Redecorating and Renovating Homes
Wednesday October 18th 2006, 9:50 am

I am getting so tired of all those redecorating and renovating television shows. I loved them when they first came on a few years ago but enough is enough. Homeowners are obsessed with home improvements. I know that a person’s home is their most valuable asset and they want to protect their investment, but it is getting ridiculous. The shows that really get to me are the “house flippers”, such as Flip This House, who buy run down houses, renovate them and sell them, with a huge profit. I am not against businessmen making money but these people are driving up the cost of home ownership for first time buyers, who have to take out a huge mortgage to buy a basic home in most parts of Canada. If the mortgage rates ever go up again, these buyers will be in trouble.

My husband loves these home improvement shows like Holmes on Homes, House Hunters, Buy Me, How Not to Decorate, Selling Houses etc, and watches them daily. There are dozens of these shows which all say the same thing - get rid of dated decorating, update your kitchen and bathrooms, improve curb appeal, get rid of carpeting and put down hardwood flooring. These things cost money so the banks are encouraging people to get a home equity loan using the equity in their home to pay for these improvements. The kitchen cabinets may be 10 years old but are considered dated and need to be updated to keep up with people who have new kitchens with marble countertops and the latest designs. This type of thinking is wasteful and in most cases, is unnecessary. I think painting a room in the newest color schemes every few years and general maintenance, to replace things that are actually worn out, is reasonable. This doesn’t cost a lot and it doesn’t take much work, but many people are going overboard with the renovation craze.

Renovating and redecorating is big business and a recent poll showed that most people would rather renovate than sell and move. Many people are doing well financially and can get money easily from the banks to keep this renovation business going for awhile. Unless we have a major change in our economy, this mindset of replacing and disposing of perfectly good items will continue. I guess I have to get used to it and ignore those shows as much as I can.