Is reality television at least partly to blame for nation’s slow housing recovery? That’s a theory the New York Times pushes in an article about the proliferation of shows focused on home flipping that have popped up on networks like Spike, A&E and HGTV. The shows, including “House Hunters,” “Flip Men” and “Flipped Off,” frequently show entrepreneurial spirited home buyers suddenly finding pricey faults in their new properties. On these shows, plumbers come for small jobs only to inform the unlucky owner the whole house needs to be repiped, contractors decide a whole home needs to be gutted and more severe faults are found at every turn.
The Times notes that even the laziest inspector would find some of these flaws, so the suddenness of these issues is likely embellished. But the shows find drama in unforeseen problems and expenses, and leave viewers with the impression that those surprises lurk around every corner of a new home.
A few hours of watching these shows, and it’s no wonder Americans are so keen on rentals.