Brandon Mosher, with River Hills Properties in Little Falls, will be featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s ‘Lakefront Bargain Hunt’ television show.

by Dave Warner

House-hunting programs on HGTV cover all the options, from buyers honing in on fixer-uppers and off-the-grid options to cabin cribs and container homes. On “Lakefront Bargain Hunt,” the spotlight is on water lovers who dream of weekends or summers ‘living by the dock of the bay’.

In each episode, a family on the hunt for an escape from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives tours multiple waterfront properties. With the help of a real estate agent, the hope is to find the perfect lakeside home without breaking the bank.

Brandon Mosher, with River Hills Properties in Little Falls, was approached for an episode after they noticed a property that he had sold down on State Route 80 near Cooperstown. “They reached out to me and said hey, we haven’t filmed in this part of New York for a long time and we wanted to jump in and show what it would be like in the Cooperstown area.”

Mosher explained the show by saying, “Take a property or a camp on Otsego or Canadarago Lake in the $300-$500,000 price range and put that in Lake Tahoe and it could go for $1.5 to $2.2 million. So that shows that there is really a bargain when you buy something like that in upstate New York. That’s the gist of the show.”

The producers felt that it was a unique area that would film well, but Mosher wanted them to showcase something closer to his hometown of Little Falls. He asked, “Could we accompany something a little closer on a lake like Canadarago Lake?”

So, the HGTV team ended up shooting two houses on Otsego Lake, and two on Canadarago Lake.

Mosher said that the organization of the show producers was amazing. “Six-thirty in the morning I’d get a screenshot of a menu saying lunch is at 11:30 what do you want for lunch? You need tums, we’ve got that. Aspirin? We’ve got that too. Everything was just right there.”

“It wasn’t until the second day of the show that I realized when you are mic’d up, everyone on the set can hear what you’re saying, so I’d just be talking about stuff between shoots. On day three, I’m making the audio and camera guys laugh between scenes and the producer said, you know the editors are going to have to cut all of this out. It was pretty funny,” he said.

Mosher said you get compensated $500 for doing research for the show, but that’s about it.

Shooting started at 8 am each of the four days and there was about an hour of prep-time before the cameras started rolling. “They’d do b-roll and all as the sun was coming up and the birds were all chirping and everything else was getting organized. Then, they might do a little personal interview segment with us for b-roll as well,” he stated.

Mosher also said that when each day started, they wanted to fire everyone up, so there would be a lot of ‘motivational’ screaming. “It was great, and then we’d start shooting. The first scene was the clients walking up and an introduction to the house.”

Once a couple of those scenes were finished, they’d do closeups, but then would come the tedious shots – the wide angles.

“We’d go through that five more times, but my favorite thing was that each time we’d close out a scene, we would sit for a soundcheck for about 20 seconds. We’d have that little moment of relaxation before we’d head to the next spot,” Mosher stated.

The team would spend three to four hours at each property, and then film their closes – what the potential buyer’s thoughts were about each property. “After that, we’d have a quick lunch and then go to the next property on the list,” he said.

Each day ended at about 6 pm.

That was the routine for the first three days of shooting. “The fourth day was the home that they ended up choosing, which was the one we spent the most time at,” Mosher said.

After all the shooting was finished, the production company put on a BBQ at Baker’s Beach on Canadarago Lake. “It was pretty nice. Just the organization that they brought to everything was really, really cool.”

Mosher said that he thought the budget for those four days was about $350,000. “Two days after we finished filming they had their B-Crew come up and do drone shots, background shots and everything that they were going to use during that episode.”

He said that he was even able to get several plugs in for Little Falls. “I talked about how it was a gateway to the Adirondacks and why people buy property in this area.”

Mosher said the impact to his business at this point has been minimal, but might tic up after the episode airs. “People have come up to me and asked when it will air.”

He’s hoping that it helps keep Little Falls and the area in the news. “That’s an important facet for me because Little Falls is really starting to become a place that people want to come to. So, we can create that sense that not only are we a premier community but an affordable one as well.”

Mosher said that one of the biggest surprises for the film crew was how beautiful the area was. “It seems like they thought it would be somewhat like the mid-west…flat, but then they got up here and saw the mountains and how close we were to the high-peaks area.”

It also didn’t hurt that they were in the area during the peak foliage season last September. “It was pretty cool,” he said. “The buyers were wonderful people as well and they got a great log home for $537,000, a 1/2 acre lot and 100′ feet of waterfront, which would be well over a million dollars in any other market.”

“To have that kind of property 20 minutes from Little Falls is something really special for us – to be able to have that kind of lifestyle just a short drive away,” Mosher said.

The show that Mosher is in is scheduled to air sometime in February.