SouthState Banker ‘Hunts’ for New Florida Home

Child looking through camera on HGTV House Hunters
Hundreds of people close on their forever home each day, but only a select few do it on national television. Such was the case with SouthState’s Evan Nicolosi, who recently appeared on the new season of HGTV’s House Hunters.

A small business loan underwriter, Nicolosi worked with fellow SouthState banker Shannon Torman to finance the new family home in St. Augustine, Florida. The family spent the last decade in Mississippi and decided to trade it in for sunny Florida.

But which house would they choose? The one with beach views outside the kitchen window? Or a larger home more inland?

The Nicolosis’ House Hunters journey began in summer 2023 when realtor friend Shelby Hodges connected them to the opportunity. She had applied to the show with a former client, but the previous family decided not to pursue filming. When the Nicolosis came to her looking for their Florida home, she asked if they wanted to apply. Despite initial hesitation, they agreed, and the process took off quickly from there.

“Two days later, my wife (Taylor) and I were on a video call with one of the senior executive producers. We made a submission tape with one of the directors, and we were greenlit about a week later,” Nicolosi recalls.

The camera crew arrived in August to let viewers in on the big search. His three daughters quickly became part of the production. The oldest, 9-year-old Livi Grace, earned the title of “assistant assistant director” with the job of calling “Action!” and snapping the clapperboard before each take.

House Hunters was a steep learning curve for the entire family, but Nicolosi reflects fondly on the experience.

“When you have no television experience, nerves can take over, and you are attempting not to overthink everything. During the first few days of filming, we felt out of place with microphones and multiple cameras constantly pointed at us,” he says. “But the show does an excellent job taking care of you, and the crew created a fun atmosphere.”

Also making the “hunt” a positive experience was Torman. As a digital mortgage banker, she handles online applications for homebuyers not already connected to a mortgage banker. She also works with SouthState employees needing a home loan, which is how she met Nicolosi. Torman’s efficiency in closing the loan allowed them to accept the show’s invitation.

Nicolosi praises her efforts in making the moving and buying experience a smooth one.

“Shannon was knowledgeable in assisting with every stage of our mortgage process. From prequalification to closing, the entire journey was very smooth and articulate. She was able to answer any last-minute questions I had, no matter how trivial. The entire process was very timely, including the time to have underwriting complete the loan application,” he says.

Last year, Torman closed approximately 50 loans for homebuyers across SouthState’s footprint who are using the online application process.

“Working the last 18 years in the mortgage industry, it is such a wonderful blessing to know I have helped and families achieve their dream of homeownership. I get to know them throughout the process and feel excited when we get the cleared-to-close email! It is what drives me each day and I love it,” she says.

During the filming process, Nicolosi learned another piece of “movie magic.” Like most viewers of House Hunters, the senior board members of the production place bets on every show, trying to figure out which house the family will choose.
As for viewers of his family’s episode, Nicolosi won’t share any spoilers.

“We felt good about our decision, but if you want to know, you’ll just have to watch the episode to find out,” he says. “Our family was very thankful for the opportunity to memorialize such a big chapter in our life, and we could not have done it without support from SouthState Bank.”

Read more about the episode and find showtimes.

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