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Property Ladder

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Channel 4 / Reality Show

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      09.12.2009 21:57
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      the best house related programme on tv!

      Property Ladder is a television show which follows wannabe property developers on their quest to make massive profits by renovating houses they have bought. The show began in 2001 in Britain but now also has versions in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. This review will be looking at the U.K. (and original) version of Property Ladder. This version has had a number of series on Channel 4, with each episode airing for an hour(lasting approximately 45 minutes, once the breaks have been taken out). The presenter of this version is British property developer Sarah Beeny (who, in my humble opinion, is a complete legend and the show definitely wouldn't be the same without her).

      Originally the show would look at one development project, but in 2005 the format changed and now looks at 2 development projects, and chops and changes between the two throughout the show. I personally prefer this format because it adds a bit of a variety to the show, and generally if the people involved in one development are annoying, the people in the other development make a nice change! Sarah meets with the people doing the development at the start of the project, just after they've purchased their chosen property. Generally there are 2 people on each development, often a couple, but sometimes relatives, friends, or even work colleagues. The odd episode will have just the one developer doing a project, or 3 or 4 people working together(which is enjoyable, as the more people involved, the more room there is for opinion clashes, which of course makes great television!)

      Once Sarah meets the developers, she is shown around the property they wish to develop. The great thing about the show is that the projects people undertake vary greatly in how complex they are. Some may choose to start relatively easily, by perhaps knocking a wall through and redecorating the whole house and improving the garden, right through to the much more daring(or should that be crazy?) who want to take a practically delapidated building and turn it into a block of luxury apartments! You really will see all sorts on the show, which is what is so refreshing about it-it doesn't get boring because people will always want to try something new, or more complex or outrageous.

      The developers tell Sarah what they plan to do, and their ideas get transferred into a 3D model for the viewer to see, which is really good, because its quite hard to grasp their ideas, or how the house should look, when you are only getting a limited view of it on the TV. I like this part, because more often than not, Sarah disagrees with their plans, and we get to see her 3D model of what would be more practical and profitable. As soon as you see her idea, you know she's right, but when she puts her ideas to the people doing the project, more often than not they shoot her down, determined to go their own way, regardless of how much Sarah labours the point that it just won't work well. the good thing about Sarah is that she really knows her stuff, and is saying all these things to help the people get the most money they can, and she isn't afraid to say what she thinks, and to be honest about how she feels about their ideas. She is very assertive, and can be cheeky to the people involved, but never in a nasty way, its always in a jokey way, and she's not condescending or pushy-but the woman is ALWAYS right! When I'm watching the show I am nearly always shouting at the people because they don't listen to the Beeney, and its usually to their own detriment.

      Once plans have been discussed, the people talk about the money they have to spend on the property, how long it will take them to do it, and how much they expect to get for it at the end. There is generally a trend here-most of the time people budget far too little, have way too short a timeline, and expect to sell for way too much. Sarah doesn't hold back here when she thinks they're being ridiculously presumptious or optimistic, and 99% of the time she tells them that their budget is way too low, but of course the people insist that they have enough money to do what they need to do.

      Once all this has been discussed, the project begins, and we get to follow the two developments from start to finish(or not finished, as the case sometimes is, when money runs out, or the timeline runs so far over schedule that the show can't film any longer. During this part of the show we get to see the people go through their developments, from choosing the type of windows they want, right through to picking the furniture and accessories. Along the way we see all of their trials and tribulations, which can range from anything from collapsing roofs, floors and walls and arguements with the builders, to not measuring things properly(resulting in a house full of windows that don't fit!) and weather conditions knocking the deadline off course. Practically every episode has traumas of some sort, and its very entertaining to see how people cope in these circumstances, as sometimes they are really calm and logical, and other times they start to get a bit crazy! Sarah tries to offer advice throughout the project, but sometimes there isn't much she can do if it has already got too out of hand.

      Once the development has finished, Sarah goes back to see the final product, where the compliments the good, and points out areas that are lacking, or could have been done better(if they'd listened to her!) She talks to the developers about their journey, which is interesting as some people really get the developing bug and are desparate to go and find their next property, whilst others are determined to never do it again. All of them agree that property developing is definitely not as easy as they originally thought it was. Sarah then asks them how much they spent altogether, so it can be compared with the original budget(though some people won't admit to how much they have spent, which I hate!) and then ask how much they hope to sell for. We then see 3 valuers look at the propertys and give valuations-some of which delight the developers, others which greatly disappoint them.

