Fact Check

Are These John Kerry's Houses?

An emailed item supposedly shows five homes owned by U.S. senator John Kerry and worth many millions of dollars.

Published April 1, 2004

 (Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
An emailed item shows five homes owned by Senator John Kerry and worth many millions of dollars.

[Collected on the Internet, 2004]

John Kerry, man of the common folk . . . he understands your pain, really . . trust him--dah, yeah--right!

The many homes of Democrat Presidential candiate John F. Kerry.

Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania (Assessed value: $3.7 million)

Ketchum, Idaho ski getaway/vacation home (Assessed value: $4.9 million)

Washington, D.C - Georgetown area (Assessed value: $4.7 million)

Nantucket, MA waterfront retreat on Brant Point (Assessed value: $9.2 million)

Boston, Massachusetts - Beacon Hill home (Assessed value: $6.9)

Total assessed value of all five homes = $29.4 million.

. . . and he sold this estate in Italy to activist actor George Clooney, just before announcing his candidacy for president. I guess he thought it might not look right to the common man. ($7.8 million)

Other foreign property ownership by John Kerry is unknown... because he denied repeated requests for this information.

Please e-mail this information to all your friends, family and contacts.

Class warfare is not right, but neither is being a hypocrite. This man wants to be our president, while claiming that he relates to Joe-6-pack and the common man. He wants to raise income taxes on the rich, well, guess what? He won't pay those taxes because he is already rich! He wants to make it harder for you to get rich by raising taxes on your income! Talk about snobbery and protecting his "class."

Please e-mail to at least 5 people.

It's certainly no secret to anyone familiar with the U.S. political scene that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts has a net worth of several million dollars, and that his wife, Teresa, could accurately be described as "super wealthy." Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry was previously married for 25 years to the late Henry John Heinz III, a member of the founding family of the H.J. Heinz Company, and after his death in a 1991 plane crash she inherited a Heinz family fortune estimated at over $500 million.

John and/or Teresa Kerry do own several valuable properties in the U.S., including:

  • A five-story, twelve-room brownstone townhouse (with six fireplaces, a rooftop deck, and an elevator) in Boston's Beacon Hill. This home is John Kerry's main residence and was assessed at a value of $6.6 million in 2003
  • A nine-room colonial home on a 90-acre family farm in Fox Chapel near Pittsburgh. This home is Teresa Kerry's longtime residence, where she lived while was married to John Heinz and where she raised her three children. It is valued at $3.7 million.
  • A ski/vacation home located near the banks of the Big Wood River in Ketchum, Idaho, fashioned from a reassembled barn originally built in England in 1485 and brought to Idaho by Teresa Heinz Kerry's late husband. It was purchased for $4.9 million in 1988.
  • A three-story, five-bedroom waterfront estate near the Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket's harbor, where John and Teresa Kerry were married in 1995. The beachfront property is valued at $9.1 million.

  • A 23-room townhouse in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., valued at $4.7 million.

The aggregate value of these five homes is roughly $29 million, but the claim that John Kerry "owns" all of these properties is problematic. John and Teresa Kerry signed a prenuptial agreement and have kept their premarital assets separate. The Boston townhouse (which John Kerry mortgaged in 2003 to finance his presidential bid) is the only one of these homes that they own as a couple; the other four belonged to Teresa before her 1995 marriage to John Kerry, and some of them are even still listed under the name of her late husband.

Also, according to the London Times, the Italian villa bought by actor George Clooney was sold a year before John Kerry announced his intention to seek the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, and it was owned not by John or Teresa Kerry, but by Mrs. Drue Heinz, a relative of Teresa's through her marriage to John Heinz:

The Hollywood star George Clooney has parted company with his long-time agent in a dispute over the purchase of a historic £5m Italian villa.

Clooney is reported to have been "incensed" when he discovered that Michael Gruber, who steered his career from the television medical drama ER to box office hits such as The Perfect Storm, had discussed a £175,000 fee for helping to arrange for the star to buy the house from Drue Heinz, the philanthropist.

The widow of Jack Heinz, grandson of the American entrepreneur who first bottled 57 varieties of pickle, Heinz lives in Ascot, Berkshire, but in recent years she had turned the Villa Oleandra on Lake Como, north of Milan, into a writers' sanctuary. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of the American classic The Scarlet Letter, stayed there in the 1850s.

Family illnesses persuaded Heinz to sell the villa, situated in the village of Laglio, where the neighbours include Donatella Versace, the fashion designer.


DePaulo, Lisa.   "Taming Teresa."     Elle.   June 2003.

Fee, Gayle and Laura Raposa.   "Crocodile Tears at Fleet If Dems Move Bash."     The Boston Herald.   19 March 2004   (p. 20).

Harlow, John.   "Angry Clooney Cuts Loose from Agent Who Steered Him to Film Stardom."     The [London] Times.   27 October 2002   (p. 29).

Kasindorf, Martin.   "Kerry Hits the Slopes, Fires Back After Bush's Criticism."     USA Today.   20 March 2004.

Noah, Timothy.   "Does Teresa Heinz Trust John Kerry?"     Slate.   2 December 2003.

Reston, Maeve.   "Teresa Heinz Kerry Speaks Her Mind, But in N.H., It's Not Hurting Husband."     Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.   30 November 2003.

Silberman, Ellen J. and Jack Meyers.   "Kerry Loan Twice As Nice."     The Boston Herald.   25 Feburary 2004.

Associated Press..   "Five Kerry Homes Valued at Nearly $33M."     USA Today.   22 March 2004.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.