The Truth About “House Hunters” on HGTV

by hookedonhouses on June 2, 2010

House Hunters-Suzanne Whang

Whenever I mention the popular HGTV series House Hunters, I get e-mails from readers asking, “Do you know the truth about that show?” I just got another one from someone saying, “I’m surprised more people don’t know how House Hunters really works. I was so mad when I found out!”

It’s actually not a secret–the show even explained it in a newspaper article a few years ago, but it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge.  Here’s what it said:

For quicker turn-around, producers sometimes choose buyers who are already in escrow with one of the three locations shown. The other two choices that are filmed, are only shown to allow viewers the option of making the choice themselves.

Did you catch that? The house hunters aren’t actually house hunting in some of the episodes because they already bought one. The producers show them two other houses and they pretend to consider them. Then they pretend to deliberate, and pretend to choose the house that they already chose from the beginning.

house hunting couple

Based on the number of e-mails I’ve gotten from people who have written to tell me that they know someone who was on the show and “faked it,” this must be a fairly common practice.

It makes sense from a production point of view. It prevents the problem that we see so often on HGTV’s Property Virgin, in which the house hunters don’t end up choosing anything at all.

Property Virgins-Sandra

According to that same article, the participants get only $500 for being on the show. I was surprised that they earn so little–especially if there’s acting involved! That was a few years ago, though, so maybe they earn more by now.

There can be long hours of filming each house–I heard that they often have to reenter the same room many times until they get it just right for the camera. (This explains why sometimes the sun is blazing when they enter the house, but it looks dark outside in later scenes.)

Update: A reader named Nate tells me:

It is still $500 for four full days if filming. Furthermore, it isn’t just sometimes fake – it is ALWAYS fake. I’ve just gone through this process. They won’t even consider you for the show unless you already have a purchase agreement signed, and have access to both your new home and your former home for the duration of the filming period.

Ever notice how the house the participants choose is almost always EMPTY when they walk through it on the show for that “first time” and the other two are still furnished? That is because they have already closed on the home they “choose” and just haven’t moved into it yet. The other two “non-chosen” properties are comparable homes found by the participant’s realtor just for purposes of the show.

Suzanne Whang headshot

Another thing I get a lot of e-mails about is Suzanne Whang’s absence. Have you missed her? I told you what happened to her in this post.

*UPDATE: A reader went on House Hunters and tells us what it was like behind the scenes!*

So there you have it–a few more insights into how one of HGTV’s most popular series works. Does it bother you that there aren’t always real decisions being made? I still watch, but now I try to figure out which couples are faking it!

Julia-simple teal signature

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This Belle Rocks June 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I’m not surprised (nor really all that upset) that there’s fakeness going on, but I’m always intrigued by what kinds of jobs the house-hunting folks have. A LOT of them seem to work from home, yet make enough working from home to be able to afford decent houses…..

Is there some sort of income requirement for the participants, or are their careers faked, or changed to protect their identity?
.-= This Belle Rocks´s last blog ..Day two of my “three day weekend” =-.

hookedonhouses June 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm

This Belle Rocks–
You’re right–a lot of them do seem to work from home! A sign of the current economy, perhaps? Maybe the self-employed are the most flexible when it comes to filming schedules? Good question! -Julia

Jessica Singletary June 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm

It’s true. My brother’s friend was on an episode in Dallas and he gave the scoops on how it works. I was a bit disappointed but I still love watching and guessing which one they’ll pick!
.-= Jessica Singletary´s last blog ..My Love of Beadboard =-.

Nathan June 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I really only like seeing the end of House Hunters where the show how they’ve decorated the home since they’ve moved in. Some episodes I love watching, like when people are looking at lofts and condos and such. Or the few where the people are looking at million dollar homes – those are always nice to watch, haha.
I much prefer Property Virgins though. And I love when the virgins are saying how they understand all the stuff and know to look for the “structural” things that can’t easily by changed but then still get all bent out of shape because “the carpet is blue” or “the wallpaper is ugly”.

Angela (Cottage Magpie) June 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Well, I have to be honest that I’m not at all surprised to find that the shows are staged. I’ve actually done some film & video productions, and it takes a LOT of work to make something look spontaneous! Most reality shows are far more staged than you would ever guess, too. Plus they are “cast”–meaning that people are selected for shows based on not just how well they qualify for the supposed activity in the show but how good the TV is they’ll make, if you know what I mean. I think the important thing is to not let it spoil the fun, any more than knowing a movie is fiction would spoil it. That’s just my opinion, though!! ~Angela :-)
.-= Angela (Cottage Magpie)´s last blog ..Little Floral Prints =-.

Brandie June 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I did not know this! I mean, it makes sense, but I never thought about it much. I guess it doesn’t really matter to me though, I like watching it because I like seeing the various details of the houses. Thanks for sharing this detail…it’s interesting.
.-= Brandie´s last blog ..Real Beef Stroganoff + App Giveaway =-.

Michelle June 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I know how it works but it doesn’t bother me, I still love the show! I tend to turn it off if they are looking at something I’m not interested in but sometimes there are some really beautiful homes toured! And finding out how they decorate in the end is fun too.
~Michelle
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Wednesday =-.

Kim June 3, 2010 at 1:56 am

A friend of mine told me that her brother was on the show and how they do it. I wasn’t sad. I’m kind of glad they don’t do it the way they show it on tv, because I couldn’t see couples choosing from three homes. I miss Suzanne Whang. She did a great job.

Nathan June 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Yeah, I guess it would be kind of ridiculous to ONLY look at three houses and make a decision, haha. I mean, you know when you see it, but if you are only “allowed” to view three homes – that could easily turn out for the worse.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish June 3, 2010 at 5:31 am

I wondered about that. Because sometimes you watch it and it seems like none of the houses would work for the person and you wonder “well why did they pick those three?” Interesting. I guess, having done some house shopping, that makes more sense than walking around and watching a couple look at like 10 houses before they find one they like!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Eight Great Drum Shade Lamps & Fixtures =-.

Tracey June 3, 2010 at 5:51 am

Further proof that there is no reality in reality TV! I can still enjoy some shows in small doses knowing they are fake. I am simple like that. :)
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..Goodwill Chair Makeover =-.

Sarah June 3, 2010 at 6:06 am

Guess I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed. Knowing that will take something away from enjoying the show. And I loved that show, too. Drat!
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..community supported agriculture =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now June 3, 2010 at 6:27 am

I guess it does make sense from a production stand-point, but I guess it also proves that there’s rarely anything real about reality TV. :s
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Frizz =-.

Rachel June 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

I always thought it was a little ridiculous to choose from just three houses. But that doesn’t stop me from watching. I love seeing houses and imagining what I would do with them. :)
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Faces Need =-.

duchess June 3, 2010 at 7:06 am

That’s a little disappointing but I still like the show. I guess I just like snooping around inside the homes instead of really caring which one they choose. My favorite part is seeing what they’ve done with the house after they move in. Thanks for informing us of the “reality” of the show.
.-= duchess´s last blog ..Vacation Pics =-.

Kim June 3, 2010 at 7:14 am

Good to know. I always wondered how staged these shows are.
.-= Kim´s last blog ..T is for Things……. =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints June 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

This is exactly why I read your blog every day. My mystery questions get answered…immediate satisfaction! I didn’t know that about Whang. I HAVE missed her. My husband and I talk about it all the time. There was just something about her.

