One of the hottest things to do in the housing market right now is to take old, dilapidated houses in major city centers, buy them up for cheap, and fix them up. A process which takes anywhere from weeks to months, these houses are refurbished and given a new lease on life. People all over the country are buying up houses and doing this, turning blighted areas into some of the most prime real estate in a particular city or town.
This refurbishing drives up the property value of a house as well as the surrounding area. As more of these dilapidated structures are refurbished more people with wealth begin to move into the area, bringing with it urban renewal. This comes in the form of new shops and stores being opened, new businesses being created, and an entirely new culture being transplanted into a particular neighborhood.
This building and refurbishing trend has caught on in a big way, and there are a plethora of reality television shows which detail the process by which a house goes from zero to hero. And to be completely honest, they are super addicting! The drama of picking a house to dealing with the contractors to picking out what type of backsplash to put on a kitchen is actually a really fun process to watch!
And one of the shows which does it best is Property Brothers. Starring Jonathan and Drew Scott, these two brothers are expert home flippers, and know exactly what to do in order to not only make a home’s worth go up drastically, but also how to create a nice, aesthetically pleasing place to live.
The program takes people looking for homes and shows them some homes which are already good and ready to be lived in. However, as usually happens, these houses are usually well beyond the price range of the couple looking to buy, so the brothers take them to a fixer-upper which is significantly cheaper. It is usually at this point that the crew comes in and starts fixing up the house.
And yet, as with all reality television, something seems a little, well, off. Everything seems just a little bit too perfect, a little bit too well placed, a little bit too well timed. Therefore, we decided to delve a bit deeper into the behind the scenes facets of the show, and what we found was actually interesting.
Looking for that perfect house
When going off to look for your perfect dream house, many people usually get real estate agent to help them find the home that they are looking for. But on the hit television show Property Brothers, the main component is the fact that a lot of these people who go on the show want to have some sort of fixer-upper. However, that does not mean that they may be swayed into buying a ready to move into turnkey home. But then…
Invariably, there is a beautiful home which the hosts, Drew and Jonathan Scott, show off to the prospective home buyers. It usually fits all of their expectations, and the couple usually fall in love with the place. But then, it happens. Sticker shock! The potential buyers are thrown into a tizzy by the price of the home. However, this part appears to be quite staged. Come on, they’re on a house flipping show, they should not be so surprised when the turnkey home they are shown is too expensive.
How about this one?
Drew and Jonathan will eventually go on to show the prospective buyers a house which, while perhaps being a bit older, is definitely a fixer upper. And wouldn’t you know it, fixer uppers just HAPPEN to be the brothers’ specialty! This is the part of the show that everyone waits for as this is when the real construction and crux of the show begins. However, we still think that there is something fishy going on.
Is this part fake?
We all want to believe that what we are seeing on television is all real, and that what is happening on screen is actually what is happening in real life – especially on reality television. However, we do have our doubts as to whether or not this part is as sincere as it seems. It always appears as if the couple on the show know exactly what they want, and that they are only half heartedly searching with the brothers.
A property in mind
As it turns out, it appears that the potential property owners usually already have a property in mind by the time that they get on the show. And in fact, it appears as if many of these “potential” property owners are actually already owners! The show seems to make a big deal out of going from house to house and showing off properties. However, there is evidence to suggest that there is already a home with plans for renovations. What do we base this assumption on?
We believe that there may be something fishy going on during the entire segment of the show whereby the couples are debating which house to buy. This is primarily because on the application to even get onto the show, there is a requirement which says that you must “be buying and renovating a ‘fixer-upper.’” This seems to suggest that the “potential buyers” are already in the home purchasing process and have begun the steps to complete the purchase.
The REAL real estate agent
As we all know, Drew Scott is a licensed real estate agent, and he knows how to find the perfect house for anyone. However, when he is showing off the houses to the “prospective buyers,” we got to wondering, is he the one who is really showing off these houses? While he may be physically doing the work on television, is he the one truly seeking out these homes all over the country?
One of the reasons that we believe that Drew may not be the actual real estate agent behind all of the listings. A big clue to this is the fact Drew Scott is Canadian, and that in many states across the United States, you need to have a license in order to be a realtor. We are not sure that Drew has a license to sell homes in all of the cities he is in, therefore making it possible that the guys are using a real, local realtor to find homes.
