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TV Fix and Flip Shows – Reality Verses Television

Jun 02, 2018 / Fix and Flip

You’ve probably seen a fix and flip show on TV or at least heard of one. These reality shows follow a flipper or team of flippers as they find a home, buy it for next to nothing, do the renovations, and then sell it for a nice profit. But how real are these shows? Do they accurately show you what your life will be as a fix and flipper? Like most TV shows, there’s a bit of truth here, but there’s also a very large amount of fiction.

It’s Not as Easy as it Seems

The first thing these shows do is make it look very easy. The flipper pulls up to a rundown house, calls up an agent, puts in a fairly low bid, and almost immediately buys the property. That’s not exactly how it goes. Even if the property is rundown, your low bid may be rejected. These shows also leave out the financing phase—if you don’t have the money to buy the property right out, you’ve got to deal with getting a loan. Then there’s the time between finding the property and the closing… it takes a while.

The same is true with the renovations, too. Everything these TV stars want is always in stock, they have whole teams of people coming in to help with the work, and it’s all done quickly and easily. Sure, there’s usually “an unexpected disaster!” somewhere in there to add a bit of drama, but many of those disasters are things they would have checked on and known about before buying the property.

Their “Profit” Isn’t Always a profit

How many times do these reality stars have to spend money on extra expenses or go over-budget? It happens fairly often. Once the renovation budget is added to what they invested in the property, the amount of money spent is often fairly staggering. Then they say they sold the property for about $100,000 over that. So, they made a great profit, right? But how many times do they mention the real estate commission? There are more costs than what these shows talk about, and usually, the “profit” made doesn’t come from the actual properties, it comes from the advertising the TV show brings in.

Don’t be fooled by these shows—flipping homes is a lot of work. Fortunately, it’s also quite rewarding, and you can actually make a profit since you’ll know what costs to factor in and how to stay on budget.