The 10 Hottest Topics on My Blog in 2012

There are some stories I covered on my blog that really got your tongues wagging and your fingers commenting last year. You loved some of them (like one celeb’s decision to downsize), but others made you hopping mad (I got hate mail for “ruining America’s favorite show“). So as we start a new year, let’s revisit the 10 Hottest Topics on my blog in 2012…

#10. Granite Countertops: Have They Had Their Day or Are They Here to Stay?

#9. Five Reasons Why Homeowners Shouldn’t Appear in Real Estate Listings

#8. The Equestrian Ranch Where It’s Complicated Was Filmed Goes on the Market

#7. Bye, Bye Berkus: The Nate Show Canceled

#6. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott Downsize in Malibuand Then Move Again

#5. Reese Witherspoon Selling Libbey Ranch in Ojai

#4. Ahmed Hassan Replaced as Host of the TV Show “Yard Crashers”

#3. Jennifer Aniston Buys a $21 Million House in Bel Air

#2. Sandra Rinomato Replaced as Host of “Property Virgins”

#1. House Hunters: A Reader Tells What It was Like to Be on the Show

Readers are still upset by the departures of some of their favorite on-air personalities last year. Every time a new episode of “Yard Crashers” or “Property Virgins” comes on, I get a rush of visitors searching my blog to find out where Ahmed and Sandra have gone. And some people are still mourning the loss of Nate’s talk show, too.

The biggest post of the year was my interview with a reader who was on “House Hunters” and shared what it was like behind the scenes. All I can say is, when you wake up in the morning and see your blog being talked about on “The Today Show,” you know you’ve struck a nerve.

Another story that went viral was my post about people popping up in real estate listings–and why it’s probably best if they don’t. The last photo of the shirtless real estate agent in the mirror was an especially compelling reason to leave them out.

Because of you, Hooked on Houses had its busiest year ever, with over 18 million views (wow). Many thanks to all of you who stopped by every week to read my blog and join in our discussions. It’s great to have so many like-minded friends out there who love looking at houses and talking about this kind of stuff as much as I do.

Happy 2013!

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  1. 65andcounting says

    18 million?????That’s about 50,000 views a day!!! Impressive, to say the least. I’m also a blogger (but not about houses so I don’t use that moniker here) and had 180,000 views this year. Just a couple of zeroes shy of your amazing total. :-)

    Love coming here – always something clever and interesting – Happy New Year.

  2. Heatherly says

    Thank you for letting my house be a teeny tiny bit of your success this year! Love you and appreciate all your hard work!

    Happy New Year!

  3. nanne says

    18 million views–that is so great!

    your blog is a fantastic example of how successful someone can be if they are working hard at doing something they love.


  4. Mark says

    Wait!? “..STOPPED BY EVERY WEEK….” Really? …uh oh….I must be “hooked” more that I thought. I “stop-by” at LEAST once a day…sometimes twice ( okay! sometimes three times JUST to see if there is a new post…you never know!? just sayin’ If not, well…I…I…just sort of re-read the current post again.) I also have taken advantage of the “you also might like” suggestions too…and of course, I DO like them!! (again)
    I guess I just have to blame this behavior of mine on you Julia… and the BEST blog in the world!! :)

    ( I hope all is well with your family and they are feeling better. I hope you were able to make it over to Indy…even with the thirteen inches of snow we have on the ground in some places.)

    Seriously, THANK YOU for the great job on the blog and for adding a little”fun” to your readers day ( or week). I, for one, TRULY appreciate it!!

    Have a great New Year!!

    Thanks So Much Julia!

    (p.s..By the way I am “okay” with saying bye-bye to Nate, and to Sandra and to Ahmed JUST as long as I don’t hear a “good-bye” to Hooked on Houses for a few more decades, or so, I will be fine…..:) )

    • says

      Readers like you make all the blog work worthwhile, Mark! Thanks! We finally got to Indiana for a belated Christmas, so we were able to salvage some of the holiday. Happy New Year to you, too! :-)

  5. says

    Some great posts this year Julia! (As always!) The HGTV House Hunter’s “scandal” was unreal – but you stayed grounded through the whole turmoil and it blew over. At least I hope it did! (You are not still getting nasty emails about that are you??)
    Anyway, one of my favorite posts of yours this year was the post about the old church (in New York?) that an artist converted into a home/studio.

  6. says

    18 Million!!! Wow, you are amazing Julia. And I look forward to all of your posts. Whether it’s the celebrities or the hysterical MLS photos, they’re all so interesting. Thanks so much for sharing and looking forward to 2013 updates!!!


    • says

      Thanks, Laurel! The feature I did on your house makeover was one of the reasons for all those hits this year, I know. Thanks again and happy new year! :-)

  7. Jen says

    Thank you Juila
    I came your blog looking for pictures of gone with the house i so many of my other favoutie tv/movie houses and much more its fun clever and informative truely love it

  8. Brenda says

    Thanks for a great year in houses, Julia. All the best in 2013.

