HGTV show - Hidden Potential

lyfiaOctober 16, 2006

Have any of you seen this show? I caught the end of it last week and I liked the little I saw. Basically they make buyers see the potential of a home by doing drawings of some of the draw backs of the home. I wonder if this will educate the general buyer more to be able to see past outdated homes in the same manner as all this fix it up to sell shows are doing for sellers to spruce up their homes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hidden Potential show info

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen a couple episodes. What I wonder is if their cost estimates are really accurate. I'd like to see the house after they've done everything, and find out how much it really cost. I'm afraid the buyers are thinking high end renovations, but the estimate is for an economical redo.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with susanjn...I liked the premise of the show...but I agree that the cost estimates are questionable...and, it would be better if they showed the finished job....because, as most who have remodeled know, there are invariably hidden complications along with that hidden potnetial...and hidden complications usually mean hidden additional costs...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen the show. I too would LOVE to see the finished produt. I'm wondering if they have some sort of agreement to stay a certain amount within the estimate given.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I saw part of it and was intrigued too. What I was wondering is if they were to sell in a few years, if they'd get back what they put into the home since similar homes (albeit not remodeled) would be going for a much lower price.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I didn't see the part I guess where they mentioned the cost. I'll be looking to see if I can see this show again. I wonder if the costs are for that particular region they are in too.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I watched this show a few times but find it lacking. I have a hard time believing the 20-something "Architect" is all that, and the buyers all seem completely fake. ooohinh and ahging. Hey honey. let's rip out three walls and dig a pool! 6 months in major renovation. Woo Wee! It annoys me they never show the buyers after the renovation. you just get the impression they are standing smiling in front of their "chosen" home but they actually haven't even bought it yet.

A better premise for the show would be to focus entirely on the before and afters. It would give viewers a better idea of what they can do with a house. And lose the two hosts. They are so stupid.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Knowing how phony many of these "reality" HGTV shows are, especially House Hunters, I don't believe for a minute that these people are really shopping for ANYTHING.

No, I'd bet cash money that they've already bought the house before applying to be on the show. And in exchange for their participation on the show, they get a computer-generated mockup of some things they *could* do to the house. Whether they're ever done is not the concern of anyone on the program; especially since they're getting pretty pictures by a graphic design student, not an architect's work.

Phooey. Give me "Before and After" at other times besides early Saturday morning. At least they show REAL projects with people who want to show off real accomplishments, as opposed to people who just want attention. I watched Hidden Potential exactly once, and will not do so again.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I have a hard time believing the 20-something "Architect" is all that, "

I have that same problem. I just thought I'm getting older and can't trust anyone under 30. ;) On one episode the couple were just a tad too excited, that's for sure.

I feel like many of HGTV's new shows are going for an edgier look and feel, perhaps catering to a younger audience. The young architect may be part of that. Of course, we don't know who does the estimates behind the scenes. It could be some very experienced, but not photogenic, person.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

He's another Trading Spaces designer that's moved into his own show. He's one of my least favorite designers, but I do like the show. Of course I take the show with a grain of salt much like House Hunters, I only watch for the enjoyment factor.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I looked up the architect on He is also a model.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barry Wood

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Funny that others have commented on the low prices of renovations, I thoought the prices were high!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Episode 110 featured a single mother and her two daughters who wanted to downsize. The mother is Nancy Malleo, who happens to be an actress. Interesting show, but when they use a professional actress as a "buyer", I have to question the "reality" of this show.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nancy Malleo

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you don't like HGTV's programming, you can do what I do. Tune into something far more intriguing like the science channel. What a great channel. If you want to see a real renovation show, you can find 'This old house' on PBS and you won't have very many commercials if any.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i know nancy Malleo, and can assure you, she isn't much of an actress :)..Our children attended school together

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 5:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"she isnt much of an actress"
PERFECT!..."Hidden Potential" isnt much of a show.
Seems like the newer HGTV shows are going for a younger audience. Dont know it thats too smart a move.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Knowing how phony many of these "reality" HGTV shows are, especially House Hunters, I don't believe for a minute that these people are really shopping for ANYTHING."

