Does there exist a blog, website, or even random street corner where people can meet to poke merciless fun at the people featured on HGTV’s House Hunters? If not, there should be. They’d get a million visits per day.
According to the HGTV (Home and Garden Channel) promo “House Hunters focuses on the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home; each episode shows the process as buyers search for a home.”
Let me note for the record that the process is emotional because, for the most part, the potential home buyers are crazy. It’s so amusing to watch people who somehow have the wherewithal to purchase a whole entire home, yet labor under the delusion that paint colors are impermeable and forever.
Almost without fail, a home-buying couple will enter a lovely home where the paint colors are not quite to their liking. This is to be expected since taste is subjective and there are at least a thousand shades of gray in the paint palette alone.
The woman (it’s ALWAYS the woman) will wrinkle her nose like she just smelled raw sewage and say “Oh I don’t like this paint.” This confuses me. They do know that you can paint OVER paint right? If this were not possible I would STILL be living in a house painted almost entirely in Pepto-Bismol pink and a color we could only call “puke yellow.”
Potential buyers will also pronounce a house uninhabitable based on the furniture choices of the sellers. “Oh I hate this sofa …” Since few homes in the U.S. are sold furnished I have never understood how that is germane to the issue at hand? I’m waiting for the episode where they turn down the house because they don’t like a sweater hanging in the closet.
Granted, this is the point where Mr. Wonderful really gets into this show. He loves it when I shout “and I hate YOUR brand of crazy!” back at the home buyers.
Speaking of closets, let me speak directly to the female homebuyers. Viewing a closet the size of a starter home and saying “so where are you going to hang YOUR clothes honey?” to your husband was funny the FIRST time a homebuyer said it on camera. That happened sometime in 1994. That ship has now sailed and you just sound tired and completely lacking in creativity.
Granted the latter may explain why you can’t see past the paint color and the sofa but really, I’m just trying to save you from yourself here. People have no vision anymore.
I realize not everyone wants to take on the kind of project Mr. Wonderful and I did back in the day with a baby tucked under one arm and a ladder under the other. Not everyone says, “No heat? No plumbing? AND rats and roaches? We’ll take it!”
Nonetheless, I don’t think expecting Americans to revisit the outlandish notion that your starter home may not be a mansion and you may have to share a closet — or paint a wall — is too much to ask? I honestly don’t know how Realtors don’t crack and beat their buyers with a wad of open house flyers. I really don’t.
Realtors you have my sympathy — and prayers. It’s sad really. If I were old enough to be a curmudgeon (which I am NOT) I’d also point out that “champagne tastes on a beer-and-paint budget” probably got quite a few people in over their heads economically. It’s not so funny to wonder, even momentarily, if HGTV and heightened expectation is to be partially blamed for the housing crisis?
No one wants to “settle” for a starter home anymore. The home where my grandparents raised five children was less than 1000 square feet. Few would live like that today.
I know I could just change the channel but this type of programming has taken over one of the only three channels I can safely watch without seeing ads for sexual enhancements and/or someone blowing up. I suspect this type of program is incredibly cheap to produce. Grab a camera and follow a couple around as they stick their foot in the door — and in their mouths.
They view at least three homes, then revisit them a few months later when they’ve purchased one. They will have inevitably already remodeled and renovated the “perfect house” anyway. The number one comment of nearly every home buyer is to imply that if your master bathroom doesn’t have double-sinks, you’re living no better than an animal.
We are a nation founded on “can-do” spirit and pioneer gumption. Our ancestors settled a wild new land, now inhabited, if HGTV is to be believed, by a nation of people that can’t even find their way to the paint store.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt purchased a home with a window held together with duct tape. It’s possible her standards aren’t high. She welcomes comments c/o LifeOutLoud@Comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460 or visit her online at www.KymberlyFosterSeabolt.com.)
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