Anna Hovet Dias and her husband had no idea when they started looking for a home to buy in Chicago that they would end up on a nationally broadcast television show.
Dias, a 2003 Red River High School alumna who grew up in Grand Forks, and her husband, Nate Dias, will be featured on HGTV’s “House Hunters” at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 10. The show also is scheduled to air at 12 a.m. Friday, June 11.
As first-time home-buyers, the couple knew they needed to gather information and determine their priorities.
“When we were looking for a house, we started watching ‘House Hunters’ to get an idea of what to look for in a house,” Dias said in an email to the Herald. “One day when we were watching, Nate and I joked that we should be on the show. That morning, I applied through the ‘House Hunters’ website and, to our surprise, we were selected.”
For the show, their realtor chose the house options based on the criteria they gave her, including location, amenities, style and other preferences. All were homes the couple had actually considered, Dias said.
The episode, titled “Capital Vs. Comfort in Chicago” on the “House Hunters” website, was filmed in February. The show’s website offers this summary: “Lifelong renters are looking for their first home in the heart of Chicago. They want it to include a rental property, but while she’s focused on the investment, he wants to make sure that everything still feels like home.”
In their search for a new home in Chicago, Dias and her husband wanted a multi-unit property near the bike path he takes to work every day, she said. They wanted to live in part of the property and rent out the remainder.
“Two- and three-unit homes are very popular in Chicago, and we realized we could cut our mortgage down significantly by purchasing a multi-unit (property) and becoming landlords,” she said.
Her husband’s main requirements included a yard and “a nice bathtub,” she said. He did not want an open-concept floor plan, because “he likes his kitchen to himself.”
“My criteria were lots of natural light, a garage and (a property that) was a financially smart investment,” she said.
She and her husband bought one of the homes featured in the episode, but they are prohibited by the show’s producers from divulging certain information about the show. She said in an email, “You’ll have to wait to see the episode to see why we chose the one we did!”
Dias moved to Chicago at age 18 to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned a degree in fashion. Dias, a fashion designer, and her husband, an optician, have been married about a year and a half.
Clothing in her fashion line, Hovet Apparel, was sold in numerous Grand Forks boutiques from 2010 to 2017, she said. Anna participated in several fashion shows in Grand Forks during that time, including solo shows at Level 10 in downtown and as a participating designer in the annual “Fashion Affair,” also staged downtown. She presented a Tedx Talk in Grand Forks in 2014.
Dias sold her fashion line in 2017 and pivoted to fashion consulting, she said. The focus of her company, Hovet Fashion Studio, is helping clients create and develop fashion lines.
She also works as a tutor for high school students as they prepare to take college entrance exams, said her father, Duane Hovet, of Grand Forks.
No stranger to broadcast programming, Dias has appeared on several news segments over the years and was a contestant on a reality show, “So You Wanna Be a Designer.” The latter wasn’t aired on TV, but was a web series, sponsored by the Kenmore appliance company, that was broadcast live on Facebook in 2011.
About their appearance on “House Hunters,” Dias and her husband are pleased with the outcome of their home-buying experience, she said. “We love our new home.”
“House Hunters” is broadcast on channel 35 on the local Midco cable system. The episode is listed as Season 202 Episode 1 on the show’s website.