The Obama campaign is mocking John McCain for owning seven houses. McCain’s staff, being less precise but in some ways more accurate, has said McCain owns at least four. Over here you can find the most expansive count which gives McCain ten. You could probably even push this up to eleven if you want to count the Phoenix double-condo as two separate homes. But I think that’s tendentious. To get to ten homes, you also need to count his various ranch properties as separate homes which I likewise think is tendentious — that’s best understood as a single $1.1 million vacation property. So that’s two homes. Then indisputably there’s the $847,800 pied à terre in Arlington where the McCains can stay when they’re in DC. That’s three. Then somewhat confusingly they own two different beach condos in Coronado, CA one worth $2.7 million and one worth $2.1 million so that’s five. And I’d say that five is arguably the correct answer.
To get to seven, you need to add in two additional properties that the McCains own. One is a $700,000 loft in Phoenix that they own and rent out. That’s unquestionably a McCain family financial asset, but I wouldn’t call it a “home,” it’s more akin to an investment. Then the tricky one is Meghan McCain’s loft. This was bought for her as a graduation present and I assume the underlying conceit is that it’s her loft rather than her parents’ and I think the precise ownership status of the property may be somewhat unclear. If they actually transferred title of the property to Meghan, there could be a large tax liability so probably the elder McCains own it. But I see five, six, and seven as all defensible answers to the question “how many homes does John McCain own?”