HGTV to spotlight MDI



JC and Tracey Neel, right, talk about the Mount Desert Island house they were considering buying during filming for an episode of the "Island Life" television show in June. The episode will air next month. Looking on is Swan Agency real estate agent Erica Brooks. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEFT/RIGHT PRODUCTIONS

JC and Tracey Neel, right, talk about the Mount Desert Island house they were considering buying during filming for an episode of the “Island Life” television show in June. The episode will air next month. Looking on is Swan Agency real estate agent Erica Brooks.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LEFT/RIGHT PRODUCTIONS

BAR HARBOR — Just as football season winds down, there’s a new spectator sport to look forward to: couples house-hunting on Mount Desert Island.

The cable and satellite channel Home and Garden TV (HGTV) is premiering a new show Jan. 1 called “Island Life.” Two of the early episodes focus on couples looking at houses in Bar Harbor and Mount Desert. Those episodes are scheduled to run Jan. 11 and 25.

HGTV already has two series, “Hawaii Life” and “Caribbean Life,” that are combination house-hunting shows and travelogues.

“Every episode celebrates a family or couple who have decided to leave the chaos behind and live in a place where most people would dream of vacationing,” said Erin Sax, executive producer for the shows.

“We wanted to expand on that, and “Island Life” is the result. We’re focusing on islands around the continental United States that families want to move to.”

She said MDI is definitely one of those islands.

“It’s an extraordinary place, an incredibly beautiful place.”

Sax works for Left/Right, the New York-based company that produces the HGTV house-hunting shows. Last spring, the company contacted the Swan Agency in Bar Harbor about the idea of shooting an episode or two of “Island Life” on MDI. Erica Brooks is the Swan Agency broker who ended up working with them.

“I got them hooked up with two sets of buyers who were clients of mine,” Brooks said. “They were really great sports; they had a lot of fun.”

The clients were John Fottrell and Megan Hopkins, and J.C. and Tracy Neel.

“Each couple looked at three homes on the island. They picked the home they liked, and that’s the home they ended up buying,” Brooks said.

She said the homes featured in the show ranged in price from $300,000 to $500,000.

In addition to the houses, the shows focus on the beauty and uniqueness of MDI and give viewers an idea of why people want both to visit and settle down here, Brooks said.

The production crew spent two weeks in June shooting the MDI episodes of “Island Life.”

“It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too,” Brooks said. “At the end of the day, we’d go have beer and lobster rolls with the crew. They were pretty impressed. They loved MDI.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article contained an error. The couple pictured is JC and Tracey Neel.

 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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