Do property TV shows bear any resemblance to real life?

Do property TV shows bear any resemblance to real life?The worldwide real estate market has attracted significant attention from inexperienced investors over the last decade with many having watched the latest crop of property TV shows. There has been a debate for some time as to whether property related TV shows bear any resemblance to real life or do they pick and choose what they offer viewers?

Whatever your opinion on property TV shows there is no doubt they are extremely popular and they continue to grow in number. Whether you are someone looking to move overseas, perhaps build your dream home or climb up the property ladder, there will be something for you in the current crop of real estate TV programmes. But what do they have to offer?

Is property investment really that easy?

Due in the main to time constraints you are very often given the impression via property TV shows that property investment is relatively easy. The fact is that it is “relatively easy” if you have done your homework and your research so that you are aware of any potential pitfalls and issues you may encounter. It is like any other investment, if you know your market then you can weigh up the risk/reward ratio for yourself and come to a conclusion as to whether an investment is worthwhile.

Experience counts

If you have looked at acquiring real estate anywhere around the world you will encounter similar problems/issues on a regular basis. The ability to think rationally about these issues will determine whether you make a mistake in the early stages of your investment process. Just think about it, if everything was really that straightforward then the risk would be minimal and the return maximum. Unfortunately, this is not the real world and many skills involved with picking the right real estate investment will only come with experience.

Underestimating your budget

One issue which happens time and time again on reality property TV programmes is when relatively inexperienced developers underestimate the budget they will require to complete a project. Those with more experience will work out what they deem to be the fair cost and then add on additional capital to cover any unforeseen circumstances (of which there will be some). How many times have you watched a television programme only for a would-be developer to dramatically underestimate the budget required and struggle to raise the required capital?

Carrying costs

Squeezing a full property project into one property program episode is not easy and often gives the impression things happen quicker than they actually do in real life. Many experienced and relatively new real estate investors often forget to take into account the carrying cost of funds required to purchase their property. If your project drags on for a number of months, or even years, the carrying cost of this funding can be relatively high. This obviously needs to be taken into account from day one and will likely dictate in many circumstances whether you make an actual profit on a property project.


There is no doubt that the modern-day crop of property TV shows has encouraged a number of individuals and companies to look towards the property market. It is debatable as to whether these shows give a lifelike impression of the real estate market although to be fair to the TV companies there are significant time constraints.

Therefore, if you are tempted to look towards the property market after watching a property related TV show you need to do your homework, research your market in great detail and tread carefully in the early ventures. Experience is an invaluable asset in any investment market although perhaps more so in the real estate sector where there are many potential pitfalls and issues which you will encounter.

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