Mitt Romney Not Such a Great Real Estate Investor

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The LA Times reports that although Mitt Romney may be pretty good at making money in the private equity biz, he’s apparently not so good at the real estate investment biz. His La Jolla mansion, the one with the car elevators, hasn’t worked out so well for him:

After paying cash for the Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage, [the Romneys] asked San Diego County for dramatic property tax relief….Initially, the Romneys asked that their 2009 assessment, $12.24 million, be reduced to $6.8 million, maintaining that their home had lost about 45% of its value in the first seven months they owned it.

Impressive! A lot of homes here in Southern California lost value during the housing bust, but Romney must be the only guy to lose 45% in the space of seven months. Or to claim he did, anyway. The San Diego County assessor rejected Romney’s rather dramatic sob story, and eventually everyone settled on a 29% reduction over the course of three years — though Romney’s lawyer still thinks that’s a lot higher than the home’s current fair market value. I guess mansions on the beach in La Jolla aren’t what they used to be.

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