When the US sets a regime change operation into motion, either in Iraq or Ukraine, one of the standard playbook moves is to show the former, corrupt “dictator’s crib”, while main stream media transmits pictures of outrage from the deposed despot’s home…for western zombie consumption.
Now that the US Presidential campaign is in full force, here are the lavish palaces (some candidates like Queen Hillary and Trump have multiple properties), and modest homes, of the candidates seeking to take up residence in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC.
With homeownership rates at multi-decade lows, and the American Dream disappearing for most, it appears it pays to be in government – from Trump Tower and Clinton’s Compounds to Bernie Sanders’ underwater mortgages and Carly Fiorina’s five fireplaces…
Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and Sen. Hillary Clinton own a five-bedroom, four-bathroom Dutch colonial–style home in Westchester County built in 1889 that was assessed at $375,000 in 2014. The home at 15 Old House Lane has 5,232 square feet of living area. Public records show the home was purchased in 1999 for $1.7 million with an adjustable-rate first mortgage of $1.4 million, according to CoreLogic. Zillow estimates the market value today at $2.3 million. (The low tax assessment for the home compared with its market value is another example of New York state’s well-documented phenomenon of inconsistent tax assessment schedules.)
The Clinton’s four-bedroom, six-bath (plus and two half-baths) home at 3067 Whitehaven St. in Washington, D.C., is two and a half stories with 5,152 square feet of living space and a brick exterior. Built in 1951 near Washington’s Embassy Row, the house was purchased by the Clintons in 2001 for $2.85 million, financing $2 million of that sum with a 30-year adjustable rate mortgage at 7.25% from Citibank with a down payment of $855,000. A Satisfaction of Mortgage filed in 2007 indicates it was paid off. The house was valued for the 2014 tax year at $5,049,180, and its projected assessment for 2016 is $5,225,900, according to CoreLogic. Zillow estimates the house to have a market value of $5.76 million.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (Democrat)
Martin O’Malley and his wife, Katie, purchased a four-bedroom, four-bath, 2,726-square-foot Tudor house at 5304 Tilbury Way in the Homeland section of North Baltimore in December 2014 for their family, which includes four children. They paid $549,000 in 2014, with a 30-year first mortgage of $494,100, according to CoreLogic. The two-story house was built in 1928 and has a stone fireplace, nine-foot ceilings and a cherry-paneled family room.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Democrat)
A senator from Vermont and a former mayor of Burlington, Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O’Meara, have a four-bedroom, 2 ½-bath home in Chittenden County. The colonial-style home was built in 1981 and sold to Sanders in 2009 for $405,000, according to CoreLogic. The property has a 2013 assessed value of $321,900.
Sanders and his wife also own a town house in the District. The 892-square-foot, one-bedroom, 1 ½-bath home with brick exterior was built in 1890. They bought it for $488,999 in 2007. The first mortgage was a 30-year conventional adjustable-rate mortgage for $391,200 at 5.88%. Records indicate there is also a $73,350 second mortgage on the property. The house has a taxable assessment of $480,970 for 2014 and a projected assessment in 2016 of $521,660.
Gov. Jeb Bush (Republican)
Coral Gables, Fla.
The former governor of Florida and his wife, Columba, live in the development of Almeria Row in Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami. They purchased their 3,485-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath town house in August 2011 for $1.3 million. Its assessed value in 2014 was $1.1 million. In July 2013, the Bushes refinanced their mortgage to a 30-year conventional loan for $754,000, according to CoreLogic.
Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican)
West Miami, Fla.
The Florida senator, his wife, Jeanette, and their four children live in a four-bedroom, three-bath house in West Miami. The single-family home has 2,581 square feet of living area and was built in 2005. The Rubios paid $550,000. It has a porch, brick patio and swimming pool. After listing the house in 2013 for $675,000, the Rubios didn’t end up selling. In June 2015, they refinanced to a 30-year mortgage for $604,000. In 2014, the total value of the home was assessed at $430,936, according to CoreLogic and Zillow. Zillow estimates the house would sell today for $569,749.
