Friday, December 27, 2013

Extreme mystery solved

Ask and ye shall receive.  On December 18, I raised the issue of the now-for-sale local Extreme Makeover house, a question which seemed pertinent given that League City is once again poised to embark on another "free house" promotional event, one that is not without ongoing controversy (link paywalled).
Screengrab from that post
Eight days after I asked, Chron has answered:
Screengrabbed from this article, which explains that the family was done in by a number of factors, chief among them high carrying costs, especially the five-figure annual property taxes triggered by a dream home built on this vast scale. 
Chron also linked to this article which explains how and why so many "free house" winners ultimately lose their windfalls.  Hopefully as these cases accumulate, they will serve as a lesson for groups trying to balance public relations and private practicality:  Is their primary goal to actually help these families, or are they just trying to make a big splash for TV?  Because packing up and moving is Extreme-ly disruptive, especially for children who need more situational stability than adults do.  If high carrying costs force many winners to quickly sell their "free" houses, the purely-human benefits of this practice certainly become debatable. 

Anyway, best of luck to the Kemah family as they move into the next less-grandiose, more human-scale phase of their lives. 

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