Sometimes I watch HGTV. Because it’s full of interesting shows. Almost as good as Investigation Discovery, but cheerier. Really, if I had actual cable and not Netflix/Chromecast, I’d watch it most days, probably. It’s just that enjoyable. Especially when Nicole Curtis is on. But when she’s not, my go-to replacement is House Hunters. On account of it combining two of my favorite hobbies: seeing the insides of houses and judging. A grand time for all.
If you’ve never seen the show, let me explain how the premise works. A person or couple is looking to move. They work with a realtor, tell them what they want (and in what price range), and then they look at three houses. At the end of the show they choose one of them – usually – and claim it for their very own. Now, I’m assuming there’s way more that goes into this. Maybe they have to film 20 houses to find one they like. Or one that isn’t bought out from under them. But three is all the audience gets to see.
Like: how couples apparently discuss nothing about what they want. NOTHING. And ask for completely opposite wishlists on air. He wants modern, she wants rustic. He wants brand new, giant rooms, she wants cozy and more down-to-earth. He wants to live in the heart of the city, and she wants the country. He wants 12 kids and a nanny who’s multilingual and a gourmet cook. She wants to be childless, and so on. And the realtor is supposed to take this mix of opposites and find the perfect combination in a single address. At an affordable rate, of course.
There are also wives who don’t work and expect their husbands to drive two hours per day so they can be walking distance from “activities.” Even when there’s perfectly good trains. Or women who want to throw out new appliances (because they are the wrong color) when they are already over budget. Or husbands who think laundry can be done in a two-foot space.
It’s a very progressive program.
But my biggest pet peeve of all is the cash flow. Each homeowner gives a budget, and virtually no one sticks to them. “Oh an extra $2 grand per month?” they say, “No problem!” Or, “I know we said our max was a half mil, but I really love this place, even though it’s another $80,000. Where do I sign?!” They couldn’t be happier to write a larger check.
They might talk about over-extending themselves, or more likely, one spouse does while the other guffaws like their mate has forgotten about the perfectly healthy money tree producing $100s by the day. (Which also must be in a moveable pot.) And then they spend it anyway.
If they can truly afford it, good and great. But I have to assume they can’t. BECAUSE WHY ELSE WOULD YOU HAVE MADE A BUDGET?! If that number was truly your end cap, why wasn’t that your budget number instead?
Or does the show pick up the excess fees? In which case it totally makes sense, and why everyone is buying million-dollar homes. And not even blinking about it.
Additional Questions About the Show
- How many couples get divorced because of their house-buying experience?
- Why are so many people moving in or to Canada?
- What’s the show paying in and/or making from each sale?
- How do they find these people?
- Why isn’t there a follow-up show called House-Hunted? Where we catch up with folks a year in, and see if they’re still living in their homes.
- Can I attend a live taping? I want to wear a custom-made shirt and bet on predictions. Just like it were the Price is Right.