Since 1999, HGTV's House Hunters has followed local realtors around the country helping people find their dream homes. So far, over 1,700 22 minute episodes have aired and the original series has led to 16 spinoff shows including House Hunters International, Island Hunters, Tiny House Hunters, and House Hunters: Million Dollar Homes.
Part of the appeal of the series is that it follows real people looking for their new homes which has been incredibly relatable for viewers for over 20 years. Here are some things you might not know about the long-running series.
1. Featured buyers are pretty far along in the home buying process
In fact, many couples and families have already chosen their home before filming even begins. If you've ever been house hunting, you know how fast the process goes so honestly this makes perfect sense as much as it takes away some of the "TV magic."
"To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process," HGTV said. "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."
2. Sometimes the houses aren't even for sale
Sometimes, since the buyers have occasionally already purchased a house, the other two options are homes found by the local real estate agent or even sometimes...their friends' homes. A little disappointing knowing it's not their first time seeing these properties as depicted on camera. The popular show might take some liberties with how accurate these new houses are as real-life options, but at the end of the day, the HGTV show is still showing people finding their dream homes on camera and that's enough to keep tuning in.
3. The casting process is pretty selective to be featured on the reality show
If you've been dreaming of having a real estate agent help you find your new home on camera, you might be out of luck. Apparently, 100-200 prospective home buyers submit to the show every single day which unfortunately means HGTV must be really selective with who they choose. While it seems like the odds are against you why not try? The show features real people so we say go for it. Apparently, the production company looks for people with unique wish list items and quirky requests to add some dimension to the show. Feel free to apply at HGTV here.
4. It doesn't pay much for the home buyer
You get paid $500/week if you're chosen to appear on the show, which we know isn't much. But according to someone in Utah who was actually featured, other perks are included like being treated to meals.
"The director treated us to lunch each of the five days we were on set, took my family to dinner one night and provided us with on-set snacks every day," McKenzie Deakin told Utah Valley 360. "We missed that pampered treatment after it was all over."
5. Even though it's reality TV, the buyers' stories are real
According to Nathaniel Lambert who was featured on House Hunters International, the TV show actually does stay true to the personal stories of the buyers instead of adding extra drama as other reality shows do.
"Our story of how we decided to come to Fiji and what we were leaving was all real. They used all of our actual house likes and dislikes, all of our actual concerns and the actual disagreements that we had were used in the show," Lambert explained.
6. Andromeda Dunker has been the narrator since 2009
For years, Dunker worked in the shadows and never addressed the fact that she narrated numerous shows in the House Hunters universe. But she opened up to BuzzFeed News in 2017 and explained that she enjoys being a part of people's lives after narrating thousands of episodes over the years.
"As an actor, especially as a commercial actor, it's hard sometimes to justify your job as being very meaningful," she said. "A lot of times, if I'm just doing a commercial for a fast-food chain or something, I've wondered in the past what I'm contributing to society. But with House Hunters, people seem to like it so much and it makes them happy and makes them soothed or go to sleep or whatever. That feels good. It feels like it's useful."