Every year, I enter the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway obsessively. This year, not so much.
I’ve been thinking about moving to Austin, Texas, and was looking at houses there. I found a beautiful new home, 3 bedrooms plus loft, all the amenities… for less than my little 2-bedroom house here is worth. But my idea when down in flames when I studied Texas finances more closely.
There is no state income tax there, but to make up for it they’ve imposed both a high sales tax and a high property tax. It turns out that the property tax on that house in Austin would have been as high as 6% — a burden added on to the monthly mortgage payment that would have been impossible for me. (Property taxes here in Arlington are about .9%.)
Anyway. People who’ve won the HGTV Dream House have generally sold it because the taxes are too much to deal with — not only tax on winning a $1.5 million home, but continuing property taxes. And it turns out that this year’s home is in… you guessed it, Texas. At 6%, the annual tax bill would be $90,000. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have that kind of money.
I think that sometimes, people probably wish their dreams hadn’t come true.
It’s really a beautiful home, though. It’ll make some multi-millionaire very happy.
The truth about “winning”:
None of the six previous Home & Garden Television Dream Home winners kept their prizes, but the Dream Homes themselves remain celebrities.
… A schoolteacher from Tulsa sold the house immediately after she was presented with a $250,000 tax bill.