HGTV's House Hunters Follows Up on Purchase of Teaticket Home

film crew, Andrea Fein, Julia Fein, Steve Fein, (youngest guest) Siena Redden, Donna Sawyer (the Feins’s agent who sold them the property, last person on right, the Producer from Pie Town Productions. - film crew, Andrea Fein, Julia Fein, Steve Fein, (youngest guest) Siena Redden, Donna Sawyer (the Feins’s agent who sold them the property, last person on right, the Producer from Pie Town Productions.

Just one year after a television production crew came to Falmouth to shoot an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters,” another crew visited town this past Saturday to provide an update on the Fein family’s purchase of a home on Stowers Street. 

The crew was in town filming an episode of “House Hunters, Where Are They Now?” which looks at renovations made by couples who originally purchased a home featured on the “House Hunters” series. 

Andrea and Steven Fein came to be on the “House Hunters” show thanks to their realtor Donna M. Sawyer of Sotheby’s International Realty in West Falmouth. 

An admitted “House Hunters” junkie, Ms. Sawyer had long wanted to be on the show, unsuccessfully applying to be on the show a little more than six years ago. Her luck changed last summer as she was showing homes to the Feins, who live in Newton and were looking for a summer home here in Falmouth. 

While looking for homes Ms. Sawyer mentioned her failed attempt at trying to get on “House Hunters,” at which point the Feins offered to apply to be on the show with her if they found a home they liked. 

They did, and last May submitted an application to be on the show. They were eventually chosen to appear on an episode after undergoing a series of phone interviews and submitting individual videos for consideration. 

So over a six-day period in August and September a small crew from “House Hunters” visited both Newton and Falmouth to watch the Feins go through the process of purchasing a home. 

By that point the couple had already elected to go with the Stowers Street home in Maravista, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape that was listed for $629,000.

Ms. Sawyer selected two additional homes for the Fein’s to look at during filming. Those were a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Cape listed for $595,000 on Lucerne Avenue, Falmouth Heights, and a three-bedroom, four-bathroom Cape listed for $699,000 on Green Pond, East Falmouth. 

Highlight of Career

For Ms. Sawyer it was “one of the most memorable experiences of my real estate career. It was a lot of fun.” 

Mr. Fein had a different reaction, at least to the actual production, in which he, his wife, and his three children, Daniel, 25, Corey, 22, and Julia, 17, spent multiple days in front of video cameras as they went through the house-hunting process. “My wife and daughter really wanted to do it,” Mr. Fein said. “I was not too excited, but I acquiesced to be a nice guy. It turned out to be quite an ordeal, but in the end we liked the show.” 

Their episode aired in February, providing the Feins with some unexpected celebrity status. 

“I’m amazed at how many people must watch the show,” he said. “I didn’t tell anybody I was going to be on whereas my daughter and wife told all their friends. I can’t tell you how many e-mails I received from people I haven’t heard from in 25 years who said they saw me on TV.

For Ms. Sawyer it was “one of the most memorable experiences of my real estate career. It was a lot of fun.” 

“Even crazier than that, I travel a lot for work and a lot of strangers in airports have come up to me asking, ‘Hey, did you buy a house in Falmouth, Mass.?’” he said, laughing. “I was in the mall somewhere while my daughter was shopping and as I was waiting to go home a guy and his wife said, ‘We watched your show last night.’... It amuses me that someone would recognize me from the show. I watch it all the time and I don’t think I would recall someone if I walked past them in an airport.” 

That fame may increase thanks to the Feins’ willingness to appear on “House Hunters, Where Are They Now?”

Their segment—three families will be featured in each episode—should air at some point in December or January. 

As to how they were chosen for the spinoff, Mr. Fein said, they mentioned in the “House Hunters” episode their plans to renovate the home. 

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Mr. Fein said it was always the couple’s intention to renovate the home to suit their needs and interests. “We always prefer to fix up a home wherever we live,” he said. “The home was less expensive than something that was totally perfect and we liked that because we’d rather make it the way we want it. A lot of people don’t want to do that because it’s a hassle for them, but we don’t mind it. We’ve just always done it.” 

Knowing the Feins would be renovating the home, producers from “House Hunters” contacted the family to see if they would be willing to be featured to highlight the improvements they had made on the new show. 

Initially Opposed to Doing Follow Up

“My first reaction was no, but then when I found out it would be one day versus six and they would be willing to do it on a weekend so I wouldn’t have to miss any work, I agreed,” Mr. Fein said, adding that the fact that his daughter, who has an interest in acting, wanted to be on television again also played a significant role in the decision. 

Crews from “House Hunters, Where Are They Now?” showed up on on a Saturday at the end of August around 9 AM spending the first hour and a half shooting footage of the empty house to document the changes that had been made. 

Mr. Fein detailed those changes which reconfigured the existing space to expand the family room on the front floor to give its owners multiple views of Great Pond. And a new bedroom, bath and closet were built on the first floor. 

On the second floor two new bathrooms were built where one used to be and an outdoor deck with a railing was added that overlooks the water. 

The work was finished in June allowing the Feins to enjoy their summer on Cape Cod.  “We rented here for a week a couple of years ago and had a much better time here than other places we’ve visited,” Mr. Fein said of the reason they chose to purchase a home in Falmouth. “We really like the Main Street area. There is plenty to do and lots of restaurants and you don’t have to drive around a half hour to find a spot. And everyone is really friendly.” 

Mr. Fein said it has not taken long for him and his family to make friends in Falmouth and many of them made an appearance at their home on Saturday as crews taped a party at their newly renovated home. 

Among those was Ms. Sawyer, who was not only the Feins’ realtor, but is now a close family friend. For both the Feins and Ms. Sawyer it may be the best part of the entire experience. “The biggest bonus is that Andrea, Steve and I have become good friends. That has been really nice,” Ms. Sawyer said. “I’m looking forward to a nice long-lasting relationship with them.”

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