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  • Though HGTV is prime weekend binge watching, it's no secret that the channel's popular

  • home and renovation shows might not be what they seem.

  • And we're not just talking about the phony house-hunting scenarios, or the obviously

  • manufactured drama.

  • Still don't believe us?

  • Hold onto your shiplap, here the reasons these HGTV shows are totally fake.

  • "Drumroll please."

  • Love It or List It

  • Love It or List It combines the house hunt and renovation genres, but with a twist: At

  • the end of each episode, homeowners decide to either live in their updated home or sell

  • it and move into an upgrade.

  • "And are you going to love it?"

  • "Or are you going to list it?"

  • "We are going to list it."

  • "Love it."

  • "List it."

  • "Love it."

  • But according to a Redditor who claims their aunt and uncle appeared on the show, producers

  • actually had them record both endings, and the network chose to air its favorite.

  • The Redditor also claims the show portrayed said aunt and uncle as having listed their

  • home, but in reality, they stayed put.

  • That story may or may not be true, but there have also been real-world legal ramifications

  • from the show's shenanigans.

  • "Oh my God."

  • In 2016, Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan from North Carolina sued the show citing a

  • variety of complaints, according to The Miami Herald.

  • Murphy and Sullivan alleged the show misappropriated their renovation funds and used a subpar contractor

  • who did questionable work.

  • The lawsuit stated,

  • "The show is scripted, with 'roles' and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants,

  • including the homeowners

  • These characters are actors or television personalities playing a role for the camera,

  • and in this case none of them played more than a casual role in the actual renovation

  • process."

  • "We took out a substantial loan for this.

  • And, you know, put in some of our own money."

  • We're guessing they didn't "love it."

  • House Hunters

  • In 2012, real estate blog Hooked on Houses landed a major scoop when it alleged that

  • the fan favorite, House Hunters, was almost totally fake.

  • According to show participant Bobi Jensen, her experience was phony from top to bottom,

  • starting with the reason the family supposedly appeared on the series.

  • "I don't think there's any way that the show could actually follow someone, because real

  • house hunts take months."

  • Jensen claims that the producers made the family seem like they "desperately" needed

  • a bigger house, but in reality, they were simply upgrading and had decided to rent out

  • their existing home.

  • Next, Jensen revealed her family had already purchased the home they would supposedly be

  • "hunting" for.

  • This is allegedly a common practice for any HGTV show that portrays prospective homeowners

  • "shopping" for homes.

  • So did they just go around looking at listings and pretend they were interested?

  • Jenson revealed on the blog,

  • "The ones we looked at weren't even for salethey were just our two friends' houses who were

  • nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras."

  • And it looks like the show's spin-off series isn't any more authentic

  • House Hunters International

  • "I think this move will test our relationship because I've never lived with a partner before,

  • so it will be really interesting to see what we both want."

  • According to HuffPost, a woman whose Mexican villa was portrayed as one of the "reject

  • properties" for prospective buyers on House Hunters International, also claimed that the

  • show,

  • "…Swapped in a younger couple to play the buyersto appeal to a wider audience, and

  • steer away from the typical retirees that are often depicted."

  • Another show participant, Dr. Nate Lambert, wrote a Medium post about his experience.

  • He describes enjoying having his family's move to Fiji documented, but he also confirms

  • the phony home search.

  • He recounted how producers "overdramatized" a disagreement over kitchen views; and admits

  • the realtor was an HGTV plant, which he says had to be done due to the way the real estate

  • industry works in Fiji.

  • Property Brothers

  • "Let's get started.

  • We're gonna destroy your house."

  • Due to it's staggering popularity, Property Brothers is probably viewed as one of the

  • more authentic shows on this list, until you stop and think about its premise: Twin brothers

  • Drew and Jonathan Scott help buyers find and renovate a fixer-upper.

  • Yes, Drew is an actual realtor, and yes, Jonathan is a real-life contractor, but much of their

  • professional duty is farmed out to local professionals while they do what they really do best: nail

  • being TV stars.

  • "Do we look like twins anymore?"

  • "No."

  • Speaking with Popsugar, Jonathan revealed that just like many other HGTV shows, Property

  • Brothers works with "homeowners who have identified a house that they already like."