Agreed. I sincerely doubt that anyone's being offered their "choice" of three homes to remodel, and they're choosing one of the three. Please. Equally ridiculous is how people walk into a home, and instead of looking at the space (I mean, the whole gist of the program is to find a place to completely renovate, right?) - they talk about how horrible the wallpaper is, or comment that the flooring is ugly. Snarkiness reigns supreme.

HGTV continues to dumb-down, and many of us (as evidenced by recent threads on the Home Decorating forum) are choosing not to watch anymore.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

DIY Network is available on my cable, and the shows seem much better if I am looking for information and not entertainment.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree !!! The renovation cost cannot be accurate, plus it would take at least a year for some of the renovations.
Take the roof line up_Give me a break !!!! Take your money and run !!!!
Plus, the two day remodel_yes the guys are cute_and the show "Moving Up" on TLC !!! There is another one that makes me wonder. If the couples can do all the renovations to the new home, why was the old one in need of repair!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's kind of a Pie in the Sky show. It COULD look like this, but real renovation always "costs more and takes longer " than planned. The couple always just loves the computer picture. Don't they ever say, "Hey I don't want that?" Every couple says almost the same exact thing. They need a new script.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the summer of 2006 my boyfriend and I were attending the free homebuyer education class offered by Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The second night of the class we arrived to find some odd behavior. There was a 'surprise' special guest presenting information. And we were rather perplexed because her info seemed so off-topic. On top of this, we noticed a person who hadn't been there the day before.

We found out after the class that TLC had been following a local family and documenting their home-buying experience in Anchorage. Well, it finally aired over a year later. I happened to catch it.

We were told in the class that this lady had already bought her home and TLC just wanted to cover the story. They also gave us a little more of the story. What eventually aired just looked so plastic. Over-rehearsed, stretched truths about the area, etc.

HGTV is addictive like a bad accident. I tried watching the DIY network and found that there were so many things being shown that simply were not correct. Like HGTV, it's just there to capture attention for Ad views.

One show I do like, although we don't get many episodes in the U.S., is Holmes on Homes. It's comical how Mike Holmes thinks he's the best thing since sliced bread. At least the show covers topics, actually completes projects and shows how to do things properly. I've had to use Fast Forward over some of Mike Holmes' tirades, but at least I learned something from him.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Originally I was skeptical about the honesty of these reality shows. Over the years I have known someone or have known someone who knows someone else who has been on these shows. My neighbor was on Clean Sweep. A co-worker's friend was on Trading Spaces. I work with a man who came to work very upset because his family was on The Nanny. The Nanny told him and his wife that their parenting skills are horrible! All have said the same thing; that the shows are real but they are somewhat scripted and they did rehearse because of time restraints.
I do get the feeling that some of the House Hunter buyers have already bought their house because sometimes there is something in the house or yard that is still there after the buyer moves the outdoor furniture the new buyer used to sign the "offer".

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 1:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I work with a man who came to work very upset because his family was on The Nanny. The Nanny told him and his wife that their parenting skills are horrible!

I thought that people went on the nanny show because they knew that their parenting skills were bad, and they needed help.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I do get the feeling that some of the House Hunter buyers have already bought their house.. "

Yes, I have read that this is true. I try to guess the house by the lack of furniture in it.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Of all the programs on HGTV, and I think they are steadily going down hill, this one I find the most troubling. Have you ever had a ballpark estimate on major construction work done and found it completed when expected, not find something else needing fixed so it can proceed or not have the material prices suddenly go up?

