#News: HGTV films in Marathon

Home in Little Venice to be subject of television show

#News: HGTV films in Marathon

First Animal Planet, now HGTV.

The producers of “Vacation House for Free” were in Marathon’s Little Venice neighborhood on Monday to film a house renovation featuring the work of local contractor Royal Crest Builders. (Animal Planet’s feature about Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters aired in late October.)

“They’re inside right now, doing demolition,” said Royal Crest’s Andrew George, nodding toward a crew of construction workers and cameramen inside the canal-front home.

The television show’s premise is a “mortgage-free” vacation home where the owners can purchase a home in a dream location and rent it out for part of the year to cover all the annual expenses.

“They hire designers from New York that fly in and look at the place, too,” said George. “I think they are going to go with a Mediterranean feel.”

The show is hosted by Matt Blashaw — also the host of HGVT’s “Professional Grade,” plus the DIY Network’s “Money Hunters,” Deconstruction,” and “Project Xtreme.”

According to George, the home’s renovation will include opening up the floor plan, installing a slider to face the canal and a new kitchen. The shows producers will return to Marathon to film more footage as the renovation continues. The date for the final show to air has not been determined.

Editor Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes small and weird children (she has two); prefers target practice with a zombie rat poster; and looks best with saltwater dreads. Occasionally she tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.

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