Monday, November 3, 2008

A Love/Hate Relationship

I watch HGTV's House Hunters just about every night. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, each night a realtor shows a couple three homes. After the tour is over, they make their choice, and we are fast-forwarded a few months, where we see the family all settled in and enjoying their new home.

It's fun being a observer on the tours, and it's fun guessing which house they will choose. I'm usually impressed with the houses and the couples' choices, but I'm often disgusted with the house hunters themselves. Especially first-time buyers, most of whom are young couples.

Many jump in way over their heads, thinking nothing of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for their first homes. (Granted, location makes a difference; homes in Manhattan and cities in California, for instance, are outrageous. But many spend exorbitant amounts of money in all parts of the country.)

There are many young couples who use their heads and buy what they can afford, of course. But on House Hunters, there seems to be an inordinate number who throw caution to the wind, insisting on four or five bedrooms (one for each child), and three or more baths. (One haughty young woman insisted that each of her three young boys, all under 10, have his own bedroom and his own private bath. Another couple, who had no children, wanted six bedrooms. The misses insisted on a room for her scrapbooking, another for her sewing; her husband wanted a media room and a practice room for his rock band. And they both wanted an exercise room and an office.)

One woman strolled through a magnificent Atlanta mansion, raising her eyebrows and shaking her streaked-blonde head. "It's nice," she said as she viewed the huge great room and beautifully-appointed kitchen, cherry hardwood floors, six bedrooms, and a walk-in closet the size of Paris Hilton's, "But not as nice as our house in Austin." (She made that statement time and time again throughout the tour.)

The realtor should kick her a$$ all the way back to Austin.

Speaking of Texas, one young man was disappointed by the size of the basement and the garage in a huge home he and his wife were considering in an affluent suburb of Dallas. The basement was as big as a bowling alley and boasted a large recreation room, a kitchenette, a bar, a bedroom and a bathroom.

"I'll be honest with you," he said, "There's just not room for a pool table, big-screen TV, and couches and chairs for my buddies when we watch football."
He opened the door to the two-car garage. "I'll be honest with you," he said, "There's not room for my ATV, golf clubs, fishing gear and what have you."

His wife gave the realtor an indulgent smile, "He has to have his toys."
The man sauntered through the living room, gazing up at the oak-beamed vaulted ceilings, obviously not seeing the sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows and dancing on the cherry hardwood floors. Or the sparkling lake beyond the yawning yard. "I'll be honest with you," he said, "The yard isn't big enough for Twinkie and Tootie."

Twinkie and Tootie were their Poodles. Their tiny Poodles.

Nevertheless, the couple bought the house. And as the credits crawled down the screen at show's end, Twinkie and Tootie cavorted in the vast yard like cotton balls tumbling in the wind.

I'll be honest with you, Mr. House Hunter. You and your wife are a couple of dumbbells.
Another couple entered a lovely home in a suburb of Chicago, unimpressed by the spacious and airy rooms, all painted a rich buttery cream, the three sunny bedrooms and the two modern bathrooms decorated in soft shades of green and blue.

I was impressed by the beautiful living room, but even more impressed when we got to the kitchen. It was large and square and surrounded by sparkling white cabinets. An enormous island stood regally in the center of the room, and the appliances were brand new.

"Oh, my god! That island has got to go," the wife said, "It's not big enough, and the top isn't even granite!"

I watch her husband rush to her side: Ah ha! He'll bring her down to earth in a hurry.

"Just look at this," he said, running the palm of his hand along the cabinet countertops, "We would have to change this to granite, too." He suddenly jerked his hand away, as though a Cobra had sprung from the disgusting countertop and injected him with deadly venom.
The wife nodded and turned to the new refrigerator, the new stove and the new dishwasher. "These appliances are all white," she said, giving the realtor an accusing look, "We'd have to change them to stainless steel."

"Needs a lot of updating," the husband said, "It would cost us a chunk."

I have owned four homes in my lifetime, three of which were new constructions. And when we built our first, I never wished for larger rooms, more baths, or better hardwood. I was just glad to have a new house. (I did, however, insist on a coppertone wall oven. I had longed for one since I saw the first episode of The Donna Reed Show!)

Despite it all, I will continue watching House Hunters while eating popcorn and bitching to my heart's content.

"I guess I have a love/hate relationship with House Hunters," I told Bill last night as he lay dozing on the sofa, "I love the show, but those people irritate me. Don't they know if they get everything they want in the beginning, there's nothing to look forward to in the future?"



Bill suddenly woke up, a startled look on his face. "Right!" he said, "If McCain is elected, there won't be anything to look forward to."


Suzanne said...

I'll be honest with you. I laughed my ASS off at this post.

Anonymous said...

I feel this same way about this show! (And second Bill's sentiments as well.)

mlh said...

This was too funny! I never watched the show before, but seeing your take on it is a riot! Great post!

Rhonda said...

That's one of my favorite shows but you are absolutely right LOL you are so funny. Are people spoiled or what????


3 Magpies said...

This is my first visit to your site. Enjoyable and I am impressed you can spell dumbbells!

I don't watch House Hunters, but I think I should start! I wish I had know before all the politicing commenced. I would have watched more TV.

Suz said...

I *love* it how Bill really got the message to the point he could spit out the right opinion on waking from a nap. Obviously a smart man, and a wise one. :-)

I also love this post! Used to watch HH but that must have been before they started with these ultra-entitled folks and their McMansions. I remember seeing young people just starting out looking at modest properties. Dang. I dropped out before it got interesting.

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley