Thursday, September 18, 2008

Realty Check

It's one of the first questions you ask when you hear someone wants to build a casino somewhere near you.

What's it going to do to my property value?

Sure, some people can pretend a casino is a desirable thing, but the fact remains, few people really want to live near one. Especially if they moved somewhere for the trees and the quiet and the fresh air.

In North Stonington, CT, the town next door to Ledyard, home to the Foxwoods ever-expanding mega casino...

Residential homes on main road or alternate roads leading to casinos tend to decrease in value 10 percent. Making it harder to sell and reducing the tax basis for the area.

- Source: Casino Impacts on North Stonington; Prepared by North Stonington Board of Selectmen; Nicholas H. Mullane, II; William N. Peterson; John M. Turner. Amended December 24, 2001

In Preston, another abutting town...

The impact traffic increase has had on home values in Preston is dramatic. A recent revaluation of properties in Preston as shown home values for properties within a quarter mile of a state road are as much as (20 %) twenty percent lower than a similar home that is not close t the traffic of the casino. The financial impact for Preston homeowners is approximately $6,000,000.00.

- Source:Casino Related Impacts on Preston, CT; prepared by: Preston Board of Selectman; Robert Congdon, First Selectman; Gerald Grabarek, Selectman; Thomas Maurer, Selectman: December 18, 2001.

And those are the towns next door to a casino town. The Bridgwaters, the Halifaxs, the Carvers and the Lakevilles.

After a friend in Lakeville recently had his No Casino sign stolen for the second time, an unexpected explanation was offered. It seems that in Middleboro realtors are reqired to disclose to prospective buyers the fact that a casino may be coming to town. Ah, but not so in surrounding towns.

Could those glaring red No Casino signs have been disappearing due to their tendency to break the unpleasant news to uninformed house hunters? I do recall at the BIA hearing a realtor from Lakeville assuring us that property values would be fine. Just fine.

I've heard Middleboro realtors explain that, initially, property values will sink as a result of a casino, but then casino managers will cause a demand for the larger homes and values will rebound.

Gosh, considering the population around Middleboro is about 9 times that of Ledyard, I suspect that would take a lot of casino managers.

Of course, as far as I'm concerned (and to paraphrase Charlton Heston) a casino manager can buy my house when he pries it out of my cold, dead hands.


Anonymous said...

Our house has been on the market at a very reasonable price since May. We've had plenty of showings, mostly to people from the Greater Boston and Rhode Island areas. As soon as prospective buyers are told about the possible casino, they politely decline. Very discouraging because in our case we have to sell to build a downsized retirement home with a miniscule mortage. The general down turn in the RE market isn't helping either.

Anonymous said...

I sat next to a banker at one of Glenn Marshall's cheerleading presentations and had a lengthy conversation with the banker.
The banker had a number of friends who were well-paid working at the CT casinos and told me that property values would be unaffected.
When I asked him where his well-paid friends lived, he stopped. Not a single one of his well paid casino friends lived within 20 miles of the casinos.
I'm disbelieving whatever positives we're being told.

Anonymous said...

One again, Gladys, your blog hits the nail on the head.

It never, ever fails, nor is it ever wrong to say "follow the money"

Good job!

Carl said...

Yup. That is about right. If casinos are so great, why don't people want to live near one?

RE agents don't mind them so much. They still get commissions (though maybe not as big) from those selling at a lose or the buyers (investment properties rent them.) on the cheap. The agents don't have to live near a casino, just cash in at other's expense.

Anonymous said...

When this issue became public knowledge last year, I made several phone calls, did some investigation of information available on the internet regarding towns surrounding the CT casinos, waded through hardcopies of reports sent from those towns. At no point have I found any proof that properties near those casinos did not decline in value. Everything I have seen indicates that every single town surrounding the CT casinos has lost real estate value.
The larger homes are turned into overcrowded housing.
The declining schools that are on warning according to the CT dept of education (on their web site) are all surrounding the casinos.
Since I am aware of homes sales that have been lost in the 'boro because of the public school system's poor performance, that impact would seem to exacerbate the problem locally.
And with the current fiscal disaster in Bridgewater that has closed the llibrary, it is reasonable that Bridgewater would be impacted severely. And the potential of commuter rail travel by low wage workers who can't afford a car, a disaster seems predictable.
I wish those supporters would consider all the issues based on facts.

Mark Belanger said...

It's irrelevant if property values decrease because Glenn Marshall promised he'd be down with a check for the losses.

Although he didn't say it, I think this implies that the town will also get a check for lost real estate tax revenue from Glenn.

Anonymous said...

If the Preston impact is $6 million, it looks like the guarantee of $7 million for Middleborough is a wash.
Since Middleborough has a larger tax base, the impact should be greater. Are any figures available from the CRAC?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Anon: 12:30,

Middleboro's population is 5 times that of Preston, and the $6M figure is from 2001.

But what's it matter? No homeowner is going to see that money for their property devaluation.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Marshall is an honorable man and I believe will deliver on his promises, even if you have to go to prison to pick up your check.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gladys, As always, your blogs bring to light issues that the powers that be in Middleborough refuse to address.

