"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.