Friday, March 25, 2011

I Hate HGTV's Property Virgins

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Have you ever seen this show?  First, I hate the name of the show: PROPERTY VIRGINS.  Also, I'm not a fan of the host, Sandra.  I do not like how she makes fun of the poor little "virgin" buyers.   

First, she asks them what budget they have for house hunting.  Let's say the couple has a budget of $250,000.  Next, she brings them to a wicked nice neighborhood, and says "What do you think?"  

The virgins drool and wow and say "Oh, we'd love to live here!"

Then the bomb gets dropped: Sandra tells them "Oh, you can't afford to live here; these houses cost over $500,000!"

Gee, thanks.  Thanks for nothing! 
"Oh, you like this house?  Too bad, it's waaaaay out of YOUR price range, VIRGIN!"

Then she finally brings them to a house that is in their price range.  The "virgins" go through the house without a realtor to answer their questions...then, the real fun begins.  Here's where it starts to turn into a game show.  Sandra makes them guess how much the house costs. 

"$200,000?" they ask.

"NOPE," she'll answer, all giddy.

$250,000?" they ask, timidly.

"NOPE!"

Then the poor virgins have to beg for the price: "Well, how much does it cost?"

"THIS house is $265,000!" she says, gleefully. 

She will also say things like "BOY, are you bad at guessing these prices!"  Again, what's with the guessing?  

Why does she make these poor people guess how much the house is?  I'd never look at a house without knowing the exact price.  Also: Why does she sometimes take them to houses that are over their budget??

What kind of a premise is this for a TV show?!?!?

Handy Man laughs at me and says: "It's just a stupid TV show!"  I know; these shows are staged and not realistic.  Lately, every time this show comes on, we groan and change the channel.  We just can't stand it anymore.  

Have you ever seen this show?  What do you think about it? 

64 comments:

Becky@OrganizingMadeFun said...

Ha, ha...it's funny to me how picky they are when their budget is so low! I have grown SUPER tired of House Hunters...that show is on ALL THE TIME! Make it stop!!

Becky B.
www.organizingmadefun.com
Organizing Made Fun

Mary said...

Oh my goodness, I have thought the same thing all the time! I gave that show up a long time ago.

Don't you hate it when she pressures the "virgins" [hate the name!] to go OVER their budget or to totally push their budgets edge. I would never pick her as a real estate agent in real life, ever!

gin said...

We liked it until we bought our own house...then we were the property virgins and were so very thankful our realtor didn't do that to us.

Now we change the channel too!

Scrappy Gal said...

HA HA! This post is great! I went on a kick of watching this show every night before bed last year and DO NOT like her either!

I agree with you on all points made, yet nearly all of them purchase one of the 3 homes she shows them!!

Irene Robertson said...

I actually love that show. She puts a bit of kick in the pants reality to these people who have no idea what buying a house means, have done no research, or have no idea about the true cost of buying a home.

I was a realtor for a short period of time and its amazing that people go into buying a house so blindly.

the cape on the corner said...

too funny. i really like this show, actually, i like to see how naive (like i was once) these first time home buyers are. over things like paint, and left behind curtains, which they focus on. i agree with the first commenter, house hunters is getting on my nerves! the only thing i wish property virgins (and i think the name is funny and snarky) did was go back and show us them in the home, like on house hunters, so you can see what they've done/decorate. to each his own, right?

emily @morefromthemoorefamily said...

I actually don't mind watching the show. I do think the people on there are a little too "dumb" for their own good (however that is probably caused by a lot of editing. I always think, goodness you should move to the midwest, because you could get a WHOLE lot more house for your money. ;) If anyone thinks they can get a house on the water with EVERYTHING they want for under $200,000 (anywhere), they shouldn't even be looking at houses!!

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

Are we twins?

Related?

Something!

I already took on House Hunters, which makes my head hurt, and I was flipping past this show the other night and thought the EXACT SAME THING.

