How much is Trump’s Mar-a-Lago worth? Valuation of the Florida mansion
For good and for ill, former US President Donald Trump’s home continues to get attention from supporters, haters and even law enforcement agencies.
Former President Donald Trump’s iconic Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida is at the heart of his civil fraud trial in New York. A recent ruling by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron threw into question Trump’s valuation of the property.
Engoron’s verdict, which emerged in the midst of a broader legal battle, raises further doubts across both political and real estate circles, while support or contempt for Trump will likely, as is now painfully commonplace, be based on the color of your political cap.
So what was this new valuation of the estate, how have people reacted, and what influencing factors need to be taken into account when assessing its worth?
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago valuation vs new appraisal
In his ruling, Judge Engoron declared that Mar-a-Lago’s value was substantially lower than what Trump had claimed. While the Palm Beach County assessor appraised the estate’s market value at a range between $18 million and $37 million, Trump had valued it between $426.5 million to $612.1 million - that’s an overvaluation of at least 2,300%! Engoron’s decision described this massive discrepancy as fraudulent, which has raised questions about how such a discrepancy could exist.
Cecil Jackson, chief property appraiser for Palm Beach County, shed light on how they arrived at their appraisal for Mar-a-Lago. He explained that their assessments are primarily for tax purposes and not for financing or lending institutions. The appraisal is based on factors such as memberships, annual dues, operating expenses, and capitalization rates. Importantly, they apply these criteria equitably to all properties, regardless of ownership.
The Trump response
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump and his family strongly objected to the court’s valuation of Mar-a-Lago. Trump described the ruling as a politically motivated “radical attack.” His son, Eric Trump, questioned the valuation, stating that Mar-a-Lago is speculated to be worth well over a billion dollars.
Donald Trump Jr. even made a tongue-in-cheek offer to buy ten properties of similar value if Mar-a-Lago was indeed worth only $18 million.
Social Media speculation on Mar-a-Lago
The valuation discrepancy sparked debates on social media platforms - always the place to go if you want sound, professional, and completely unbiased guidance - with some speculating on the estate’s true worth. Comparisons were made to nearby properties, including a 2.3-acre vacant lot listed for $200 million, implying that Mar-a-Lago’s vast size could potentially translate into a multi-billion-dollar valuation if priced similarly.
Some observers pointed out that Mar-a-Lago’s historical significance as a National Historic Landmark might limit its resale value. The property’s deed requires it to remain a club, which could reduce its attractiveness to potential buyers looking to develop it into a single-family estate.
What next for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago?
With the court’s ruling of $18 million a long, long, long way off what Trump and co. would have us believe, the ongoing legal battle and appeals will likely continue to keep the spotlight on the true worth of this iconic property in Palm Beach, Florida. As we’ve found over the years, predicting the former president’s next move is often futile, sometimes him following his legal advisors, other times going completely off-script.