10+ Behind-The-Scenes Secrets About 'Extreme Makeover' Fans Didn't Know

Well, Extreme Makeover fans, it's time to take a deep dive into one of your favorite shows on TLC.

There will be some stuff that surprises you in this article, so be warned!

1. It Wasn't Their First Time Being In The Spotlight


Before being on Extreme Makeover Rib Hillis was an actor.

He actually did some work on the show Model Citizen, just in case you were going to look him up.

2. Rib Hillis Hated Reality TV


He told The Futon Critic:

"As an actor, I didn't want to do reality TV. I hate reality TV. It takes away work for actors. As an actor I was reluctant but as a father of twins I thought, 'I'll do what I gotta do.'"

3. The Application Process Was Long


While anyone could potentially be on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, it was still a very long and grueling process to get on the show.

Applicants would have to fill out an extensive application, then have to wait months to hear back from the show.

4. The Higgins Orphans Had Legal Troubles With The Show And Their Adoptive Parents


Back in 2005, we were subject to the ultimate feel-good story:

Phil and Loki Leomiti were going to adopt five teens, The Higgins Orphans, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was going to make them a house.

The Higgins Orphans Had Legal Troubles With The Show And Their Adoptive Parents (CONT)


Everything started out great, the house was nice and the kids seemed happy.

But soon after, the orphans sued the Leomitis and ABC, citing the adoptive parents and the show had committed fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The case was dismissed in 2007.

5. Free House? I Don't Think So.


Sure, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will build you the house no problem, but there are other costs to own a home.

Some of the contestants on the show can't afford the higher property taxes, and one even had to sell his home because of high utility bills.

6. In Fact, Foreclosures Are Frequent.


This is also because of high utility costs and other hidden fees.

One example is The Harvey family, who was given a huge house only to have the bank foreclose on it six years later.

7. Guess What Happened To The Okvaths?


You know, the people who got a home theatre and a fully functioning carousel?

If you guessed they faced huge power bills, had to take a $405,000 loan against the house and eventually split up, you'd be right.

8. They Use An Interesting Method To Get Around Some Taxes


Alright, so this is going to be full of tax talk, so stay with me here.

So in some states, you may have to pay taxes on certain improvements you make to your house. I.E. The Makeover.

They Use An Interesting Method To Get Around Some Taxes (CONT)


However, you don't have to pay those taxes if your house is rented our 15 days a year. So, the show says that they're renting the house and the makeover is how they pay their rent.

The contestants are tax-free, except for, you know, the crazy property taxes.

9. Debbie Oatman Had Even Worse Anger Issues After The Show


The single mom in Colonie, NY had some issues before the show started, but they got worse with the new taxes the property came with.

One of her sons doesn't even talk to her because of it.

10. Sometimes, The Neighbors Get Angry


This mostly happens when the old owners (the people they built the house for) can't afford the place and move out.

The neighbors get pissed when new people move in and they, well, in a word: suck.

11. Sometimes Contestants Lie


This was the case for Chuck and Terri Cerda when they lied about their daughter's condition in order to get a new home.

Their lie was so bad they even had their daughters taken away from them.

12. The Maintenance Costs


If you manage to get past the new utility bills and property taxes, you still might get nailed with the immense maintenance costs of your new home.

This was the case for Sadie Holmes, who had to foreclose on her house because of them.