In the Girdler-Beukeboom household when the work day is done, we put our pajama pants on one leg at a time. Our days often end late, and just as many of our fellow hardworking Canadians do, we unwind by watching a bit of TV. As we the weather turns cooler, we all begin to turn to the creature comforts of home. Obviously, hockey takes precedence on the tube in our home,(Go Leafs Go!) as it likely does in yours. Then it's golf, especially if John has his hands on the remote! However, for real togetherness time in front of the tube, it's Real Estate Reality and Home Renovation shows, a bowl of popcorn, glass of merlot and let the show begin!
(Yep, we really are watching the Property Brothers episode which aired Thursday, October 17th.)
I thought I'd share with you our Five Fave Real Estate/Home Reno shows we like to watch and a brief synopsis and why we like them. So make yourself cozy... pour yourself a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, grab that bowl of popcorn or whatever your pleasure and enjoy the show!
1. Location, Location, Location
I have to confess, it is likely I am the only person in Canada who compulsively PVRs the very popular British Real Estate Reality TV series, Location, Location, Location. I have followed the series and enjoyed the cheeky banter between the very real and adorable estate agent Kirsty Allsopp and her handsome and debonair male counterpart, Phil Spencer ever since the program came to Canada. Their combination of humour and sensitivity is real and refreshing.Prospective buyers discuss their target location, their home wish lists, and priorities. Clients are then shown a number of homes, usually three, and in a very non-pushy way Kirsty and Phil, with keen listening skills and attention to the needs of their clients find what is truly their priority. On the show, as is often the case here in the world of real estate here, "ticking all the boxes" often requires compromise. The desired location in the "best school catchment" area may have been paramount in the beginning of the househunt turns out to be secondary to the fact that the better home is only 10 km further away with a garage AND a spectacular view of the Yorkshire moors. Although some of the processes involved in obtaining homes for buyers can be very different to the way we do things in Canada, the program is done with real clients, and deals do not always work out in the end. This bit of true reality in a TV series is refreshingly presented on camera as neither good nor bad, just "Not meant to be, lets move forward shall we?" in the very stiff upper lip British way. What John and I enjoy about this program most is that Kirsty and Phil are very real, honest, candid, caring and open with their clients, much in the same way that John and I conduct ourselves not just in Real Estate but in life itself. Another similarity we have to our work partnership is that we also show houses and work separately a good deal of the time, in order to give our clients the maximum benefit of our partnership. Later today, for example, I'm will be at a home inspection and John will be showing a home. We're two places at once and always just a phone call away... Just like Kirsty and Phil. Now that's a value added service! Culturally, it's fun to see how differently the British "Estate Agents" conduct business, often in the pub over a pint waiting for a phonecall and a verbal agreement from the Lising Estate Agent. Location, Location, Location airs on BBC Canada, and HGTV in Canada.
2. Property Brothers
John's favourite Real Estate/Renovation show is Property Brothers and it is a very close second for me. It's Canadian, filmed in various locations in Canada and the first season was done in Toronto. Identical twins Drew and Jonathan Scott, takes the viewers through the process of showing their clients the home of their dreams currently on the market, always priced fairly but massively over their client's budget. After they pick their poor clients jaws off the floor following the reality check, Drew takes them on a hunt to find a few extreme low-budget reno house projects within their budget, renos included, that brother Jonathan could bring up to their dream home wish list expectations within a few weeks of closing. John and I enjoy this show because realistic issues come up during purchase negotiations, such as competing offers being accepted, waiting too long and losing the first choice, or having to pay a little more to get the right home. Then we have the very real-life situations that come up during the renovation stages such as wiring issues, rotten subfloors, asbestos wrapped pipes, etc... Each issue is dealt with the same "that's life" attitude as in Location, Location, Location. Property Brothers truly helps to educate the real estate purchasing public to see past bad floorplans, hideous wallpaper and broken plumbing to unearthing the incredible potential that most homes possess with a little hard work, a good contractor, some creativity and imagination. The brothers, naturally, participate in some good-natured fun and competition. There are always some cute and funny moments in every episode. Property Guys airs on the W Network and HGTV.
