15 Facts About Love It Or List It's Hilary And David

This dynamic duo made the HGTV series "Love It or List It" sizzle with their snappy repartee and head-to-head competitive spirit. But there is more to design expert Hilary Farr and real estate agent David Visentin than is shown on the beloved long-running series. They have so much chemistry on the show and bicker and laugh like a long-time married couple that viewers have wondered if they are a real-life couple. The truth? Not at all. He is happily married, according to Barrie Today, while she is happily single. Instead, Farr and Visentin are good friends who often dine together and regularly talk on the phone (via Realtor). 

But there are many other things about these stars that few would have guessed, like how Farr used to be an actress (yes, that was her in a small role in 1975's "The Ricky Horror Picture Show") and how she loves to cook and garden. As for Visentin, he got his career in real estate way back in the 1980s with his father (via HGTV). He also makes a bundle these days as a public speaker doling out advice in the real estate market. They also have happy home lives: He is a father to 11-year-old son Logan, while she has an adult son and a black dog named Suki. Here is a closer look at the talented TV stars and what makes them tick when the cameras are turned off.

They are NOT romantically involved

Hilary Farr and David Visentin have such great chemistry on their highly rated series that it may seem like a bit of romance is going on behind the scenes. After all, they respect each other but tend to bicker here and there, and if that does not sound like an old married couple, we do not know what does. The two are so well suited for each other that Farr has even joked that it feels like they were placed in an "arranged marriage."

"Once I was chosen as 'Love It or List It's' on-air designer, I was paired with a few realtors [as potential costars]," Hilary explained to TV Insider in July 2018. "I had my eye on a tall, dark-haired guy with blue eyes, but David beat the competition, and the rest is history. We were put together like an arranged marriage." So maybe all those long hours on set led to some late-night candlelit dinners? No. It turns out they are only good friends. Honestly! And they have their own separate love lives. Farr was married to TV producer Gordon Farr from 1982 to 2008. Together they have one son named Josh Farr, who is now an adult with a wife and three kids of his own, per Closer Weekly. David is still a happily married man: He has been wed to his wife Krista Visentin since 2006, and they share one son, 11-year-old Logan.

They met during casting of the show

They are a match made in the TV world, meaning they weren't friends before the show and instead met during the TV casting process. Casting directors were looking at several people to star in the series and put them in the same room together to see how they would interact. If there was no sizzle, one or both would be asked to go home for good. It was their first introduction, and they were understandably apprehensive about how well they would click, especially with several producers staring at them, waiting for the magic to happen. 

"We met at the audition for the show. We did not know each other before that. We were thrown together by HGTV. Here we are 10 years and 200-odd episodes later," Visentin told TV Insider. And he also says Farr doesn't remember them meeting for the first time. He told People, "She actually says she doesn't even remember me from the audition." Farr did not deny the claim: "It's the truth," she told the site. "However, pleasantly surprised because he makes me laugh. And that's pretty great." It seems those HGTV casting directors knew what they were doing when they paired these two. Their show "Love It or List It" launched in 2008 to great success (via HGTV) and has lasted for an impressive 18 seasons, making them household names.

She used to be an actress

Now we know where Hilary Farr's flair for the dramatic on "Love It or List It" comes from. According to her website, she was born in Toronto, Canada, and raised in London, where she grew up performing in theater under the name Hilary Labow. Next came Hollywood movies. According to IMDb, she has appeared in "Layout for 5 Models" (1972), "Sex Farm" (1973), "Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width" (1973), "Legend of the Werewolf" (1975), "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), and "City on Fire" (1979). She also performed a singing role as Marty in the stage performance of "Grease" in London in 1973 with Richard Gere as Danny Zucko. In the early 1980s, she had small parts in television sitcoms like "The Return," "The Greatest American Hero," and "We Got It Made." 

But then she started doing personal assistant work for Ted Danson when he was on "Cheers" in the late '80s and early '90s, she told Meaww. "I was Ted's 'D' girl. I found scripts and ideas for him to either produce or act in. He was a dream to work with." When asked what it would take to get her to act again, she said it would be as simple as an offer. Someone call Central Casting!

Hilary once had a dream of becoming a ballerina

A born performer, Farr grew up wanting to be a dancer, specifically a ballerina. "My first career was originally as a dancer, then an actress," she told NextAdvisor. As a young girl, she studied at the Royal Ballet School in London, a world-class ballet school that was founded nearly 100 years ago. Admission to the school is based exclusively on a dancer's talent and potential, so we have no doubt that Farr was an exceptional ballerina. The reason she stopped ballet? She grew too tall, starting around age 11.

While she traded in pirouettes and pliés for renovation and style — first as a designer in Toronto and now as a tough-yet-lovable designer on "Love It or List It" — Farr is still impressing and rubbing off on those around her. Check out this dance compilation of some of the dance steps on the show over the years (via YouTube). It turns out she's still got all the right moves.

