There Are Many Things That Annoy Me About House Hunters, Yet I Cannot Stop Watching

house huntersI watch very little television, not because I’m a high-horse blowhard with an axe to grind, but because I don’t have enough time. I work at night, and have other things going on during the day. I listen to a lot of music and podcasts, but never turn on the TV. At this point it doesn’t even occur to me. I like it OK, there’s just not enough room in my life.

But… on the weekends, when Toney is around, the TV is on. We’re usually not watching it closely, but it’s on in the background, and we kinda dip in and out.

And somehow, through the years, I’ve watched many, many hours of House Hunters. Also Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Pawn Stars, and American Pickers. Those shows have been the audio/video wallpaper of my weekends, for the past several years. And I’m not complaining; I enjoy them all.

Yeah, I enjoy ‘em, but they also annoy me to a certain extent. Especially House Hunters. It might be my favorite of the bunch, and also the one that causes me the most aggravation. Rarely do I make it through the first five minutes of an episode before I start berating one or both of the home buyers, and releasing another load of exasperation-fueled profanity into the universe.

Oh, that show hurts so good…

And since we have a big honking super-sized weekend coming up, I thought I’d take this opportunity to attempt to itemize the things that rub me the wrong way about House Hunters, and the people who appear on it. I’ll undoubtedly miss a few, and you guys can take up my slack in the comments. How’s that sound? Good. Let’s do it.

People with an impossible amount of money

I don’t understand it. The narrator always says things like, “He’s a crossing guard, and she works part-time in a bait and tackle shop. They have a budget of $700,000.” What?!

Or it’s some 30 year old dude in the Army looking to buy a million-dollar vacation home on the ocean. Or a pair of customer service reps who want to simplify their lives by leaving their jobs and purchasing an estate in Costa Rica.

It’s baffling, and a little disheartening. Is it too late for me to climb aboard the crossing guard gravy train? Holy shitballs! I must be the biggest sucker in the world.

Buyers who use real estate agent lingo

It bothers me when people who haven’t earned it attempt to align themselves with the pros. It’s like when there’s a new-hire at work, and they immediately start acting like one of the gang. This is a process, asshole.

But the buyers on House Hunters regularly call the backyard “green space,” and speak of their love of the “open concept.” It makes me frown, as well as furrow my brow. Oftentimes simultaneously.

Ludicrous bathroom and kitchen scenes

To illustrate the cramped spaces the couple is enduring at their current home, they’re usually shown in the bathroom or kitchen at the same time – bumping into each other, and getting annoyed.

However… It’s not too difficult to take care of that stuff one person at a time. It’s NEVER necessary to brush your teeth over the shoulder of your wife, who is putting on makeup, and both of you constantly in motion for reasons unknown. For the love of God, stand still!

Until I was in fifth grade we lived in a house with one bathroom – for four of us – and it worked OK. Sure, sometimes one of us would have to run outside and pee on the neighbors’ car door, but that was rare. I can never remember my mom and dad in the bathroom jockeying for position in front of the mirror, dancing around and flailing their arms.

Men who think they’re cute

You know what I’m talking about… the whistledicks who go on and on about their future “man cave,” where they’ll have a “flat screen,” and watch “the game.” Just “the game.” It never gets any more specific.

Or there’s a slight variation: the dude who mentions in every scene that he wants a three-car garage, because he likes to work on his cars or motorcycles. We got it, fuckface. There’s no need to say it seven times.

Also: the guy who stretches out in a bathtub, during a home tour, with a self-satisfied smirk on his face. God, how I hate the bathtub stretchers.

Women who think they’re cute

“Wow, look at the size of this walk-in closet. My clothes will definitely fit in here. But where are you going to put your stuff, honey?” Hilarious! Not to mention original. Richard Pryor himself must be smiling in heaven over that perfectly rendered gutbuster.

Or the women who have some “thing” they keep bringing up, like their deep hatred of carpet. You need to give it a rest, sister. It stopped being cute and adorable, this pretending to be repulsed by Berber, a long time ago. It’s been noted that you hate carpet. And how delightfully quirky!

People who can’t get past simple cosmetics

Um, they have this stuff called paint. It’s not very expensive, and it’ll – get this! – change the color of the walls. It’s fantastic! You should really check into it.