It's so mean.

"Oh you think you could afford THIS losers?" Pulleeze!"

It's like some weird hazing ritual where she has to get them all dependent on her and then they will follow her anywhere.

Stockholm Syndrome - Real Estate Style!

Nicole said...

This is one of my favorite shows, in spite of those things you mentioned.

I love how Sandra helps the home buyers understand the need to compromise. I like that she explains things to them, and points out things in the house that might need repair down the line or whatever.

Our Realtor was nothing like that and it was disappointing. She just walked through the houses with us and if I ever asked her a question said things like "you'd need to ask a contractor that" or "you could ask a landscaper."

So the only reason I "hate" Property Virgins is because it gave me a false idea of how helpful our Realtor would be!!

Sarah @ The Bird's Papaya said...

OH NO! That's my FAVORITE SHOW!

No joke.

I actually appreciate her and how she knocks some hard sense into young property virgins who were about to spend an extra $10,000 because they like the color of paint on the walls.

It actually really helped me buy our house now, being realistic with our expectations and looking at the BONES of a house.

But, I can totally understand how you may be annoyed.

Maybe I'm just rooting for her as a fellow Canadian. haha.

Angel said...

Sorry, I like it too. I always thought the "property virgins" were the ones to pick the neighborhood which they "thought" fit their budget, to show Sandra what they wanted in a home. Also, I would rather check it out by myself first. I get more tired of the buyers than I do her because so often they seem so ignorant of everything that goes into purchasing a home. They should do some research before they put themselves out there. Like someone else said, they are sooo picky on small budgets, if you don't like the paint color paint it, don't count the house out.

grammyscraps said...

We like the show also...and Sandra. I don't see her as mean at all (interesting that there can be so many different takes on the same thing). She is educating these people and boy, do they need it. They've seen the show and agreed to be on it so I don't feel sorry for them.
One thing that does irk me to no end is how these people crawl into other people's tubs and showers with their shoes on...or plop onto their beds with their shoes on. A typical problem with a lot of people today...no respect for the property of others.

Just One Donna said...

Thanks for stopping back to visit Just One Donna! I know what you mean about pie crust and bread is on my list as well. I'm determined to become a fabulous pie baker and bread maker. I won't even watch Property Virgins because of the name. I like some of the HGTV shows, but any that are too cutesy I just pass by. This is one of them.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

I guess I can see how she might seem informative to people who are house hunting for the first time. I guess I just don't like her "delivery." She just seems VERY condescending to me!

I swear, if we had ended up with an agent like her, I would have fired her! The ones we had were extremely helpful.

I do think that many first time homebuyers are very naive about things; and do need lots of help and advice. I just think she makes fun of them too much, and makes them look stupid.

I DO roll my eyes though, when the buyers say things like "Ohhhh, I don't know, look at all this wallpaper!" and "I don't like this color blue!" you can peel wallpaper. You can paint walls; it's one of the easiest fixes.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

grammyscraps, I always squirm when people crawl into other people's tubs or showers with their shoes on, too. bleechhhhhhh! nasty!

maya scape said...

Totally agree but when it comes to condescending and arrogance, Holmes on Homes is my pick for least favorite show.

Stacey said...

I like the show because I like to see the homes, but the host says the same things and does appear to poke fun at the newbies. We were all there once you know.
Stacey of Embracing Change

Steph said...

I have a love/hate relationship with that show. I like seeing the houses, but Sandra drives me up.the.wall. Even her voice gets on my nerves...

Peggy said...

Oh my goodness! LOL!!!! Stop I can't stand it. Seriously I was thinking the same d*** thing. Your too funny. Yes, me too, I'm so over House Hunters!

Mary said...

I thought I was the only who despises that condescending woman. Nice to know I'm not alone.

Pink Overalls said...

