How Bruce Kenan sued for a tax bargain on his Skaneateles Lake homes; “a slap in everybody else’s face”

In 2018, Skaneateles town officials raised the property tax assessment on Destiny USA partner Bruce Kenan’s two lakefront mansions to $7 million.

Unhappy with that, Kenan went to court and argued that was too high, that they really should be valued at $2.7 million. They settled somewhere in the middle: $4.7 million.

Then, less than a year later, Kenan put the properties up for sale.

Kenan’s asking price? $8.4 million.

That’s three times the amount he argued in court they were worth.

The Kenans are like other wealthy landowners in New York who use their money and lawyers to negotiate more favorable tax bills, town Assessor Michael Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he sees it again and again in Skaneateles and in Lake George, a ritzy Adirondack town where he is also a part-time assessor.

“The whole thing to me is just a slap in everybody else’s face,” Maxwell said.

Kenan’s

Read More Read more

What Is a HUD Home? A Bargain With One Huge Catch

If you’re hoping to score a deal while house hunting (and who isn’t?), one bargain-basement option well worth exploring is a HUD home. So what is that exactly? Simply put, a HUD home is a property owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but there’s some backstory here, so allow us to explain.

Long before a home becomes the property of HUD, it typically was owned by a regular homeowner who’d made this purchase with an FHA loan. Federal Housing Administration loans are easier to qualify for than a conventional loan because the FHA requires a low down payment (as little as 3.5%). However, if the owner ends up unable to pay his monthly mortgage, he ends up in foreclosure on the FHA loan, which means the home goes to HUD, which then must figure out how to unload this real estate and make back its money.

Read More Read more