A Moment in the Spotlight

Guess WHAT?!?!?! The house is going to be a TV STAR!!! Okay, not a STAR. More like a supporting actress. (BEST supporting actress? We shall see!)

Many in the old house community know Circa Old Houses, and Elizabeth Finkelstein, who has worked for years to showcase old homes and why they are special and important. I’ve beens so lucky to write a few articles for Circa over the years.

My favorites were : How to Buy a House You Can’t Afford, and Restoring An Old House in 12 Simple Steps. It was so fun sharing our story, and becoming friends with Elizabeth along the way! She is a kindred spirit in every sense of the word.

Fast forward a few years, and Elizabeth started an Instagram account called “Cheap Old Houses,” to focus on houses for sale across the country that are under $100,000. It took off like a rocket, and people fell so in love with these old houses! HGTV also fell in love with these houses, and they asked Elizabeth if she was open to a TV show.

We’ve had people ask in the past, too. When you run an old house blog, production companies approach you. It’s not an uncommon thing – I know a bunch of people who have been approached. We’ve never searched anyone out. But they’ve found us, which is flattering. We’ve had several interviews with people who have found our blog, and we are always happy to talk about the house, but we also know that the world of TV wants dramatic before and afters, and not slow moving details. Which is what we would be. But I always say yes to those interviews, because even though I know they’d rather have someone who is going to knock out walls and make something “open concept,” I love having just a moment to say : “This is what we do. And it’s important. And I think people would like to watch this.”

“Can you do 20-30 houses in a year? With you financing?” We’ve actually been asked that. “No. No, we cannot. And frankly, anyone working on old houses shouldn’t be doing that, either, because it’s all about details with old houses, and to respect them while you’re renovating, you can’t rush it.”

So we’d long ago given up on our house being a movie star. And that was okay, because we didn’t want to be on a show that didn’t really respect old houses, or the process of saving them. When producers reached out to us and said that they were working on a show for Elizabeth though – we listened. Because I knew her. There is absolutely no way she would be involved with something if it wasn’t full of honor for old houses. Even though I knew her, the selection process to be on the show wasn’t with her. We had to interview and take producers on a video tour of our house, and they were the ones who chose if we could be featured. We were DELIGHTED when they formally asked us to be on the show.

Here is some background about how the show came to be, and the vision for it.  And another blurb for it is here! We are so excited for a show that explains why features of old houses should be saved.

So, our house will be one small segment of one episode – around 5 minutes. We haven’t seen the segment, but I am so excited to see how and entire day of filming gets narrowed down to a handful of minutes! The cast and crew were great, and it was amazing to show Elizabeth and her husband Ethan the house, after only showing them through photographs for so long! They didn’t do a walkthrough beforehand, which I was delighted by. Their reactions walking into each space were completely genuine, which is so refreshing.

Here’s a trailer – you can spy the house and us in some brief glimpses!

We filmed in January, and it was exhausting and so fun. I wish I had a million pictures from that day, but I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to take pictures (and I’m a rule follower so I didn’t want to ask and be told no!). So I only snuck a few. It was a busy, amazing, super fun day. I have enormous respect for the vision that the production team has, and loved how much everyone respected and loved the house when they were here.

We REALLY hustled and got the Library in enough shape that it could be filmed in January – and then promptly took it back apart so we could install the ceiling and sconces and finish it!

SO….. how do you watch?

“Cheap Old Houses” airs on @discoveryplus and HGTV – August 9 (Early in the morning for Discovery+, and two episodes at 9/9:30 ET/PT on HGTV)


Our episode (“Playful Indiana Victorians”) airs on @discoveryplus – August 16


Our episode (“Playful Indiana Victorians”) airs on HGTV at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT – August 23

We are so excited!

4 comments

  1. Amy, I am so excited for you! How cool! It was either Circa Old Houses or This Old House that I found your blog. Actually, I think it was Circa and then the following month you were featured in This Old House because I recognized your house on the cover..

  2. Congratulations! We are so excited that your efforts were chosen to be showcased. You do beautiful and top quality work. We will definitely be watching!

  3. the episode was amazing and I loved seeing their reactions to your hard work. You are truly inspiring ♥️

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