How to tell
There are actually several really good ways to potentially tell if Drew is the real estate agent for a particular property or not. First of all, as Drew is Canadian, if the show is being filmed in Canada then there is a higher likelihood of Drew being the one who found the house. Another way to tell whether Drew is the REAL real estate agent is whether or not there are negotiations or some sort of bargaining – you know, like what happens with an actual real estate agent.
A lot of the people who come on Property Brothers are couples. They are either a husband and wife team, or they are a newly engaged couple. However, every once in a while, the person buying a house on the show is single. But you would never even know it! This is because one of the pre-conditions of being accepted to be on the show is that you have a sidekick to stand by your side.
The show Property Brothers makes us believe that an entire house is being renovated in one episode. After all, is that not the entire point of the show? Well, as it turns out according to people who have discussed their experiences on internet message boards, the crew only renovates a few rooms at most! If the buyers want to renovate the rest of the house then they have to do it without cameras.
Another big thing which we do not totally notice is the fact that the buyers have to choose which parts of the house they want renovated, and have to choose whether they want their kitchen or their bathroom renovated. If you watch an episode, you may notice that it is quite rare for both the kitchen and the master bathroom to get renovations. That is because the buyers need to decide which one they want done more.
There seems to be a formula to the show Property Brothers. In fact, it seems as if there is always something wrong that needs to be taken care of while the renovations are taking place. It could be that there is mold in the ceiling, electrical wires were not installed the way they were meant to, or that a wall is load bearing which means that the couple can’t build their open concept design! But what is really going on here?
As it turns out, when people are buying and renovating houses, there is almost always something that goes wrong. The producers of the show typically do not need to plant anything fake to make the construction hiccup – they just have to wait around for it to happen. However, this will then generate some great drama as the brothers call the property owners and explain that there is a major issue in the house.
Because it is almost guaranteed that something detrimental to the construction time table will occur over the course of the renovations, the show’s producers want to make sure that any cost will be covered. That is why the producers require that the home buyers have an extra 20 percent of their new home’s value in order to pay for the extra works required. This helps both production as well as construction continue on at a good clip.
Big men on site
Jonathan Scott is the brother who is made out to be the primary construction guru. And in fact, he does know what he is doing, having spend nearly two decades buying, refurbishing, and flipping houses himself! However, nowadays, while it may seem as if Jonathan is doing some seriously heavy lifting, the main construction work is actually being done by a local contracting company. This way Jonathan can be free to do other things for the show.
Over the course of the filming, it appears as if the couple who bought this old (and flipped) home really get close to Jonathan and Drew Scott. They all seem as if they will be friends forever! They are all smiling and joking with each other, and the chemistry that the brothers have on set with the home buyers really seems to be really appears as if it is real and genuine. However, there may be more than meets the eye.
However, this may not necessarily be the case. The brothers only spend a total of between seven to nine days with whichever couple they are filming with – and that is only over the course of about six to nine weeks! That does not seem like enough time to become lifelong friends. In addition to this, the brothers appear as if they are usually filming several shows simultaneously. We are shocked that they do not get peoples’ names confused on camera!
The anger that isn’t
Making great television is not something that is necessarily easy. In fact, a lot of times it requires pure, unrelenting emotion. But every once in a while there is a couple on Property Brothers who seem completely in sync with one another, and who never argue. This, of course, does not make for good television. Therefore, as we have seen in other reality TV shows, it is alleged that the producers try to get the couples to stage fights and disputes.
Never a candid moment
When the buying couple is at the house and the contractors are working and the cameras are filming, there is almost nothing which can be said in private. The eyes of the camera and production crew are always on the couple, and if one person says something to another person privately, the producers allegedly ask for the couple to say it again, louder, and full of emotion so that the cameras can pick it up.
Ten ways to hello
Another one of the most difficult parts of being on television is getting the right tone and cadence right for the perfect shot. It is not uncommon to film the part where the buyers meet the brothers more than 10 times so that the perfect angle, look, and tone can be recorded. If you see the buyers for the first time and they look exhausted, it may be due to the fact that they have introduced themselves and shaken the brothers’ hands seven times before then!