What Would House Hunters Look Like if it Was Set in Australia?

DISCLAIMER: House Hunters makes me cranky so I swear a bit. 


Nothing amplifies the cultural differences between the United States and Australia quite like a House Hunters marathon.

Their obsession with stainless steel appliances and crown moulding, their bizarre insistence on football field-sized master bedrooms (WHAT THE HECK ARE Y’ALL EVEN DOING IN THERE?) and their inexplicable love of ugly granite counter tops that look like someone projectile vomited beef stroganoff all over the place.

Weird, all of it.

And while here in Australia we’re worrying about housing affordability and how many thousands of avocados it takes to save a house deposit, middle-class Americans are whining because the walk-in closet in the guest bedroom of their $200 000 dollar house is slightly smaller than a mid-sized Hummer.

In my jealousy-fuelled fantasies I often wonder how different House Hunters would look if it was set in one of the major cities of Australia. For starters, it seems pretty obvious that you can get a lot more bang for your buck when it comes to housing in the US, compared with some of our property markets.


What $250 000 buys you in America

What $250 000 buys you in Australia

Actually scrap that.

$250 000 won’t get you shit. That car space sold for $264 000*.

(*I wish I was taking the piss here but I’m not. The struggle is real)

A typical episode of the US version of House Hunters goes something like this:

A young couple is looking to buy their first home in the town they grew up in. They have a modest budget and incredibly high expectations, with a lengthy wish list that often borders on the absurd.

Examples of actual wishlist items from House Hunters:

“American flag”

“No ghosts”

“Space for chickens”

“Water view from bedroom”

I mean these things are even more laughably absurd to the average first home buyer in Australia, because the number one item on their wish list is usually a plaintive “I just wish I could afford something. Anything.”

If you’ve never seen House Hunters before, the real estate agent shows potential buyers through three different properties, and they choose one to buy at the end. The negotiations usually go something like this:

“They were asking $380 000 for the house but we were able to negotiate them down to $310 000, and they also offered to pay all of our closing costs”.

The happy couple moves into their new mansion. I punch a wall. The End.

And then we have House Hunters Renovation, where we get to see the buying AND renovation process. It typically goes something like this:

“We’ve budgeted $35 000 for renovations, so we’ve hired a designer to give us a whole new kitchen, two new bathrooms, paint and hardwood floors throughout, a solid gold bathtub, an indoor waterfall, a refurbished attic space to store all of my unused dishwashing sponges and a mudroom-slash-day spa* for Dorothy and Reginald, our pure breed daschunds”.

(*THIS ONE IS REAL I SWEAR TO GOD. A day spa for their bloody dogs. Now you’re just trolling us, America)

And seriously, how the hell are tradespeople in America so cheap? I couldn’t get a plumber to even TURN UP to my house for less than $300. Tradies in my area charge more per hour than lawyers do.


VOICE OVER: First-time buyers Damon and Erin are looking to buy a house in their hometown of Sydney. Damon is an IT specialist and Erin works in marketing. In order to put together the deposit, Damon sold one of his kidneys on the international black market and Erin spent the last 12 months working a second job as “weekend receptionist” at a “gentleman’s club”.

(cut to shot of sheepish-yet-hopeful looking young couple)

VOICE OVER: For Damon, the choice was a no-brainer….

DAMON: I mean, I already had two working kidneys, so it made perfect financial sense to sell one of them in order to try and get onto the Sydney property ladder.

Damon and Erin look to buy their dream house

VOICE OVER: Damon and Erin are looking to buy their dream home. Like all young couples they refuse to compromise on location, and are looking to buy anywhere within a 90 kilometre radius of Sydney, in order to enjoy the urban culture and cafe lifestyle that comes with inner city living.

ERIN: We’re hoping to buy a two bedroom, asbestos-ridden dump with old carpet in every room, because nothing feels as luxurious underfoot as 40 years’ worth of accumulated dirt, fluid splatters, pet hair, dried-up puke and vintage booger crust.

DAMON: We’d also like structurally sound walls and a functioning toilet, but we need to be realistic. Our budget is only $1.5 million dollars.

