Behind The Music: House Hunters Edition

by farrah on July 13, 2013 · 10 comments

Props if you know what show I’m alluding to in my title. I thought it appropriate considering the similarity to the story line in House Hunters: up, down, up, down and up. Right? So as not to lament my disappointment at not pleasing the universe with our episode (surprise! some disgruntled folks on the HH FB page still have to gripe about the spoiled American with unrealistic expectations) I’ll give that no more attention than a sentence.

The Deal

Ok, so we know that it’s all mostly staged, yes? It is. I’m sorry if you didn’t know that and I have since ruined a reality show for you forever. What I DO like though- is that the general premise of what House Hunters does (especially the International version) is show the differences in homes and places people live. Yep- they’re not like back in the states. And yep- we all know that going in. So being a show that edits the blarney out of what was actually filmed- we know that those ‘differences’ are going to be exploited since harping on them is going to be good for ratings. Because we all love to hate the whiny spoiled American- right? Right.

Accurately portrayed 100%- the villages and towns they shot. Yep. That’s what it looks like here. In fact, it’s even better. No lie.

As I mentioned in my last post- that 30 minute (or 20 minute) episode took about 40-50 hours of filming. That’s INSANE. I can’t get over how much it takes to make one of those! Holy editing job people. You have a big task!

Funny Things

1. Our ‘agent’ is our lovely and wonderful Anouk from our relocation company. She assisted us with finding the other two homes for us to ‘hunt’. The first home was actually her sister’s home who thought it would be fun to have showcased on tv. How awesome! And those stairs of doom? You probably didn’t know that aforementioned sister raised three small kids in that house and climbed those stairs and not a one of her family members ended up in the ER due to a fall. It made me feel silly to be so intimidated by them, but a) we had an instance where one of the boys climbed up and fell down backwards in SC on the stairs and b) as I wax oh so often– I truly think the Dutch are a hearty people and just take that sort of thing in stride. They’re awesome and I love them and in so many ways I want to be more like a parent here- which I have made no secret of in past posts.

2. The killer weekend of filming here was intense. We were so tired- we were still living out of suitcases up until they arrived that Friday- and that happened to be the day our air freight arrived in a semi. The night before filming our home- House Hunters had a crew come into our home, pack EVERYTHING up and load it back into a semi to wait for about 6 hours while they filmed- so that the house would be empty. Then, it was all brought back in and dropped off for us to hurriedly unpack the night before the ‘big reveal’. Talk about crazy. I never decorated- there just wasn’t time. It was insanity all around. Boys were so happy to see their stuff and for us to move really into the house that the emotions were on overload.

3. The awesome house (#3) really was incredible. When Anouk found it she immediately told us “I think you should move. I want this house!”. It’s freaking sweet. They didn’t even get into the whole guest house that sat on the lot. It’s a home owned by a family who has since moved to North Carolina and has been renting it out for a while. We totally could have swung that financially- but in essence, what was portrayed on the show IS the truth. We want to travel and spend our money on experiences not furniture or maintenance on a gorgeous house and yard that deserved to be treated as such. I think my husband and I are both happy we didn’t see it before finding this one as we might have lost sight of our true mission in all of this.

4. My biggest concern with neighbors and ‘privacy’ is code for WE ARE LOUD AND I YELL A LOT AND DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW. So there’s that.

My Bayuh-bees!

OMG how small the boys looked. I think if I learned anything from this episode is how freaking fast time is whizzing by. There is a green tee-shirt B is wearing in the SC back story- well it’s one of my favorites and don’t you know that it’s now too small for the twins.

B was still jibber jabbering just 8 months ago- my mind is positively blown at what a difference not-quite-a-year makes. He speaks about 75% Dutch all the time which I’ve talked about adjusting to as well. It is so insane. He is learning something so fast and so well I just can’t even get over it. And then you have L & C who are right on his tail. It makes me look ahead to the future and wonder… holy cats. What are they going to be like when all of this is said and done and we move back to the states? How will they get back into the American school groove? Are they going to be speaking Dutch and their classmates will look at them like they just dropped down from Mars?


I am 100% happy with how it all turned out. I think people with half a brain can tell that there is editing up the wazoo on these shows- and something that we harped on was for the benefit of the show. I do not feel my children are high and mighty or superior (as one now deleted FB comment suggested) but eager to learn and become a part of the world around them. No one has plunged to their death on the stairs, and yes- I have gotten used to the stove but I still manage to burn things. No one should be surprised here.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you know how we feel about living here and we love it. I still feel like we are living in some kind of fantasy and I can’t get over how lucky we are to have the opportunities to travel and see this all with our kids.

Those of you that didn’t see it- I think it will be online at some point but I have no details. We receive a DVD weeks after air date and are planning to invite our friends and fellow actors over (even the butcher lady) for a viewing party. I can’t wait till they see it too. The Dutch think we’re all pretty silly (but in truth love us Americans) and don’t follow this show.

Thanks for reading and stopping in with all of your kind words. It was just one more unique experience and crazy thing I’ve wrangled my family into doing with me that in the long run we’ll be so glad that we did. Don’t you want to be our neighbor?


(PS- I promise to never again use the words ‘nice’, ‘space’ or ‘House Hunters’ so long as I live.)—> if you play the drinking game and want to get wasted I suggest you choose to drink on those first two words when watching. Just a tip.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea, Passports And Pushchairs July 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

I loved it! I thought everyone knew it was staged 🙂 I can’t even comment on someone thinking your children are high and mighty or superior, because ugh, but really I think online forums/FB pages give nasty people an outlet to be, well, nasty behind a screen and I hate it. That third house was awesome but I am like you, I like to travel more!


2 farrah July 14, 2013 at 5:50 am

Of all things to pick on, I was surprised by that take on me and my kids. I’m a paranoid mom- can’t we just all pick on that? 🙂 And totally agree with you- for some reason a screen and a keyboard gives people a place to vent online. But I think it makes us angrier instead of happier?

And glad you see it our way- we’re happy with our choice and what’s perfect is the lovely neighbors we share with get our mail and feed our fish when we’re gone!!


3 Cat of Sunshine and Siestas July 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I haven’t seen it, but Erin got in touch with me, too. We had considered moving from one neighborhood in Seville, Spain to another, but my partner totally clams up when it has to do with his privacy. Plus, my year was so packed, we couldn’t find time!

I appreciate that you and others, like the Hamoris, have put out your opinions. Maybe in the future, but all I really want is some way to be able to teletransport home during important moments!


4 farrah July 14, 2013 at 6:17 am

Wouldn’t that be nice? I’m sitting here thinking about ‘What if this..’ sort of scenario happens and I think that would involve myself or my husband going back alone- while the other stays home with the kids. I’ll take a teletransport too!


5 HouseTalkN July 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

NOOOOOO! I missed it! I bet y’all were awesome sauce!


6 farrah July 14, 2013 at 5:51 am

I don’t know about that- but we came away unscathed 🙂 I think I hear a rerun date is the 23rd?


7 Christie Tate July 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Ahhhh. I missed it. Let me know when it airs again. It sounds insane!!!


8 farrah July 14, 2013 at 5:52 am

Ha! It’s really not. In fact, of many of the episodes I have seen it’s one of the most tame and uneventful. So much hit the cutting room floor I was surprised. I think the 23rd is a rerun but not sure on that.


9 Alicia @ Naps Happen July 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I am an avid watcher of the show, but this was the best episode, ever, thanks to your involvement! We actually love most of the shows they shoot in The Netherlands. Well done!


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