HGTV is one of my favorite channels. It is one of the first channels I click on when channel surfing and is often on for hours when I’m home on a Saturday doing housework and laundry. I love Emily’s style diagnostic, watching Genevieve’s team grab a great piece of furniture abandoned on the streets of NYC, seeing a home renovated to add a rental unit and sneak peeks into homes in other countries. What drives me crazy is the expectations of many of the homebuyers and renters on My First Place, House Hunters and For Rent. Of course, I still watch anyway but here are some of the things I say to my TV (that’s right, I talk to my TV, all the time).
You’re house hunting, not fridge hunting. I’ve watched potential buyers go on and on about a white fridge (they really wanted a stainless). It’s true the fridge comes with the home (in most cases) but do you really want to write off a home in a good location with good bones because it has a white fridge? A fridge isn’t part of the home; it is an item in the home. You can replace it if it bothers you that much or hey, here’s a novel idea; live with it until it gets old and needs to be replaced. Which leads me to my next rant.
Perfection can wait. Since when do twenty somethings expect their first home (or their rental) to have a brand new kitchen, hardwood floors, walk-in closets, room for guests and a huge modern bathroom with lots of storage in the best location? When I first got out of college (yup, playing the when I was your age card) I lived in a rental studio, with no TV, slept on a futon, stored my clothes in a pressboard crap dresser and had no storage. I couldn’t even have a guest over for a cup of coffee since there was no guest parking and finding street parking was like winning the lottery. A year later, the ex pup-daddy and I decided to buy a condo or town home together. We found one we loved. It had a weird stringy wall covering from the ’70s, old ugly kitchen cabinets and a small bedroom. Why did we love it? It was in a beautiful secure building, in a nice neighborhood (Hawaii Kai), had two parking spaces, a space for an in-unit washer/dryer, a storage space in the basement and had lots of areas inside or poolside where you could entertain. We didn’t complain and renovate the joint before we moved, we just moved in, as is, 70s style and all. It never occurred to our early 20s brains that we should have perfection from the get go. Overnight guests? Hey, you were more than welcome to crash at our place as long as you didn’t mind sleeping in the living room on the futon couch. Now, I’m talking from the perspective of a Hawaii homebuyer where real estate prices are among the highest in the country. If you can afford to buy the place of your extensive checklist dreams or renovate to your heart’s content right away, more power to ya. But what annoys me is when these buyers keep insisting to their agent they must have every single item on their list and the agent is telling them in their price range, to no avail, something has got to give.
Don’t kids share rooms anymore? I think having your own room is great kiddo. But if your mom and dad can’t afford all those bedrooms and you need to bunk together, trust me, you’ll live. Nearly all my friends and I shared a room with our siblings growing up and we survived. Look at it this way; it’s great practice for playing well with others in your college dorm later in life (you’ll need it!).
For the sake of your marriage, three’s a crowd. Boy meets girl. They fall in love and get married. Girl’s younger bachelor brother moves in to their second bedroom. Boy and girl decide to buy their first home. Bachelor brother comes along on go sees and gives his two cents on why he doesn’t like this or that in each home option including the size of his bedroom and how he needs to have his own bathroom. These sibling arrangements appear to be temporary on the show (until bro graduates from college, meets the diva of his dreams or saves up for his own pad). Unless he is a home inspection expert, inspired space planner, budding interior decorator or is putting his name on the mortgage, your little brother should not be chiming in on what is a huge commitment and decision in your life as a couple. The spouse in each of these episodes always has that look that says “I’m really annoyed but trying my hardest not to show it” each and every time dear brother-in-law opens his mouth.
Are you hooked on HGTV too?