image: danielheider.com

Mike Tyson’s Former Home Just Sold, Was It A Good Investment?

Not everyone has enough money to invest millions of dollars into luxury residential real estate, but we all can dream, can’t we? Let’s take a look at this gorgeous former Maryland home of Mike Tyson and see if it was a good financial purchase.

Spoiler alert: no it wasn’t. But in another sense, it could be considered a great investment…

From a purely financial standpoint, Mike Tyson’s former Maryland home turned out not to be a worthwhile investment over the nearly 26 years since it was purchased by Tyson and his now ex-wife Monica Turner.

By my rough calculations, it cost an average of $33K a year to live in this home. That’s a lot, but it’s only about 1.5–3x what a family would spend on renting a typical single family home.

Here’s some pictures of the elegant home in question:

A bad investment? But it sold for more than double what they bought it for!

On the surface, sure. This property looks like it was a great investment!

If you take the old purchase price in 1995 ($2,050,000) and compare it to the sales price last month ($4,575,000), you can quickly deduct that the home was sold for a profit of just over $2.5M! Brilliant investment! Right?

Bzz. Wrong.

Purchase and sale prices are very important, but they do not paint the full picture when trying to decide whether a property was a worthwhile investment.

Divorce settlements and private finances aside, let’s take a surface-level look at the financials of the real estate involved in this sale and make a few rough calculations to see why it cost the owners money, despite being sold for much more than it was purchased for.

Inflation

The first and easiest calculation we can make is to adjust the 1995 purchase price for inflation. Using the US Bureau of Labor CPI calculator, we can estimate that the property was purchased for the equivalent of $3,635,618.80 in today’s money.

That means that, accounting for inflation, the profit on the property sale last month is really only $939,381.20.

I say “only”… that’s a lot of money! But already a heck of a lot less than the original $2.5M we would first have assumed.

Property taxes

Unfortunately, you can’t just own real estate… you have to pay good ol’ Uncle Sam for the pleasure. And that means that holding high-value, luxury real estate comes with paying taxes for… high-value, luxury real estate.

Looking at the Montgomery County Property Tax Record Database, we can see exactly how much the property taxes for this property are, but unfortunately the online records only go back to 1999. So to make this calculation, I assumed that for 1995–1998, the property tax was the same as in 1999 (about $23K).

On average, the property taxes for this property were $32K a year.

But to be fair, we have to adjust each year’s bill for inflation as well, so after doing that, we get a grand total of $1,115,660.79 taxes paid for the property over the 25 years and 10 months of ownership.

That brings our profit down to -$176,279.59 — meaning we’re already in the red.

This is starting to look like not such a great investment…

Maintenance costs

When you own a home… you pay for maintaining the home!

It’s hard to say how much was spent in maintenance for this property by Tyson and Turner, but let’s use a figure of $1/sqft/year, no adjustments for inflation. I think that will be a plenty conservative figure, considering a luxury home of this caliber.

That comes out to $18,000 a year for 25.8 years or $464,400.

Bringing our total profit for this property down to -$640,679.59.

Closing costs

When you buy or sell a property, you don’t just pay or receive the agreed upon amount and then start moving your furniture… there are a ton of costs associated with purchasing and selling real estate, to list a few:

  • real estate agent commission(s),
  • property inspections,
  • property appraisal,
  • escrow fees,
  • loan fees (if purchasing with a loan),
  • title fees,
  • and more.

Not all of these costs always apply to every real estate purchase and sale, and I’m not super familiar with the Maryland real estate market, but for a luxury property like this one, let’s assume that Mr. and Mrs. Mike Tyson paid somewhere in the ballpark of 4% in closing costs when they bought it in 1995.

That’s a cost of $145,424.75 (4% of $2.05M, adjusted for inflation).

And for selling a property, let’s again assume Monica Turner paid 4% ($183K).

These closing costs bring the profit from this property down to -$869,104.34.

Ouch.

It was not a good financial investment.

According to our rough calculations, it cost Tyson and Turner about $33K a year to live here. That’s a lot of money to spend on housing, and definitely far from being a profitable investment.

That said, we have to get one thing straight: just because it wasn’t a good financial investment, doesn’t mean this home was a bad purchase on Tyson or Turner’s part. They more than likely purchased the property to have a nice place to live for a long period of time, not to make a profit. I think it’s safe to say that they got their money’s worth and do not regret purchasing the home.

All things considered, $33K a year is a lot, but it’s also not an absurd amount. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, that’s only 1.5–3x what a typical family might spend renting a home, and considering the insane amount of luxuries that this property has to offer by comparison… I would consider this an impressive and outstanding investment in quality of life!

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We're a team of people trying to make real estate ownership, rental, and investment accessible to everyone.