It has been almost four years since ABC television show "Extreme Makeover" built an eight-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house near Houston, Texas, for Larry and Melissa Beach and their thirteen children. Displaced when Hurricane Ike destroyed their home, the family was living in a travel trailer until the show's producers chose them for fame and a new home.
Now, however, the Beaches say their needs have changed. CultureMap Houston carries the story (see: "Extreme Makeover home for sale in Kemah — at reduced price," by Elizabeth Rhodes). "The Beach family said they were very happy with ABC, but that things changed when Mercy, their 2-year-old daughter, died from a seizure only weeks after the house was finished," reports CultureMap. "They then decided they no longer wanted to foster kids and the sizeable house became unnecessary as their children started moving away."
Selling the house, however, is no easy task, according to a report in the New York Daily News (see: "'Extreme Makeover' family selling house after three years," by Joel Landau). "Not everybody needs a house this big," real estate agent Alana Croker told the News.
The Beaches aren't the first family to find out that owning a big house can be hard to sell — and a burden to own. Other Extreme Makeover stories have ended the same way, according to press reports. Last summer, Jim and Carmen Simpson's house in Savannah, Georgia, sold for $442,000, the Savannah Morning News reported on August 30, 2013 (see: "Savannah's Extreme Makeover house sold for $442,000," by Mary Landers). According to the report, the owners had trouble with property tax bills.
Giving a family a big, expensive house on national television may not be a good way to try to change the course of their lives. Still, the Extreme Makeover homes offer an interesting look at what you can accomplish when you build with a generous budget. The Wall Street Journal offers this slideshow of Extreme Makeover houses in trouble ("'Extreme' Foreclosures"), showcasing the houses' expansive spaces, fine finishes, and unusual design flourishes.