House Hunting

After years of living without cable TV, it's now an amenity that my landlord includes in my rent. I usually put on Food Network in the background while doing something else, like writing this blog; but I have caught a few episodes of House Hunters. Turns out, the show is completely phony. That's good to know, but if it weren't, the show would make absolutely no sense.

(from sean dreilinger on Flickr)

Think about it. You never see someone lose a house because of a botched inspection, or because they get outbid by another prospective buyer, or because they can't get the right financing. In fact, you never see any other house hunters - it's almost like the three houses they see are temporarily removed from the market and the contestants on their show get their unconditional pick of property.

Anyone who has house hunted in DC or a similarly big city, especially in the rental market, knows just how absurd the show's concept is. The idea of being able to view three places and get your pick of any one of the them would be an unbelievable deal. More typically, house hunters are competing with dozens of others, filling out applications, writing checks before open houses, and hearing the all to often phrase "sorry, we decided to go with another applicant."

The most entertaining thing about the show is watching with frustration at just how opinionated and unrealistic many of the house hunters are. Then again, they might just be acting. If that's the case, the $500 stipend seems like a really small payment for making yourself look like a fool on national television.