Reviews & Interviews

Witch & Popcorn

 

House Hunters Renovation

 

 

Bright Blessings, Film Lovers!

This review is about a tv series, not a film, and one many indulge in binge watching- HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation.

Different from plain old House Hunters, people see properties they know they are going to have to gut, remodel, and sometimes, completely redo to make them livable for their families. This hilarious video shows some of the nightmares people walk into when viewing properties for this program:

 

 

Many of us have house shopped, and some reading this may even sell real estate. Each seller thinks THEIR property is the BEST ever, but buyers beg to differ. Part of the reason is we get into habits and live the way WE are comfortable, but new people coming in may not have the same tastes or needs, and find our home cramped, ugly, outadate, or plain old decrepit.

Each episode of this show demonstrates just that, and contrasts differences in what couples are looking for, highlighting how real estate agents and brokers have their work cut out for them, trying to reconcile what the differing tastes are, and trying to find a middle ground. Surprisingly, some couples will bicker whether the house should be one or two story, while one is dying for an in-ground swimming pool and the other abhors the idea. Then watch the same couple go with a one story the one hated, but then came to love, and no pool was had…

It’s weirdly satisfying seeing how other people live, learning about the personal lives and struggles of total strangers we will never meet, and fantasizing about ALL we, ourselves would do with this or that house we will never see, let alone buy. Along with this is seeing the huge half million dollar plus budgets some buyers have and the tens of thousands of dollars they pour into gutting and remodeling whichever house they decided to buy. Aside from all this fun are life lessons we can take into account for our own magic. Read on!

  1. If you dream it, you may as well try it. These people have dream homes, and they wield screwdrivers, sledgehammers, and their pocketbooks to make that dream a reality. None of us know where those renovation budgets or down payments come from. Some may have money to burn, yet others save frugally to have their own little castle and have it just the way they want it. This shows us that if they can do it, we can do it too.
  2. Compromise matters. The families squabbling about wanting this color or this feature soon realize that being petty about tiny details simply isn’t worth it. While these folks are shelling out a ton of money, and you would think paying all that could land them every minute detail they want- reality quickly sets in and shows people some things are just not worth stressing over. Looking at the bigger picture, like making sure kids and pets get good play areas and ensuring there are enough bathrooms trumps the desire to have that cute little craftsman they dreamed of since children. Most especially if said craftsman is riddled with termites, has no yard, or is in a seedy neighborhood.
  3. People who have previously never lifted a finger sometimes think they are the most qualified home remodeling experts and can knock down any wall they so choose in grandiose plans to design a masterpiece. They soon discover their backs go out, or the wall they want to knock in cannot be due to it being load bearing, without thousands in restructuring done. This reminds us to do our homework and be humble enough to listen to the experts before we burn our new home to the ground.
  4. A house is a house, but home is where your loved ones are with you. While initially, some of the people tend to place too much emphasis on the project, work, and buying everything they want, they all realize the whole reason they are doing all of this is to make a more comfortable life for their family- not to accomplish a great building and design feat!
  5. They almost always underestimate costs– Or maybe they underestimate what they can spend? However, many times during renovations, they plan to spend every available penny on the very most expensive materials possible- and by that I mean cosmetic things. The sink of their dreams, or the most expensive marble or quartz countertops. They fail to set cash aside just in case something at the foundations is discovered to be bad. There seems to always be an unexpected repair come up when the demolition starts whether it be a plumbing, electrical, or a structural issue. Those are ALWAYS expensive. It is nothing for the people doing renovations on this show to go over $25,000 in remodeling costs. This can remind us to be frugal and practical instead of rushing full steam ahead to constant splurge buys in life in general. Save money, have emergency plans, and don’t put all your resources into ONE thing, lest things fall apart.
  6. Let your journey through life with your significant other bring you closer together, not farther apart. Some couples begin with fights. “I want THIS”, says one while the other bitches about that and counters they want EXACTLY the opposite. They both make fun of what the other wants, and it makes one wonder why they are married at all- because they are not acting like partners on the same team. What begins as a competition, with both of them locking horns over styles, locations, and other things that should never be contention points often ends with the couple proudly displaying their good work once they finally decide to stop fighting and focus on what they agree on. This reminds us that no house, job, hobby, or anything else should be more important to us than the people who we love. There are plenty of people who are content to be alone, and that’s fine for them, but the people who want to be in a partnership succeed at that long term by being on one another’s side even if they disagree about some things.
  7. Overfocus on the negative takes away from enjoying the process for a lot of these people. If they pull out their hair, upset a countertop was cut wrong and the installation is delayed until they get the new one, they will miss out on the fun of having been able to select their own countertop to begin with. Knowing there will be holdups and obstacles in life and trying to take those hurdles as calmly as possible will save us headaches, grey hair, and unnecessary meltdowns. Never let the small things that cannot be controlled seem larger than they are.
  8. Families regularly underestimate how long a remodel will take. Many of them sell a house faster than they expected, and then think moving into a new place and the remodel will be immediate. It takes months. So they sometimes end up living on a construction zone. While that can’t always be avoided, the incredulousness that remodeling is “taking so long” can be avoided by consulting with the designer and contractors about worst case scenarios of how long it could possibly take- AT THE LONGEST. Instead, time and again, families fall to pieces the renovation had a ”setback that put us behind schedule” and they bemoan the injustice of it taking another two weeks to a month! This serves to remind us that things in life take how long they are going to take and we can’t rush them, but we have to accept we must do things on their own timeframe.

Having written all this, I accept I was not the best homebuyer years ago, myself. Like many of the people who go on this show, I cried, pulled my hair out, complained, and stressed. Once we got our home, I went right to work, and my ex-husband then began the crying, stressing, and complaining. He probably still believes a home takes care of itself, ( no it doesn’t) but I have moved past unrealistic expectations, and I’m glad , because had I gone on House Hunters Renovation, the world would have had a good laugh at my antics.

My current husband and I do almost all the work at our condo ourselves, which we enjoy, and we are currently putting the final touches on ours to sell. I promise not to make a mess of myself wanting a house NOW, and Teddy and I both know renovation at a new place if it needs it will take time. Don’t put it past me to buy a can of paint when he isn’t looking, though, because I sure will, and don’t put it past him to make me wait a couple of weeks before he begins painting. He sure will!

Hey, it’s all about the journey, right?

Magic aside, you need to know that this show is addictive. Watch at your own risk! Who am I kidding? Go watch it!

Happy Viewing!

Blessed Be!

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About the Author:

Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].