Dianne Hunter (right) started “Home Hunter” as its original host 35 years ago. Her daughter, Tiffany Hunter (left), is the show’s current host. (Photo by Lauren Marshall)
‘Home Hunter’ celebrates 35 years of homeownership advice on air
You might not know it, but the longest running real estate talk show in the U.S. has its roots right here in Arizona.
Over 30 years ago, Dianne Hunter quit her job as a teacher to become a stay at home mom, and soon she found she still needed something to fill her time. Thus, “Home Hunter” was born.
“I was talking to a man about a real estate program in Chicago that was on cable that was really different, but it gave me the idea,” Dianne said. “I wrote a treatment. I took it to ABC and they loved it.”
For 35 years, the show focuses on connecting Arizonans with experts in all stages of owning a home, Dianne said. This will include home builders, experts in home financing and products for remodeling and interior design.
“Anything connected to a home, that’s what we try to give them,” Dianne said.
When Dianne’s daughter, Tiffany Hunter was old enough to join the show, she started working with her mother.
“She totally sucked me in,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany has now become the primary on camera talent for the show, taking the helm as the interviewer for guests on the show. She didn’t picture her role with the show panning out like this, Tiffany explained.
“I did not want to be on camera,” Tiffany said. “I wanted to be behind the scenes the entire time, and mom being the stickler she is… now, I love it.”
As time has passed, Tiffany said the show has had to adapt to the changing real estate market.
Even though, millennials are renting at higher rates and putting off buying homes to a later age than previous generations, they say the show can help educate millennials who have misconceptions about home buying.
“That’s one of the things that I’m constantly harping on people about,” Tiffany said. “People think they can’t qualify for a home. They never want to pick up the phone and ask. Our mortgage people will tell you too, if you don’t qualify, here’s exactly what you need to do to so you can.”
The show also embraced technology as tech for the home became more widely available. Integrating the latest technology trends has been the biggest challenge, but the biggest reward.
Dianne said many home builders like to use the internet to advertise, but the personalized setting of the show where viewers can watch an inside peek into the home from their house has a bigger return for both the seller and the buyer.
Tiffany said that social media has changed the show too. She convinced Dianne to create a website and Facebook to engage younger viewers. It helped keep the show in the family too.
The show’s website is maintained by Tiffany’s 20-year-old son.
“I’ve come around because I realized the younger generation is into it,” Dianne said. “You have to be available for everyone.
Dianne said the show works because it appeals to every age that wants to become a homeowner.
“It works,” Dianne said. “We wouldn’t be on for 35 years if it didn’t work. It’s a target market and that’s why it works.”
Dianne and Tiffany said their favorite part of the show is getting to work together as mother and daughter.
“We are so lucky that we have such a good relationship,” Tiffany said. “It really is fun getting to work together too. We heckle each other and have a blooper real.”
Dianne said she thinks Tiffany is even better on camera than she was and she hopes Tiffany continues the show for several years.
“I think that’s what makes the show: all the people are real,” Dianne said.