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TV: House quests satisfying to viewers

HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ able to draw in audience for its home-buying process show

"House Hunters" Host Suzanne Whang

"House Hunters" Host Suzanne Whang

Do you know the difference between a coffered ceiling, a tray ceiling and a vaulted ceiling?

Don’t look at us because we’re not sure, either. But we do have a lot of fun viewing them – and all sorts of interesting architectural details – on HGTV’s series “House Hunters.”

Let’s face it: Who isn’t the teeniest bit curious to see what their neighbor’s home looks like inside? Or, for that matter, what homes in Portugal, Mexico, Sweden or Panama look like and how much they cost?

“House Hunters” provides viewers with the answer to those questions and many more. Each episode introduces us to the potential homeowners – individuals, couples or families – and what they’re looking for in a new home.

The show also employs a real estate agent who will help the prospective homebuyers navigate the market in the area in which they want to live.

Then it’s showtime: the real-estate agent takes their clients – and us – on tours of three homes up for consideration. The wannabe homeowners weigh the pros and cons of each home and decide which one best fits their needs. The show lists the asking price of the homes and sometimes – but not always – tells us how much the homeowner paid for their new digs. And once they’ve decided on a house, the show revisits them months later to see what changes and alterations they’ve made to the home. All of this happens in the space of 30 minutes (minus commercials, of course).

It’s an easy format that makes real estate not only interesting but entertaining, too. Which explains why we’ve been tuning in to “House Hunters” regularly for years now.

Believe it or not, you form a bond with these house seekers – whether it’s a love-love or love-hate relationship is another thing – and by the episode’s end you always, always believe that you can predict which house will be just perfect for them. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily heed your advice. . . even if you scream “Pick House No. 1! Pick House No. 1!” repeatedly at the television.

Stubborn, clueless people.

Anyway, in addition to catching up on the latest trends in home decor – open floor plans, chair rails and crown molding are hot, hot, hot – viewers of “House Hunters” also get a good idea of home styles and prices in other parts of the country. Take a recent week’s worth of new episodes that focused exclusively on the sizzling Las Vegas housing market (it’s supply more than demand, apparently). We nearly choked while watching a retired couple – already homeowners of a cushy beach-side Florida condo – struggle to decide on one of three vacation homes priced in the $700,000 to $900,000 range.

Then there was the grandmother looking for a larger – yes, you read right – home to accommodate her and her granddaughter. Unlike many of her counterparts, most of whom want smaller properties and less responsibility, this particular lady sought more space to spread out her home-based business and a larger yard in which to garden. Go, grandma!

Regardless of their budget, prospective homeowners are wowed by jet bathtubs, double sinks, eat-in kitchens and stainless steel appliances, fireplaces and swimming pools. Ultimately, though, “House Hunters” isn’t about the bells and whistles. It’s about people who are just happy to find a place that they can call home. And who can’t relate to that?

“House Hunters”

8:30 nightly


Realtor John Miller (left) gives Ann Turkel and Craig Turkel a tour around a house that might be just the right one. It has granite countertops, after all.

Realtor John Miller (left) gives Ann Turkel and Craig Turkel a tour around a house that might be just the right one. It has granite countertops, after all.

Open spaces and large windows are usually a plus for potential home buyers on

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