In 1974, Joe Biden purchased a 10,000 square-foot mansion in Greenville, Delaware, for $185,000 when he was a newly minted senator earning a salary of $42,500.
He eventually sold the house for $1.2 million in 1996, marking a significant increase in value over more than two decades. However, recent property valuations have raised questions about the price he received for the property from a donor nearly three decades ago.
The current estimated value of the mansion is around $1.65 million in 2023, as per property website Redfin, while Zillow values it at $2 million. Both Redfin and Zillow typically have an average error rate in valuations of approximately 7 percent.
Given that the Delaware housing market has nearly tripled since 1996, the house’s current value should theoretically be much higher than the 1996 sale price.
The house, built in 1930, boasts five bedrooms, three fireplaces, a Colonial-style exterior, a swimming pool, and a pool house, all set on a two-acre property.
Biden referred to it as ‘The Station’ and used it as the headquarters for his first presidential campaign in 1988, which he abandoned after a plagiarism scandal involving British politician Neil Kinnock.
The sale of the mansion back in 1996 caused a minor controversy in Delaware politics. Biden sold it for $1.2 million to the vice chairman of credit-card company MBNA, which was the largest employer in Delaware at the time.
In the same year, MBNA employees contributed $62,850 to Biden’s Senate re-election campaign, and the house buyer made the maximum allowable donation of $2,000. Additionally, Biden’s son Hunter was hired by MBNA in the same year and later became a senior vice president.
Between 2001 and 2005, Hunter worked as a consultant for MBNA on a monthly retainer. During this period, Joe Biden supported new bankruptcy legislation in Congress, benefiting credit card companies like MBNA, even though it faced opposition from a majority of Senate Democrats, including Barack Obama.
A pollster for Biden’s Republican opponent in his Senate re-election race suggested that the house’s price had been inflated in 1996. However, both Biden and MBNA vehemently denied any wrongdoing, emphasizing that the purchase was unrelated to campaign contributions or Senator Biden’s votes.
Biden’s real estate dealings continued, with him purchasing a 4-acre parcel of land for $350,000 from a local property developer one month after selling the mansion in 1996.
Notably, the developer had bought the land for the exact same amount five years earlier. Biden constructed a house on the land, now valued at around $1.5 million. In June 2017, he acquired a beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for $2.75 million in cash.
These real estate transactions have brought scrutiny and questions regarding the sale of the mansion and other property deals in Biden’s history.