Skip to comments.How Rick Santorum got a $2 million Virginia estate
Posted on 03/09/2012 11:05:29 AM PST by VU4G10
Rick Santorum built his presidential candidacy on the premise that he is very different than wealthy, establishment front-runner Mitt Romney, that he is someone who has faced the plights of the average American. Among the hardships Santorum claims to share is an underwater mortgage, the kind that's forcing millions from their homes.
"The value of my house is a fraction of what it was when I bought it," the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania recently told Michigan supporters.
But the Republican presidential contender's housing situation is quite unlike the one so many other Americans actually face, according to experts and documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
Santorum bought his $2 million, five-acre home in the tony Washington suburb of Great Falls, Va., in August 2007 through a trust in a deal aided by a high-profile tax lawyer who serves as an officer for one of the largest homebuilders in the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com ...
That does not preclude me from discussing the candidates, does it?
I'm a long time supporter of Santorum, I've worked for his campaign, I donated money in the past and this time around as well.
Rick's problem isn't that he's wrong on the issues, it's that he's so bad at messaging: He can say something that's so right in a way that makes it sound so wrong. He makes statements that just haven't been thought out. He would get DESTROYED in the general election.
It’s just odd that you claim that many FReepers own $2 million dollar homes, you dislike Gingrich and Santorum, and youclaim not to support anyone.
So who benefits from your sitting out?
Maybe, ask Newt.
It depends on the legal definition of “lobbyist”
If he was lobbying or otherwise trying to influence policymakers to hire or otherwise favor conservatives and conservative positions, then hooray for him. I hope he succeeded. That’s what some lobbyists do, you know, they
work for what we believe in.
I've warned about the topic for over a month.
Finally, he might get some vetting! Given the push for Santorum on FR, his supporters had better want to know what it is they're backing for the nomination.
If Rick Perry's land deals or Obama's mortgages are "fair game" (both have been on FR) then so is Santorum's real estate dealing. "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" is no way to choose a nominee. It needs to be all out in the open and the sooner, the better for all concerned.
It was definitely a Democrat political enemy who picked up on it, but on the other hand, he did lie about it. He didn’t live in that house and it wasn’t his PA residence. He owned the house and had lived in it a long time ago, but had rented it out since then.
My wife and I own six properties. All of them are held in a trust. Anybody with a net worth over a million and who has not put his assets into a trust is a fool.
Probably no one, since I am in a blue state which will go to Obama anyway.
It’s a state where the dead vote.
Don’t worry, they’ll stop right after Santorum does the right thing for the country.......dropping out.
You didn't quite get that right; Santorum’s house did decline in value (25% according to the article); however, Santorum did misrepresent his situation by claiming that his mortgage is “underwater.”
It appears Santorum was able to obtain a series of financial arrangements not usually available to those of us on “Main Street.” After his home declined in value, he was able to refinance his “underwater” mortgage at 4% so that now he does not owe more than the house is worth and he is in absolutely no danger of losing his home.
Now nothing about all of this is illegal; and I don't fault Rick for getting the best “deal” that was available to him; however, I still believe he frequently misrepresents himself to the voters as being “one of us.” He isn't; he's a well to do, D.C. insider who has used his power and influence for personal gain whenever it suited him.
At least Newt has apologized and tried to make amends for his sins; Rick still seems to be too enchanted w/his own illusion to submit to that level of introspection and remorse.
As a military family who homeschools, which has permanent residency in a homeschool friendly state, we must comply with the laws of our current state and deal with the local school district. I wish it were otherwise.
Benefits two liberals specifically.
Mittens and Barry Bigears.
I live in New York.
If more people took your point of view, New York would be even worse.
Did you even read the article???
“Tax assessments show a nearly 25 percent drop in the house’s value since its peak in early 2008 just after Santorum purchased it”
the rest of this HIT PIECE tries to make it sound ominous that he got a job here and decided to move permanently to Virginia, purchased his home in the name of a trust (financial planning), that the source of the down payment was not public (he sold another house plus he got a big job with maybe a signing bonus, common), that he refinanced it several times even thought the values declined (at LTV normal and acceptable for home refinance) and that he claimed (accurately) that his home value dropped - but he’s not underwater (??so??)
