Archive for Saturday, 14 July 2012
Property Wars is b-o-r-i-n-g-!
They rehash the whole ’they have daily auctions at city hall for properties and we like to buy them’ intro. One of them arrives first to look at the house. Then others arrive to get a quick look before they are all on their phones to their partners who are at the actual auction. One of them wins. They get the keys and assess their new purchase that is usually well over the opening bid and sometimes over market value too. And we hear what they think it will cost to get the house ready to flip and how much money they think they will make.
So what is wrong with the show?
First off, if you have ever seen a property flipping show on A&E or HGTV, and there are plenty to select from, then you know that if you leave yourself only a 5% profit after purchase price and initial estimate for repairs then you are going to loose money when the hidden structural or electrical issue is discovered. Any house that is up for auction likely has something needing repair which you can’t see from the front yard. Some of the people in Property Wars are willing to bid things up so that they have even less of a potential return on investment. Which tells me they actually have no idea what the hell they are doing and are possibly desperate for the income from being on this show.
Second, the way they show the bidding is kinda boring. Guys walking around the front yard talking on their phones gesturing to their fellow property reviewers whilst their respective partners do the actual bidding. If you have seen Storage War$, Storage Hunters, Auction Hunters, Flip Men, or even Storage War$ Texas then you are probably used to the action of the actual auction. A group of guys on their phones talking to the bidders just doesn’t have the same thrill to it.
Third, the mashing of two types of popular reality shows can result in a hit or it can leave the viewer dissatisfied. With the storage unit auctions the thrill is in finding something of value inside. With property flipping the thrill is in seeing what they encounter and the grand reveal of the finished, revitalised property. In Property Wars the houses themselves are the storage units and the assessment of repairs after purchase is the treasure find. The expectation for profit is the way they determine the winner. They never show any actual renovations or surprises which take a bite out of the profits. We don’t have the grand reveal of the revitalised property now ready to flip that you get in the house flipping shows. They leave the viewer unsatisfied with a sense the situation is unresolved. And then they move on to the next properties in the next episode.
What is right about the show? They don’t show only the fancy houses in the nice neighbourhoods. Flipping a fixer-upper is the more common approach. They don’t have any women involved in the bidding. If there are any women in the area who do this they probably looked at the pitch and wanted nothing to do with this show.
I have discovered something on Discovery which even in this era of reality shows is a shame for a channel that has such a long-standing reputation for educational programming to show. If you want to see a property auction flipping show then look for Spike’s Flip Men.