McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

May 14, 2014

House Hunters follows OSU grads as they buy house in Colorado

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University graduates Sara Brown and Matt Jeffery star in the reality TV show “House Hunters” at 9 p.m. Wednesday on HGTV.

The married couple met at OSU when Jeffery cast his future bride to be in a student movie he was filming with his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers. She had come to Stillwater from Houston as a legacy with her parents, Karen Brown and David Bale, now of Anchorage, Alaska, graduating from OSU, too. Her mother is a 1974 graduate of Stillwater High School and her grandparents, John and Beverly Bale, still live in town. John Bale retired as the university’s associate business dean. Brown’s aunt and uncle, Mike and Benita Bale, work at OSU, too.

Jeffery, a 1999 Enid High School graduate, and Brown remain die-hard Cowboy fans as season football ticket holders. His parents, Paul and Vicki Jeffery, live in Enid.

With OSU business degrees, and OSU Career Services helping them get their foot in the door, their careers took off and both were named OSU Spears School of Business Outstanding Young Alumni in 2012. As contract managers, they faced a move from Albuquerque, N.M., to the Boulder area around the time that massive floods hit Colorado. With a big move to plan, the fans of “House Hunters” decided to apply for the television show’s assistance. They completed applications and interviews including a preliminary taping with HGTV, along with acquiring the approval of their company management team at Ball Aerospace Technologies Corp.

“House Hunters” takes viewers behind the scenes to learn what to look for and decide whether or not a home is meant for them. Focusing on the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode shows the process as buyers search for a house. The broadcast features three properties, one of which is selected by the couple.

Jeffery said he craved a house with character that had some history and heritage to it. He wanted a place nestled in a grove of mature trees, not those puny bush-like plants seen in new developments. At the other end of the perspective, Brown is almost allergic to antiques because she grew up in a home filled with them. She preferred a modern home with clean, crisp lines.

“My mother has beautiful antiques – really priceless furniture ... but growing up, drawers wouldn’t open – and you have to be very careful,” Brown said. “Everything’s all about function for me. I also wanted an updated house with a big kitchen.”

A basement was a key factor for Jeffery. He said since the northwest Denver-Boulder area was so popular the demand for housing is great with buyers often required to move quickly to get the house they want.

“There’s stress in the urgency,” Brown said about the homebuying process in an area which has been named one of the best places to live in America.

They said their Realtor,  Laina Maule, along with the “House Hunters” crew, made the process fun. Five days were spent filming with a “party on the set everyday,” Brown said.

They had to come together and act quickly to get the right house when it came on the market – a scenario played out in the episode Wednesday night.

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