I also loved it when they started adding the prices of the house. I guess deep down we are all voyeurs and want to know the nitty gritty details. It really doesn’t surprise me about how they film the show. Things are just not what they seem in TV land. It won’t make me not watch the show. It’s one of my favorites:)
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Canopy of Dreams GIVEAWAY!! =-.

Amy June 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

I don’t really care that the show is staged. Watching them look at two other houses that they’re pretending to consider isn’t any different than them looking at two houses that they’re actually considering. They’re still going to pick one out of three.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..What I’m Dreaming Of…. =-.

Mrs. R June 3, 2010 at 8:09 am

I had no idea, but it does make sense. In today’s world of television, what isn’t staged! LOL!
.-= Mrs. R´s last blog ..U can’t touch this! =-.

the 7msn ranch June 3, 2010 at 8:10 am

Bummer. But I’ll still watch it because I’m addicted to real estate porn.
.-= the 7msn ranch´s last blog ..Making something out of nothing =-.

Emily June 3, 2010 at 8:11 am

My brother’s fiance was a producer on some of the HH International episodes and told me this… It’s a bummer but I still love the show since the viewer still doesn’t know which one they’ve already chosen!
.-= Emily´s last blog ..Things to Remember- Month Eighteen =-.

clustres June 3, 2010 at 8:25 am

I did not know this, but I guess I am not surprised. It is TV. But I do miss Suzanne Whang. I especially LOVED her on Las Vegas. I was mad that show was cancelled after the last episode was a cliffhanger. Did not see that coming!
.-= clustres´s last blog ..She’s a doll… =-.

Janell Beals June 3, 2010 at 8:28 am

Yes, a real estate friend of mine has been the Realtor in several House Hunters episodes and he told me this little fact! It bummed me out, but then it made sense. It wasn’t always this way, I recall years back seeing a few episodes where the house count reached well into the upper double digits. Who can film all of that?!
Janell
.-= Janell Beals´s last blog ..Can The Room Be Nearly Done?! =-.

Vanessa@decor happy June 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

I never knew either but it makes sense that they would do that. I love learning about the different US cities (must have been an American in a former life) and seeing the house prices. Loved Nathan’s comment about Property Virgins – same is true of House Hunters – they get so swayed by the wallcolour!
.-= Vanessa@decor happy´s last blog ..Catching up with…Margot Austin =-.

Pat June 3, 2010 at 8:32 am

That explains all the bad acting! I always thought the “home shoppers’ were stiff and scripted when they spoke…and they always spoke the same comment, which was “I like the windows, they let in a lot of light”! The other commet, “do you think our dog Barfy will like it” also makes me laugh!
It doesn’t matter, I watch the show to see the houses, the shoppers are just a necessary evil! LOL!
I only have one question…where do theses people get so much money, I think the average age is 15!!!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..It’s The Nights… =-.

beth June 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

My husband has always wondered about that. He would tell me that he thought that they already knew which house they wanted, and it was all just staged. But I didn’t believe him. “No way. They really are looking at these houses and considering them. It’s all real.” That’s what I’d tell him. Looks like I owe him an apology.
.-= beth´s last blog ..New open shelves + nothing to put on them = a good excuse to go shopping! =-.

chris June 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

The Property virgiins show filmed twice in our area , actually just down the street and the home buyers from the show still live in the house they selected on the show for REAL!
I will give you a little insight to the Canadian HGTV shows , they do casting calls often and they more often than not DO NOT PAY the participants , they normally do not pay to have reno’s done either , the home owners foot the bill and are only considered if they have loads of cash to get the job done , which is rediculous , I mean how can they not pay for content , come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!where is the production budget going??? to make the hosts wealthy , share the wealth people .
.-= chris´s last blog ..lightening up again =-.

Karena June 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

Julia, I guess I am not really all that surprised…..a little disappointing. It just makes you wonder what is real or not!!

Karena
Art by Karena
.-= Karena´s last blog ..Art Events & Big News!! You are Invited! =-.

Jennae @ Green Your Decor June 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

I watch House Hunters all the time, and I never realized that it is so staged. I guess it makes sense that they would want to ensure that the people filmed will actually choose a home. Still, it is fun to guess which home they will pick and see the various details of each home.
.-= Jennae @ Green Your Decor´s last blog ..Friday Room Reveal: Eco Nursery for Three by Marsh & Clark =-.

grapevine93 June 3, 2010 at 9:04 am

It ‘s a half hour show. Anyone who owns a home and has shopped for one has got to understand it takes more than 30 minutes to make such a decision. HGTV’s successful formula is not such a surprise when you consider that. That it would be narrowed to 3 and then, 1 house chosen is very acceptable to me in this entertaining show. Are they indeed the actual final 3 houses the couple has been looking at? It matters less because in fact they are all in the similar price range and wish list description. In order to see the moved into house and what may have been done with it it seems to me starting with a sure thing (in escrow couple) is the only way to go! I often wonder how a particular buyer is doing months later and occasionally wish for follows up as in the shows consisting of the final multiple decoratings “reveals “edited into a single show. Love those! Bet the couple and the network are delighted to be done with each other though in some cases. Compensation for this network likely can not be the same as the major networks (consider their house giveaways, though sponsored $). But think of “your adventure” being recorded to share with family & friends. Having had multiple moves and realtors (transfers) I can say with authority this program, Property Virgins, Design to Sell are invaluable eye opening helps in Real Estate experiences. How about an interactive several hours of House Hunter’s- we guess via email- which house is selected? Winner Prize, or for the fun of it????? Removing hostess shaves time and $ from production. Yes, I liked her.

Susan @ Your home, only better. June 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

Not surprised, but it does make it seem a little silly to watch. I still like the International version best. Perhaps they should extend it to social media and get people to vote using hastags or a facebook page to see if “we” got it right. ;)
.-= Susan @ Your home, only better.´s last blog ..What To Wear! =-.

Christine June 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

I’m not surprised, but disappointed. I still love the show, but miss Suzanne Whang. I guess this won’t keep me from watching, but now I’ll just pay more attention to the buyers to see who does a better job acting! ;)
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Wishes =-.

elz June 3, 2010 at 9:21 am

I feel completely bamboozled. I knew there was some sort of fishy timeline going on, but whay not just tell us that? I’d much rather see people not buy a house than fake it. Grrr. I usually only watch House Hunters International now b/c the American version bugs me- location people! Location, you can always paint, recarpet, etc. Drives me batty.
.-= elz´s last blog ..Love Thursday-Love You More =-.

Jeannine @ Small & Chic June 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

I think House Hunters went from being the most interesting show on HGTV to be the worse. If they want to keep people interested, they need to retire re-runs after a reasonable period of time. How often have we seen the girl moving from the resort in Hong Kong to the city? The young Portland couple looking for a traditional home? The NYC couple that wound up moving just a few floors up in the same building?

HH and HHI bore me to tears these days. Unfortunately, there are days when they have HH marathons. They don’t announce them…it just happens an a random day here and there.

Between HGTV and HGTV Canada, I think there is a lot of fantastic programming and it’s a shame that they repeat such a formulaic show so much. I think people would be far interested in seeing old episodes of Design Inc. or past seasons of Sarah’s House.

I find myself watching HGTV less and less these days. :(
.-= Jeannine @ Small & Chic´s last blog ..Window shopping =-.

Laurie September 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

Finally, someone else on here with my point of view. Once a week would be fine, but for Pete’s sake, I can predict before I even look it will HH or HHI! Enough! There is so many more great shows! Staged or not- enough!

Billy June 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

The last reality TV show that was near real: Real World NY.

