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Local couple dishes on national TV house hunt

By: Jenifer Gee, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn-area couple is reeling from their Friday night debut on national television. Dan and Marissa Heflin were featured on national cable channel Home and Garden Television’s popular show, “House Hunters” Friday night. The young couple was part of a weeklong series on living green. The show taped part of their house hunt, watching the couple visit three homes and then revealing the three-bedroom, two-bath Christian Valley bungalow they finally settled into. The Heflins, who said they are fans of the show, said they enjoyed the experience of a camera crew following a part of their search for a home despite some “awkward” moments. “It was almost like acting,” Marissa Heflin said. “We expressed our own emotions and our own words and everything we were feeling but it was in order.” She added that they also had to be conscious of where the cameras were and not to look at them. Dan Heflin added that the couple had fun working with the producers. They said in the week leading up to the airing of their show, they recorded other “House Hunters” episodes to re-watch the commercial they were featured on. “We rewind it a couple of times,” Marissa Heflin said. “Because we’re vain,” Dan Heflin joked. The eco-conscience duo ultimately selected an older home that had built-in green design features. For example, a pellet stove in the living room heats the room, which saves on gas costs. A natural tree canopy keeps the home cool during the summer and a garden allows the Heflins to grow some of their own herbs and vegetables and have their own compost pile. “We’ve always been of the mind frame to conserve and be green,” Marissa Heflin said. “Here it gave us more of an opportunity to do that.” Additionally, a local Auburn paint business, Kelly-Moore, donated eco-friendly paint to the couple after they asked for suggestions. The show is also taping the duo searching for reclaimed hardwood flooring to eventually replace their carpeted home. Their Realtor, Marti Messina, of Lyon Real Estate, said a lot of the features the couple was looking for and found in their home are common for the Auburn area. She said she was surprised at the couple’s final decision for a home because originally they stated they wanted a more modern residence. Their older home today is in contrast with their first wish list. “It had carpet and paneling and flowered wall paper — all of things on the not list,” Messina said. But when they decided to make an offer on that home, “it thrilled me,” Messina said. “I wanted them to buy a house that they loved and they got a fantastic deal.” Messina was originally contacted by someone connected with the show and asked if she had a couple in mind for green week. She offered up the Heflins, who sent in an audition tape and were ultimately selected. Marissa Heflin also works from a new home office, which keeps the couple’s commuter costs low. Dan Heflin works for a medical supply company his family owns and is based in Rocklin. The Heflins said after Dan worked for nine months in Rocklin they decided to make the move from their 750-square-foot condominium in Long Beach to the 1,400-square-foot home they bought in Christian Valley. Dan Heflin said they “immediately” liked the Auburn area for its natural setting and tranquil lifestyle. “There were a lot of distinct, unique things about Auburn that we really liked,” Dan Heflin said. “It wasn’t cookie cutter,” Marissa Heflin added. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.