Our 22 minutes of fame on House Hunters International
One of the catalysts that pushed us to move forward to buy our condo in Belize was the HGTV show House Hunters International.
Lisa would record and watch every episode. It was the only show that was really ever on our TV. One cold winter night we were sitting on the couch watching the show and Ronnie said, “I’m done. I can’t sit here anymore and watch other people live out their dreams. We aren’t watching this show anymore. That should be us buying a place. Why aren’t we living out our dreams?” And Ronnie was right – why are we just sitting on the couch watching other people live out their dreams? Why aren’t we moving forward with our dream of moving to Belize?
Since House Hunters International was the thing that pushed us to make the leap, it was only fitting that we try to get on the show.
How’d we do it?
Lisa sent an email to House Hunters International – she told them that we were going to be buying a place in Belize. She sent them some pictures and told them our story. A couple of weeks later they set up a phone interview with the segment producer who was so great. She was very nice and easy to talk to. After hearing our story and speaking with us on the phone she said that House Hunters International would love to produce a segment about our house hunting experience in San Pedro, Belize. Cool!
We were actually a little surprised they said yes since the show has done several episodes on Belize, but the producer said that they liked our story and that’s what they wanted to film us.
Next up – we had to create a casting video – oh boy. The producer sent us some topics they wanted us to talk about and asked us to film it and upload it to Vimeo. One Saturday we got out our camera and filmed our casting video. We definitely needed some liquid courage to do the video so we drank a couple, or maybe more, One Barrel Rum and cokes to prepare.
The producer asked that the video be only a few minutes long – but since we are overachievers – ours ended up being like 8 minutes long – oops. After about a week our casting video was approved. After a few more interviews they had enough information to tell our story and shoot our episode.
The day arrived that the producer and film crew showed up at our house in Charlotte, NC to film for one day. We were so nervous – we had no idea what to expect. The crew arrived at 9:00 in the morning and once we met them we were immediately at ease – what a great group of people! We filmed for about 10 hours that day. It was so fun!
3 days later we flew from Charlotte down to Belize to film the rest of our episode. Each day we were picked up at 8:00 in the morning and didn’t finish until around 6:00 at night. We were having such a great time but wow, we were so exhausted every night!
We spent a lot of time filming in the condos that we looked at, but we also got to go on some day trips and film too! One of the fun days was when we went to Lamanai (a Mayan Ruin). Us and the crew boarded a small Tropic Air plane and flew to a tiny runway on the mainland. We arrived at the ruin really early in the morning to film – we were the only people there and it was so peaceful. On the boat ride over to Lamanai we got to feed a monkey too! We felt like total celebrities. Once that half day of filming was over we were flown back to San Pedro where we got on a boat and went out to Hol Chan to snorkel while they filmed. What a memorable day!
One of the great things about shooting the episode is that we got to pick where we did the decision scene – of course we picked the Palapa Bar and Grill. After we filmed the decision scene we shot a sunset scene from the top of the Palapa Bar where we were having drinks with our friends Scott and Jodie Harnish. So cool that we were able to have a lot of input in the decisions during the shoot.
We were so sad when the 3 days of filming in Belize came to an end. Filming the House Hunters International episode was such an incredible experience. We recommend that everyone push the limits of their comfort zones and try something new and different!
It’s funny, now that we live in Belize we actually have had a lot of “celebrity sightings” of us – people come up to us and ask: “were you on House Hunters International?” Or they just come up and say, “Hey! You’re Ronnie and Lisa! We loved your episode”. One couple actually wanted to take their picture with us because they said they picked Belize for their honeymoon after watching our episode.
download it from Dropbox click here.