I do think it's a good idea to have a show like this, to make the audience aware that sometimes you can modify a home more cheaply than discount it and start looking for a new prospect. I had my eye on an out of town property and asked someone to keep track of it if it ever went up for sale. Well it did, and I wasn't told about it. It went up ridiculously cheap, and I missed my chance to get it. The reasoning given was it needed a new heating plant. I wish the decision had been mine to make, because I'd have bought it and had one slapped in so fast your head would spin. The house was worth three times what it went for, and a new heating plant would have been a relatively inexpensive proposition in comparison to the savings on the price.

But the modifications suggested in this program are usually massive. I was wondering in my mind how many months it would take to have that kind of work done, and how many different contractors you'd have to have in synch. It makes me ill to even watch it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have stopped watching most shows on HGTV, especially the redo/renovation shows that rip out everything that gives a room or house unique style and replace it with modern trendy stuff that will look dated in three years.

I have never liked Hidden Potential. Nothing annoys me more than when they go into a beautiful older home and turn the inside into a modern open plan house. I would think that a good architect would make the most of the space while keeping with the period that the house was built. And I agree with others who have commented on everyone always loving every single thing--why does no one ever say "I don't like that bathroom tile" or "maybe we could do this with the kitchen instead"?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The architect gives me the creeps. He seems so smarmy.

I have yet to see a program (admittedly I don't watch it very often). that seems to have good design. Too much of the remodeling is cluttery. And it all looks like an episode of "let's follow the worst of the current trends". I usually think they are ugly. It is a mish mash of walls and islands and seems very cut up in the rooms.

Not impressed with the lack of good design. A good case for rules because they seem to avoid them and it is unsettling. The eye is overwhelmed and tracks like a person on speed.

Can you tell I don't like this show?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I dislike many of their new shows, Hidden Potential being just one of them. Tune in for the premiere show and after about 10 minutes turn it off. Horrible! Too loud, overly dramatic - I suppose the hosts think they're just being 'expressive', and everybody is required to scream at least once, preferably for excruciating moments on end.

I watch 'Design to Sell' - useful to see what relatively small changes can make on run-of-the-mill homes - and Candice Olson, except when she's doing kitchens. That woman is brilliant, but she doesn't know beans about making functional kitchens. She gave a rabid baker a single wall oven, for goodness' sake.

The rest of our limited TV watching is confined to Sci-Fi, History Channel, and my newest love, CNBC's Fast Money. Love those wild NASDAQ traders! Now, screaming and shouting about the stock market, THAT'S dramatic, LOL.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of the problems with HGTV is about 2 years ago they brought in a programming director from VH-1. Yes, the channel that brings you Rock of Love One AND Two (because the skank the first time around broke poor Bret Michael's heart), and Shot At Love With Teela Tequila, which is so loathesome I can't even describe it here.

Evidently they felt like HGTV needed some "hipping" up. The programming director confessed that she really couldn't understand how people could be interested in following other people around as they hunted for houses. That, in a nutshell, is probably why HGTV's turning into such a waste of time for the people who can afford to do these updates, because they're NOT 20 something hipsters.

I talked with Joe Washington, who used to do Breaking Ground before they hired that 20 something moron Justin Cave (man), and he said that there was a big change with management (vh-1) and that basically everyone who was over 40 with the exception of Paul James (the gardner guy), who has seen his show moved to a ridiculous time shot, given the pink slip.

So, let HGTV know that they're not speaking to the right people with their choice of programming director, and maybe things will change...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I WONDERED! what had happened to it! Yes, that time frame is about right. I don't even watch television on a regular basis. Too danged busy with constructive stuff. But a couple of years ago, hubby was out of state, and I was repairing plaster, mudding, stripping paper, staining and painting in the living room, trying to get it all done before he came back.

I discovered the channel then, just to keep me awake as I worked and was enthralled. Stopped watching the tube for a couple years and then tried HGTV again lately and found the programming to be just plain silly, loud, and like you said hipped up. They haven't shown me anything this time around I would do to my house, or even want to do.

