MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - The whole Extreme Makeover project is about lightening the load for the remarkable Carr family - not just physically, but financially. In fact, we have received countless emails and phone calls from East Texans worried whether the Carrs can afford their new home.
The bottom line is thousands of East Texans are stepping up to give of themselves, their time, and their skills. And, it will take just as many East Texans stepping up to open their wallets.
The concern is definitely valid. There have been a few Extreme Makeover families who have faced some foreclosure issues with their homes. The show's executive producer explained what it will take to make the Carr's as comfortable in their new home as possible.
"How amazing is it that, in literally one day, you can watch so many changes take ?" said Extreme Executive Producer, Conrad Ricketts, who has been with the show since season one.
He says some families borrowed against the equity of their homes to start businesses, creating foreclosure problems. Other families reportedly had issues maintaining adjusted mortgages, or making utility payments.
"One of the things that we're very concerned about when we come into the neighborhood is making something that fits in the neighborhood and something that's absolutely gorgeous and beautiful...and will be with the family for generations," he explained.
Ricketts says the Carr's will actually see lower energy bills thanks to all the green and energy efficient materials going into the home. We are told the family is also not responsible for any state or federal income tax increases.
"That's what I do everyday...taxes, so that's a concern that look at...and I say, 'Oh wow, they're getting a house that's 5 times the value that they had...how are they going to pay their taxes?'" said Ricketts.
And Wood County Tax Assessor-Collector, Carol Taylor, says the Carrs' property taxes could be at least triple the current rate. Fortunately, Taylor says the new house went up after January first, which means the Carrs' tax bill will be for the old house, this year. They won't get the tax bill for the new house until next year. The old house was demolished, Friday, but not the old mortgage.
"[We need] as much as people are willing to donate," said Jerry Woolverton with Texas Bank and Trust.
He says donations are already coming into a managed trust fund set up for the family, but more are needed to not just wipe out the old mortgage, but take care of any medical needs, and taxes on the home.
"The spirit and the giving nature and the compassion of the East Texas people is well known," said Woolverton.
That same generosity will keep the blessing from becoming a burden. You can donate in person at any Texas Bank and Trust branch, or you can go to the Extreme Makeover site to make secure credit card donations, online.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:59 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:59:50 GMT
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