HGTV’s House Hunters was one of TV’s first real estate-focused reality shows—and, 20 years later, it’s still going strong.

Over the past two decades, House Hunters (which showcases real buyers as they tour different properties in search of their dream home) has lifted back the curtain of the homebuying process, giving viewers invaluable lessons into how to successfully find and buy the right home.

recent article on Realtor.com outlined some of House Hunter’s top lessons for buyers, including:

  1. Choose three criteria for your wish list. In a perfect world, your home would have everything on your wish list. But the chances of finding everything on your wish list is slim to none—so narrowing down your list to three key criteria (like four bedrooms, updated kitchen, and at or under-budget) will help you focus on what’s really important.
  2. Be realistic about your budget. If you don’t understand the market—and what your budget will get you in said market—you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Research the area where you want to buy (and what your money will get you) so you can be realistic about your budget.
  3. Don’t get caught up in the staging. So many homebuyers get turned off by aesthetic details (like paint colors or odd furniture layouts) that can be easily changed. Make sure you’re looking past the staging and aesthetic issues and are seeing the full potential of the home.

Bottom line? Reality shows might not have a reputation as being educational—but if you’re buying a home, there are definitely lessons to be learned from the past 20 years of House Hunters episodes.

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It’s Sunday morning.


You’re scheduled to go out and see houses later on with your real estate agent. But it’s nasty outside. It’s beyond pouring. You can’t even imagine walking from the car into a house. You’d rather just cancel the appointment and hang inside, maybe watch some TV.


You can always go see the house next weekend.

But should you wait for next weekend?

Should you even wait to go see houses only during the weekend?

There’s five weekdays you can go see houses. Is there a better day than a Sunday?

What if someone else scoops up the house before you end up getting out to see it? Right?!

Sure. Totally a possibility. And, totally a reason to motivate and go see that house today in the rain.

But that’s not the point of this article. The point is that the best day to see a house is not necessarily Sunday. It’s also not necessarily not Sunday.

The best day to go see a house is when it’s raining. Even better if it’s raining heavily. And it’s best if it’s been raining for a few days straight.

Picture this…

It’s the future. You skipped going to see the house in the rain, but you ended up buying it eventually. Of course you had a home inspection done on the house during the process. But that was a sunny day, and it hadn’t rained in some time.

Then, after you’ve lived in the house for a while, you start to notice a drip in the ceiling. Or some dampness in the basement. Or worse, actual water on the basement floor.

You’d probably be pretty upset. You’d feel like the owner should’ve disclosed it. You feel like there’s no way they didn’t know that this was a problem. And you’d probably be right. But good luck proving it.

Then you think one of the real estate agents should have either noticed the issue, or knew about it and hid it. But, there’s a good chance that the agents truly didn’t have knowledge of it. And frankly, unless the real estate agents are told about an issue, they aren’t qualified to assess issues that a qualified home inspector should pick up on.




Ahhhh…the home inspector. The home inspector should pick up on it! That’s who to blame and go after.

Most likely they would pick up on water related issues. There is usually some sort of evidence they can see.


But sometimes these types of problems aren’t all that obvious. Especially if the inspector is looking through the house after it has been dry weather for some time.


It’s easy to try and place fault, blame, and consequences on others when something goes wrong.

The true enemy, though, is water.

So much damage can be done to a house due to water…


  •     From the roof.
  •     To the gutters.
  •     To the windows.
  •     The basement.
  •     And even the landscaping and driveway can be affected by water related issues.


It’s best to take advantage of the moments in the buying process where you can face your potential enemy head on…on a rainy day.

You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and aggravation by seeing a house in the rain. If there are problems, they should show up on a day like that. That doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future of course.

That also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the house of your dreams if there are some water related problems. But at least go forward knowing what you’re dealing with, and ideally getting the owner to own up to and fix any issues before you close on the house. Because once you close on the house, those problems are your problems.

So, if you wake up and see rain on a day that you’re scheduled to go see a house, don’t cancel. Go.

Obviously you can’t guarantee it will rain every time you go see houses, or on the day you do a home inspection. It would be impossible to find and purchase a house if you only looked and inspected homes on rainy days. So don’t get too hung up on it.

But if the opportunity arises, certainly don’t overlook the benefits of getting out to see houses in the rain.

A rainy day can be the best day to go see a house.

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When someone uses the term “millennials,” most people don’t immediately think of financial stability or homeownership. But according to a new study, more millennials than ever are ready, willing, and able to purchase property in today’s market.


A recent study from Urban Institute, which analyzed data from the 31 largest metropolitan statistical areas, found that 19 million millennials across the US are “mortgage ready,” which is defined as being no older than 40, not already having a mortgage, and having ample credit to qualify for a traditional loan (which includes a credit score of 620 or above and no recent credit issues, like bankruptcy or major delinquencies).


Why haven’t these millennials made a move? The report cites misconceptions about down payments as a major contributing factor for mortgage-ready millennials not making the jump into homeownership. (According to a survey released by Laurel Road earlier this year, 46% of Americans were unfamiliar with alternative lending options, and many millennials aren’t aware they can leverage these alternative lending options to purchase a home with as little as 3% down.)


The Takeaway


If you’re a mortgage-ready millennial but haven’t made a move because you’ve been struggling to save a large down payment, it’s time to start exploring alternative lending options. In today’s market, you don’t need 20% for a down payment—you might already have everything you need to purchase a home.


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Will Hickey - Team Manager/ Realtor/ Broker
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