      At the end of the show, Sarah gives a brief summary of what we've seen, and how things can turn out in different circumstances, and throughout the show she gives little hints and tips to anyone wishing to develop, which I really like. I love this show and it really does give a realistic insight into property developing. I feel like everyone wants to buy a property to renovate and sell on for profit(or at least they did when house prices were sky high), but this show gives such an eye opener as to how difficult it can be, and that it doesn't necessarily lead to a good outcome, regardless of how much work and money you invest into it. I love seeing how different people cope in situations (and I secretly love when the really smug peoples plans crumble down round them-if they'd listened to Sarah it wouldn't have happened!)

      I would recomend this show to anyone interested in property developing, or even just people who enjoy property in general, as you do get to see some fantastic transformations, and it really does give food for thought, as well as some fantastic tips for styling your own home.

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        23.11.2009 17:33
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        Great entertainment and inspiring!

        Property Ladder is a show where everyday people like us take a go at property developing under the wing of Sarah Beeny; some succeed, some fail, but both equally enjoyable to watch!

        ~~~SHOWTIME~~~
        These are usually on a Tuesday when they are on, and are shown on Channel 4 at 8pm.

        ~~~SHOW LAYOUT~~~
        Every episode usually focuses on a particular type of development and show two different developments. We are introduced to the people and what they are looking for, then their plan shown in computer generated graphics, which allow us to see exactly what is planning to be done. This is one of my favourite bits; I love seeing how the layout changes and what is improved.

        The show then moves on to different stages of development, the people's stress, building disasters etc... and at the very end, we see the final result; most of which usually look pretty successful, whilst some lack the potential it could've achieved.

        At the very end, agents are invited to value the house and see whether they met their target.

        ~~~PRESENTER~~~
        Sarah Beeny presents the show and is an expert property developer. She gives some honest advice and says what is in the best interest of the amateur developers. She is a great help and I laugh every time they turn down her advice for their own stubborn desires.

        ~~~APPEAL~~~
        I love the show for so many reasons.

        1) The transformation from an ugly house to a beautiful house is just so appealing.
        2) The humour of the people not listening to Sarah, creating a bad house and not making a profit.
        3) I am interested in architecture and property developing.
        4) Sarah Beeny always seem to end up pregnant every season! As the show is filmed over a long time, after the second advert break, she ends up with a bump. Haha.

        ~~~OVERALL~~~
        I love the show, and everything about it... it isn't for everyone, but I find it really interesting. The series during the recession "Property Snakes and Ladders" was also very informative about the economic crisis.

        It allows you to see the potential of your own home, and inspires you to do something similar. Everyone wants a nice home, and there are often simple tips which you can do small adjustments to achieve. It doesn't all have to be renovating! The techniques and thinking is similar for most builds and one of the most important things is light!

        I think the show is very educational; if not, it is entertaining and at the very least extremely interesting. Well, at least I think so!

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        13.11.2009 13:31
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        OK but not in this current climate

        This is the great Channel 4 show that focus's on property developers both expierienced and first time developers.
        Presented by Sarah Beeny who herself has played the property market and does know what she is talking about, even though her ideas to make the most cash on a development are often ignored by the people she is trying to advise.
        The show used to concentrate one one property but has been updated and now shows two in one show.

        The good thing about the recent shows is it does take into account the credit crunch and shows that a lot of people (already rolling in it anyway) that have purchased property as the crunch hit the U.K have been caught out and have found that it really is swings and roundabouts with the property market and you are not always guaranteed a profit.
        Ahhh let me just feel so sorry for them (not) these are the people that are now cashing in on the working class people of this country who are losing their houses due to redundancy GREED GREED GREED!
        Yes while the Rich get Richer we will all just sit in our cold houses and wonder where it all went wrong.
        Anyway enough rambling ,the show runs for around 60 minutes and is worth watching even if it is just to dream!

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        01.09.2009 15:35
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        One of the very best 'house' programmes on t.v.

        Property Ladder is one of my favourite programmes on television. It has been on our screens for many years now and it is still great to watch.
        There are many programmes on t.v. which focus around property developing and I think as a nation I think we have become a bit obsessed with the idea of buying a house, doing it up and selling it for a profit..........easy money some people seem to think. This show however shows the reality of the property market and more often that not people lose money.

