I scroll through the free “House Hunters” episodes available on Xfinity, trying to figure out what mood I’m in today. Fixer upper in Texas, exciting city life in Chicago, move-in-ready family home in Pennsylvania. The list goes on — and those are only the episodes in the U.S. “House Hunters International” provides a whole other list of episodes, making my decision that much harder. Madrid, Tuscany, Costa Rica.
I bookmark them all, adding on to my “House Hunters” episode watch-list. It only ever gets longer. Finally, I decide to start simple and watch an episode on newlyweds looking for their first home in Maryland. Any place but Indiana. I watch as the couple argues over what kind of house they want, their budget and the proximity to downtown and their work.
For me, watching “House Hunters” serves as an escape from the ordinary suburban life Bloomington provides. Sure, I like getting something to eat on Kirkwood and going for a walk in the park, but there’s only so much you can do in town once summer hits. With all the college students out, Bloomington is nothing short of a semi-ghost town.
With “House Hunters,” in a way, you can choose where you want to go whenever you want. You get a sneak peek into what other towns and cities are like around the world. I personally find it entertaining to watch as people on TV look for a house, however fake and set-up the show may be (spoiler alert).
It's fun to comment on the different houses and cities and give your take on which house they should choose. The first house may have been way out of their price range, but boy was it fancy. The wife was way too picky with the kitchen. That house is too small and far away from everything. I can’t believe they picked the second house, the third one was the obvious choice.
When I pick episodes that take place out of the country, I always find it so interesting to learn and observe how the culture and housing markets are different from ones in the U.S. Even though I am not even close to having to look for my own house, it can still be educational and even refreshing to get a preview of how international housing markets work.
I also appreciate how you can get a small glimpse of miscellaneous foreign towns and cities and what life is like there. Many of us probably won’t get the opportunity to travel to Tipperary, Ireland, or the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Those places are simply too far away for us to know about.
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Watching “House Hunters” gives us a small, unique way to travel to those places virtually — it gives us the chance to see a new, exotic city. It gives us the breath of fresh air, the escape we may need from everyday life.
Isabella Vesperini (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and minoring in Italian. She hopes to one day explore Italy and Australia.