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Competitive Spokane housing market gets airing on “House Hunters” show

UPDATED: Tue., May 15, 2018

Mindy and Dane Arnholt's search for a house in Spokane will be featured on HGTV's House Hunters program on May 15.



Courtesy photo (COURTESY / COURTESY)
Mindy and Dane Arnholt's search for a house in Spokane will be featured on HGTV's House Hunters program on May 15. Courtesy photo (COURTESY / COURTESY)

A military couple’s search for housing in Spokane’s competitive market will be featured on an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters” next week.

Dane and Mindy Arnholt were living in Okinawa, Japan, last year when Dane, an Air Force major, received orders to transfer to Fairchild Air Force Base.

The Arnholts immediately started house-hunting online. But trying to buy a house from 6,000 miles away, in fast-moving market, proved tricky, Mindy Arnholt said.

She’d wake up at 4 a.m. to look at the new listings that came in overnight. By the time her real estate agent in Spokane could get over to look at the properties, there were often multiple offers.

The Arnholts made offers on “at least 10 homes,” Mindy Arnholt said. Once, they offered $10,000 more than the asking price, and still got outbid.

Mindy Arnholt filled out an application for “House Hunters” on a whim. She was listening to podcasts on home renovations, which recommended filling out an application for the cable show.

“I didn’t even tell my husband,” she said. “By the time he got home, I’d forgotten about it.”

The application took about five minutes to complete. The fine print stressed how many thousands of applications the show receives.

So it was a surprise to learn they were chosen, Mindy Arnholt said. The “House Hunters” film crew arrived in Spokane shortly after the couple’s October move to the city, and spent five days with them.

Mindy Arnholt is a professional photographer. The couple were looking for a three-bedroom house with room for a photography studio. Their price range was $275,000.

The crew followed them as they checked out three houses – one on Spokane’s South Hill and two in the Indian Trail Neighborhood, where they eventually bought.

“It was fun and a lot of work,” Dane Arnholt said. “I’m not a professional actor.”

Trying to recapture their original reactions and expressions while the film crew took repeat shots was the most challenging part, he said.

The Arnholts said their contract with “House Hunters” prevents them from disclosing too much about the show before it airs, or discussing their compensation.

The show, called “Style Versus Function in Spokane” airs at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, and 8:30 a.m. on June 18.

Since the purchase, the couple have been working on remodeling their first home.

They spent four months sleeping on an air mattress in the basement while they repainted the interior, replaced flooring and transformed the living room and dining area into Mindy’s studio.

The local real estate market remains competitive, according to the Spokane Association of Realtors, which recently reported that the inventory of houses and condos for sale is down 20 percent compared to a year ago.

The median sales price in the Spokane area jumped to $231,000 in April; it was $219,000 in March.

A November episode of “House Hunters” also featured Spokane, focusing on a Colorado’s family move here.

Some of the Arnholts’ Air Force friends recently got orders to transfer from Kansas to Fairchild. Now, they’re house hunting, too, Mindy Arnholt said.

This story was updated to correct the spelling of Arnholt.

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