It actually never occurred to me that people get paid to be on the popular HGTV series House Hunters, but I mean, of course they do. Why else would you open yourself up to the ridicule of friends, neighbors, and strangers for the number of times you reject a home for its paint color or say the words “great entertaining space” or “light and bright” in a twenty-minute span?

Photo Credit: HGTV

It’s actually pretty smart to go on shows like this – you’re going to be shopping for and buying a house anyway, so why not make a little extra cash in the process? A lot of people apparently board this train of thought, since HGTV reportedly gets between 100 and 200 applications every single week.

But how much money can people earn for putting their house hunt on full public display?

Photo Credit: HGTV

Sadly, not as much as you think – only $500 per family.

Let’s break that down, shall we? Because the $500 covers everything from a person applying all the way through the end of filming, a process that can take some time. If your online application is selected, you have to go through a phone interview, paperwork, and a 10-minute audition video. So, let’s say that’s at least 3 hours of work, figuring conservatively (it would depend on the level of your video editing skills).

Then, each person or family puts 30 hours of filming into the eventual 23-minute episode – six hours at each house, before-and-after interviews, footage of their daily lives, etc.

Photo Credit: HGTV

You’re looking at between $5-$6 an hour, bottom line. It would stand to reason, since the show is well-stocked with future episodes, that the chance to be on television is more of a pull than the cash itself. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t expect to get rich if you go on House Hunters, but you will probably get a few free meals out of the deal.

And enough cash to change out those horribly offensive paint colors, too.