Being on ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ Seemed Like a Dream After Her Husband Died. Now It’s a Nightmare

For more than a decade, Arlene Nickless took care of her house and three children while her husband, Tim, worked as a nurse at Ingham Regional Medical Center. She had become accustomed to the routine, and she loved being at home with her family.

But, according to the Lansing State Journal, Tim contracted hepatitis C from a contaminated needle at the hospital. Her home soon fell into disrepair as the family focused on Tim’s health. Sadly, after seven years of illness, he passed away in January 2008.

Arlene realized she couldn’t tackle the necessary home renovations by herself.

Nine months later, Ty Pennington and the team of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” visited her.

She told the television host that she struggled as she watched her husband disappear before her very eyes. After he passed, she had a hard time keeping up with the renovations and mortgage.

In a time of economic depression, her community came together to help the struggling family in need. “Extreme Makeover” didn’t hold back, either. The team knocked down the house and built a unique, new four-bedroom home.

But according to the Daily Mail, nearly nine years after the show broadcasted, her house has been foreclosed on and is now up for auction.

Nickless told the Lansing State Journal:

“When I stepped out of the house the day Extreme Makeover came, you will see me say ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’ And, truthfully, that’s what I feel right now: I can’t believe this is happening.”

She tried to keep up with the mortgage but the mortgage companies kept changing hands, and soon her original balance, which was $30,000 at the time of the show, skyrocketed to $113,000 by 2016.

Nickless feels guilty for losing the house:

“I feel bad because so many people came together to help us. I know I shouldn’t feel like I let them down, but I do.”

MarketWatch reports that the foreclosure rate in April 2017 hit a 10-year low in the U.S., which was 433,000 homes. During the housing crisis, an average of more than 2 million homes were lost per year.

While experts agree the number of foreclosures has dropped to a healthy level, the housing market still has not reached the average level of foreclosure rate from before the housing bubble, around 272,000 homes.

“Extreme Makeover” has faced scrutiny in the past for renovating houses at costs that were too much for families to handle.

But Arlene wasn’t concerned about losing the house, her tears were for her husband. She told the Lansing State Journal as she finished packing her boxes, “He deserved this more than anything.”



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