3. Love it or List It, Vancouver
I find the British Columbia-based version of the Love It or List It series to be more fun and enjoyable than it's GTA based counterpart, especially as far as dialogue is concerned. If you are familiar with the Vancouver area, as most Canadians are, you will enjoy the spectacular vistas that frequently come up in the house hunts. The very Canadian Jillian Harris, formerly of Bachelorette fame, is the perky and fun designer who engages in playful, competitive banter with her co-star very much in the same playful manner as Kirsty and Phil. Todd Talbot is the Canadian Realtor who searches the Vancouver area trying to find the right home to win the reno vs relocate challenge over Jillian. Come to think of it, I haven't seen an episode where he has won yet! He has shown some spectacular homes and I do enjoy his style and energy, but I think many clients fall for Jillian's adorability factor and infectious positivity when she is selling her renovations. I also love the fact that there is a friendly wine wager between the hosts for who will win the favour of their clients. I believe Jillian must have a spectacular wine collection by now! Love It or List It, Vancouver airs on the W Network.
4. Love It or List It
This program seems a little less rooted in the real world of Real Estate, and sometimes feels like the clients responses and conversations have been 'directed'. However, we do enjoy seeing the familiar GTA neighbourhoods pop up in the show. Like Toronto itself, this version is a little 'stiff' compared to it's Vancouver counterpart. The premise for the show is that British designer Hillary Farr can redesign a home within a budget and convince the owners to fall back in love with the home. The show's Realtor, Canadian David Visentin meanwhile tries to find a new home which has the wish list items the discontented couple are looking for, within budget after the improvements on their home. It the end, with all the renos done, will they choose to stay after all Hillary's renovations or will they buy one of the properties David has found them? The challenge becomes more real when Hillary's renos reveal expensive problems which cut into the reno budget or when David's house hunt does not produce listed homes that truly compare to what the couple already have. Love It or List It airs on the W Network, OWN and HGTV.
5. Phil Spencer, Secret Agent
The very same Phil from the BBC series, Location, Location, Location brings you this little gem of a series. I only give put it on the 5th position on my hit list because I just couldn't give it a placement higher than our fine Canadian shows. This show finds our dashing presenter, Phil Spencer in the guise of Secret Agent (Get it? Play on the word Agent) viewing the listed and unsold property while the owner is out to find out why it won't sell. Our man then delivers a gut-wrenchingly honest presentation package called "The Brutal Truth" chock full of reasons why their home is not selling and what must be done to get it sold. No holds barred, he gets down and dirty if need be. No more snappy jackets and slick trenchcoats, here. From packing up hundreds of Royal Doulton figurines, scrubbing walls to tearing down layers of wallpaper, he calls his clients to task and deals with the emotions that may arise in the process with an understanding way and a firm but helping hand. Also not to be missed are the sleek and subtle wordplay and innuendo that we have come to love from not only the Locaton, Location, Location series but most British TV for that matter! Cheeky is the word. Cheeky offers and cheeky fun. Phil Spencer, Secret Agent airs on BBC Canada.
So there's the synopsis of the television viewing preferences in our household. Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate. We can't get enough... always working harder for you, always ready to glean more information, more ideas, more ways to help our clients. Even if we have to borrow ideas from across the pond!
If you would like to benefit from our Real Estate Passion, whether you're about to List, Buy or would like to refer us to someone you know who could use our help, please feel free to call us today! We'll be delighted to get the ball rolling. If it's not quite time yet, we can sit down over a cup of tea or coffee and help you prepare the Game Plan to turn your Real Estate dreams into a Reality show of your own!
Until we meet, happy viewing!
Dee Girdler is very proud to be a Real Estate Sales Representative,with John Beukeboom at Century 21 Pinnacle in Lindsay, Ontario
Dee and John have a combined family of 5 sons, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 2 mothers, tens of brothers and sisters, and thousands of neices, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends... and two wonderful dogs!