Woodbury couple chosen to appear on HGTV's 'House Hunters'Woodbury residents Elisha and Justin Robson aren’t your typical first-time house hunters, as was proved during taping for a popular Home and Garden Television program.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury residents Elisha and Justin Robson aren’t your typical first-time house hunters.
Justin is a construction worker and Elisha is an interior designer.
“We weren’t looking for this perfect dream house, we were looking for a house we could do something to,” Elisha said. “We were looking for something that we could really remodel and do some work on — finding something that we could see potential in.”
It was that unique outlook on home buying the caught the attention of Home and Garden Television’s “House Hunters” program.
“House Hunters” was at the Robson’s house, located on Woodbine Avenue, last week filming for an upcoming episode.
“The show got to sum up our first house buying experience together — that’s pretty special because it’s a big deal,” Elisha said. “So, we got to capture it forever.”
Making their dream home
It was late last year when the Robsons made the decision to leave their condo in Hastings and look for their first house.
The couple came to the decision after their condo, which Justin paid $130,000 for, was only valued at $80,000 – and wasn’t expected to go grow in value anytime soon.
“Do we want to stay there and try and figure it out or do we want to take advantage of the low interest rates?” Elisha said. “It was just a matter of figuring out if we are willing to take a hit there and set ourselves up to be in a better situation for the future.”
Eventually, the couple decided the time was right to look at buying a house.
The house has to be bought under Elisha’s name since her name was not on the mortgage for the Robsons' condo.
Moving to Woodbury was kind of a natural choice for the couple since Elisha works in Woodbury at Thomasville and many of Justin’s construction happen up in this area. Additionally, Elisha’s family lives close by in White Bear Lake.
So the options really came down to Woodbury, Stillwater or surrounding communities.
The Robsons soon went to work looking for houses with Edina Reality Realtor Sara Yocum.
The criteria the Robsons gave Yocum: a house with potential and a larger garage.
“While we were looking at houses with Sara, she thought it was really fun that we weren’t looking for a normal cookie cutter house — we wanted a house that we could put our own spin on,” Elisha said.
Additionally, Elisha and Justin had different views on what type of look they wanted the house to have.
“I wanted a house with a little bit more historic character to it, Justin obviously likes more newer construction,” she said. “So, it was trying to find a mix of that.”
Yocum said it was challenging to find a house that had everything Justin and Elisha wanted.
“When working with a buyer, I really focus on that particular buyer,” she said. “We did focus on houses that needed a lot of fixing up.”
Throughout the house hunting process, Yocum kept suggesting the Robsons should be featured on “House Hunters.”
Yocum’s twin sister Jodie Klepac had been featured on the program in Chicago.
“Sara kept joking that we would be fun to be on ‘House Hunters,’” Elisha said. “One day she ended up saying ‘I talked to the producer and they want to talk to you.’”
Yocum said she thought the Robsons would add a fun twist to the show.
“Their desire to remodel was a perfect spin for the show,” she said. “Working with them was just pure joy.”
Hunting for their house
“House Hunters” eventually decided to feature the Robsons after having talked with them and learned what it was they were looking for.
Back in December, “House Hunters” made its first visit to Woodbury to film the actual house hunting process.
“House Hunters” followed Justin and Elisha around for four days as they looked at three potential houses.
Elisha said it was a bit of a strange experience because they would have to do multiple takes, which meant they had to fake their reactions.
Elisha said they ultimately decided on their house because of the potential they saw.
The Robsons had visions of knocking down the wall that divided the kitchen and the living room since they wanted to open up the kitchen and living room area. They also wanted to move the cabinets that were at the outside of the kitchen against the inside walls. And finally, they wanted to tear up the carpet to reveal the hardwood floors.
“We wanted to fix it up and make it both of ours — have it be us,” Elisha said.
After spending two months remodeling, “House Hunters” was back at the Robsons house last week to film the final project.
“It’ll be really fun to see it transition right before your eyes,” Elisha said.
Justin and Elisha said their episode of “House Hunters” is expected to air in August or September.
Justin said the entire “House Hunters” experience was enjoyable.
“It was something different,” he said. “Not everybody can say they did it.”
For updates on the Robsons “House Hunters” episode, visit Justin Robson’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com and search for Robson Construction Services.