To All HGTV Dream Home Hopefuls: Beware Of Taxes

The HGTV Dream Home contest is a prize that many millions of Americans dream of. Since the creation of the competition back in 1997, people from across the United States have been getting involved in the sweepstake, all of whom happily envision themselves one day owning the amazing homes that the competition offers. It sounds like a no-strings-attached dream lottery. However, does winning this particular lottery mean nothing but good results? Is winning the HGTV Dream Home really the dream that many millions of people expect it to be? Well, apparently not, for many people, particularly property experts, have come to the fore claiming that the monstrous taxes on some of these homes is something that most people simply cannot deal with.

It only makes sense that such a lustrous and gigantic home should mean giant taxes. What we didn’t know, however, was that HGTV and its competition never fully unveiled the price tag on taxes. When it comes to taxes and sweepstakes in the United States, such prizes are taxed in the same way that you will be taxed for any kind of income. ThereĀ are indeed strings attached to this prize – pretty hefty strings. Maintaining the prized home will mean property taxes on top of the costly utility prizes. Combining the two leaves you with a huge sum. So, all in all, you must ask yourself – is winning this dream home really a dream come true, or in fact the beginning of a financial nightmare?

To All HGTV Dream Home Hopefuls: Beware Of Taxes

beware of tax burden

In this article, we unravel the true costs of winning the dream home with HGTV. How can anyone handle the costs, and ultimately, is it really worth it? We investigate.

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How Can Anyone Handle the Large Taxes?

‘Congratulations, you have won yourself a dream home!’ This is the shallow end of the dream, in which all have happily landed in your lap. The reality, however, is much more fierce. In the past, many people have battled the tax but come out of the fight a loser, badly beaten, and planning to recover. Such cases are for those who clung to the dream home and believed they could earn the money to keep it all. On the other hand, there have been stories of winners who sought other ways in which to keep the house as their own. One such case involves HGTV Dream Home winners Don and Shelley Cruz, who won the competition back in 2005. The house was everything you would expect from a dream home, and likewise, the taxes were the perfect nightmare.

In lieu of this harsh fact, Don and Shelley formed a plan to avoid living in the home and putting up a financial fight. Their plan was to turn their prize home into a bed and breakfast. It was a clever idea and it meant not having to take the full burden on themselves. Unfortunately, due to zoning laws, the dream bed and breakfast never totally took off. In the end, the couple was forced to sell the house, which is something that a lot of winners have to face. It’s a sad fact that winning your dream will often mean having to then sell your dream, and it ultimately raises many questions regarding the true purpose of the competition and the prizes.

Often You May Have To Sell the House Which Defeats the Purpose Of Winning

As touched upon in the above section, when given such a tremendous prize, it is equally a tremendous loss to be forced to sell it. After having given the home over to the ‘lucky’ winners, after having toured it, been shown to all the grand features inside, and sometimes shown the fabulous extras like a top of the range car, it’s an incredibly low blow to then give it all up due to poor financial circumstances. Nevertheless, the selling of such a grand prize may create some prosperous results. Many have not lost sight of the fact that they got extremely lucky, regardless of having to sell the house or not. Whether you keep the house or not, this prize is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Of course, the obvious positive to come out of selling the house is a large amount of money. Houses like those featured in the HGTV Dream Home competition are worth millions of dollars. So, in a twist of fate, it’s like being given a huge cash prize in the form of a house. The only problem is, you then have to go through the stress and effort of selling the thing. But, once you sell the dream and reel in the millions of dollars, you can then, in turn, buy another dream home – one which, importantly, you can pay for. All in all, winners of this show have truly been given a life-changing prize. It’s just a matter of taking hold of the prize and deciding how to change your life.

It May Be Best To Try To Forget Living In the House

The above example of the Cruz’s and their decision to transform the home into a bed and breakfast is one way in which people shift the dream into some more concrete. Living in the home is the dream, yes, but the dream will soon become a reality, and a terrible reality at that. Selling, renting or transforming the home into a business is the best option here. With a multi-million dollar home, you can do many things. Hotel, bed, and breakfast, rented property, whatever – it’s not the end of a dream, but the beginning of a different one.


The HGTV Dream Home competition comes with a lot of baggage. If you should ever win it, or know someone who has won it, remember that a dream needs a real edge. It’s not the end of the world to transform or rent the home. In other words, there is always money to be made when you have been gifted a million dollar home.

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