Savannah 'Extreme Makeover' house sold

Steve Bisson/ Savannah Morning News
The 'Home Makeover' house in Savannah has been sold to another family
Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 7:05 AM
Last updated 6:51 PM
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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Less than three years after they moved in with cameras rolling and hundreds of volunteers cheering, Jim and Carmen Simpson have moved out of their Extreme Makeover house.

Augusta's 'Home Makeover' home  Chronicle/ file
Chronicle/ file
Augusta's 'Home Makeover' home

A “Sold” sign sits in the manicured yard of the now-empty mint green neo-Victorian, which sold for $442,000 last week.Carmen Simpson confirmed the house at East 55th and Abercorn streets was sold but declined to elaborate.

“I actually don’t have an interest in carrying on the publicity,” she said. “I don’t know anything about the buyers.”

Buyer’s agent Scott Shippy of Realty Executives Coastal Empire said the new owners are a military family from Hawaii. They weren’t interested in the home’s reality TV pedigree.

“They didn’t know a thing about it,” Shippy said. “They looked at many homes in Ardsley and were disappointed the homes were all so old and tattered. Even at the sales prices listed they needed hundreds of thousands in renovations."

“I said, ‘Surely you wouldn’t be interested in this particular listing because as a matter of fact it was the Extreme Makeover house. They were interested in it if it was a good fit.”

They closed on the house Aug. 23.

The house, built in six days in November 2010 by an army of local volunteers working around the clock, was first listed more than a year ago for $523,000. At the time, the Simpsons indicated they had outgrown the house with the birth of their fourth child. The listed price was reduced to $490,000 in July.

The family was chosen for the now-cancelled ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in part because of the medical situation of their then-youngest child Zoe. He was born with hydrops fetalis and was not expected to live but beat the odds. The house included a therapy room and heated outdoor pool to address his ongoing needs.

Led by J.T. Turner Construction, scores of local businesses donated time and materials to build and furnish the four-bedroom, three-bath home. Because of a loophole in the federal tax code, the couple didn’t have to claim its value as income.

A fundraiser paid off the mortgage on their old house, which they had bought at foreclosure about a year earlier for $67,525.They received other gifts, too, including a new Ford Explorer, three iPads from St. Andrew’s School, a desktop computer and two notebook computers from Savannah computer firm Infiniti, a lifetime family membership to the Telfair Museum of Art, a year’s supply of milk from Chik-fil-A, and $100,000 worth of scholarships from South University.

Still, maintaining the home proved challenging. Jim Simpson is a minister who runs his own audio-visual business, Shift Creative, as well as the church he founded, City Church Savannah. Carmen has described herself as a stay-at-home mom who home schools.

The couple paid its annual city and county property tax bill of more than $8,000 months late and with penalty and interest of about $1,000 for both 2011 and 2012.

Carmen Simpson said her family is staying in the Savannah area.“Our lives are here,” she said. “Our son’s therapy is here. Our church is here.”

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soapy_725
43686
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soapy_725 08/31/13 - 08:33 am
1
0
Our scam is here. Hallelujah. Check the county tax records.
Unpublished

Our scam is here. Hallelujah. Check the county tax records.

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/31/13 - 08:34 am
1
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Not enough room for people who lived in a shack? No pool?
Unpublished

Not enough room for people who lived in a shack? No pool?

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/31/13 - 08:43 am
1
0
Land & house valued at $664K per Chatham Co Tax Records.
Unpublished

Land & house valued at $664K per Chatham Co Tax Records.

soapy_725
43686
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soapy_725 08/31/13 - 08:46 am
1
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2009 Foreclosure? Who is Kara Co., LLC? US Bank National?
Unpublished

2009 Foreclosure? Who is Kara Co., LLC? US Bank National?

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/31/13 - 08:49 am
1
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Purchased out of foreclosure. 47 E. 55th St. The truth will set
Unpublished

Purchased out of foreclosure. 47 E. 55th St. The truth will set

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 08/31/13 - 10:29 am
6
0
Glad it was

Cancelled. I loved the show, but almost all of them are sold! Volunteers time, businesses donating, etc. to HELP so called needy folks only to learn they wasted it all.
Can't pay taxes, etc..
JMO

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 08/31/13 - 10:46 am
9
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Show Pitch

Maybe ABC could re-visit with a new reality series called Extreme Flip-Over.

Sweet son
10553
Points
Sweet son 08/31/13 - 12:04 pm
8
0
Donate 50% of the proceeds to a charity.

Sounds like they got a deal by moving from a $67,000 house to one given to them worth nearly .5 millions dollars.

We all know that in these situations that the homeowners won't be able to maintain the residence or pay the taxes.

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month!

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 08/31/13 - 01:16 pm
5
1
ss- Thanks for putting

ss- Thanks for putting Ovarian Cancer out there, It should be called "The Silent Thief" instead of "The Silent Killer". It will rob your mothers,sisters and daughters of their lives. I hate it with a passion.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 08/31/13 - 08:09 pm
2
0
Algorithm

Man, talk about a faulty algorithm. This story popped up on the "Most Discussed" list with only four comments. There were many discarded which had more than that!

jrsc429
381
Points
jrsc429 08/31/13 - 10:05 pm
3
0
take the money and run

The Simpsons sold the house, but they get to keep the Explorer, the IPads, the desktop, and the laptops? The Museum membership was probably not voided, as were the scholarships. Sounds like a deal to me!

bdouglas
5135
Points
bdouglas 08/31/13 - 11:10 pm
1
0
Worth noting that the Extreme

Worth noting that the Extreme Home Makeover show works on a little known Federal tax loophole (shocker!) that allows one to lease their home out for up to 15 days in a calendar year tax free. Any improvements made to the property in that up to 15 day period are not taxable. So the family legally 'leases' the property to the show, they completely tear down the house and rebuild, and the entire thing does not face the hefty income taxes it would face had the home just been given to them outright. Now, the other associated things like the furniture, electronic gadgets, cars, etc. I would imagine qualify to be taxed, but they are minimal in comparison with the home.

Anybody remember when the name of the show actually meant something because they really did makeover a home, rather than tearing it all down and starting over?

corgimom
33163
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corgimom 09/01/13 - 03:36 pm
0
1
bdouglas, that is a

bdouglas, that is a well-known IRS rule, it's called the Augusta National rule, and was generated by people that rented out their house for the Masters.

bdouglas
5135
Points
bdouglas 09/01/13 - 10:29 pm
0
0
@corgimom

Well known in Augusta, maybe, but not nationwide. I'm sure the IRS amended their tax code just for people in Augusta to rent their homes out for the Masters...

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