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Extreme Home Makeover House Foreclosed!

It took 1,800 people and six days to rebuild the Harper family's home in
ABC's 2005 "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

... but it took just one bad decision for the family to lose it all:

More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC's "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family's decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show's most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis.

After the Harper family used the two-story home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it's set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed. [...]

ABC said in a statement that it advises each family to consult a financial planner after they get their new home. "Ultimately, financial matters are personal, and we work to respect the privacy of the families," the network said.

Some of the volunteers who helped build the home were less than thrilled about the family's financial decisions.

"It's aggravating. It just makes you mad. You do that much work, and they just squander it," Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who helped vault a massive beam into place in the Harper's living room, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

They need another Extreme Home Makeover, please! http://www.ajc.com/search/content/shared-gen/ap/TV/TV_Extreme_Makeover_Foreclosure.html (Photo: ABC) - Thanks Geekazoid!


Its too bad that the show only gives/fixes homes of people with sob stories. It probably does not make as compelling of a show but I would like them to at least once help out a regular hard working Joe with no tragic family death, handicap, disease, job loss etc.

These people made a really bad decision. Not only did they get a great home but also another $250k in cash and scholarships for their children. Im guessing the cash was to help pay the increased taxes based on the new value of their home. Good for them for trying to start their own business but risking and ultimately losing such an incredible gift makes them look like ingrates
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that show has always bothered me. how are the 'winers' expected to pay taxes and upkeep? and sure, they got a mansion and a pool for their dog, but wouoldn't they benefit more from health insurance and a retirement plan? how about private school and a gym membership? just about anything seems more worthwhile than a princess bedroom and 6 car garage.
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Most of the time they pay off their mortgages and give them a car, in this case they received a large cash gift.

The taxes are affordable when you dont have a house payment
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i didn't realize the show gave families extra cash for maintenance. i'd wondered how the families could afford the huge jump in their heating bills.
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How do property taxes in America work? Do they have to pay higher taxes after the rennovation--i.e., is it tied to estimated value of the home? What's the rate? Because I cannot imagine it being an unaffordable sum, if this family just stuck to salaries and didn't venture into the risky world of self-employment.
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oh I do not know where to beging laughing about this.

fantastic home , quarter mill, sholarships, and they still mananged to let the anti midas touch happen.
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"the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis."

Ummm....NO. They took a huge business risk and bartered their home that it would pay off. Has nothing to do with the housing industry. One could potentially argue that it was the constraints on the *construction* industry that contributed to their business venture failing, but NOT at all by way of them being *forced* beyond their means by the housing market. They were just either greedy or poor planners.
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Maybe our wonderful government will rescue this family from foreclosure.

I'm sure everyone wants taxpayer money to go to this family.
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In addition to all the things mentioned above, they also would have been forced to get a special insurance policy to cover that house; the kind that can cost as much per year as a brand new car.
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So they gambled with an incredible gift they received and lost. BIG DEAL. With the house paid off they could have done anything and been living comfortable, but instead they tried to start a business and failed. Maybe Extreme Makeover Home Edition should teach people the value of what they have over the possibility of what they *could* have. Remember folks, if you can't afford it, don't buy it.
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Almost all start-ups fail. This is only news because of the show.

Why all the negativity to this family? They didn't get in to a home loan they couldn't handle, they tried to expand on their good fortune, and unfortunately failed. Happens every day.
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@Michaelinnotts: yes, the property tax will increase, but it's offset by not having a mortgage (the show pays off the house).

I don't know how they structure the deal so the homeowners don't have to pay higher income tax (maybe the house is "leased" to the show).
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It's their own faults for being freaking idiots.
They also got I think 100k from the builder that they squandered away. 100k!!!!!
You can take trash out of a crappy home, but they're still going to be trash in the new one.
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Its my understanding that they may loans up to $750,000 against the house. A little boo boo I can pity, full on leverage of the whole enchilada, naaaaa.
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Wow, pretty cruel comments, but I have to agree agree: it's the whole "give a man a fish, or teach a man to fish" idea. Looks live giving the fish lost again.
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"They need another Extreme Home Makeover, please!"

Ummm, NO they don't. I've always hated this show. They give extravagant McMansions to people with sob stories, when it would be infinitely more beneficial to provide adequate (3Bed2Bath-An Average American Home) housing for a multitude of other families. I refuse to watch this show. I'm sad that the people in this story are losing their home, but Hey they were told to get financial advice and it looks like they either didn't get any or didn't follow it if they did.
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I don't know what the lesson is here. I just know I quit watching the show when there was a family with 7 or 8 kids and they gave them a hot tub as big as a swimming pool.
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The lesson here is that when someone gives you the biggest helping hand you'll ever get, the moon, the stars and bright rainbows...... you don't turn around and be STUPID.

They had everything and got greedy, ran through the money and then wanted more. It's their own damned fault, so don't be slamming the show that gave them more than they deserved.
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They were poor in the first place because they didn't know what they were doing. If they had any financial acumen, they would not have needed a charity house from a TV reality show.

It's called throwing good money after bad. A half a million dollars! Better to give it to a wealthy person who at least could have turned it to a million. This way it's nothing but waste.
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I seriously don't get how this happened. As far as I know the show provides the home and enough money to pay taxes etc. for a good number of years.

The construction company thing is odd, it stinks. $450,000 to start a business? You could easily start a construction company with one tenth of that. If I had cashed out that much, I would have invested most of it at 10% to give an income to pay the mortgage or something, then started the business frugally. Why even cash out at all ... they could have worked and saved a lot of cash first.

I do like the show, however the houses are excessive. They could go to a deprived area, find a few worthy families and do several houses on a street ... or a whole street.

