Despite the recent increase in popularity of the hit HGTV show House Hunters, it actually aired for the first time back in 1999. For more than a decade now, the show has been serving up intense homebuying storylines to viewers, complete with expert knowledge about pricing, renovations, and the real estate market, in general. There's a fascination with the excitement (and drama) that can factor into buying a home whether it's for the first time or the third. And no matter what the situation, House Hunters has been there to see it all and record it in such a way that viewers find it riveting.
So, this begs one question: how much of the show is actually real, and how much of it is rehearsed or, even worse, staged? Fans of this HGTV series will be happy to hear that, for the most part, the show is pretty realistic - even down to the potential homebuyers, their personal situations, and the houses they view. Even the real estate agents on the show are legitimate which is saying quite a lot, considering House Hunters has been filmed around the world. Ready for more?
Inspiration For The Show Came From The Creator's Own Search
Hardcore fans of the show are likely familiar with its creators, Tara Sandler and Jennifer Davidson. They say the best inspiration comes from personal life experience and that's exactly what Sandler and Davidson felt before creating House Hunters.
Of course, the homebuying experience will be different for everyone but that's also why it's so interesting. It's this idea that makes the show so good and it's the same one that worked for the couple in 1999 and continues to work to this day. The series has since given way to 20 spin-off series, with crews shooting around the U.S. and around the world simultaneously in order to get so many new episodes per week.
Show Guests Are Real And Agents Are Professionals
The best thing about the show is that its guests, and the real estate agents working with them, are completely legitimate. It's not staged in this way, and the producers do run an audition process, for lack of a better term, to determine who gets on the show and who doesn't. Those on the show are really going through the process of finding a home and while the director is there to give them general TV direction, there's nothing necessarily scripted about what occurs or how. While the homeowners are usually very far along in the actual house-hunting process by filming, many of the reactions and any good or bad news seen on the show is legitimate, adding a level of realism that many shows lack nowadays.
The process to get on the show isn't an easy one, either - upwards of 100 applications are sent in each week, but special attention is given to those who have a unique story, situation, or are relatable for an audience. While local contractors and film professionals are used in the area of filming, real estate agents are usually volunteers who get a commission from the house after it's been purchased, also providing free publicity for their agency.
Getting On The Show Isn't As Easy As Just Needing A House
Those looking for a house get chosen to appear on House Hunters based on whether or not the audience will essentially fall in love with them, according to Housely. So, while not everyone gets on the show, it's a thorough process that does include a follow-up by the casting director, and if a person passes that, another follow-up with the producer will result in a phone interview.
The process goes on ever after that, though, as potential guests still need to fill out paperwork as well as submit a 10-minute audition video, and only then do those selected hear back.
The Episodes Are Short, Filming Is Long
It's estimated that for every episode, roughly 30 hours of filming go into making it. So, while it seems like an incredibly short process at home for those watching, the entire thing takes slightly less than the equivalent of an average workweek.
Along with shots of the exteriors and interiors of every house, shots of the potential homeowners and their agent must be shot, which can take place anywhere. From start to end, there's a ton of hours that need to be sorted through and edited in order to create one full episode that makes sense chronologically.
Behind The Scenes, Only Three People Work On The 'Set'
Additionally, the actual crew is fairly small for each episode. The reason behind this is because most of the equipment must be mobile as it's moved from house to house with any given circumstance, from tiny rooms to challenging lighting.
Along with the homebuyers and their agent, only three crew members are usually around for one episode, which also helps to cut down on the overall budget of the show, as well.