OT - Extreme Makeover Home Edition?

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IIRC, there is some sort of a lease deal. The show owns the house and leases it to the new "owners", thus avoiding the tax. I don't know the details, only that is was in the newspaper some time ago.
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I'm willing to bet that this "lease arrangement" is also designed to prevent a family who has just been given a new house from immediately selling it off for the money.
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<<I'm willing to bet that this "lease arrangement" is also designed to prevent a family who has just been given a new house from immediately selling it off for the money.>>
I suspect the homeowners have to sign a contract with ABC before going on their vacation that, among other things, grants the show permission to alter or tear down their house. I imagine there is language in that contract which establishes who is responsible for payment of taxes, utilities, maintenance, etc. There must surely also be a clause in there about the minimum amount of time the family must wait before selling off any of the assets.
You'll notice than on some shows there will be a ceremony at the end in which the contractor or some other benefactor either presents the family with a substantial check to offset the cost of maintaining the new house or, in some cases, pays off their mortgage. It appears to vary according to the needs of the homeowners. Therefore it is likely that the producers do sufficient research to be sure they avoid leaving the family in a financial predicament that would come back to haunt the show with negative publicity.
Something similar happened with Oprah Winfrey's famous car giveaway. She filled her audience one day with deserving individuals and surprised them all by giving each one a brand new Pontiac but soon thereafter stories started appearing in the news that not everybody could afford the taxes on those cars so some of the recipients were going to have to sell the cars and others initially refused to accept them. It was a potential embarrassment so her staff did some scrambling and eventually got General Motors to bump up the prize to include paying the taxes for each winner.
Lee
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"Lee Gordon" wrote in message It was a potential embarrassment

Knowing the IauRaS, that's probably taxable too.
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It is. What usually winds up happening is that the giver winds up giving the taxes plus the taxes that cover the gift for the taxes. We used to do this at my employer; back when $100 meant something, one of the incentive gifts for employees was to give them a $100 check after they had done something noteworthy (where I came from, it had to be *very* noteworthy -- our employer wasn't exactly known for its largesse income-wise). In order for the employee to walk away with $100, the actual payment wound up being $100 + all of the applicable taxes so the check would really be the intended amount.
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Sure, I agree with that. Every house built has an open, similar concept. There's always a plasma TV above a fireplace, all the appliances are bought at Sears, everything (in the house anyway) is almost exactly the same except for some personal trimmings. Even the walkway up to the front door is similar as is the facade of the front of every house. It's a cookie cutter installation. Nothing wrong with that I guess only after you've seen the show a few times, it gets boring real quick. Only thing different to see is the reaction of the family during the last ten minutes when they arrive home to see what has been done.
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Maybe the taxes and utility bills do up, but they probably aren't as high as the former mortgage and taxes combined unless someone had a pretty inexpensive house.
They could tone down the ceiling heights in the houses they build. A 20 foot ceiling is going to cost an arm and a leg to heat/cool.
Brian Elfert
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Yes, but it makes for good TV
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snipped-for-privacy@videotron.ca wrote:

Several things have bothered me.. no argument that the people they choose deserve the help, but to go from 'poverty' to 'mansion' in a neighbourhood of far less value homes.. why not expand the area and spread the funds around a bit..
Speaking of which.. with the resources available to them, I was surprised that except for one program, they could have applied their manpower and resources to alleviate a lot of the gulf coast destruction.
Given their on going efforts to out do themselves with million dollar mansions, I seldom watch the program anymore..
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"ghost" wrote

There is that. And I agree with you.
I used to watch it too. But when it became a game show format where little if anything was shown as to the actual construction details, it became a lot less interesting. When it became a manipulative process to make you feel sorry for the housing "victims, game show winners", I got totally turned off.
If they really wanted to help these folks, there are a lot better ways to do it than building a mansion with designer bedrooms.
Afterall, what is the objective here? To build houses or to really help people? I don't think they know.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Obviously ratings with the masses.. and maximum exposure of sponsors..[g]
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Have you noticed how many people in "dire straights" with no money to repair their little shack, show up on the program with the latest $150.00 hairdos, jewellery, $50.00 manicures and the latest fashion ready to go on their "vacation" while they get a new house built for nothing. Some looked genuine in their need, others look like they are taking the show producers on a scam to get a new house.
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A friend of mine donated RVs to this show through his RV business... supposed to air Mother's Day. The show gave him t-shirts, photos of his family with Ty, autographed photo of the whole crew, etc. I'm curious to see how it comes out on the air!
John
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In some cases, they have gone through the neighborhood and distributed needed goods to the neighbors. I would imagine the neighbors get some sort of compensation for the show ruining their lives for a week or more with construction noise 24x7 and the huge crowds.
I liked the show a little better when they were actually remodeling the houses and not creating huge mansions.
Brian Elfert
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Ok. They did a house in our county about 14 or so months ago and yes, it was done in an entire week! The producers cooperated with the County Bldg Dept to get the permits way ahead of time, a design was also done and all furniture, fixtures, etc were all stockpiled. They worked all day/night on the thing and it was a big event. The house was where the daughter has a condition that prevents her from being in direct light. The had an Inspector onsite for the entire time. The biggest noise that came out of it was the that the house was appraised at a tax level MORE (obviously) then the original house. Here in Calif, we have Prop 13. Your tax level remains at level until 1) you change owners or 2) remodel. The family was a bit put out about the taxes. Not sure if they got some relief. The show claims that there is a loophole for taxes if they RENT the house while the family is out. Not sure what got resolved.
But as to the building, yep, they do it in the time they say! Teamwork and very, very tight planning. The architect and builder were all assigned well ahead of time and plans were approved by the County before the Extreme Makeover team arrived.
MJ Wallace
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The families should realize when they apply for the show that their property value will go up and thus the taxes will go up. I guess in some cases the family did not nominate themselves. In probably 50% of the cases, the family gets a large check that should cover the taxes for a number of years.
A bigger concern could be the income taxes on the new house. Wouldn't the states and the IRS consider the added value of the new house as income and send the family a large tax bill?
Brian Elfert
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Not so with this one local family. They really were pinched with the extra tax bill. Also, any "winnings" they get from the producers of the show, they will have declare as income. Even if the money came as rent - which is what they do to avoid the big problem - all the work they do could be considered income, but signing a rental agreement, that allows for the renter to remodel, allows the family to get that without a tax penalty.
Also, taxes are "forever". Meaning, if they got a check for $100,000, that would only cover taxes for about 10 or 12 years, at best on a million dollar house here in Calif.
MJ Wallace
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... snip

Thought earlier in the thread, the comment was that they were building *big* houses. In Kalifornia, isn't a $1M house on the order of a 400 square foot efficiency apartment? <GD&R>
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Well, no. Not in all municipalities. In ours, a $1 mill, gets you a 2000 - 3500 sq ft house and some acreage - anywhere from 1/2 to 3. Depends on the area. Where this couple live, their house was appraised for over a $ 1 mill.
A 400 sq ft house in SF would run about $600k!
MJ Wallace
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Brian:
Found this on a website:
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Shows like "Extreme Makeover" are also finding innovative loopholes to
help the families avoid a burdensome tax bill -- turning the renovation
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