Overcoming that estate porn addiction

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That's Life with Terri McCormick

I am addicted to estate porn: HGTV's House Hunters, House Hunters International, House Hunters Renovation and House Hunters Where Are They Now? I watch them all when I can.

All the House Hunter shows follow people through the process of buying a home, buying a home abroad, renovating that home or checking in with home buyers after they have made their purchase.

Why do I care so much which houses these couples, singles, newlyweds, college graduates, and retired grannies choose? I honestly have no idea and neither does my husband, who often hears me yelling at the TV.

"Oh my God you useless piece of skin, it's just paint colour!"

I love to hate most of the people featured. Everyone, especially the Americans, seem to be so disturbingly aroused by granite, walk-in closets, stainless-steel appliances, and en suites with double sinks. And none of them want to have to do any work on anything. Couples look at a postage-stamp sized yard and declare that there's too much lawn to mow. Or they gaze over a beautiful back yard and screw up their faces because leaves fall from the trees, and they don't like that. I once saw an episode where a woman didn't want any trees near the houses she was looking at because she didn't like birds. And even the biggest bedrooms seem to be "a bit tight," and nobody can live without a gas range. Where do they get these people? I just figured the world is full of twits and HGTV just got lucky and found some that wanted to buy a house.

Disappointing fact: the episodes are filmed backwards. Home and Garden Television approach people who have already closed on homes and them get them to pretend to look at three houses, including the one they already bought. Da heck? Then, they are told to talk about the pros and cons of each place and have a fake discussion about which one to choose. According to one website, producers of the shows encourage the "hunters" to whine about light fixtures and too-small kitchens, etc. That may explain why the people featured sometimes seem annoyingly shallow, lazy and stupid. So now that I know my precious House Hunters and its horrible participants are faking it, will I continue to watch? Probably, but I won't take the same joy in trying to guess which places they pick and I won't be able to hate the buyers and their smarmy faces as much. But I swear, if I find out my other estate porn addiction: Love it or List it, is all a lie too, I may just give up renovation / real estate shows altogether. Oh, who am I kidding? I am a sucker for a good floor plan.

 

Terri McCormick’s column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.

 

Organizations: House Hunters, Amherst News

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