        The show is an hour long and is on Channel four at 8pm, it has since changed it's name from property ladder to propery snakes and ladders. This is to reflect the change in the current economic climate, where interest rates are almost none exsistent and house prices have fallen drastically. Factors which of course will have a negative effect on trying to make money out of property.

        The show is presented by Sarah Beeny, who is just fantastic. She is obviously an expert and is there to give advice to the people renovating the houses. You would think anyone would welcome the opportunity to here her advice but this isn't always the case and people often decide to do things there way.

        The programme usually features two couples in different parts of the country who have just bought a property in need of repair with the intention to sell at a profit. They say how much they plan to spend and what they hope to sell for. Both figures are often wrong with them usually not having enough to spend and expecting it to sell for more than its worth.

        We then go on to see the trials and tribulations of the couples, whether things go to plan and whether they take Sarah's advice.
        The couples often want to design the houses to their personal preference and forget they are trying to make money.

        At the end of the show we get to see the newly renovated houses which are usually perfectly done, but at what cost. Sarah then gets three estate agents to value the properties and we see whether they are going to make a profit. Sometimes you get to find out if they sell and for what price.

        Don't expect everything to turn out great for everyone because that is not the case. Sometimes people go on to be very successful and make a huge profit and on other occassions they get it totally wrong and lose money. With the new series and the drop in house prices there are now more people losing money.

        It really is television at its best and after watching Sarah Beeny on Property Ladder for many years I still love to watch it.

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          25.07.2009 15:34
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          the best property show of its kind

          'Property Ladder' or 'Property Snakes and Ladders' as it is now known is a television show dedicated to property development and is of a similar mould to 'Homes Under the Hammer.' Televised on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4 and presented by professional property expert Sarah Beeny, the show gives you an incite into what it is actually like to develop a property on a budget for the first time. Each episode follows two separate developers, it starts by introducing the developers so you can learn a bit about them and find out their background. You see them purchase property that is in need of some serious repair, redevelop it to whatever extent they deem sufficient on their budget and try and resell the property at the end of the episode for a profit - sounds simple enough. Throughout the show, Sarah Beeny is on hand to offer advice and support to the developers as she is vastly experienced and let's face it these guys just aren't. Quite often though they reject what she proposes and follow their own ideas and aspirations for the property inside; most of the time she is correct though, even if a little bossy at times.

          I think the show is fantastic and really interesting to watch, especially when the developers start getting annoyed with Beeny as she tells them to spend more of the precious money; it's all about profit at the end of the day. Many that don't follow her advice actually go onto lose money and because of the economic state of the country at the moment and the fact that the property market has considerably lost value in the last year or so means that many of the developers are choosing to rent their properties after the redevelopment and sell later once the market has picked up again; this is ok, but rather an anticlimax at the end of the episode. Overall, it is definitely a show I would recommend, especially to those people who are interested in property and like television shows which follow their purchase etc. I know there are many shows of this nature out there at the moment, but this is definitely one of the best.

          Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

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            15.07.2009 13:44
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            A property show that shows you the reality

            Property Ladder can be described as a reality programme, as the programme, presented by Sarah Beeny follows novice property developers on their first development.

            The show is presenter by Sarah Beeny, she is the type of presenter that has the slogan attached, been there and done, which is also hinted at all the way through the show. As she is a seasoned property that has bought property, developed it, and has either sold it or kept as part of her rental portfolio.

            The programme will usually begin with an introduction to the individual or couple that is attempting their first renovation. Although this use to be only one property per show, but in recent series the number has increase to two properties, which I believe is better as there is now more content in the show.

            In terms of the people that are featured on the show, for some reason they always seem to be naïve people that dreamt up these wonderful plans on how they intend to develop the property, with a budget that is either seriously lacking in funds or is well over the top for the area that the house is in. This means that the is either the plans for the house are inadequate for the development, or the plans are way over the top and they would not be able to make their money back, end up losing money or the developer cannot now sell the property and have to move in.

            In previous serious of the show it was really annoying, and you wonder in amazement how they managed to make money, and the only reason that they did was due to the house price inflation sky rocketing. In the new series that is on Channel 4 at 8.00 pm on Tuesday, in which the show has adequately named Property Snakes and Ladders, many of the people are now making a loss. The reason for this is the people are not actually developing the property to make money but just redressing the property.

