“House Hunters” Fake Claim Goes Viral

    June 14, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

“House Hunters”, the very popular show on HGTV, might very well be faked for production value, according to one woman whose family was profiled on the show a few years back.

Now, this show is extremely huge to a certain group of people. My mom, for instance, loves HGTV. LOVES IT. I’ve never gone to her house to find anything else on the television. When “House Hunters” comes on, she will invariably say, “Oh, I’ve seen this one already,” in a tone of disgust usually reserved for someone who’s just found out a bird had a field day on their clean car. I imagine she’s not alone, so this news will come as a terrible blow to fans everywhere.

According to Bobi Jensen, a mother of three and blogger on “Hooked On Houses“, the producers of the show didn’t accept her family for an episode until they had already closed on the house they wanted, so the other two homes showcased as prospective buys belonged to friends of the family, who graciously allowed the cameras into their homes after days of furious cleaning. In short, the show basically took a family who had just bought a house and spun their own story around it–even going so far as to change the reasoning behind their move–and pretended they were interested in buying homes that weren’t even up for sale.

The producers said they found our (true) story–that we were getting a bigger house and turning our other one into a rental–boring and overdone. So instead they just wanted to emphasize how our home was too small and we needed a bigger one desperately. It wasn’t true, but it was a smaller house than the one we bought so I went with it, Bobi wrote.

Since the blog was published on Monday, it’s blown up around the web as fans of the show and channel are angrily expressing their disbelief at being duped.

On their part, “House Hunters” has released a statement about the claim:

We’ve learned that the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a prolonged period of time — more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television. However, with a series like House Hunters, HGTV viewers enjoy the vicarious and entertaining experience of choosing a home — from establishing a budget, to touring properties and weighing the pros and cons of each one. 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. Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves RIGHT back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties. Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to “play along” and guess which one the family will select. It’s part of the joy of the House Hunters viewing experience. Through the lens of television, we can offer a uniquely satisfying and fun viewing experience that fulfills a universal need to occasionally step into someone else’s shoes.

  • Marcy

    All of these reality tv shows are fake, but entertaining. Just like House Hunters International, Property Virgins and shows like Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and the one that was obviously fake is Repo something or other. The one where they resposses cars. A friend of mine had his car repossed and they didn’t knock on the door and ask for the keys to the car, the just took the car. Just my opinion.

  • Randy Barnes

    I agree with HGTV- the purchase of a new home is a long, emotional process. They condense it into a 30 minute “entertainment” program. The show was never intended to be a “HOW TO” program. My first home buying experience, I looked at dozens of homes over a several month period. This is a 30 minute entertainment show, not a mini-series!

  • Redbird

    My thing is this…If the Jensen’s felt that they were part of a scam..Why did they participate? They could have declined to be featured on the show at any time. They went so far as to involve “friends of the family.” Where is their responsibility to be honest? It seems as though they wanted their 15 minutes of fame and then cry foul play. I love “House Hunters” and I will continue to watch it. I watch it for entertainment purposes and it is more like a game show to me. Which house are they going to pick? The argument is not whether the show is fake or real…it is what do I get out of watching the show. I love to see how other people live in other parts of the country. I love to see the interior decorating aspect of the show as well as the architectural designs of some of the houses. I also like to see the cost of real estate in other parts of the country as compared to where I live…which is California. But most of all; with all the tragedies that is going on in the world and in peoples lives… Why focus on something that is so minute? The Jensen’s sound like a bunch of bitter people who don’t know how to enjoy life and have a little fun. In my opinion “House Hunters” brings so much joy in peoples life. Why destroy it? I would surmise that the Jensen’s wanted more attention than being on House Hunters could offer. So now they have the attention of the world. I hope they feel better.

  • Tee-sha

    It’s just a show! Why come out and tell your story now? It’s all entertainment. Besides I love to see how the decorate their homes, and when the pick them. I will always be a fan!!!!!!

