The ABC television show ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ rode the wave of real estate high times and keeping people in big homes that they probably never should have been approved for. Instead of helping makeover a modest home or move people to a home they could afford, this show renovated their home which often included additions and changes that these homeowners are unfortunately paying for today. The harsher reality is many of these people can’t afford these homes anymore.
This article from the Wall Street Journal highlights some of the difficulties homeowners who have been profiled on that show are having.
To their credit the producers from ABC are making a change and downsizing.
But after the cameras have gone, another trend has been developing: Homeowners struggle to keep up with their expensive new digs. In many cases, the bigger, more lavish homes have come with bigger, more lavish utility bills. And bigger tax assessments. Some homeowners have tapped the equity of their super-sized homes only to fall behind on the higher mortgage payments.
The show’s producers say they are aware of the problem and are making changes appropriate to current economic reality: downsizing.
The average size of current makeovers is 2,800 to 3,000 square feet. A 2005 episode featured a house in Lake City, Ga., that became a 5,300-square-foot English castle boasting five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces and an outdoor kitchen. These days, the houses appear more subdued, eschewing over-the-top amenities.