On Tuesday May 8, at 8 p.m., I attended a school budget and bond hearing that was very informative.
I wouldn’t say it was a standing room crowd, but concerned parents, couples and seniors who attended, listened carefully to the details of the proposed Great Neck School budget of 2017-18 and The revised bond referendum to repair and upgrade our schools. It will be voted upon on May 16 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As I listened to the school board members spoke, I remembered and regressed back when my mom got lost in Great Neck and stopped off at a realtor’s office to find out how to get out of the town back to Whitestone.
Well back then, it wasn’t about consulting and guiding people through the arduous process of purchasing, but sell, sell, sell, ABC (always be closing, but now it’s about “Always, Be Consulting”).
Well my mom, scurried back to Whitestone, in a very excited fashion.
I lived on a cul de sac, just off Clintonville Street north of the Cross Island Parkway.
She told my dad what had happened that day and was shown and found the most beautiful Tudor home for only $21,500.
I was only four years old in 1955, and obviously oblivious to what was going on, but my sisters who were three to six years older than me and must have known.
I understand that my dad went berserk, when he heard the price, since his home was only worth about $12,550 back then.
He had his own lunchenette business, (tiny diner) that serviced all the surrounding taxicab companies.
He must have done fairly well; but was it bit perturbed and nervous about buying such an expensive home.
Well my mom hemmed and hawed and finally convinced my dad to buy that Tudor home on 108 Station Road for $21,500, with taxes, I believe, of about $800 some 60 year ago!
But as they say, “happy wife, happy life.”
Wow, how prices have changed and escalated to the stratosphere.
While I was going to school here back in the ‘60s, prices for homes were $90,000-150,000 in many of the nine villages up to $225,000-350,000 in the more exclusive areas, including, waterview and waterfront properties.
Schools were obviously in a much more newer and pristine condition and budgets were much less, but back then everything was relative to the cost of things.
Fast track to the present in my area, 65 percent of the homes on MLS have been listed in and around the million-dollar range for something in good to excellent condition.
Listen, when George Washington was President, the prices of homes ranged from $1,000-$3,000.
Today, similar homes are one to $3 million. Even though that is over 240 years, boy, that’s appreciation at its best, 1000 percent increase!
I am sure that the impact of our top-notch schools had an effect on prices back then, but one thing is for sure today, that it’s all about, “location, location, school district (I coined this phrase and have been using it for over 35 years that I am involved with real estate).
I have looked around the country and where there are outstanding and premier schools, prices are almost always higher.
It makes sense that families that want and demand excellent and superior education, will seek out those towns that provide that above average learning environment. And yes, taxes will be higher, but is the 65 percent of your real estate tax bill worth it?
I and most people I have talked with have expressed a resounding and absolute yes!
They want the best education possible in this most competitive and demanding world and are willing to pay for it and there is a direct correlation to higher values of homes in those areas.
So, to keep our home prices strong and increasing over the future, everyone should go out and vote yes for our budget and bond referendum to keep our schools in top notch shape and the higher level of teachers and learning that we all want, need and expect now and going into the future!
Phil Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 7 Bond St. in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate Realtor Institute and Certified International Property Specialist.
He can be reached by email at Phil@TurnkeyRealEstate.Com or by cell (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions or article suggestions.