Monday, August 11, 2014

Must-haves by Cheryl Harper

I watch a lot of HGTV. Please tell me you do too. I have a fascination with watching other people walk around empty houses, I guess. House Hunters was the original, the first nothing-but-real-estate show that hooked me, but House Hunters International combines my love of house listings and the daydream of travel. I will watch episodes of Love It or List It that I've already seen multiple times, and the Property Brothers and their collection of shows can stop me in my tracks. Maybe I should see someone about my real estate obsession.

I’m always interested to hear the wish list or the must-haves. Sometimes they make sense to me: a dishwasher, a nice yard, good schools. And sometimes I just shake my head in wonder, especially when the wish list far outstrips the budget.

Maybe that’s why this is good television (for me). The transformation that takes place on the house-flipping shows and the sheer gutsy fearlessness of people who can make their dreams come true in Ulan Bator (Mongolia which is between Russia and China. House Hunters International: expanding my geography knowledge!) show me that there’s a lot more possibility in the world than even I can imagine.

And that’s why I love books: the glimpse into a different world makes me dream bigger. My keeper-shelf must-have list starts like this: 1. Happy ending (thank you, romance!) 2. Characters I root for. 3. Writing that makes me smile.


What are your keeper must-haves? And if you could share your stories of similar HGTV obsession, I would appreciate it. If I’m all on my own, I’ll have to look for some new hobby. I’m starting a newsletter in September where I will probably tell you all about my deep love for cooking shows. If you’d like to subscribe, you’ll be entered to win a Visa gift card. Here’s the link: Newsletter.

31 comments:

  1. A fun post. I like the shows, but they're often hard for me to watch because I can't put myself in the people's shoes. Food, now--I'm always there for food. :-)

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    1. The sad thing is...I'm a terrible cook! Watching the cooking shows is like watching a magic act for me!

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  2. Cheryl, I love HGTV. Some programs more than others. I really liked when the realtor in Canada always took the first time buyers out to look at homes. And my next favorite is House Hunters International, then Beach Front Bargains. I get angsty over Love It Or List It, because things always happen that keeps the one doing the renovations from being able to do all she promises. Or the price goes way up. I've seen Rachel Ray a couple of times and I did watch Cupcake Wars, but no other cooking shows. As for books I'm an eclectic reader. I have keepers in all genres I think. Put me on your newsletter list.

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    1. I know what you mean about the angst of Love It or List It. Sometimes I want to ask "Have you never seen this show? Don't you know how this works?" But I also want to volunteer my house. If I only had a renovation budget...

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  3. Hi Cheryl,
    I always liked the shows where they fixed up homes for less fortunate families-they always make me cry though lol. Other than that, my husband introduced me to a new one a few weeks ago called 'Buying Naked', I think lol. Anyway, house hunting in nudist communities. It's fun to watch lol.

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    1. "House hunting in nudist communities," Cheryl says as she searches through the TV listings. I have not seen that one but I feel that it is only a matter of time!

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  4. Hi Cheryl. I could relate to your post because I'm going to be one of those people you watch on the house renovation shows. This week we're starting a major remodel of the kitchen, living and dining room. Demo stars Thursday. Fun times!

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    1. Renovating a kitchen??!! I'm a little jealous. If I could, I'd do the same thing. New floors. New counter tops. And a new chef to use it all properly. :)

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  5. We watch Househunters, too. Right now, like Tara, we're remodeling the kitchen. If you're with me on Facebook, you're watching what we're finding (five different wallpapers so far!)

    I didn't get my dream though. I want a window over my sink. Too bad my sink looks onto Mike's lego room. I always want a bedroom big enough for a chair and desk. LOL, right now my bedroom has a kingsize bed and we tiptoe around it because it takes up all the room.

    But, you know what, each room is really decorated with laughter and memories, so I love my house, even though there is no window over the sink and I have to use the bed as a chair after I trip over the shoes my husband left on the floor.

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    1. What a great comment! When you say it like that, I can think a little more kindly about my beat-up furniture. It's been with me a long time and held friends and family. Plus, my dog still loves it so I guess I can live with it a little longer...

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  6. LOL, I don't watch the 'nude' themed shows. Too distracting, and if my nine-year-old should be in the room, too many questions.

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  7. Hi, Cheryl! I used to watch the real estate shows, but it makes me crazy when people walk into what to me is a beautiful place and start picking out the little issues they couldn't possible live with when half the world lives in squalor. But I did love that show Jen's talking about where they remodeled for people who had done a lot for others but couldn't afford things for themselves. I would love to have window seats. We have a beautiful view in a couple of rooms, and it would be nice to sit there with my books. I love The Chew!

