in every state.

Ah, the brothers, we all love. Both Drew and Jonathan Scott have made the “Property Brothers” a household name and brand. They are charming, and it is easy to see why people tune in to watch them flip houses. However, some claim the eligible homeowners have to buy or renovate a fixer-upper to be featured on the show. We hate to break your building hearts, but guess how much of this show is real and how much of this HGTV hit is fake.

Photo Credit: Castleski/Shutterstock

There is also a lot of emphasis on personality and relationship dynamics before they are cast. What does that mean? It senses that the producers want couples to bicker. Another point brought up is that since the show films in multiple states. The Scotts are not licensed as realtors and contractors in every state. They are just the show’s celebrity faces. That is understandable considering that they have several other shows and sponsorships to fit into their busy schedules. Keep reading to learn the secrets from “Property Brothers.”

The timeline in HGTV shows tends to be exaggerated. Shutterstock

Many episodes are edited for time.

All reality TV is edited a little bit, right? Well, the network apparently had to clear up a thing or two. According to a statement released by HGTV, their programs may “abridge and adjust timelines to timelines to help manage production and time constraints.” Timelines need to be fudged a bit to fit the type of story that they are telling. While the new kitchen appears to have been completed in 24 hours, the truth of the matter is not possible.

Photo Credit: George Khelashvili/Shutterstock

It would require professional crews to work around the clock for days or weeks to get the job done. Many critical steps in the renovation process are left out of the episode. That includes meeting with architects and contractors, and picking out the finishes. They even skipped waiting for paint to dry. The biggest problem with this reality TV hack is that people at home might think they can renovate their rooms that fast, too. However, they will be sorely disappointed. That is not the only thing fake about HGTV shows, though.

Reality TV renovation budgets are not something that a typical homeowner can compete with. Shutterstock

HGTV shows have an unrealistic price tag.

You always see people crossing things off of their renovation lists because other problems arise. Houses come with hefty price tags and more significant issues, but how accurate are these updates on HGTV? Reality shows on HGTV receive large amounts of heavily discounted labor and materials through various partners and sponsors. That is why their rooms can be completed at a better rate than what most homeowners can get. These same shows are also notoriously known for using those cheap materials and rushed labor to keep costs down.

Photo Credit: 2xSamara.com/Shutterstock

Most quality jobs cost much more than the $10,000 that these shows make it seem. If you want to renovate your home, you should want something of quality. Those kinds of expectations tend to take a lot more money and time to complete than what is featured on the show. So just like how you can’t flip a kitchen in 24 hours, the price tag will probably be way off as well. HGTV shows like to focus on profits, not costs. Nevertheless, we continue to tune into these completely faked and staged so-called reality shows.

Most home renovations require you to make several shopping trips before the job is done. Shutterstock

Home improvement shopping cannot be completed in one trip.

If you watch a home improvement show, you see the contractors visit the carpenter. Likewise, a designer might go to a tile dealer to choose a backsplash. Regular viewers of HGTV programming may think that all they need to do is spend one trip to the home improvement store. Chances are good that they have one near them. Therefore, it will be fast and easy to pick up every item they need to complete the project. Many times this is featured after the renovations have started. However, this is not the case. Most contractors say homeowners need to start the shopping well before the renovations begin.

Photo Credit: Fool

Otherwise, there could be delays while the workers are waiting for the lumber, fixtures, or other items to arrive. Any shopper will tell you that trying to fit it all in one trip is ill-advised. Why? Rushing tends to lead to regrets later. No one wants to regret something that they have worked so hard to finish and enjoy. Don’t let HGTV’s editing tricks fool you when you start working on your own home improvements. Otherwise, you will be disappointed. Keep reading to learn about more staged components of HGTV.

Most HGTV shows pay particular attention to the “must-haves” in the home. Shutterstock

Shows tend to have an overly exaggerated use for features.

Most of the HGTV channel programs focus their stories on homeowners. What are these people doing? Searching for the perfect home with all “must-have” features. However, the truth of the matter is that the television channel is making its profit out of its partnerships. Having a list of things you want in a new home is a good idea. However, sellers should not need to focus on the overly emphasized new features to let their property find a new buyer. What is highly coveted on TV does not mean that it is popular. The home value can be easily increased without it.

Photo Credit: Decoist

Your best bet is to hire a professional who can give you a more realistic idea. They can explain the existing features and what changes may be made to increase your selling advantage. However, tiling a shower from ceiling to floor is still a nice touch. Painting an accent wall is always a fun project, even if it doesn’t bring a higher home value. New paint is new paint, even if you apply it in a cool, geometric pattern or not. New appliances are always a sure way to increase the price.

