For a while they were showing Extreme Makeover Home Edition here in Italy. Of course it was "fun" to see the over-the-top homes these folks were "blessed" with.. home theatres, fountains, gyms, water slides and whatever.. but I kept thinking "what kind of heat and electric are they going to be paying?".."what will their property taxes be now?".
Even in the few cases where, with a flourish, the program paid off the people's (probably dinky) mortgage on the old crappy house.. I kept thinking.. "that mortgage payment is probably what their prop. tax payment will be now." In the current light of gas prices, I'm sure they're not so thrilled with the free giant Ford pickups and SUVs anymore, either.
I'm also curious to see what these places look like after a few years. Have they been able to keep up with maintenance, gardening and lawn care, or even just cleaning the place??
I hope a few of these families (some truly deserving and going through hard times) were able to keep their wits about them and sell ASAP, but I doubt many did, if any. There's probably a psychological barrier that would prevent that kind of thinking until it's too late.
Who knows whether there may even be contractual barriers.. I wonder how that stuff works.. imagine being the donating homebuilder or worse one of the neighbors who pitch in for free to "give the family a decent home" only to find they immediately cash out!!! Also, I wonder if the Home Makeover charity cases have to declare the new house/mortgage extinction on their income taxes similar to contest-winner Cruz? That would be a load of fun.