The claim: Biden owns four homes worth $3M million-$7.5M million
With the election just days away, Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s adversaries continue to push false narratives about his finances to try to raise doubt around "Middle Class Joe's" trustworthiness.
“Bidens 4 3.7.5 million-dollar homes on a 200k a year salary,” a reads meme posted to Facebook Oct. 20.
The meme shows four of Biden’s current, temporary and previous homes, most of which cost less than $3 million. But Biden has not made a senator’s salary for more than a decade, and hasn't been vice president since 2017.
Town & Country Magazine displayed the same four aerial photos in a Sept. 29 article about Biden’s real estate ventures. The meme shows his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; former DuPont mansion in Wilmington, Delaware; rental home in McLean, Virginia; and main residence near Wilmington.
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Neither the Facebook user that posted the meme nor Biden's campaign has responded to USA TODAY's request for comment.
Rehoboth Beach vacation home
“Throughout our careers, Jill and I have dreamed of being able to buy a place at the beach at home where we can bring the whole family. We feel very lucky that we're now able to make that happen and are looking forward to spending time with our family in the place that matters most to us in the world,” Biden wrote in a statement that year.
The couple purchased the vacation home after the former vice president left office, the same year their income jumped nearly $10 million from speaking fees and book deals.
Zillow estimates the home is now worth more than $1.9 million.
Biden bought the five-bedroom, 2.5-bath former DuPont mansion at 6 Montchan Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, in 1974. He nicknamed the home “The Station” and used it as campaign headquarters during his 1988 election run.
He bought the 10,012-square-foot home in disrepair for $185,000. He spent two decades renovating and living in it before selling it for $1.2 million in February 1996. Redfin estimates the home is now worth $1,654, 478.
Greenville main residence
After selling The Station, Biden, then married to Jill Biden, bought 4 acres of land in suburban Wilmington for $350,000. He built a home on the secluded lakefront property in Greenville, an affluent neighborhood.
After leaving office, Biden began renting a large Georgian-style home in McLean, Virginia, not far from D.C. The Washington Post reports former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who served under President Ronald Reagan, once owned the home in the upscale neighborhood.
Zillow estimates renting the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom, 11,943-square-foot home costs $19,795 per month. According to Zillow, the home is worth nearly $5 million. The Bidens never owned it.
As of February, the Biden’s were no longer renting the McLean home.
Our ruling: False
We rate the claim that Joe Biden owns four homes worth $3-7.5 million FALSE because it is not supported by our research. Biden owns two homes, a main residence in Wilmington, Delaware, worth $2.9 million and a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, estimated to be worth $1.9 million. The other two homes pictured in the viral meme were previously sold or rented by Biden. Neither Biden home is worth the amount claimed.
Our fact-check sources:
Town&Country, Sept. 29,"All of Joe Biden's Homes, In Photos"
Cape Gazette, "Two presidential candidates have homes in Rehoboth"
Cape Gazette, June 8, 2017, "Biden purchases home in Rehoboth"
The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 28, "In His Own Words, Joe Biden Was ‘Seduced by Real Estate’"
AFP Fact Check, Oct. 19, "Eric Trump pushes misleading corruption claim over former Biden home"
The Washington Post, June 25, 2019, "Once the poorest senator, ‘Middle Class Joe’ Biden has reaped millions in income since leaving the vice presidency"
Zillow, Aug. 25, 2008, "Joe Biden's House Endures the Media Swarm"
The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 6, "Primary Homes: Where Five Democratic Front-Runners Head After the Campaign Trail"
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Joe Biden owns 2 the 4 homes pictured in a viral meme