The Beloved and I often go to a local gym after he comes home from work.  I discovered a little HGTV show that was often broadcasting while I’m strolling on the treadmill. You may have heard of it, House Hunters International. No? Yes? What is your gender?

I ask because I’ve noticed a rather surprising trend. When I tell people we are moving to Munich I can set a timer on how long it will take till at least one woman suggests that maybe we should go on that show. Men don’t do that. Yet women do. Almost every woman I know will bring this show up. So, first of all, House Hunters International must have some killer ratings. Second of all, I’m a little more fond of the Property Brothers  but I confess that I’ve been pretty happy to watch House Hunters International ever since we started considering this little venture. What exactly will the houses look like in this new city? Country?

House Hunters International works because I think we’re all dreaming of that grand gesture that Changes Everything! Heck, I have a deep weak spot for the Pottery Barn catalogues. I’m certain that my entire life would be so much calmer, happier, perfect even if I could have that entire adorable bungalow with the overstuffed  leather chairs and the light plum throw just tossed every just right across the foot rest. And here on House Hunters International are Real People with Real Messes jut picking up and going, mess and all. Why not?

In case you are not a fan here is how the show works:  Someone is buying or renting in a new internationally exotic  place. They have a discussion about their needs and their budget in US Dollars with a real estate agent. Cut to the real estate agent saying, “Well, its going to be tough to meet their needs but I think we can do something.” (the real estate agent says this every time.) Then the couple tours three houses discussing the pros and cons as they go.”This cool 17th century stairway might be dangerous for the toddlers,” they might say. Then they go for a walk to talk about which one they will chose. There might be conflict here, drama! Is there a divorce lawyer waiting just off screen? And yet, when they chose, they smile at each other in relief, “oh I’m so glad you agree.” Cut to the house with the family happily moved in three months later we can watch and think, “they made the right choice for them, Good. Now is Property Brothers on next?”

So, why not go on the show? (stop reading now if you don’t want to know the public secret)

1) You don’t get accepted until the house you “chose” is already in escrow. The other two are fake outs.
2) You get $1500 for five days of work, and your story/life becomes the property of the producers. They will say what they want to say if they think the “drama” needs something to be said.
3) I’m too big for a camera to go adding 25 lbs.

Still, I understand the desire to go peeking over someone’s shoulder when looking for a new home. One of my most favorite House Hunters International tracked a young woman who worked for a non-profit deep in Cambodia or someplace. It was intensely challenging to see just how different the homes she looked at were from what I normally expect to see as a home. It was also great to see how her being on the show also promoted the non-profit she worked for which is a great way to subvert the “acquire stuff” motif of these kinds of shows.

Right now we are in the stare-at-online-apartment-sites stage of the search. Please feel free to play along with us from home. I’ll post links/photos to places that interest us but there will be no walks in the garden while deciding to rent what we’ve already decided.

This is an apartment in a neighborhood we really liked when we were staying there last June. You can see its a walk out the front door and into the underground in five feet kind of location. The apartment as a whole is too small so, alas, its eliminated in the first round. I am inserting it as a pdf because on this site, like in real life Munich, apartments come and go quickly.    3 Zimmer Etagenwohnung in München mit 89,87 qm (ScoutId 65795392)

“Claire stretched out against the wall and kissed it. “Glad to see you, too,” she whispered, and pressed her cheek against the smooth surface. It almost felt like it hugged her back.

“Dude, it’s a house,” Shane said from behind her. “Hug somebody who cares.” 
― Rachel Caine, Lord of Misrule


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