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Vallarta Stars in HGTV's 'Beachfront Bargain Hunt'

August 18, 2014

Home and Garden Television network recently shot their very popular 'Beachfront Bargain Hunt' program with Puerto Vallarta's Boardwalk Realty, and they did brilliant work in capturing the local beauty and flavor.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Are you like me and a bit upset about all the negative press concerning Mexico? Then I have some great news for you! Home and Garden Television network recently shot their very popular "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" program in Puerto Vallarta, and the results could not have been more beautiful and positive!

From state-of-the-art aerial photography to capturing the local flavor, this show is nothing short of amazing! Shot in a documentary style, the clients visit local properties with an agent given a certain budget and "wish list". Much of Puerto Vallarta's natural beauty is captured along the way and the production team was simply amazing at their jobs. The show is amazingly beautiful!

Though I thought my chances are slim (I am neither experienced at TV nor have I been mistaken for Brad Pitt recently.) I jumped at the chance to audition for the agent on the show anyway. Auditions were done by Skype from the production company for the show based in New York City.

Something I hadn't anticipated was how young everyone was that produced this show! A lively, funny casting producer didn't hurt my audition, in fact we laughed a lot through it. Combine that with my local expertise of the market and it felt like it "worked." The auditions are then sent to HGTV who picks the agent and clients. I was chosen as the agent and two Boardwalk Realty clients, Scott Cain and Brad Barefield, were the clients.

It would take a book to write about all that goes into the 22 minutes of show in the end as it took a solid week to shoot. There are dozens of shots of local islands, beaches, food, street vendors, and generally almost EVERYTHING that makes Vallarta wonderful!

My favorite experience was helping the helicopter operator find fantastic angles to shoot amazing footage. He was wild about the footage we got and put it with his two other favorite places he has shot in his many years of shooting the show. An example is he shot Playa los Muertos (our most popular beach) on Spring Break. You can imagine the activity!

I really enjoyed the experience, as the crew was nothing short of professional and fun. I swear they even made me look tan, and I generally make Casper look like a bronze God! The properties were filmed beautifully and while each had their virtues, in the end the formula for the show is to show which property the clients ultimately buy. I don't want to spoil it for you, but this show had an ending like none before - and the surprise ending helped make this episode really memorable!

Ultimately "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" was a huge positive for Puerto Vallarta and Mexico in general. They did brilliant work at capturing the local beauty and flavor. I have received many, many comments from viewers with the theme "I want to go there!"

How to view the program is region-specific. It seems to be easy in the US as it has already aired there. I'm told those with "On Demand" from Comcast can see it for free and there seem to be other options. For those of us in Canada or Mexico this option doesn't exist and region-blockers seem to be a hurdle. I downloaded it from ITunes store via "TV Shows," then "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" and the episode is called "Hunting Puerto Vallarta." The cost is $3 but there are so many "OMG moments" it is well-worth the price.

In the end I don't think I need a new Tuxedo for my Emmy nomination (I study real estate and nothing more) but it sure was nice to see a major network cast Puerto Vallarta and all the local culture and beauty in a positive light! Bravo HGTV and "Beachfront Bargain Hunt!"

A long-term Puerto Vallarta resident and homeowner, John Swanson is a real estate expert at Boardwalk Realty PV. He is a contributing writer on real estate for local publications and performs locally in the Texas Embassy Blues Band. You can contact him at john(at), or visit his website on living in PV at