They could do my house!!! I am remodelling it myself and it is hard work.
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Currently watching Dr. Phil with this couple on explaining what really happen. The previous home they owned was not paid for and Extreme Makeover did not pay off the mortgage. The money they received, they use to invest as mentioned, and for the unkeep of the home. The owner stated that his taxes increased to 5,000 a year. And although the people are Extreme Makeover are doing a good deed, something needs to be put in place regarding the tax increase. Usually the people are already in need, poor, etc. So where do they expect for these people to get money from to pay for the increase and unkeep after? Nothing is changing financially just visually. The people are still in the struggle, just in a new home.

Now, I saw a previous Extreme episode where they paid off the mortgage for some individuals. The legal team for Extreme Makeover need to be more thorough in there research and implement programs for those that are being helped. Some of these people aren't use to "having" and not familiar with investing.
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THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO BUILD THEM SUCH A BIG HOUSE.I SAW THIS EPISODE IN LIKE A MARATHON OR SOMETHING. AND THE NEXT EPISODE, THEY BUILT A VERY MODEST TYPICAL TWOSTORY HOUSE FOR A FAMILY THAT COULD PROBABLY AFFORD IT. THATS ALL A FAMILY REALLY NEEDS, NOTHING SPECTACULAR, JUST A NICER HOUSE. AND THE HARPER FAMILY PROBABLY DIDN'T EVEN DESERVE IT, THATS WHY THEY DONT HAVE IT ANYMORE
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It makes me wonder what house there living in now. Does it look the same as the house they had before the mansion? Is it even a house? Is it a condo, a rental unit, staying with relatives? An extended family cramped inside a small house or apartment? Imagine going from the shithole they started out with to a dream house to whatever it is they have now? Its like waking up from an excellent dream only to find out it was all bullshit. That kind of thing can destroy a family.
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Most posters have basically covered my view except for this: when the show 1st started ABC merely remodeled or expanded a residence that wasn't suitable. Along the way, the "mansion" concept grew and now the homes are likely unaffordable for many of the recipients. Though maybe not as good for ratings, I think that ABC should continue the show but scale the houses down to something realistic that people can manage (and AFFORD). If I were one of the 1800 volunteers on this job, I would be hopping mad as well.
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I think the "extremeness" of the show has gotten out of hand. The theme bedrooms and over all size of the homes is ridiculous. I agree that the extreme should be how many people they could help in a community instead of building the mansions they are currently building. I would even give them a month to work on a community instead of 7 days for one family then put an advisor in charge for a year instead of handing $100K to a family who hasn't been successful in financial matters. Think bigger ABC people!!
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Wow my daughter and I were just discussing this very issue after watching the show. I expected that many would either loose the homes or just not be able to afford to keep them up etc. too many people do get caught up in thinking hey I would love for that to happen without thinking ahead to the upkeep costs and plain old operating costs to such homes. The wife and I have been fortunate enough recen tly to have been given a home by her grandfather in a wnderful neighborhood in Florida.
I gave up a job working for a really good friend of mine in Ohio making a good wage to move here for this gift. The taxes and insurance on a home of this value in an area where the insurance alone is too expensive for many moderate income families to afford a good policy is going to more expensive than rent alone that we were paying. Cost of living here is from what I see so far about 25 to 30% more and I am talking about the general things from gas to groceries.Wages here are for the most part about 25% less than back in Ohio.
I know most people will think well hey you wont have any heating bills but I wonder how many also think how much the electric bills are to run air conditioning year round !! Anyways now I have really went and posted alot of garb to read and this is a short post blog I know but too many people think on a short term basis.Just think people think. It is free and it is the most expensive thing not to do today!
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I agree with so many of you....this family obviously didn't manage their funds correctly....however, I strongly disagree that the regular joe working hard would be better served....look, the regular joe working hard does not compare to death, disablity or tradgedy that hits a family. That's just reality. That said, there are many families on Makeover that make me sick. They are clearly con artists with a dramatic story that should never be honored. I say stick to families going through the worst things, so when you spend that much money and help, it's for the cases that truly need it. Ie...families raising severely disabled kids, elderly parents with dementia, brain injured people who can't live anymore in a two story home....or injured military, fire, police, etc..who sacrifice for us all so we can live better. I say never waste your time with a family that isn't going through something very tough...it's not enough you lost a job or your home is run down, get over it....there are people with serious problems out here that would make much better stories...check out you tube under autism and self injury and see a family that goes through hell on a daily basis..i'm sure they could use help...though they never ask...and see others on you tube under brain injured, homeless war vets, tramatic events, etc....these are real issues warranting intervention and extra supports. The only HomeMakeOvers I've ever enjoyed feature the disabled , severely injured, and war vets. The families with an overweight wife who complains they don't have money, but who obviously is eating well, is a joke. or the father who is losing his home, but he's able bodied? And no adverse situation outside this has affected him or his family? C'mon. Don't insult the public.
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No two makeovers are alike. All makeover recipients do not receive the same outcome. Some do not get their mortgages paid up. Some do not get cash. Some get college scholarships. Some get cars, some do not. Some houses are elaborate, this depends on the contractor's input and family size and land issues. Because all makeovers are uniquely individual (not like a cash lottery), keep a balanced mind and remember that of the hundreds of families who win homes, a relatively low percentage of failures exist. The ratio of failure is small compared to the great job ABC has done to secure hundreds of families who have held on. Watching EMHE should teach our children compassion,in a troubled world. This is superior to alot of the junk they are consuming every week, via other media. In my opinion, the financial aspects do exists, however,the show's focus on teaching charity, wholesome values, dreams and answers to prayer is positive. Award winning EMHE continues to deliver!
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Extreme Makeover's Fall 2010 Season is starting off with tremendous creativity, love and excitement!!

AMONG THE BEST PROGRAMMING ON T.V. You will cry, however.
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