‘House Hunters’ hits home

Washougal couple to be featured on long-running HGTV reality show

Contributed photo courtesy Graham Gentry Washougal residents Kayla and Graham Gentry pose for a photo while filming an episode of the HGTV series "House Hunters" in November 2021.

Graham and Kayla Gentry hope their second appearance on the HGTV series “House Hunters” shows more than just their quest to purchase a new home in Washougal.

“I was really excited about showcasing Washougal and Camas. That was my ultimate goal, definitely more so than just being on the show again,” said Graham, a broker at Washougal’s Columbia River Realty. “The first time, we didn’t know what we were doing. We were younger and had no skin in the game. Now it’s like, ‘This is our community. This is our area. These are my clients and our neighbors. We’re going to be nice and funny and warm.'”

The Washougal residents will appear in an upcoming episode of the long-running reality show, which typically follows people seeking a new place to live. Local real estate agents lead the house hunters through three options, and, by the end of the episode, viewers get to see which house or apartment the people have selected, and learn about how the move is working out.

The Gentrys’ upcoming episode will deviate from the show’s standard formula, as Graham plays the role of agent and buyer.

“It was so different,” Graham said. “It was like my wife was my client, which was so weird and funny. I was showing my wife houses that I show every day to other people. Kayla kept saying that I don’t have much emotion in this because it’s my job. If I was emotionally driven by every single transaction, every single client, every single day, I’d be just zapped. So with this, it was like, ‘OK, square footage, lot size, price, condition — cool, looks good, all right. What do you think?’ And she was like, ‘Are you kidding me?'”

Graham and Kayla were selected to appear on “House Hunters” in 2014 when they were living in Hawaii. Their real estate agent “had a contact” at HGTV and encouraged them to apply to the show, according to Graham.

“The first time we had to make an audition video, and we were just cracking up at ourselves. I was like, ‘We’re definitely not getting selected,'” he said. “But it was our real estate agent’s idea; she said, ‘Let’s put something together and see if they accept us.’ Then they did, and we were like, ‘All right.'”

Graham kept in contact with the show’s producers, who told him that they’d like to bring him back as an agent once he got his real estate license, which he obtained before accepting a position at Columbia River Realty in March 2020.

“I tried (to get on “House Hunters”) with a couple of clients that I had, and it didn’t work out, probably due to COVID-19 reasons, and on the spur of the moment I said, ‘Hey, you want to come film (us buying a house)?’ and they said, ‘Yes,'” he said. “And It was perfect timing. We were selling our other Washougal house because we have little kids and needed more square footage to upgrade and expand our living space.”

The Gentrys toured three Washougal properties over a five-day period in November, followed closely by camera operators, sound engineers and producers who chronicled their every move.

“We had really long days on set — probably 10 hours,” Graham said. “We were mic’d up all day and had GoPros in the car and massive $40,000 cameras. It can be a little scary because you’re like, ‘Wow, I don’t even remember what I said.’ I was exhausted. Hopefully I didn’t sound like a jerk, and we look good and they make us sound good. But I think they will. I’m sure our true personalities showed.”

Graham said the actual filming of the show was easier the second time around.

“It was fantastic,” Graham said. “It was so much fun. The crew was so cool. Everybody was so nice. They weren’t weird or embarrassing when they were filming; everything was natural. It was so much easier this time because we had done it before.”

The Gentrys purchased one of the homes featured in the episode, a residence Graham described as: “a little closer to town, but also on acreage, and close to Kayla’s family.”

HGTV has not told the Gentrys when the show might air, but Graham and Kayla believe it will be sometime in the spring of 2022.

Graham plans to announce the show’s air date as soon as he finds out, on his Instagram page at instagram.com/instagrahamrealestate.

“The last time we did the show, we filmed in June, and it aired on Jan. 1, about six month later,” Graham said. “I think in the paperwork somewhere, they estimated three to six months,” which would mean March or April 2022.

Even without a firm air date, the couple is already coming up with ideas for a viewing party at the Columbia River Realty office in Washougal.

“We (came up with the idea of) inviting my clients and doing a cheesy, red-carpet thing with a big drop-cloth and a television and HGTV logo and people taking selfies. Maybe we’d give away a raffle gift or something,” Graham said. “But that’s not set in stone yet.”