Damon and Erin’s wishlist

DAMON: I enjoy cooking, so I want 1970s yellow laminate benchtops, pock-marked vinyl flooring and an old electric stove with at least one working element.

ERIN: We love to entertain, so I’d prefer something that didn’t have a toilet in the kitchen. But it’s not a deal breaker for me.

DAMON: I want the house to be on a main road. At least four lanes. If we could back onto a train line too, that would be great.

ERIN: It needs to be close to work, so ideally we’d be looking at something like a four hour daily commute in peak hour traffic.

HOUSE 1: Charming Squat For Inner City Hipsters  – $1.4 million

DAMON: Wow, this is under our budget. It needs some upgrades though.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: It’s got a kitchen, a bathroom and it’s structurally stable. So it’s liveable.*

DAMON: Mate, for $1.4 million dollars it would want to be hecking liveable.

(*real life comment from real estate agent about this real life shithole of a property #onlyinsydney)

HOUSE 2: Cute Art Deco Toilet Cubicle With Kitchenette – $600 000

ERIN: (grimaces) I told you I didn’t want a home with a toilet in the kitchen.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: (rolls eyes) Yes, but it’s well under your budget. You can’t always get everything on your wish list as a first time buyer. I mean, think of the benefits. You can empty your bowels AND the dishwasher at the same time.

HOUSE 3: Burnt AF Shithole in Trendy Location – $900 000+

ERIN: Ummm, is it even safe for us to be in here right now?

REAL ESTATE AGENT: No. And while we’re on the subject I am legally obliged to disclose that this property is completely unliveable in its current state.

VOICE OVER: Damon and Erin have seen three very different properties, and have decided to buy house number one – the charming squat. Sydney is a sellers market, so the property has gone to auction. Let’s catch up with them to see how they went.


(doorbell sound effect) DING DONG!!

(Cut to scene in inner city café. Damon and Erin are drowning their sorrows in avocado toast and skim milk soy lattes)

ERIN: (dejected) The house went to auction on the weekend. There was a bidding war between a couple of ageing baby boomers, three wealthy developers, two professional property flippers and a handful of buyer agents acting on behalf of Chinese billionaires. The house sold for $1.8 million over the reserve price.

DAMON: (sighs) I guess this means we won’t be moving out of my mother-in-law’s garage any time soon. Sydney can go get stuffed.


For the record, those images were from three actual properties sold in Sydney. Read them and weep.




54 thoughts on “What Would House Hunters Look Like if it Was Set in Australia?

  1. You are the funniest person writing on the internet and I friggin love your sense of humour so much! “Projectile vomited beef stroganoff all over the place” Such a poetic way to describe granite counter tops 😂😂😂

      • I, for one, have certainly missed you. I hope all has been well. I always wonder if someone is okay if they haven’t popped up for awhile but, you know, might seem stalkerish and intrusive to receive a message from a gushing admirer asking if all is okay in your world because your presence is dearly missed? Great post to come up for air with… I’m still chuckling. Xx

      • Not stalkerish at all x I’ve been dealing with some crappy health issues and mum and dad both have cancer (joy!) so I’ve sort of pulled back from it and the mojo wasn’t there. Weirdly enough, this has been the best month for me health-wise for a while and here I am, back to the page. I’m sure that’s no coincidence. Thank you so much for your kind words and your constant support – they don’t go unnoticed and they are very much appreciated x

  2. Hugzy is back! Yesssss! This is spot on and pure gold. As usual you had me laughing out loud. Interestingly when I was in the States and Canada last year, property prices in the big, cool cities could easily give Sydney a run for their money. Clearly, whichever country you live in, you get a lot more bang for your buck if you indulge in some country living.

    • Yeah I’ve heard that Canada is on par with Sydney prices in some respects which SUCKS, because Canada is basically my only exit plan. It’s the only other place in the world I’d wanna go to.

  3. I literally laughed out loud. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched House Hunters and my husband has turned to me when a couple is whinging about gas vs electric cooktops or the fact that a 80 year old house doesn’t come with 3.5 bathrooms as an original feature and says “what a pair of fuckwits!”

