Ryan and I watch House Hunters, House Hunters International, Property Virgins and Love It Or List It religiously. Each show features couples looking for a house or condo to buy or sometimes they’ll have someone looking for a rental, but that is typically on the international shows.
First let me say that I am aware of the accusations of these shows being fake, but I don’t really care. I enjoy looking inside of other people’s houses whether or not they are legitimately for sale or not. I read an article saying that this misleading information was damaging to potential home buyers in the areas shown because it may give someone the idea that they can afford a house when they actually can’t. My thought is that you are either approved or denied for a mortgage. Especially during this time, they aren’t just handing out mortgages to people.
Ryan and I’s favorite part of watching this show is criticizing the buyers. We get awfully colorful in our nicknames for them. Typically one of the two buyers are semi-normal and then their spouse is a complete moron. So if the show is fake and they agreed to put themselves on TV looking like idiots, well, the nicknames still stand. It’s a win-win for us.
The first criticisms come with the budget and their expectations. Ryan and I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of every area in the US and what the market is like there, but we bought our first house in Iowa and are looking to buy our next house in California. The two markets couldn’t be more different. So if someone is looking to buy a house in Austin, TX, it’s going to be closer to buying a house in Iowa. New York? More like California, but way more expensive.
I love it when a couple goes through all of these intricate details of what they want and then tell the host that they have a budget that wouldn’t even cover the cost of a cup of coffee. Regardless of how much training the host has or how fake the show is, there is still that look of you are out of your damn mind look on their face.
Yesterday there was a woman that wanted all matching fixtures. The house they were looking at was about $50k under their budget and all she could point out was that there was 3 different colors of fixtures. It’s like it doesn’t even occur to her that she could replace all of the fixtures with the $50k that she is saving. Or when they dislike the paint, wallpaper, floors, etc. I realize that stuff can get expensive, but it doesn’t prevent you from living in the house! If you have 3 kids and you want them all to have their own room and the house you are looking at has 2 bedrooms. That’s a deal breaker. Not ugly carpet.
The other thing that I like to make fun of is when someone steps out into a backyard and says, “Oh, Fifi is going to love running around out here!” And then at the next house, “There isn’t much room for Fifi to run around.” Seriously? You want to get a 15 to 30 year loan for your dog? When we bought our house, I kept thinking, Shmoopy isn’t going to be around much longer if we have to buff his claw scratches out of the hardwood floors after he dies, that wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Your dog is not going to outlive your mortgage.
There is always a commercial before they announce what house the couple is going to choose so Ryan and I guess what one the couple will choose. Ryan is usually right. I tend to pick the house that I would choose, which tends to be the practical one. Ryan usually picks the most expensive and he usually wins.
The couple on the show does kind of the same thing. They discuss all the different options and then one will say, “I know what one I want.” Their spouse will say, “I know what one I want…” And then they always agree. BULLSHIT! That should have been the first clue that the show is fake.