Entertainment

property development as a game show is a cruel concept

As the cost of living crisis takes hold, a new show arrives on Channel 4 promising it can make us rich. “It can be a very, very exciting and lucrative career that can give you lifelong financial freedom and security,” says one of the local experts George Clarke’s Flipping Fastalbeit with the caveat that “it takes hard work to catch on”.

This career consists of flipping houses – buying them cheap, upgrading them, and reselling them. The show consists of six teams that have each been awarded £100,000 and instructed to win the biggest prize possible within a year.

Of course, there are financial pitfalls in this endeavor. But neither the moderator George Clarke nor the experts Stuart and Scarlette Douglas say so at the beginning. It falls to two contestants instead, Pamela and Gordon, to illustrate just how difficult things can be.

Gordon is a part-time truck driver and Pamela is a part-time nursing assistant. He is 55, she is 59. They have never owned a property and gave up too late to take out a mortgage. Desperate to win the show – winners will receive £100,000 in cash – they’re approaching it without a game plan. While other contestants search in areas they know well, Pamela is bidding online for a house she’s never seen, in a town (Stockton-on-Tees) she’s never heard of. Your winning bid of £52,000 is only £3,000 below the average price of a fully refurbished property in the same area and it requires a lot of work.

Watching this couple fidget while the presenters blurt it out feels almost cruel. No, it’s not her money, but the project is clearly taking a toll both physically and mentally. They gave up their home and moved into a trailer. And the playing field isn’t fair, as they’re dealing with Harriet, a accomplished young woman whose biggest asset – which she doesn’t mention to the others at the beginning – is that her fiancé’s family is the master builder and will do everything the Renovations she needs, now and at a discount.

I suppose it’s an educational show if you want to get into real estate. But also Homes Under the Hammer. However, I will continue to check as the series progresses in hopes that Pamela and Gordon’s luck improves. After all, this is television, where outsiders sometimes prevail. Let’s hope they learned their lesson from trait number one. Despite all their hard work and a selling price of over £70,000, they made a profit of just £1,280.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/george-clarkes-flipping-fast-review-property-development-game/ property development as a game show is a cruel concept

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