What I want to know is why does someone like Sandra, who obviously is not endearing to every viewer, get to travel around being the real estate expert in every U.S. city? I've stopped watching for all the reasons you mention.

Add my name to the list of people who hate House Hunters! Who is watching this garbage? I think the appeal -- and the producers know this -- is voyerism. People are nosy and want to see the insides of other people's homes.

The "buyers" on House Hunters have already made their choice before taping, and the producers find two other homes that are "similar." At least Susanne Wang is history. Talk about annoying.

nevermelts said...

I can't stand ANY of those house shows but that one's pretty high up the list. I also can't stand those house hunter shows where they are so picky they want it all, in move-in condition, to their preference, oh and they want it super duper cheap too. The ones where they won't buy a house because they don't like the color of the walls in the dining room.

Also, as someone whose house has been on the market for 3+ years, these shows seem to make people into spoiled brats. I get the wackiest comments after a showing. Most recently, "I don't like the color of the guest bathroom." really? I'll paint it any color you like if you just shut up and buy it? :)

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I actually don't mind Property Virgins...I like a lot of the house buying shows on HGTV (but I hated the process of buying our own house, the shows make it seems so much dreamier than it really is). I do hate though when she asks about the downpayment they've saved up & she adds that to the amount they've been approved for. Like if they were approved for $200,000 and they saved $20,000 for a downpayment that they are going to look at houses in the $220,000 range then. Last I checked, most people put the $200k as their top & minus the $20k from it so they will finance only $180k in the end. That's my one pet peeve.

jamie @ kreyv said...

LOL! This show actually used to catch my attention, but probably for the same reasons! I agree with you, although I do like her accent, hoose!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Hi, visiting from SITS. I've never watched the show and I'm a design and decorating blogger. I wish HGTV would get back to more design-related shows and less about real estate. (Every time I turn it on it seems like there's another episode of House Hunters.)

simplywebly said...

Everytime I see this show, from beginning until the end I shake my head. They always seem to make the bad choice and go way over their heads. I am amazed at how quickly people make a decision to buy a house which happens to be one of the biggest if not the biggest investment in their lives.

Hello fello sits girl.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

What frustrates me about the show is that people don't always end up buying ANYTHING by the end of it. I guess that means it is more realistic than "House Hunters," which is staged, but it sort of feels like a waste of time to me when it ends with, "They'll keep looking."

Fay said...

I admit it...I love the show!

life, in small chunks said...

Although I'm not a huge fan of the show and don't watch it often, I think Sandra is trying to educate the first time buyers, not make fun of them. The BUYERS are the ones who choose the first neighborhood they go into. The buyers are the ones who have unrealistic ideas of what they can get for their usually limited budgets. And while I don't like when they do it, I know some real estate agents will show you a house that is above your price range because they think there's a chance you could negotiate a lower price - maybe it's been on the market for a long time. Or maybe they are trying to show the buyers that if you really want all the bells and whistles, this is how much you have to pay for it? At any rate it IS just a TV show and is pretty unrealistic.

michele said...

i hate this show and house hunters (seriously, is this the only show hgtv can air from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.??), but for a very different reason. the house hunters, usually very young, are so ENTITLED! "oh ... there's no granite. that's a deal-breaker." "oh ... it's not a stainless kitchen. that's a problem." "oh ... there's no master bath. i just can't live without that." are you kidding me?! my husband and i are on our second house, we've owned homes for 15 years, and we have YET to have a master bath or granite, and we JUST got stainless appliances five years ago when the fridge that came with the house died and we decided to bite the bullet because of resale value. you CAN live without granite or stainless or a master. it's called SAVE your friggin' money and WORK for it!! grrr. unfortunately, most of these kids are coming from homes that have it all, and/or families that give them what they want or have given them money for a house, and/or they've lived in nicer, newer apartments that have these features and then expect them in a house, as well. no one has ever told them to compromise and save their pennies, i guess. my husband and i have worked hard and saved every penny for several years, and are just getting ready to build a house that will - gasp! - have a master bath. and yes, we're thrilled ... but we feel we've earned the right. ok ... stepping off the soapbox. ;o)

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

I enjoy the show, the people usually end up happy with the home purchase...I think Sandra is quite knowledgeable and I don't get the impression she encourages people to push their budgets. Janell

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Wow, welcome to readers from Hooked on Houses! Love that site!

