Love It or List It

hayden2June 2, 2013

Does anyone else watch this show? I'm in a love/hate relationship with it. I used to like Hillary and dislike David, but now Hillary is beginning to wear on me, and I think David is actually very clever. But the plot's are pretty formulaic.

1) Objectives and budgets set out
2) David shows homes couple doesn't like t
3) Couple blames David personally for non-existence of perfect homes.
4) Hillary starts in basement, discovers house is about to fall down.
5a) Couple blows up at Hillary because she promised to rebuild house, re-do kitchen and add two bedrooms and a full bath with budget of $1.75, and now can't because said house is falling down and she needs to rebuild all plumbing/wiring; OR
5b) Hillary promised to add 5th bedroom and now can't because couple's house not zoned for it (because no contractor would check codes before setting foundation, would they?)
6) David at long last finds house couple love, for only $250,000 over their budget, which never causes a problem for couple
7) Hillary shows finished house, which in some cases means she cleaned out slobs' clutter, repainted and added a colorful afghan on couch, to couple's oohs and aahs.
8) Couple makes decision, which invariably is - suprise! - opposit of their "overheard" conversation as they decide

Do I have that about right? Why do I like this show so much when half of me finds it irritating.

This post was edited by hayden2 on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 14:59

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You've got the formula down. I like to watch the last 5 mins or so of the show to see which option the couple chooses.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:21PM
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What I don't understand is why their improvements add so much to the resale value. Is it because they are charged less for the labor?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:31PM
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"Is it because they are charged less for the labor?"

I think that's exactly it, nosoccermom. I think the labor is free, so the improvements are very inexpensive when compared to "the real world".

Personally, as someone who is looking to move next year, I would love to have Hillary upgrading my current home for sale while David finds me a new one. :-)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I've tuned in on occasion. I was getting a bit bored because all the ones I was seeing, the couple decided to love it! Even when I felt they should list it and go already! Finally one decided to list it!
I do like Hilary's taste. Unlike some designer shows, i really seen to like everything she puts together.
Hayden, I think they need the "monkey wrench" thrown it to create a stir. It would be really boring if everything went smoothly.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:19PM
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LOL Hayden, you nailed it. I wonder if all that labor is really free though. It always amazes me that they go so far over budget without blinking an eye. Always makes me want to know what they do for a living so I can do it too.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:37PM
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I watch it- not so much for the "what stuff costs" but for ideas on what to do with my own place. I ignore all of the theatrics, and learn a little about old houses in the process.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Hayden, I think they need the "monkey wrench" thrown it to create a stir. It would be really boring if everything went smoothly.

But I find it boring because it always follows the same predictable formula!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Hayden, I laughed when I read your post. I think you nailed it--DH and I have often mentioned the predictable course of the show. I don't really see how it keeps it interesting, since anyone who has watched it more than once knows what is coming next. The thing we really don't like is the confrontational element and nasty comments. In fact, we often turn it off and sometimes tune in at the end just to see what Hilary has done for the house and what fabulous, over-budget home David has found. I think it would be much more interesting if the show was more realistic, but I guess the ''reality tv'' generation wants more angst.

By the way, nosoccermom did point out the one intrinsic feature of the show that you missed---how the $1.75 budget somehow resulted in an increase of $50,000 in the couple's home.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:47AM
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Yup, don't know how I missed the point that the increase in the home value always seems exaggerated. My bad....
Maybe because the beautiful afghan draped over the couch conveys?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 7:50AM
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There are two other things that are funny:
1. The upper floor has three tiny bedrooms and a small bathroom. The objective is: Add two more bedrooms, a large master bathroom, and ample storage within the same footprint.
2. The deck is unsafe, there's asbestos everywhere, the plumbing and electrical are shot, and there's mold from a newly uncovered leak. The spouse who's wanted to move all along, now says: "Let's get outta here and sell." Uh, yeah, and who's gonna buy your house in that condition?
The other thing I wonder is how much the home owners are involved in making decisions. I can't imagine that it's all "trust me, you'll love it." I wouldn't want to spend that $1.75 without consultation on what kind of materials, colors, functionality, etc. I'd like. For instance, I wouldn't want my spa bathroom in the basement if the master bedroom is in the attic.

