Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Love It or List It

Having recently upgraded our bathroom fixtures in our home, my wife and I have come to appreciate a home improvement show here in Canada called Love It or List It. The show details a completion between a home designer and a real estate agent in the Greater Toronto Area. I’ll talk more about that later. The brilliance of the show is in asking the simple question: If you had a choice with improving your home or buying another, which would you choose? Would you love it or list it?

Real Estate Agent vs. Designer
Real Estate Agent vs. Designer

Living north about an hour from Toronto, gives my family the opportunity to enjoy quiet small town living, but at the same time, about five minutes away, we have all the retail chains and big box stores to shop at when we need to replenish our cupboards. That’s why taking a trip to Home Depot makes for a rather uneventful moment, considering they’re down the street from us.

Getting back to Love It or List It, the show is a gentlemen’s competition between a home designer (Hilary Farr) and a real estate agent (David Visentin). The typical set up consists of family members who have either grown bored of their current home and want to move or they want to live through a renovation nightmare while they consider if they’ve made the right decision asking the producers of the show for help. In all cases, one of the members of the family wants to move while the other half wants to stay.

Once called into the fray, both designer and agent have budgets to work with and a list of must-haves. During the course of the show, as the construction crew demolishes the family’s current home and prepares it for much-needed changes according to the designer’s plans, the real estate agent shows the family home listings within their budget, but not necessarily in their neighborhood.

Hilary and David
Hilary and David

The competition is over after the family views their current home’s renovations and has to decide if the improvements merit sticking around a little longer. If the owners decide it’s time for a change, they will choose from among the listings the real estate agent presented.

It really is a fun show with lots of drama and funny moments. Something always goes wrong in the renovation that delays the timeline, pushes costs through the roof (pun intended) or makes the owners pull their hair out in frustration. Things like tree roots clogging the sewer line, termites, leaky roof, foundation leaks in the basement, mold in the walls, stairs not meeting code, improper furnace venting that may cause carbon monoxide poisoning, sagging ceiling due to a leaky pipe, carpenter ants, bad grading on the outside walls of the home, and rewiring nightmares will make any homeowner’s head spin.

Throughout it all, my wife and I’ll watch the show to garner new ideas of things we could do with our own home. The best part is seeing how other people decorate their homes, which in turn, inspires us to follow the same approach.

I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday peek into my family’s viewing habits. There’s more to what I watch than zombies.


What do you like about home improvement shows? What has inspired you with your home decorating ideas?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

17 thoughts on “Love It or List It

  1. The beauty of the show is that it caters to people interested in both remodels (i.e. Property Brothers) And shopping for new homes (i.e. House Hunters).
    Excellent programming model.

  2. I love this show! I watch HGTV every night. I love to get ideas for decorating and renos. Plus, when I eventually hunt for my own home, I feel that I will have a leg up on others. I have learned a great deal from HGTV. I blog for some contractors and learn a lot that way too. It is a fun topic!

  3. Love that show! I love to see how Hilary can come up with plans . it shows that we can resolve quirks of our own home, unless you’ve truly outgrown it.
    Sometimes I just want to smack one or both homeowner because they were being really stupid/ignorant on the show.(Really!)

    1. Agreed! I enjoy how the homeowners come into the show asking for an addition, but then realize how much it’ll cost and settle for a basement reno instead!

  4. I haven’t seen this show, but I am sure it is as addicting as it appears. My family gets absorbed by What Not To Wear, which we’ll watch in re-runs now that it has ended. There is something fun in watching the pieces of advice, while also seeing the transformation at the end.

  5. I love the show, but two things constantly drive me nuts:

    1) if it’s an old house, Hilary should budget more for contingencies and not just blithely start taking out walls.

    2) the homeowners BLAME Hilary for unexpected stuff going wrong. I know it’s for drama, but really! It’s their house. Hilary didn’t wire their house with knob and tube.

    And…still…I watch. Even reruns.

    1. I love your 2) as well. Once a wall comes down, anything can happen–especially rewiring the whole floor because some shady handyman had used the wrong wire throughout, making it a fire hazard!

  6. My wife and I love this program, probably seen all the episodes. Apparently, all the episodes are made in the Toronto area? Haven;t been to Toronto since 1981!!

  7. My wife loves the show but I find it to orchestrated. I know they have to fill thirty minutes and therefore a lot of stuff is invented. The constrains of television is to demanding to make a reality show real.

  8. I like that show too. They add so much drama and make it feel like some sort of end of the world type decision must be made…all of the pros and cons being weighed. It’s a very “First World Problems” type of show that is pretty funny to watch.

  9. We ❤ this show!! I watch it all of the time. I love the chemistry of arguing between David and Hilary. It's so funny and cute. XOXO – Bacon

  10. That does sound a fun show! That reminds of one in the UK where two friends had one room redesigned in each house and the house owner helped the designer in the friend’s house so you didn’t work on your own. One was always stunning and tasteful and the other outrageous making the owner really upset with their friend.

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