Since 1998, gay couples have been casually featured on HGTV’s House Hunters.
Since realizing the show doesn’t make a big deal about the gay couples searching for houses, Jim Halterman decided to look more into the show and interviewed the creators, a lesbian couple, Tara Sandler and Jennifer Davidson.
The two, recently married, realized how stressful looking for houses was when they were trying to find a house for themselves.
“We just looked at each other and said, ‘this is a really stressful thing to decide,’” Sandler said. “’This should be a TV show!’”
When the couple brought the idea to the network and talked about including gay couples over a decade ago, HGTV was on board.
“The network said, ‘Let’s not make a big deal out of it,’” Sandler said. “They’ve always said that. ‘They’re a couple like anything else.’ We don’t point anything out and it’s been that way since 1998.”
Sandler and Davidson said they find couples for the show based on how passionate and opinionated they are about the house they’re looking for.
“Right now, because we’ve done so many episodes, we’re looking for more unique outlooks more than people who just want an open layout and granite countertops or kitchen appliances,” Davidson said. “We’re looking for people who are looking beyond that and maybe have a passion for vintage features like we had one woman in Michigan who wanted a laundry chute and one of those old fashioned mail slots in the front door.”
This month the show features a gay couple, Brad and Christian in San Francisco.
“We’re a little obsessed with San Francisco,” Sandler said. “In the show, he needed a place that had the right acoustics for his piano because he’s a piano player. They’re a really cute couple.”
Sandler and Davidson are always asked how they can be in a relationship with each other and work together at the same time.
“Some couples just work really easily together and some couples don’t but we happen to work really easily together,” Davidson said. “We’re happy we’ve been working together because the first 16 years it was really, really intense at Pie Town and we wouldn’t have ever seen each other. It’s all worked for us.”
Her wife agreed.
“We’ve been together for 24 years, we’ve had Pie Town for 19 and it’s just really great to work with your best friend.”
House Hunters airs week nights at 10 p.m. on HGTV.