The Truth about House Hunters on HGTV

There’s a post making its way through the twittersphere today about our beloved show House Hunters being completely FAKE. 


Ok, those of you who’ve been around the Television Without Pity House Hunters boards for a few years already knew this.  (And I’m totally not one of those people who spends too much time posting observations about HGTV. Coff.)

In fact, I think House Hunters fakery was exposed way back in the Suzanne Whang era, when an intrepid viewer actually went through the casting process and found that Pietown required that home buyers be in escrow on a property prior to filming. Two other properties would then be shown on camera, essentially functioning as decoys. Supposedly, some of these houses weren’t even for sale and quite obviously still contained all of the current owners’ mess. 

(This makes it much easier to predict the “winning” house — which one actually looks like it’s on the market and not just the neighbors’ pad?)

This is nothing new. House Hunters (and its more “realistic” counterparts My First Place and Property Virgins) are not documentaries. It’s called real estate porn for a reason, and, much like the industry of ill-repute, reactions and settings are manufactured (and badly acted). 

I’m not quite sure why this surprises and disappoints viewers. We are still being allowed access into other people’s properties. We are still judging strangers based on their interior design choices. We are still laughing at wallpaper borders. The House Hunters themselves are still offering critiques of each property. Granted, these critiques are usually ridiculous, but still.

The bad acting of the home buyers is part of House Hunters’ charm. The cheesy Let’s Make a Deal aspect of options #1, #2, and #3 is a great gimmick. The formulaic “complaints about our current house” segment is often hilarious. (“We can’t open the oven door and chop vegetables at the same time! Oh noes!”)

I like House Hunters’ fakeness, on a pure house-porn level. If you’re more interested in the challenges of buying real estate, My First Place and Property Virgins are good alternatives. But guess what: they are kind of fake too. So is The Bachelor. And Santa Claus is not real. 

By the way, this is not a knock on the linked post, which I liked. Just my take on the subject. 

  1. bitterhgtvviewer posted this
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