Behind the Scenes: HGTV’s House Hunters Comes to DC

by Michele Lerner

Behind the Scenes: HGTV's House Hunters Comes to DC: Figure 1

When Brett West of McEnearney Associates submitted a proposal to the producers of Home & Garden Television’s (HGTV) House Hunters he wasn’t thinking that this would be his chance at stardom. Rather, he wanted the city that he lived in to be the main attraction.

“DC is a great city and I saw this as an opportunity to show how beautiful it is,” West, who is also Vice President of Live Wire Media Relations, told UrbanTurf. “The production schedule has been pushed back a little, which is fine with me, because it looks like shooting will extend into March when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.”

House Hunters is one of HGTV’s most popular programs as it follows a buyer as she searches for her new home. With a camera crew in tow, the buyer looks at properties in a certain price range and at the end of the show, her final choice is revealed. Before the housing market started to go south, the production team would follow people around until they made an offer on a place. When the market hit the skids, many of those offers never panned out. Now House Hunters only starts filming once a buyer actually has a property under contract, then they recreate the buying process.

For West and his client Naomi Shelton this new procedure was not an issue.

For one thing, Shelton bought one of the first condos she saw at Waterfront Tower, a 123-unit condo development at 3rd and M Street SW. Because Waterfront Tower still has model homes available for public viewing, it will make recreating the “search” a little easier for the HGTV team.

Also, the program usually returns to the buyer’s former home, and since a friend of Shelton’s moved into her old place, going back and filming there should not be an issue.

When they begin shooting later this month, West and Shelton will also go back to the places they visited before she chose to buy at Waterfront Tower, assuming those properties are still on the market. If not, they will find comparable homes in the same neighborhoods.

“I call it ‘television magic’ when you do it this way,” West said of recreating the homebuying experience rather than filming it as it happens. “These days, they can’t waste all that time following someone around and then not have them go to settlement.”

West says that the taping should be wrapped up in the spring, with the show to air sometime next fall.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/behind_the_scenes_hgtvs_house_hunters_comes_to_dc/1649


  1. linda said at 6:53 pm on Tuesday January 5, 2010:
    This process is stupid. Let's keep it real. Offers are rejected and potential buyers keep looking. TELEVISION MAGIC=BOGUS.
  1. Nicole Cone said at 6:57 pm on Tuesday January 5, 2010:
    I loooooooove this show! Are they doing more casting in the area?
  1. Mary said at 3:25 pm on Wednesday January 6, 2010:
    It's cracking me up that you used the graphic from "House Hunters International". DC is, indeed, weird and even seems to have a completely foreign mindset sometimes, but that is perhaps a bit overstated ; ) If they want to film in SW, waiting 'til spring does make sense, though, since there may be more evidence in favor of Mr. West's assertion that DC is beautiful if they wait until some of the construction over by metro and such starts to wrap up!
  1. LC said at 4:57 pm on Wednesday January 6, 2010:
    This is interesting. I actually moved into one of the apartments featured on this show after the buying couple moved out. I only found out after seeing the episode air on HGTV though! Turns out the management in my complex had no idea the show even filmed there. I was surprised they didn't have to get permission, considering it's a rental.
  1. ramie said at 11:17 am on Sunday May 30, 2010:
    is it just me, but the woman commentator who sings "and which one did they choose?" drives me crazy with her voice intonation. Can you stop singing please? Otherwise I love the House Hunters International and other shows on HGTV

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