I love to watch home decorating shows on TV. Everything from “Curb Appeal” to “Trading Spaces“, but especially “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition“. I don’t know if it’s the goofy but cute, energetic host, the amazing decorating ideas, or the tear-jerker stories, but I am addicted. However, one question has always plagued me about those happy homeowners. What happens AFTER they move that bus and the camera crews pack up and Ty and the Gang move on to their next conquest? Sure, they have a great new home, fabulous decor, pristine landscaping, sometimes even a pool, but if their situation was difficult to begin with, how do they maintain all of that?
I wonder what the difference in utility bills is when you go from a 1,000 square foot house to a 3,500 one, with all the gadgets built right in. I’m sure they’re Energy Star appliances and all, but the costs must be more than the family had budgeted before. What about chemicals for that new pool or hottub? What about fertilizer, irrigation, and plantings to keep up the gorgeous landscaping? What about cleaning such a huge house?
With the increase in value comes an increase in property taxes. Homeowners must be prepared for that, and able to keep their tax bills current. Some homeowners who have won the fabulous new home now have to put it up for sale because they can’t pay the higher taxes. One article I read said that the taxes went from about $1,500 to $6,000, and the couple’s parents had to help them pay the bill– not a crisis, but a hardship definitely. Another article said the tax bill went up to about $60,000, and that family has no choice but to sell.
I don’t mean to be a downer or to take away from the charitable aspect of the show. I believe strongly in helping others and giving back to the community, and I am very appreciative of how Extreme Makeover helps. I just think that the show should be sure that people know what they are getting themselves into, and help them prepare for the issues that may arise later.