House Hunters is one of the most popular shows on HGTV, with millions of viewers tuning in each week to watch participants go through the process of purchasing a home.
In 2015, Kim Christenson and her husband were featured on the show, and the UtahValley360.com writer shared her experience on the series in a post on the site ahead of her episode to give fans an inside look at what it's really like to be featured on one of the most popular home shows on television.
Read on for a few secrets you might not know about the hit series, courtesy of Christenson.
The casting process is competitive
Director Susan Hull shared that the series looks for quirky applicants or people who want unique features in their home, along with a bit of drama — after all, House Hunters is a reality show.
The series receives about 100-200 applications per week, and Christenson shared that she and her husband first filled out an online application before getting an email from the casting director. They then had some more things to fill out followed by a phone interview with the producers. One 10-minute audition video and some more paperwork later, they were told they had been chosen to appear on the show.prevnext
The show utilizes local experts
In addition to the show's Los Angeles team, including Hull, Christenson and her husband worked with a cameraman from Colorado and a sound man from Pleasant Grove, Utah, who Christenson wrote has "worked on some of Utah's biggest projects."prevnext
The budget for one episode is around $50k
Each episode costs around $45,000-$50,000 to make, and Christenson and her family received $500 for their participation. The realtors the show works with are there on a volunteer basis. In general, it takes around 4-6 months after filming for an episode to arrive on screen.prevnext
The show has filmed in every state
The series has traveled to all 50 states in pursuit of the perfect home, with local architecture, area housing markets and more regional factors coming into play. As for House Hunters International, which finds prospective buyers traveling the globe in search of their dream home, that show is filmed with a different production company.prevnext
'House Hunters' uses eight different directors
In addition to Hull, there were seven other directors working on the show when Christenson made her appearance. At the time, Hull had been with the series for 10 years, and shared that each director adds their own personal touch to the episodes they work on.prevnext
There are no hangry participants
One thing is for sure — the show's cast is well fed. Christenson wrote that the director took her and her husband to lunch each of the five days they were on set and also treated her family to dinner one evening. In addition, there were plenty of on-set snacks to go around.prevnext
Filming a quick house tour takes hours
While each episode is only 23 minutes long, it takes hours just to get the few minutes of footage that finds the buyers touring their prospective homes. Christenson and her husband spent around six hours at each of the three homes they filmed at, and were also filmed doing family activities. Christenson was also filmed working, and she wrote that her episode filmed for over 30 hours total.prevnext
The show releases three new episodes every week
The popularity of House Hunters means viewers are always eager to see new homes, and the show obliges by releasing three new episodes each week. The show films year-round at locations around the country and has been airing since 1999. A number of spinoffs ensure that fans are never left for wanting when it comes to real estate eye candy, and with over 10,000 episodes filmed, the series is showing no signs of slowing down.prevnext
The buyers have usually already chosen their home
In 2012, HGTV explained in a statement to Entertainment Weekly that people who appear on the show are usually "pretty far along" in the process of buying a home, which sometimes means that they have already closed on the home they chose.1comments
"To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process," the statement continued. "Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen and we capture their authentic reactions. Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves RIGHT back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties."
Photo Credit: HGTVprev