Friday, August 22, 2008

Counting Houses (with video)

TPM Election Central with video from yosef99 (01:01):
Here it is: The official TPM tally of precisely how many homes the McCains own. Everyone -- apparently including McCain himself -- has been working feverishly since yesterday to nail down this elusive number, with varying results.

And the grand total of houses the McCains own is...

...anywhere from eight to eleven homes, depending on how you count it.

The McCain campaign claims the Arizona Senator has four residences: Condos in Arlington, VA., and Coronado, CA., the main McCain residence in Phoenix, AZ., and a ranch in Sedona, AZ. A McCain adviser says the rest of the McCain properties are "some investment properties and things like that."

Not so much.

Here's our official list:

Arlington, VA: The McCains have a three-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia, for when McCain is in the DC area. It is valued at nearly $850,000. Total: One.

Arizona: Here's an example of how hard it is to keep track of how many houses McCain owns: The Arizona Republic reported in 2006 that the McCains bought two adjacent condominiums for $4.66 million, so they could combine them into a single mega-condo of over 6,000 square feet, for use as their main residence in Arizona. That's either one or two more. Total: Two to three.

Arizona: Cindy's corporation later bought another condo in the same building as the mega-condo, only on a different floor. Total: Three to four.

Coronado, CA: Then there are the two vacation condos they own in Coronado, California, which total $4.7 million. They initially just bought the first one, but Cindy decided to buy a second when her children began using the first one much more frequently. "So I bought another one," Cindy told Vogue. Total: Five to six.

Sedona, AZ: The McCains own a lot of three houses in their "Hidden Valley Ranch" area of Sedona, totaling over $1,081,000 in value, according to county records. This is the rustic location where McCain often entertains reporters and other guests. You can count this as anywhere from one to three houses -- one of them is a main residence, and the others are for guests and servants. Total: Six to nine.

La Jolla, CA: There's also their property in La Jolla, California, valued at over $1 million, where Cindy's aunt reportedly lives. (Fun fact: This is the same property for which the McCains were delinquent on their property taxes.) Total: Seven to 10.

Phoenix, AZ: Cindy's family trust also owns a $700,000 loft in Phoenix, which was purchased for use by their daughter Meghan after she graduated from college. As GQ put it, "the interior looks like a spaceship furnished by West Elm." Total: Eight to 11.

As it happens, there's still more. Cindy also owns other properties through her family corporations. But many of these are rental properties for homes and businesses. We've decided to take the conservative road, and not count rental properties towards the total, as they aren't really homes -- they're investments or sources of income.

So, depending on how you count it, the grand total of homes owned by the McCains is...

Eight to 11. At a combined value of $12,991,000.
Howie P.S.: No wonder McCain didn't know.

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