From the NY Post:
HERE’S a government deal I know you’d love to get in on.
More than four years ago the US Army announced that it was closing its Fort Monmouth base in New Jersey and moving all the jobs to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
There was the usual eruption, with the Asbury Park Press — the local newspaper — doing a series of stories showing how the move would actually cost the government more money, rather than result in the projected savings.
The closure hasn’t yet taken place. And New Jersey’s elected officials are still fighting it.
But employees recently got some unbelievably good news. Our government in Washington, with your taxpayer money and mine, will make sure that people who must sell their houses in the Fort Monmouth area because of the base closing get 95 percent of the 2005 fair market value.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, house prices have come down tremendously since 2005. In fact, the market peak was in mid-2006, according to the Case Shiller index, which tracks real estate trends.
So the folks involved in the Monmouth closing have — essentially — been exempted from the housing-market cycle and will be able to sell high (in New Jersey) and buy low (in Maryland).
I’m told that those affected by the decision, which incidentally also includes people who retired because of the impending closing, were ecstatic at what was called a Relocation Fair last week. Nobody could recall the government ever making quite such a good offer.
What if you simply can’t sell in this market? Well, it seems that the government will buy the house although the price may not be as good as the 2005 value.
But this much is certain: A lot of folks I know would love to collect 95 percent of what their homes were once worth. And I also know that the squawking among the Fort Monmouth employees in New Jersey who’ll have to move or lose their jobs will probably die down.