The following post is sponsored by HGTV’s House Hunters, aka one of my most favorite shows that doesn’t involve Glee Clubs.
Mike and I were house hunting for three years. Three long, ridiculous years. We were looking for a home so long that if our story was featured on House Hunters it would have been a six part mini series.
My mom actually got us hooked on House Hunters when we began thinking about buying a house. At first it was fun to look at other people’s homes (a major guilty-pleasure of mine), but once we started going out into the wilds of the Southern California real estate market, we found ourselves referring back to episodes of the show.
Heather: OH this upstairs loft area looks just like the space from the episode with that cute young couple in Miami!
Mike: I really want a room I can make my own, like that guy from the Seattle show.
Eventually we started using actual important things from HH – we were actually learning, who knew? And there were three important points that we applied to every house we looked at.
1. Did the house contain our biggest priorities?
Making a list of exactly what we wanted, and then prioritizing that list, was key. It’s so easy to get caught up in things you want but don’t need. Ten bedrooms! A giant backyard with three pools! A golden fountain that forever bubbles with melty chocolate! I want! I want! And then you start looking and find that you can have this but not that, one thing but not another. The show is a major lesson in priorities.
2. Dream homes can hide under non-dreamy exteriors.
It’s important to be open-minded when looking for a new place. As we often see on the show, a home that doesn’t seem like a good match initially often ends up being the buyer’s new dream home. It’s sort of like in a romantic comedy where at first Reese Witherspoon can’t stand Ryan Reynolds because he acts arrogant, but then she finds out he cries during romantic movies and helps out disadvantaged children. BAM – he turns out to be her dream guy! That’s totally what happened to us with our home. It had an exterior and backyard that were different from what we’d imagined, but once we got to know it better we saw that it was perfect for us! Seriously, this house would cry at romantic movies if it could. Ryan Reynolds still looks better shirtless, though.
3. Not everything can be fixed with a little paint.
House Hunters also taught me the difference between what is an actual serious problem with a house, and what was not a big deal, yo. People often go into a home and write it off because they don’t like the wall color or think the fixtures are straight out of a 1980s time warp. That’s the wrong way to look at it, though – paint and fixtures can be changed fairly easily. On the other hand, people often ignore things that could be a big deal, like cracks in the ceiling or water damage spots. Buying a place without checking into warning signs may leave you with a major problem that costs mucho dinero to fix-o.
The season premiere of House Hunters is February 16th at 10:30/9:30 central on HGTV, and I will be live-tweeting it with some other faboo ladies. ANNNNDDD I am going to be giving away an iPad! Yup, a shiny new iPad just for one of you via HGTV, pre-loaded with their awesome HGTV to GO iPad app. I’ll have all the details for that next week. Get excited!
Hannah P. says:
House Hunters is my favorite show! Can’t wait for the live tweeting!
We don’t have cable and hardly ever watch television (I know!) so I’ve actually never heard of the show but thankfully (we must be really smart) we actually had a list of priories when we started looking for a home and knew about some savvy things.
I LOVE House Hunters and House Hunters International!!!
I gotta admit, I am a House Hunters ADDICT.
Also love Property Virgins and My First Place, because … well … Husband and I are both!
1.) I love that show. Even if we are probably never going to wind up purchasing a house, looking at other people’s is still a guilty pleasure
2.) I love your house. It’s all sorts of awesome.
3.) Ooooooh ipad. WANT!
BTW..we have a joke that when I am watching *any* of those shows that I am watching “House Porn” which I find hilarious.
No kidding, I am watching House Hunters right now and am reading this post during a commercial. it!!
I love love love your front door! and don’t worry about not having backyard to mow and maintenance. my first home had a huge yard that was a nightmare to upkeep. Congrats on your new home. would love more pics! btw, your kitchen is amazing!!!
we dont have House Hunters here, but we do get Homes Under the Hammer, and another show which name currently escapes me. I think it might be move to the country.
Homes Under the Hammer are properties bought at auction and in need of repair, modernisation etc. I love looking at the before and afters, but I’m a bit meh about the inbetween bits.
Love HGTV!!! House Hunters and Income Property are my fav.
Love your front door
I love watching a lot of the shows on HGTV, we bought our house 4 years ago, although our house isn’t my dream house it fits our needs for now, my father in law passed away and my mother in law was having a hard time being on her own, so we all decided to buy a house together, it’s a 4 bedroom 2 bath with a HUGE bonus room that my hubby and I and our 3 year old daughter use as our living room! 3 things I would change about our house… I wish we had bigger bathrooms…they are both TINY.. I don’t like our kitchen flooring and upstairs one side of the house has NO windows. ughn it’s a barnstyle house so there is”attic space”…but we have plenty of space…and my daughter loves having Grandma around all of the time!
Ha ha, I am a House Hunters addict. We have recently moved to a new state and are renting a home now, but my girls keep asking me if we will go on House Hunters when we are ready to buy next year. So if you see a family of 5, with 3 little girls and a big hairy chocolate lab in the Charleston, SC area, it might be us
Heather and Mike,
Aren’t you shocked that you didn’t find three great options in a just a few days time – just like on House Hunters?!
Emily (citybabyliving) says:
I’m a total HH addict as well as HH International. My husband doesn’t get it – each time he walks in on me it’s the same thing…you know we own our apartment and will be here for a very long time right??? A girl can dream…
erin s says:
Oh, I love me some House Hunters. It totally helped when we went out looking for houses. Coincidentally, we will be CLOSING on our brand new house the day that House Hunters premieres. Yay!
My hubs and I LOVE that show! Is it weird that we get super stressed out while the couples are trying to make their offers?
I’m nowhere near buying my own home, but I love all house shows! Buying, renovating, selling- I’m in. Although I always wonder if they really only get to look at 3 houses. That’s so crazy!
Love House Hunters. I wish I had watched 3 years of episodes before house hunting for the first time. Maybe the iPad will help when we shop for our next home (in 28 yearsomg)
We love House Hunters too! I think you are right on with your lessons learned. It drives me nuts when a newlywed young couple comes on and expects granite countertops, pool, etc in their FIRST HOUSE. C’mon people! Pay your dues.
We are renting at the moment but just began a real home search this week. Wooot!!
Just like my blog header says… I’m an HGTV addict. We bought our current home before ever watching these shows. Oh if I could go back in time. Instead, I just allow their other shows (and Pinterest) to help keep me motivated to improve my existing house. But if we ever do get to move, I’ll be putting all I have learned to good use. I love a good House Hunters marathon.
Oh lordo do I love me for HH and HHI. It’s almost…voyeuristic in a completely non-creepy sense but still makes me brain hurt when the choice seems to be the one place that had nothing that was ‘important’ at the outset. My husband liked to make a game of picking the ‘winning’ house. And got quite emotionally invested in the outcome.
Fellow HH addict over here! As an L.A. resident, I writhe in envy when the buyers-to-be roll up to a 5-year old, 5-bedroom house and say, “but it’s two hundred and fifty thousand dollars…what, are we made out of money?” Arrrg!
Here’s the House Hunters drinking game, as if you needed another reason to watch!
Anne DiNapoli says:
I love House Hunters and everything HGTV! It’s really some of the only TV I watch these days. Looking forward to the live tweeting! Have you seen Selling L.A.? House drool.
I’ve got the premier date on my calendar!
Diane B. says:
I am hooked on just about anything HGTV, but House Hunters and House Hunters International are 2 of my absolute favs!
I agree with Laura above–the pricing makes me consider moving to the boonies instead of South OC. Must check out that drinking game to go with my glass(es) of wine.