    Cheers, Brenda

  9. Christina from Dallas says

    Congrats Julia on you having your busiest year ever! I love your blog. I admit to getting stirred up on a few posts but only because I love talking about houses. Your my favorite blog next to the Pioneer Woman! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year!

    • says

      I can’t believe you just mentioned me in the same category as Pioneer Woman! I’m honored. :) Wish I could cook like she does!

  10. Chris says

    I’ve never commented on here before, though I do look @ your blog every few days. I just wanted to say that, everytime I’ve been here in the past week, I’ve been attacked by either a potential virus, or other such things. I just thought I’d let you know that your blog seems to be under attack. I wish there had been another way to let you know this. Btw, nice blog.


    • says

      Thanks, Chris. My tech person has been working on it for days now. Every scan turns up “clear” and we haven’t been able to figure out why some people are getting that and the rest of us aren’t. Our best guess is that it’s a rogue ad. I blocked the one I thought was causing problems and so I’m hoping that will solve it. Be sure to clear your cache. I’m hoping that the updates she made will keep it from happening anymore.

  11. Kelly says

    Happy New Year!

    and a big thank you for providing a wonderful blog that has kept me entertained each day (yes I am hooked) I love looking at the ‘American’ style of houses that we don’t see much of here in Australia. It’s also great to hear about your family and your own experiences with decorating and renovating.

    Looking forward to the year ahead on your blog.


  12. Mary Lou says


    Thank you for your blog. I so enjoy it.

    Re: “House Hunters” – Lisa DeMoraes, a Washington Post reporter who writes about television, has a live chat most weeks. On her chat one week, I mentioned how surprised I was that your blog post got such attention, as regular readers of the Television Without Pity forum thread for “House Hunters” had known the truth for years. Her response was that she was surprised also, because she also thought it was well known how the show was produced. Go figure.

    • says

      Interesting! I was shocked, too. We had been talking about the “reality” behind shows like that on my blog for years. I’m not sure why it suddenly went viral like that this time, or why it was deemed to be so “newsworthy” when the producers of the show had openly discussed the way they taped the show. It wasn’t exactly a secret! :-)

  13. Teresa says

    Congrats Julia on a great year! I enjoyed seeing all the amazing houses and topics on your blog. Maybe I missed it, but did you ever post a follow-up to your own “Bathroom Tile Fail”. Just wondering how that got resolved?? It seemed to draw alot of interest and comments.

  14. says

    I have been hooked on your blog for years. I can’t remember when I first started reading your posts, but I have you listed on my sidebar, so every time a new post is up, I am reading 😉 Thanks for all of your effort, diligence and sharing of these amazing houses. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  15. Debbie says

    I know it sounds silly that a blog about houses could change a reader’s life but this one did! Thanks so much for your reference to “The Highly Sensitive Person”. I no longer feel weird or different — just unique with a trait that I have to take into greater consideration when making life decisions. And I know now that there are others out there who know just what I mean! Thanks Julia! XO

  16. says

    Good wrap up. I am a fan of the behind the scenes posts and am also stunned when people get the affect ruined by a reveal of the secrets. BUT, I am also someone who never guesses the end to movies and just sit there in the moment. When my husband invariably whispers to me in the theater, “the butler did it” … I am enraged. So I get it.

  17. cecile aix en provence says

    Happy new year my dear Julia! You know I love your blog very-very much; I don’t comment very often but I check on your news every single day (along with my other favorite “instyle” – my 2 obssessions are houses and fashion). I wish you another wonderful year full of highs and maybe lows (last year low was an extraordinary high at the same time – talking about the house hunters story: fame, remember). Well no, I wish you highs only because you are a wonderful blogger, I wish I created that blog first, I envy you and admire you. Keep going on enchanting us like you have been doing all those years. Best wishes and a french Bonne Année!!!!

  18. says

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for years. Congratulations on your blockbuster year!! How wonderful for you. Wishing you a Happy New Year and another amazing year in 2013.

  19. Rebecca C. says

    I’m one of those who checks at least twice a day, if not more, just to see if you’ve posted something new.

    I’m just glad there’s someone else out there who is crazy (in a good way) about real estate and all that goes along with it.

  20. Screendoorgirl 3 says

    Wow! Congrats to you, Julia! I’m so happy to be one of the 18 mil. All the best to you and your family in the new year. Looking forward to staying hooked.. Jodi

  21. Al says

    I’ve been waiting to comment on an episode of House Hunters International. Right before the last commercial and the segment in which the couple choose a house, the couple was standing on a street in France or somewhere, and I noticed the people behind them: girl in green sweater, man walking past them whistling. Then, after the commercial as they were standing on the same street discussing the houses, the same scene unfolded behind them: girl in green sweater, man walking past them whistling. These weren’t just the same people in the background; it was the exact same scene as before. I was able to rewind and watch it several times. I can only conclude that the couple was standing in front of a green screen and that the producers ran the same scene behind them twice. Strange…

  22. says

    Congratulations on such an insanely popular 2012!! May 2013 bring even more people to your wonderful blog…which by the way, is always the perfect escape and always an entertainingly joyful place to visit! Thanks so much Julia…
    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family…and to Maize of course!
    xo J~

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