Friday, February 4, 2011

Design Friday: The Cons of an Extreme Makeover

We are all familiar with ABC's "Extreme Makeover" show. Homeowners living in filth or going through some type of crisis, are chosen to have their home gutted (sometimes dozed) and turned into a beautiful dream home. It's fun to watch this show (and every other show like it) to witness the transformations, creativity, and joy unfold. The danger in watching these shows is losing touch with the reality that most normal people can not afford to overhaul their home all at once. Most folks are accumulating things slowly over time.
"Extreme Makeovers" choosing to rennovate your home would be akin to winning the lottery. I had never considered that such luck might be a double-edged sword, until I read an article featured in the Florida Times-Union.
"The Harveys were on 'Extreme Makeover' in March 2005. The family was sent on a vacation to Niagara Falls as its termite-infested 1930s house, which was previously an Army barracks, was demolished and rebuilt by contractors, plumbers and others from the Northeast Florida Builders Association's nonprofit Builders Care group.
"The family went from a 1,300-square-foot home to a 4,300-square-foot home. The home is noticeably bigger than any other home on East Street."
As a result, utilities for the home jumped from $60/month to $400/month, and property taxes were hiked from $500 to $5,200 after the makeover. Ouch. The homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments and the house will be auctioned off after being foreclosed.
The lesson I took away from this? Be careful what you wish for, or you might just get it.

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