It’s amazing how so many people on the show apparently can’t conceive of painting, having vinyl floors replaced, or new light fixtures installed. I watch these dumbasses get all hung up on stuff that doesn’t matter, and it makes me crazy.

Hell, if they don’t want to do it themselves, they can just hire an alcoholic out of the Penny Saver, like we do. Team Alcoholic might be a bit unreliable at times, but they’ll eventually get it done. They’re good people.

23 year olds who demand perfection

Gourmet kitchen… three-car garage… more toilets than asses… I grind my molars as I watch people who were born after Nirvana, expecting a sprawling home absolutely free of flaws.

Especially when they say things like “But I can see the tip of the neighbor’s roof through the dining room window.” Wow. Please accept our apologies, your highness.

For the record, when I was 23 I had a beanbag chair in the living room of my shitty apartment, along with a couch that somebody had put out for the trash men, and a 19-inch TV sitting on top of two cinderblocks.

Couples watching each other talk

This one’s a bit off-the-wall, I admit. But it bugs me. On the show they have these little interview segments with the couples, and while one is talking – straight into the camera – the other is turned and watching them speak. Every time, almost without exception.

In real life people don’t act that way. It must be something the producers tell them to do. In reality both would be staring straight ahead. Neither would be ratcheted sideways, watching their spouse’s mouth move. It’s weird, man. I don’t care for it. If somebody did that to me, I wouldn’t be able to refrain from saying “What’s your problem, freak?”

Inordinate amount of fruit-chopping and ball-kicking

During the “three weeks later” (or whatever) follow-up, at the end of every episode, at least one adult is shown chopping fruit. And if there are kids involved, or a dog, the whole family is featured kicking a ball around in the backyard. Or, um, green space. You can bet that once the cameras are packed away, that ball will never again see the light of day. Oh well.

Also, if the couple is young and with-it, the final scene is them having drinks with a bunch of friends, often outdoors. I suspect the “friends” are members of the production crew, or people they yanked in off the street. But that’s only speculation.

What did I miss? What other things bug you about House Hunters? Please tell us about it in the comments section below.

And I hope you guys have a great holiday.

I’ll see you again on Monday!

Want to help support the cause? Buy Jeff a beer! Nothing says ‘I care’ like beer.

Comments

  1. Oh crap am I first? I never saw the show but your section on “Men who think they’re cute” cracked me up and made me hate them.

    • “And the price is” – cut to commercial.

      entering new room/porch/etc – “Oh wooooow!”

      Aaaaarrrggggh!

  2. I love house hunters, but also yell at the dumb asses. I hate the people who get all butt hurt when there is only one sink in the master bath. Or, the people with a tiny budget expecting a mansion.

  3. junkfood says:

    A highly mockable show, right in there with the Renovation Realities idiots or the dumbshit restaurant owners on Restaurant Impossible. My favorite House Hunters memory was the time Jimmy Kimmel and his then-wife (now divorced, because of course they are) were on and they played it completely straight. Didn’t mention him being a minor celebrity at all. It was before his late night gig but after he was on The Man Show so it’s not like he was anonymous. But no jokes, no attempt at being any more entertaining than any other clown homebuyer on that show. A big missed opportunity.

  4. OMG, Jeff Kay.
    I have never loved you more than this moment.
    That was EPIC!

  5. WV.Hillbilly says:

    They always say, “This space will be great for entertaining.”
    And any time a house has a window seat, it’s “great for curling up in with a book on a rainy day.”

    • t-storm says:

      This nook will be great for watching the neighbor milf walk her dog while I punch my clown.

  6. Skippy in WV says:

    They’re probably coached on how to talk, what terms to use , what motions to act out, and various other things. I hate those shows. My dad is addicted to them.

  7. I used to be a pro at picking which house they’d buy. But the dumbasses they’ve had on for the past several months have all picked the wrong house. I love how they sometimes say, in an off the cuff manner, “we can always just add on where that window is, to make you a home office.” Oh sure, shitsticks. Just “add on”. No big deal.

  8. Granite countertops! Stainless steel appliances! The avocado kitchen and shag rugs of the new millennium.

  9. It wasn’t House Hunters, but there was a similar show in the same vein.

    The featured family was renovating their house and rebuilt a kitchen with a 6 figure budget and all the top of the line appliances they could find. It was fantastic.

