From One Extreme to Another

FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER As all of Kemah knows by now, the latest beneficiaries of one of those “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” weeklong volunteer-fueled whirlwinds is the 15-member Beach family: “After Hurricane Ike, the Beaches moved from their damaged home at 1013 Delesandri Lane into two FEMA trailers, parked in front of their house. Last fall, they moved to the backyard, into an 18-foot travel trailer with one toilet. The hot water tank held just 6 gallons, and they had to make frequent visits to the laundromat and cook on a gas grill. . . . The Beaches knew they were one of five local families nominated for the show, but Thursday’s ‘door knock’ made it official. The ‘reveal’ is scheduled for next Thursday, when they’ll come home to a 6,340-square-foot, two-story house with eight bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms. The episode is scheduled to air in March. Plans for the home include an elevator, therapy room and rooftop solar panels. The house will be built to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, with wide doorways and bathrooms spacious enough for a wheelchair.” [Houston Chronicle]

10 Comment

  • It’ll probably cost less than FEMA spent buying and “administrating” a couple of trailers. The Bush administration was very capable when it came to funneling tax dollars to corporations and consultants. Bravo to Extreme Makeover; I’ve read that their budget per show is half that of a typical one-hour television series, and it is certainly money better spent than on say, an episode of the Bachelor.

  • Interesting quote in the Chronicle story, “Because the house is considered a complete donation, the family will not be responsible for a mortgage or property taxes, said Patrick Henderson, CEO of Energy Solution Homes, Blu Shields’ parent company.”. I can certainly understand about the mortgage but I wasn’t aware that property taxes do not apply on a donated property. Is that correct? It seems to me that at some point the County are going to want to start bring in property tax dollars on the place?

  • The 2010 assessement date was January 1st, so the improvements will not hit the tax rolls until 2011. I wonder if the show will pay those or just the taxes on the vacant lot for 2010?

  • and the bush bashing continues….at least they were tax dollars, the current admin. is spending (and printing) more money than any government in the history of the world, all the while receipts(taxes paid)continue to plumment. The only US employment growth is coming from the public sector aka the government paid for by tax dollars. I hope interest rates stay low so we can at least pay the interest on our exploding debt.

  • Question: What have we learned in 2,064 years?

    “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
    public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
    tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should
    be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to
    work, instead of living on public assistance.”

    Cicero – 55 BC

    Answer: Evidently — nothing.

  • This is cool – about time the Gulf Coast is represented on national TV.

    I, too, worry about the recipients of these “free” homes – their ability to pay for and maintain them in the long-term.

    ^cross: Please go take a powder.

  • Movocelot – I agree that it’s great to get national Ike coverage, I’ll leave after you join us one weekend in the near future assisting with a rebuild in San Leon, still plenty of work down here to go around.

  • Oh yes, there’s still plenty of work to do…
    What do you mean “you’ll leave when…?” Are you going somewhere?

  • I, too, worry about the recipients of these “free” homes – their ability to pay for and maintain them in the long-term.

    There is no mortgage or “gift tax” on these homes but they do pay property taxes from the point they take possession. The property taxes, a 6,340 square foot home obviously is not going to be valued at $100,000 and in Kemah probably will be closer to $1,000,000 than $100,000, and the utility bills along with maintenance have proven to be cumbersome for some of the others – some of whom they took out “home equity loans” and then defaulted on those. And then lost the homes.

    And of course the neighbors may not think much of this if their valuations go up as a result of the new home.

  • I’m confused cross, I have read this story, the linked story in the Chron and all the comments here and I can’t see the alleged “Bush-bashing”. Maybe you could point it out for me.