  • So, what does that leave for realtor Drew to do?

  • Be a TV star!

  • And what about those scenes where homeowners pop in on the reno to find Jonathan alone

  • in the house, toiling away on some demo or framing work?

  • Jonathan said,

  • "If we find that our budget is taking hits left, right, and center, I'll jump in and

  • do even more because I'm not charging for my time.

  • I'm never laying 5,000 square feet of flooring

  • I have flooring companies, kitchen companies, and all of that jazz, but I can do and have

  • done all of the work."

  • So, this is really a show about a realtor who doesn't have to sell real estate, and

  • a contractor who only works when he has to.

  • We love it!

  • Fixer Upper

  • "You as excited as I am?"

  • Fixer Upper is the Waco, Texas-based home renovation show starring husband and wife

  • team Chip and Joanna Gaines, and it goes like this: He's the contractor, she's the designer,

  • and they work with a homeowner to flip run-down properties into dream homes.

  • Fixer Upper also has a pretty good reputation for being on the up and up when it comes to

  • the Gaines duo actually doing what they portray on the showbut there are a few discrepancies.

  • "It's your fault, you're the one that showed 'em the house."

  • First, the house hunt at the beginning of each episode is all for, you guessed it, show.

  • It's the same deal as House Hunters; HGTV wants folks who are already "under contract"

  • on a house, according to show participant David Ridley, who appeared on Season 3 of

  • Fixer Upper.

  • He told Fox News,

  • "They show you other homes but you already have one.

  • After they select you, they send your house to Chip and Joanna and their design team."

  • At this point we can all move past the fact that nobody is actually "discovering" their

  • dream home for the first time on camera.

  • But is everything else on Fixer Upper genuine?

  • According to Country Living, yes, except if a homeowner wants to keep the furniture used

  • for staging, they have to buy it.

  • That seems fair.

  • Just so long as it's never revealed that Joanna doesn't actually love shiplap.

  • The HGTV Dream Home

  • The HGTV Dream Home Giveaway has been going strong since 1997.

  • But if you're picturing the lucky winner moving into their stunning new digs and living in

  • the lap of luxury, think again.

  • "You just won the 2014 HGTV Dream Home."

  • According to The Wall Street Journal, almost none of the winners can afford to keep the

  • home because of the huge tax liability, which is estimated to be around 40 percent of the

  • total value of the house.

  • In fact, out of eight previous winners by 2004, only one actually retained ownership

  • of the property.

  • "It was gonna be like it's gonna cost you a million dollars to keep your free home."

  • This exact situation occurred for 2005 winner Don Cruz, who wasn't able to satisfy the tax

  • liability he estimated at $800,000.

  • Cruz tried to make it work anyway, choosing to reject the option of taking cash and other

  • prizes, and living in the house for almost two years before letting it lapse into foreclosure.

  • He told KLTV that by the time he gave up the house, he'd sunk into $1.43 million in debt.

  • To state it simply: In order to win and keep the HGTV Dream Home, you already have to be

  • rich, otherwise you've basically won a giant cash prize and the opportunity to be photographed

  • in a particularly lovely house for a few minutes.

  • Yard Crashers

  • HGTV's landscape renovation show Yard Crashers has one of the best concepts of all time:

  • The host walks into a big box home improvement store and randomly selects an unsuspecting

  • customer for a stunning backyard makeover.

  • A dream come true.

  • "How about takin' me home right now?"

  • Unfortunately, dreams aren't real, and apparently neither is Yard Crashers according to one

  • Redditor who says their "good friend" was selected for the show because his sister "knew

  • the producer," so they staged the supposed "random" encounter at Lowe's.

  • On top of that, the Redditor also claims that some concrete work done by the show wasn't

  • exactly top notch, and that his friend ended up having to sink even more money into the

  • makeover to fix structural issues.

  • Again, this could all be hearsay.

  • But host Chris Lambton did tell Popsugar that they screen participants for attitude, and

  • that they chat up "at least 15-20 people" before finally casting a homeowner.