How about “What You Get for Your Money Now”. They would go back to the same houses and show us what they are worth post correction?

Lisa June 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed. Although I always thought that it didn’t seem fair that they were forced to choose one at all…what if they didn’t like any of the three? Now I know and now its not so unfair. But when it comes down to it you get to take a peek inside three differnt houses every show!! Scripted or not, thats always fun!!

Dean June 3, 2010 at 10:02 am

WOW! Where have I been? I didn’t know about this at all. Nothing really surprises me anymore, so it’s not a big disappointment, but I never got the impression any of “House Hunters” was faked. I always thought it odd they only featured 3 homes, but decided they must actually look at more and HGTV picked the 3 frontrunners. I guess that’s the not the case at all.
I’ll still watch it. The main reason I like it is because I like looking at the variety of homes and interior spaces etc., especially the “International” version.
Thanks for the info!

Kelly, Arte Styling June 3, 2010 at 10:10 am

Oh, I loved Suzanne Whang, too! I don’t watch the show much anymore, but now that you mention it, I haven’t seen her in awhile. That so great that you got the scoop directly from Suzanne.
I, too, have done a little behind the scenes work with HGTV, and am not at all surprised to learn about House Hunters little system. There HAD to be a catch – the process is just too perfect for a half hour show. But, I’m afraid, most of the shows aren’t as real as we’d like to think. I did a blog post awhile back on my HGTV experiences, “HGTV- Friend or Foe?”, if anyone’s interested: http://bit.ly/b59s4t
Thanks for the great post! I just love your blog.
.-= Kelly, Arte Styling´s last blog ..The Joys of Estate Sale Shopping =-.

Kelly, Arte Styling December 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm

…just wanted to update the link: http://bit.ly/ahIIEv
.-= Kelly, Arte Styling´s last blog ..Take Command of Your Space Contest Update =-.

Danielle from A Few of My Favorite Things June 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

I work in TV so the fact that HH is “fake” didn’t really surprise my and like some other people who’ve commented, I just like looking at the houses. Personally, I’d rather watch a show where something happens then watch “Selling New York,” which should be called “Not Selling New York” since nothing ever gets bought or sold or “Hidden Potential” where you knew no one ever bought one of those places, let alone did the renovations to them.
.-= Danielle from A Few of My Favorite Things´s last blog ..Pear Tree Greetings Address Labels {GIVEAWAY & DISCOUNT} =-.

Susan June 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

Nothing surprises me anymore!! My husband and I are related to a young woman who announced her engagement to all her relatives and friends. Her parents threw a big engagement party. Next came several showers and a huge wedding with numerous attendants. While we were unable to attend, my husband and I sent gifts for both the showers and the wedding. Then we learned that the couple had already been married for months prior to the engagement announcement and nearly a year prior to the wedding. We would have been delighted if we were asked to celebrate their marriage, and would have still sent gifts, but felt sad that they went to such lengths to cover up the truth. So no, not much surprises me anymore.

Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Vintage Guest Towels =-.

Papa June 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

I am really shocked that there is pretending on TV shows. The next thing I read will probably say wrestling is not real either.

Our Nifty Notebook June 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

I didn’t know this, but I’m not surprised that it’s fake. I am surprised at how well the people can fake it! And for only $5oo too! That seems like a lot of work.
.-= Our Nifty Notebook´s last blog ..CSN Stores Product Review: Carson zOrb =-.

hip hip gin gin June 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

Well, blech. Now I don’t want to watch it anymore. Once I know it is fake the fun is over. Although that might explain why sometimes they “don’t pick” a house based on something ridiculous like paint color in the bathroom. I guess if they have to fish for something negative to say about it that is one way to go, that always drove me crazy.
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Dapper Dan: Robert Downey Jr. =-.

Susan S June 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

It’s the first time I’ve heard of this, but honestly it doesn’t bother me because first of all, it has always seemed ludicrous that people would find a home having seen only three. Secondly, the time constraints that you mention would never allow the usual process which usually entails months and months or longer yet!

I love watching from the perspective that I get to see real estate and find out the asking price. I especially love the international shows where I’m quite curious about price. So, to answer your question, I’m not at all bothered by the contrived setup and I’m actually quite impressed with the acting abilities of these non-actors!

Holly June 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hi, Julia! I’ve been on a bit of a blog break and haven’t been here in quite a while. Good to be back! :)
I always knew something had to be fixed with HH, because most people would look at way more than 3 houses. I never thought that those were the only 3 houses they had to choose from. However, I did not know that 2 of them were total fakes! Oh well, I still like the show.
.-= Holly´s last blog ..Shower Curtain Pillows =-.

Fatcat June 3, 2010 at 11:09 am

What’s hilarious to me about this is that they say such stupid things when they come into a room and now I know that is the best take of all the things they said? LoL.

Wendy @The Shabby Nest June 3, 2010 at 11:31 am

This doesn’t bother me in the least…it’s the only thing that makes sense production wise. You know what I find sad, however, is the fact that HGTV (my favorite network) has replaced most of its decorating shows in favor of real estate shows.

I like House Hunters, but I really miss all the decor shows…Decorating Cents, Design on a Dime, Vern Yip’s show…I know they still run them in reruns during the day, but goodness me, they need more in Prime Time…not just Saturday Night (and by the way, in my neck of the woods even Divine Design doesn’t come on Saturday Night until 1:00 am…it ‘s very frustrating.)

Okay enough of my ranting…I do love HGTV…I just want my decor shows back. sigh.
.-= Wendy @The Shabby Nest´s last blog ..This I Love: Clever Canopy =-.

js June 3, 2010 at 11:41 am

I’m not watching because I care about these people or where they end up living. All I want is to see lots of different houses. If there was a show that just went through houses for no reason at all, I’d watch it.

wendy June 3, 2010 at 11:45 am

Here is an interesting tidbit:

Several years ago my Mom and Dad met a cameraman from HouseHunters on a cruise once and he told them 90% of the time they will pick the empty house because it already is in escrow. I began paying attention and sure enough most of the time two houses were furnished and one house wasn’t and that was the one they ended up buying. It seems to be less accurate now as I think there are more empty homes out there.

Monique June 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Totally agree with js! The houses are the real stars of the show. My little family has only moved twice, but both times I knew as soon as I walked in the house that it was ‘the one.’ Even though I get that the show is trying to keep the suspense as to which house gets chosen, I always wondered why people weren’t more excited. I guess that they have already done their happy dance!

Jamie June 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I’ve been through the buying process and also work for a real estate agent so know how the process goes. I always assumed that the people on house hunters really narrowed down there own three choices from what they had seen. I guess though knowing all of the things that can happen to delay or even cancel a closing/contract then it makes sense that they choose people already in escrow to eliminate potential fall throughs. But I am with most of the others when they say, I watch the show to see the interiors of the homes, mostly I laugh at how goofy some of the people are on the show and only care about the houses in different areas of the countries. I’m JS above who said if they had a show that just showed us houses and how they looked inside, I would most definately watch it!

Em Heizer Photo June 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

That is SO LAME!!!!! I don’t like that at all! No wonder sometimes it seems all fake! Because they are acting- non actors acting! Boooooo!
.-= Em Heizer Photo´s last blog ..Rick & Shannan got married! =-.