Yes, Property Virgins is a show that people either seem to love or hate.

And michele, I think some of the entitlement on these shows is just awful, too!! You should have seen OUR first house, yikes! It was a horror show! There certainly wasn't any granite or stainless (or any big rooms or any nice features) to be found. I keep meaning to write about our first house, and show photos, but I keep thinking about other things to write about. I'll get there!

I'm definitely brewing up a separate post about House Hunters, too!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I call her the "Dream Killer"! We also love that she always has the couple put in offers that are at asking or even over!

Stephanie said...

Yep came over from Hooked On Houses and had to add my two cents that I agree with your take on the show and every comment here that hates the show as well. I hardly watch HGTV anymore, it seems this is all they can come up, which is B O R I N G

Janet said...

OK, but everyone needs to understand that the show is entirely staged...it has to be because you don't just go out to look for houses with a vast camera crew. Of course the participants know what they are in for and have volunteered for it. That being said, I hate that Sandra can traipse all over the US without being licensed in those states. Sometimes she refers to "her team", but not often. My DH watches for the cleavage :)

Wayward said...

I can't say I've ever seen this show; I stopped watching HGTV years ago. The glut of House Hunters episodes, and all the spin-offs, drove me away. I watched more for the decorating and design shows. Just reading the descriptions you and the commenters are giving, I might enjoy the show for a few episodes, but would tire of it quickly.

PJ said...

When I decided to buy a house 3 years ago, I did tons of research, asked lots of questions, and crunched numbers over and over again to prepare for the hunting/buying process. I hate how all first time homebuyers are portrayed to look like complete idiots that don't realize that buying a house is a big deal and its not easy. Not to mention I swear that every couple is "guy is cheap and only cares about house having a man cave, and gal only cares about the wallpaper colors" This show makes me cringe!

Tammy said...

Actually, I like the show. And you've misrepresented much of what Sandra does. Just for an example, SHE doesn't pick the overpriced neighborhoods at the beginning of the show -- the buyers do. It's for a purpose -- so she can get an idea of what they'd pick in an ideal world and then she can try to find something close to that on their budget.

She gives good advice about inspections, paint, remodeling, etc. I think you're completely off base with your criticism of her.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

To me, it's never been really clear WHO picks the neighborhood in the beginning of the show: the buyers, Sandra, or the show's producers. Sometimes by the way they talk, it sounds like the buyers picked it; sometimes it seems like Sandra has picked it.

meechybee said...

(Apologies for the double-post. Please delete the first one.)

The inverse-intentions of most things on HGTV drive me insane. Thus:

The more a person complains about the color of the walls, the more likely those same colors will be there when they catch up with him/her three months later. (Hint, paint doesn't bite.)

The more they complain about the lack of granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, the less they actually cook. (A microwave and a can opener are the cheapest appliances, and the most overlooked ones.)

The more they start the show as a "tough negotiator" or complain that they can't go "a penny over budget", the more they go over budget. (Extra credit for any recent divorcee.)

Gab said...

I agree, I dislike this show immensely. I hate the way Sandra paces back and forth while lecturing to the camera. I also don't like that show DIY Disaster. The guy who hosts it is also very condescending to the people who he's supposed to be helping. I think HGTV has really gone off the rails lately. They should just go ahead and call it The Real Estate Channel.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I cannot stand Sandra or the show.
My first place is much better.
Here from Hooked on Houses.

Rorenee said...

