I love watching the real-estate shows on Home & Garden, TLC, & Discovery channel. My favorite is the cheesy, House Hunters, with Suzanne Whang. If you have never seen it, it is a riot! Basically you follow a family as they look at three houses for sale. I’m used to the ‘old-style’ version. It goes like this:
One house is usually a dump, but they still try to be nice about it. It can be the most hideous house with black velvet wallpaper and polka-dots, and they will say something like, “Oh, that’s a unique design.” Or the entire house is boring- white walls and beige carpet and they will say, “These are really nice walls.”
Everyone knows what they are really thinking and you wish just once the family would say it- that they wouldn’t live in the house for a million dollars. After they are done looking at the hideous interesting house, instead of saying they would rather live with Paris Hilton in a Motel 6 than in the house, they mutter things like, “Well, even though this is a really great place, we don’t think its the place for us,” or, “We love the bathtub (usually the only thing in the house that isn’t messed up, ” but we think we should look at a few other places before deciding.”
Then the second house is usually OK. Not great, but not as awful as the first one. It may need a few repairs, but at least there isn’t velvet wallpaper on the walls. After looking at the second house the family is mulling it over. They usually tell their realtor (who has traveled in a time machine from the 1970′s to appear on House Hunters), “Well this is a lot better than the first one.” Then the over-eager 1970′s realtor jumps in and says, “Well, now that I know what you are looking for, I have one more house to show you that I think will really grab you.” Of course, the family always agrees.
Can you guess what is coming? The third house is always perfect. Just what the family is looking for. Why the realtor bothered to show them the first two houses is a mystery. They could have saved 23 1/2 minutes of the show. The family walks through the house, oohing and awhing over everything, and I mean every last detail. “Look at the ceiling honey…it is marvelous.” Or, “This toilet seat is fabulous. It is padded. That will be comfortable to sit on with a good magazine.”
When they are done drooling over the toilet seats, the tell the realtor this is the house for them and they want it. The realtor gets that KA-CHING look on their face, and tells them, “Sure, let’s go back to my office, and we’ll write it up.” Then the “drama” begins. Will the seller accept their offer?
HGTV only makes you wait in suspense for one commercial before you find out. Suzanne Whang does a nice recap for you showing the houses that were shown, and the house that the family finally decided on (just in case you forgot.) Then you are told the Smith’s put in their offer and are now eagerly awaiting to hear if their offer was accepted.
Then you see the family playing a board game (do families still do this?), or eating at a restaurant, very casual and relaxed when suddenly- the phone rings. In a very relaxed and laid-back manner, they answer the phone “Hello?” PLEASE-like they don’t know who that is!
The next part goes like this,”Uh-huh- yeah, OK, Uh-huh, OK. Thanks Carl.” The person than hangs up their phone and turns to the spouse who didn’t get the good fortune of answering the phone and says, “That was Carl, and we got the house!”
Astonishing! Who would have thought? I was so sure their offer was going to be rejected. Then there is another commercial, and when we return, the lovely Suzanne Whang revisits the family a few months later, after they have had a chance to put their own touches on the house. Unless they have covered the walls in black velvet wallpaper, all is well, and another successful real estate transaction has been completed.
Real life house hunting is NOTHING like this TV show. I will give you our version of House Hunters (minus Suzanne Whang) in an upcoming post.