Some dreams make you never want to go to sleep again, like when you owe $600,000 worth of federal gift taxes and more than $30,000 in property taxes. That bill came with the keys to the 2005 HGTV Dream Home, a $1.5 million, 5,000-square-foot mansion with a boathouse at Lake Tyler, Texas.
Winner Don Cruz of Illinois hoped to keep the house and meet his tax obligations by turning it into a bed and breakfast but quickly hit a snag. Built on land owned by the city of Tyler, the house's lease prohibits commercial ventures because the lake is one of the city's main sources of drinking water. On June 22, the city council denied Cruz's request for an exception to the lease.
“The only way to allow overnight rentals would be to amend the city ordinance governing the leases,” Tyler city spokesperson Laura Krantz said in a prepared statement. “Changing the ordinance would make it possible for all homeowners at the lake to challenge their leases in an effort to run businesses from their homes.”
The most likely solution is for Cruz to sell the house and use the proceeds to pay the taxes.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Tyler, TX.