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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Results In Foreclosures

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Hi, we’re here to improve your house to the
point you can’t afford it anymore.

Written by Joe Wilson

NEW YORK ( – The ABC reality shows Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the network’s latest outing, Welcome to the Neighborhood, which was cancelled before it ever aired, has cost the network big bucks and a few contestants their houses.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition producers never estimated the tax bill on the houses featured on the show, increasing their values and subsequent tax assessments out of the income range of the contestants, which has resulted in two foreclosures and several home sales.

One contestant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Everyone in my family is agoraphobic and they did a great job of making the house very cozy, completely sealed off from the outside world and removed anything that would feel like an open space. After they were done it was worth more than we could afford. They foreclosed yesterday and now we’re out of a house and are facing being homeless and agoraphobic.”

ABC’s new reality show, Welcome to the Neighborhood, would have shown three white, conservative, Christian families in Austin, TX who were given the power to choose who would move into a house on their block. When faced with contestants who were not white or who were “really, really gay” the conservative family values of the three families kicked in to gear, which angered both conservative and liberal organizations.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Family Research Council joined together in producing several print ads that appeared in Variety and NASCAR Living with statements like, “We hate each other, but we hate ‘Welcome to the Neighborhood’ even more than we hate each other.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation did not like how homophobia was being used in the show and the Family Research Council was concerned that all the white, conservative, Christians who were judging and belong to their organization would be depicted as white, conservative, Christians.

Because of the latest controversy, ABC has put what was supposed to be their latest reality show, which was to air in September, on hold. “Multiracial Midget House” would have used a similar concept as Big Brother and The Surreal Life, except the hook of the series would have been contestants, who are all dwarfs and rabid racists, being forced to live together for six weeks. ABC said only that the show is “being retooled.”
Edit:Tan The Man

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  • Tan The Man

    This reminds me of when Oprah gave away free cars on her show. The acceptance of the gift would have boosted everyone’s annual income to a higher tax bracket. Many declined.

  • Anonymous

    I was in the audience, and Oprah did a follow up show. Not a single person declined the car. If we signed the contracts that day at the show, we couldn’t change our mind later. Some people did sell their cars later.

  • sam

    i love extreme makeover home edition and joe wilson they don`t pay the house for a year if you watch the show as much as i do you`ll know

  • james bull/ England

    I love your show and it brings a tear to my mum’s eye when we watch it . Could i PLEASE HAVE YOUR ADDRESS THANKS XXX

  • Jimmy

    I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and know that if you want a new house (or rebuilt one) you have to apply for it. Well, anyone that knows anything about owning a house knows that the higher value your house is, the higher the taxes each year – SO, why would you watch this show, see how expensively built the houses end up being, and apply if you know you’re not going to be able to pay for it during tax season. Kind of stupid on your part if you ask me!

  • Iggie Beebe

    my family thinks it is a mircle what you guys do and so do i i cry almost every time i see your show it is so amazing you guys amazing i was wondering if i could have your address please.

  • Louise

    Extreme Makeover Home edition: is way more than a reality show, it gave us a hope in knowing that one part of this crazy world care about people, why can’t all of the powers that be find away to deal with the taxes on the house. I enjoyed the show from the start, what can be done to bring it BACK!

  • Hahna

    I just want to say that anyone who says that EM:HE is bad is just wrong. Almost every episode I’ve seen lately shows somebody paying off the mortgage on the houses, and if you don’t have to pay your mortgage, you can probably afford higher utilities bills. And for the quality of living that you’ve been given…I mean seriously…I doubt the people involved mind too much about having to find a higher paying job or even having to work two jobs, if it came to all that. I’m just being very real here. Ty has wonderful vision and has helped so many people, I’m just in awe, and hope I can help people some day, though probably in a MUCH smaller way…in the end, it’s about what you CAN do. So good job, ABC.

  • RJ

    Ty Pennington and ABC aren’t doing EM:HE out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re doing it for ratings. They’re exploiting these people for ratings.

  • Rey

    I agree with MOST of the comments here. This is a positive show which, despite most other shows being about nonsense, has a very positive purpose. It makes you want to be a better person, and inspires you to pay that giving, positive attitude forward. I look forward to watching this show every week, and I hope it gets brought back. I think it’s very inspiring and uplifting and we’re at a time now where we can use that more than ever.


    EM:HE teaches everyone that “happiness” = “oversized monster house with absurd and unnecessary amenities that wastes way more resources than it should”.

    They are not doing these families a favor and anyone who is “touched” by the supposed “generosity” of the show has blinders on. They do it for ratings and once the shows are over they don’t give a darn what happens. I have always thought that they should use the funds and volunteers that they devote to giving one family an absurd setup and, instead, help 10 families out by giving them something more reasonable.

