Bernie Sanders recently purchased a lakefront home that is earning him criticism because of its cost.
Sanders was defeated in the Democratic primary by Hillary Clinton, and he earned a following for his fiery defense of low-income workers and for his income equality platform.
The new home – his third – is located on an island in Lake Champlain, said The Washington Post, and it cost three times the average home price in Vermont. The Post says Sanders and his family intend to use the property as a vacation home.
Sanders is a U.S. Senator from Vermont. His wife, Jane, is a former college administrator.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sanders’ House is Worth More Than Half a Million Dollars
Sanders’ lakefront home was sold for $575,000 in August 2016, according to the real estate listing.
It’s located in North Hero, Vermont. North Hero, located in Grand Isle County, is a town of only 803 people.
Jane Sanders told the news site Seven Days: “We’ve traveled up to the islands many times over the years — almost always on day trips. We’ve been impressed with the North Hero community, eaten at the North Hero House and Shore Acres and have suggested them to friends who were looking for a beautiful place to stay or have dinner. St. Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte is my favorite church and it is nearby.”
Take a peek inside the property:
2. The Home Has Four Bedrooms, Guest Quarters & Lake Views
The real estate listing for Bernie’s new lake home says it has four bedrooms, 2.75 baths and 1,883 square feet.
The home is described as a “restored 1910 house w/ large open kitchen & 500′ of gradual, clean, direct lakefront. Gorgeous lake & Mtn views. Attached separate guest quarters.”
The home’s features include a dock, detached two-car garage, log exterior, guest house, and wood heating, the real estate listing said.
3. Sanders’ Net Worth Might Be Lower Than the Lake Home’s Purchase Price
Bernie Sanders’ public disclosures show that his net worth is between $194,026 and $741,030, Politico reported. The news site says that Bernie’s assets are listed in his wife, Jane’s, name, and include investment funds.
However, Politico said Sanders also listed $25,002-$65,000 in credit card debt.
Some media sources use the higher figure when they report Bernie’s net worth at $700,000. He is far poorer than most in Congress; the median net worth in 2013 was $1 million for those serving in Congress. In the Senate, the median income was $2.8 million. Sanders also has a lower net worth than other presidential candidates.
However, CTV reported that the Sanders have decided not to file a personal finance disclosure form now that Bernie has dropped out of the presidential race. “Sanders and his campaign asked the Federal Election Commission for two 45-day extensions,” but have now decided not to file since he’s not a candidate, said the news site.
Read more about Bernie’s net worth here:
4. Some Have Criticized Sanders For Buying a Costly Third Home, But Jane Says They Sold Another Home to Afford it & Paid Cash
Some cried hypocrisy because Bernie has made such a big deal about the 1% and income equality. Others even raised unproven speculation that campaign donations paid for it.
However, Jane said they swapped another home for the lake property – and it was one they inherited.
“My family had a lake home in Maine since 1900, but we hadn’t had the time to go there in recent years — especially since my parents passed away,” she said to Seven Days. “We finally let go of it and that enabled us to buy a place in the islands — something I’ve always hoped for. ”
However, to CTV, Jane gave a more complicated story. She said “she sold her share of her family’s long-time vacation home in Bridgton, Maine, to her brother for $150,000, added some money from her retirement account and from an advance her husband got on a book he is writing to come up with the money to buy the couple’s third home,” CTV said, adding that the Sanders paid cash for the house.
5. Bernie & Jane Sanders Already Own Two Other Homes
According to The Washington Post, Bernie and Jane Sanders also own homes in Washington D.C. and Burlington, Vermont.
Yahoo News describes the family’s Vermont home as “cream-clapboard Colonial with a red door on a quiet residential street” and adds “it is exactly the kind of house where you’d expect doting grandparents to live.”
The Post says Bernie isn’t the only income-earner in the family, saying: “Jane Sanders is an astute negotiator who exited her seven-year stint as president of tiny Burlington College with $200,000 severance in 2011.”
In 2012, Bernie Sanders reported that the Burlington property was valued at $100,001-$250,000 and was a rental property, and he said he also had a 30-year mortgage of $50,001-$100,000 for the Washington condo, which was purchased in 2000, Politico said.