I know it all too well. There's nothing good on TV, so just switch the channel to HGTV! Nothing can go too bad, right?
Once you start watching shows on HGTV, you start to think that you're a professional home renovator, even if you've never even attempted to do anything related to home renovation. In short, HGTV ruins you. You can never look at anything in your house again without thinking something along the lines of, "this needs to be updated/changed."
So, here are some unrealistic expectations that you have for yourself after watching HGTV.
1. You think you can take on any big home renovation project.
They make it look so easy. It takes a lot of time and people to successfully renovate a home. Even "Property Brothers" builder Johnathan Scott requires a team of people to make a renovation happen. There's always almost a full construction crew on set with the HGTV stars, even if they aren't shown.
2. You think you can build an entire house by yourself for a lower price.
It sounds great, but if you have absolutely no experience with construction, don't even bother with this. What they don't mention is how expensive it can be to repair critical aspects of the house, like electrical or plumbing, if you screw it up. Get a professional to do that so it's done right the first time.
3. You think you can repaint every room in the house by yourself to make it "modern."
While this might be a good idea, it might not be realistic. First off, it's not as easy as it seems, especially if you've never painted before. Second, if you live with your parents or in an apartment, they might not appreciate the effort. It's not technically your property.
4. You think ripping out all of the flooring in your house and replacing it by yourself is a good idea.
It might seem like it at the time, but seriously, it's not. If you think that it's easier than it looks and attempt it, you're going to be left without any flooring for a few days. Get a professional, or at least someone who's done it before, to do this.
5. If something isn't perfect in a house, you'll notice it and want to fix it.
This one is probably the worst because you can't do anything about it. HGTV makes you a perfectionist. If there's even something as small as a paint bubble in the wall, it'll drive you crazy. Just remember that you can't fix everything, and move on.
6. You'll think doing a kitchen renovation is a great idea.
It's not, especially when you're using it all the time. Renovating a kitchen takes a lot of time, and can get really expensive if you're replacing appliances. It is a great way to increase home value, but make sure you do it at the right time and have factored in all of the costs.
7. You'll want to knock down every wall that isn't really necessary.
Almost every renovation they do on HGTV involves creating an open-floor plan from the kitchen to the living room. They always get rid of a few walls to create this. In some houses, this concept just will not work. What are you going to do when you knock down a wall that you actually needed? Don't bother trying it. Also, don't try to knock down a wall by yourself. They make everything look easy on TV.
8. You think the brands they use on the shows are the best.
Keep in mind these brands are paying HGTV a lot of money to be featured on their shows. These are probably the most expensive brands, and you can probably find something similar for less money. If you're going to do a renovation, be smart about it. Do your research. Home renovation blogs also aren't the best place to find good information about what brands to use, because they also get paid to review and advertise products and may be biased.
9. You think that flipping houses sounds like the best idea ever
You can make a profit off of flipping a house, but often times, you will have to hire professionals to do plumbing or electrical work to homes. You also have to have enough money in the bank to purchase the home, so this might put you in a bad place financially. You need to make sure you properly budget before trying to flip a house. It might not be worth it, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.
10. You think that you can remedy any house, no matter the condition.
This is definitely not the case. On the house flipping shows, most of the homes they renovate have severe cases of mold or water damage. These are serious problems that you probably shouldn't try to take care of on your own.
11. You'll think that owning a rental property will be an easy way to make cash
What they don't mention is that you have to pay for repairs, even if they're caused by your tenants. It is your property, after all. They also don't mention that you'll have to constantly keep up on your tenants for rent money. Constantly bugging people for money doesn't really seem like the best way to earn it, even if they do owe it. There's also a chance that no one will rent your property, and you'll just be sitting on it.