HGTV'S DREAM HOME 2006!
January 1- February 17 2006. I recently read an article in our local newspaper that makes alot of sense and is quite true for any dream home winner.
(yes, it's long but a good read)
(This is a reproduction of parts of an article published in
The Kentucky New Era and written by Associated Press).
Go Ahead and Dream about the HGTV home contest ---
just don't count on moving in.
Lake Lure, N.C. (AP)
Go ahead and dream. That's what the HGTV's annual Dream Home contest is all about. Just don't get attatched to the idea that you'll ever actually live in the 2006 grand prize, a 5,700-square-foot traditional-style mountain home
perched atop a ridge in the Blue Ridge foothills near Lake Lure.
Even if you're lucky enough to have the winning entry out of the more than
40 MILLION entires that are expected to pour in between the start of the contest to the Feb. 17th deadline, actually taking up residence may very well prove quite unthinkable.
(Unless you actually already have a home worth around 2 million dollars.)
The contest's 2005 winner, Don Cruz, moved from suburban Chicago to
Tyler, Texas, to take possession of his dream home, a lakefront property
valued at $1.5 million, plus furnishings. But taxes on his winnings are expected to total more than $650,000, and local officials slammed the door on Cruz's plan to pay his bills by renting the boathouse and a master bedroom.
In a recent telephone interview, Cruz said he's still living in Tyler and has no plans to leave, even as April 15 looms.
"We plan to stay," he said. "God will provide. We'll say a prayer,
turn it over to him and he provides. It'll all work out."
The daunting fiscal math of the Dream Home - even if you survive the
initial tax crunch, there's the annual expense of local property taxes, plus maintenence and upkeep - has kept ALL but TWO of the nine winners
from EVER living in their homes.
This year the prize package includes $250,000 from Lending Tree to help the winner with the tax bill. But HGTV spokeswoman Emily Yarborough emphasizes that the network still doesn't expect winners to actually live
in the Dream Home.
(me here - I say then why not do a friggin home someone can actually LIVE IN?!, hell the reason most of us enter is because we WANT to live in a place like they build!)
She states Cruz is not losing money. It is just his idea of the dream is wrapped up in the house whereas HGTV's vision of the dream is that it
enables you to do what you want to do.
That's a notion seconded by Kathi Nakao, the 2004 winner.
She was able to spend several extended vacations at the home she won in St. Mary's GA. before selling it last July.
"Ordinary people cannot keep a home like that," she said, "I think it's meant to change your life, more than that they expect you to keep it."
(me again - yea if I won it it would change my
life by bankrupting me completely!! yet I keep entering!)
The twist to the Dream Home competition is that un-like a cash lottery, what attracts millions of entries is not a vague dream of wealth, but the tangible
reality of the home itself.
Starting Jan. 1, the Lake Lure house's assets will be shown off during several hours of HGTV programming, climaxing with a LIVE broadcast on APRIL 22, in which one of three finalists will be given the key to the home.
Hopeful entrants can take 360-degree Internet tours of its rooms; the truly eager can even travel to Lake Lure and walk through the house.
The combined effect is a depiction of a lifestyle as detailed as the picture on the plasma television that hangs in the home's game room; A life that includes
a wine cellar, an exercise room and your very own sauna.
(most of us know we will never reach this
lifestyle goal, but we keep trying. It's the american dream.)
"You start imagining, salivating, fixating on that home," said Anthony Pratkanis, a prof. of social psychology at the Univ. of California.
"It's a 'phantom fixation' - an un-available alternative that looks real and the contest plays along." The same principle - a FANTASY seemingly made real
by its details-- is central to much Advertising, Pornography
and many a Con Scheme, Pratkanis said.
Fantasy or not, the contest has been a real-world smash for HGTV since
the first Dream Home, in Jackson Hole, Wyo., was given away in 1997.
It generates hours of wintertime programming and is popular with sponsors who like the buzz and product placement it offers.
Atlanta-based Land Resource Companies is the developer of Grey Rock
at Lake Lure, the 4,000-acre community that is built around
this year's Dream Home. For the company, it's a return engagement -
the Georgia house won by Nakao two years ago was also in one of its develeopments. Spokesman Cameron McLemore said Grey Rock
recieved 6,000 inquiries the day it was announced as a Dream Home site; meanwhile, St. Mary's Ga., is still getting HGTV-driven inquiries two years after its Dream Home was given away.
Nakao's own story offers an illustration of how the contest hits the sweet spot for the network, its audience and its sponsors. In 2003, she happened
to turn on HGTV and "catch a program showing some furniture."
So, there you have it. While the winner of this year's house is not
expected to live in it, it doesn't stop us all from dreaming.
So enter to your hearts desire. We may not win, but we
will always dream.