UWO alumni receive help from HGTV show


Photo courtesy of Josh and Alli Hughes

UWO alumni Josh and Alli (Kerwin) Hughes happily pose in front of their new Waukesha home.

HGTV’s House Hunters helped two UW Oshkosh alumni purchase their first home in Waukesha on an episode that premiered March 18.
UWO alumni Josh and Alli (Kerwin) Hughes purchased their home in September of 2018.

A 2011 UWO graduate of the radio/TV/film program, Josh found the opportunity to be on the show when browsing the Pie Town Productions website for jobs. He knew several RTF alumni that worked for the company and knew the show wanted conflict.

“People that watched the show say that it’s 100 percent representative of our personalities, so what you’re seeing there is how we act on a daily basis,” Josh said. “If it looks like we’re arguing, it’s actually just playful bickering. I would say we pretty much like the majority of the same things, we’re super expressive on a few things but we’re willing to defend them for each other.”

A UWO marketing major and journalism minor, Alli graduated in 2011 and works for Derse, a face-to-face marketing company located just outside of Miller Park.

“We were so nervous that we were going to come off as annoying or jerks because when you watch the show, everyone’s like ‘Ugh, that couple’s so annoying’ or ‘I can’t stand them,’ but we were actually really pleased with how they portrayed us,” Alli said. “They pretty much portrayed us exactly how we are: goofy, dry sense of humor, really cared about the things we want in the house and really want to find the perfect home for the two of us.”

The episode focused on the conflicts between the couple when searching for a home that fit both of their needs. Alli wanted an open-concept home while Josh wanted a vintage house with a big yard.

Another conflict they faced was the counters; at one point in the episode Josh says a counter looks like it was made for a 13-year-old girl and then calls Alli a 13-year-old girl for liking it.

The couple filmed for five 12-hour days, exploring three different houses and ending with their decision to buy a 1918 home renovated in the 1990s.

“The last house we toured was the house out in the country,” Josh said. “That one was the most stressful because there was a huge storm the night before and the power got knocked out, so we got there and we had to sit around for the power to get back on.”

Josh said he wouldn’t recommend buying a home through House Hunters.

“It was really fun, but I think if I didn’t work in TV before, I wouldn’t know what I was getting into,” Josh said. “I don’t think people realize how stressful and how much hard work it is. You don’t just show up and film, it’s difficult.”

Since buying the house, the couple have painted every room, worked on landscaping outside the house and refinished all of the hardwood floors upstairs.