House Hunters International, who ARE these people?

My wife loves the real estate channel all the time and the people that appear on this show puzzle the shit out of me. The only thing I can imagine is they are hiding the truth, but then why go on TV? Or they just want to be on TV or something.

1.No one has a specific job, they are all freelance consultants and similar vagueness, but they obviously have quite a bit of money even though many are rather young.

2.They are often unaware of even basic laws and conditions in the country they intent to move to, there was one where the husband expected to be able to cheaply buy a house in Paris within sight of the Eiffel Tower and found out they couldn’t even afford to rent in a far Paris suburb. I can remember one or two where the real estate agent explains a local law that only citizens can own property or whatever, did they do ANY research?

3.How do they navigate immigration? Contrary to popular fantasy most countries have rules and regs as tight as the USA or worse, unless they are buying property they don’t intend to reside in.

4.Sometimes it really doesn’t make sense at all, like a young couple that decided to purchase property in a country with recent governmental instability that had chased out all foreigners. They said everyone said they were crazy to do that, no shit. I could understand easier if it was the native country of one of them or something, but nope they have no ties there at all.:confused:

Sounds like everything else on the television, made-up or embellished.

“This is the only house in this country for sale right now.”
“I don’t like the paint…and the carpet sucks. Let’s see something else!”


“Oh, my god! The en suite only has a single-basin vanity! NEXT HOUSE!!!”

This is also a guilty pleasure of ours, and you are correct on all accounts.

I often cringe at the stupidity.

They don’t speak a lick of the local language, know zip about the local culture, but sell everything they own and move lock, stock and barrel, dragging kids in tow to a country they visited once for two weeks back in 1994 and liked the wine and cheese.

They get pissy when apartment buildings built in the 1600’s have small bedrooms, no closets and only room and barely room to hookup a washing machine in the kitchen. Gee - I wonder where they plugged in the microwave back in 1643?

There must be farmers in France and Italy laughing their asses off at idiot Americans who bought their heaps of rubble in the middle of nowhere for half a million US dollars. Wait until they discover there is no direct water or sewage lines for 197 kilometers.

They have a budget of $1200 month and want an apartment that is at least 2000 square feet, on the beach, walking distance from town, with parking, room for the kids and dog to play outside, kid-safe, with pool, open plan, large kitchen, furnished and “local charm”…and if they real estate agent actually pulls a rabbit out his hat and finds them this one-in-a-million location, they don’t like it because the bedroom is painted dark green.

Or they ‘love mid century moderns’ and when the realty agent shows them something in a midcentury modern they whine about the small bedrooms with tiny closets, no open plan and a single bathroom, with the laundry hookups all the way down in the basement and a single car garage … and no air conditioning. :smack:

The ones with Americans heading to some foreign country looking for the classical American McMansion on the quarter acre plot of land. The tiny German kitchen reaction always amuses me [one couple thought the room that was the kitchen was the walk in pantry :smack::D] and the lack of closets [you buy the closets at Ikea, they are called ‘wardrobes’ morons.] Well, also the tiny bathrooms as well. None of this huge double sink, shower and soaking tub crap. The dumb bitch who wanted a flat near the Vatican was amusing, she put something on the bidet and used it as a side table for the bath tub, she put a floral arrangement and a candle on it if memory serves :smack:

But I do agree with you - turning down a house because you don’t like the colors or other cosmetic crap is totally stupid. You can just feel that the poor realty agents would like to whack the people upside the head with a baseball bat …

I’m so glad someone has started another HH thread, as the pressure has been building up in me something awful.

These people who look at apartments/houses in foreign countries and then bitch and moan because IT’S NOT LIKE WE HAVE IN THE STATES!

So many of them are going to school. WTF are they using for money??

I especially loved the Tennessee(?) woman who went Full Metal Anglophile, adopting the accent and everything, and actually LIVED THERE for a couple of years with her British boyfriend, wanted something cozy and traditional-English-cottage-like, then complained at every traditional English cottage she was shown that it was TOO SMALL.

You’d think that they would do even a modicum of research - with the Internet I’m sure you can see some interior pictures of houses from all over the world. And yet they’re still surprised to find out that the toilet is in a separate room from the sink and tub, or that the laundry is in the kitchen, or that there are no closets. I can see that some of those things might be hard to get used to, but if they’re the norm there, why bitch about it?!

The weirdest one I saw was a couple who wanted to buy a condo on some tropical island. The woman wanted an ocean view, huge bedrooms, the whole nine yards. Their budget was something like $600,000 and when they finally saw something that she thought was acceptable, it cost about $1,000,000. She whined to her husband that “it’s only a couple thousand more, honey”, and he bought it! Who the hell has a budget that elastic?

