I enjoy a show called Flip That House — which shouldn’t be confused with Flip This House which is similar but follows real estate agents and not regular folks looking to cash in on the (now nosediving) American real estate boom — about people buying houses, fixing them up, and selling them for a profit.

This half-hour reality series brings the viewer into the latest trend in “buy-sell” house renovation known as “house flipping.” Each episode will follow the transformation of a different house, each with its own “flipper/host” familiar with home renovation and real estate.

Our stories will begin just after the initial purchase of a new home. Viewers will learn what the owner paid for the house and their plans for giving it the necessary “facelift” to re-sell with a profit. You’ll witness the actual step-by-step renovation and cosmetic work and the revealing before/after transformation. At the end of each episode, the results of the house-flipping exercise will be revealed, along with a new sales price for the “flipped” property.

But there’s one thing about this show that makes me think that some people have much kinder (or dumber) friends than my friends have in me.

Quite often on the show, the flipper — Glynis, Kelly, Neil, Susan or whomever is featured that week — has friends over to help them with their renovation. Maybe they have a buddy doing some kitchen demo, clearing out the landscaping nightmare in the backyard, or it could be something more creative like painting in the bedrooms.

The show makes it seem like these friends are doing a favour. But if a friend of mine was renovating a house for profit, I’m not so sure that I’d be helping them make more money with my (precious) weekend labour. I wouldn’t be in there pulling out carpet as a favour. That would be like me going my friend’s workplace to do some filing they had to catch up on.

Now, if it were a house that my friend planned to live in — that would be different. I’d help with the painting without a doubt. I would loan them some money (at no interest and with very flexible terms) to hire a good painter.


  1. It’s probably the whole television aspect that encourages people to do what they might otherwise not do.

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