Monday, April 16, 2012

Love it or List it

My husband and I have gotten in to watching HGTV, getting ideas for decorating our house and tips on home improvements.  He likes Holmes on Homes because it gives him ideas and shows how to do home improvement projects.  I liked Holmes for awhile, but his whiny voice is getting to me.  He's so self-righteous.  My husband likes how the home owners always give him a hug at the end.  I guess I could hug him if he did all of that work on my house for free.

Both of us like Love it or List it, with new episodes on Monday evenings, and Property Virgins.  Hillary and David can be really dramatic, but that's what makes the show entertaining.  Hillary always finds major structural problems that will take her whole budget.  Then in the end the house looks like a totally brand new house, what would normally cost $100K, not $30K.  And David finds three houses for them to look at, in an attempt to get them to move, and gets disgusted with the clients every time.  They just don't seem to appreciate his hard work.

What gets us on both decorating shows is the young peoples' expectations.   They have to have an open floor plan, granite counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms (at least 2 and a half), stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and a double sink in the bathroom.  They also want a minimum of three bedrooms, and if they already have a kid they want four bedrooms.

First off,  I really don't understand everyone wanting an open floor plan.  I like having separate rooms and don't want to be able to see everyone in the family all the time.  To me that defeats the purpose of having a big house.  I went out with some friends and spouses after work today, all empty nesters, and we all realized we don't need separate rooms for one another, we need separate floors for ourselves and our husbands--forget the open floor plans.  And we wonder what happened to starter homes.  We started with a two bedroom, one bath home over forty years ago and after our third child we upgraded to a story and a half with one and a half baths and four small bedrooms.  We raised five kids there and didn't think anything of it.  

We bought our current house fifteen years ago, and it is over one hundred years old.  No such thing as an open floor plan.  No granite counter tops or double sinks.  One and a half baths.  It has hardwood floors, but they're about one hundred years old and creaky.  But our house has lots of character.  I love the built in cabinets and shelves in the living room, dining room and family room.  I love our big yard and all of our flower beds.

But getting back to HGTV.  What we really wonder is how they do it all so cheaply.  We got an estimate about five years ago for a wrap-around porch, and the bid was $35,000.  We didn't do it.  But on these shows they do a whole rehab for $30,000, including a new kitchen, bathrooms, maybe a new roof or a small room addition.  I know they don't include labor in their improvements, but I'd like to have them come to my house and do those improvements for $30,000.  I'm beginning to think we need to love or leave  HGTV.

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