            The thing that I find most comical about the show, that Sarah Beeny offers the novices advice about how she would develop the property if she believes there could be an improvement in the plans the novices have developed. But nearly 90% of the time the novices believe that they know better, from a person that is seasoned property develop; and one would believe that the novices would take Beeny's advice, as from previous series, it would be evident that they would have made more money, or in the current series actually make some money.

            The only criticism that I would have is the way the Beeny tries to get across her message, as at times when I have watched the programme it seems that she comes across as quite bossy in her manner.

            Overall I would recommend the programme, as it does open your eyes to possible improvements on your own house: and for the first time, a programme actually tells the truth to the viewer, that property developing is not an easy option and that it is hard work and that it is not for everybody.

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              11.11.2008 17:05
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              Great TV show with loads of great tips and advice.

              I would love to develop properties when I'm older and have become obsessed with Property Ladder on Channel 4. Property ladder follows 'normal people' through their journey or property developing. Property ladder features first time developers, developers with a few projects already under their belt and real-estate developers. The show also features a range of developments from small 1/2 bed homes to full scale developments of flats. The show follows the developers from the purchase of the house (which often requires repairs), the renovation of the property and the developer's attempt to sell at a profit.

              The Presenter...

              Property Ladder is developed by Sarah Beeney born 1972 in Reading. Sarah is quite fiesty and bossy and will tell the developers if she thinks their ideas are wrong. Sarah will also suggest alternative ideas and layouts to the developers, this is great as you get to see what the expert would do with the renovation project. Sarah sets out tips of the channel 4 website such as:

              Do It Or Leave It?

              ALWAYS be realistic about your own skills and buy in any skills you don't have.

              NEVER buy a property until you've had a survey done. If the property's going to be a money pit, it's best to get out while you can.

              ALWAYS make sure you've got a healthy contingency fund. However generous your budget is, extra costs have a way of creeping in.

              NEVER stretch yourself to the limit financially. Developing can be stressful at times - don't make it stressful right from the start.

              ALWAYS make sure the fabric of the building is sound before you start making expensive alterations.

              NEVER forget that your aim is to make money - don't waste cash on things your target market won't be prepared to pay extra for.


              The Show....

              At the start of each show Sarah introduces us to this weeks willing victims - these are often couples, but may be families or even groups of friends. These are ordinary people with ambition; they have bought an often tired property with the hopes of doing it up on budget and schedule and selling for a profit.

              However, the poor poor developers always seem to get it wrong. Sarah is constantly telling them how their budget is too small and they are falling behind schedule. In all the shows I've watched I think I've seen 2 couples come in on schedule and 1 come in on budget. This just proves how hard a task this must be.

              You are told throughout the show how much the property cost, the budget and the planned sale price. Sarah offers her advice and is often ignored by the developers as they think they know best. They are often wrong and regret it at the end of the show where they realise they could have made more profit, some are defiant until the end. Sarah also visits often and provides tips like don't decorate for your own taste, decorate and furnish neutrally. And some of the cold stares she gives the developers; well I'm literally sat at home hiding behind my cushion.

              The programme is an hour long and is really involved viewing, you get to see the development warts and all. Domestics between couples, arguements over colour schemes, threats of legal action to unruly builders, you name it. Generally all comes good in the end.

              The end of the programme is where 3 estate agents come and view the completed development and provide valuations. Sarah then dramatically relays these valuations to the developers. The budget is actual budget is calculated and the developers are told whether they should make a profit or not. I have seen two episodes where the developers have actually failed to make a profit due to their escalating budget. But most developers do make a profit, have caught the bug and go on the develop more properties.

              The show is really engrossing and has made me more determined to become a property developer. I'm waiting for the market to settle slightly and saving for a mortgage development. I advise you to check out the show but be warned you'll become addicted!

              Just thought I'd add a little review about how recently there has been a Property Snakes and Ladder showing on C4 which reflects how some people are struggling in the current property market and also how this market is providing opportunities for some individuals who are seeming to thrive. If you were a fan of property ladder I would check this show out as it follows a very similar format but is more tailored to current market conditions.

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              The show features first-time property or real-estate developers who purchase houses (usually in need of repair), renovate them, and attempt to sell them for a profit.