  • troy

    this is why we have a mortgage crisis
    hoodrat homeowners: Hi. So, we’d like to refinance our home.

    loan officer: Okay. How much do you owe on the home?

    hoodrat homeowners: Oh, actually, extreme makeover paid off our mortgage for us since we couldn’t afford the payments on our house when it was only worth $100,000.

    loan officer: Okey doke, how does $450,000 equity line sound?

  • Mike

    This show, while seemingly harmless and even helpful in nature, is starting to show it’s true colors. As previously mentioned the show is about ratings and advertising. Helping people is only a byproduct. You have to understand that if the show did not generate enough money, it would be dropped. ABC would not keep it out of the goodness of their heart simply because they want to do the right thing. Secondly this is very much similar to the current housing problem. You cannot expect to give someone something more than they can afford and expect everything to be fine. If the show was really concerned with people it would have worked out a budget with them and built within the confines of that budget. The unfortunate thing is that is not the case. They build a house that sells products for their sponsors. My pops mentioned that if they were really concerned with people they would go in to a whole declining town and pump the same amount of money into the town as they do into one house to help the whole area. Problem is if you spend $500,000 on one house you’ll have a home that is much more beautiful than 10 houses you spend $50,000 on each. However, the second scenario helps out more people and could still be potentially within their means. For the individual that mentioned that people should check their budget previous to entering the show, that is a load of crap. If someone told you you could get the house of your dreams and all you had to do was send in a video about why you deserve it, do you honestly think people are sitting down at the kitchen table and working the numbers to see if they would be able to afford what could potentially be built for them? Much of the people in the US are in lala land as it is. Many people wouldn’t even be able to figure out what the taxes alone would be less alone the increased energy consumption and insurance. Come on – get real – it’s not going to happen. How many people turn down something that is “free?” Not many – unless they are very smart. Most people do not understand that “if it’s too good to be true IT PROBABLY IS.” The show, if it’s true intention is helping people, needs to do a better job of fitting the home to the family and that means in their budget. Even if your mortgage gets paid off, but your taxes double and your energy consumption doubles or triples, what have you really accomplished? The fact that they put LCD screens in everyone’s room and all those other unnecessary luxuries proves they are “selling” the show and not “helping” the family. Unfortunately many of the people watching the show are watching with their heart instead of understanding the economics of it – which I don’t think is a bad thing, but to side with a show that is hurting good people is not right. It’s very similar to many lotto winners – many end up WORSE than they were before they won – tells you something doesn’t it! Unfortunately I’m sure this is not the end to foreclosures stemming from Home Make Over.

  • bb

    You folks bashing these gifts are ignoring some obvious things. I personally know one of the recipients of a EMHE home. They are not “in worse shape than they were before they won”. First off, they didn’t win. They lost more than any of you goobs ever have. They were selected because they had nightmare after nightmare happen to them. This was a tremendous gift and they deserved it. Yes, the network makes money from the ratings, and they should. They are doing a wonderful thing. It’s so much better than any of the other reality crap on now days. Bash Lifetime, they truly exploit people with poorly made movies. If the people on the receiving end of these blessings squander that away, then that’s their fault. Don’t blame the giver.

  • Rory28

    LOL,WoooW,i think we have some JEALOUS people up in here!… If “you people” REALLY wanna “take the blinders off”,than GO ALL THE WAY and realize EACH and EVERY tv show there is,is there SOLELY for the purpose of having people watch commercials,NOT “Ratings”…It doesn’t matter if a billion people watch the same tv show,if NO ONE is paying HUGE AMOUNTS for ads on that network,”Ratings” are non existent…Those commercials lie/cheat/steal people each and every day,yet you will all still watch useless/pointless made up comedy and drama that does NOTHING BUT make people FILTHY RICH… And for you people to be so IGNORANT to NOT be able to see how much a good home CAN change a family’s life is rather pathetic considering most ALL the people chosen ALSO do there OWN charity work and these houses help people do ALLOT more than just sit in front of a plasma screen,which is probably more than we can say for “you people”…Try getting a little MORE bent outta shape with 99% of the rest of TV that DOESN’T actually do ANYTHING for ANYONE… It is all well and good for you to sit back and question Ty and everyone else motives,but i would suggest YOU get out there and help in building 100’s of homes,all in 7days or less FIRST before you say another WORD!…

  • Rory28

    I find it SO VERY FUNNIE that EVERYONE says these homes are SOOO grand,that none of these people could ever possibly take care of them… …If that were true,than every second house built would already be GONE…out of the 100+ homes they built,3 families ran into trouble,mind you all DIFFERENT reasons for there trouble,defaulted loan,fines,second untold mortgage debt…NONE of these situations have resulted from ANY of the arguments people have put forth,and no one wants to say anything about the other 95% of people who ARE living in LOVELY homes,pain free…

