Thursday, July 31, 2008

There's no place like Holmes

You may have seen it on TV, but tonight, I saw it in person: the house that Mike Holmes built in his special two hour show, Lein On Me. It just happens that the homeowner is a colleague of mine, and during our United Way fundraising campaign, she auctioned off a tour of her house. Myself and two colleagues were the highest bidders, which allowed us and our significant others to take a behind-the-scenes tour of this amazingly modern eco home. We got to ride in the elevator to the green roof, see the two solar systems, and the awe inspiring 1" copper plumbing that feeds the flexible water supply system. (I can only imagine what their water pressure must be like!!!)

I must admit that I'd never watched Holmes on Homes until the day after I bought this money pit. Three years ago, I was living in a condo, and the whole HGTV network had no appeal to me. The biggest repair jobs that I did there in 5.5 years was replace the toilet flapper and re-tape the dryer vent hose. But the day after I signed that agreement of purchase and sale on a very old house, I switched over to channel 46 for the first time. We both sat silently on the couch watching Mike Holmes discover appalling construction errors and then swoop in like a super hero and "make it right". When I closed my eyes that night, all that I could see was a black hole sucking up all my savings and future earnings. The $400 we paid on a home inspection gave me little comfort. I felt like Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo -- a swirl of worry about the roof, the foundation, the wiring, the plumbing, name it. The more that I watched the show, the more terrified I got. The more scared I was, the more I had to watch. My only salvation was to watch Holmes on Homes -- like a train wreck, I couldn't look away.

Sometimes Mike Holmes comes off as a bit too self-righteous on TV, although I'm glad to see that somebody is there to help homeowners like Christina & Joe. They have been through a tremendous ordeal, and while they are now the proud owners of an amazingly modern brand new home, being homeless for four years has taken its toll on them and their family. Being there and seeing it first hand, I was amazed by the design, architecture, and technology. I'm jealous of the environmental features and the amazing plumbing system that they have. But, I'm glad that my tiny little money pit has not revealed any of the problems that they've seen. I hope that if I meet Mike Holmes that it will be at a book signing or a cocktail party. But seeing his work in person was really fascinating.

To see photos and learn more about the house that Holmes built, visit the website. Or if you're one of my contacts on Flickr, you can see my photos there.


Toronto real estate agent said...

Hello Lisa,
Reading about a Holmes's show at your blog was really interesting.
As you said, until you haven't seen it, you didn't realized how many problems may occur when you own a house. I know what I'm talking about, because I do business with Toronto homes and having them all in perfect condition is really hard work.
I wish you not to be in such a show with your house!
Take care,

leonki said...

Hi Lisa, I'm unable to see the photos on the flickr account. Has this been changed recently?

Lisa said...

Only people who are my contacts on Flickr can see those photos. Sorry about that.