Say What? What is it again you “care” about?
When I first saw the pic I thought that he got very screwed at that price.
Then I read about some of those ‘common man’ things—the house features an 800-square-foot outdoor swimming pool and a 704-square-foot basement rec room. LMAO
It’s not the price of the house that should bother anyone...... it’s the deception, stupid.
This guy is a pretender....
The issue is his bringing it up to make it look like he feels for the regular Joes. I have no sympathy for easy credit and easy mortgages that people get in over their head with and are not prepared for the worst.
Because VU is a Romneybot. Check his history.
The issue I see with it, is not that he has a 2 million dollar house or that he took out a large mortgage.
I’ve seen his house and it’s a nice house.
Imagine the ads that the Dems could take out on Santorum, using his words about feeling the pain of the common man and then, in the ad, doing a fly-by of the house and asking the question, “Does this look like the house of a man who can feel your pain of losing your house?”
He’d be far better off trying to tell us how he’d solve the housing problem, using conservative principles and not worry about trying to feel our pain.
I’m not saying that because I’m jealous of his house, but I know how the Dems would use his words against him.
Thanks to our greedy rulers, DC is one of the richest areas in the country. $2 million isn’t all that impressive.
I just would like to see Americans get back to the situation that they could own $2 million properties without going broke. I don’t begrudge Santorum a $2 million dollar house.
How did the boy get rich, anyway? And what job did he take up after losing his Senate seat? Flipping burgers at a Bun-n-Run?
Stupid is giving up your objectivity in your lust to bolster your candidate. Santorum is an inside the beltway establishment type that can’t win a simple Senate reelection. This article gave me new information about him. Yet, you want cover up this information to try and make him look better than he is.
Snarky, know-it-all activists like yourself always resort to personal insults in an effort to shame folks into silence. Do you even know how stupid you sound?
Naw, didn’t think so.
Nope, I didn’t get it quite right, but both of you correctly get the gist of my point.
Multi-tasking you know.....
We HEART your boy, don't we, boys and girls?!
I’m glad that you don’t mind that he might have a house large enough to be seen from the moon or that it’s worth half the national debt.
I don’t mind either.
What I do mind is him making it an election issue for the Democrats to play his words, about being in the same boat as the rest of us, when he’s not and giving them a soundbite that can be played over and over again in some of the swing states.
That, I mind very much.
Wow I was going to put my money on the good friend of the Obama’s Tony Rezko as the answer.
Antoin “Tony” Rezko (born 1955) is a American businessman, political fundraiser, restaurateur, and real estate developer in Chicago, convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery in 2008. He was a fundraiser for local Illinois Democratic and Republican politicians since the 1980s. After becoming a major contributor to Rod Blagojevich’s successful gubernatorial election, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state’s first Democratic administration in twenty years. Rezko was able to have business associates appointed onto several state boards. Rezko and several others were indicted on federal charges in October 2006, for using their connections to the state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses that wanted to do business with the state. While the others pleaded guilty to the charges, Rezko pleaded not guilty and was found guilty of 16 of the 24 charges filed against him. On November 23, 2011, Rezko was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison
Understood. We’re of the same opinion; just trying to help clarify. Your main point was quite valid.
“Snarky, know-it-all activists like yourself always resort to personal insults in an effort to shame folks into silence. Do you even know how stupid you sound?”
I’m a Newt supporter, but seriously you are buying into the MSM.
Santorum owns a house in PA too. What has happened to THAT value?
No, it is about dragging every democratic hit piece into a God fearing Forum in order to trash one candidate to benefit the candidate that is currently running 4th in a three man race.
My prediction at the beginning of this season was that none of the nine candidates would ever be President, this is the reason why. SO live it up while you can.
He did it to himself. He ran for the House on the theme that the Congressman for the district had "abandoned" it and moved to DC. Then he turned around and did the very same thing as senator, stiffed Pennsylvania taxpayers for his so-called "cyber homeschooling" of five kids while living in VA.
Legal? It was; he's a lawyer, you expect such technical compliance. Is it a moral or ethical way to treat the home folk he supposedly represented? NO.
It's even more galling when he uses homeschooling as a campaign prop for how moral and righteous he is.
You're comparing a mess of Santorum's own making to the trials and tribulations Palin went through just for breathing? That's pathetic.
