From White House to Luxury Home: Inside the Obamas’ New Residence

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posted on Jul. 21, 2016

On January 20th, 2017, Barack Obama concludes his second term as the POTUS and leaves the White House but where to? Read on and find out for yourself.

While presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are locked in a heated battle over who’s going to move into the White House (oh, and run the country), Barack Obama is preparing to move out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and into 2446 Belmont Road NW, Washington, DC.

As Obama’s second term as President of the United States is coming to an end, he and his family have reportedly signed a contract to lease the 8,200-square-foot brick Tudor luxury home in the exclusive Kalorama neighborhood for $20,000 a month, according to an estimate on real estate website Zillow.

While the Obamas do have a home back in Chicago (a 6,200-square-foot property located in the Hyde Park area that they bought back in 2005 for $1.65 million and is currently valued at a little over $2 million), the family has chosen to stay in Washington so that Sasha, Barack’s youngest daughter with wife Michelle, is able to finish high school without interruption. In March, the POTUS revealed the First Family’s plans to stay in the city for another couple of years where Sasha attends the Sidwell Friends School, a highly selective Quaker private school, and added: “Transferring someone in the middle of high school? Tough.” Malia, meanwhile, the president’s oldest daughter, is currently taking a gap year before enrolling at Harvard in 2017, a little after they move into the nine-bedroom house (yes, you read that right: nine-bedroom house).

A New Pad with a Bit of History

The house was built in 1928 by F. Moran McConihe, a real estate developer who was central in the expansion of Kalorama and who served in the General Services Administration under the 34th president of the US, Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was later bought by Captain Charles Hamilton Maddox, a veteran of both world wars who, in 1912, successfully transmitted the first radio signal from an aircraft to a surface ship. Maddox’s daughter, Muriel, had a minor role in the 1950 Marlon Brando film The Men and went on to write several romance novels.

It is now owned by Joe Lockhart, who bought the property in 2014 for more than $5 million. Lockhart served as the White House press secretary under then-president Bill Clinton between 1998 and 2000, before founding the Glover Park Group, a communications and political consulting practice, and serving as its managing director. In February this year, he moved to Manhattan with his wife Giovanna Gray, the Washington editor for Glamour magazine, where he accepted a job as the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications.

According to DC tax assessments, the property has a current value of $7 million but is expected to increase by over $300,000 over the next year.

A Luxury Home Fit for a President

Located in the upscale embassy neighborhood of Kalorama (which is home to not one, not two, not three but 28 embassies), between Massachusetts Avenue NW and Connecticut Avenue NW, it’s a mere two miles from the White House, meaning the Obamas won’t have to go far after he leaves office in January next year. It’s also just around the corner from the oldest house in the city, Old Stone House, which was built in 1765 and is located at 3051 M Street NW.

The three-level property (and that’s not including a lower level) is the epitome of luxury living. It has nine bedrooms, eight-and-a-half bathrooms, generous living and dining areas, and even an au pair suite which could be suitable for Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson, who has been living with the family in the White House.

When it was listed for sale in 2014, it was described as a meticulously renovated property with gracious living rooms, exquisite finishes, a stunning oversized terrace with formal gardens, and a courtyard with enough space for up to 10 cars, while photos show spacious rooms with hardwood floors, white marble countertops, and his-and-her bathrooms.

The ground floor, meanwhile, features a family/media room, a wet bar with wine storage, laundry facilities, and access to a two-car garage, while a few of the bedrooms upstairs have been repurposed as an exercise room, a playroom, and a home office.

Watch a video tour of the Obamas soon-to-be new home below!

Protection à la the White House

Because former presidents are allotted continued protection by the US Secret Service, the agency will need to carefully design and implement a security plan that will protect the house and the Obamas. This means that any potential dangers around the house will need to be assessed and taken into consideration, which may require some alterations to the property.

According to Anthony Chapa, the former Secret Service assistant director, “It’s an evaluation of the whole situation – not just the neighbors, but the street, and the park across the street.” The park’s underbrush, for example, will need to be reduced in order to provide clear lines of sight. Other alterations to the property include bulletproof doors and windows, more lighting outside, the installation of electronic equipment that will help in monitoring the area, and even parking rules in front of the residence will need to be addressed.

And although the property features a gated courtyard, that’s simply not enough. Agents will be assigned to the residence at all times who will aid in maintaining security and addressing any issues, and as for any neighbors complaining about disruption or inconvenience, Chapa says it’ll be worth it: “They’ve got a security apparatus coming to the neighborhood that is second to none.”

Everybody’s Got Good Neighbors

Speaking of neighbors, the Obamas will live down the street from French ambassador Gérard Araud and just half a mile away from the DC home of Bill and Hillary Clinton whose 2016 presidential campaign manager, John D. Potesta, will live two doors away. “It’s a very quiet neighborhood,” says Potesta. “That’s part of the reason why all of us like it here.”

By “us”, he’s referring to the many other political figures who have set up house in Kalorama. In fact, five other former US presidents have lived in the area before or after their time at the White House: Woodrow Wilson at 2340 S Street NW (now a museum dedicated to Wilson’s memory); William Howard Taft at 2215 Wyoming Avenue (now the Embassy of Syria); Franklin D. Roosevelt at 2131 R Street NW (now the residence of the Ambassador of Mali); Warren G. Harding at 2314 Wyoming Avenue (now the residence of the Ambassador of Monaco); and Herbert Hoover at 2300 S Street NW (now the Embassy of Myanmar, previously Burma).

More recently, US Senator Ted Kennedy has taken up residence in Kalorama, as has the former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, who in 2015 sold the house he lived in throughout the Bush administration. Bart Gordon, a former Democratic congressman from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be the Obamas next-door neighbor. “He’ll be welcomed to the neighborhood,” Gordon spoke of Barrack Obama’s plans to move in 2446 Belfont Road NW. “I just hope he doesn’t get too rowdy.”

Obama, meanwhile, will be the first president to stay in DC immediately after leaving office since Wilson left in 1921. When George W. Bush left office in 2009, he retreated to his Crawford, Texas ranch, and Bill Clinton moved to Chappaqua, New York after serving two terms as president until 2001.

Barack Obama has served as President of the United States since 2009 and is regarded as one of the country’s best presidents and one of the most influential politicians of all time. During his time at the White House, he introduced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), called for greater inclusiveness for LGBT Americans, and normalized US relations with Cuba. But that’s not all: he ended US military involvement in Iraq, repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, and promoted discussions on global climate change that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

After eight years in the spotlight, he deserves a little bit of luxury living in Kalomara, an area where a four-bedroom house averages at $2.8 million, and we’re sure his new luxury home will be able to provide him that and so much more.

So, what is he planning to do in his new home?

What do you think of the Obamas’ new pad? Tell us in the comments section below!

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