    At the end of the show was the obligatory epilogue where the family talks about how great everything is now, and the wife says she loves her new kitchen “and as soon as I take some cooking classes I’ll be able to use it”.

    It’s like buying a 747 and saying you’re really looking forward to all the vacations you’ll take once you’ve had some flying lessons.

    I still hate that woman. She haunts my dreams.

  10. The Divine Miss E says:

    I only watch House Hunters International, and I almost always find those people infuriating. They inevitably want a great view and “European charm” or whatever. So the realtor shows them an apartment in a building which probably existed when George Washington was still in diapers, and inevitably, they bitch about not having enough “space”. And every time, I end up yelling at the TV that this is why people hate Americans. Come to think of it, I have no idea why I watch that show, it raises my blood pressure.

  11. I like the ones that walk into a perfectly good kitchen and say “this has to be gutted”.

    • Captain Break Things says:

      Realtor: “this is an updated and newly renovated kitchen, with new black appliances.”

      Couple: “…um, I don’t know, this needs updated. Quartz countertops, let’s tear out the marble tile floor and replace it with hardwood, and we need stainless appliances.”

      • Damn. My main criterion was that I wanted a house that needed zero work to be livable. Kitchens can be renovated, paint can be slapped on. If those things didn’t “need” to be done that’s a plus, but if they do it doesn’t have to be a show-stopper if the price is right.
        .

  12. madz1962 says:

    I watch those “Buying the (fill in space: Beach, Bayou, Alaska etc) ” but its all the same shit. They all want a mammoth kitchen for entertaining . One shitty cocktail party every 2 years doesn’t make these people huge entertainers. They act like they’re throwing ahuge bash every week. Me? Fuck that. I deal with enough assists during the week. I want to go home and be alone most weekends.

  13. Lew in bama says:

    A tip about those house hunting shows. They have already had their offer accepted on the house they want when filming starts. They then pick a few other houses to throw in the mix for tv purposes. House #3 is already theirs, they have no intention of buying house 1 or 2.

  14. revashane says:

    I know this isnt the correct forum but NEVER BUY VIKING appliances!! Years ago when husband and I had money we fixed up our kitchen and bought all Viking. Fridge, cooktop and oven. First thing; all the numbers washed off the stainless on the cooktop. I tried gasoline but couldn’t get the Viking name to wash off. Used a dremel to scratch on numbers. The freezer basket in the fridge rusted out and the oven can’t be trusted over 200 degrees. That what we get for wanting a “Chefs Kitchen” and we’ve had 3 parties in the 14 years we’ve lived here. God we are Assholes.

  15. Lew in bama is correct. A friend of mine had a neighbor that was on the show. They had already purchased their house and 2 others were thrown into the mix for TV ‘reality’. The show is a total sham.

  16. Matthew says:

    I’m with you Jeff. I too have watched many hours of House Hunters.

    How many times have I yelled at the screen, “It’s called paint! If you hate the color of the room that much, just paint it a different color!”?

    Great update!

  17. johnthebasket says:

    One man’s “sham” is another man’s “scripted reality show”. Predetermined outcomes, predetermined conversations, many, many takes for each conversation. That doesn’t mean the shows can’t be entertaining. I’ve watched many episodes of Pawn Stars. The idea of telling a small story through interesting and/or vintage items is a pretty good one.

    I try not to think about the segment producer, the sound engineers, the lighting guys, the boom operator (no lav mics in evidence), the security and makeup people and the PAs surrounding each conversation, or the number of times each conversation is reshot until the actors “get it right”. That would also be true for the rest of the shows Jeff mentioned if I watched them.

    Even knowing these shows are designed to make viewers feel superior to the shmucks on-screen doesn’t deter my enjoyment of the Pawn guys and, on occasion, the Storage people. One way or another, except for PBS, television shows are made to sell soap and cars and other products whose manufacturers advertise on them. That’s OK. Welcome to America. Enjoy the show.

    jtb

  18. You hit a home run with this one. Having gone through the buy sell process a few times over the years, the cosmetic nitpickers drive me up the wall.
    Or even bigger, the furniture critics… I don’t like the furniture/how it is laid out, thus I won’t buy the house. Eh? You don’t get the furniture, you put your own in there and place it however the fuck you want you dumb festering cu-+!
    As for the garage guy… Been there, done that. Real Estate people are f’ing deaf when you tell them you need 1. A relatively flat driveway becuase you work on cars (I think their definition of work is vacuum the interior, not jack it up four wheels off the ground and having a level surface is rather important when doing that) and the size of the garage. I don’t fault the repeaters on this one, you have to do it. If I tell you I want at least a two car garage, don’t show me a 1 car… If I tell you I *need* 28′ from wall to door, don’t show me something with a 24′ depth. What I work on doesn’t fit in 24’….

