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2 Romney estates hit the market

The ski home that Mitt and Ann Romney own in Deer Valley overlooks a reservoir and mountains. The Romneys own four mansions across the country. The ski home that Mitt and Ann Romney own in Deer Valley overlooks a reservoir and mountains. The Romneys own four mansions across the country.
By David Abel
Globe Staff / February 17, 2009
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The "cabin" in Deer Valley, Utah, which overlooks a reservoir and mountains, comes fully furnished with custom-made light fixtures, specially sculpted fireplace screens, and eight full bathrooms. Called the "perfect retreat," it is 9,500 square feet on 11 acres. The asking price: $5,250,000.

The other abode, the former first residence of Massachusetts, boasts proximity to good schools, a tennis court, and more than 6,400 square feet on 2.5 acres, much of it featuring a once-controversial, well-tended lawn. The price for the pink Colonial on Belmont's Marsh Street hasn't been set yet, but it may be a bargain: At an estimated $3 million, its value has dropped by about $1 million over the past two years, according to Zillow.com, which appraises real estate.

The mansions, two of four owned by former governor Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, have just been put on the market.

"The reason they're selling is because they have more space than they need," said Eric Fehrnstrom, a longtime spokesman for the Romney family, in a telephone interview yesterday. "The Romney children are all grown and have families of their own, so they're downsizing and simplifying."

Asked whether the Romneys are selling because they are suffering due to the recession or because of the $42 million the former governor spent on his presidential campaign, Fehrnstrom said no.

"Like any American family, the Romneys haven't escaped the effects of the downturn in the economy," he said. "But the reason they're selling two of the homes is just simply because they have more space than they need."

Fehrnstrom wouldn't say how much the Romneys have lost. He noted that after Romney suspended his bid for president last year, he paid $12 million for an oceanfront home in La Jolla, Calif.

Romney still owns an estate that overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., which was valued at about $10 million two years ago.

In 2006, Romney was criticized after the Globe reported that he used a landscaping company that hired illegal immigrants to maintain his lawn in Belmont.

Fehrnstrom said the Romneys plan to buy a condo in Massachusetts and maintain their official residence here, though they haven't decided where.

During the presidential campaign, Senator John McCain was criticized for owning at least eight homes.

When asked whether Romney was downsizing to avoid similar criticism if he runs again, Fehrnstrom said, "That didn't have any bearing on it."

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