Are property television shows misleading?

Even in the depths of the 2008 worldwide recession the popularity of television property shows was there for all to see. In the tough times people were looking to improve their properties while in the good times they were looking to sell and move higher up the ladder. Indeed many people believe that property TV shows, in the UK, US and around the world, prompted a massive increase in property investment for individuals. However, are property television shows realistic or slightly misleading?

Before we look at the contents of a traditional property TV show we must remind ourselves that these television shows are ultimately for our entertainment.

Looking at the wider picture

Whether a television show lasts for 30 minutes or one hour it is impossible to cover every angle of a property development, property purchase or property sale. Due to these time constraints all we tend to see is the highlights and not the significant work which goes on behind the scenes. Those who watch property television programmes and then decide that property investment/development is for them are potentially storing up financial problems for the future!

Let’s face it, if property investment was so easy then surely everybody would be doing it and nobody would lose out?

How many property projects are not aired?

It is also worth remembering that not all of the property projects which are chosen by television producers will actually make it to air. We can only estimate the number of projects which fall by the wayside, lay in pieces on the directors floor, because it is difficult to believe that all of them are successful. Indeed sometimes you see projects on the television which are more expensive than forecast and could perhaps lead to a loss for the investor although the majority of programmes tend to focus on successful developments.

At the end of the day, if every property project was unsuccessful who would watch the shows?

Taking ideas from property TV programmes

If you understand from the beginning that television programmes are not necessarily “reality” it is possible to take away ideas to research. You may see types of developments you have never thought of, you may come across some shortcuts to save money or you may someday be in a similar situation to those “starring” on TV. Perhaps the best we can hope for from property television programmes is to walk away with some inspiration, some ideas and thoughts for the future.

The reality is that very often when looking for property investment we will focus on our local markets when ultimately there may be others readily available and offering greater value for money. While it would be wrong to suggest there is not value available at, for example, property auctions, you do need to enter these particular arenas with your eyes open and a maximum investment in mind. You also need to do your homework on individual properties before the auction and, it sounds simple but it can cost you heavily, you need to remain calm, focused and refrain from bidding on properties purely and simply through emotion.

The best investors in the world are cold, calculated and focused, while those at the opposite end of the spectrum can be hot-headed, lax with their research and unfocused. Which one are you?

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