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HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” stars sold a scam house flipping course. 

Tarek and Christina El Moussa of “Flip or Flop” fame live a lifestyle many HGTV viewers dream of having themselves. How exciting, then, must it be to find out that you can learn the secrets to their real estate business success from the celebrities themselves? Doug Stephens, a pastor, and teacher interviewed by the Associated Press, found this very dream opportunity in the El Moussa’s Success Path Education program. The reality did not meet the expectation, to say the least. According to the AP, Stephens paid almost $3,000 for three days of classes and real estate software after attending a free event advertised to include the El Moussas.

Photo Credit: Market Watch

Stephens thought that this would be an excellent way to break into the lucrative house flipping market. When asked about it later, though, he said, “They weren’t teaching at all.” According to the AP, on the very first day, participants were told their homework would be to increase the limits on their credit cards. If that isn’t enough of a red flag, Stephens and others were told on the last day that they needed to use that credit to buy more “training sessions,” with some costing $26,000. This scandal does not relate to the filming of “Flip or Flop” episodes themselves. However it is quite a shock to learn that these stars aren’t only masters of the real estate business. They also know the bait-and-switch technique.

Photo Credit: Us Magazine

Tarek And Christina El Moussa were not even there.

Remember that free event we mentioned that drew Doug Stephens and others into Tarek and Christine El Moussa’s Success Path Education? Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the whole thing is that, at least for the event Stephens attended, the “Flip or Flop” stars did not even show up. The most the fans in attendance saw of the stars was a prerecorded video stating they were too busy to be there. We do not know at this time how many appearances for Success Path Education the celebrity couple ditched. Nevertheless, this whole situation casts the El Moussa’s in a very different light than their show “Flip or Flop.”

Photo Credit: The Blast

The AP also reveals that similar events held by the El Moussa’s Success Path in St. Louis had the Better Business Bureau, warning residents. The Better Business Bureau office of St. Louis says they have received over 150 complaints against classes run by the same company that runs Success Path Education. The stars of “Flip or Flop” have something to answer for here. Fans of Christine and Tarek will undoubtedly be shocked to learn that they take advantage of their fame like this. HGTV reality show fans should be wary of any situation where a reality tv celebrity takes a lot of money to teach something that could be learned elsewhere. As usual, what appears too good to be true usually is.

Photo Credit: Redaktion93/Shutterstock

HGTV responded to Bobi Jensen, and it’s totally fake.

Remember how Bobi Jensen revealed the details of her experience on “House Hunters” and called it a total fake? Well, HGTV returned with a response. The official HGTV statement begins, “We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints while honoring the home buying process. To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process.” This statement acknowledges that HGTV stretches the truth in its shows. It doesn’t begin to address Jensen’s view, though. Finding people “pretty far in the process” is one thing. However, by Jensen’s account, pretty much the whole story was staged in her episode.

Photo Credit: Hooked On Houses

HGTV goes on to say, “Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen, and we capture their authentic reactions. Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves right back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties.” That still doesn’t square with what Bobi Jensen has said about her time on the show. She describes faking house viewings in places that weren’t for sale. It’s hard to see how the high stakes of a real estate play in when the sales are often not happening at all.

Photo Credit: Yahoo

“Windy City Rehab” stars went to court over faulty construction.

Alison Victoria leads “Windy City Rehab” with Donovan Eckhardt as her contractor. They purchase and then restore homes in historical neighborhoods in Chicago. Both stars have been sued by James and Anna Morrissey, a Chicago couple who purchased a home featured on the show. It looks like the restoration work we see on “Windy City Rehab” may not be all that it seems to be. The lawsuit put forward by the Morrisseys states their problems began one day after closing the deal on the house. The couple alleges they noticed a water leak then, and more leaks later. Within months, pooling water impacted their property and their neighbor’s. The suit says that portions of the outside walls had deteriorated mortar or no mortar at all.

Photo Credit: The Walrus

That could be a big blow for the new HGTV show. Also, a huge surprise for fans who have followed the spectacular restoration work Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt do. As with other HGTV shows, “Windy City Rehab” easily leaves the viewer with the impression of a job well done when the credits roll. The allegations put forth by James and Anna Morrissey, however, show a different picture. That is only the beginning of the story, in any case. Read on to find out more about what happened after the cameras stopped rolling on this “Windy City Rehab” episode.

