Since it first started broadcasting in 2008, Love it or List it has become a huge hit with fans of reality TV. With each episode following the same basic formula (interior designer Hilary Farr and real estate agent David Visentin descend on the home of a couple split on whether to stay in their old home or move on to pastures new. Farr is then tasked with working magic on the long list of renovations they’d need doing if they’re to be convinced to stay, while Visentin has the equally troublesome task of finding a potential new home that meets both their budget and their, often extensive, needs), you’d have thought it’d have got a little boring by now. But no… thanks to the very different challenges faced (and presented) by the couples on each new episode, and the constant overhanging question of whether they’ll end up loving or listing their home, there’s always something to keep us gripped. If you just can’t get enough of property-based TV shows, check out these 5 similarly awesome series.
Identical twin brothers Drew and Jonathan have a mission: namely, to help people find, buy, and transform extreme fixer-uppers into their ideal homes (working, of course, to the kind of strict timelines and tiny budgets that make for edge-of-your-seat viewing). As with Like it or List it, the format of Property Brothers is fairly predictable: Drew and Jonathan show the couple a series of dilapidated houses with great renovation potential (which the brothers help demonstrate with the use of CGI imagery) then, once they’ve selected and purchased their preferred option, the brothers embark on the renovations needed to transform the house into their dream abode. During the renovations, the couple is kept well away from proceedings, making the final reveal that much more exciting- will they love their new home, or end up feeling the sting of buyer’s remorse? Along with having a premise that’s similar enough to Love It or List It to appeal to any fan of the genre, there’s the extra bonus of Drew and Jonathan, both of whom bring a level of charm and enthusiasm to the show that makes for compulsive viewing.
20 years on from its first airing, House Hunters is still pulling in the viewers… and with good reason. The premise is simple enough, with the cameras focusing on and following a couple in the process of searching for a new home in a new country. In each episode, the couple is presented with three possible new apartments or houses to buy or rent: their task, by the end of the episode, is to choose which one to make their new home. At the end of the show, the cameras return to the couple several weeks or months later for an update on any changes they’ve made to their new home, along with their initial thoughts and experiences on moving. The original series has proved so successful, it’s spawned any number of spinoffs, including House Hunters International, House Hunters on Vacation, House Hunters: Where Are They Now, House Hunters: Million Dollar Homes, and Tiny House Hunters, to name just a few. So, if you like the original, you’ll have plenty of other options to catch up on as well.
Flip or Flop
With 8 seasons already under its belt and a ninth scheduled to hit our screens in August 2020, Flip or Flop is one of the most popular shows of its kind. Hosted by the formerly married couple Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead, the central idea is simple: Tarek and Christina buy a house (usually foreclosures or ones under action) then flip it at a profit. But as so often happens with simple ideas, something inevitably happens to throw a spanner in the works. With suspense and drama by the bucketful (and not just of the housing market kind), it’s the kind of show made for binge-watching — which Tarek, in particular, can thank his lucky stars for. A few years ago, a registered nurse named Ryan Reade was deep in the throes of a marathon Flip or Flop session when she noticed a strange lump on the presenter’s neck. Somehow, she managed to bring it to his attention, and Tarek was later diagnosed with Stage-2 thyroid cancer. So, there you go…. next time you’re accused of wasting your life in front of the TV, rest easy in the knowledge that you might inadvertently end up saving someone’s life in the process.
For house flipping with a difference, you can’t get much better than Boise Boys. Hosted by Clint Robertson and Luke Caldwell, the series follows the friends as they buy and flip houses in their hometown of Boise, Idaho. What sets it apart from other shows of the ilk is the relationship between Robertson and Caldwell. Despite being friends, the presenters couldn’t be more different. Interior designer Luke has his head in the clouds and his sights set on the stars, while contractor Clint is a down to earth, no-nonsense kind of guy with his eyes fixed firmly on the bottom line. If you’re as interested in the human dynamics of house-flipping as you are in the renovations, this is the show for you.
Yes, it’s over, but with 5 seasons to its name, Fixer Upper should still keep you going for at least a few weekends of blissful binge-watching. Airing between 2013 and 2018, the series followed married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines as they worked with couples in Waco, Texas to buy and renovate their dream home. So influential was the series at the time of its original broadcast, that as Southern Living notes, it was even credited with the rise in popularity of the farmhouse chic look of the late 2010s- and if a TV show has the power to inspire an entire interior design movement, it’s definitely worth a watch.