Those who enjoy tuning into shows on the HGTV channel, or reality shows like The Bachelor and Botched, will more than likely know all about the hit show House Hunters. This show has been described by the channel as ‘shelter TV’ – which means that people can watch it and protect themselves from events taking place in the outside world.
Interestingly, a Washington Post commentator has reported that many who view HGTV fall into the millennial and Generation Z demographic as it offers a break from their chaotic daily lives – plus a look at what they consider to be a ‘distant fantasy’ of homeownership.
The show first came out in 1999 and by 2015, there were 447 episodes. When the real estate bubble peaked, even more new episodes were airing, and the Great Recession ending in 2009 also helped with this show.
The basic premise of House Hunters is that an individual, family or couple is seeking a new home after moving to another country. They employ the help of a real estate agent to assist them with the process, and there are three main houses or apartments which materialise as the ‘candidates’ to choose from. The end of the episode sees the person(s) involved making a final decision, and they are visited a few weeks down the line to see how they are settling in.
There have been a number of spin-offs of this show. For example, House Hunters International focuses on properties located outside the United States. House Hunters on Vacation involves homebuyers deciding on a property to stay in for a seven day vacation. There is also House Hunters Renovation, which not only follows the home purchase decision process, but tracks the renovations made to the property.
Cast and characters
There is no particular cast list, character overview or selection of hosts to be seen with House Hunters. Each episode will feature a different individual, family or couple – plus a different local real estate agent. That said, the narrator was initially Suzanne Whang, who was present until 2007. In 2008 the narrator was Colette Whitaker, and the current narrator (as of 2019) is Andromeda Dunker, who began voicing in the background from 2009.
The filming locations for House Hunters are varied, depending on where the person(s) featured want to buy their home. Locations which have featured on the show over the years include:
- Murfreesboro, TN
- Richmond, VA
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Atlanta, GA
- Breckenridge, CO
The format of House Hunters is like a reality TV show, but it has been reported that the buyers featured on the show are already in the buying process with one of the houses featured. Notably, a buyer previously featured on the show has stated that they already owned the house which was picked – although the others featured were the other ‘candidates’ they had considered buying.
Episodes and reception
It appears that many people do not mind that House Hunters is not a ‘real’ reality show, although many Google searches question if the show is fake and wonder why this is. Indeed, a publicist has addressed this concern, saying: ‘We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process. To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process. Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen and we capture their authentic reactions.’