Joyce June 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I rarely watch this show but what you say sounds interesting. My daughters best friend had the show that comes in and fixes up your house for you to sell (Design to Sell perhaps?). They come in and do a minimal redo. Well they put the dishwasher in wrong and it almost started a fire in the house and did several other mistakes that the couple had to fix after the show was over. The people who come to look at the house are the couples friends. The entire thing is set up before. It was such a nightmare and the people who purchased the home did so on the upgrades the couple had done in other rooms that had nothing to do with the TV show fixing up the kitchen with paint and a new dishwasher and some shelves and drapes in the DR.
.-= Joyce´s last blog ..Outdoor Wednesday…bird watching… =-.

Love Where You Live June 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I like this show. It’s like getting marketing research for an area. However, we did conclude early on that these people probably already had chosen their home. I mean, come on, no one just looks at 3 houses before deciding on one. cheers, -s
.-= Love Where You Live´s last blog ..French Elegance in the Master Bedroom — and in Color =-.

sbean June 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I lost interest after Suzanne left.

Plus, the houses are so over the top, it’s hard to relate. It would have been nice to see some ‘normal’ house hunters.

But I enjoyed for a long time.

sbean

Carmen June 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I didn’t know that but I guess it makes sense. I don’t have cable so I can only watch it if we happen to be at my mom’s when it’s on. :)
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..I’m a slacker! =-.

tina poulsen June 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

to me, what’s so great about house hunters & property virgins is that we get to see a sample of the market in that area for that price range. maybe even get a few ideas for what not to have in your house if you want to sell or what to add to make it more enjoyable while you live there.
i kinda like when the buyers don’t buy on property virgins. it just seems more realistic.
you know?
.-= tina poulsen´s last blog ..Pure Design =-.

linda@LimeintheCoconut June 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Yes…I remember learning that a few years ago when an online friend went through as a “house hunter”. Now…when I watch the show…I just try and guess which one they bought!
.-= linda@LimeintheCoconut´s last blog ..The obstacle is the path……. =-.

One Nutty Girl June 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I LOVE me some House Hunters. I heard awhile back the same thing you reported b/c a friend of a friend was paid $500 and she already had a house picked. I was bummed, but still watch!
.-= One Nutty Girl´s last blog ..Sweet Boy ~ Sweet Shot =-.

Kelly, Arte Styling June 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Julia – thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m going to re-post the “HGTV -Friend or Foe” post on my new blog platform and will send you the link when it’s updated. (Did I mention I love your blog???)
.-= Kelly, Arte Styling´s last blog ..The Joys of Estate Sale Shopping =-.

Kelly, Arte Styling June 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Ok – here’s the new link: http://artestyling.blogspot.com/2010/06/hgtv-friend-or-foe.html

Thanks!
.-= Kelly, Arte Styling´s last blog ..The Joys of Estate Sale Shopping =-.

Struggler June 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Wow, does seem a bit bizarre. But I can see why they’d do it that way. And as someone who likes to look at many, many houses before making a purchase decision, I can’t really complain too loudly!

Susan June 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Wow! I had no idea! Well, that’s not entirely true. There were times I thought the perspective buyers didn’t look too surprised or that their “acting” was a bit too canned…now I know why!
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Welcome to the 93rd Tablescape Thursday! =-.

Visual Vamp June 3, 2010 at 7:46 pm

There’s nothing really real about most “reality” shows. So much is scripted and coached. The amateur actors make it seem sort of real. Reality shows are cheap to produce, highly profitable, and often entertaining, but far from real.
xo xo
.-= Visual Vamp´s last blog ..You’ll Love This Stuff =-.

micah June 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Wow, I did not know this! Not too surprised though. Oh well, I will still watch the show. My husband and I like to bet on which house they will choose. I can’t believe they only get $500!
.-= micah´s last blog ..Cave-Dwellers Part 3: The Grand Finale =-.

Kirsten June 4, 2010 at 12:35 am

Awhile back I looked up the requirements for HH on the HGTV website, and they said that you must be in escrow to be considered. That made sense to me, since “reality” tv is much less expensive to produce, and having people on this show be that far into the process makes it that much quicker for everyone involved.
.-= Kirsten´s last blog ..Radio Silence =-.

Nita June 4, 2010 at 2:22 am

I would love you to feature some of the House Hunters, International Paris apartments and houses. Interesting to see why America has the highest standard of living after you see some of their teensy kitchens. But, I love French places.

Lesley @ The Design File June 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

I didn’t know that. It’s kind of a bummer.

I seem to remember when that show started that they didn’t just look at three houses. I feel like there were early episodes when the whole thing wasn’t so scripted. They probably switched formats because it was so unpredictable.

I guess I’ll just watch it differently now. It sure explains those fakey phone calls.
.-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..A sophisticated room for a teenager =-.

Kathie June 4, 2010 at 11:38 am

Makes me wonder if any of the HH participants, upon seeing the two other “choices”, fall in love and then regret that they are already in escrow !
.-= Kathie´s last blog ..The Argument for Annuals and Other Outdoor Trials & Tribulations =-.

Angela @ Peony Patch June 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

Well…I never really thought about it, but randomly contemplated how it was narrowed down to 3 houses. I must say, I am a bit dissappointed.
.-= Angela @ Peony Patch´s last blog ..Foodie Friday: London Broil, Part Deux =-.

amanda June 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I’m not surprised. I figured there had to be something like that going on because 1) You can tell that it looks really fake sometimes (they aren’t good actors) 2) We’ll see them entering the rooms from different camera angles without seeing the cameras, so they must have done it multiple times 3) like you said, what happens if they don’t like one of the houses they see? It doesn’t really bother me.

I didn’t know people got paid to be on the show! That’s prettys sweet. I would think most people do it just to be on tv, so they’d prolly do it for free.

anna see June 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm

I had no idea! I guess I’m naive! I”be been watching house hunter’s international a lot. Definitely think the people should be paid more. Time is money.
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Game On =-.

Steph June 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm

O_O
NOOOOO!!!!!!
My bf alwasy told me it was a sham. I refused and he was right
:P’

i still love it and now i know so i can tell who is faking it!
hahaha

Geeia Simms June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I think it is RIDICULOUS that they pay $500 – yes, it is still $500. They use your time – full days up to a week. They use your electricity, your house, your everything and pay you $500???? What a bunch of you know what…. Rip off artists to the max. They should be ashamed of themselves. Such a highly rated show and they pay nothing. I will not be watching anymore…. The participants should get at least $5000!

JC July 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Great Blog! Re House Hunters, I guess most people don’t remember the original show. They followed people around L.A. as they looked at house after house. They weren’t fancy houses. L.A. has dinky houses for fancy prices. Most of the people were established middle class, but not wealthy. So they looked at house after house after house until they found something acceptable. There was a little caption at the bottom of each tour: House #2, House #17, House #31. It was very realistic. I think the format change happened when they expanded to different cities. It was pretty obvious when they made the change that the new format was scripted, but I guess it wasn’t so obvious if you just tuned in and they presented it as “they have three to choose from”, which is an out and out lie.

I’m with some of your other commenters. I watch because I like looking at different houses in different areas. I especially like International when they show construction that you just wouldn’t see here. And feel ripped off when “International” is Vancouver or something. Considering how much of HGTV is Canadian production, calling that “International” is very misleading. It’s not like there’s any way to know that it’s not Seattle except because they said so.

S Enlow July 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm

House Hunters is REALLY LAME AND OLD…so many better shows..LET IT GO!

Garoto1973 July 27, 2010 at 9:26 am

I still watch it from time to time, specially the International version. It is easy to see which one they picked, almost always its the one without furniture. If you see personal belongings (like toothbrush in the bathroom) you know they won’t pick that one.

