Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Goodbye, The House

(81) Goodbye, The House

The move from Moote Pointe NY to Moote Pointe PA is complete.

The final step was what the real estate people call “the closing on…” the New York house, which was home for 40 years and some months.

The thing cost $14,500 in 1966. Accounting for inflation, it is now worth something between $80-thousand and $90-thousand. But it sold for more. A LOT more.

Provokes feelings of being a thief.

It should provoke feelings of being a pioneer. What? There’s no pioneering in buying or selling a house on Long Island. It happens every day. Hundreds of times every day.

Ah, but this was a pioneering post-bubble sale. It may have “sold for… a lot more,” but it sold for a lot LESS than it would have, say, six months earlier.

People are leaving in droves.

From the formerly rickety planned community of Levittown to the ever so feet-off-the-ground planned community of Garden City (which was originally conceived as a Levittown for the rich and protestant and now is Levittown for any rich,) people are packing up and going elsewhere.

Rodger came to New York from Minnesota maybe 35 years ago and wanted to live on The Island. But he never did. Traffic –even then – was too much for him to bear. So he went instead to New Jersey.

Rodger’s departure from the twin cities left Minnesota with only one real conservative, which is how we got Wellstone and Humphrey and all those guys.

But even the allure of a one party county (Republican) wasn’t strong enough for him to knuckle under to the tax rate, the confused and confusing inter-intra governmental shenanigans and the Long Island Expressway on a weekday morning.

Recently, they re-assessed all the houses. Taxes weren’t going to increase because the rate went down while the market values (still calculated from 1932 prices. This is not a joke or typo!) rose.

The county hired a company from Ohio or some such place to do the reassessment (someone must have had a cousin in Ohio.) The re-assessors didn’t go into the houses or anything like that. No. They put people with cameras on the streets, photographed every house and guessed. The Ohioans were nice people. But they made some non-native mistakes. Like reducing the values of all the waterfront homes because they might flood. People KILL for those places. They fixed that mistake, eventually. But one wonders whether they made others we DON’T know of.

Like “The House,” as in the title of this Wessay™. A passable place, yes. But not 40 or 50 times more valuable than when it was built.

The greatest accomplishment in 40 years of residence? Raising four kids with only one bathroom.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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