From the Fairy Tale Failure files...

Publius pro tem

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Sep 30, 2007
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From the Fairy Tale Failure files - be careful what you wish for, eh?

This is the story of a "reality" show segment filmed in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona.

Canceled TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had role in Gilbert

by John Stanley - Jan. 13, 2012
The Republic |

On Friday night, ABC aired the final episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home
Edition," the reality TV show that captivated Valley viewers in 2005, when it
transformed a struggling Gilbert family's rented ranch house into a two-story,
5,300-square-foot dream home -- complete with a full-size, electrically
powered backyard carousel.

But financial woes spoiled the show's fairy-tale ending, forcing the Okvath
family -- Bryan, Nichol and their seven children -- to sell their one-time $1
million mansion for $540,000 in the spring of 2010.


Alfredo Dreyfus Jr., the owner and founder of Aero-Zone, a Mesa-based
company that sells new and aftermarket aircraft parts, bought it. Today
Dreyfus, his wife and their two young children live in the home, near Higley
and Guadalupe roads.

Although the property was described as an "extreme makeover home" in the
listing, Dreyfus didn't make the connection. He's not a fan of the show, he
said, and still hasn't seen the episode in which his home was built. He
thought the description just meant that the previous owner had sunk a lot of
money into improvements, so he was astonished by the amount of work the
home needed when he visited.

Still, he and his wife were intrigued with the design.

"It's got a Spanish villa feel and we love the idea of a horseshoe home
wrapping around a central courtyard," he said.

He knew it would take a lot of work to renovate the home, which had fallen
into disrepair.

But before they had even started work on the house, they received a couple
of offers for the house -- one of which would have meant a quick six-figure profit.

Though he and his wife discussed the offer, Dreyfus said, "We both really like
the uniqueness of the home and the rural feel of it. We can see our family
being raised here and living the rest of our lives here."

It took six months of renovation - new tile, new paint, new carpeting, new
baseboards and extensive landscaping - before the Dreyfus family could move
in. The home's famous carousel was long gone, so Dreyfus added a
playground set, canopy and a retractable awning in the courtyard.

The only downside to living in a home that millions of people have seen on TV?

"Sometimes people stop their cars in the middle of the road and jump out to
take a picture," Dreyfus said. "It's kind of weird, but fun. It's a great house
and a good conversation piece."

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" debuted in late 2003 and peaked in
popularity in 2005, when it averaged 16 million viewers a week. ABC canceled
the Emmy-award winning home makeover show in mid-December.

Ty Pennington, a carpenter and former model, served as the genial host of
the series, which featured an army of volunteers rebuilding the homes of
hard-luck families in a matter of days.

The Gilbert episode began in 2004, when one of the Okvath's daughters,
Kassandra, then 8, was undergoing treatment for cancer at the University of
Arizona Medical Center in Tucson. She was a fan of the show and wrote to
the producers, asking them to rebuild the center's cancer ward.

The producers, touched by her selfless plea, hatched a bigger plan. In
addition to renovating the cancer ward, they would tear down the 1,800-
square-foot house (with its leaky roof and problem plumbing) that
Kassandra's family was renting and rebuild a dream home.

The project generated enormous interest in the Valley. Nearly 4,000 people
stood outside the home on a cold and rainy February day to watch the
unveiling. The episode aired on March 13, 2005, with the stunned Okvath
family reacting with smiles and tears of joy.

And the home's owner, who had okayed the renovation, had signed the
property over to the Okvaths, giving the family full ownership.

It seemed like exactly the type of happy ending the show was famous for,
but after the cameras left, reality intruded.

Utility bills skyrocketed, reaching $1,200 during the summer months; property
taxes increased from $1,625 in 2005 to more than $4,100 in 2006.

Bryan, who was unemployed when the show was filmed, worked sporadically
as a truck driver and fire fighter, but none of the jobs paid particularly well.
Strapped, the couple used the house as collateral for a $405,000 loan in 2006,
but payments on the adjustable-rate mortgage soon became unmanageable.

They tried to sell the house several times -- for $1.9 million in 2007, then for
$1.4 million -- but they got no offers.

They narrowly avoided losing the home at a public auction in 2008, then put
the house up for sale again. By 2009, the asking price had dropped to $800,000.

In early 2010, it was reported that the Okvaths had been separated for
several months and seemed headed for divorce. Efforts to reach them for
comment were unsuccessful.

Canceled TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had role in Gilbert

This story has "fxcked up" written all over it - let me count the ways... :facepalm:



Senior Member
Oct 18, 2008
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When I saw "Canceled TV show", my first thought was "good", because I thought they were talking about this new pos:

[ame=]Official Hottsdale Trailer Remix - YouTube[/ame]

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