What’s up with House Hunters International in Cuenca?
If you have seen the episode we did with House Hunters International (HHI) you may be a little confused. If you are, we can understand why.
HHI contacted us after reading Gringos Abroad because they wanted us to reenact our initial move to Cuenca Ecuador. So that is what we did, we reenacted or “pretended” to be hunting for apartments in Cuenca.
As everyone knows, much of what is filmed for TV is pretend. The nice thing about HHI is that much of it is also real. The filming we did in Cuenca was very much like when we moved here two years ago. The biggest difference was that we had a friend help us find an apartment, and we didn’t have to repeat our lines over and over again with bright lights shining on us. 🙂
Episode HHINT-3213H Read our House Hunters profile page. (a few details are a little confused: we are from Nova Scotia, not Toronto and Cuenca is in the province of Azuay, not Anzuay).
Check out our casting video for House Hunters International.
Why Did We Do House Hunters International?
Why did we do the show? We thought it would give people a good idea of what Cuenca is really like. We hope that people will see the show and realize that they can do what we have done.
The apartments we looked at during the filming were a little pricey. You may find more reasonably priced apartments in Cuenca, it just takes a little more hunting around. But for someone just arriving that does not know any Spanish, the episode really caught what it would be like. If you don’t know Spanish and need to use a real estate agent, the apartments in the show were very similar to what you would be shown.
There is a growing feeling in Cuenca that because gringos are willing to pay high prices, Cuencanos are finding it hard to find apartments at “real” price points. The landlords may not rent to them at a more normal price because they know they could get more money from a gringo. It would be good to know about fair pricing before settling on an apartment. For example, our apartment is a brand new three bedroom / two full bathroom apartment for $250 (no condo fees).
To keep things simple for the episode, we “pretended” to choose from the three options presented to us. In real life we would have (and did) shop around a bit more.
It was fun to do the filming. The crew was wonderful and they treated Drew like gold – even letting her help with some of the equipment. This made the experience that much more special for us.
Is Our House Hunters International Episode Going to Ruin Cuenca?
Some people have expressed concerns that the show will in some way ruin Cuenca, like it will contribute to raising prices. Or it will draw more people to a spot that some feel should be kept quiet so that others can’t have the opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle that they have.
But most people understand that people do not plan their future solely based on one TV reality show. People do research and make informed decisions. They educate themselves on community issues by reading this blog, and doing a lot of other research. And after doing their research, if they do find Cuenca to be right for them, let’s be happy that they are happy – because they deserve it as much as we do. Let’s not be selfish or greedy.
It did feel a little funny shopping for an apartment when we already had one, but we were asked to act. And that’s what we did; we acted like the Haines family acted when they first moved to Cuenca two years ago. That’s TV for ya!
And after all, the show wasn’t really about us, was it? It was about Cuenca!