Actually, somewhere I read that the homeowners tour houses that aren't even for sale, and that the show is filmed with two endings.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:40PM
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I watched the show a couple times and didn't care for it. In addition to the "let's create controversy" stuff, and Hillary's inability to keep a budget, the numbers made no sense to me. For example, the HOs have a $300K house and a $50K reno budget, but they're shopping for a $500K home. Of course they're going to like the $500K house better than their upgraded $350K one. Apples and oranges.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:57PM
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And has everyone noticed that Love It or List It is filmed in Canada. Just as Holmes on Homes is from Canada. In case you're not familiar with that one, Mike Holmes goes into a home to repair a home improvement job that was totally botched by some construction guy who then left the homeowner high and dry.

Between Love It or List It and Holmes on Homes, I'm shocked that Canada is still standing. Residential properties throughout the country appear to be at worst death traps, and at best, rickety structures waiting to collapse beneath unsuspecting homeowners. Makes you wonder, eh?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:50PM
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I always love how Hillary tells the homeowner how she is going to take down a wall to open it up. And then the shocked look on her face when the contractor tells her it's "load-bearing" etc etc.

Huh? Wouldn't you check on that before telling the owner's you are going to take it down?

And I love the one where they had an active storm water leak in the basement and she finished the basement using dri-core saying it would solve the problem. (Nope... just hides it.)

It's all so fake, but I do like that they can show how you can update your home to fit your needs.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:34PM
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What everyone needs to remember- both about this show and nearly every other show on HGTV- is that it is an entertainment show and not a documentary.

There is no "truth," and frankly no allusion of truth. We may infer that this is a real situation that evolves as presented to us but that is our mistake.
It is contrived and bears absolutely no relevance to reality whatsoever. So watch it if you enjoy it as entertainment but don't take even one moment of it seriously.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:21AM
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Agreed. But the problem is that these shows do affect how people approach house buying or renovations, that is, what is "expected" in a house as well as a the focus on surface or short-term fixes rather than quality and durability. Kitchens are almost disposables, i.e. a new kitchen every 10 years, or as an acquaintance said when ripping out a perfectly nice kitchen in her just-bought house (about 5 years old), "I don't want to cook in a used kitchen; it's creepy." She still goes out for dinner, though.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:01AM
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It seems like Hillary's solution is always to finish the basement. They spend thousands and thousands on finishing some pretty scary basements.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Ditto to all of the above.

I have this suspicion that advertisers play a big role behind these HGTV shows. Suppose DuPont says, "We will give you all the Zodiaq you want if you put a quartz counter in a kitchen every week."

The home owners are supposedly "paying" but the bill is only a fraction of what I would need to do the same thing. It's just a different fictional scenario to give us all ideas on improving OUR homes. They have to vary the story from series to series, but the premise is the same. SHOP!

BTW, saw one the other night where the renovated 3BR, 1BA (they use tiny house IMO because they are quicker) ends up worth $660K??? Has anyone ever paid $660K for a ONE BATH house unless it's a studio on Central Park or Palm beach?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:47AM
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robo (z6a)

In Toronto, yep. Pricey!!

I really hate just HOW uninspired the writing can be on HGTV. I mean, they can contrive situations, but why always the EXACT SAME situation? At least Holmes on Homes has SOME different disasters that occur, like a choice between foundation crumbling, electrical, or mold. But Restaurant Makeover (missing chairs) and Love It or List It (promise the moon) is always the exact same thing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:37AM
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That's it!

I am convinced the couples already either plan to love or list.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Yes, I believe that most homeowners know what they are going to do before the show even begins. I think I read somewhere that they sometimes show a couple choosing to list when they actually chose to stay, or vice versa. I can't verify that the information is correct, though.

We have gotten to the point that we generally turn it off when the show comes on. My biggest objection is the adversarial nature of the entire show. The homeowners are always mad at Hilary and/or David, and Hilary and David are stunningly unprofessional in their communication with the homeowners. I know I'm in the minority,. but I'm not a fan of reality shows, and this show seems to mirror the idea of lots of conflict. I did see one show in which the homeowners were amazingly reasonable. When Hilary unearthed the inevitable expensive structural issues, they accepted that, of course, money would have to go to fix it. I really didn't miss the snark in that episode at all, and told DH I might watch this more if they could show reasonable people arriving at decisions like adults.