  4. I hate it when the person who originally designed a house didn’t look to the future and know which shade of blue that I liked. Honestly, some people are just so fucking selfish. It’s not THAT hard to know which whim I want satisfied in the future for a TV camera.

  5. “I enjoy cooking, so I want 1970s yellow laminate benchtops, pock-marked vinyl flooring and an old electric stove with at least one working element.”

    Replace yellow laminate with snake-skin textured, red benchtop and you have my kitchen. Only now we have no working elements because I spilled milk on the stove 3 weeks ago and almost burned down the house. The electrical fire smell took days to air out. On the brightside, instead of just getting a new stovetop we are now getting a whole new kitchen, thanks to my sister-in-law who works for a kitchen reno company, and who just has to have a new kitchen to replace her not-that-old older kitchen, and as it happens, everything in her existing kitchen can be re-fitted in to ours. So while I’m happy we are going to get a whole new kitchen for under $4000, I’m beyond overjoyed that we will finally, after 10 years here, be getting rid of the textured benchtop with 40 years of dirt & grim embedded in the texture #blessed
    Now I just have survive the next 4 weeks with no stove & oven and the three days of demo & install at the end of June and find a spare few grand to fund it all!

    • DUDE THAT BENCH TOP NEEDS TO BE HERITAGE LISTED. Fantastic news on the new fit out though – what a happy coincidence. I am a reno tragic, so I hope we’ll get to see some before and after pics. Seeing that red snake-skin textured benchtop before I die is officially on my bucket list now.

  6. At first I was crying with laughter… Then I was crying for real. As a Sydneysider stuck in a 1 bedder and desperate to upsize, I can confirm THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. And I don’t even like avocado ffs.

  7. OMG I love these shows. Beachfront Bargains is a particular fave of mine. These people are buying their SECOND home, a HOLIDAY home and they still manage to get something amazing and knock the price down. Craziness!! #teamIBOT

    • God I love/hate that one too. And the new one they have called ISLAND Hunters. I have LITERALLY seen people buy an entire ISLAND with cabin for $600 000 on that show. Now that’s just cruel.

      • There are fucking islands cheaper than the MANSIONS in my area. WTAF?

        Though I have to crack up at the beachfront show when they take them to a house nowhere near the beach. Um… this house isn’t quite right for me, it’s lacking a certain…. WATER?!

    Secondly – I am on House Hunters detox but even on Fixer Upper when they do a whole new kitchen without a flat-pack in sight, that is about 100msq for $30k… a little vomit comes into my mouth.
    Third – How is the pic of the broken cross on the wall in the burnt out abode!! Argh!!

  9. Bahaha! ‘You can empty your bowels AND the dishwasher at the same time.’ BEST LINE…

    So we sold our fully renovated, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house in Canberra a year ago for just over $520,000. If we would like to buy something of the equivalent standard in our current location in Sydney we will need $1.4 million.

    I don’t know how anyone can do a kitchen and a bathroom and all new furniture for $10K on these American shows. Are we just getting screwed over in Oz?

  10. This is absolute gold and makes me feel slightly better about moving from Sydney. Although I moved to San Francisco – where property prices are pretty much on par with Sydney. So… there’s that.

  11. Oh how I miss this show!!! As absurd as they’re request list is and obscene prices – it really is addictive hey?!! But alas – no House Huntersfor me. We can’t get that 9LIFE channel on the farm for some strange reason. I’ll have to download some episodes and get my fix. I do love the fact they always pick a house and move in no matter what. Which is better than the UK shows – they NEVER commit!!! I think we need House Hunters tshirts – that would be so cool!

  12. Lol love it! Much to my husband’s annoyance I watch too many US flip shows, House Hunters and Tiny Homes seems to annoy him most – I don’t know what it is with people wanting to downsize to a Tiny Home only to want to have a baby later. Don’t they know how much crap babies need???? Its sad that the prices of houses in the Aussie house market are making it impossible for people to buy or upgrade. We bought our home in 2001 and would love to sell and buy something bigger but just can’t afford it on one salary, even renovating is so pricey.

  13. In the words of Homer simpson ‘its funny cos its true”.
    I dont live in Sydney but I used to – I sympathise those that do and are just trying to find anything to live in

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