[Wonder why these sudden pieces on Santorum? And why on FR?]
Pieces? you mean factual exposure of a fraud and a lying hypocrite......Santorum; Voted into the list of top Corrupt Senators.
No, I’m not buying the MSM. I’m not buying that owning a home in Northern Va. gives you an idea of the real world either.
The truth is somewhere in the middle, but no one in the MSM is asking me to support them for President.
No, they are asking you to believe their smears so Mitt can be nominated and lose to Obama.
How come all these politicians, from local mayors to county, to state and those in the federal mob all live like celebrities, with million dollar homes, world travel, multiple businesses, big bank accounts, limos etc.
WTF is up with that?
I don’t care about their motivation. I don’t yet buy into a universe that’s either Santorum or Mitt. If you do buy into that universe, you will never figure out where I’m coming from.
If I have to buy into that awful universe at some point in time, I will - but not yet.
>>Is this the house he was living in when he lied about his residence to get the PA on-line home-schooling program?<<
As you are an honorable FReeper I know that you are posting this mistakenly.
First read this from Wiki..
Santorum’s residency has been controversial, with critics noting that Santorum had made the residency of his opponent a major campaign issue when he first ran for Congress in 1990.
In 1997, Santorum purchased a three bedroom house in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills. In 2001, he bought $640,000 house in Leesburg, Virginia, but sold it in 2007 for $850,000, and purchased a $2 million home in Great Falls, Virginia.
“In November 2004, the Penn Hills School District, which was paying 80% of the tuition costs associated with the Santorum’s five older children attending the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, asked Santorum to repay $67,000 in tuition costs as the district believed that he and his family were spending most of the year in Virginia and did not meet the qualifications for residency status. Santorum disputed the assessment and withdrew his children from the cyber education program. On July 8, 2005, a Pennsylvania state hearing officer dismissed the complaint as not being filed in a timely manner. The school district sought reimbursement from the state and in September 2006, the Pennsylvania Department of Education agreed to pay the district $55,000 to settle the dispute. In September 2006, Santorum asked county officials to remove the homestead tax exemption from his Penn Hills property.”
Santorum paid property taxes on his home. He has the same right to register his children in the district as any other homeowner does. His cash for the virtual school went to the state. The state pays the district. It’s that simple.
Here is a link to the PA dept of ed rules on charters...
Here’s the money quote...
“A charter school shall enroll students who chose to apply and are residents of the school district or participating districts. Nonresident students may also be enrolled with first preference given to resident students”
They ruled against his residency because he spent time there and DID pay the taxes. He honestly thought he was following the rules. Personally, I wouldn’t have paid for it either.
Now let’s get Newt elected!!!!
I assume you are referring to an inter-vivos trust (aka "living") Trust rather than a testamentary Trust.
That said, inter-vivos trusts don't have the benefits a lot of people think they do and aren't for everyone.
For example, for tax purposes, the property in a trust remains the property of the grantor. Contrary to popular opinion, living trusts do not save estate taxes, and they do not save income taxes. No matter how many times this is said, some people either do not hear it or do not believe it. For income tax purposes, you the grantor of the trust still have to pay tax on income obtained from the property; for estate tax purposes, even though you have transferred assets to a revocable (living) trust, those assets remain and are included in your taxable estate.
There are also increased costs as a result of the creation of such a living trust. Lawyers will charge you a fee for creating the trust, and these fees can run thousands of dollars. Furthermore, you will have to incur administrative and recording costs. The paperwork that the trust has to handle may be as great a burden as having to go through the probate proceedings.
There is one additional negative which people often forget.
Just because you have transferred property to a living, revocable trust does not mean that those assets are protected as against creditors. If someone gets a judgment against you for example in an automobile accident where the judgment is higher than your insurance coverage the judgment creditor can attach all of your assets so as to satisfy the judgment, even those assets which have been transferred to a living trust.
More importantly, even if you set up a living trust, you must still have a Will. Most people own more than their house, and especially if there are children involved, or other assets, it is imperative to have a Will (referred to as a pour-over Will) to make clear your intentions as to how your property will be disposed of on your death. With a Will, even if there is a cumbersome probate proceeding, at least your intentions have been made known; without a Will, the intestacy laws determine who receives your assets.
