Buying Alaska

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Buying Alaska TV Poster Image
Mild Alaska house hunting for real-estate junkies.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show offers information about the Alaskan housing market and a few details about what life is like there.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Buyers are from all walks of life, some are looking for a more rugged lifestyle than others.


Contains occasional references to earthquakes, landslides, and other natural disasters. These are offered within the context of the impact it has on property.


Ford and GMC trucks are visible, but the logos aren't prominent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the real estate series Purchasing Alaska is pretty mild, and features lots of unique houses and some brief history about the region. But most of the focus is on buying homes, and there really isn't much here for kids.

What's the story?

BUYING ALASKA is a reality series that follows homebuyers looking to buy a home in the last American frontier. Cameras follow folks who have left city life behind and are exploring the various kinds of homes available in different parts of the state. From rustic cabins with no utilities, to a home made out of a converted train car, buyers learn about the unique elements many Alaskan homes must have, including cisterns for storing water, and various home heating sources. Throughout it all, hosts offer brief details about Alaska's history and the lifestyles of the people who live there.

Is it any good?

The House Hunter-like show highlights the various characteristics of each featured home, including a structure's aesthetic appeal, and the endless list of necessary maintenance and repairs that add to expense of owning it. What sets it apart are some of the unusual characteristics of each house, most of which are a result of wanting to make the most of the region's beauty and resources while surviving the long winters, earthquakes, and other extreme elements.

The range of houses featured here are interesting, as are the brief histories offered about the locations where people are searching for properties. Details about the Alaskan lifestyle also add to the show's appeal. But unless you're curious about the housing market in this region of the country, you probably won't find it very entertaining.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what life is like in different parts of the country. What kind of characteristics do houses have in warmer regions v.s. cooler ones? How does culture play a part in what these houses look like? If you lived in Alaska, what kind of house would you like to have?

  • What is the appeal of real estate shows? How real are they? Do people really make their home buying decisions while on the show? Are the houses they look at on the show the only homes they actually look at before buying one?

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 21, 2012
  • Network: Discovery Channel
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 30, 2020

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