  • Rory28

    It is also rather amusing that people like to choose the word “exploited”…Im PRETTY DAMN SURE people are MORE than given the chance to turn DOWN the offer,in exchange for being left to live where ever they live to begin with…And that is just the families who are nominated by OTHERS…As for allot of the other families who made there OWN request video’s,i STRUGGLE to see where the TRUE “exploitation” comes into play when you ASK for HELP and you are GIVEN that and more?!… …A story must be told,for others to realize what is wrong around them…I mean,people who work as news anchors are payed from advertising on there corporate owned networks,so there making money while there telling sometimes “sob stories” that “tug at your heart” and are more often than not,followed up with “and this is how you can help this person in need”…So,tell me,is this simply “exploitation” or also getting the word out!?

  • Rory28

    How could i FORGET!!!…Habitat for humanity has corporate sponsors…I don’t see anyone knockin’ them!!!…LOL

  • macBoise

    This is why we’re all called ‘human’, everyone is sure of their heartfelt opinion, and EVERYONE IS RIGHT, truthfully.
    To have a show that ‘gives’ something, instead of reality shows that truly do exploit people, IS a good thing.
    Looking back, the producers would probably agree they should have built a bit smaller (no raised ceilings, many tv’s, etc) but hindsight is also what makes us human!

  • salem

    well I do think the houses are wonderful and these families do deserve a decent place to live. BUT – I do think sometimes things are little extreme. I remember there was one house that had a basketball court in it. REALLY? Is that needed? I think that the team should tone it down a bit. They can still build these families a beautiful home and keep it within a budget so these families can keep their homes later.

  • The Healer

    Instead of building _one_ home, that’s fancy, lavishly expensive, and a premium to maintain, upkeep or generally afford — Why would you not build _THREE_ houses for the same total cost, provide a great home for 3 deserving families??

    Giant plasma/LCD monitors in each of four bedrooms? How about one of those nice TVs in a main room of each nice house?

    $100,000 scholarships to a single family comprised of 4 kids? Why not $50,000 for education to two families, for 8 kids in total??

    The heart of the show is in the right place; it’s a charity for deserving people, but wow, what a misconfiguration of monetary resources.

    They’ve built 100+ homes for families, that’s really wonderful! I won’t knock that. But this could have been 300 homes, or homes for 200 other needing families. THINK ABOUT THAT!

    One 2009, $70 thousand dollar Porsche or THREE $23 thousand dollar solid SUVs!?

    Come on people! You have a brain, use it!!

  • jesus

    dear the healer,
    if u are talking about houses being too big and lavish then why are u gonna compare a modest home to an SUV? ALL SUVs are too big and expensive, and most of them have more features than a porsche.

  • merry

    dear healer
    yes you have a point there. but beleave it all not there are people in this world that deserve more then other do ,come on mate dont be so up your self about it

  • spanishlove

    Hello every body .
    Here in Europe we love so much the human LOVE example in EXTREME MAKEOVER reality show .
    Thank all very much, thank Ty,thanks for give hope and make heaven in earth.
    Thank for make a wonderful world.
    BLESSINGS for every ONE, if you love or not Extreme Makeover Home. :)

  • Louisa May

    Okay, I love this show because it helps people, but I know that without the ratings, there’s 95% chance ABC wouldn’t do it. I think that instead of giving them all these luxuries that regular people can’t afford, they should just fix up their old house to make it livable yet still nice. Maybe add an extension/built-in medical necessities when needed. As much as I love the tears in their eyes and the smiles on their faces, more people can be helped if the money for one of these houses could be used on five or six houses that need repairing. Obviously at times they’d need to rebuild the entire house, but they could use the right materials but not go overboard with the expensive extras, when it could be spent on another family in a dangerous home. Am I right?

  • Louisa May

    Personally, I think that if they used $1,000,000 on two extravagant new houses, they could repair 15-20 houses so they become livable. I mean. Say if the show ended up fixing up 4-5 houses per episode, with a limit of approximately $50,000 per house, then I believe they’d get similar, if not more, ratings. If people see that they are helping many more families that need safe homes, people will watch it more because they see that it’s the bigger picture. The REAL community. They say that it’s about people with HUGE medical bills or they help the community, well help the WHOLE community by helping ten times more families:) and help them with a concert to get money to help with their bills. More people could pay off $50,000-$80,000 than $400,000+ resulting in the loss of their new, custom-built houses. Good idea?

  • Don

    I’ve watched alot of the episodes,quite a few of them end with mortgages being paid off,new cars,college tuitions,yeah the show does have alot of product placement but so what,the meat and potatoes of it is seeing a hard done by family catch a much deserved break.

  • Jani

    When contestants get their new home, do they also have to pay taxes on its value including the furniture and money given?