I looked at all aspect of this and passed on the inter-vivos trust and instead set up a testamentary trust.
Aren't you the guy dedicated to destroying the official candidate of FR, Newt Gingrich?
>>Kids are to be educated where they reside at the time or according to the laws of the state in which they currently reside.<<
So what if you have two residences in two different states?
Would you rather have them get vetted on the campaign trail?
You’re not going to have more of a winner, because nobody wants to say a bad word.
When in Rome you must do as the Romans - except during brief vacations...
He paid the taxes because he owned the house, but he did not reside there. When the house was not rented, he spent about one month there in the summer because his parents live nearby. He actually had no right to the homestead exemption because the place is supposed to be your primary residence, and this hadn’t been his residence for 20 years.
And if anybody thinks it’s unfair to mention this, believe me, it’s going to come up in the campaign at some point. He should simply have admitted it (he did later admit it by removing the homestead exemption) and paid the fine HIMSELF and not let the State of PA pay it for him.
Or, better yet, he should have used his actual address to register his kids in this program. He would have had to pay for it, in that case, just like anybody else who registered from out of district.
There are savings as each of us dies, and I am all for anything that reduces the fed/state's bite. That said, you are of course correct about income tax, real estate tax and potential creditor issues.
The issue that made up our minds was the potentially crippling long-term care issue. We have coverage but our recent experience with an elder family member has shown us that real 'long-term' care can bancrupt just about anybody. Putting the properties in trust does shelter them from the medicaid regulations...after a five year period of course.
We are looking to move two of the properties to a Qualified Principal Residence Trust, but we aren't ready for that just yet.
Thanks for you thoughtful informative post.
If Gingrich’s continuing presence is giving us Romney, the answer is yes. But we have the decency not to attack people’s wealth. Capitalism is also the official policy of FR. So I guess the rabid supporters of Gingrich (who at this stage is considered UNELECTABLE by all sections of the political commentariat) are bent on destroying the official policy positions of FR. Should we keep responding by posts of Gingrich’s Tiffany Spree with $1.6m from FannieMae? How would you like that?
Santorum was trying to make the Republican party pro-abortion in 1996, he was supporting Arlen Specter in his Crusade to remove the pro-life faction from the GOP and to drop the pro-life plank from the platform.
Santorum is the guy who endorsed this party platform in 1996.
"In 1996, I intend to win the other house the White House with ten commitments to America
including a womans right to choose. "I pledge to lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform"
PA law has held it is where he SLEEPS that the child lives for school district purposes.
Thank you for posting the truth. I can’t support dishonest men.
We could provide tons of quotes from Gingrich as well re his desire for individual mandates and cap-and-trade. Sorry, that tactic won’t work. And there is no “official” FR candidate that we must all fall behind except in your mind.
We are in the resistance to stop Romney and if Gingrich is greasing his nomination by becoming a third party spoiler, as we believe he did in AZ, WA, MI, and OH we have a duty to state so. Indeed, on Super Tuesday, Carl Cameron on FoxNews said so much when he reported that the Romney camp is delighted to see Gingrich in the race.
So much as we Santorum supporters don’t know politely to tell folks like you to get lost, I don’t think you keep scoring any points by trying to silence us here about official FR positions.
If you can’t make your case for Gingrich’s continuing presence say so.
Seriously, we need an explanation for why Santorum has been playing a life long, two layered abortion game.
Attorney Santorum admits this, I was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress.
When combined with his quiet history of trying to make the Republican party pro-abortion in Presidential elections, then we have to worry about why his goal is suddenly different this time, now that he wants to be President.
None of this effort to turn the Republicans pro-abortion has ever reached the general public, we need some discussion on this.
Rick just has a little problem with the truth, that’s all, and it’s been chronic for quite some time.
* Will I have a home in the Washington area? Probably not. I’ll probably have some sort of apartment or something that I’ll stay in down there. We’re going to keep our home in Mount Lebanon. We’re going to raise our family here. We’re going to live here in this community.” -
* Tricky Ricky, 1990
* “..my primary residence will be in suburban Pittsburgh —unlike my opponent, who lives full-time in Virginia..” -
* Tricky Ricky, 1990