HGTV Dream Home Follow Up

14 years ago

Thought you all might be interested in the article below, which appeared in today's Miami Herald. It does provide some numbers about taxes and costs of the HGTV dream home and what the winners are likely to do. I've also linked to the online article, though I don't know how long the Herald leaves it up, so you can see pictures.



Winner of Keys Dream Home will likely sell it

An Iowa family toured the Keys Dream Home they won in a TV sweepstakes out of 40 million entries, but whether they will keep the luxury bayside residence is up in the air.



It turns out that Stephanie Dee's dream home -- the one she sought by entering HGTV's Dream Home sweepstakes four or five times a week for the last several years -- is at the wrong address.

This dream home, a jaw-dropping 3,500-square-footer complete with media room, gourmet kitchen and even a ''fishing room'' stocked with 18 rods, is built on a picture-perfect site on Florida Bay.

Dee would prefer that it be in Iowa.

''Shock, I'm still shocked,'' Dee said of winning the house as her husband excitedly looked through the fishing room.

But as much as Tommy Dee, 33, loves to fish, the chances of him uprooting his family are about as good as snow falling on their Dream Home's front yard.

In order for the Dee family to move into the spectacular $2.2 million three-story beach home -- if they ever do -- they'll have to come up with about $700,000 in sales taxes, about $20,000 annually in property taxes, and thousands more in wind insurance. This is the Keys, after all.

The couple has lived all their lives in Iowa, where Stephanie, 32, is a physician's assistant and Tommy is a former golf pro turned contractor. They're the parents of 9-month-old Sydney and 3-year-old Taylor, who love their grandparents who also live in Iowa.

History isn't on their side. Only one of the 11 previous winners lived in their fully-furnished Dream Home as a primary residence: an Illinois man who moved his family to Tyler, Texas.

A California woman used her South Carolina Dream Home for eight years as a summer retreat and two other winners used the home for the summer before selling it.

But HGTV spokesperson Emily Yarborough said the winners have used the profits after selling the homes to finance other dreams. One man bought a 50th anniversary edition Corvette and one woman took early retirement.

As the Dees toured their new home for the very first time on Friday, a crew from HGTV filmed their reaction. The footage can be seen on and beginning April 16.

The Dees told the HGTV crew how they would enjoy the house. Snorkeling in the water just a stone's throw away, throwing barbecues and hosting big parties.

''We have a lot of family,'' Stephanie Dee said.

But off camera, the Dees were less optimistic about hosting those big parties.

''We don't know,'' Stephanie Dee said when asked if they would keep the house. ``It's only been two weeks since we found out.''

The Dees left the cold of Iowa to see their Dream Home.

''Oh, my God, it's beautiful. Wow,'' Stephanie Dee said.

They got the grand tour of the home located near Mile Marker 87 on U.S. 1.

They started in the entertainment room featuring a 50-inch flat screen TV showing divers exploring a shipwreck. The second floor included a chef's dream kitchen with a water faucet located next to the stove to fill pots.

Tommy Lee said the clear, blue water was a tad different than the cornfields back home, where the family lives in a two-story farmhouse.

The tour made its way up to the master suite on the third floor, where the master bathroom is as big as some people's apartments.

''I think a king-size bed could fit in the shower,'' said Monica Pedersen, who designed the master suite.

The address is 139E Gimpy Gulch Road. It's the first of eight homes that will be built in a horseshoe on a two-acre site called The Shore. Plans include a pool in front of 275 feet of private beach front with an eight-slip dock. Houses will start at $2.5 million.

''I had no expectations of winning,'' Stephanie Dee said as her husband continued to explore the fishing room. ``You dream, but you never think you will be the person who wins it.''


Here is a link that might be useful: HGTV Dream Home Article

Comments (22)