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    1. I know what you mean, Muriel. I do a lot of mumbling when I watch the shows, particularly over Americans in foreign countries who can't get see past missing granite counter tops. I've been daydreaming about a fancy office with a real desk. Seems like the writing would be so much easier. Or probably not. :)

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  8. My house must-haves are open floor plan, lots of natural light and a walk in closet. I have more of an addiction to the DIY network (sister of HGTV). Although there is a show that bounces around Flipping (city name). Whenever they have Flipping Boston and Flipping Vegas on, I have to stop. Granted, I only turn on the TV while making breakfast, dinner, and after 9pm. The teenagers have left the house and Mr. Curtis started a new job. So, it's butt in computer chair more than "Oh, look what's on TV." Miss you, girl

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    1. I love the flipping shows, although that seems like a lot of hard work to earn a living. The stress of living with renovations, in one place or the next, forever! For my next house, the number one must-have will be a garage. I don't have one now and sorely miss it. I need to spend less time with my TV, but the DVR helps me cram a whole lot of living into a small window, right?

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  9. I LOVE HGTV!! The Property Brothers are my favorite. I could watch house flipping and remodeling all day. My must haves for romance are spunky heroines, some humor mixed with the drama, and (of course) a hero who makes me swoon!

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone out here! And the Property Brothers are the best. I want a Jonathon kitchen and bathroom. Those book must-haves are good too!

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    2. Oh! Oh! And I once saw a fireplace between a bedroom and a bathroom that could be enjoyed from either room. In a bathtub with a good book and fireplace nearby! And a hero holding your towel! Wow.

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  10. I'm afraid to watch the show because I might just get hooked - and when would I have time to write! But your mention of favorite books is something I'm writing on in my blog tomorrow. Maybe you have some similar to mine.

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    1. This is a sound policy! I sometimes think of dropping my satellite because there are many pros to that decision (more time to write, more money), but then I start to hyperventilate and grab the remote.

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  11. I looooove HGTV! I enjoy watching "Property Brothers" too. The vision they can create and then bringing alive that vision is amazing. Plus they're cute to boot!!!

    I am house hunting right now and my must haves are: garage, decent kitchen, storage, in a safe area, at least two bedrooms, pet friendly, and in my budget. You won't believe how hard it is to find places with all those criteria! LOL

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    1. Your list makes perfect sense to me! I've been living without a garage for almost three years now so it's very high on my list of must-haves for the next one. Also, I think if I was on a Property Brothers show I'd spend the whole time crying happy tears or they'd have to remove me from Jonathon's side.

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  12. I get hooked by Love It or List It too. I can't believe how nasty people get to poor Hilary! And yet most always Love It. I wonder if they ever compare how many love it to how many list it.

    Like you I love HH International. It's the only way I'll get to travel!

    Have you seen the one where people want beachfront property on a budget? That one's cool.

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    1. Yes, I like Beachfront Bargain Hunt too. I seem to guess wrong a lot on that one on which ones people pick. That's probably because I'd sacrifice a whole lot for the view.

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  13. I used to be obsessed with Property Virgins. And don't even get me started on the Food Network channel! The Food Network magazine is WONDERFUL. I read a lot more now so I don't really watch those shows as much anymore. Now, as for my keeper must haves, I have to have my master bedroom on the ground floor, at least 2.5 baths, preferably 3, an open floor plan and plenty of natural light, and a two-car garage. A screened in porch is a plus too. ( :

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  14. Oh, as for book keeper must-haves, I have to adore the story and the characters. If I can remember them long after I've read the book, they're keepers. That goes for fiction as well as non-fiction.

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    1. Yes, that's a great definition of a keeper, characters that stick with you.

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  15. Add me to the list of HGTV lovers! Oh and I love Food Network too (my pulse races watching Chopped). I love all the HGTV shows mentioned, although I think the 'acting' is a bit fake/dramatic on Love it or List it LOL. But I especially love the diy related shows...the flip/renovation shows etc...I learn so much from them and get ideas. I do 90% of building/reno/fix it stuff on my own :). I love the travel, decor ideas, learning...all of it. One thing I do miss are the gardening shows. They used to have so many more, not just on backyard transformations, but actual gardening...like The Gardener Guy. He was my weekend morning routine but they chopped him!

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    1. I think you're right about the drama, especially on Love It or List It. The way some people react to finding the problems in the house does make me wonder if it's turned up for TV. I'm worse in the garden than I am in the kitchen and that's saying something! I think the thing about the cooking shows that hooks me is racing against the clock. Maybe if there was a gardening show with a ticking clock, it would be irresistible to me.

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  16. You are definitely not alone in your obsession with HGTV! Love the Property Brothers and Love it Or List it and the one where the married couple buys a fixer upper and flips it. And it's hard for me to get rid of books., but I only have so much room...Property Brothers, where are you???? That's why I like my Kindle.

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    1. I know what you mean about space. Can you imagine the awesome library Jonathon could build? I want it!

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