It’s not unusual for a developer to purchase a unit and take up residence in one of his developments. Buyers often consider that a reassuring sign of the developer’s commitment to and pride in the project. And it often is.
Just as often, however, it’s a tribute to the Internal Revenue Code’s exclusion from taxation of up to $250,000 in gain on the sale of a principal residence (up to $500K for a married couple filing jointly) if certain tests are met. Even a novice accountant can allocate the costs of a project to maximize the tax savings. For a high-earning married developer paying taxes at a 35% marginal rate, that can translate to $175,000 in tax savings – enough to make putting up with a bit of guff from your neighbors worthwhile.
Given this kind of an incentive, it’s also not unusual for a developer to be a serial live-in.