Having recently upgraded our bathroom fixtures in our home, my wife and I have come to appreciate a home improvement show here in Canada called Love It or List It. The show details a completion between a home designer and a real estate agent in the Greater Toronto Area. I’ll talk more about that later. The brilliance of the show is in asking the simple question: If you had a choice with improving your home or buying another, which would you choose? Would you love it or list it?
Living north about an hour from Toronto, gives my family the opportunity to enjoy quiet small town living, but at the same time, about five minutes away, we have all the retail chains and big box stores to shop at when we need to replenish our cupboards. That’s why taking a trip to Home Depot makes for a rather uneventful moment, considering they’re down the street from us.
Getting back to Love It or List It, the show is a gentlemen’s competition between a home designer (Hilary Farr) and a real estate agent (David Visentin). The typical set up consists of family members who have either grown bored of their current home and want to move or they want to live through a renovation nightmare while they consider if they’ve made the right decision asking the producers of the show for help. In all cases, one of the members of the family wants to move while the other half wants to stay.
Once called into the fray, both designer and agent have budgets to work with and a list of must-haves. During the course of the show, as the construction crew demolishes the family’s current home and prepares it for much-needed changes according to the designer’s plans, the real estate agent shows the family home listings within their budget, but not necessarily in their neighborhood.
The competition is over after the family views their current home’s renovations and has to decide if the improvements merit sticking around a little longer. If the owners decide it’s time for a change, they will choose from among the listings the real estate agent presented.
It really is a fun show with lots of drama and funny moments. Something always goes wrong in the renovation that delays the timeline, pushes costs through the roof (pun intended) or makes the owners pull their hair out in frustration. Things like tree roots clogging the sewer line, termites, leaky roof, foundation leaks in the basement, mold in the walls, stairs not meeting code, improper furnace venting that may cause carbon monoxide poisoning, sagging ceiling due to a leaky pipe, carpenter ants, bad grading on the outside walls of the home, and rewiring nightmares will make any homeowner’s head spin.
Throughout it all, my wife and I’ll watch the show to garner new ideas of things we could do with our own home. The best part is seeing how other people decorate their homes, which in turn, inspires us to follow the same approach.
I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday peek into my family’s viewing habits. There’s more to what I watch than zombies.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.
What do you like about home improvement shows? What has inspired you with your home decorating ideas?