LAKENGREN — This time last year, an HGTV crew visited the private Lakengren community to shoot an episode of Lakefront Bargain Hunt for its eighth season.
The episode originally aired on April 29, but according to realtor Andrew Gaydosh, it is still available to watch on demand.
The episode follows a young couple from Florida, who wants to spend more time with their family up north, but still wants to live on the water. They decide to look for a vacation home at Lake Lakengren.
How did HGTV know about Preble County? Gaydosh had a connection through a previous television show he shot for TruTV. He had pitched Lake Lakengren for Lakefront Bargain Hunt in the past, but to no success. Producers called him up before season eight looking for another pitch and he sold them on the merits of Lakengren.
Gaydosh specializes in Lakengren real estate. The couple who starred in the show were referred by her sister, who was a client of Gaydosh. The sister knew the couple was looking for a lake house in the Dayton area and thought Lakengren would be a good fit.
“They are a young couple and were probably ideal set up for the show, because they had the time to do it. They both work in the technology field, so they work a lot of hours, but can get off if they need to. It was a five-day shoot and they were able to take that time off of work. They were really excited to do it, were the perfect couple, and I think they did a great job,” Gaydosh said.
“Everyone was super supportive. The hard part was the reception of the people who own the houses. I had to call them and ask if we could film in their home,” he said. “It was mixed, because many of them were not sure if they wanted their house shown on television. They had improvements they wanted to make. All of them warmed up to it and we were able to get permission from all three of the houses we showed.”
“We were able to send my in-house stager out a couple weeks in advance for all three of the houses,” Gaydosh said. “That way, when the crew came to town they didn’t have to spend their time and energy staging them. The interesting part is, they made us take down all the art and pictures — anything that could be trademarked. If there is something artistic on the wall, the artist would have the image rights to that, even though they sold that particular picture.”
He added, the entire community of Lake Lakengren and even the City of Eaton were supportive of the filming. They were even able to shoot at the Pork Festival. There were situations when they had to ask neighbors to alter their schedule or plans, so they could get the perfect shot, but everyone in the community was accepting and supportive, Gaydosh said.
During filming, the biggest eye-opening experience for Gaydosh was the preparation needed for a half hour show.
“I had over 100 releases I had to have signed from homeowners, so I could show images of their homes. I had to have releases for entering the premises and them driving our boats. Whatever we did, we needed a release for it. For every scene that you see, there are four or five different angles to that,” he said.
“They would do one scene where you’re coming up, and then they would do another take from a different angle. The process was a lot more in depth then I thought it would be from my first reality show experience.”
The buzz generated from the show has been huge for business and the Lakengren community in general. Gaydosh now has a waiting list of buyers who are looking to move into the community. Many of them had never heard of Lakengren prior to the show.
“I even had a call a month after the show came out, from a guy wanting to know if there are any vacation rentals that his family could come out and vacation at Lake Lakengren this summer,” Gaydosh said. “I had to explain that it isn’t as big as it would seem on screen and we don’t allow weekly rentals.”
“It is amazing the positive impact it has made,” he added. “The property values on the water have gone up considerably as a result of exposure. We don’t have a lot of inventory on the water and they are easy to sell. I can sell most of the houses before they even hit the market, because I have a waiting list.”
“I think a lot of people didn’t know that Lakengren existed before this show,” Gaydosh said. “When the original developers developed Lakengren, they were in and out of here by 1972. There has been nobody besides myself who has really been promoting Lakengren as a whole to get more people here.”
“I’m promoting it locally to the Cincinnati and Dayton area, but when you get a television program that is nationally broadcasted, you are getting calls from people who never knew it existed,” he said. “You’re getting the national attention that is creating the demand.
“Number two, those who are seeing it for the first time see that it is a little different then their first perception,” he said. “When people say a smaller lake, they think it is a pond, but the show illustrates that it is a two and a half mile lake. You can go out and water ski or jet ski, you can do whatever you want on the lake. The show showcased that.”
Gaydosh appreciates the show was able to trust Lakengren had all the amenities they were looking for. He feels blessed to be able to showcase and represent the community in the way he did.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH