Last week’s entry about the TV shows I watch reminds me of a trio of shows I watched in the past—all covering the same theme: “flipping” houses. House flipping—which has no connection to cow tipping—is the art of buying distressed real estate, making quick improvements, and (hopefully) selling it for a profit.
The three shows are Flip This House on A&E, Flip That House on TLC, and Flipping Out on Bravo. To varying degrees, all fit the genre of reality TV.
“Flip This House,” an hour-long show, features businesses that specialize in house flipping and provides the most amount of practical information. “Flip That House” is a half hour show, which restricts the amount of information that can be conveyed. It generally features less experienced “flippers,” who are more prone to make errors and less likely to make a profit. Both shows have a degree to personal drama and conflict factored into each episode.
“Flipping Out” focuses on dysfunctional relationships of an obsessive-compulsive boss and his employees (who are sometimes treated like family and other times as pawns). The theme of flipping houses is secondary. Watch it to be amused, but don’t expect to learn too much—at least about flipping houses.
The reasons these shows caught my attention was that I once flipped a house—some 20 plus years ago. Back then it was called “house recycling.” Then the economies were different, the margins smaller, and you had to do the work yourself. I did make a small profit on my flip—if you don’t count my labor. It was a good experience, but once was enough.
My bride would ask why I watch those shows if wasn’t going to put it into practice. I would respond with “why do you watch hockey if aren’t going to play?”
Besides, with the kitchen area receiving prime attention in the flips, I think she was getting kitchen envy.
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Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.