  • sharon

    ok, I’m glad to know it’s all rehearsed, but thay are really bad actors. I wondered why they seemed so close minded,it’s because they already have chosen what they wanted!! Won’t be watching this program anymore!

  • R

    So is the show The Sharks, I met one of their “success stories” that was suppose to be someone that the sharks helped build their business. They showed their products on the shelf of a large chain retailer for the show. The truth was that the show made a deal with the retailer to use a shelf to show the products and take pictures and video for the show. Then they removed it and sent the business person on their way. It was staged to make good TV.

  • Sid

    People still believe what they see on TV is real? I guess that explains our current political processes.

  • Kelly

    I don’t know if I’d call it faked, but my friend was on it last year. They had already closed on the house and they had to pretend they were in the process of looking. So the realtor basically took them back to some of the houses they had already looked at, including the one they had just purchased. So basically it’s a “prequel”.

  • Megan Quinlan

    Please. The “House Crashers” show or whatever it is is obviously a fake, too. There’s no way that they just pull a random couple out of Lowe’s that magically needs their entire house re-done. i’m sure there’s extensive scouting and vetting by the producers ahead of time. I found out about the House Hunters thing several weeks ago from a friend of my mother’s. Her friend bought a house on Cape Cod and was approached after the fact by HH to be featured on the show (she declined). It has had me thinking differently about the show ever since. Of course, I still love it and I still watch – especially the “international” version!

  • T

    Oh, it’s still a fun show. I like to see how the houses are decorated and my 8 year old daughter and I like to “guess” which house they chose. It’s fun to see the different house styles/types around the country.

  • Bev

    This “news” does not bother me at all. After all, this what entertainment is about! I don’t expect every aspect of the show to be able to pass a lie detector test. It’s a fun show and I will still continue to watch it even after finding this out.

  • ross

    This is disappointing news to hear but NOT surprising in this whatever makes a buck climate that we live in; come on house hunters, come clean. Stop this disingenuous backpedaling; at least be honest and say ok we got caught… but it’s good theater.

    I could buy this explanation a lot better than the dissembling crap you put out.

  • Jenni

    If she had a problem with the show, why did she agree to be on it? I don’t care if this claim is true or false; I enjoy the show regardless. I am just unsure of her reasoning to appear on the show and then speak publicly against it.

  • Denise

    If they can’t put it into a 30 minute show, then they should not even put it on the air!!! Why fake everything.

    And to the person who says “It’s just a show”, then it need to be stated that way up front. Many people believed it was real.

    So disappointing!!

  • bob leitman

    That pretty much ruins it for me. Not watching any more. Bunch of liars. If it’s all staged, they should let everyone know that at the beginning of the show. If I wanted to watch fake I’d watch Wrestling.

  • larry james

    WHAT??? IT”S FAKE??? No way!

    Next thing you know they’ll be telling us that all the men on their shows are gay.

    Seriously, people.
    It’s all fake and they are all gay.
    It’s HGTV.

  • Wesley Evans

    Not a problem to me. It all makes sense. The actual spirit of the show is great. I enjoy and will continue too. Keep up the good work “House Hunters”

  • Brenda

    Yeah… and those surprised by the “pre-filming”, “fake”, notion probably believe wrestling is real too.

  • Samantha

    If you couldn’t tell that this show was staged you are an idiot…clearly they are scripting everything these people say, “Oh, I don’t like this rug!”, “I don’t like this paint color”…totally fake.

  • Zack

    I don’t care . . . I LOVE to see the HOUSES . . . MOSTLY the houses in other countries . . . it is more about seeing how other people live . . . & how I might like it live . . . to live on an island I would live in a cardboard box along the side of the road . . . I would not care what color the wallpaper was as I would be at the beach most of the time . . . I have always hate those who can’t live with some outdated stuff as it does not matter . . . it is a house . . . be happy!!