Photo Credit: Chicago Splash

Donovon Eckhardt’s company bounces a check to pay damages in the lawsuit.

The stars promised to repair the home and cover the costs resulting from the suit. However, they have been slow to deliver and have some embarrassing hiccups along the way. Alison Victoria paid her portion of repair costs. Nevertheless, the check from Eckhardt’s company Greymark Development Group was returned for insufficient funds. It looks like operations in “Windy City Rehab” might be rockier than they appear on TV. Fans are surely wondering at this point, what is in store for the future of “Windy City Rehab”? This show is still with us, but will troubles like this continue to rock it?

Photo Credit: Bank Rate

We do not yet know how everything will go for the future of this new HGTV show. However, they have not yet put this hurdle in the past. The Chicago couple who purchased this home has yet to see $15,625.15 owed to them for repairs on the home necessitated by faulty work from “Windy City Rehab,” according to NBC Chicago. The Morrissey’s also say that their bathroom is still unfit for use. This whole situation should make clear to reality TV fans that things are not always as they appear. Restorations that seem miraculous might be incomplete when the cameras pull away.

Photo Credit: Chicago Suntimes

Victoria and Eckhardt’s relationship broke down before we knew over the lawsuit.

This season of “Windy City Rehab” has already seen former co-host Donovan Eckhardt’s dramatic exit. In an interview with People, Victoria pinned their business partnership’s fall on Eckhardt’s shady financial dealings. Before this, though, many fans were drawn to the show by their on-screen relationship. It seems that this part of the show, too, has not been what it looks like on TV. Communications between Victoria and the Chicago couple that sued the “Windy City Rehab” stars show Victoria getting fed up with Eckhardt well before fans would find out about the formal split.

Photo Credit: Insurance Journal

According to NBC Chicago’s reporting, Allison Victoria texted the Morrissey’s. She said that she would pay for Eckhardt’s portion and that she does “not want him to f— with my life or business any more than he already has.” In addition, Alison Victoria reportedly told the Morisseys that she was “not surprised” by the bad construction, adding that she only designed the homes. These comments reveal that the stars may have been turning on each other for a while. However, they are keeping up appearances while on camera. You never know what celebrity co-stars think of each other until something like this is revealed, even on reality TV.

Photo Credit: Medium

“Windy City Rehab” had its permits pulled by the city of Chicago.

Fans of the new HGTV reality show “Windy City Rehab” will be surprised to learn that Alison Victoria and former co-host Donovan Eckhardt have had serious trouble with the City of Chicago. In 2019 the city suspended construction permits for Donovan Eckhardt’s Greymark Development Group. It also hit Allison Victoria, suspending any LLCs associated with her from gaining permits. Allison Victoria has since said that she has new contractors. She also is working with the city to “repair and amend any and all permits.” That may surprise viewers drawn to the show by Victoria’s dedication to restore and flip Chicago homes with history.

Photo Credit: Timeout

What did Victoria do, however? According to NBC Chicago, Allison Victoria was punished with permit suspension for lying on applications for permits. But that’s not all. She was leading work without permits. Furthermore, she was leading work that threatens health and safety. Her former co-host Donovon Eckhardt’s company, faces a similar suspension on different grounds. Greymark Development Group’s reason for the suspension is failing to arrange inspections before selling buildings. This situation speaks to rushed or outright shady work. That is quite different than what is shown to us on HGTV reality shows. This penalty placed by the city indicates that despite its image, “Windy City Rehab” has had a shaky relationship with the city of Chicago.

Photo Credit: Chicago Realtor

Chicago real estate professionals say “rehab” shows unrealistic, set deceptive expectations.

Chicago real estate professionals have spoken out to the Chicago Tribune about home rehab and real estate reality shows. Maurice Hampton, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, has some warnings for fans of home rehab shows “Windy City Rehab” who might get too excited about the impressive and fast results they see on reality TV shows. He says that TV shows can do most of what they do because they have the funds to work in volume. Regardless of what budget figures you might see on one of these shows, the real professionals say taking it with a grain of salt.

Photo Credit: Sun Sentinel

Another Chicago real estate broker, Lineata Carter, also says to be careful before jumping into a home rehab project. Because these shows make these projects look too quick. She says that real projects will take much longer than what you see on TV. Carter said because of “…unpredictable circumstances such as weather, staff changes, budgets, inspections, and city code compliance – most of which are glossed over on TV.” Have HGTV reality shows ever had you feeling like taking on a big solo project in your house or even rehabbing it yourself? The experts say to take a step back and remember that what you are seeing isn’t as real as it seems.

