HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ Called Fake by House Hunter

HGTV’s popular House Hunters is facing accusations that the show is not what it seems. House hunter, Bobi Jensen claims the show isn’t what everyone sees on television. Jensen told Hooked On Houses on June 12th that, “The producers said they found our (true) story–that we were getting a bigger house and turning our other one into a rental–boring and overdone.” She went on to explain that even though their home was too small, they weren’t as desperate to move as the portrayal on the show. Jenson claims that they weren’t accepted to appear on the show until after they had already closed on the new home that they chose at the end of the three house tours, and the other houses that they tour on the show weren’t even for sale, but were actually owned by friends of Jensen.

Jensen’s husband was a realtor at the time, so production played up the story of “will his wife be his hardest client?”, according to her claims. The question that remains is—did anyone believe it was actually possible for the show to be real? The premise of the show is simple. The house hunting parties meet up with the realtor, visit three houses, no more, no less. At the end of 30 minutes, the hunter(s) have moved into the home that they chose from those three homes. Anyone who has bought a home knows the process is not that simple. A buyer can spend months, if not years finding the right home and closing on it, especially if there are problems with the home inspection.

HGTV has never actually claimed that the show was real, in fact an an article from 2008 even states that “The participants receive a $500 check simply for allowing their likenesses to grace the show. For quicker turn-around, producers sometimes choose buyers who are already in escrow with one of the three locations shown. The other two choices that are filmed, are only shown to allow viewers the option of making the choice themselves.” After Jensen’s claims came out, the show’s publicist says, “We’ve learned that the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a prolonged period of time — more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television. However, with a series like House Hunters, HGTV viewers enjoy the vicarious and entertaining experience of choosing a home — from establishing a budget, to touring properties and weighing the pros and cons of each one.”

There are many other shows out there that are questionable as well and it begs the question—does it matter? People watch these reality shows to see the homes and try to figure out which they choose, not to go out and buy one of the houses not chosen. Reality television has never been a strict reality. Viewers can not really expect it is, due to time constraints. Thirty minutes, sixty minutes, even two hours to cover what could be weeks, if not months of real-time hunting just doesn’t work without some creative filming and editing.

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