HGTV Dream Home: Sell It Or Keep It? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/21/05-Lake Tyler

HGTV Dream Home: Sell It Or Keep It?

"Oh yes, we're moving in! We are not selling the house, we're definitely moving in the house." That's what Don Cruz said on the day he and his family first moved in to the HGTV Dream Home on April 29th. The jaw-dropping reality is the amount of taxes he owes, which exceeds a half million dollars.

So, Don's request: rent out the master bedroom and boat house to help pay Uncle Sam. "Just renting it out, I have a problem with that," says resident Dusty Dodd. "If that was the case, I would have signed up for it and rented it out to my whole family and let everybody move in there."

Resident Jennifer Stevens adds, "I think when he entered the competition, he should have known then that he wasn't going to be able to afford the taxes and maybe at that time decide that if he did win that he'd sell it."

"Sell it," says resident John Taylor.

We came to the Dream Home to talk to the homeowner, Don Cruz, who accepted our request for an interview over the phone, but when we arrived, he turned us down. He did say the City of Tyler already said no to allow him to rent out the home. So does that mean he's giving up his fight to keep it? Not only is the city sticking to the provisions of the lease agreement, the Lake Tyler Advisory Board also put its stamp of disapproval on the idea to lease the rooms.

"I feel like due to the fact that he won the house and it's his home that he has a right to do what he wants with it," says resident Lori Keeling.

"I think he should be able to rent the rooms out you know because he's got so many taxes he's got to pay for," says resident Glenda Lawton.

It now falls on Tyler City Council to decide if the lease agreement should be changed so Don and family can afford the home. If it doesn't fall in Don's favor, it could shut the door on his appeal for help for good.

Christine Nelson reporting.

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