Colin and Chandra Adams are pretty good at keeping a secret.
For four months, only their family and closest friends knew they had moved into a new home on Valentine’s Day and that they had chronicled the homebuying experience on a television show.
The couple finally shared the secret with others just a few days before their appearance on the June 18 episode of “House Hunters.”
The HGTV show follows buyers as they tour three homes that meet their criteria and their budget.
For Chandra, her wants included a two-story home with a double vanity in the master bathroom. She also wanted a formal separate dining room and a commute no longer than 30 minutes to work.
Colin wanted a single-story home with a little Southern charm, some space between their neighbors and a front porch. And, he wanted a “man cave.”
They both wanted an in-laws’ suite and a separate playroom for their 14-month-old son, C.J.
Plus they needed enough kitchen cabinet space to store a large roaster they had been keeping in the bathroom of the home they were renting.
Getting on the show was easier than you might think.
While Chandra was working one night at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, she saw a Jacksonville couple featured on “House Hunters.” (Her OB/GYN practice is Full Circle Women’s Care and she has privileges at St. Vincent’s Southside.)
When she told her husband, Colin joked if that couple could be on there, he and his wife could be.
The application process included submitting videos of themselves and their agent, Nani Hassell of ERA Davis & Linn Realty. She’s been selling real estate for 10 years.
“They filmed me,” Hassell said, “and I filmed them.”
Chandra said they applied online in December and began shooting in January.
The filming took six days, with days of at least eight hours long. They spent a full day in each of the three homes. “We saw every inch of the houses,” Chandra, 38, said.
Unlike many reality shows, “House Hunters” is not scripted.
As Hassell walked them through the homes during filming, the couple said their reactions were real.
For example, as they arrived at the first house, Colin was disappointed there wasn’t a large front porch. His wife’s response? “Well, you may have to suppress your inner hillbilly.”
In the second home, she said, “So many things about this bathroom make me sad. Why is it green?”
“She really hates green,” Colin, 35, said. “She really hates green.”
It also didn’t have her coveted double vanity.
As they were looking at the large shower in the first home, Colin clearly loved it. “I don’t think I’ll ever leave from here,” said Colin, a financial planner with Edward Jones.
When the third house had a small backyard, Chandra said, “What about your wide open spaces, country boy?”
While the Adamses’ personalities were evident on the show, the typically chatty Hassell had laryngitis and struggled to talk. “I sounded like Froggy from the ‘Little Rascals,’” she said.
Though the days were long, Hassell and her clients thoroughly enjoyed the process.
Hassell said as she and her husband watched the episode in June, he sat on the edge of his seat. “He’s my biggest fan,” she said.
They will keep “our little disc and play it 20 years from now in our mountain home,” Hassell said.
The decision discussions between Colin and Chandra were filmed at Bistro AIX. As their friends watched those talks on the episode, they began guessing via social media and on the telephone which home the couple would choose.
Colin said most thought he and Chandra would select the third house they looked at — the one nine minutes from work for Chandra and with the indoor pool that impressed Colin.
Little did most of their friends know, Colin and Chandra were actually watching the show from the living room of the second home, located off Julington Creek Road.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home has a large front porch, a separate dining room and is a 20-minute commute to Chandra’s work.
“We just love this house,” Colin said.
By the way, the green bathroom has been painted dark red with the promise of a double vanity soon.
The separate building can be turned into an 800-square-foot in-laws’ suite. (The renovation will be part of a future “House Hunters: Where Are They Now?” episode.)
And the roaster is now being stored in one of the kitchen’s many cabinets.