It is amazing to see how much house you get in middle US vs let’s say Tokio…

$500 is ridiculous….

Daniel August 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm

It doesn’t bother me too much that the house hunting is faked, but it does bother me that the house prices arn’t real. It leads us average snooks to feel like we’re failures because we have an engineering job, but can’t afford a house that a person who works as a meter reader can afford. Of course, I see where the Real Estate firms are going with this. If they can make us think that a half million dollar house is what most people buy now days, then that’s what we should be looking for.

hookedonhouses August 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

The house prices aren’t real?

Love House Hunters September 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm

I still love House Hunters. It’s no different than looking through magazines at houses that people already live in! It gives you a chance to see three houses every show!

I miss Suzanne Wang greatly. Her voice had a “smile” in it all the time. You can’t fake or copy that, and the voice-over lady just doesn’t cut it. She sounds more like she is narrating a documentary – and is only barely a copy of the very bright Suzanne Wang.

I guess they heard the complaints because I saw Sabrina Soto hosting an episode of House Hunters – and she certainly added her personality! But I like Suzanne Wang even better!

Martin M September 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I am watching “House Hunters International” in Fiji and the local realtor is called Will Roadhouse. Well I’m sure Will Roadhouse is not a Fiji realtor as he is CEO of a “reality/media TV” company here in Orange County, CA. The whole episode is totally fabricated. I don’t know why HGTV continue with this charade or are they aiming at the small percentage of the population who think everything they see on TV is real….

jennifer December 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm

That’s funny you would say that because I thought I was the only one that noticed that!!. I watched several different episodes of H.H international & one time Will Roadhouse was in Costa Rica, another episode he was in Fiji, another episode he was in Nicaragua & etc. Wow!!, he must be some agent!!. HGTV thinks that no one notices this things, but we do notice!!

hookedonhouses December 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Yep, we do! :-)

Lisa December 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

I just found this website for Will Roadhouse – he actually seems legit to me?
http://www.compassproperties.net/team-members.php

I am not defending the rest of the show…but I am still watching! ;-)

Lisa December 20, 2010 at 9:06 am

Never mind…Ignore my previous comment…I should have read all the comments before I replied.

Kim September 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I enjoy the House Hunter shows because I like seeing what real estate is available and the prices in other parts of the country. I don’t understand why they feel a need to ‘fake it’. I always wondered if they were really forced to choose between 3 houses – I guess I have my answer. I’ll still watch – but I really am disappointed that HGTV is being dishonest – I guess they’re as bad as all the other reality shows/stations.

Jerri October 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

This answers a question I’ve had for years – like why is it that no one house ever seems to have all they are looking for? and why do the realtors show them such obviously unsuitable houses? AND – how is it they always seem to buy the most expensive house (top of the budget or over their budget) and then proceed to put major bucks into renovations or additions like swimming pools??

Darrell Fichtl October 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

Honestly, who uses “budget” in their vocabulary as often as they do on House Hunters. The last time I used that word was in a spelling contest when I was ten! In addition I’m beginning to feel like a pauper. You can’t buy anything on House Hunters International that you would live in for less than $400,000. I just love these over sized closets that are selling for $250,000. Granted they had one in Bulgaria for $40,000, but would you want to move into a garbage pit? Also amazing is the number of people that are “buying” in the Caribbean that want oceanfront properties. Haven’t any of these idiots ever heard of Katrina? Oh, one more thing that may have missed your observation. Have you noticed how many homes have bars on the windows? That sure isn’t for looks or style, it’s to keep the bad guys out! The bottom line is the show is total BS and most of the properties at would be affordable are a P of S!

Dick Thevenet November 24, 2010 at 10:03 am

That the House Hunters programs are staged doesn’t suprise me. The acting is terrible, and can’t the script writers come up with new jokes? I’m so tired of hearing the “Closet for me” joke! I enjoy seeing the different houses but I guess I could do the same on a real estate site. Lastly, watching the program makes this viewer wonder if the majority of house hunters in this world are gay and/or biracial?

JC November 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

So…did anyone see the episode where there was one furnished and two bare houses? I caught it recently, but I think it was a repeat. They took the furnished one! I guess HGTV has caught on that people have caught on and they’re trying to make it harder to guess.

Michael Spaargaren November 26, 2010 at 10:45 pm

It’s true as I was on House Hunters International Casa de Costa Rica
Episode HHINT-513H. The whole episode was staged including my agent. What a scam he turned out to be. He now bills himself as a realty TV show producer. He kisses ass and gets a regular gig on the show. I was surprised to as I already owned my house for two years then went on the show.

hookedonhouses November 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Interesting! Sounds like it’s even more staged than I realized.

Betty March December 1, 2010 at 1:17 am

Awesome! The ceililng is Awsome! The view is Awsome! The kitchen is Awsome!
The backyard is Awsome! The patiois Awsome! Dont they have another word to
describe anything good. Why is the color of the walls such a big deal when buying a home. It’s kind of stupid.

lance December 13, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I dont care just like looking at the houses. Will be more interesting when prices
get more realistic. Mean all this offer over list and prices you know have come
way down in the last year. Maybe they will reflect this next season

Hausfrau December 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

My family will be featured on an upcoming HHI episode (airing on New Year’s Day!). It’s absolutely staged–like you wouldn’t believe! We joked about that a lot with our Europe crew.
.-= Hausfrau´s last blog ..Forlorn =-.

hookedonhouses December 16, 2010 at 9:20 am

I’ll be watching for it! :)

GraniteCountertop December 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I think this show is a scam front being sponsored in secret by the National Board of Realtors in a pathetic attempt to prop up sagging home values. Never seen so many people purchasing so much overvalued junk.

Kevin December 18, 2010 at 9:17 am

It does really make sense to use people that have already pulled the trigger already. Buyers today are looking at hundreds and hundreds of house over the course of sometimes years, before making a decision. It is only a 30 min show
.-= Kevin´s last blog ..Sayville 725 =-.

Khiori December 18, 2010 at 10:46 am

I’ve known it was staged for years. Doesn’t bother me. OTH, I feel they use a lot of ‘downtrodden’ neighborhoods and try to make them sound “up and coming”! My sister lives ‘near’ one location and told me it WAS a rather scary area. Not “great for young families with access to shops”. Which actually made real estate in VA appear much cheaper than it is.

Alisha December 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

Ahhh I HATE the “closet” jokes! Once is enough, but they don’t need to say something witty about the closet in every episode. And don’t even get me started on the “man cave” jokes…

Kelly D December 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I recently read a message board, someone who had appeared on Property Virgins and how Sandra just shows up to do her thing and the virgins have another real estate agent that does what Sandra pretends to do. It’s a little disappointing to know how these shows work, I liked thinking that some of these people really are going through the buying process right before our eyes. Oh well, I’ll still watch it just for the snark factor. :)
.-= Kelly D´s last blog ..Search Stats! =-.

hookedonhouses December 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Interesting! I hadn’t heard that about “Property Virgins.” -Julia

Teacup Lane December 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I love your blog…it’s neat that you shared this type of information with your readers. I still watch HH but I miss Suzanne. It isn’t the same without her. I enjoy watching Income Property with Scott McGilivray and Curb Appeal: The Block with John Gidding. And I love Candace and Sarah (Tommy is a hoot!) …anything they design is just wonderful.