All the other fake stuff I've come to expect with HGTV and, basically, most TV programming. But the nastiness and conflict I can (and will) do without.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:31PM
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I think Hilary and David are two of the most annoying people on HGTV! DH and I will watch just about anything else on HGTV, but neither of us have the stomach to watch those two...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 2:21PM
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I think you guys are being way too harsh. People watch it because the see possibilities and issues. Those are both the issues Hillary hits in renovations and David has in the different trade offs in the houses.

I don't know how much is staged. The number seem way out of wack. Hillary seems to be able to do renovations with new furniture for much less than anyone else.

The houses seem to always gain a lot more than the cost of renovation, even when a good part of the renovation was for a plumbing/electrical/drainage/structural/pest control repair that wasn't known at the time of the initial renovation and the renovation includes furniture not part of the property value.. Renovations are usually thought to return less than their cost.

The cost of moving never includes the moving costs, the broker fees, mortgage origination, tax, or title insurance fees. Then any move usually requires some renovation on the new property: paint, window treatments, furniture, etc.

The odd location in Toronto also means most of the homes have hot water/steam heating and few appear to have central air conditioning. This makes them significantly different that the US where in many parts of the country the homes have a heat pump with supplementary resistance heat. Even in colder areas in the US, forced air heat with a gas or oil furnace is more common that hot water or steam.

The cost numbers on some of their other shows��"like Property Brothers��"seem more in line with reality. And it that show it is clear when they make trade-offs for less expensive engineered wood floors, standard kitchen cabinets, etc.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:06PM
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I forget which "reality" show it was but my husband recognized one of the "contractors". He was an actor in a commercial my husband's company had filmed. Maybe being a contractor was his real job and he was an actor on the side?

The only element not mentioned is that one spouse is determined to leave and one wants to stay.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:32PM
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I always love how an "unexpected" expense of $1000 (for example) in one area of the house means that a huge remodeling plan for another area of the house is now off the table. For example, moving a duct in the hall closet to make the space bigger now means that the kitchen re-do is not possible. Really? The kitchen re-do was only going to take $1000??

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:43AM
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I, for one, can't even stand to watch the previews of this show. Hillary and David are terrible "actors" and the show is entirely too predictable for me. But, besides the ridiculous increase in property value as a result of the renovation, I wonder how often the 'List It' couples' house sells in time for them to purchase the new house before someone else buys it? Perhaps, they are all independently wealthy so, in addition to the overage on the renovation budget, they can afford the down payment on the new house and to carry two mortgages before their old house is sold.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:51AM
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I saw one of the ones filmed in Vancouver where they removed one bedroom to enlarge the entry and opened up another bedroom that was used for a sitting area to the dining room- basically getting rid of two bedrooms.

And yet they showed a huge increase in the value at the end. Sorry, I don't think so. That couple decided to move. Good luck to them- their 3 bedroom house is now a 1 bedroom house.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:23PM
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happyladi, you're so right! One of their shows had them take out a bedroom and a bath, and still showed an enormous increase in value.

I'm telling you: it's all about that colorful afghan on the couch. I'd sure pay more for a house with fewer bedrooms and baths because there's a new light fixture and pretty murals on the remaining bedroom . . . . . . .

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:47AM
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I do like the show but agree that it is too formulaic for the reasons hayden2 and others point out. I question budgeting X$ for the remodel while looking for a new home that can cost X++$ and trying to make a 1000 sq. ft. starter home work for a family that's grown to 5.

BTW, I read on their web site where 60% Love it and 40% List it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Don't forget that both David and Hillary are RUDE to their clients. Who behaves so badly in the business world?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Yea, I love the huge increase in value when 2/3 of the budget wen to fixing electrical problems and water leaks. So was the original home value based on lousy plumbing and crappy wiring? If so, why is Hilary so surprised?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:18PM
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