Moms

Viewers can follow Fort Worth couple's first-home journey

It wasn't enough of a challenge for Kurt and Holly Schaal of Fort Worth to plan a wedding and shop for their dream home at the same time.

They chose to raise the difficulty level another notch by letting a camera crew from HGTV's My First Place shadow them while they went house-hunting.

The Schaals found the right house. It's located just west of downtown Fort Worth, near Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Their wedding, on Aug. 18, was a success as well -- although getting back from their Costa Rica honeymoon was complicated by a brush with Hurricane Isaac.

Now comes something new for Holly Schaal to worry about: It's time for the couple's My First Place episode to air. It'll be on at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

"We have not seen any of the show yet," Schaal says. "You always hear horror stories about how they edit you and how they make you look bad and this and that. So I'm just a little bit nervous.

"I'm hoping I don't come off looking too much like a ditsy blonde."

It was late 2011 when the couple learned that HGTV was looking for house-hunting couples to feature in My First Place.

Their real estate agent, Carley J. Moore, based out of Coldwell Banker's Fort Worth Tanglewood office, told them she had had clients who applied to be on the show but were passed over.

"I took a couple of days and thought about it," Holly Schaal says, "and then finally decided, 'I'll just go for it and see what happens. Why not? I'm sure we'll never get on the show anyway.'"

But a couple of days before Thanksgiving, she received a call from a producer at High Noon Entertainment.

Even though she was "super nervous" during the phone interview, she apparently did well enough that the producer then talked to Moore and Kurt Schaal, then followed up with an on-camera interview, just to be certain that the couple and their agent wouldn't freeze on camera like deer in headlights.

Filming started the week after Christmas.

Holly, a Fort Worth native, is an accountant at Approach Resources, a Fort Worth-based oil and natural gas company. Kurt, a commercial banker at BBVA Compass, is originally from Longview, but he went to TCU and stayed in Fort Worth after college.

They met through Holly's best friend almost five years ago.

The small element of drama in their My First Place episode involves budgetary concerns. They wanted to buy an older, historic home -- "We were looking at 100-year-old homes mostly," Holly says -- yet they didn't want to go overboard on price because they also wanted to be able to afford the wedding.

"We're really happy with the house we ended up with," Holly says. "It's a four-bedroom, upgraded Tudor-style home that was built in the 1920s. It's about 1,800 square feet and in really good condition."

Holly is a diehard HGTV viewer. "We kind of watched HGTV as a teaching tool," she says, "so we could learn what all goes into buying a home, what kinds of problems we might face, things like that."

Now, assuming everything goes well in the episode, the Schaals will have a unique filmed history of how they found their first home to save along with their wedding video.

And they didn't even have to pay someone to shoot the house-hunting video.

"The main reason we did this was we thought it would be fun," Holly says. "We liked the idea of having this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not a lot of people get to do this kind of thing.

"So we were fortunate -- and hopefully we won't regret it after we watch the show."

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