Property Ladder

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Property Ladder TV Poster Image
Fix-and-flip show for real estate junkies only.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Sends the useful message that you should proceed with caution and do your homework when investing in real estate.


"Sh--t" is bleeped out and pops up only occasionally.


A show about investment is inherently materialistic to a degree, but no specific brands, etc. are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series will have the most appeal for adults familiar with the excitement and angst that comes with buying and renovating a home with the express purpose of reselling it for a profit. But some younger viewers might like its reality-show elements, including suspenseful scenes in which homeowners deal with unforeseen costs and interviews in which they lay their emotions bare.

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What's the story?

TLC's reality show PROPERTY LADDER follows real estate investors as they buy, quickly renovate, and re-sell (hopefully with a big profit) homes that are considered flawed but not unfixable. Real estate developer Kirsten Kemp hosts each episode, introducing viewers to that week's \"flipper\" by explaining how much money was invested, how much time the investor has to renovate. Over the course of the project, pitfalls like unforeseen costs and scheduling issues inevitably arise, wreaking havoc on the investor's stress level and budget. In one episode, for example, a young couple purchased a run-down, two-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Sacramento for $185,000, hoping to re-sell it for $275,000. But after 12 weeks of renovations, they made a profit of just $10,000 -- $50,000 less than they had hoped.

Is it any good?

Property Ladder is entertaining, especially to viewers with an avid interest in home renovation and real estate (which probably doesn't include most kids). It does a good job of showing real estate investments as the risky (if potentially lucrative) proposition they are. Parents can watch with kids and take the opportunity to teach them about budgets and what questions to ask before putting money into a volatile project.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about real estate. What are the risks and benefits of owning a home? Why are houses so expensive? How does a mortgage work? What's the appeal of seeing people go through a process like this on TV?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 4, 2005
  • Cast: Kirsten Kemp
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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