The show I dislike is the one (can’t think of the name?) where they look at fairly expensive, old, ugly homes and then have the designer show what can be done with them via laptop. The quotes he gives for the proposed work are so ridiculous and of course there is never any indication if the homes were truly bought and if, in fact, any suggested improvements were ever done. Now if they would take it a step further and show the homes with improvements actually done then it would be more interesting.
.-= Teacup Lane´s last blog ..Christmas Home Tour =-.

john December 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

i watch hgtv less and less these days-
too many repeats-

and what about the show where the guy left and a woman replaced him but they look alike !

have you ever done an article on northside in cincy?
i used to live there and love it lots -

missy December 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm

What about the show where they are redoing the landscape and at the reveal at the end of the show the guy talks about how he hit some problems during the project and then mentions that his WIFE DIED UNEXPECTANTLY! They had very young children. It was so creepy and I still can’t figure out why they continue to air that show!! The first time I saw it I was with my husband and he had already seen it so he convinced me to watch it because he wanted to see my reaction.

Lizzy December 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Has anyone else noticed that the couples always say “Oh my Gosh” or “Oh my Goodness”, they never say “Oh My God” ? That is not realistic at all, has to be scripted and or coached. I don’t think too many people on the East Coast say “Gosh”.

hookedonhouses December 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I hadn’t noticed, but now I’ll watch for that! -Julia

Heatherly December 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

My 5yo likes this show….need I say more? Even he says “they only look at 3 houses, then buy one?” No pulling the wool over his eyes!!

mimi linna December 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Another one of those peopel that watch the show to see how the homes are decorated both before and after. Confession time: When my daughter lived at home and we lived in California, we would drive through Mc Donald’s at dusk- get a coke and french fries – and drive through neighborhoods looking through people’s windows when the lights are on but the shades not drawn! Fast forward many moons later. Daughter lives in Alexandria, VA and I live in Florida. Whenever we get together, the grandbabies stay with their dad and granddad and we jump in the car and do the same thing:)

Marianne December 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I just enjoy looking at different houses. I do get annoyed with the, “I hate this paint color” comments.paint is cheap, people. It also bothers me that people cannot seem to purchase a home that needs updating. Are we really that spoiled?

In reference to Lizzy’s comment above…I do not care if “gosh” or “goodness” are scripted. I am sick of hearing the Lord’s name taken in vain. Some of us out here actually do love Him and care about such things!

Liz August 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I get so annoyed with these people who say everything needs updated when it’s perfrctly acceptable. Try losing your house to a foreclosure and have everything taken away. Be happy that you can afford to buy a perfectly nice house evn though it’s not perfect. I understand that if you earned the money you have every right to have things exactly so. But keep in mind that in these day and ages in can be gone in a flash and you won’t be so judgemental. Someone out there has it way worse than you. Be more appreciative and not so snobby.

Lizzy December 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Marianne,
For the record, as a BAC, I too do not like to hear the Lords name taken in vain, maybe that is why I have noticed the difference between real life and TLC.

missy December 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

What cracks me up are the people who want an older home with character but they also want an open floor plan, walk-in closets, a large master bath…..ummm, excuse me, but they didn’t have those kind of houses 50 years ago!

MJ December 31, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I don’t mind the play acting…love to see the houses and guess which one will be or already has been picked…I would love to see follow ups on the major renovations…especially on the international shows. Some of those places are so far gone…I would really enjoy seeing the finished product.

Nicole January 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I thought it was staged. Then in one episode the wife said, “oh the light fixture has changed!” Then I questioned her to myself saying, “I thought this was your first time in the house??” That was my “light bulb” moment for House Hunters. I still watch because I’m in the market. Loving Property Virgins too.

Nicole January 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

From reading more comments..I am getting disappointed. I am a single mother of 4 looking to purchase a house by March 2011. I kinda look to these shows for what to expect…of course also doing my own research.. to think that they already knew which house was picked is sad…..I always thought the walk thru’s were annoying ..especially the wives who dont work who complain about “dirty carpets” and ” this color does not work for me”. Get over it…paint can be changed….think Im gonna set my DVR to tape other shows….. :-(

Sue Madden January 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’m not surprised. When these people look at the house, they NEVER look at the furnace or the electricity. Those are huge issues when buying a home. They never turn on the water. They walk from room-to-room, saying “this is nice, this is nice.” It’s almost boring. I’d like to know if anyone of the people who bought high priced houses during the bubble are still in them or could they possibly be underwater. Might make a good show to revisit some of those families.

MrDT February 3, 2011 at 1:15 am

I would like to see a follow-up episode with some of these homeowners. You know, the ones who have low paying jobs and barely qualified for a loan to buy a $400,000 home not to mention all of the extra costs of furnishing a place, property taxes and maintaining it. Then they get fired (because they never ever thought they would) and now they’re in foreclosure. Not that I want bad things to happen to good people, but I’d like America, and my kids, to see what happens when you overextend your finances AND rely too much on things that are out of your control—like corporate downsizing. What condition the house/yard are in. What condition their finances are in and can they even afford furniture for the place? These people can’t be for real.

lkl February 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I figured out years ago that the home searchers already bought one of them when they were acting like they were looking for a home. The dead give-away was that often a piece of furniture was in place when they were “looking” and was still in their home after they “moved in”.

Matilda February 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

What really drives me crazy is the constant use of the words “It needs updating”. Unfortunately HH and programs alike are brainwashing people to think that if the materials in a home aren’t travertine, granite and stainless steel then the home is outdated. There was a time when someone bought a home that they decorated around the existing fixtures instead of replacing items that are in very good condition. I am not a fan of many things that some have been brainwashed into believing that they need. Take high ceilings, for example. This is one thing that builders have gotten away with for awhile to convince the buyer thay they are offering space. I much rather have floor space and lower ceilings than the opposite choice. After all, You can’t put furniture on a wall.

Steve Burris February 25, 2011 at 8:30 am

HH like most of the shows on HGTV and other DIY TV shows really upset me. It seems every house revealed on the shows sell for at least $300K, and generally a lot more (in the $500K range.) Most of the properties I’ve seen lately are extremely over inflated, given the current state of the real estate market. Housing in Nevada and Florida especially are not realistic (com’on Fla Condos priced at 1.5 mil – like that’s the average price) my wife and I usually watch for comic relief because it can’t be a real show. If the show is in fact a true representation of what those poor folks are paying, then I guess the old adage is still true “There’s one born every minute.”

Juneface March 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

I am so glad I found this website! I watch so much H & G TV and have often wondered about the production. I do like to watch “Designed to Sell” but I can’t figure out who this weird lady is who comes to scrutinize the house before the stagers take over. She has what I assume to be a heavy British accent…has black matted hair, and quite frankly she looks like she has a major hangover. She weaves her way through the rooms with a condescending air, and then mercifully leaves. LOL

I also can’t stand Genevieve somebody-or-other. She started out being a “Shabby Chic” designer and once she finished redecorating a room it looked worse than when she started. Then they moved her to doing some exterior and interior make-overs…then some silly competition shows. I think she had to get the job because she looks like a runway model – not for any decorating skills.

I miss Michael Payne and “Designing for the Sexes.” Guess it’s just because I like traditional design.

Tiffany S. April 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

Great – one more secret I have to keep from my husband, or he’ll be crushed! I really don’t want to ruin the “magic” for him.