    Which leads to any house show on television, and real life situations: Real estate agents who show you properties that do not meet criteria you have set forth as must-haves.
    Ie: the garage size, especially depth. I had a real estate agent measure the length of my car since he didn’t believe it was as long as I said it was. Driveway levelness, and in smaller lots, driveways long enough to park my non-compact cars and pickup trucks without blocking the sidewalk. Its simple really. Don’t show me something that has a driveway that points me towards the sky, or has no place to park the vehicles I obviously own since you have seen them on more than one occasion.

    As for house hunters, its all staged. The people already own the house they pick, house hunters looks for people who are new property buyers and then have them be all dramatic for the camera when looking at the losing choices “comparable properties”.

    • aileen in jackson ms says:

      I agree about the necessity of repeating yourself. My husband and I had a similar incident with an agent who kept showing us vinyl sided monstrosities no matter how many times we said we’ll never buy a plastic house. I finally turned to my husband and whispered, “We need to go before I cut her,” said our goodbyes and got someone else.

  19. randall says:

    I worked on the video crew for extreme makeover. they tore down a house nicer than any I’ve ever lived in for some fat slut with three mutant children that had “mold allegies” that forced the poor things to wear painters dust masks all the time. the only time they wore them was on camera.
    so they whipped the house up in no time and gave it to her, she promply sold it,moved to oregon and got busted for child abuse.

    • shinywilly says:

      How do they get all the building permits & inspections completed so fast on extreme makeover? I’ve been in the housing industry for over 19 years & like others in our business we basically get no cooperation from the government agencies that dole out the ridiculous red tape!

  20. When I was unemployed a few years ago I had House Hunters and all the remodeling/redecorating shows on at all times – it was oddly comforting. But I also got seriously irritated at these hayseed 20-somethings looking at gorgeous houses way out of what their price range should be, and things like weird paint and lack of granite countertops in the kitchen (which I hate by the way) were deal breakers. Really? “We have a lot to think about” – another irritant on that show that chapped my ass – every couple said it.

  21. I hate when they say, “oohh, a nice, open floor plan.” They don’t want rooms, they want one great big giant room that combines the whole ground floor so they can all be together. What a terrible idea… I need to be able to close a door and get away from those people.

    • Michelle says:

      I always laugh about that open floor plan. I actually live in a house that’s all open, like a warehouse. It’s even got concrete floors. The only “rooms” with actual doors are the two bathrooms (in the center of the building like a hub in a wheel). I love it, usually, but it’s true, sometimes you want to shut a goddam door and read a book while someone else is listening to music or watching TV.

  22. Like you Jeff, I’m a glutton for punishment with this show. I vaguely remember that you were also an avid Trading Spaces watcher back in the day. This relatively new term “Open Floor plan” drives me over the edge. I’m quite sure that back in the Trading Spaces years NO ONE ever uttered that phrase. What the fuck does that even mean? Please…enlighten me.

  23. Dr, Buford says:

    Richard Pryor himself must be smiling in heaven over that perfectly rendered gut buster.

    You have surpassed ‘sweet sainted mother of Blanket Jackson’.

    Congratulations 🙂

    B

  24. It sends me over the edge when the buyers are looking at a house and, oh GOD forbid, there is ongoing construction nearby. This is treated as a possible deal breaker. Do these people know that the construction process DOES end at some point? It’s as if they have bought the house and five years from now, some crew will still be hammering and sawing and cursing and shitting in portable toilets just feet from their bedroom window. Suck it up, Nancy! Surely you can put up with a few weeks/months of inconvenience.

  25. How ’bout coffee? They all want an outdoor space where they can picture themselves drinking a morning cup ‘o joe.
    (With a smoker’s rasp and thick Philly accent…) “I could definitely see myself out here with my coffee in the mornings, right?”

