Extreme Makeover: Home Foreclosure Edition

Watching Ty Pennington smash old walls and slap coats of lacquer on new home bowling lanes for struggling families was heartwarming. And the family who got to live in a castle… a real fairytale ending! Then the economy crashed.

Yes, that guilty pleasure show with the loveable, cokehead intense host, Ty Pennington, may actually be doing more harm than good to many families. Some have tapped the equity on their new mega homes to start failed businesses. Others can't keep up with the electricity bills to run that full-sized carousel in the back yard. The tax assessments went through the roof and jobs disappeared. Welcome to Extreme Makeover: You're Totally Fucked Edition!

The first official foreclosure on a home from the show is in Idaho, and belonged to Eric Hebert. From the Journal:

[Hebert] told a local television station last year that "the biggest mistake I think that I made was I took too much money out on the house thinking that I was going to have a job, you know, in the future."

The Extreme Foreclosure has also pissed off Hebert's neighbors.

Some local residents are angry over what became of the community project. "It's kind of like we have egg on our face," said Sydney Icardo, a realtor with Century 21 RiverStone, who cut down aspen trees used to decorate Mr. Hebert's bedroom. "It cuts deep. We're a tight community."

So why not just sell that behemoth? Because "Extreme Makeovers tend to be big, fancy residences plopped into working-class or rural communities, the houses can be a hard sell." That's why.

There is some remorse on the show, too, and lately they have been toning down the extravagance. No more swimming pools! Bowling alleys and 23-foot ceilings are so 2006. A home movie theater? Not a chance. Tracy Hutson, an interior designer on the show, said, "I think our hearts were in the right place, but we just got carried way. It can be extreme without being the biggest house you've ever seen." Bye-bye good ratings, that sounds boring.

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