It would be so refreshing to have them tackle some real-life situations and lose some of the drama.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had quite a chuckle reading all the postings for this show. Quite frankly, I knew Barry in college, and his designs in college were always cutting edge and he "raised the bar" so to speak for quality in craftsmanship, etc. Everyone has an opinion and that's mine. Good for him in being successful and opening his own firm. And as for "twenty-something"... wrong again. Try late thirties... pushing 40. A baby face will get you everytime.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I "used" to watch a lot of HGTV, but these new shows are too far out for me. I do like the "Decorating Cents" when they move the present furniture around to change the look of the room. "Hidden Potential" is a real "turn-off" for me....and we have it back to back programing.

I know I am dating myself, but I miss "Room By Room"...I guess they used just good judgement in decorating, or more to a style that I would put in my own home.

Now "Trading Spaces" is the most outlandish decorating of any of them.....I would have one huge hissy fit if they put straw on my walls, like they have done before...or stapled up CD disks.....horrible!!!

I do watch "House Hunters" because I enjoy seeing the inside of the different homes, but do not like the "international" H.H.....different strokes for different folks~~~

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, SUOranges. It's nice to have a little background.

I'd like to see continuing episodes where they actually complete one of his designs. It would be interesting to see what problems they run into, and how well they were able to stay on budget. But HGTV seems to have dropped all that ordinary kind of stuff.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 11:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, Hidden Potential is sort of one-note. We're in an MCM home now, so I like the look that Barry and the other architect (tall pregnant blonde?) use, but it is definitely not appropriate for the typical 1915 New Jersey/New York home often featured.

I like International House Hunters, but not when it is in a tropical clime. There is only so much tile floor and "it comes furnished" that I can stand. I guess if I lived in Minnesota or Michigan I would pine for the tropics, too, but it is all just so cheesy! I like the European episodes.

I still like Curb Appeal, but I'm not sure when it comes on. I guess I need to Tivo it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Smarmy" is an apt description of the young, so pleased with himself, architect.

The shows I have seen of HP never talk about economic practicality. I notice they seem to pick homes with a bad floor plan that are in run down condition and a run down neighborhood. They never talk about home values in the area and whether this improvement will be an over improvement or not. I often wonder about over improving these homes and then the owners are stuck when they try to sell the remodeled house because they cannot recoup their investment.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Exactly. Moreover, the budget doesn't include the 20 to 25% cushion for "unknowns" and surprises in remodeling an old house.

Double exactly on the "smarmy."

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL the original post is 2 years old.

I actually like the show, when I catch it. I like seeing what they do with the space vs. what I think I would do to it and compare.

I've seen re-sale mentioned several times as to what other surrounding homes are worth and where it would put them as far as re-sale goes after putting the money in. I've seen some where they've said it would still be under for the neighborhood and others where they've said it would be over for the neighborhood.

The ones I've seen lately seem to be doing options for people that already own homes and want to see about re-modeling their own home.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The previous Hidden Potential shows focused how the architects could remodel 3 different homes for the house hunter. I always wondered where they'd "really" get the money. I mean a bank would appraise the home and in such bad condition as the ones they showed, I don't know a bank that would loan you an extra $100K to upgrade and remodel a place that does not appraise. At the end of the show, they almost always picked the home that was already the most livable of three places. There was never any follow-up, so I often wondered if any of these house hunters ever even bought the homes they looked at on the show.

I agree with Lyfia. I like the current focus on remodeling options for the homeowners' current home. The budgets are more realistic and often include ideas that a handy do-it-yourselfer could do to save some money. I like the ideas and remodels they've proposed for many of the current homes and am glad they've found a way to revitalize the show and give it a new, realistic spin.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an old post, but thought I would update posters to a couple of new shows on with a similar premise as Hidden Potential.

One is called "PROPERTY BROTHERS". One brother is a realtor who shows the home buyer houses within their budget, generally they are not in great condition and are fixer-uppers. The other brother is a contractor who performs the renovation to update the house they select. The homeowners are given a 3D rendering of the proposed renovation, including the time frame for completion, generally 6-8 weeks. They do a good job and even like real life (gasp!) run into unforeseen problems that require adjusting the plans due to the hit to the that is realistic! LOL Like Hidden Potential, they do not typically address the entire house, so they may have a remodeled kitchen and LR, but still will have a sucky bedroom or bathroom to contend with.

