Extreme Makeoever Homes. Blessing or curse?

Extreme makeover home for sale in GilbertFlashback February 10, 2005.  Bleachers have been set up outside a home in Gilbert, Arizona as the Extreme Makeover home show begins the week long demolition and rebuild of a family’s home.  Excitement is high and the results are nothing short of magnificent.

Fast forward to August 2009.  The home is for sale.  5346 sf, 6 bedrooms, 6 baths and situated on over an acre, it’s listed for 1,300,000. 

This is not the first time the owners have tried to sell.  It was listed last year for $1,800,000.  Hopefully the fact that the home is a “star” will help it sell this time around.  Truth of the matter is that only about 1% of homes priced over $1,000,000 are selling right now. 

According to the Arizona Republic the owners have found it financially challenging to maintain a million dollar home (ya think?), something most of us forget as we watch the reality show.  Utilities, taxes, maintenance…it’s going to be a strain for the average wage earner.  Then add unemployment and 7 children to the mix, well, it’s easy to see where this is going. 

So, was this home from the Extreme Makeover folks a blessing or a curse for this family?  I will admit, it sure sounds and looks good on the tv screen.  Free “McMansion”, free furniture and a trip to Disney. Where do I sign up, right?  But the truth of the matter is there are several of these Makeover home recipients who have made the news for not being able to afford their homes. 

This is not the first case of a Extreme Makeover homeowner feeling the pinch of the costs of a luxury home.  In 2007, a New Jersey man received his new home…along with the annual $11,500 utility and tax costs which were hard to cover on his $939 monthly pension.  The man sold the home for $275,000 and walked away.  Lacking money management skills.. I wonder if he has any of that money left?

Then there’s the Extreme Makeover recipients in Georgia, Idaho, Florida…and the list goes on.  All have either been fortunate enough to sell or have faced foreclosure.  Probably would make more sense for the tv show to provide smaller, energy efficient homes and maybe some classes on money management to these recipients. 

But then who would watch?

Click here to see the Gilbert home.