While their oldest daughter, Malia, now a senior in high school, will have graduated by then and, we presume, be enjoying her freshman year in college somewhere, their youngest daughter, Sasha, will still be a sophomore at Sidwell Friends School.
Soon President Obama could just be another D.C. resident and next-door neighbor –
In a 2013 interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Barack and Michelle Obama said they would not take her out of high school but would instead stick around. Former aides and confidants of the Obamas said the same thing in a recent New York Times story.
As a former president, Obama and his family will have more unique requirements than the average house-hunting family, including stringent security and privacy issues. Let’s first assume they want to be relatively close to Sidwell, on upper Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest. (After all, the proud parents will want to make sure they can get to school in time for activities after a hard day’s work as the former leader of the free world.)
Jim Bell, founder and principal broker at luxury property firm Beasley Real Estate, agreed to lend his real estate bona fides to our little game of “House Hunters.” (BTW, wouldn’t it be great to see Michelle on an episode of the hit HGTV show? We’d love to see her laying claim to the walk-in closet over Barack — but hey, we know they’re busy people.)
Bell said the Obama family will probably have to look in the $5 million to $7 million price range for a house meeting their requirements. Fortunately, cost shouldn’t be much of a factor for the former POTUS. Obama is worth between $2 million and $7 million, according to filings he made in May. And his earning potential will only go up after he leaves office (see speaking fees, former presidents.)
When Bill Clinton left office in 2001, he and Hillary Clinton bought two houses — one in New York, where Hillary was the new senator, and one in the pricey Observatory Circle neighborhood in Northwest. They paid $2.85 million at the time for the 5,500-square-foot home at the end of a cul-de-sac. Real estate company Zillow currently values the property at around $5.9 million.
Bell said the Obamas will need a larger house relatively isolated and far away from buildings overlooking the property — so most of the leafy upper Northwest D.C. neighborhoods should fit the bill. The Secret Service, Bell notes, has already thoroughly vetted Kalorama and Georgetown for other high-profile residents, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
“I don’t think it’s too much of a security concern as much as where they are going to be the most comfortable,” Bell said. “The Secret Service is really flexible — they can go anywhere.”
Read the entire article here: Washington Business Journal
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