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Discovery Communications, the cable tv network that brings us Animal Planet and The Science Channel, has discovered a new beast: the real estate speculator. A new show called Flip That House, premiering on the Discovery Home Channel, will feature real life stories about people rapidly buying and selling homes in the real estate jungle before they get eaten alive. In episode two, for example, homeowner Kelly goes over budget with a hip North Hollywood home purchased for $370,000. She ultimately sells it though for $549,000, netting her a $124,000 profit. I’m not sure what the life span of a show like this will be, but it beats watching insects mate.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.