It’s not easy being under federal investigation — especially when it’s Robert Mueller’s deep dive into RussiaGate. In fact, even after Michael Flynn pleaded guilty and began cooperating with the special counsel, his life remains complicated, not to mention very expensive.
Flynn, the retired general who served briefly as Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, is looking for any possible way to pay his lawyers. Back in September 2017, he set up a legal defense fund soliciting contributions from supporters.
Following his December plea deal, he’s still having a hard time raising money for legal expenses. That led Flynn to put his Virginia home up for sale, ABC News confirmed. Here’s a look inside the house Flynn needs liquidated to pay RussiaGate legal fees.
1. Asking price: $834,995
Flynn is asking $834,995 for the three-bedroom townhouse located at 411 N Pitt Street in Alexandria’s Old Town. The home sits about a 15-minute drive from the White House.
During the transition and Flynn’s 24-day run in the Trump Cabinet, it was basically the ideal place to live, location-wise. Maybe John Bolton is on the market for a new home?
Next: The report dropped in March, but the listing went up late in 2017.
2. It went on the market right after Flynn’s guilty plea.
While ABC’s story went live March 6, Flynn’s house actually went on the market December 2 2017 — the day after he exited federal court in D.C. following his guilty plea. In addition to the three bedrooms, the townhouse features 2.5 baths. It was built in 2005, public records show.
Next: The price dropped $15,000 in the first week of March.
3. Since December, the price dropped $15,000.
According to Zillow.com, Flynn’s home originally hit the market at an optimistic $849,995. In the first week of March, it dropped to its current price, exactly $15,000 (1.8%) lower.
With a 20% down payment, a 30-year mortgage would run buyers about $3,340 a month. Homeowner’s association dues cost $219 per month.
Next: Spacious, modern living in the D.C. area
4. Over 2,000 square feet with large master suite
The Flynn home features 2,112 square feet,with a large master suite. Buyers may object to the carpeting on the second floor, but removing it would not be simple.
Overall, the layout is open with high ceilings, even though the photos show it is still occupied. Professional home staging — removing clutter, using brighter colors, and other techniques — would clearly benefit Flynn’s home.
Next: Parking and tennis court access are amenity highlights.
5. Access to 2 parking spots, tennis courts
Given the difficulty of street parking in Alexandria, the two reserved parking spaces in an underground garage loom large. Other amenities include access to tennis courts and a walk-in storage unit in the garage. The house also features laundry facilities on the master level.
Next: Given the price paid for it, he can’t expect to turn a profit.
6. Flynn will barely break even.
Judging by the price Flynn paid for the home in 2015 ($774,000), he will be lucky to break even once the sale is finalized. The current price represents just an 8% markup over the ’15 purchase price.
With the average broker fee (6%) eating through most of the excess, Flynn will likely break even at best. He may even lose money, depending on the final price and closing costs. Typically, real estate agents recommend holding a home for 10 years or more for the smartest personal finance move.
Next: Flynn’s legal fees will easily top $100,000.
7. ‘Six figures is not at all unusual.’
According to a legal expert worked for the independent counsel in the Clinton obstruction of justice case, Flynn’s legal fees should top $100,000, ABC reported. The source added that Flynn “saved himself a lot of money” by going with the guilty plea.
Family members, who were helping with the legal defense fund, described the period as “a crucible” for the former National Security Advisor.
Next: The view from Flynn’s family
8. ‘A trying experience’ for Flynn
Joe Flynn, Michael’s younger brother who set up the legal defense fund, told ABC it had been “a trying experience” for the family since the investigation began. He added that it had been “a crucible” and was “not over.”
Flynn’s son, who served as his father’s chief of staff, echoed the sentiment on Twitter, saying it was “not easy by any means.” However, the family’s legal troubles began long before Mueller arrived on the scene.
Next: The Flynns’ work for Russia and Turkey exposed them to foreign investigators early in 2017.
9. A long run of legal troubles
Robert Mueller took over as the special counsel in the Russia case in May 2017, but the Flynns were already running up legal bills by then. In April of the same year, the House Oversight Committee said Flynn did not properly disclose payments from Russia — and likely broke the law — in 2015.
After his dismissal from the White House, Flynn also retroactively registered as a foreign agent. In this case, his overseas benefactor was a group tied to Turkey’s ruling party, from whom he received $530,000.
Next: The amount Flynn owes on Alexandria property remains unknown.
10. How much could Flynn even use to pay debts?
Since we don’t know the amount of Flynn’s down payment and total equity in the Alexandria home, it remains unclear how much of the $800,000 or so could even be applied to debts.
Going by the minimum 20% down payment and estimated mortgage costs, Flynn could have as little as $250,000 in the home as equity. If that were the case, he’ll probably be selling other assets by the time his legal troubles conclude.
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