I live in the red zone (the cluster of homes that will be directly affected by the highway entrance ramp to the worlds largest gambling hall).

When the investors unveiled their plan, at the BIA hearing in the Spring, the entrance ramp and homes on Plymouth Steet were covered up by the scale on the drawing. Where the scale is, there should have been ten homes. There was plenty of room on the drawing to put the scale somewhere else. You don't think they would purposely cover up our homes, do you.

I have been waiting for Glenn Marshall or Shawn Hendricks to come by and visit, since they are my new neighbors, but have yet to hear from them. I have invited the CRAC to come by too, but have gotten no response. A few casino supporters did come by my house one night (to steal my no casino signs) that's about it.

Anonymous said...

I will go from the property value to another problem if you do live near or on the route to a casino.
This is a sad story, it needs to be told, it's not to late tell this story, and families should know what their facing.
I know a family that has relatives that live on a back route to one of the CT casino's. Now this route is a shortcut off the highway, didn't think anyone from another state would know or be able to find it, well they did! and it didn't take long. Now when traffic is heavy on 95 they use this rural but faster road, it is now constant traffic for them, but the worse part? the husband has to to outside twice a day, early morning, and before bed, to clean up all the rubbish of beer cans, alcohol bottles, paper litter of all types, and the worse, syringes!! They started out complaining to their police dept. no luck, what can they do? sit in front of their house 24 hrs.?,no police dept could do that.
They complained to the Casino, knew it would be a long shot but they were out of ideas and desperate, of course they were told the casino doesn't have control of people once they leave casino area, true, but was worth a try as a last shot for help. Last step left, try to sell. They went to every RE Agent in surrounding area towns. Not even a bite. They offered house/land to many hotel chains, nope, they were to close to casino to be able for them to make a profit, but to far for casino to want it. Their only chance is to abandon the home, try to save enough money to start over, which they are doing, as it has become an exhausting, never ending job of cleaning up their front yard heavily suited up for health protecton.
I am still in shock that the BOS didn't look into these problems, I am still in shock when I heard that RE Agent make those comments. I wish I had asked for his business card.
Why it is not to late for Middleboro? the casino has not been built, VOTE FOR SELECTMEN W/GUTS, put people in office not afraid to DEMAND! that if this comes the residents will be safe or they will get flack from the town, and that Middleboro WILL NOT become a CASINO TOWN. The only way you have any chance is to VOTE and vote for CHANGE of leadership.
I don't want to see this happen to my Thompson St. neighbors, you can stop the land being developed but you can't stop people from driving down it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This is also a major problem for residents living on this st. and the surrounding streets. Believe me if it's built you will see a "back door" in.

Anonymous said...


If you are coming off Cape, or heading on Cape, it's a straight shot from the Route 28, Rock Village exit, N on Wareham Street, onto Sachem Street, onto Wood Street, right onto 105 and then left up 44 to the casino. Much quicker (10-15 Minutes) than driving all the way up 495 to 44 and then back to the bingo hall (the proposed route). Wareham and Wood Streets will turn into a race track for drunk and desperate gamblers and late employees, complete with dunkin donuts cups, McDonalds Bags, Bud cans, car wrecks or worse. 24/7 365. How do you think it will affect their property value? Maybe the town will re-zone it to commercial and everyone can open a gas station, convenience store or coffee shop. Oh, that's right, the casino will have a no tax gas station, and a coffee shop and convenience store that won't have to pay any taxes. So much for ancillary development.

Anonymous said...

Some might wonder why you supported a pro-casino candidate.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Huh? Who supported a pro-casino candidate? Gladys hasn't.

Anonymous said...

Pardon but Judy supported a pro-casino candidate. LOL

Gladys Kravitz said...

What candidate are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

I know, they meant Spataro.
His family and mine are long time friends. The only defense I have is he came to me,(due to the family ties, I'm guessing), with concerns on why I opposed the casino. When I told him ALL my concerns, he was sincere in his responses & promised to look more into the negatives, I even dropped of paperwork of documentation on studies of existing casino's and their impacts on the host community and surroudning communities at his house, I also included many articles from people that already lived w/casino's. During all this I promised to put up his sign if he decided to run again. I take responsibility for a weak/bad decision. I honestly thought we (anti's), could, with educating one of the selectman, have someone on the board that would ask questions & take a careful, second look at this casino! What happened to him? I do not know, he started out as a sincere, (knowing him for as long as I have I knew he was), caring person to someone that just "folded" and finished drinking the kool aid.

My last contact w/him was totally different, his attitude had taken a complete turn, and he was not the person I thought I knew. I honestly felt, now, he didn't care about what might happen, he knew casino was a "good thing" for "us"
If I had had a crystal ball and could have seen the future, no, I wouldn't have put up his sign. And yes,(to late), but now I'm sorry I did.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Judy, you're too nice. You had faith that Spataro would read the literature you provided him and actually care.

I think his words at the BIA were something like, "If you don't like it here, move!"

