I watch a lot of HGTV. Some shows I watch for fun, some for inspiration, some to criticize, and some because they're the least worst option at a given time considering all of my viewing options. Of course I could go read, or write, or do any number of productive things...but that's not the point.
House Hunters has never been a favorite of mine. If it's on, it's because I am insistent on watching TV and there's nothing better to watch. To clarify, I am talking about the House Hunters show that began airing in 1999--not Tiny House Hunters that began airing in 2014 which is totally cool. (Cool in a way that I love seeing the layouts and finishes, and how tiny houses remind me of the 23 ft RV in which I spent many cross-country family summer vacations as a kid.)
So back to [Average Sized] House Hunters. Bottom line: not my fave. But, I LOVE House Hunters Renovation! I know--you probably realized that already. Here's why it's my favorite of all the House Hunters.
- Hunters are not looking for move-in ready houses. That would be boring! They want a place to make their own, which often means they are imagining and envisioning and then verbalizing their thoughts throughout every house tour. I really do like to hear what people think about a space and what they can do to put their mark on it.
- They accept there will be painting involved. I think I have a physical reaction every single time a person on a house tour (on other shows) comments that a house is not an option because it has THE WRONG COLOR PAINT!!! And yes, I think they are serious! Do they not understand how much other stuff will be going into this new (and very expensive) investment? Ruling out a potential property due to paint color or something equally changeable or replaceable (think cabinet pulls, curtains, or current utilization of a particular room) makes me wonder if they have ever known anyone who has owned a home, cared for a home, or ever watched any episode of any home show ever.
- They set realistic renovation budgets. The only show I've ever seen where there is wiggle room in a budget for an extra project or two is Fixer Upper (which I also love, for totally different reasons, which I imagine I will lay out in a future post). On every other show, and also in non-televised real life projects, budget is usually extremely tight or blown completely (e.g. needing a new HVAC system, finding hidden knob and tube, etc). On House Hunters Renovation, they get it! They have chosen to take on a house where they want to do work, and the owners have built the cost of that work into their total budget. I challenge you, friends, to show me examples of more realistic budget-setting and cost expectations.
- They require you to use a professional designer. I assume that when you sign up to be on this show, you are contractually obligated to have a professional do the majority of your designing. I completely enjoy seeing the designers' proposals, seeing how well they respond to the clients' preferences (or not), and how they integrate the design of multiple rooms --the projects often span many spaces --within a house.
- The designs are really good! Really, I love about 85-90% of the designs on this show! That's a lot!
- Seeing the finished product. One of the things I most dislike about [Average Sized] House Hunters is that in the last minute or so of the show, they have that fake ding dong door bell noise where they check in with the new home owners in their new home. The problem is, it usually looks exactly like it did on the original tour! But I've seen that already so it leaves me hungry to see a nice, slow pan of what the house looks like after the family (or whomever) has actually settled in and lived there for six months. House Hunters Renovation comes through big time on the after. The spaces included in the reno are complete, and we get a full, slow tour of the beautiful new space! What better way could there possibly be to finish an episode? None--it's perfection!
Source of dates: IMDB