Thursday, July 31, 2008

Extreme Makeover - do over

Even if you claim to have never seen the show, you know the premise of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They find a financially distrought family living in squallor and build them a new home in 6 days with the help of thousands of volunteers. The new flashy and giant home will hike their property tax value well above their current income. To pad the blow to the wallet they secure a maintenance fund too. Great idea. Then the cameras turn off, the volunteers go home, and gravy train leaves town. ABC strongly urges these families to meet with a financial planner to keep them from winding up in the gutters... again.

… but it took just one bad decision for the family to lose it all:

More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC’s "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family’s decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show’s most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis.

After the Harper family used the two-story home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it’s set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed. [...]

ABC said in a statement that it advises each family to consult a financial planner after they get their new home. "Ultimately, financial matters are personal, and we work to respect the privacy of the families," the network said.

Some of the volunteers who helped build the home were less than thrilled about the family’s financial decisions.

"It’s aggravating. It just makes you mad. You do that much work, and they just squander it," Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who helped vault a massive beam into place in the Harper’s living room, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

1 comment:

Kenny Bloggins said...

I love how they don't touch on the fact that the family has to pay taxes on all of the donated gifts etc... So you take a family that is just getting by build them a crazy house with 35 plasma screen TVs and make them pay taxes on the hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements and you wonder why they can't keep the house...