Dale Bryant April 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

I used to watch House Hunters and House Hunters International (especially liked that one) but the “buyers” were so fakey, the agents so scripted I had to just ignore them. But, what burned me out on them was that, for instance, when they walked into a kitchen that anyone would be proud to cook in, they would whine about how “small” and Dated” it was, or bathrooms that you could fit 3 of mine in were “small”. It just got to be a bit old after a while.

sfvrealestate April 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Many years ago, when House Hunters first went on the air, my buyer clients and I were asked to participate. It was done differently then; the production crew was to follow us around to look at about five houses. However, at the very first house, it took the crew over an hour and a half to set up and get the shots they wanted. Yes, many were staged. My clients couldn’t put it with this much of a time-suck and dropped out.

However, I personally love watching HHInternational. It gives me a chance to dream about being in a foreign country!

Kelly April 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm

If you look at the production company’s website it lists $500 as the compensation still. I’m shocked that people go to that much trouble for so little money. I suppose it’s the draw of being on tv.

Pat April 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

My aunt was on House Hunters International recently. I was horrified as I watched her lie through her teeth about EVERYTHING. For one, she’s already lived in the house she supposedly picked out on the show for several years. The production staff removed all her stuff from some of the rooms that they filmed and then told her to walk in and act like she was seeing it for the first time. Also, she never even bought the house. Her husband’s family already owned it! Oh, and she was told to lie about all kinds of details. She was fed a line that went something like this: “Moving to Europe is such an adventure for me since I’ve never really traveled much before.” She’s only been a globe-trotter for years! The above newspaper article that says “sometimes people are already in escrow” or whatever, doesn’t come close to taking it far enough. It’s not like they’re just re-staging events that happened (which is already dishonest), they are outright lying about everything that takes place on the show, including who the supposedly “real person” even is.

hookedonhouses April 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Wow, talk about stretching the truth! That’s kind of crazy. As a non-actor myself, I think I’d feel really strange having to pretend that much on television!

Jim Shaffer April 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I have been a long time fan of HH but agree that there are so many phony buyers who act like they have never picked up a paint brush and everything has to be up dated.my biggest complaint is so many reruns enough already get a life or don’t buy a house

Ellen Richards April 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hi Julia,
I totally LOVE the show and YES, I do miss Suzanne Whang! Knowing the “inside story” will NOT cause me to stop watching.
I do NOT enjoy HHInternational and have stopped watching it.
Thanks for the information you provide…and thanks to other viewers for posting comments.

Heather May 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

I always knew this because most of the house hunters make the same comments in several of the shows.,e.g ”wow,I love the hardwood floors,the crown moulding is beautiful,the master bath has double sinks,this is exactly what we were looking for!”
However ,I love watching this show all the time.It is interesting to figure out which house a couple will eventually choose.

Mary May 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm

That is why we all liked tough as nails. It was real the only show that I my eyes were not set up scenes. We loved Cindy stumpo she was the real deal. Just look at all the awards this lady receives. Hgtv did put drama in her show, which I think, stumpo was upset about. But a real builder just do some back ground check on goggle. She was the real deal and I feel hgtv did not give her the respect she demands. As I read in an article on the web she refused set up scenes. She stood her ground. And that I respect to many make believe shows. They need to get there crap together and make a deal with stumpo.

Mary May 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Sorry on an I pad .

Nate June 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

It is still $500 for four full days if filming. Furthermore, it isn’t just sometimes fake – it is ALWAYS fake. I’ve just gone through this process. They won’t even consider you for the show unless you already have a purchase agreement signed, and have access to both your new home and your former home for the duration of the filming period.

Ever notice how the house the participants choose is almost always EMPTY when they walk through it on the show for that “first time” and the other two are still furnished? That is because they have already closed on the home they “choose” and just haven’t moved into it yet. The other two “non-chosen” properties are comparable homes found by the participant’s realtor just for purposes of the show…weak…

Sam June 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm

This is kind of depressing haha. I don’t care about the show, but my boyfriend does. I was going to send in the email to try to get on the show – he has been thinking about getting a vacation house somewhere in South America. But now… Idk. And he thought it was a “real” show.

Erika June 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Bummer! I am so dissapointed…. I really believed them all these years I’ve been watching the show…. however, hearing this, it does make sense : )

Darrin Bell June 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I was actually assuming this was how it worked, and it doesn’t bother me. From the start, the fun of it for me has been guessing which house was actually theirs. I thought we all came to terms with it years ago that all reality shows are more show than reality.

Candi June 30, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I wish HGTV would get back to like it was in the early/mid 90′s more decorating and staging instead of all this House Hunters, House Hunters International. I want to see redesigns not people “acting”.

FabienSparkle July 9, 2011 at 2:38 am

Apparently you don’t have to be that qualified an agent when the agent on the July 18, 2011 episode doesn’t know how to write her own contract.

robert beaty July 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

Real Estate Agents PUKE! If your not a Dr. or somebody with pockets full of money RFoadhouse or any lightweight real estate agent would never even know you. What idiot would ever buy a thing from Will Roadhose or any idiot Liar real estate agent. Dont ever buy property in Costa Rico..He has his own happy hour but only rich pukes are invited..What a Phoeny POS

Kal July 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

Just watched the International House Hunters about the two women who wanted to move to Hossegor France to surf. I looked them up to see how their surf school is going – surprise! – they set up shop in 2003! They’ve been there 8 years and HGTV is showing this as a new purchase. I knew these were somewhat staged but this is just complete falsehood. Here’s a link to there surf school. http://www.koala-surf.com/
So disappointing.

Mike April 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

One of the most annoying things about the show is they don’t tell you when it was filmed so it’s impossible to tell if it was a good purchase or not.

Jill July 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

Even before I read the article I assumed that there was more to it but love the show anyway. Is there any reality type show that isn’t scripted? I doubt it.

Cathy Boots August 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

It Dont Matter To Me- At All
Its Still A “G R E A T” Show!
……. LUV IT……. ?~(:-)

DOROTHY August 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

i love property virgins. wish they would bring back spice up my kitchen,room by room, & that show where a crew comes in completely demolishes your house then they remoleded it & 1 homeowner helped while the other went on a retreat-loved it, would only be good with the original people!!!!!!!

Keith September 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Can someone settle a bet for me???? Does anyone know how old Matilda was on the House Hunters International show(Poland)?????

Lisa Pomme September 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Cary Mullen’s episode of relocating from Calgary Canada to Escondido Mexico with his wife and 3 kids is deceiving. He was already developing and trying to promote and sell units in his development in Escondido before he went on TV and pretend like they are discovering the town. It is really promotion of a town (and hence his development) which are not on anyones radar. Nothing wrong with promotions but he and HGTV should not be so sneaky and fake about it.

Mimibroadway September 16, 2011 at 2:07 am

Thanks for info! I love HHI but I would get sort of depressed after every episode because I could not understand how these people could afford a second home for 500k. I can’t afford one house in LA and I make a decent salary.

Jack September 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Why are most of the shows filmed in Canada?

Gina April 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I guess I realized this was probably the case after watching celebrity house hunters. I must say I had no idea until I saw the washed up Hollywood types displaying worse acting than the wanna be actors on house hunters. These people don’t buy a thing.

Liz April 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Interesting! I never gave it much thought until I started dreaming about moving to Europe, and looking at expat websites. On one, there were several posts by a producer of House Hunters International, looking for people who have already purchased a new home in a foreign country, and would like to “tell their story” on the air.

What I then wondered was how they go about the “before and after” of the purchased home. A feature of the show is to show the new home empty, and then show it after they’ve been there for some time and decorated it with new paint and furniture. Your post seems to answer the question, although I don’t really get how these people in the international shows haven’t moved in at all when the show is filmed. Do they go so far as to empty out the house and paint it ugly old colors for the before, and then repaint it and refurnish it for the after shots?