I remember on Hidden Potential thinking, there is NO way that remodel will cost that amount and you know there will be overruns (plumbing or electric being brought up to code, dry rot, termite damage, etc.) and like another poster - they couldn't possibly move in for at least 4-9 months with some of Hidden Potential renovations like roof changes, adding a second floor, etc! I still like the show for displaying the creative ways some of these homes could be renovated, but I thought the cost estimates were not realistic.

The other show that I like a lot is "LOVE IT OR LIST IT" on the OWN - Oprah network. I think it is a Canadian import but quite enjoyable and fun. It definitely seems rehearsed, but the hosts are great. The concept is a family has a house that is no longer working for them (too small now they have children, etc). The realtor will find them a house in their budget to get them to "list it"; the Interior Designer will renovate their home to get them to "love it" again. I definitely would say it is a great alternative to some of these old and dumbed down shows that are now on HGTV. These two are my favorite new home design/decor/renovation shows.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like Property Brothers (I think this is an Alberta or BC production) and also Love It or List It (from Toronto? the prices seem fairly high, usually $700,000+). The only thing about the latter show is that they don't seem to factor in selling & buying costs in the final scene, if the clients decide to List It. In the market they're in, just the RE fees would be $40,000+ !!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ottawavalley, you are sooo right. I think that is why the majority of them decide to Love It, because they are thinking about all the Realtors commissions, closing costs, etc. The designer does a great job and again.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm still thinking about the episode of Property Brothers where one of the brothers says "Hey--there's no heat in the living room and dining room." These guys do this for a LIVING and they didn't pick up on this before the house was purchased (I mean, the rooms had no vents or baseboard heaters--something I would notice if I was looking at a house and I'm no expert).

I also wondered if Hidden Potential was about a couple looking at houses and simply picking a house/design concept and ends there. My feeling is that there is not necessarily any follow-through to actually buy the house.

Another thing----speaking of appealing to 20 somethings, I was looking to see what shows are filmed in my area and looking for people for their episodes. The information stated that they wanted couples who were in their twenties and thirties--middle-agers need not apply.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been looking at a few episodes of "Designed to Sell" where they have $2000 for materials to fix places up before selling (& free labour & professional advice, LOL). They seldom seem to get acceptable offers as a result!!!! Not a great advertisement for the process, I'd say.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Funny you should mention these two Canadian shows, because I continue to be amazed by the inflated prices these dumpy houses command.

A few words of warning to our northern neighbors: Housing Bubble!!!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is Hollyweird.

Any connection to reality is accidental at best.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What Brickeyee says...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:32AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Home closing delayed or is it a wash-out?
Hello everyone, I am a new poster, but have enjoyed...
Do buyers prefer table & chairs or island in kitchen?
We are getting our house in order before listing it...
How do you value a pole barn?
Does anyone have a good rule of thumb for appraising...
Best time to List a House
Is there a best time to list a house for sale? We have...
New front door--ok to put lockbox on back door?
We have a new (quite expensive) front door and screen...
Sponsored Products
Simkar 4-ft 92W LED Vapor Tight, 4100K, 120/277V
LBC Lighting
Anderson Leather Loveseat - Brighton Breeze Green
Joybird Furniture
Cincinnati Reds Coaster - Set of Four
$14.99 | zulily
Oak Valley Five Light Pendant Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Crazy Multicolored Area Rug - 2'x 3'
Grandin Road
Bistro Dining Chairs Set of 2 in Natural
$89.00 | LexMod
Walnut Brown Kari Vanity Set
Cost Plus World Market
Parker House - Wellington Double Pedestal Executive Desk -...
Great Furniture Deal
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™