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Governor Price Cut? Patrick slashes price – again - on Milton manse

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 19, 2012 09:57 AM

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Extra! Extra! Governor's mansion for sale - at a 20 percent discount!

OK, seriously, Gov. Deval Patrick is hoping the third time will prove to be the charm as he tries once again to unload his 6,800-square-foot, 1920s, Gatsby-style mansion in Milton.

He's also clearly hoping that a new price will do the trick as well, offering up the six-bed, five-bath home for $1.5 million.

That's a good 20 percent-plus off from the $1.9 million Patrick first put the house on the market in 2009. It's also a significant cut from his last foray into the market, when he listed it at $1.7 million before pulling it off the market.

And no, it's not the official governor's mansion. Massachusetts actually doesn't have one, the state never managing to get around to buying or building one. There's an interesting history here, though, with various proposals that went nowhere, including one in the 1950s that would have made the Endicott Estate in Dedham the official governor's mansion.

Back to our current governor's real estate dealings, Patrick bought his 1923 manse for $562,885 back in 1989 and now reportedly wants to downsize and move to something smaller.

Now Patrick still has his Western Massachusetts estate, so no worries, he won't exactly be homeless. But he still has a couple years left in his term and commuting from the Berkshires - especially since flying by state police helicopter would not be such a hot idea politically - could be a real drag.

The governor has been hot on encouraging developers to build next to train stations and other transportation hubs - it's Patrick's big solution to our state's perpetual housing crunch.

So why not take his policy prescriptions to heart and buy a train station condo? Somehow, I doubt we will see that, but wouldn't it be refreshing for a change to see a classic limousine liberal trade in his mansion for the real estate equivalent of a Ford Fusion?

Still, after three years of trying to sell his Milton mansion, Patrick must be kicking himself over not taking the approach of fellow New England governor Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island.

Lincoln overpaid for his Providence Victorian, shelling out $939,000 for it in 2006, at the height of the real estate bubble.

He put it on the market in February 2011 at $889,000 and kept dropping the price until he found a buyer that spring ready to shell out $729,000.

The discount is about the same Patrick is now offering - over 20 percent- the difference being Chafee was much quicker to see adapt and make the necessary price adjustments.

The result is that Chafee unloaded his out in a matter of months while Patrick is still at it, three years and counting.

Do you think Patrick can finally find a buyer? And if he wants to downsize, any suggestions where he should buy?


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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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