Often on these shows there will be some “tension” between the realtor and the home buyers, when the home buyer is too picky and critical. So that is all staged, too?

Malia Escobar May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

It is unsatisfying to watch the HH internationals who purchase serious remodels and you see no progress on the show. Is there a website that shows the after photos?

S. Blomgren May 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

I really enjoy the House Hunter’s programs except for one small detail.
The sound quality on all of them is terrible and very difficult to understand.

Marylin Pages May 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I miss Sandra Rinamato on Property Virginis – she was fun, gracious, patient, very understanding and delightful — did she move on or will we be seeing her again??

By the way, HGTV is my favorite channel (& we have many, most of them junk!) — love White Room Competition, House Hunters, Design Stars & so many others — keep it up — have been a BH&G subscriber for 20-30 years or more — as a newly-wed and young mother on a tight budget in the 60′s, your magazine was must reading for me & it still is, though I’m a grandma now. You never lose that special touch and constantly come up w/ great ideas – what a blessing you are to home-lovers – on every budget!!

Marylin
Now, I’m a grandma & I pass it on to family & friends –

kim May 24, 2012 at 3:50 am

i stopped watching this show almost a year ago when i found out, my mom catch me watching it and always wonder “how do these young people afford 300 thousand dollar homes, so i googled it and this site came up, gosh i thought only the “i dont like this paint” part was exagerated

JANET MCCONNELL May 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I figured they were rehearsed. Too many doh-doh brains that know how to use trade terms. Seems they also have another criterium: choosing the most irritating people (usually the wife), similar to the obnoxious buffoons that get chosen for game shows

Emily May 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

After retiring and watching HGTV a lot, I want to vent please: Is it just me or aren’t there enough homes in the US to show? Why international?? I can never turn it off fast enough when that comes on. Another thing that drives me up a wall is the word DREAM. Overused, dream kitchen, dream house, dream location, give us a break p l e e e e e e z z z e. Overused also are the usuals…….open concept, hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, same old same old. Is there no originality? Love Scott from Income Property, not crazy about the Property Brothers, really like the Kitchen Cousins.

Angie July 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I kind of knew it… but please please don’t tell us that Property brothers or love it or listed are fake… those are my favorite shows right now.

Henry August 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

I remember seeing an episode of House Hunters International where a family from Michigan moves to Paris. One of the houses they were looking at had mysterious boxes that said “Paris” in them. Lo and behold, that was the house they choose. In which they were already in the process of moving during filming of the episode.

I myself have stopped watching this show. Yeah I know it’s fake and all participants have to be on escrow. It is how increasingly annoying the participants have gotten that threw me off the program for good.

Mario August 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm

It is understandable,I still like it,and is one of the most entertaining and sound’ partly reality ‘tv shows where i find no cursing..now in this time we are living in most all tv is trashly and openly evil..

spychic August 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

i am sad to hear HH and HHI is staged. thinking back to how these house hunters object – some making complete a%*es of themselves – to features of homes is laughable. imagine PRETENDING not to budge about certain deal breaking amenities of the home, or FAKING like the noise/traffic/privacy/unfinished basement will be factors in the decision that you made already. it’s kind morally wrong to blatantly film a show and mislead viewers – who also happen to be consumers in the real estate home and renovation industries. i wondered how producers could get 3 homeowners to wait until the house hunter decide. everything is all about the mighty [$$$$$$$$$$].

Don Anthony August 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm

What I’m upset about is when did “House Hunters International” turn into “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous”? Almost every house on the show today goes over half a million. I don’t know many people personally who have that kind of money or equity even approaching that in a home here. I liked it more when it showed stuff I actually could afford to lease or buy.

Ron September 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

$500K gets you into rich and famous category? Hmmph. .Move out to California and see what you get for $500K – a starter home1- 2 hours from your job in some tacky development where every 5th home is the same.

That said, $500K is about the minimum I’m interested in looking at – below that the homes are mostly dumps. I watch every episode and it has surprised me at the consistency of prices in most large cities in the world.

Melanie September 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I love seeing different styles of houses and how people live in foreign countries. What really irks me is the Americans who invariably comment on how “This isn’t what we have in America.” Well, so what, you’re in a foreign country, so quit comparing everything to how it’s done in the United States. If it bothers them so much, stay in the United States. I have seen very few episodes where the Americans aren’t laughing at how other people live.

Bluelexus720 September 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

What I HATE about this show…..is when the buyers have this HUGE amount to spend (I’m. Watching one now where they have a big 130,000 to spend)……and they are so freekin picky about the homes they’re looking at. Grrrrrrrrrrr

Sally Olsson October 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I was on the show House Hunters International as a renter in Gent, Belgium. My episode aired in May 2012. The entire experience was wonderful and they treated me like a movie star. Anyone going on the show knows exactly what they are getting into before filming begins. For filming purposes House Hunters only films people that already have a property, otherwise it is too much of a liability for them to film because people may change their mind on what place to pick, or they may not even want a place in the end. The real-life home buying/renting process can take too much time for a show like House Hunters to film without some level of ‘fakeness’. They flew a crew from the UK to do four days of filming for my episode. For the most part they kept my story the same and before making any slight change with it they would consult me first. It’s a great show that offers insight to homes around the world and still tells such fun stories about the people who fill them. There’s no reason to be upset or mad at the show, after-all it’s reality TV and how much ‘reality’ is in any of those shows? It’s all for entertainment purposes and by the looks of it House Hunter’s does a great job at entertaining.

Amanda November 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Sally – did you have Ben and Gordon come and film your episode? I just filmed an episode in Estonia in August but it hasn’t aired, yet. The film crew from the UK was the best! Loved them!
I agree with Sally – it was for the most part “real”. I was the real estate agent showing the three houses to my very real clients, who had already bought a home and chose it as one of the three they considered. (The other two were my listings for sale, and were very similar in style and price range to the one they chose, so we used them as comparison homes.) It sometimes takes months for someone to choose a home to buy, and even then they sometimes don’t buy one at all – it would be too costly and anticlimactic for a film crew to follow a family around for months and then have them not choose anything at all. The viewers would really hate the show then! And even having to edit 4 days of filming into a 22 minute show – can you imagine weeks or even months of filming? It’s just not possible.
The “acting” is not at all scripted, but after having said it once spontaneously, having to say it another 3-4 times made it feel boring and fake, even though the first time we said it it wasn’t fake at all. (It had to be said at least 3-4 times to get facial shots of everyone speaking.) Since the story wasn’t about me but was about the clients, I was the very quiet real estate agent – I didn’t say much at all, which isn’t usual when I’m showing a home, but that’s how they wanted it.
Still, it was a real pleasure being on the show and have kept in touch with the film crew. They were real professionals!

VJNelson November 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I honestly don’t care that the shows are “fake.” I like that I can travel the world going to places I’ll probably never get the chance to see, from the comfort of my living room. I do wish that they’d show some of the “after” views later. For example, the British couple w/ 3 kids in Sicily. They bought a blank canvas. I’d love to see the real “after” renovations.

Alex Stossel December 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

Newsflash: EVERYTHING you see on television is fake. This includes all reality shows. Maybe I’m jaded because I live in L.A. but I figured everyone knew this.

Just enjoy the show and stop looking for an expose. When did we forget that television is for entertainment purposes? A girl friend of mine just did an episode of HH and she said it was a great time, the producers were fantastic and she’d do it again if she could!

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