Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who Pays the Taxes

Kim's watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition while I finish up something for one of my masters classes and type up this blog post. I kind of dig the show even though I stopped watching it before the end of the first season. As a show, it's the same thing every week and I get bored with it. As a project, I can't hold too much against a show that uses its popularity to build homes for deserving people. I do have a little issue with how it feeds right into the consumerist culture without reservation. Those houses are mansions, but then again, the families are usually very deserving and I'm not begrudging them their sudden bounty.

What I do wonder when I watch this show is who is paying the property taxes? The family this week is a single mother of four who took in her sister's 10 children after her sibling died. The group has been living out of a hotel because they couldn't afford decent housing and their application to public housing was rejected because of the number of kids. Obviously, this isn't a wealthy woman (even with an above average job, 14 kids makes you poor) but she's now the owner of a huge house with a sizable yard in the Mid-Atlantic region near Washington D.C. Property taxes can't be cheap. And what about the utility bills? I'm sure they take into account efficiency of the homes they're building, but a house that big can't be cheap to heat and cool.

Honestly, I wonder how many of these houses end up sold and the families moved into more modest digs within five years of the taping of their show.


Julie said...

That's a good question. I know a lot of prizes and bonuses have money built in to pay the taxes... I can only hope that the kind people at ABC do the same.

I do remember a lot of hoopla on the radio when the family in GA put their home on the market, but memory fails me and I can't remember what happened.

Mickey said...

I've wondered the same thing upon seeing things like twenty-foot vaulted ceilings and that one place with the temperature-controlled horse-riding arena.

Meaghan said...

That's a really good point. And do they have to pay for home insurance? That would be a lot of money as well.

I can't watch that show. I think it's great that they are helping these families, but I can't sit through an hour of crying every week. I just really can't watch people cry so much. I mean, I would cry, too, if it were for me, but just week after week of the waterworks drives me crazy!

Courtney said...

I work for a company that often gives away houses to people, and just about all of them sell it right away because they can't afford the taxes, insurance, and power bill.

I agree with Meaghan. I think the basic premise of the show is cool, but it's just so sappy that I can hardly stand it.