I assume that most of the young people (mid-20’s to early 30’s) on the show have family money. Occasionally there will be an older couple who seem have lucrative careers, or a young couple with a more modest budget, but they show a lot more young 30-somethings with outrageous budgets. I vaguely remember one episode with a young couple from NYC. I believe the wife was a teacher, the husband was some sort of public servant as well. They couldn’t have been making much more than $100,000/yr combined, and they lived in NYC. They were looking for a vacation home in Europe, and their budget was something like 300,00-500,000 euros. Even if someone gave them the house and paid for the taxes/maintenance, it was hard to believe they’d even be able to afford to visit it once a year.

It’s funny to see this, because I’m watching an episode right now. A young couple wants a furnished one-bedroom apartment, close to the center of the city, close to a tram stop, with a parking spot, and a balcony.

Their budget? $500 a month. It’s not London or Brussels, but still! I live in a rural town in southern Illinois and they might be able to get something like that here. Maybe.

Do they think it’s the 50s when the dollar seemed to rule the world?


There are grunge kids who all want to start a business in downtown Pula, Croatia-- the next European hotspot!-- and then complain about the noise outside the window in the middle of downtown.

Then there are the trust fund babies. Gotta be. It’s the only way they can afford to sniff dismissively at the tiny rooms with no closet space in Hamburg, Germany.

But the ones that I really wonder about are the middle aged hippies who want to start over “in the countryside” of a European country who buy a house that consists of only 3 crumbled walls, half a thatched roof and an outhouse with moles. If they’re buying in eastern Europe, it costs them less than few hundred thousand. But if they’re getting it in France or England or Spain or Italy. . . I guess they’re paying for the land.

I saw an episode where the people bought an ancient [del]pile of rubble[/del] property perched on a hillside in Italy (I think it was). There was no bathroom at all (just an outhouse, basically), and all the stuff for the massive renovation they planned had to be hauled up the cliff by frickin’ donkeys. I wonder at all the things everyone else here wonders about - these are not your average, everyday people on these shows.

I do actually like watching the shows to see what properties look like in other countries. They could probably take the idiot people out of the shows and they’d be even better (but who would I watch and be exasperated by then?).

One of the things that I find most fascinating about both HH shows is the dynamic/interaction between the couple. Very rarely, you find a couple who are respectful, balanced, affectionate, and sensible. More often there’s a power struggle, an entitlement princess, a whiner, an uncompromising jackass, or sometimes all of those. Those are the fun ones.

I can put up with much of this show as I enjoy watching people show what asses they are.

The thing that makes me change the channel is that annoying WHOOOSHHH! sound the show makes when they change scenes.

My wife is a realtor. She assures me that buyers in the US are just as unreasonable and have equally unrealistic expectations as anyone on the show.

Here’s a 2009 update from the lady who bought that “ruin”…

Yes, they have money. And mention their former “corporate” lifestyle–so they probably earned it. They could have built a mansion in the 'burbs but chose, after visiting Italy for years, to do otherwise…

The couple last night were an engaged Croatian/American pair looking at apartments in Zagreb–with a budget of $500 per month. We got to snoop into 3 modest apartments in a charming city off the beaten track. She remarked she would never get used to the washing machine in the bathroom–but that was just a minor quibble, since that’s what she got. They seemed like decent young people. And I remember a older couple–retired US Army & his German “bride” who wanted to be close to the grandchild in Berlin; again, they picked a modest place that suited their budget. But, in any forum discussing any House Hunters show, the commenters zero in on the people they dislike & ignore the others.

Many of the International hunters work in tourism or real estate–or perhaps own restaurants or bars. They use the show to let people know about their little corner of the world. If we choose to visit, we won’t have to buy; many of those properties will be available to rent, whether they are funky beach cottages or huge piles that might be affordable for a week or two–since there’s room for a dozen friends & family to split the rent…

That’s the fun part.

So, they found an old ruin that the family didn’t want to sell, they somehow bought it and now they are renovating all the history out of it? That doesn’t sound quite right.

If you read the whole message at the link, it appears the family eventually decided they wanted the money; the Americans didn’t sieze the place. Repeated from the bit I quoted above:

Sounds just fine to me…

Funny, I find the people on HH International interesting and adventurous. They are usually excited and willing to learn. I marvel at all the folks buying vacation homes, but the relocaters all seem pretty cool to me.