Auction of Trump’s boyhood home postponed

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Will Donald Trump’s first boyhood home in New York City be worth more, or less, after the election?

The people trying to sell the charming, Tudor-style home in a leafy section of Queens cancelled their plan Wednesday to auction it off on the same night Trump was to face Hillary Clinton in a presidential debate.

Paramount Realty USA, which had arranged the auction at a Manhattan hotel, said it may try again after the election.

“Because the auction was getting so much press coverage a lot of bidders were contacting the firm to ask for more time to look at the property,” said Stina Dakers, a spokeswoman for Paramount, which co-ordinated the auction along with listing broker Leffey Real Estate.

Trump lived in the home — built in 1940 by his developer father — until he was 4 years old, when the family moved to another house in the same community, also built by his dad.

A slate path leads up to the brick-and-stucco home that has five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, an enclosed rear porch and a detached, 2-car garage. Today, the 3,600-square-foot house also features a finished basement with a second kitchen.

The house is located in Queens’ Jamaica Estates section, an upper middle class enclave of one-family Tudor, Victorian and Colonial style homes. It was developed at the turn of the 20th century as an affluent community with hilly and winding streets with names like Aberdeen and Avon that boasted easy access to midtown Manhattan.

It was nearly all-white in Trump’s boyhood days, but today it’s a community that includes “all backgrounds and ethnicities,” said Misha Haghani, co-founder of Paramount Realty, which is co-ordinating the auction with Leffey Real Estate.

The billionaire Republican presidential nominee once recalled in an interview that “parts of Queens were rough” but Jamaica Estates offered “an oasis.”

An email request for comment from the Trump Organization was not immediately returned.

Over the summer, the house was listed on the market for $1.6 million, and later reduced to $1.39 million.

While there were some offers, the owners decided “to auction it and let buyers tell them what it’s worth,” said Haghani. “It allows them to control the timeline.”

In recent weeks there were about 40 houses on the market in Jamaica Estates with the medium price of $1.7 million, said Haghani.

“It’s a perfect house but now it’s a little too big for me,” said the home’s owner, Isaac Kestenberg, who has lived in the house for eight years and is separating from his wife.

“We didn’t change anything. It’s beautiful,” he said in an interview, noting the natural wood trim and carved fireplace. “It’s a beautiful neighbourhood, nice, quiet, no crime, very manicured. It’s like living upstate but being in the city.”

Kestenberg said he only learned several weeks after buying the house that the Trumps had occupied it for a time. When the house went on the market in the summer, Trump “did not come over to look at it,” he quipped.