House Hunters episode showcases Bursons, community

House Hunters episode showcases Bursons, communityBy JAYME KINARD

News Review Correspondent

Our remote little community was the subject of national attention last week when HDTV aired an episode of the wildly popular show “House Hunters,” titled “Returning to Ridgecrest.”

The episode featured two of our very own residents —Nick and Maddy Burson. Nick, the son of longtime residents David and Alison Burson, is a professional off-road motorcycle racer who grew up here. The show captures his endeavors to move back with his wife, Maddy, and their search for a new home.

For the uninitiated, House Hunters is an extremely addictive show about homebuyers and their journey to find the perfect house. The episode typically features a husband and wife who are each looking for different things in a house — which is half of the fun. The narrative of each episode develops almost in the manner of a game show, where you’re left to guess which house the couple is going to buy.

For this episode in particular, Nick was looking for a two-story fixer-upper and Maddy wanted a move-in ready one-story home. As you can see, it is literally impossible for both individuals to get what they want. The conflicting hopes of Nick and Maddy yield a verbal tug-of-war while they look at each house. When in the two-story house, Maddy says she really doesn’t want stairs and in the one-story house, Nick complains that there are no high ceilings. All the while, realtor Joey Dosen tries to point out the positive aspects in each property.

Something I personally love about the show is that you get to see new places and get a feel for what the area has to offer. In the beginning of each episode, the narrator talks about the community that serves as the setting while discussing and showing footage of the highlights of the town.

This was interesting to watch as a Ridgecrest resident because, as we all know, our community is not just small, but geographically isolated from any nearby metropolis. So most of the footage depicted panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as shots of Nick riding his dirt bike in the desert.

There was also a scene of Nick and Maddy walking around our beloved downtown area and browsing local antique store Baxendales. I’ve since learned that Lynn Baxendale was kind enough to open her store on a day she’d regularly be closed in order to accommodate the filming crew.

Donna Hocker of the Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors said that because Ridgecrest is such a small town, House Hunters is an incredible opportunity to get exposure for our community and put us on the map.

“We believe that having Ridgecrest showcased on a show like House Hunters will help with our economic development,” she said. “We are proud of our Realtor member Joey Dosen for his role in House Hunters and bringing more awareness to our area.”

As a member of the Indian Wells Valley Economic Development Corp., Hocker and other community leaders have been engaged in numerous endeavors that strive to highlight our city as a place to live, work and visit.

“We are excited about the future growth of our community,” she said. Since the show only aired a few days ago, she said that it’s too soon to see what kind of an impact that exposure will have on real estate and other industries.

“But it is something that we will encourage our realtor members to somehow gauge.”

I also spoke recently with Dosen and Nick’s mother, Alison, who each gave us some behind the scenes information.

Dosen told us that the show was actually filmed last October and he was already working with Nick and Maddy when they asked him if he’d like to be on the show. So the Bursons were the ones in touch with HGTV and arranged for the episode to be filmed. It took about five days in total to film the episode, and no one who took part in the show got to see it or know what would be included in the show until it came out.

He added that the show wasn’t completely scripted, but they were encouraged to talk about certain things such as the architectural style of the home. A few scenes were actually filmed in Alison’s house, and she said it was fun to watch Nick and Maddy film and see everything come together. When filming in her house, the crew turned off absolutely everything that could make a noise like clocks, the TV and even the refrigerator.

“I think it was a fun experience for them,”said Alison. “A lot of the conversation is prompted so it didn’t sound like how they would normally talk. But they are a cute, fun, hard-working couple and I think that came across well.

“I had no idea what all is involved in shooting a show. Things they taped didn’t make the final cut and things I didn’t think would make it did. It was quite an eye opener.”

Dosen said that since the episode was filmed, all three houses featured on the show have been sold.

I only moved to Ridgecrest myself three months ago, and I still remember what my first few days in town were like while I learned my way around.

In my opinion, I feel that House Hunters showed only a very small portion of what Ridgecrest has to offer. The shots they included were beautiful, but it seems to me that they went for the obvious shots — like the landscapes and an extremely short snippet of one shop downtown. What House Hunters captured is only the tip of the iceberg.

In the end, Nick and Maddy end up choosing a one-story fixer upper. House Hunters came back to the home a few months after the couple moved in for a follow up, and there was quite a bit of work that had been put into the property already — and it looked great!

If you didn’t have a chance to catch the show, you can look on HGTV’s website for future showings. We wish Nick and Maddy the best of luck in their new home together!

Pictured: Maddy and Nick Burson

Story First Published: 2017-06-16