A day ago, “House Hunters International’s” 10th Merida episode was a mystery. But now we know who that North Carolina couple is.
(Caution: Spoilers ahead.)
Jason and Meghan Wier are, as promised, parents who wanted their young kids to benefit from the broadening experience of living abroad.
The story depicted on Thursday’s broadcast is fairly close to the actual home search. Although, of course, they saw more than three houses before making the decision to move to a gated community near their kids’ school.
“We really enjoyed the experience filming the show,” Meghan said this morning, after hosting a small viewing party in their La Ceiba home the night before.
“The crew was amazing. They were patient with us as we figured out how to be on camera and made us comfortable. We laughed a ton that week,” Meghan recalled.
The episode, “Family Magic in Merida,” takes us to the Centro (ignore the animated push-pin map indicating a highway somewhere between Kanasin and Hacienda Teya), the La Ceiba golf-course community north of Merida, and a beachfront house in Chelem. The real estate agent is Luis Perez, an “HHI” veteran who normally sells properties on the Caribbean side of the Yucatan Peninsula. The episode is temporarily viewable on YouTube.
Extra scenes were shot at Casa Azul, Pola Gelato Shop, La Chaya Maya and El Corchito Ecological Preserve in Progreso.
A decade ago, Meghan wrote “Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Life.” So how did she get up the nerve to perform in front of a camera? A crew experienced with non-actors helped.
“The introvert thing didn’t really affect the filming so much — the crew was small and Ethan, the producer, and Luis the Realtor did a great job asking questions and making it seem like we were just talking to them,” recalls Meghan. “The attention part now is a little strange for me … but it was such a positive experience, I don’t mind talking about it when people ask.”
They spoke with Leopard Productions about two years ago after a casting call was shared in a Facebook group. Their motivation to participate in the program was to “have a fun memory with the kids.”
This is familiar territory for the “House Hunters” franchise, which past Merida episodes depicted a single mom with a teen, at least three same-sex couples and a husband-and-wife without kids, travel bloggers looking for a home base and a pair of empty-nesters looking to run a guesthouse.
In reality, the show follows a couple through three homes as they reenact their completed house search. In this case, the couple was in touch with the production company before they bought the house. Filming began, however, after they had already settled into La Ceiba, where some friends from back in Charlotte already lived.
The plot of the program reflects a real city-or-beach conundrum that they wrestled with. The home they chose was in between the two, next to a fairway instead and close to the school where their boys are enrolled.
“We love Merida — we love the vibe in Centro, the ability to walk everywhere and the culture — and obviously, I love the beach areas and the fun, relaxing lifestyle up there,” said Meghan.
But they are happy with their decision. “The community is nice, there are other expat families as well as Mexicans. The architecture is diverse and there are plenty of areas to play and bike. It is a beautiful and established neighborhood that works for us and the kids.”
“It’s kind of fun when people ask where I’m from, and it’s like, I’m in Mexico,” Jason remarked on the program.
The couple both work in home offices, but she says they talk about the Centro and the beach “all the time. Almost every day.”
“We talk about getting a small place in both, and going back and forth. I’d love to go back and forth,” says Meghan. “We may have to wait a couple years, but I will get my beach house.”