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'House Hunters' won't be the same

What a disappointment to learn that those cute couples on the reality TV show already picked out a new home before filming started.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 22, 2012 11:30AM

This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.

Len Penzo dot Com on MSN MoneyYou know, there are some events that are so momentous, so earth-shaking, that we can remember exactly where we were the moment we first heard the news. For me, last week was one of those times.

First, allow me to set the stage.

Longtime readers know I love "House Hunters." No, I mean I really love that show.

Maybe too much.  (Post continues below.)

Over the years I've made more than a couple passing references on this blog to my love for "House Hunters" (including here and here; oh yeah, and here too).

Although I don't have official stats, I think it's safe to say that since "House Hunters" debuted in 1999, I've watched upward of 96% of the show's episodes.

Image: Real estate sign indicating sold house (© Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Heck, I practically consider Suzanne Whang, who was the show's host for nearly a decade before being unceremoniously dumped for a faceless boring narrator in 2008, to be a part of the family. (Although I have to say, I do like the name of the latest faceless boring narrator -- Andromeda Dunker.)

That being said, I was having a little lunch in the break room last week when I found out that "House Hunters" is faked.

That's right. Faked.

I know. I couldn't believe it either.

You know the show: A cute couple go looking for a new home. They drag along a completely worthless real-estate agent who takes them to see three (no more, no less) homes for sale -- two of which are more often than not way beyond the cute couple's incredulously ginormous budget. The cute couple then talk it over for all of two minutes before they finally select one of the three homes.

Now the word is out that those cute couples weren't really house hunting after all. Nope. Apparently the cute couples featured on the show already had their new homes before they were even a twinkle in the "House Hunters" producer's eye. Uh-huh.

"House Hunters" merely re-created a very twisted version of the homebuying process. You know what that means: All those scenes where the cute couples are fretting about sticking to their ridiculously high budgets -- and pondering whether it's possible to host a party in a home that's missing hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops -- were just a sham.

Boy, do I feel like a sucker.

Can you blame me when I say I feel slightly betrayed? Well, I do.

By the way, I've also watched 6 bazillion episodes of the "House Hunters" spinoff, "House Hunters International."

It turns out that show is faked too.

Yeah, yeah. You can go ahead and pooh-pooh this all you want. You can also tell me how gullible I am because "reality" television shows aren't really real.

But this was big news, folks. The Huffington Post had a story on it, and the news even made it to the Drudge Report. (I’m not sure why, though, considering a lot of people have known this "unknown" fact for years.)

In the end, it doesn't really matter. My world has been turned upside down forever more.

But I'll never be duped again. That I promise you.

From here on out, I'm only going to watch honest reality television shows. You know, really authentic stuff -- like "Jersey Shore." 


More on Len Penzo dot Com and MSN Money:

Jun 22, 2012 12:51PM
HH & HHI really need to add disclaimers to their broadcasts that explain the following program is a fictional re-enactment of events which may or may not have any bearing as to what really happened concerning the participants in the program.   I too have long suspected both "reality" shows were fiction.  This was further supported by the "casting process" in which I discovered people would send in their taped auditions, explaining what they've already done in the way of buying their "dream homes"  either domestically or abroad.    The participants get paid about $1500 total to participate in the program.   Do a simple HH Casting / Audtion websearch and you can find a number of YouTube submissions.    Even some expats have posted their "real HHI" behind-the-scenes experiences,  further indicating that they were merely "recreating" their experiences;  sometimes showing the final home choice as theirs when in fact it wasn't.

While entertaining,  these types of programs are very misleading while purportedly acting as if  actual,  truthful life-stories of the participants.   It is a shame that a simple disclaimer was never used to at least share some sense of truth that these shows are basically works of fiction.
Jun 22, 2012 1:46PM

I think this is a great show to see how couples pick home based on there needs and wants.  I could care less if it's "fake".  Realtiy shows like Jersey Shore, American Idol etc. are more fake and stupid to watch.  You would have to be a very naive perso to assumed that this stuff is not staged.  Clue:  the cameras and no on camera moments.

Jun 22, 2012 8:50PM
I am disappointed to hear the truth about house hunters. I am wondering if House Hunters on Vacation is faked too.
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