“Love It or List It” will leave homes unfinished. 

Fans of HGTV reality hit “Love It or List It” love to see families living in beautiful post-renovation houses that make dream homes a reality. In some cases, though, participants’ experience on “Love It or List It” is not the dream it looks like on TV. A Redditor has come forward with a warning for excited fans who would like to be participants. They have to say it is both informative and a little bit disillusioning for fans who believed what they were seeing.

This source says, “If they get behind on the work on a given home, they pretend that the work is done so they can wrap on the episode. You then have to live in an unfinished renovation until the whole set of episodes is finished and the crew can get back to you. That can be months or not at all.” That is certainly not what anyone would expect is going on watching “Love It or List It” at home. It seems that many happy endings are shown on “Love It or List It” is faked even if the crew does get back to them.

Photo Credit: Rib

HGTV shows work on multiple homes at once. 

 It may seem to viewers that every contestant on “Love It or List It” gets the hosts’ sole attention. However, that isn’t exactly true. Christina and Tarek El Moussa were flipping several homes at any given time, not just the people featured in an episode. The audience probably imagines much more quality time between contestants and hosts,. Again, that isn’t likely to be the case. Another noteworthy bit of information about “Love It or List It” is that they shoot multiple episodes in a single market in blocks of time. They don’t stay to hang out. Instead, they move on to the next location.

Photo Credit: Our Local Agent

Apparently, “Love It or List It” is not even the only HGTV show that spreads its hosts much thinner than you would think if you’re watching from home. Another reality hit, “Property Brothers,” also has its hosts, Drew and Jonathan Scott flitting between homes instead of genuinely bonding with a single homeowner, as pictured in the show. Participants on “Property Brothers” have to film eight days out of the whole construction process. They only see the brothers themselves, then, eight times. Would you have thought any of your favorite “Property Brothers” episodes only had eight meetings between homeowner and host?

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“Kitchen Cousins” was called “incompetent” in lawsuit over faulty work. 

HGTV’s “Kitchen Cousins” turn on the expertise and knowledge of stars Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri. As with any professionals who become stars on HGTV, their show makes it look their knowledge and work are holding the whole thing together. However, now there is light of information filed in a lawsuit against the celebrity renovators. Fans will have to wonder if their TV-based reputations are backed up by reality. It is effortless for these shows to make any job look perfect when deciding what gets filmed. However, the work’s reality is sometimes very different.

Photo Credit: Inquirer

Robert and Peng Avery sued the “Kitchen Cousins” for faulty work, among other charges, after hiring them to work on their home. The suit alleges Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri falsely claimed their house had passed final inspections. Even more ridiculous, the suit made public that Carrino and Colaneri walked off the job. Furthermore, that was after the Avery’s had already paid them over $200,000. The work on “Kitchen Cousins” may look great. However, this incident brings out a very different side of Carrino and Caleneri from the one seen on TV. Can you still believe that what you see on “Kitchen Cousins” happens the way it is shown?

Photo Credit: Hgtv

“Curb Appeal” makes all the decisions for homeowners. 

In an A.V. Club interview, homeowner Cenate Pruitt alleges she asked several questions about a home makeover she wasn’t sure about. The makeover was decided ahead of time. Furthermore, Pruitt was made out to be the clueless homeowner in post-production through selective editing. “Even the retaining wall that I complained about from here to eternity, in that episode, they said, “Well that retaining wall wasn’t supposed to go all the way around, but we like the way it looks, so we’re going to keep it!” Watching that now, I feel like they kicked me in the nuts a little bit.” Ouch!

Photo Credit: Sb One Insurance

Pruitt claims their insistence on putting in the basement retaining wall into which a downspout drains “ultimately did the property more harm than good.” “Curb Appeal” plowed past Pruitt’s questions and ideas to give him a wall he didn’t want. Pruitt also recalls taking a shower only to suddenly run out of water – because a Bobcat cut off their water. This scene was mysteriously missing in the final cut as well. Looking at Cenate Pruitt’s own words, it seems like “Curb Appeal” left a lot out of the final cut.

Photo Credit: She Knows

“Property Brothers” casts for drama on purpose. 

I think deep down, we all know a lot of HGTV shows are scripted. We still can’t help but wonder, to what extent? Plenty of material doesn’t make the final cut on these shows. Moreover, it’s pretty likely the footage that does make it has been rehearsed several times. But what about the drama? The theatrics? It seems that the producers of Property Brothers encourage participants to “play up” the drama. It has been pointed out that producers will re-shoot scenes to capture this drama more perfectly. Before we even get to that point, the produces have decided when to bring up “unforeseen” problems and expenses to make an occasion for fictional drama.

