Monday, September 29, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover in my hometown

The Mister: Hey, did you hear that Extreme Home..."
Me: Makeover's in town? Yes, I did.
The Mister: (pouts)
Me: What's wrong?
The Mister: Your spies are better than mine

I heard through the gossip grapevine that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was in my hometown of Holt, MI this week. Apparently they've got the entire block closed off for camera and construction crews.

The family story is thus: Dad, a nurse, died from Hepatitis C after a needle stick and a long struggle. Mom and kids are off to Disney World while the crew fixes up the house. It's a sad story, as are all the Extreme Makeover stories, and it will hopefully turn out for the best.

I don't know when this one is going to air, but the new season just kicked off Sunday, September 28th.

Michigan's been hit pretty hard by the economic storm that everybody's facing right now. Our economy and housing market has been slumped for longer than most. So it's nice to see a Midwest family getting some spotlight here.

However, Extreme Makeover isn't a free pass. The sad thing is some Extreme Home Makeover houses have gone into foreclosure recently. Usually because of not being able to pay taxes, change in family situation and that sort of thing. It's something to keep in mind that as much as the show can help people, it's entertainment first, and charity second. If the producers were really serious about helping people, they'd donate some seed money for taxes and would offer financial counseling and advice.

I mean, It's nice that the family gets to go on vacation while other people redo their house, but perhaps they should instead go to counseling boot camp. Or stay in town and help work on the house. To contrast, "Habitat for Humanity requires homeowners to put in "sweat equity," to work on the house with the other people who are volunteering their time. That gets them more emotionally invested in the house, I think. Also, Habitat's houses aren't so Extreme. They are modest, comfortable houses for families with mortgage payments and property taxes that the families can actually afford.

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