The above picture is the before shot of the Hill's house in Suffield, Connecticut. In one week the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew along with Enfield based Pecoy's Construction Company cleared the entire of lot and rebuilt a new mega house. Sunday, June 28, 2009 was reveal day. After hours of setting up it was finally time for those three famous words...
MOVE THAT BUS!!
Ta da... here is the new and improved Hill house! It is fully loaded with 3 separate bedrooms, 7 smaller sleeping alcoves, an over sized laundry room, a stocked media room, workout room, and sprawling kitchen, living room, and sun rooms. Out back is a full basketball court, personalized with the Hill's name, and a beautiful stone patio with built in fireplace. Sorry no pictures were allowed, but trust me it's unbelievable!
I am very happy for the Hill family. Since this began I have met many people that know them very well and think they are the best pick for such a gift. However, I have to wonder if it's just too much. I know it's Hollywood, but wouldn't it make more sense to spread the charity out to more than one family in the community? There has been non stop coverage of the build, for obvious reasons. It isn't everyday that Hollywood parks itself in a small town neighborhood. It is exciting, but there is also a little discussed realty that is not as exciting.
Real people's lives are disrupted, their land and homes used and often abused by the unimaginable amount of crew members, volunteers, and of course the fans who hope to get a glimpse of some Hollywood glitter. The neighbors agree to participate with a good heart and absolutely no idea of how immense the ordeal will become. Community companies donate building materials, water, food, snacks, flowers, entertainment, and countless man/woman hours. When all is said and done the community is drained physically, mentally, and monetarily.
A recent radio program opened their phone lines to discuss the impact an event like this has on the neighborhood and the entire community. It is too soon to know what the outcome and overall impact on Suffield will be, but some very good points were brought up. A major issue was the fact that the Hill house is now worth a considerable higher amount of money than the surrounding houses. So even though no one else added any actual value to their houses, some even sustained damages, their property taxes will go up. Another serious issue was brought up by callers who knew neighbors of past Extreme Makeover families in Connecticut and New York. They said many of the damages and costs are left on the neighbors when the show is finished and the crew moves on. I am hoping, for my friends and their surrounding neighbors, that this is not the case in Suffield. I am all for giving and helping hard working families struggling to get by, but not at the expense and burden of other hard working families.
Let me know what you think. Knowing these factors would you be willing to let Extreme Makeover: Home Edition take over your neighborhood? Do you think the show is perfect the way it is or needs to evolve into a show that not only helps a family in need but also has a more positive impact on the entire community?