written by liz on Monday, January 12 2009

Ever since Home and Garden TV (HGTV)  announced their annual Dream Home giveaway I have been a little obsessed with the prize. They are giving away a brand new, farmhouse style house in Sonoma. Sonoma! Sonoma is one of my favorite towns in the whole world. Wine county living appeals to me. I love the smell of the air in Sonoma. Its part farm country, part small town. Yet, its in California, yet there is the European sensibility that comes from a small town square, outdoor living and markets. It has a casual yet sophisticated vibration. I could throw some fun parties there. I could be at peace in solitude there. It could work!

We live about an hour from there, so I thought it might make an excellent weekend vacation home, and I have even considered moving there entirely. I adore the house and area that much. My kids are young enough that it wouldn't be too disruptive, I reason with myself. It has been decorated to my taste, I love the kitchen. The bedroom looks like it was decorated for my two boys! Funny right? I am planning our move and I have not even won the contest!

Defying logic, I make the jump in my mind that I actually could win this contest even thought I know the odds are not really that great. Then, there is the question of if I really did win, how in the world I would pay the taxes on the place that would be somewhere between $700,000 and 800,000! That question led me to do a little research where I found this interesting article:  http://money.aol.com/cnnmoney/realestate/canvas3/_a/the-house-that-swallowed-don-and-shelly/20060627161909990001. In a nutshell, the article says, you probably cannot afford the house, if not, sell it immediately- only one of past 12 winners has tried to live in the house and that was not a good financial decision.

A bit of a letdown, no?

After I read that article I started to wonder, why HGTV gives away such houses.  If most people cannot afford the taxes on the prizes, or even the upkeep, why give away such a prize? 

The only reason I can come up with is: dreaming. Ultimately that is what HGTV is based on isn't it? With it's home makeover shows (Divine Design is my favorite), real estate shows that show you people purchasing new homes in other countries (House Hunters International). Almost every show on this channel seems to be laid on a foundation of dreams....

Seems obvious why they call this contest :The Dream Home contest. Maybe the idea that one could live in the home if they won it, is only a dream?

So, do I stop sending in my daily entry?

No, way. Who wants to stop dreaming?

If I have to sell it, I can tune back in to HGTV to get insight into that, and then on to some other shows to help guide me in remodeling the house I have, with HGTV won money from the sale of the dream home.

That is, if I could sell it in this market.

You decide: Dream or Nightmare...

I'll look at it on the bright side and still call it a dream.

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