The minute I heard that the new season of the HGTV hit Property Virgins was headed for Atlanta, naturally I applied—I needed a home office, and my new husband, Mike, needed a man cave. (And, like any supportive spouse, I needed him to have one, too.) We were surprised and ecstatic to find out we’d scored a real-time video interview with the show’s Canada-based production company—and, even more so, when they actually picked us (let’s just say, you’ve never witnessed a more awkward Skype session). Linking up with our realtor—Carla Lundy of Realty Professionals—the crew set out to find a trio of great abodes vying for our our hard-earned down payment. Arriving early at each one to shoot the interior, the crew then let us loose, capturing our OMG reactions on camera. First, one house (an architectural disaster lacking space); then, another (a seemingly ideal nest, but a ways out of town, and missing a basement for the man cave—deal-breaker); and, finally, a two-story traditional brick home in Johns Creek (with, quite possibly, every bell and whistle needed for us to join the property-tax paying ranks). Here, how it all went down.
Mike drags me out of bed. Coffee in hand, we have to pick out three different outfits for the day and execute our own hair and makeup session, fit for the show’s millions of viewers.
We report to the set. Mike and I drive to the undisclosed location of the final house on our list of potentials. Literally, this is our first time getting to see this house—we were under strict instructions not to Google it, research pictures or try to find it on our own before filming began.
The crew scurries through the house (as we watch, not allowed inside yet) to change lightbulbs, check sound and get the tapes ready to roll.
We open the door and see our potential new home… with the moral support of a six-man crew.
With a film crew monitoring our every step for the next few hours, we explore the house, room by room. My favorite part? Opening doors and getting shocked by the presence of a giant camera (and cameraman) waiting for us in the closet… and then having to pretend like we don’t see him.
Show host Egypt Sherrod arrives, riding in style in a black Chrysler minivan with an unbelievable entourage—driver, assistant, umbrella-holder, and hair and makeup artist. The crew scrambles; Sherrod rehearses her lines and gets briefed.
Egypt, Mike and I mimic the walk up to the house (as if we were strolling through the entire neighborhood to get to this one!). Egypt runs through neighborhood logistics and touches on some high points in the house, before leaving us to explore on our own.
We are very acquainted with our cul-de-sac, and our neighbors now think they’ve got someone extra-special moving in next to them.
Egypt meets us in the backyard (earning props for how well she scaled that hill in 5-inch heels). She quizzes us on our thoughts about the house. In two words—we’re obsessed. The sun is starting to set. Mike is yawning. I’m actually sweating.
Finally, a little peace and quiet! While the crew shoots Egypt’s solo, Mike and I explore and chat off-camera in private. There’s no pressure to react a certain way or overuse the word “nice.” In fact, we actually do think it’s really nice.
The film crew packs up with efficiency I’d like to commission for when we have to pack up our apartment. Lightbulbs are unscrewed and replaced. Furniture is readjusted. It’s like we were never there.
Back at our apartment, Mike and I plop on our couch, celebrating that today’s house will soon be our new home. Mike says, “I don’t think we’re cut out for this line of work.”
So, it’s settled. We’re not going to pursue the TV career (insert smirk)—but we can mark it off our bucket list. I can honestly say, to all of the people out there who might think they’re jealous, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But, you know what? We didn’t (and still don’t) really care. It was fun; it’s something we’ll never forget—especially since we really live in that house now; and it’s one extremely unique way to experience buying our first home. Plus, it’s a pretty cool story to tell our kids (one day… way down the road). How many people can say they had an entire film crew documenting their first property purchase?
Check local listings to watch the episode, set to air on HGTV in April.