Jul 30, 2014
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Santorum Took Out Several Mortgages on Virginia Home

An in-depth look at how former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum financed his home in Virginia.

Santorum Took Out Several Mortgages on Virginia Home Santorum Took Out Several Mortgages on Virginia Home Santorum Took Out Several Mortgages on Virginia Home

A search of land records for the $2 million Great Falls, VA, home of Republican presidential candidate and turns up a series of mortgages that at times equaled and exceeded the sales price of the property.

The industry guideline is usually mortgages should not exceed 75 percent of the appraised value of a property, according to mortgage experts. The assessed value of the Great Falls home, which is set by Fairfax County, has fallen since Santorum bought it in 2007.

Property values have fallen throughout the county—even in the wealthiest communities of McLean and Great Falls—because of the recession.

It's a fascinating story to follow the real estate transactions of this presidential aspirant who is also a neighbor. All the transactions are found in the Fairfax County land records. We're going to walk you through Santorum's life as a Fairfax County homeowner.

In September 1995, as a newly elected senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum and his wife bought a house in Herndon, VA, for $292,000, according to the Fairfax County deed. 

As a Congressman, Santorum had lived in Mt. Lebanon, but sold that house in 1995, the same year he bought the one in Herndon. He then bought a house in Penn Hills in 1997.

In November 1998, the couple took out a mortgage of $244,000 on the Herndon home, according to the mortgage filed in the Fairfax County courthouse.

In November 2001, the Santorums sold the home for $429,900. They moved to Leesburg in Loudoun County.

Usually mortgages are paid off when homes are sold. Not in this case. The Santorums paid off the mortgage in October 2003, according to county documents.

In 2006, Santorum ran for a third term in the U.S. Senate and lost,, and after he enrolled five of his children in an online cyber school paid for by the Penn Hills (PA) School District, despite the fact that all the children lived in Virginia.

The family returned to Fairfax County in August 2007. They bought a house with five acres in Great Falls with a high-ranking official of a major development and mortgage company.

Santorum formed the Creamcup Trust with  James Sack, the secretary and general counsel of  NVR, a major single-family developer and mortgage finance company in northern Virginia and 15 states. Creamcup Trust bought a house  and five acres of land on Creamcup Lane in Great Falls for $2 milllion in August 2007, according to the deed.

Over the years Santorum and wife Karen have secured a series of mortgages on the 35-year-old, four-bedroom home.

The Creamcup Trust took out a mortgage for $1.5 million from American Home Bank in Lancaster, PA. On the same day, the Santorums took out a mortgage for $200,000 in their own names from the same bank, according to county records. The two mortgages represent 85 percent of the sales price.

The family repaid the $200,000 loan a year later, according to the records.

Now things get a little more complicated. In June 2009, the trust transferred ownership to the Santorums, so the home is now listed in the names of Richard and Karen Santorum.

In February 2010, the Santorums took out a $999,950 mortgage on the home that continued to carry the $1.5 million mortgage. That's nearly $2.5 million in mortgages on a home that sold for $2 million.

A month later, March 2010, the $1.5 million mortgage was repaid.

In July 2010, the Santorums secured a $1 million mortgage from Ing Bank in Minnesota. Now, the house with an assessed value of  $1.4 million, carried nearly $2 million in mortgages.

In October 2010, the Santorums repaid the $999,950 mortgage, according to land records.

About the $1 million note: It's a 30-year mortgage with a 4-percent interest rate. The property's assessed value has fallen to $1.2 million.

The two-story brick house, north of the village of Great Falls, was built in 1977. It has four bedrooms, four baths, a swimming pool and sits back from the road in a serene setting.

Patch contacted Matt Benyon, deputy communications director for the Rick Santorum for President campaign, for information pertaining to this story but got no response.

Editor's note: This story is a followup to a Jan. 5 Patch story,

is an assistant regional editor for Patch websites in western Pennsylvania. is the local editor for the McLean Patch in Virginia

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