She's appeared on Broadway

Whether she's on TV or performing on the stage, Farr has star power. As we've mentioned, she has a history as a film actor, but she's also been on Broadway. According to Internet Broadway Database, she starred in the opening night cast of "Run for Your Wife," under the name Hilary Labow. She portrayed Barbara Smith in the play, which had 39 performances from March 7, 1989, to April 9, 1989, at the Virginia Theatre, now known as the August Wilson Theatre. Check out the Playbill from the show!

The New York Times reviewed the performance and said, "On Broadway, ”Run for Your Wife!' puts America's fondness for British comedy to a stress test," and concluded most characters weren't utilized for their comedy. The reviewer wrote, "Hilary Labow, is simply treated as décor." Farr has maintained her love of live theatre over the years, including performing as the character Malignicent in Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty in Toronto in 2016.

He has worked as a real estate agent since the 1980s

He doesn't just pretend to be a real estate agent for his show, "Love It or List It." Visentin really works as a real estate agent, which he has done with pride for over three decades. After graduating from West Humber Collegiate Institute and the University of Waterloo, he began his career as an agent in 1987. HGTV reports he signed with Country Living Realty in Barrie, Ontario. The star helped clients buy and sell homes alongside his dad Nick Visentin for over 16 years. According to his HGTV bio, he is a "top agent" who is best known for his negotiating skills.

We see this action on the show all of the time. Viewers constantly watch him trying to get contestants on "Love It or List It" to dump their old homes Farr has remodeled so he can — hopefully! — get them to buy a house from him so he can land that nice commission check. His fame as a real estate agent on the TV show has led to him being a successful public speaker on the topic, and according to AAE Speakers, he makes anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for speaking live at an event.

The stars are very competitive with each other

"Love It or List It" would not be any fun if Farr and Visentin really saw eye to eye on everything. Their constant pushing and pulling is what really makes the show crackle because you can never truly be sure when one of them will explode with annoyance. And they seem to know that is indeed the magic formula to their screen success. Visentin and Farr also told People that their good-natured bickering is what has contributed to the show's high ratings. "How can competition be friendly?" Visentin said. "What we're very skilled at is getting over arguments." And she weighed in: "We actually do get really angry. Mostly, I get really angry." 

He admitted to TV Insider that the competition you see on "Love It or List It" is real. When asked who is more competitive, he said, "We are both, [but] I am a little more laid-back than Hilary. Would you hire Hilary to redesign your home if you needed a renovation?" She quipped in, "Maybe I'm a bit more. I think David has a different way to describe that aspect of me. [Laughs]." Call them the modern day Lucy and Desi!

He often doles out smart real estate advice

Starring in "Love It Or List It" is only one of David Vestin's gigs. He also likes to dole out real estate advice to media outlets like the talk show "Harry" with Harry Connick Jr. and the morning show "Today," per IMDb. The star has also stopped by "The Kelly Clarkson Show" and "Megyn Kelly Today," where the host complimented him on his humor. 

And his words are wise. For example, the star shared with Time in 2021 how to make a good financial offer in a real estate deal when the market is hot. "You have to go into it making the offer as if there are no other offers," Visentin said, stressing that the offer has to make sense for you financially. Rather than being swept away by the competition, stick to your budget and don't increase it just to beat other buyers. "Do not, no matter what you think, go beyond that max," he shared. "It's really tough for buyers to do this. Because they get emotionally involved in a house. But you really do have to take that out of the equation."

Hilary is a homebody who loves her kitchen

Hilary Farr travels all over the world for her career, which can tire anyone out. So the place she likes to hang out the most is her cozy and beautifully designed home in Toronto. She spends a lot of her down time in her homey quarters while wearing PJs as she cooks in her chef's kitchen, she shared with The Arizona Republic. "I believe in spending money to make your home the perfect sanctuary away from work and the stress of everyday life. Great kitchens are a must-have. A place to relax and cook for friends and family. A gathering place for family of all ages and guests is a staple for me as well." 

She shared a peek into her kitchen on Instagram, and it's easy to see why she likes to hang out there: It is white with a big island and a serious oven. She is not a shabby cook either, judging from the photos of baked goods she uploads to her social media accounts. She shares recipes for her berry cheesecake, which is unusual as it includes cottage cheese, eggs and yogurt instead of cream cheese. "Simple, easy, delicious!" she told her followers of the tasty treat. And she also has a unique recipe for her special Caprese salad as it calls for not just basil (which is traditional) but also garlic and parsley. Looks like home is where the Farr is.

She is a pet person

Farr loves to have her fuzzy friends around her. According to her website, her cute little Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix dog Mimi passed away in 2020 at 17 years old. "November 19th at 3:10 am Mimi's heart stopped beating and my heart cracked and fractured into a thousand pieces. The sadness I am feeling is overwhelming and my tears won't stop as I write this," she said on her site. But she seems to have found some other four-legged friends to call her own. She has a black dog named Suki in her life. She shared on Facebook in November 2021: "Meet Suki! She'll be coming to her forever home all the way from India on November 4th!" Suki has already become a star on Farr's Instagram page. 