Gov. Chris Christie (Republican)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been in office since 2010, but he, his wife, Mary Pat, and their four children don’t live in the official New Jersey governor’s residence. The family lives in their 6,979-square-foot house in Mendham, N.J., which they bought in August 1998 for $775,000. Public records show the first mortgage was for $300,000 — a conventional, fixed-rate loan. They have since refinanced five times. The most recent loan was recorded in October 2008 for $400,000 — it is a 30-year adjustable-rate loan. The property assessed in 2014 for a total of $1.9 million and a market value of $2 million, according to CoreLogic.
Gov. Bobby Jindal (Republican)
Baton Rouge, La.
The Louisiana governor and native of Baton Rouge still lives in his hometown — but not in a privately owned residence. Bobby Jindal and his wife, Supriya, and three children live in the state Governor’s Mansion, where they have resided since January 2008. The home was built in 1963 and has 12 bedrooms, 18 baths, two kitchens, a kitchenette, two dining rooms, a breakfast room and a receiving room for state affairs.
Sen. Ted Cruz (Republican)
The junior senator, his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters live in a two-bedroom, 2 ½-bath luxury high-rise condominium unit with views of Houston, including the skyline. The Cruzes’ 19th-floor unit has 2,049 feet of living area and was built in 2003. Cruz and his wife bought it for $837,500 in September 2008 and financed $670,000 of it with a conventional, 30-year adjustable mortgage. In March 2011, public records show they refinanced $417,000 to a 15-year fixed-rate loan, according to CoreLogic data.
Sen. Rand Paul (Republican)
Bowling Green, Ky.
The junior senator from Kentucky and his wife, Kelley, live in a four-bedroom, three-bath home with 4,206 square feet of living area. The white house with a gabled roof was built in 1994 and sits on a lush, tree-lined 1.99-acre lot. Its total value was assessed at $525,000 in 2014 with a land value of $257,500. In July 2014, the Pauls took a 10-year conventional mortgage out on the property for $172,500
Rick Perry (Republican)
James Richard “Rick” Perry and his wife, Anita, spent the past 15 years living in the Texas Governor’s Mansion. When he left office this past January, the couple moved to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom town house in Austin while a new home is being built in Round Top, a community about 70 miles from the state capital in Fayette County.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (Republican)
The South Carolina senator has been in office since January 2003 and has two residences: one in Washington and one in his home state. The latter is a 1,901-square-foot single-family ranch home in Seneca, S.C., built in 1989. He bought it for $164,000 in October 1993. In 2013, it was assessed at $213,230. A new, five-year conventional mortgage was recorded on March 2012 for $51,138.
Graham also has a two-bedroom, two-bathroom 1,254-square-foot brick town house in Washington, D.C., that was purchased in 1997. Public records show the most recent mortgage is a 30-year conventional loan recorded June 21, 2012, for $207,000. The town house was assessed in 2015 at $560,910.
Donald Trump (Republican)
New York City, N.Y.
Media personality and commercial property developer Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, live on Trump Tower’s top three floors, which are lavishly decorated in 24-karat gold and marble. The home was designed by Angelo Donghia in a style reminiscent of King Louis XIV with painted ceilings, ornate columns, opulent furnishings and crystal chandeliers. Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the entire tower in 2012, New York City public records show.
Palm Beach, Fla.
The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach was initially a 126-room, 110,000-square-foot estate that Trump bought for $10 million in 1985. After a renovation, the home is said to have 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot-long marble-top dining table, 12 fireplaces and three bomb shelters. Trump keeps private residential quarters at the club, which he calls his “home away from home.”
He transferred the property to Mar-A-Lago Club Inc. in 1995 with a $10 million mortgage,according to CoreLogic.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.