HGTV to feature area couple

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Posted by on December 06, 2008 at 17:28:28:

HGTV's 'House Hunters' to feature area couple

As Jesse Kohler and Jen Masbruch looked at homes this week in Black Earth and Mazomanie, a camera crew from the HGTV cable television show "House Hunters" documented their search.

The couple said they preferred a home with at least three bedrooms, a finished lower level and a two-car garage.

But most important is space for Cocoa, their bloodhound.

"Cocoa needs room," Masbruch said. "I wanted a yard for him to run around."

With the assistance of Re/Max Preferred of Madison real estate agent Amber Huemmer, Kohler and Masbruch, who plan to marry in May, were deciding among three possibilities:

� A newly built 1,400-square-foot home in Mazomanie with an unfinished lower level. New construction would be an advantage, but the home is small and would require money to finish the basement.

� A 2,300-square-foot home in Black Earth. The home has four bedrooms, a two-car garage and finished lower level, but was built in 1984 and would require updating.

� A 2,400-square-foot former funeral home in Black Earth. Built in the 1940s, the home is spacious with a finished lower level, but is older and a little more expensive than the others.

The final choice will be revealed when the episode airs, possibly in late summer or next fall, said producer Joshua Kessler of Pie Town Productions of North Hollywood, Calif., the show's production company.

He said the camera crew will revisit the couple in three to five months to look at improvements they've made and the show probably will air about six months after that.

Kessler said featuring different Wisconsin seasons on the same show will be a benefit.

"For a show like this, you want to show the winter aspects of it and come back in the spring," he said.

Hosted by Suzanne Whang, "House Hunters," which has been HGTV's top-rated show, takes viewers behind the scenes of the home-buying process, focusing on the emotional experience of evaluating and choosing a home.

Kohler and Masbruch didn't apply to be the subject of "House Hunters," but the show found them, Huemmer said.

She said the show's producers contacted Re/Max Preferred after finding the agency's Web site.

They asked the agency to find home buyers who met very strict criteria especially related to how far along they were in the buying process.

"It pretty much had to be the perfect scenario," Huemmer said.

While visiting the three homes, Kohler and Masbruch talked about projects they could tackle such as removing wallpaper, fixing a balky patio door or installing a vent to the outside for a range hood.

Kohler said they didn't consider delaying their house search due to the struggling economy.

"We're not really feeling the economy in anything," Kohler said. "We were coming up the end of our lease and we're putting all of our money toward rent. We had a pretty good down payment built up."

Kohler said he believes his engineering job as a designer of high-voltage power lines for Realtime Utility Engineers of Madison is recession-proof.

Masbruch works as a retail sales associate at American TV & Appliance of Madison, but hopes to begin a teaching career when the economy improves.

The couple met while attending UW-Platteville. Kohler, 25, grew up in Milwaukee, while Masbruch, 24, grew up in Illinois and Milwaukee.

Kohler said they searched for a home in Black Earth and Mazomanie because it would be closer to their jobs than their East Side apartment, but less expensive than Madison's West Side.

They looked at homes in the upper $100,000 and lower $200,000 range.

"We thought that we could get more for our money if we went to the outskirts," he said. "For a brief time, we thought about building, but it was going to cost too much."

(Wisconsin State Journal)

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