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The Dream House From Hell
Old 05-23-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
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The Dream House From Hell

I was going through some old Money magazines at home and came across the article (June 2006) about Don Cruz who won HGTV's Dream Home in 2005 and was experiencing tons of financial problems.

The House That Swallowed Don and Shelly Cruz - June 1, 2006

I thought it would be interesting to see where this family was today and it looks like the dream home was foreclosed on and sold at auction in Jan. Pretty sad considering that Mr. Cruz could have sold the house right away and been set financially. But noooooooo, he HAD to live in the dream home that he couldn't afford. And, he says he would do it all over again if he could....crazy.

I can only be nice to one person today! Today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would do that - try to stay in a house they know they can't afford. Some people just have to live for the moment and damn tomorrow I guess.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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I wrote on Wise Bread about why small homes are better:
How Big of a House Do You Really Need? | Wise Bread

However, some people are just in love with the idea of having a mansion... This is a sad end to a dream home winner. I entered that contest a lot in the past, too.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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I saw someplace that there was a builder that was building homes at about 1500 square feet with great details on 1/4 acre lots. All the neat built ins, great moldings top of the line windows, counters. 2+ baths 3 bedrooms. Great small houses with character.

I am trying to find the area. The problem small homes mean too often in the US low income.
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