When the housing market crashed in 2008 like others, I felt for those who had been duped into buying homes beyond their financial means. When I lived in Hawaii a few years before that, I was approved for a loan of almost a million dollars over the phone. I remember asking why they (the bank) would give me, a government employee who clearly couldn’t afford the payments, that kind of money? The bank “was confident” I would be fine.
But here’s the thing, I didn’t take the money because I can do basic math and knew I wouldn’t “be fine.” So,
though politically incorrect to think so I also suspected some people who took the money did so, perhaps with a sense of entitlement and profligacy.
If ever I needed to have that suspicion confirmed, all I had to do was watch a few episodes of the show House Hunters on television.
I’ve felt um, pressured, to watch that show because everybody in my family watches it and I’ve felt a bit “left out” of conversations on holidays. So I watched a few episodes.
OK, I know it’s a reality show. But either the show’s producers interview potential buyers saying, “Hi, we want you to come onto our show and act like real jerks and make yourself look incredibly demanding and greedy,” or these people really do embody those traits! I’m thinkin’ at least some of the time it’s the latter.
There are lots of real estate shows on television because people like to look into other people’s houses. It’s a socially acceptable form of voyeurism.
“I like to get ideas for decorating…” Sure.
House Hunters International is interesting to see what housing looks like in other countries. Same with Living Alaska (I want to rough it, but not too much) and Buying Hawaii (every house in Hawaii is on the beach, right?).
And on shows like Million Dollar Listing: New York (caught that one today getting my nails done) you expect spoiled, demanding clients.
But on House Hunters!?@
Many if not most of their “buyers” are first time homeowners.
A typical opening.
“Hi, I’m Jim Smith. I’m 24 and sell medical supplies. “
“Hi, I’m Sally Smith. I’m 23 and I work in telemarketing.”
Announcer: “Jim and Sally were married a year ago and have been sharing a two bedroom apartment with friends Bill and Sue in Buford, South Carolina until Jim got transferred to Chicago. Now they are anxious to find a place of their own, and have a $175K budget.”
Sally: “I want to live in the downtown area, preferably a high rise with a great view. We need at least 3 bedrooms, a large dining room and modern kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and a gas stove. A gas stove is a must.” (Jim snickers, apparently Sally doesn’t cook. I’m shocked.)
I think it’s obvious why I need double sinks. It’s a deal breaker for me…
Jim: “I’ve always liked land – maybe an acre or so. Double sinks and a jacuzzi in the en suite master bath are a must, high ceilings throughout, and of course hard wood floors. It would be great to have a 3 car garage too.”
Seriously? Who are these people?
They’re lucky they aren’t living in the parents’ basement (which some recently have been) and now they have a “must have” list like they’re buying a million dollar villa?!
And then they walk through the remotely-close-to-the-wish-list places found by their browbeaten realtor who can barely keep from rolling his or her eyes in front of these diva buyers. “Someone is going to have to compromise” is realtor-speak for “Get real
you unrealistic diva clowns!”
Sally, turning up her perky nose. “It’s got an electric stove and I don’t like the kitchen cabinets. They’re too dark and the hardware is outdated. And carpet. I can’t live with carpet. Those are deal breakers for me.”
Really? Not as nice as your place in Buford eh? Lots of deal breakers there too?
Jim, walking around the two car garage in the house the realtor
schlepped took them to. “Only a two car garage….I think for what we’re paying we should get what we want. And the popcorn ceilings inside were really outdated. I’d have to change those before we even moved in.”
Popcorn ceilings are your biggest problem in your 24 years on the planet? Lucky
Hello…..with that budget in Chicago, they’re lucky the places they are looking at aren’t on wheels!
What makes people feel such a sense of entitlement? Is this a second order effect of helicopter parents? One too many undeserved trophies along the way?
The crown molding is acceptable, but the paint color is too dark….(so paint it you lazy $!^@OU!U)
I have decided better to be left out of holiday family conversations than to shout obscenities at my television during House Hunters. Those idiots home buyers are just way too “entitled” for me.
Never fails too (which is where the “reality” television loses it reality) that the super picky diva buyers manage to decide on one of the three locations shown to them – none of which they originally liked – buy it and then find that it is, in fact, their dream home.
Having bought and sold 5 homes – none of them EVER having everything I wanted, and my demands were small – I ask again, who are these people!?
I hereby forego all future options to participate in family conversations about episodes of House Hunters. My blood pressure can’t take it.