All last summer I kept wishing ONE OF THESE PEOPLE would just slow down and take some steps back, but they couldn't be bothered.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. You've gone the extra mile to get someone on Middleboro's board to care, but you can't make him think.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Glady's for seeing this as what it was really all about, plain & simple.
Unfortunately you are so right! You can't make them think!! I know this NOW!!!
I was curious about the outcome of family in CT, I made a phone call to my friend and found out:
They boarded up house and re-located to Maine, (in "07") Only place they could afford to "start over" But their happy, now life is at least peaceful and free of stress & litter.

Anonymous said...

I heard a news story today that the town of Mendon refused to allow a strip club to open. Citing the fact a club of that sorts would lead to increased crime, which their small police force is ill equiped to handle.

I applaud the Mendon BOS for making a wise decision and I'd like to ask them to move to Middleboro and help run our town.

If the town of Mendon can see the ill effects of a proposed strip club, why can't our own BOS see the inevitable ill effects of hosting the world's largest casino in our small town?

The Middleboro police force cannot even enforce traffic laws and the Police Chief doubles as the Fire Chief. How are they going to handle the increased crime a megacasino will bring? They couldn't even manage traffic flow this past summer when a gunman barricaded himself in a house at the corner of Wareham and Cherry Sts. How will they manage a major construction project the magnitude of the proposed casino? How long did it take the town to get the intersection of Rts. 105 and 28 completed? The casino construction once commenced will drag on for at least two years. Who from the town will be on site 24/7 to oversee building and safety codes are adhered to? How many home owners wanting to make improvements to their own homes will have to delay their plans because the building inspector is not available due to casino construction? This really is a backwards run hick town if there ever was one. Our BOS is a disgrace and a laughing stock throughout the State and we in turn are the country bumpkins that sold out to a group of carpetbaggers and scallywags.

If Adam Bond was as devoted to this town as he is his radio talk show, maybe we wouldn't be in this predicament. If he spent more time reading up on the facts and informing himself of the effects casino's have on small towns, instead of blogging to defend his idiotic behavior maybe he wouldn't have gotten us into this predicament.

All I know is the value of my house is going down and I expect my tax rate to be adjusted accordingly. Let Glenn Marshall and the Wampanoags make up the difference in lost tax revenue to the town. Once the BOS realizes decreased tax revenue from residents, maybe they'll start to realize that 7 million dollars or 11 million dollars is just not enough of an enticement to sell our town.

Shame on them all, Bond, Perkins, Brunelle, Spataro, and Rogers and all the rest of their casino kool-aid drinking minions who took a beautiful town going through hard times, like all the surrounding towns who didn't sell out for a quick fix, and ruined it forever.

If we actually had some clever people on the BOS maybe they would have told the Wampanoags to stuff it, thanks but no thanks, we'll make our own way and see the town through financial hard times with ingenuity and hard work.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Thank God for you Smoking Owl! Move to Bridgewater and help manage our town!!!


"If Adam Bond was as devoted to this town as he is his radio talk show, maybe we wouldn't be in this predicament. If he spent more time reading up on the facts and informing himself of the effects casino's have on small towns, instead of blogging to defend his idiotic behavior maybe he wouldn't have gotten us into this predicament.


(But then... he'd still have to care)

Keep keepin' your eye on 'em.


Anonymous said...

You left out Jack Healey, with his backroom discussions.

Anonymous said...

The support for a candidate who lacks a backbone to ask questions or conduct the necessary due dilegence seems rather naive. We have a lot of friends I would never vote for if they ran for ANY office, much less one that was as crucial as Selectman to the town. Being nice may be an excuse, but learning the lesson and applying it to future votes might be more important.
Any who watched some of Mr. Spataro's conduct would have understood how inappropriate he was on the bored [sic].
And his subsequent conduct has been equally ill-informed. In the first search for town manager, he threw an unsupported temper tantrum that prevented the town from hiring a new town manager. And in the most recent search, Mr. Spataro and Mr. Rogers supported a candidate who can't seem to manage the finances of Mansfield, has a judgement against not only the town but himself personally, a rare event. The transcripts and the depositions are posted on their discussion forum. The unprofessional conduct that justified the sexual harrassment judgement is rather crude. The current conduct of that person is divisive and paranoid. Mr. Spataro's public conduct has always been questionable, if anyone was watching. Sometimes elections shouldn't be about popularity contests. Just look at the board the town is stuck with now.

Anonymous said...

Gladys, thanks for the invitation but I'm not making any claims that I'm qualified to be a selectman. However, I like to think I can recognize a qualified candidate when one comes along.

When our current selectmen come up for re-election, we need to support one candidate instead of splitting the vote among multiple candidates.
If we all get behind one intelligent candidate maybe we can start to turn the BOS around and start to turn our town around.

If the land into trust is turned down by the Feds, does our current BOS have a contingency plan for the development of the land the casino developers purchased?
They had better start thinking about that possibility now rather than later.

In reference to the route to the casino from exit 3 off Rt.495. I don't know where Mr. Byrne of Sand and Gravel fame stands on the casino proposal but I assume he's all for it as it means increased business for his company. It's a shame that the route up Wareham St. to Sachem St. means there will be an increase in traffic and noise right in front of Mr. Byrne's idyllic little farm on Sachem St.