Mitt Romney, La Jolla, and Election 2012: how the GOP candidate’s political progress might change local real estate and the surrounding community
By Vicki Johnson
As one of the final contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in the upcoming 2012 elections, Mitt Romney is enjoying a surge in celebrity status as the competition heats up and primary season shifts into full gear. But despite his East Coast upbringing and role as the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney also maintains a unique tie to both La Jolla real estate and the San Diego community in the form of an elegant, Spanish-style home located in the Barber tract between La Jolla Boulevard and Marine Street. Since 2008, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, have been part-time La Jolla locals, spending a week or two at a time visiting their West Coast home and enjoying the relative peace and quiet of the La Jolla village community. But now, as a possible presidential candidate (and subsequently, a potential president himself), will Romney’s part-time residency change the tone and feel of the local community – and perhaps even impact economic and real estate market activity along the San Diego coast?
Over the past few decades, California has played home to a number of presidents — including Richard Nixon, whose residence in San Clemente even earned the nickname “The Western White House” during his administration. If Romney were to win the GOP nomination and proceed to Pennsylvania Avenue, his home in La Jolla could become a second such presidential residence – and bring with it a horde of security guards and heightened media scrutiny in the process. But would it also have an impact on property values in the Barber neighborhood and beyond? Or would it simply highlight La Jolla’s already celebrated scenery and quaint aesthetic as a prime draw for others looking to invest in vacation and retirement homes?
According to a recent piece about the Romneys in the San Diego Union Tribune, presidential aspirations aren’t enough to transform the GOP candidate’s frugal spending habits or humble demeanor during his La Jolla getaways: on the contrary, he and his wife spend most of their time strolling at the Windansea Beach and attending the Pacific Beach Mormon Church while staying in the area – a far cry from the luxury dining and shopping activities that one might expect from a famous politician and his family. And while the presidency would undoubtedly make a difference in the Romney’s visits to La Jolla, the couple’s neighbors and friends believe that Mitt’s friendly, low-key attitude is genuine – and would remain so regardless of the 2012 election outcome.
A charmed village for locals, vacationers, retirees and presidential hopefuls alike
A political victory for Mitt Romney might not transform La Jolla into a star-studded destination; but it would help put the already well-known charms of our coastal village on the map, and potentially help boost luxury home sales for individuals looking to vacation or retire in presidential style. And if security (and crowds) were to see an increase in the Romney’s neighborhood, there would still be plenty of alternatives for buyers interested in seeking out their own patch of peace and quiet in our beautiful San Diego community.
As a long-time La Jolla real estate agent and local resident, I recommend that anyone in the market for a luxury home on the San Diego coast begin their search with the selection of a qualified broker who can help them find the best properties and neighborhoods for their lifestyle needs and aesthetic desires. Find out more about La Jolla real estate listings today: visit www.vickijohnsonproperties.com.
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