Photo Credit: Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock

The sheer amount of dramatic moments still manage to be surprising at times. Does it seems a stretch that so many prospective homebuyers on Property Brothers have a penchant for dramatic acting? That’s because it is an intentional casting choice. According to a casting call from Property Brothers, they specifically look to cast participants who are “opinionated.” Any of us who have been watching reality TV for a bit know just what “opinionated” means for these casting calls. “Property Brothers,” like many similar shows, manufacture the drama, from the homeowners’ to the events. At last, the mystery is solved.

Photo Credit: My Food Odyssey

“House Hunters” doesn’t pay people what you think. 

For fans of all kinds of HGTV shows, getting to take a turn on the other side of the camera seems like a dream. Applicants get excited by all sorts of different parts of the reality TV experience. For many, getting paid will be on their minds. After all, there has to be money in TV, right? Potential applicants might be disappointed to learn the truth about HGTV payouts. In the case of “House Hunters,” participants are paid $500 for their time. Especially since participants in HGTV reality shows have often reported having roles scripted for them as actors would, it is a surprise that they are not paid more.

Photo Credit: Deskera

The $500 isn’t even quite as much as it seems. The amount is not per individual but rather per family. You might think that’s still something, but apparently, most of the participants have to take work off to film the show. Factor in lost pay, and you might be losing a good bit of money for your time. Additionally, real estate agents who appear on “House Hunters” volunteer their time and are paid nothing. For many HGTV reality shows, the main draw is seeing the lives of the participants improve with help from the hit. For this reason, serious fans may find HGTV’s relative stinginess in paying participants an unpleasant surprise.

Most TV shows on HGTV feature an exaggerated truth or two, but they are still entertaining. Shutterstock

HGTV shows remain popular even though they can be unrealistic.

While the television renovations may be mostly smoke and mirrors, they are meant to be for entertainment. Watching someone’s living spaces get a new lease on life is a spectacular sight to see,. However, they are not rooted in “real” life. It can produce some great ideas for the house. It can even teach homeowners how to make smart use of space or keep up with current design trends. You do not want to take on more than what you can handle. Furthermore, the key is to take that inspiration and help find someone to guide you through those steps. That way you can make your dream project a reality.

Photo Credit: Hgtv

Just like watching other reality hits, you should know that the confrontations are planned. The fights are not real. Editing has a lot to do with the entertainment factor compared to actual events unfolding in that manner. That goes for all types of reality shows, from watching the Kardashians to taking notes from HGTV. You probably enjoying watching HGTV even though you know the shows even though you know a lot of the moments are staged. You can still enjoy the designs. Revealing the overall renovations is still fun. Chances are good you will keep watching, but maybe with a different eye.

Sources:

https://www.thetravel.com/property-brothers-real-and-fake/

https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/all-the-ways-flip-or-flop-and-other-home-flipping-shows-are-totally-fake.html/ https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/a39104/love-it-or-list-it-behind-the-scenes/

https://www.thethings.com/hgtv-tv-shows-behind-the-scenes-secrets/?fbclid=IwAR1Twa4ZzZTW–lZJd8g9YIkVeVOSdmc46cBqBepAUfmZIyGwh_vvoDhUSU

https://www.chicagotribune.com/real-estate/ct-re-0216-windy-city-rehab-hgtv-myths-20200210-nnrsvxaqancspkm7hl337o3na4-story.html?fbclid=IwAR291RcvDLF7C_yzbcAnXvmcFr1TQR0gigTVDn-IVaoHVTYjN2aslw4z17c 

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/couple-sues-windy-city-rehab-stars-alleging-home-riddled-with-problems/2197629/

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a8468158/hgtv-scandals-fixer-upper-house-hunters-fake-drama/

https://apnews.com/article/ee15c824c10542e58b7cab03c5596b82

https://tv.avclub.com/what-s-it-like-to-have-a-reality-show-fix-your-house-1798242224?fbclid=IwAR3p3gM-eVX7VbaASHh9q5QTtyIj3NVKjrhzqIZnilF8Op_54UfkTO1d9No

https://propertybrothers.castingcrane.com/

https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/heres-how-much-you-get-paid-to-appear-on-hgtvs-house-hunters.html/

https://www.nj.com/bergen/2013/12/tenafly_couple_sues_kitchen_cousins_stars_for_allegedly_shoddy_work.html

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