One of the more popular shows on television is once again receiving some harsh criticisms.  The ABC’s hit television show Extreme Makeover Home Edition is under fire for the recent rash of foreclosures that their homes have gone through.  In the show families in need apply for the Extreme Makeover crew to come to their town and build them a brand new home in an effort to increase the family’s quality of life. 

In recent months, with the slumping economy, up to six families that have appeared on the show have already found themselves unable to afford the higher property taxes, utility and maintenance bills.  Because of these higher costs associated with their new homes these families have been forced to foreclose on their new dream homes and this is what has drawn some harsh criticism from the general public.

Here are just a few of the recent news stories:

  • Foreclosure looms for Gilbert TV-show home – The Gilbert house featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in 2005 could be sold to the highest bidder in a foreclosure auction this May unless a buyer steps forward.
  • ‘Makeover’ family battles foreclosure – ENCINITAS — Brian Wofford, a widowed father of eight whose home was transformed five years ago on the ABC show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” is battling to save his Encinitas house from foreclosure. Wofford has been trying to modify his loan for two years without success.
  • Atlanta ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ Home In Foreclosure Again – CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News consumer investigator Jim Strickland has learned that a metro Atlanta home featured on ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” is facing foreclosure for the second time in less than a year.

Everyone who has seen this popular show wishes they could be the next family that is showcased and given their dream home.  However, what many people do not realize is that there are certain extra responsibilities that come along with the prize of this new home.  Namely these responsibilities appear in the form of taxes. 

The IRS will treat any prize that you win on one of these shows as income and will force you to pay substantially increased taxes.  Not only will the IRS treat your reality show winnings as income you may also be forced to pay higher property taxes.  These increased tax payments along with increased costs to operate the new house is what ultimately ruins many of these families that you see on television.

Because of the recent string of foreclosures that guests of Extreme Makeover Home Edition have had the show is starting to rethink the way that they operate.  Producers are looking into building much more sensible homes that these families can actually afford so that they do not end up creating more problems for these families down the road. 

If this show is truly looking to enrich the lives of their guests then it would be a wise move to make sure they do not build a house that will cost too much for the family to live in.  Otherwise what is the point of build these families these gorgeous homes if they will just risk financial ruin?

The next time you are watching reality television it is important to keep in mind these facts and that these families are not just being given brand new million dollar homes with no consequences.  These people will have to pay considerable amounts of taxes on the properties given to them along with increased mortgages, higher utility bills and increased operating costs to live in these gorgeous homes.  While it would be nice to have a television show build your dream house you still will need to be able to afford living in that dream house.

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Moe Bedard
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My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications. I currently live in Carlsbad, California with my beautiful wife and children.

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