Investing in real estate can be very lucrative, but also risky. Whether you are are a novice or an industry veteran, just want to supplement your income or derive a total living from it, these real estate shows on Netflix are worth checking out. (For more on real estate investing, see Exploring Real Estate Investments.)

The Vanilla Ice Project

The man behind the '90s hit song "Ice Ice Baby"  has grown up. Well, sort of. Over the last 20 years, the rapper Vanilla Ice has turned his sizable wealth into a real estate investment machine. With his “VIP Crew,” he fixes up high-end homes in Palm Beach, Fla.

Each season focuses on one mansion, and each episode focuses on a different room or area. At the end of the series, you see the whole house come together and go on the market, often for a $500,000 profit per home.

Fixer Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines run a home remodeling and design business in Waco, Texas. Fixer Upper follows Chip and Joanna as they help a client buy “the worst house in the best neighborhood” and create something beautiful out of it.

In each episode, the couple takes a client to view three possible residences in varying degrees of shape. Once the client makes a choice, Chip and Joanna get to work turning it into a dream home. Joanna does the design, Chip does the rehab work, and they have to do it all while staying within the client’s budget.

Genevieve’s Renovation

HGTV star Genevieve Gorder takes the camera crews into her New York City apartment in this short, one-season show. The series begins when Genevieve buys the apartment next door with the idea of combining it with her current one. Each episode focuses on the revamp of one room. Naturally, she runs into plenty of budget busters along the way. Of course, Genevieve throws in a little extra drama into each episode for entertainment, but the expenses she incurs remodeling her apartment are very real. And her ability to blend the historic with the modern makes great inspiration for anyone looking to remodel a home.

Flip or Flop

Tarek, and Christina El Moussa are a pair of Los Angeles-based flippers, who met while working at the same real estate office. They operate throughout the the lucrative fix and flip market in Southern California, but it is not always an easy the path to profit is rarely an easy one. The duo is is regularly surprised by unexpected damage to the properties they buy, which sometimes threatens to turn their flip into a flop – a very expensive one.

My First Place

This show follows first-time home buyers as they search for the perfect starter residence. Some learn quickly, however, that their wish list and budget do not align as well as they had hoped. They (along with the viewer) learn to compromise on location, size, features, or other items, to end up with a place that's enjoyable, but realistic. 

The Bottom Line

Real estate investing can be very lucrative, but you really have to know what you are doing when you get started. Remember that these shows follow experienced real estate professionals.

That said, you can learn a lot from real estate investment shows if you are interested in the industry. Many real estate investors start while still working a full-time job. Also, before getting started, make sure you have the assets to complete the full project. Cost overruns are common, and running out of cash can quickly end your real estate investment dreams.

Although they feature experienced professionals, these shows are intended for general audiences – not real estate investors. Nevertheless, they can offer some insight into the industry, along with a fun way to pass the time.