  26. YES! It’s always either coffee or wine.

  27. Theresa says:

    Honestly….if my husband and I were sitting side by side during some type of interview and he was talking, I think I would be looking at him. Is that strange?

  28. t-storm says:

    your budget was 500K, we got them down to 602K but it’s in the school system you wanted. We’ll take it!

  29. These things are why I DON”T watch these shows. Stupid waste of my time and brain cells.

  30. any insight on how people have all this money? what’s the show in canada where an 800 sq ft 1983 ranch goes for 1 million?

  31. I hate it when anyone looking at a house applies a situational rationalization to the purchase process. By this I mean when a woman comes into a room and says something like, “This space will be perfect for the times when I win Lotto while being struck by lightning.” Ok, I know that this is a slight exaggeration but they really do say shit like, “Oh, this room will be perfect for when your mother visits us once every ten years.” So is this not perfect for the 99.99% of the time you will live here and she is not visiting? Then don’t buy it. I guess this goes along with the “where are you going to put your clothes” jackassery. First time back since the makeover, Jeff. Site looks good. Do you still have Human Highway that I sent you a decade ago? Just asking.. lol

  32. Becky in Canada says:

    When they have to have a Victorian style house and then bitch about the size of the bedrooms and lack of closet space.

  33. Cindy Enriquez says:

    My peeve is when they describe what they’ll do in the room. I remember one episode where the wife said about the kitchen and it’s “open floor plan” that she could watch her husband watching football while she cooks!! Really? Creepy! Seems kinda sexist to me too that the wife is always the cooker in the family. Also when people despise carpet. Why would you want a cold floor under your feet in the morning?

  34. Tracy Buckley says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, so I may be repeating something. But do people think this is their television debut to play the evil villain? Some are these people are so rude, and let’s not forget contradictory. “you should be able to find the house we want and where we want it!”, “Do we need another agent? “Wow, I can’t believe how you came through for us, you’re amazing” Or, “Excuses, excuses, why can’t Hillary just give us what we want?”.
    How do these hosts not bury some these clients in a new foundation is beyond me.

    • In earlier times, it was customary to bury a live person in the foundation of a new building. It would bring good luck, or ward off evil spirits, or some shit.
      .

  35. Captain Break Things says:

    I firmly believe the prices and “budgets” are inflated for TV. I know a couple people who have worked in marketing for decent firms and they’re good at their jobs. Neither one has a house purchasing budget above $300k. According to the show, most of the 20-30 year old population is filled with people making over $250k a year…and they all marry “homemakers”.

  36. Careless Bear says:

    And NOBODY wants “cookie cutter”, yet all want.”open concept, hardwood, granite, stainless steel”. Every. Last. One.

    • I’ll have my hardwood countertops, stainless steel floors and granite appliances. Damn it.
      .

  37. SUSAN SIGMA says:

    what amazes me the most is how the buyers ask the realtor as they are approaching the house being viewed – “What is the price?” or “How many bedrooms?” Who in their right mind would go look at a place without knowing the size or price range? Worse, yet, are the buyers who look first, then either ask the price or the realtor says “guess how much.” RIDICULOUS! Like a lot of others, I think I only watch the show ‘cuz it is so bad or maybe I just want to escape the bad news and violence on too many other channels. On the positive side, I do appreciate House Hunters inclusion of diversity – biracial couples, same sex couples, singles, lots of ethnic variety, BUT – too many young couples getting married, having a baby or escaping parents basement. That part gets old. How about some yuppies or retirees that are downsizing?

    • Do they still make yuppies? I thought those were discontinued years ago. Well, you learn something every day.
      .

  38. Scotty B says:

    Just watching an episode of the new House Hunters Renovation – yes, they have built upon the worst show on TV to make this turd. The couple in their late 20s (and with a combined IQ of at best 120) has a budget of $500,000 and a $45,000 reno budget for a shitty house in Burbank. Does everyone, except me, have a formerly rich and now dead uncle that has for some reason left this couple with enough cash to do something insanely stupid with it? I want to jump through the TV and throat punch this stupid bimbo that doesn’t know which end of the sledgehammer knocks down the piece of crap wall in the steaming pile of dung they just dropped poor ol’ dead Uncle Dan’s hard-earned money on. I could go on, but I have to see how this train wreck ends… on second thought, watching it would just raise my blood pressure and shorten my lifespan.