If you never believe me when I tell you that life revolves around real estate, you should have been up in McKinney on Saturday afternoon. Home and Garden Television chose Meritage Homes  for an episode of it’s new competition reality show, “Showhouse Showdown,”  featuring two designers duking it out for the chance to win the “best design” award. The setting was  two new Meritage model homes in McKinney off Virginia Parkway, and despite the heat, the throngs were out — even infants! The designers, Aaron Duke and Ashley Astleford,  were chosen from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and given eight weeks and buckets of cash, then told to go to town on two identical Collin county glammed up $300,000 ISH builder homes. And glam they did. Five rooms, 3200 square foot four bedroom homes with master down, living, two and a half baths, kids rooms and a gameroom up.

Meritage Homes is the only large national homebuilder to be 100 percent Energy Star-qualified in every home since January 2010, and plans to open six more new communities in Texas. Meritage, like Darling and other builders, are also busy building and selling homes, one reason why the area caught the eye of HGTV:

“Building is going on in the state of Texas,” Dawn Stroupe, executive producer of “Showhouse Showdown” told Star Local News. “Your economy is doing well. We found by reaching out to builders throughout the nation that there is a lot of building going on in the state. ”

(Would someone maybe ring up Bob Shiller?)

The designers for the showcase homes are carefully selected, do their thingee, and then the public troops through the homes like they did today, voting on who they like the best. And though we were there today, basking in the glory of TV, melting in the 4:00 pm sun — I swear it was 99 degrees — we are not sure who the winner is. HG is so tricky, they shoot two endings (after many takes but I think I lost 10lbs of water weight!) and then use the one with the actual winner for the show when they edit. So we cheered for both designers, whose tastes could not have been more different

Stroupe says it’s all the public’s choice and taste. The schtick is that in each show episode, two designers with  differing design aesthetics create a vision and then, the public says “this is the one I would buy” or like or whatever. HGTV was on hand interviewing people for their thoughts on the homes, real estate, and home buying in general. Like I said: life revolves around real estate, especially here in Texas!

The Gold Envelope

David Call, Ashley Astleford, Glen Boudreaux, me, Aaron Duke