  • Call us crazy, but we're not sure how "surprised" the lucky homeowners are to talk to the guy

  • who has a camera crew in tow and who just rejected a dozen other shoppers.

  • Designed to Sell

  • Thanks to Hooked on Houses becoming the go-to destination for HGTV participants to air their

  • grievances, we also know that Designed to Sell, the show that gave homeowners a budget

  • of $2,000 and a pro design team in order to stage their house for the market, is also

  • fake as a plastic ficus.

  • "Thank you so much Designed to Sell, I have had several offers on the house, I'm so excited,

  • I'm moving into the city, this has been awesome."

  • According to one homeowner, her house was not even on the market and would not be for

  • over a year, but the show cast her anyway.

  • As a result, producers staged a fake open house at the end of the makeover process that

  • was entirely attended by the homeowner's friends and family.

  • On top of that, she said that when the crew came through for what would essentially be

  • the "after shots," there was incomplete work they had to avoid filming.

  • Designed to Sell also took a page out of Love It or List It's playbook, allegedly having

  • homeowners shoot multiple endings: one saying their house sold "thanks to the makeovers"

  • and one saying they haven't sold yet, but they've "seen a lot of interest."

  • Wow.

  • Curb Appeal: The Block

  • In 2013, The A.V.

  • Club spoke with Atlanta resident Cenate Pruitt about his experience on Curb Appeal: The Block.

  • While Pruitt claimed he had

  • "Nothing but love for the production crew and the contractors for busting their humps."

  • He did expose a few ways in which the show fudged his reality.

  • For starters, the establishing shots, which are supposed to be exterior shots of the surrounding

  • neighborhood, were nowhere near Pruitt's house.

  • Pruitt also claimed the crew carefully avoided shooting a quote, "sub-crackhouse monstrosity"

  • near his home.

  • He also claimed the host,

  • "Would park his convertible, walk aroundthen drive off."

  • But aside from all of the "TV magic" that went into making Pruitt's episode, he suffered

  • possibly the biggest manipulation after a retaining wall the contractors put in to prevent

  • flooding, had the complete opposite effect.

  • Though the show sent contractors out multiple times to try to fix the problem, the basement

  • still floods routinely after heavy rain, leaving Pruitt to feel like the "fun" he had with

  • the crew maybe wasn't worth it.

  • He said,

  • "I just wish things had been a little better planned."

  • Beachfront Bargain Hunt

  • "Oh my gosh look at that water."

  • "It is a beautiful view."

  • "Gorgeous view."

  • Beachfront Bargain Hunt is basically House Hunters International if it only went to American

  • cities with gorgeous coastlines.

  • And just like that fake HGTV house-hunting show, this one also requires its participants

  • to already own the house they're supposedly shopping for.

  • And thanks to Outer Banks realtor Johanna's blog about her experience with the show, we

  • can report on a few other small facets of fakery, as well.

  • "Waterfront is a must-have.

  • Something with a deep water lagoon perhaps for a nice-size boat."

  • "What size boat do you have?"

  • "I don't have a boat."

  • Probably the oddest thing Johanna had to say was that producers told her not to use the

  • word "nice," and that they were so serious about it, they even had to "start several

  • scenes over" when she accidentally used the term.

  • Johanna also said that although there was no script, they were made to re-enter each

  • room two to four times, repeating the exact same phrasing they used the first time, to

  • ensure the crew got the coverage.

  • This all calls into question the overall integrity of a show that purports to capture the thrill

  • and excitement of a beach home purchase.

  • After all, if the stressful real estate transaction is fake, the home search is fake, and the

  • genuine emotion of discovering a dream home is diminished by multiple reshoots, what's

  • left?

  • Oh right, sitting at home and playing "What Do These People Do And How Can They Afford

  • This?" from your obviously not-beachfront couch.

  • Okay.

  • Nevermind, HGTV gives us life.

  • "I could look at this all day."

  • "I never thought I would get to live in paradise."

  • Check out one of our newest videos right here!

  • Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your favorite stars are coming soon.

  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.

Though HGTV is prime weekend binge watching, it's no secret that the channel's popular

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Your Favorite HGTV Shows Are All Fake & Here's How You Can Tell

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    Ally posted on 2021/05/28
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