She also has a light gray car with one eye named Puff, who loves to lounge. She even lets the fuzzy four-legged friend lay on her dark wood dining room table with his paws in the air (via Instagram). Farr has told her fans that she has rescued all her animals and often says, "Adopt, don't shop!"

They are both loaded

It pays to be on a hit HGTV show, and these superstars are far from hurting financially. In fact, they are both millionaires many times over, thanks to the long-running "Love It or List It" series. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Farr has an estimated net worth of $8 million, and it seems like she has worked hard to get it. The talented designer not only started her own decorating company, Hilary Farr Designs, but she also started hosting her own spinoff show, "Tough Love with Hilary Farr," in December 2021. It looks like she is enjoying spending her money, too, as her Instagram page shows her often on beach vacations on the Jersey Shore in New Jersey and on exciting trips to Africa, where she visited an elephant sanctuary. 

Similar to his co-star, Visentin is worth $6 million. In addition to "Love It or List It," he has sold real estate for decades and works as a public speaker, sometimes even charging up to $50,000 for a live appearance.

He has done a ton of other shows

When Visentin's show "Love It or List It" debuted in 2008, he became an overnight star thanks to his unforgettable charisma and keen knowledge of real estate. And soon after, various shows were interested in having him as a guest star. That led to the agent appearing on other TV shows – some famous and others not so famous. According to IMDb, the property expert was seen in 2011 on the Country Music Channel's show "Kortney & Dave: By Request" with Dean Brody, Dave Wilson, and Kortney Wilson. The series featured various country music stars telling stories. Visentin then starred with Property Brothers twins Jonathan and Drew Scott on the home improvement show "Brother vs. Brother" in 2013 and "Brother vs. Brother: Highlights," a TV documentary that aired in 2015. 

Visentin then popped up on the competition show "Makeover Manor" in 2013, where designers all lived in the same Atlanta house as they tried to win $500,000 for their designs. What we're waiting for? For him to pop up on his co-star's spinoff show, "Tough Love with Hilary Farr." Fingers crossed!

She loves her new solo show

Hilary Farr has her own sassy spinoff show that is all her! She is the lead of her own solo show called "Tough Love with Hilary Farr," which debuted in December 2021. It is an eight-episode series that helps families update their homes "with a dash of tough love," according to her HGTV bio. And it is right up her alley. "I've been having so much fun taping this new show," she said on Instagram

"For years, I've helped thousands of people love their homes," she said in a press release, via TV Insider. "Now I'm working with families whose problems are way bigger than bad floor plans. Upgrading these spaces will be a challenge, but transforming these homeowners' lives is where the real work begins. The end result is always worth it." In one episode, she renovated and updated a 200-year-old barn; in another, she created a basement party space. The star was also seen jazzing up a bedroom suite for a retired mother. As the title suggests, Farr does not sugar coat anything as she prefers to get to the point with her clients. She even told one woman — gasp! — that she has "horrible taste" (via IMDb). So far, there is no word if the show will get a second season.

She has a green thumb

When not baking desserts in her kitchen, Farr likes to garden in her backyard to help her de-stress from a day of filming. She told the Toronto Star that maintaining a well-designed backyard is important. "Look at the garden as an extension of the home," she advised. The star loves to plant white flowers all around her home and keeps an eye on them all summer. 

The woman with a green thumb discussed her love of gardening on Instagram, where she showed off some of her blossoms while soaking up the sun. "I absolutely love being in the garden and outdoor, in general," wrote the TV star in her caption as she sat among her plants. "Seeing the flora, fauna and critters make it their home. Even with the sweltering heat wave in Toronto, I'm out enjoying the sun and relaxing today!" White hydrangeas, ferns, and jasmine lined her sitting area, filled with pea gravel, wood chairs, and lanterns. Another image showed a bush of white daisies, and an additional photo revealed a large metal sign that spelled out the word "love," driving home the point that she loves the great outdoors.

She's a breast cancer survivor

Farr has had three breast health scares. In 2012, a suspicious lump seen during a routine mammogram was found to be pre-cancerous, and she had a lumpectomy. Then in 2014, while she was shooting "Love It or List It" in North Carolina, a mammogram revealed she had invasive breast cancer. Farr had a lumpectomy and later found out she was supposed to receive radiation treatment, which her doctor told her wasn't necessary. A year later, she started a 28-day radiation therapy. Months later, another lump was found. Farr had another lumpectomy to remove what turned out to be a pre-cancerous tumor. 

The designer filed a complaint about the doctor who told her that she didn't need radiation and that doctor retired the following year. Farr is in remission now and encourages others to get screened. "Fear of breast cancer stops a lot of women from getting checked. But as terrifying as it is, you face it," she told People.