What happened to the garden in HGTV? You know, real advice on how to plant a garden, or build a simple flowerbed. Everything is either buying or selling a house, or designers decorating a house.

Anonymous said...

I don't even need to add a word....you said it all and then some. These shows just raise my blood pressure, so annoying!

Anonymous said...

Herre from H on H. We lurve Property Virgins, House hunters and House Hunters international.

We admit it, we're voyeurs and we like to point and laugh at the fools.

We also discuss whether or not the couple will survive; this is based on how they relate to each other in discussions of the houses. (Any couple with a "man cave" on the wish list is doomed.) I for one would like an annual follow up, just to see if the couple is still together.

Jenny said...

I don't like this show either. I have even grown tired of some of HGTV's other shows, that seem to be on a repeat loop.

sheilaa131 said...

I am not a fan of this show, and agree with most of your comments. Too many reruns but do enjoy house hunters international. My favorite right now is Selling New York.

CathiefromCanada said...

I don't understand the HGTV obsession with shows about people buying houses. Its become very boring, with their Three Bears approach (every show, Miami to Vancouver, renting or buying, again and again -- one is too big, one is too small, and one is jusssst right!)
The only one based is reality is Real Estate Intervention, which shows a realtor actually working to help people who are under water in their mortgages.

Anonymous said...

It's time for HGTV to get back the H and G of their original premise: home design and decorating and gardening! Every show these days is about real estate! This was once my favorite channel but I have grown weary of the repetitive "look at three houses, pick one" routine. It seems that every evening there's a four hour block of either House Hunters or Property Virgins and virtually no ther programs! HG is in danger of what happened to MTV. The M used to mean something but now the channel is about anything but music!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Comment #40, Meechybee, So, so true and funny!! I just roll my eyes when they swear "I can't go a PENNY over $300,000!", and then they inch up: 310, 320, 330, 350...!

Comment #49, anonymous: I agree. They need to just make it "the Real Estate channel", then invent another channel with more design stuff. Like rorenree said, where is the "GARDEN" in HGTV? I think I've seen ONE show that even talks about yard work to any extent: Curb Appeal. Even that is limited.

I've read about the DIY channel; that sounds more interesting...sadly, our cable TV lineup does NOT provide it.

Nathan said...

Really? I personally like Sandra. And I don't think she brings the couples to those areas. Those areas are the couple's dream neighbourhoods. If they could live anywhere, that's where they would choose to live.

I personally couldn't do her job. Buyers with low budgets have endless lists of absolute must haves, don't have the budget to get even half of it but won't cut anything off the list.

Anonymous said...

I love Sarah's House ---and wish we could get Sarah;'s Cottage --and I love Design Inc..........

I love real estate but even I am tired of house hunters

I miss Joan and Decorating Sense...remember that girls?

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Yes, I like Sarah's House, and I also really miss Decorating Sense!! *sighhhh* what happened to all of those shows?? We need more makeover/design shows on HGTV!

Laura said...

We get a kick out of "The Unsellables". Poor Sophie doesn't seem to know what to do with her legs when she is sitting down! Very awkward! I do miss the good old days of HGTV, but I enjoy Sarah and Genevieve while my men play X-Box on Friday or Saturday nights.

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

I have seen this show but it is not on my top three to watch on HGTV.

JILB said...

I just had to chime in and add my 2 cents. Property Virgins isn't so bad to me, she helps to educate them about what they are really looking for in their first home, what their budget is and allows them to see the properties first without guiding them initially. As far as House Hunters is concerned, oh boy. I would really be happy if they amped down the constant airing of this program. Many of the people are so out of touch with realistic perspective on that show. You can paint, remove wallpaper, replace flooring, and remodel if the bones are good and the basic space is agreeable for what your needs are. My favorite show was the one where any of the poor husbands suggestions or "wants" in a home were completely blasted down by the materialistic seeming wife. By the end my daughter and I were shouting at the TV for him to get out while he could, she was a gold digger. As to Holmes on Holmes, as the daughter of a contractor who built new homes and did remodels, (3 daughters = hired help). He is very educational and is good to watch. His show can help you when buying a home, getting bids and choosing a contractor for a remodel and deciding how you could update your own home the correct way. After fixing other contractors "swell jobs" with my father, there is a right way and many wrong ways. Love the lesson on his show; don't assume who you've hired knows what they're doing especially if you don't see a permit and know the inspector has shown up and signed off.

