Remember that charming, Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse near Minnehaha Regional Park that was offered to one lucky winner as part of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2019 giveaway?
Well, that three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home with enough hygge to satisfy any Nordic-style enthusiast hit the Minneapolis real estate market this week for $650,000. The winner, Fannie Allen, a retired accountant from Tucson, Arizona, opted to take the $300,000 cash prize rather than the newly renovated home.
Allen was one of over 69 million people to enter the sweepstakes between Oct. 1 and Nov. 21 last year for the Minneapolis home on 4112 Nawadaha Blvd. “I love the house, love the furniture and how it was decorated and everything,” Fannie told HGTV after she was announced as the winner. “I am an artist and I love those colors and how they were put together, and I love that backyard and the porch.”
But her love for the house couldn’t quite outweigh the costs that came with it, namely, more than $270,000 in taxes. Minnesota’s individual income tax ranks fifth highest in the country at 9.85 percent, which would be added to the federal income tax bill on the house. That still excludes other taxes such as deed or transfer taxes and the annual property tax.
In 2017, Magne Jensen won the Urban Oasis giveaway and opted to take a cash prize option of around $350,000 instead of a $650,000 Knoxville, Tenn., home. Had he taken the house, Jensen faced a $193,115 federal income tax bill, compared to a $82,000 tax bill for the cash prize, according to Key Policy Data.
According to a 2018 Country Living report, of the last 21 winners of Dream Homes since 2018, which is a similar HGTV giveaway program, only six actually lived in their home for more than a year. A majority of the lucky winners opted for the cash alternative or sold the home within a year of winning.
Despite the costly drawbacks, Minnesotans aren’t shying away from the HGTV home. Realtor Kim Eckert, who worked with HGTV to find the Minneapolis property for the extremely popular giveaway, settled on a lot in the Hiawatha neighborhood southeast of downtown Minneapolis near the picturesque Minnehaha Falls.
Eckert said she has booked 15 scheduled showings for the home in less than 24 hours since it was listed. “It’s not going to be for everyone. It’s a beautiful home, but it was made for T.V. The two upper bedrooms don’t even have closets.”