The 1 Word You’re Not Allowed to Say on ‘Beachfront Bargain Hunt’

There’s something so addictive about Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV. Though much of the programming on the network is more aspirational, this particular show is enough to make anyone seriously consider buying a house at the beach. Instead of showcasing multi-million dollar mansions on the coast, the series follows homebuyers as they find surprisingly affordable houses by the sea.

Show participants come from all backgrounds and have many different goals for their coastal retreat. Some are seeking vacation homes while others are making the full-time move to the beach, either for retirement or just because they want to. But one thing everyone on Beachfront Bargain Hunt has in common is they want to find a great deal.

After touring four properties, buyers settle on their dream beach home. But there’s one word you’ll never catch them saying about it.

The Hamptons
Hamptons, Long Island, New York | Susan Wood/Getty Images

Some things about ‘Beachfront Bargain Hunt’ are fake

Like so many other shows on HGTV, Beachfront Bargain Hunt relies on clever editing and subtle dishonesty to create a compelling show to watch. Just like with House Hunters and other shows that document the homebuying process, there’s a good chance that show participants are under contract while they’re supposedly “house hunting” on the show.

That means of the four properties buyers tour, there’s only one possibility for the one they choose — it’s always the one they already own.

It’s not scripted, but there are some off-limits words

Obviously, homebuyers aren’t allowed to reveal that they already own one of the houses. But there are some more curious rules on Beachfront Bargain Hunt, too.

Outer Banks realtor Johanna Tucker appeared on the show and blogged about it, saying producers didn’t tell her clients what to say, but they did have rules about what not to say. Apparently, no one was allowed to use the word “nice” and “had to start several scenes over” when someone slipped up and accidentally said it.

It takes a lot of work to be part of ‘Beachfront Bargain Hunt’

So if HGTV hosts aren’t helping you find a house, what’s the point of participating? It is pretty cool to see yourself on television. But it’s also a lot of work.

Robin Cottone was featured in one episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt and admitted that some days of shooting took 12 to 14 hours. “There’s stuff you don’t realize that you basically have to do everything three times,” he said. “The sound guy, every bit of background sound, he picks it up. And if there’s background sound, they basically stop it, and you have to do it again.”

“We’re outside, a plane was flying by or a dog was barking, ‘stop,’” Cottone continued. “So it was very tedious. It was exciting but tedious.”

It’s a delightful escape, just like all of HGTV

Some people get annoyed to learn that Beachfront Bargain Hunt and almost every other HGTV show is fake. But those haters are missing the point.

HGTV programming is escapism, pure and simple. Real renovations are messy and complicated. House hunting can take months or even years. Isn’t it much more pleasant to watch other people do it on TV in a predictable, upbeat manner than go through it yourself?

Sure it is. It’s very nice.