I’ve watched a lot of shows on HGTV, and I’ve always felt a disconnection.
I can’t relate to the 30-somethings who work part time and are buying their first home in cities like Atlanta, Denver or Chicago with a budget of $700,000, or to the single person buying a home overseas due to a job transfer. I can’t relate to the couples who flip homes in Texas or California with seemingly endless amounts of money and time.
But for people like me – a 30-something Milwaukeean and renter living on a shoestring budget – hopefully the new show that just premiered on HGTV will be more accessible.
“My Flippin’ Friends,” which aired on Sunday, April 2, features five friends flipping houses in Milwaukee. Flipping is the term used in real estate to describe an investment strategy where an investor purchases properties with the goal of renovating and reselling them for a profit – especially in a hot real estate market.
Manitowoc native Jenni Radosevich, a DIY (do-it-yourself) expert and lead designer for the project, and her friends, project manager Alan Damato, real estate broker Mike Styke and designers Mallory Davis and Benji Bernhard, use hometown real estate knowledge combined with DIY design to flip homes in the up-and-coming Walker’s Point neighborhood. Walker’s Point is located between the Third Ward and Bay View; it’s home to a diverse community with many Latino restaurants and LGBTQ bars.
The buzz around episode one of “My Flippin’ Friends” will determine if HGTV executives pick the show up for a full season, and I hope they do. It would be great to watch Radosevich and company transform Milwaukee homes with their own style.
The show is great for Radosevich and her friends, but it’s also a stepping-stone to opening Milwaukee up to a larger audience nationally and gives insight into what millennials are looking for in terms of housing. The show could provide Milwaukeeans a space to claim an HGTV-connection and offer a realistic look into the joys, challenges and opportunities of the buying, selling and flipping market here.
Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted some challenges for those looking to buy. In an article that ran on March 25, it demonstrated just how hot the Metro Milwaukee area is for home buying and how buyers need to move quickly because the demand is so high. “You can put a property on the market, and literally within hours, you’ll have 15 to 25 showings scheduled,” Beth Jaworski, a Shorewest Realtor, told the newspaper.
With such an in-demand market in Milwaukee, there is no shortage of help and support available to potential homebuyers of modest means to find the right property, get connected and plant roots in Milwaukee.