Update1: Extreme Makeover: Foreclosed-Home Editionby Tim Manni
UPDATE1: Extreme Home Makeover strikes again! According to the Wall Street Journal, another home made over by the popular television series, is nearing default:
Yet another “Extreme Makeover” recipient is in trouble, this one in Encinitas, Calif. Brian Wofford, a widowed father of eight, faces foreclosure five years after his home was transformed for the popular television show, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Back in 2004, the Wofford home – purchased in 1989 for $186,700 – was expanded from 1,212 square feet to 4,337 square feet replete with a gym and hot tub. But, Mr. Wofford now owes $770,000 on the house, including $140,000 in home-equity loans, the paper reports. A local television station, meanwhile, says the family refinanced twice “after getting the home from the show.”
Trouble apparently started after the property was reassessed, leading to higher property taxes. The economic downturn, meanwhile, ate into Mr. Wofford’s chiropractic practice. He has reportedly tried to modify his loan for two years without luck – a problem many troubled homeowners face – so payments were halted this year.
Our conclusion to the original post (below) is still fitting: “Obviously ABC never intended for these homes to become a burden. Yet, ironically or not, the lavish “Extreme” remodels represent the kind of problems that got the country into this housing crisis in the first place.”
Original post published on 6/13/09: It has been going on for years. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has sought out families struggling both personally and financially and has rebuilt their home to better suit their needs. Unfortunately for several recipients, what has started out as a noble and deserving gift has turned into a nightmare. Another “Makeover” home has entered into foreclosure.
Each “Makeover” house that has entered into foreclosure, and there have been several, seems to follow the same pattern. The revamped homes get bigger, a lot bigger, and they’re usually filled with amenities that the homeowners weren’t used to accounting for before the remodel.
Bigger homes equal bigger bills. The heating and cooling bills rise, electric bills escalate, and sometimes so do property taxes. A “Makeover” home in Florida had a $29,000 lien placed against it because of numerous code violations.
This charitable formula seems to be broken. As we mentioned earlier, what starts out as a gift, is quickly turning into a financial burden. We sincerely hope that ABC re-examines the show’s purpose and chooses to provide these homeowners with a practical new home — not one that serves to make their situation even worse.
Obviously ABC never intended for these homes to become a burden. Yet, ironically or not, the lavish “Extreme” remodels represent the kind of problems that got the country into this housing crisis in the first place.