HGTV = Irritation & Unrealistic Expectations

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

No advice, just lots of hugs and sympathy. If it makes you feel any better, we DID have a $500k budget… and it bought us a fixer upper straight from 1987 when it was built. It has original everything, from yellow-orange oak cabinets to builder grade brass and white plastic bath fixtures to poorly installed, wrong height crown molding. There is not a single finish in this house that I like, and we are saving and paying for each reno in cash, so I’ll be staring at this ugly for many years to come. Right now we disagree on the scope of the family room and kitchen reno, so even though we’ve agreed to hire a contractor for the work, we’re STILL not making any progress. ugh

Post # 4
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Ugh, I am in the exact same boat! FI bought this fixer upper before we met, but only fixed it to the point of being livable and functional. To me, it’s ugly and unpresentable, and I’m embarrassed to invite people over. We want to buy aother house, in a nicer area for raising kids, and FI still isn’t really on board with a move in ready house. He swears he can fix anything because he used to do construction, the problem is he did framing, and has zero idea how to do finish work and make things look nice. I am just so burnt out on always doing house projects. For once I just want a nice house that I can relax in and enjoy. 

So, I completely sympathize with you, and hope you are able to find something with at least some good potential. Good luck! 

Post # 5
3271 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

I hear ya. Our house is too small for having people over and it will definitely be too small with a kid. We’ve lived here for 3 years and I’m already jonesing for a nice big kitchen and living room.

Post # 6
5208 posts
Bee Keeper

@lollygagon:  I so know where you are coming from. My husband and I sacrificed move in ready for a better location. We are in the country about two miles away from the beach/lake. Our yard is pretty awesome too, but I am so OVER reno projects. I keep thinking about the stuff that I could be blowing this money on and it makes me wish we had never stopped renting. I guess its an investment, but it doesn’t feel like one as you are doing it.

Post # 7
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I too can sympathize! My husband and I are closing on our first home together in a few weeks and it needs tons of updates.  We’ve been watching the HGTV shows recently and it’s just crazy the budgets people have but also how unrealistic they can be about costs or seemingly ungrateful (at least during the process) of how lucky they are for what they can afford. 

One thing to remember though is that a 500k house in one area like where I live in MA buys something very different than what it might in your area (I’m guessing Oklahoma City?).  So it’s hard to really compare your budget in that way.  That being said, my DH and I are buying a 250k house as our starter home and I too am boggled by my friends who are able to buy 500k+ houses.  But to each their own, I’m pretty sure my husband and I are both happier at our jobs where we don’t necessarily make big bucks but we have a lot of time and our sanity leftover at the end of the day (which we will use to embark upon our home renovations!)

Good luck to you and your husband, I hope you can find a home that you’ll be happy with.

Post # 8
2100 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@okqueenbee:  I can relate. Just about an hour ago I was telling DH that I want to scream b/c we don’t have space for what we need space for and I’m so annoyed. All the time. 

DH bought our house before we met and here is where I moved to right before we got engaged. That was over a year ago and it has taken me that long to just get him to throw crap out he doesn’t need. And to keep it somewhat clean, although it’s not up to my standards. But it’s mostly me putting everything away and cleaning up dog hair and human hair, etc. 

We have repainted…or got it repainted rather. But honestly, it was b/c the house stunk and whatever the “smell” was in the old paint. So that has made a tiny difference but I could tell you 1,000 things that bug me and could have fixed but honestly, it’s b/c it’s not MINE…OURS. We didn’t pick it out. And here is what gets me:

He and his first wife got a brand-new home, exactly to their specifications. They got to pick paint, tile, carpet…everything to make it “theirs” and then they got to take all their brand-new fun, wedding stuff and add it to that brand-new house. So they started all fresh and new. NOT US. And it burns me up every single time we pull up to her house (it’s their old house and his son is with her PT) and I see it b/c it’s a reminder of what we don’t have.

The only thing that has helped somewhat is that we have a plan to leave within two years…thank god. But I have no idea what we will qualify for…I have no idea if it will be new or pre-owned. My preference will be new…something we build and get to choose. But who knows.

And not to mention, my ideal home is something featured in Southern Living. A far cry from what we have and what will likely be at least for a few more years.

I’ve realized building a home takes time. And I had no idea. I really thought it just kind of happened. I didn’t think all the homes that look great take time and little things done here and there. But all the comforts and space and organization take time. Both time in regards to effort but time as in weeks or months b/c that’s just how it is I guess. 

My only advice would be to communicate what you really can’t have as looking anything less than professional and spend money on that. To me, it was painting. There are so many fake outs you can find online through Pinterest but good painting cannot be faked. So that’s why I thought that. I would pick really big projects and hire help and then smaller things, let your husband handle or you can do them or help out.

I guess I’m just saying I can really identify. Let’s not mention our washer and dryer was their dang wedding present! From his mother who I cannot stand! That is next up for replacement when we get a chance. It’s old and small and doesn’t fit our needs but then you add those to it and I just want it gone. Yesterday.



Post # 9
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Oh, man. My DH gets like this, but the reverse–He desperately wants an extreme fixer-upper that he can make look designer, and I just want a decent house that won’t need work.

The thing is, he works 60-80 hours a week. He will NEVER have the time to completely renovate a house!

So I frequently find myself shaking my fist angrily at HGTV. (Also, every time we see one of those 22 year old couples buying a 500K “starter home” I’m like “HOW. HOW?!”)

Post # 10
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

My fist shaking is mostly directed at people in lower cost areas (which living near Boston is pretty much everywhere) with $150,000 budgets looking at four bedroom 2,000sqf home and bitching about the color of the granite or that there are no double sinks in the fourth bathroom or such nonsense.  Where I live $350,000 will maybe buy you a 1,300 sqf house that needs some work in a not so great area.  


Post # 12
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

My husband and I both have all these ideas and plans for our house…but whenever I bring up starting something, my husband lists a bunch of things, and shuts down the conversation by acting like it’s impossible and it’ll never happen.  It drives me nuts.  If we do ONE big thing a year, it will get done eventually!!!  Doing NOTHING won’t get anything done.  

Post # 13
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I live in Toronto and American house prices make me want to cry. If I see one more beautiful 5 bedroom house on a huge lot that costs $200,000 then I am going to scream 😛 totally unfair. I understand where you’re coming from. 

Post # 14
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MrsPanda99:  Don’t think it’s all American house prices.  There was an HGTV househunters recently that was very near where I live and the budget was $800,000 – $1.2 million.  They were looking at really nice homes, but still, ugh.  That’s more like what a nice place costs around here.  I also don’t understand how you can have $400,000 worth of wiggle room in your budget.  That’s more than we can afford TOTAL.

Post # 15
1383 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@okqueenbee:  I relate – we’ve been on an HGTV kick because we’re going to be looking to buy our first home in the next 6 months and we will not have a huge budget.  I tend to steer clear of House Hunters (that show drives me nuts with the complaints from people) and watch Property Brothers or similar shows where they show you what they can do to renovate homes and see the potential! That’s what we’re doing!

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