Buying a new Morris or Sussex County home typically means taking on at least a few home renovation projects. So, why not appear on one of those cool home renovation reality shows? Not so fast! Before starting down that path, check out the good, bad and ugly of reality TV home renovation.  Still into it? Follow Team Nest Builder's 6 tips to help that happen!

Time Passages

HGTV stated to Andrea Browne Taylor of  “When we’re telling a real estate or renovation story for television, we may abridge and adjust timelines to help manage production and time constraints.”  Meaning those crazy turnaround times shown for buying a new home, building a new deck or re-doing your kitchen on reality TV? NOT realistic.   

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Rush Hour

Time restraints often lead to corners being cut, which might spell big headaches for you down the line.  “Essentially, you are stuck using products that allow for quick installation, which may not necessarily look (or work) the best.”, says Patrick Hurst, owner of Hurst Design-Building-Remodeling, who appeared on DIY Network’s “House Crashers”.


In order to stick to TV-worthy low budgets, networks often partner with advertisers, trading free materials or products for promotion.  That means you’re not getting what’s best for your home and your family, but what’s best for the show’s budget.  

Happily Ever After?

Home renovation shows rely on a storyline not just about the renovation, but about the family around whom the episode centers.  With all of the editing and embellishing, what REALLY happens, and what’s then shown on television could end up completely different. Speak carelessly, and you just might offend a neighbor, a new friend, or a nation!

Still think you want to renovate your Morris or Sussex County home on TV? Sparta resident Teresa Sellinger knows a thing or two about reality TV, having had her kitchen completely renovated on HGTV’s Dear Genevieve; her basement just re-made for the pilot of a new TV show currently under wraps; appearances on the TYRA show, The Meredith Vieira Show, the Dr. Oz show; a makeover on NYC Taxi TV and more. Read on for her 6 top tips for nabbing that show:

  1. Visit the websites of the channels you regularly watch for renovation shows, and apply directly through them.  For example, HGTV is currently casting countless shows through, as is the DIY Network at
  2. Sign up for membership on and as a source on, then scan your daily email digests for opportunities that suit you.
  3. Play up your location!  Producers and directors love that Morris and Sussex County provide a variety of home environments, yet are so close to Manhattan (from where most crew and talent travel.)
  4. Let your emotional guard down.  This doesn’t mean divulging something you don’t want on TV, it means expressing emotions that come naturally as you tell your story in your video application.  Feel like crying? Cry! Something funny in your story? Laugh!
  5. Bring your story to life by SHOWING, not TELLING.  For example, instead of writing or saying, “Our family’s crazy!”, explain, “Our family loves to group sky-dive on our Bora-Bora jungle hut vacations. Next on our group bucket list? Hot coal-walking!”
  6. Clearly explain what you hope to achieve, but let the cast/crew determine how to best achieve it.  Of course, lay out your non-negotiables. But the more flexibility and creativity you allow the designers and renovators, the more chance you have of being selected. And remember, TV experts WANT a happy homeowner in the end!

That’s all folks! If these tips help YOUR Morris or Sussex County home get selected for a reality TV show, remember to let Team Nest Builder know! We’d love to share your experience!


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