I love Sarah's House; only wish I could hire her to decorate and renovate, her or Candice Olson.

Staz said...

Our biggest pet peeve with Sandra? How she says, "You've saved a $20,000 downpayment so your budget is actually $220,000, right?"

Um, no. Our budget is what we can afford with a nice little hard-earned downpayment of $20k. WTF? And how she laughs at them when they give her a low but honest budget. Oh, this woman gets under our skin.

Anonymous said...

Many property "virgins" also take money out of their 401ks and other retirement programs--this is DEADLY. one should ONLY buy what they can truly afford--meaning no more than 25% of gross monthly pay from a W2 job. Unless one has at least 20% down, they should NOT be buying a home. Period. Until that happens, that canadian/american show, will be a laughing stock.

KeithB said...

What drives me crazy about the show is that she always pushes them to spend at the absolute top of their 'theoretical' price range. A sample that just played - "Tom and Christina have been pre-approved for $270,000 with a down payment of $38,000 making their total budget $308,000."

The next bit should say, "in 2 years Tom will lose his $65,000/yr job and have to settle for part-time work bringing in just $24,000 bringing their total income to WELL under the mortgage payment as they face foreclosure."

Only once have I seen a guest stand up to her on this matter. They were pre-approved for up to $450,000 yet the wife (an accountant I'm betting) told her they were only comfortable spending $250-$275k and did not back down from that when Sandra kept trying to show them $300k homes. I still enjoy watching it though.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

KeithB, thanks for your comment. I feel the same way, too. I hate it when she tries to talk people into prices they either can't, or don't WANT to afford.

We had a similar problem. We could have afforded a house for $X more than we were looking for. However, I was pregnant with Handy Boy, and we were planning for me to stay home when the baby came. At the time, I was still working. They (the bank, not the realtor), tried to convince us to buy a house for $X more. We said, "No, we want to buy a house for $X, as I won't be working in a few months."

Bank: "but, you can get a mortgage for this much MORE while you are BOTH still working!" Us: "uhhh, well what good will a higher mortgage be when we are down to one income?" GEEEZ! It's like they were shocked that we didn't want to buy more house than we'd be able to afford once I quit, then struggle with the payments later...duuuh!

Anonymous said...

I haaaaate that show!!!!!! ALMOST as much as I hate House Hunters! Seriously.....because there never appears to be anything else on HGTV besides that flippin House Hunters show, I've officially converted into a DIY Network girl ;)

ama said...

I LOVED Property Virgins when Sandra was the host. Do not like the new host, Egypt Whatsherface. Now it's just another HOUSE HUNTERS!!! And for the record, I hate House Hunters. Sooooo tired of the constant whining, "it's not BIG enough!" "We can see our neighbors!" "I was HOPING for an en suite!" "Now that we had a baby, we need a 3,000 sf home!" ad nauseum. My sister and I watch simply to mock the buyers. Is it feasible that these 20-somethings who bought way more than they ever needed even own these homes anymore? Maybe a more realistic show would be Foreclosure Hunters.

Auslander said...

One thing that drives me batshit, which fogs away all mentioned above, is her moderate, at times fluctuating, valley dweller nimrod way of speaking. When is that fad gonna go away?!

Miss Them said...

I so miss the shows that made so many me watch, work and yes, relax with HGTV. It is not the same and I struggle to find something that holds my undivided attention. They have given me time to discover any other channel that feeds my design needs as they did in times past.

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