There are many reasons why I won’t ever be seen on “House Hunters”. The main reason, I suppose, is that I’m not looking for a new house at the moment. I’m happy in my little cabin on the shore–the one with the outdated kitchen, real knotty pine paneling on several conspicuous walls, and linoleum on the floors. There is no automatic dishwasher (I almost said there is no dishwasher until I remembered I live here) or garbage disposal (That would be my husband).
There are two bedrooms, one with a small sleeping loft. There is another bedroom (i.e., a room with beds) above the detached garage, in what we laughingly call “The Penthouse”.
There is only one bathroom. There is a shower, but no room for a tub. The septic tank threatens to vomit its guts out whenever there are too many people around.
So since I seem to be pretty content with a home nobody in their right mind on the current version of “House Hunters” would want, you might be wondering why on earth I would be watching it in the first place.
I watch it because it’s like watching a drama from another world. “House Hunters from Oz”. Who lives like that? Where do those young people get all that money? Why aren’t there more divorces?
Plus, it’s fun. I love that they all know they’re on camera and they feel forced to drag out their puny but hilarious acting skills. (“Now that’s what I’M talkin’ about!”)
I love that they’ve created a whole new homeowners lexicon: “upscale”, “price point”, “deal-breaker”, “curb appeal”, “man cave”, “bonus room”, “en suite”, and so on.
But here’s why I’m pretty sure I’ll never be in a position to have to say “no” to “House Hunters” (or any other HGTV show):
1. I hate granite counter-tops. They’re ugly, food looks gross on them, they echo, and the breakage on those super-hard surfaces increases the irritation factor in the kitchen by at least a thousand percent.
2. I hate stainless steel appliances. They only look good the few seconds after you’ve wiped them down, they cost an outrageous bundle, and they don’t function any differently from those old-fashioned white appliances.
3. I have no use for walk-in closets. Unless I could turn them into bedrooms.
4. I don’t need double sinks in my bathroom. I don’t want anybody else in there with me.
5. I don’t need or want to have to live in a house so huge there are rooms I almost never go into. I can live so comfortably in a dwelling under 2000 square feet, I have to wonder what that couple was thinking a while back when they walked into a house that was just shy of 3500 sq. ft and said, right off, it was too small. There are two of them. What do they do in there that requires that much space? I can only guess that it’s so they don’t have to run into each other too often.
6. I can look at an ugly painted wall and think, “Hmmm, a little bit of paint will fix that up just fine.” It’s not a deal-breaker. (And speaking of deal-breakers, I saw one yesterday where a woman said, “Oh, no, the microwave is above the stove! That’s a deal-breaker, right there.” Honest to God. Lady, a screwdriver to release it and a strong pair of arms to lift it away is all you need. You’re welcome. Jeez!)
The same with carpeting or tile or popcorn ceilings. All easily fixable–unless you’re over your price point (Oy) but you love this place. Then, sweet darlings, take a deep breath and live with the flaws for a while. It’s being done everywhere on earth. It really will not kill you.
7. I know in my heart that my choices are not really down to three homes, all of which have problems. Somewhere out there my dream home hides. I can find it myself, without having to roll my eyes on camera, or make fun of someone else’s decorating choices, or pretend that I’m this close to stamping my feet and throwing a tantrum if I don’t find what I’m looking for.
I’m been watching “House Hunters” since it first began, way back in the days when they were showing ordinary people looking at houses most of us could afford and most of us would want. I remember a great rustic cabin that was built over a river. It was amazing. And small. And affordable. And the woman who looked at it chose it and loved it and didn’t think she needed to change a thing and I loved her for loving it because I did, too.
I remember a couple who chose an exquisite Arts and Crafts bungalow and promised to keep it in the Craftsman style and not ruin it completely and forever by “updating” it to meet today’s standards.
I remember when the best of homes shown on HGTV didn’t have to be upscale or ostentatious or predictable. Now, if you’ve seen one show you’ve seen them all. They’re either McMansions or Condos or they’re older homes destined to be upgraded to look like newer homes.
And they’re so above anything people like us can afford, it’s clear that the folks who run the show don’t have a clue about how most Americans really live.
Which is why, if the folks at HGTV do happen to find that letter I wrote them a dozen years ago and call me at my home number (which is still the same), I will be giddy with delight at the prospect of . . .
. . .um.