The Blog of Mike Rohrig, Realtor - Park Place Real Estate

Extreme Makeover House Going To Foreclosure

Here is a tour of the home.

EUGENE, Ore. — An Oregon family gained national attention when it was featured in the ABC hit show Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Since then, the family of Janessa “Boey” Byers has been dealt a tough hand.

Ty Pennington and his team built boey a new home to help her during her fight with cancer in October. Boey passed away in late December and now, the family is struggling to pay for the expensive new home.

The Extreme Home Makeover Crews demolished the Byers old house, but the old mortgage still stands. There’s still $250,000 dollars left on the old mortgage that they have to pay, plus they’re paying property taxes for the value of the new home because it’s worth more than the old home was. On top of that, utility bills now cost anywhere from $500 to $700 dollars a month.

Compounding the problem, family friends say Boey’s dad, recently lost a major client through his cleaning business. For a family that just lost a daughter, a sister, a warrior like Boey, it’s hard to imagine the situation getting any worse.

If you’d like to donate to the byer’s family, go to

I am curious why they can’t sell and take the improvements unless it is a choice and not a rule as suggested in the comments.  Sentimental value cannot be priced but being forced out of their home will be devastating and tarnish the memory more than selling it to a happy buyer.

Here is a clever rule that let’s them and other home owners from the show avoid paying income tax on the improvements.

Renovations to an existing house are considered tax exempt by allowing the said property to be leased or rented to the production company for 2 weeks while the work is happening. “Extreme Makeover” employs this strategy to avoid incurring taxes for the work they do. There’s actually a tax provision that allows homes to be rented for less than 15 days a year with no tax consequences, even while improvements are made by the tenant for that time period. The voluntary improvements should be considered of no value to the owner — obviously that’s something the owners here would claim.

Some more information on the taxes and winnings.

UPDATE: Recent news on a Georgia home that was in the foreclosure process but may have been saved.

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