HGTV to film historic home show in Wilmington

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Historic Wilmington Foundation's architectural salvage shop may be included in the locations for HGTV's 'Hunting Vintage,' which will shoot an episode at a Wilmington home next week. Photo by Hilary Snow.
Historic Wilmington Foundation’s architectural salvage shop may be included in the locations for HGTV’s ‘Hunting Vintage,’ which will shoot an episode at a Wilmington home next week. Photo by Hilary Snow.

An HGTV show about historic home searches has found the Port City.

According to film permits filed with the City of Wilmington, production crews for “Hunting Vintage” will shoot at a local home in the Forest Hills area off Country Club Drive and various locations around town Monday, Feb. 8 through Wednesday, Feb. 10. Crews will return Feb. 24-26 for follow-up shots.

“Hunting Vintage,” which premiered on HGTV in summer 2015, is a spin-off of the network’s wildly popular reality show “House Hunters” that follows “adventurous home seekers” as they look for their ideal historic home, whether it be a sprawling Victorian or charming brownstone.

It’s a show that speaks to someone like George Edwards, executive director of Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF).

“Having a show like this highlights the significant stock of older houses that we have here in Wilmington,” Edwards said. “A show like this points out that the city has a wealth of resources and opportunities for people to come in and buy an older home.”

One such resource is HWF’s Legacy Architectural Salvage, a resale shop selling doors, windows, fixtures and hardware from historic homes.

Edwards said the company behind the show, Pie Town Productions, contacted HWF with interest about the salvage shop and what it has to offer.

“They had already found the house and owners that they want to focus on, but another part of the show would be how you might restore this house,” he recalled. “They reached out two weeks ago to ask questions and get photographs.”

Specifically, he added, they wanted to know what 1950s era pieces, if any, Legacy currently had on its counters.

“We have some cabinets, shutters, trim, light fixtures and some kitchen and bathroom sinks, and some other materials in our salvage that could theoretically work in a 1950s house,” he noted.

While shooting at the salvage store has not been confirmed, Edwards said Pie Town recently submitted waiver forms to HWF for consideration.

“We are delighted to work with them. That’s why the salvage exists, to provide the homeowner or contractor with the tools they need,” he said. “And it puts us out there in another venue. It also lets home owners and contractors who have newer vintage homes know that we are available to help.”

To many people, Edwards said, “historic” connotes something ancient, centuries old. When it comes to National Historic Register, however, “historic” refers to homes built at least 50 years ago, or up until 1966. Homes in the Forest Hills neighborhood range from the 1920s to 60s.

“Hopefully this show points that out, and hopefully it draws attention to the market,” he said.

Lights, camera and action can certainly be a big draw for the local housing market, said Leigh Saunders-Corbin, a broker/REALTOR with Century 21 Sweyer and Associates. Saunders-Corbin, who has been working in the area for several months, said a home’s celebrity status–whether it be due to a famous former owner or as the backdrop of a popular TV show–is always a strong selling point.

“When a house is the subject of some sort of television show that obviously creates some interest in the neighborhood,” she said. “That definitely adds notoriety and value, or perceived value, of a home. Whether it comes across an appraiser’s desk like that, I don’t know.”

And the film industry, in general, has an impact on real estate that lasts long after a production wraps.

“You have people who come here as any sort of support, like grip or cameraman…and they wind up really recognizing that Wilmington is a really unique place and they want to stay or come back,” she said. “As a result, that generates home sales.”

Two new TV productions–TNT’s “Good Behavior” and History’s “Six”–will be bringing crews and actors to the area this spring. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, both shows were recently approved for a portion of the state’s pool of $30 million in film funding, cleared for $6.6 million and $7.2 million, respectively.

While in town, “Hunting Vintage” will film from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Shooting will not require any road closures or traffic control.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.