Hillary Clinton is back! After a long hiatus from the spotlight, the former first lady, U.S. senator, secretary of state, and Democratic presidential candidate has returned with a new book—aptly titled “What Happened“—as well as a slew of eye-opening revelations about the past, and what’s to come.
Like? In a recent interview with Jane Pauley on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” Clinton admits that she was so certain she’d win against current commander in chief Donald Trump that she’d drafted a victory speech but no concession—and had bought the house next door to her own in Chappaqua, NY, to house her future staff and security detail during her jaunts to and from the White House.
Since plans didn’t unfold quite as Clinton had anticipated, Pauley asked whether she regrets purchasing this extra property in Westchester County. Clinton’s reply: “No, I’m very happy we did it.”
So what has Clinton been doing with this extra house, and what plans does she have for the place?
In August 2016, just months before the election on Nov. 8, the Clintons paid $1.16 million for the three-bedroom, 3,631-square-foot ranch-style home, which sits on 1.51 acres on Old House Lane.
While details are slim on what the Clintons have been doing with the home since they bought it, records show they made some renovations, including a kitchen remodel and installation of a new HVAC system. Clinton also revealed that she’d used it as a writer’s retreat, knocking out several chapters of her book on the home’s dining table.
Still, what are the plans the Clintons now have for this plush second home? Let’s take a look at some options.
1. Sell it
Given the premium certain people would pay to live next to the Clintons, real estate experts anticipate that it would sell for much more than what they’d paid for it just over a year ago.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a quick 20% on the deal, so $1.4 million,” says real estate investor Tyler Drew. “Mr. and Mrs. Clinton may no longer be in politics, but it would pay to be within walking distance of them, politically.”
But that hypothetical profit might be misleading, because it doesn’t take into account whatever cash they poured into renovations. Your average kitchen renovation costs $20,122—and we doubt the Clintons went for average fixtures and appliances. And an HVAC system costs anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000.
2. Rent it out
Experts believe this place could net even bigger bucks through rentals, given its excellent neighborhood and proximity to a pair of America’s (former) top politicians. But would the Clintons really want a parade of people coming and going (and trying to rub elbows over the fence)? Not likely.
3. Keep it as a crash pad for Chelsea, or launching pad for a new enterprise
So, selling or renting might not be in the cards, real estate pundits agree.
“I highly doubt they will just sell it on the open market, given the Clintons’ need for privacy,” says Drew.
A far better option, says Drew, would be to keep this real estate in the family. Perhaps, as was originally suggested, Chelsea Clinton could use it as a family crash pad when she comes to visit her parents. Or, better yet, the Clintons could turn it into a home base for their next enterprise, which is surely in the works.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Clinton turned this into a venture for the Clinton Foundation,” says Drew. “Maybe turn it into a battered women’s shelter, or housing for disadvantaged youths or refugees.”
The only problem is, the Clinton Foundation is classified as a 501(c)(3), and you cannot donate a house you own to a 501(c)(3) you also own and get a tax deduction—that’s called self-dealing, Drew says.
4. Donate it
A better option? “Ms. Clinton recently started a 501(c)(4) called Onward Together to organize and train people to run for office,” Drew says. “Donations to a 501(c)(4) are not tax-deductible since they’re lobbying groups, so she wouldn’t run into the self-dealing issue.”
Granted, donating the house wouldn’t be as lucrative as selling, but “I don’t think she’ll miss the million dollars or so,” says Drew. “The Clintons rarely think in the short term. I’m sure that Bill and Hillary have already made long-term plans for the property. No matter what, I think this property is going to stay in the Clinton family for some time.”
Source: Realtor.com News