The blog Hooked on Houses is giving fans a dose of reality about the HGTV series "House Hunters." According to an interview with a former participant, Bobi Jensen, much of the popular show, which has been on the air since 1999, is faked.I've done annual stories for a number of years on the Dream Home giveaway they do each year and how in all the years only one winner has actually moved into the home (and then had to sell it later when it became too expensive to maintain). The tax liability is so overwhelming that nearly every winner has chosen to take the monetary prize rather than move into the Dream House. Can't blame them - I would to.
The premise of 'House Hunters' is that viewers follow a buyer as they anxiously decide between three different houses. Jensen says that, in fact, one house has already been purchased--the producers wouldn't even finalize her as a subject until after the closing. "When I watch other episodes of the show now I can usually pick out the house they were getting based on hair-dos alone," says Jensen. Houses are sometimes shot months apart. While the two rejected properties may be on the market, in Jensen's case, "They were just our two friends' houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras!"
The fact that "House Hunters" is largely fabricated is not that surprising. They want good TV and it has to be somewhat economical to produce. As long as people still want to watch it, no harm no foul.