WASHINGTON — It’s only been little more than four months, but it appears Barack and Michelle Obama are so enamored with their posh Washington, DC rental home, they’ve plunked down a whopping $8.1 million to purchase it.
The sale was first reported by the Washington Post. Obama’s spokesman, Kevin Lewis, confirmed the sale to CNN: “Given that President and Mrs. Obama will be in Washington for at least another two and a half years, it made sense for them to buy a home rather than continuing to rent the property.”
The Obamas have said they were committed to remaining in Washington while their youngest daughter, Sasha, completes high school at Sidwell Friends School, where she is scheduled to begin her junior year in September.
However, the former first couple may have overpaid. The real estate website, Zillow.com, lists the estimate for the nine-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom stone mansion at $6.187 million, about two million less than the Obamas paid for it.
Property values for homes in the Kalorama neighborhood, where the Obama house is located, have likely shot up in recent months, as the tony enclave has seen several high-profile residents move in, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, whose rental is just up the block from the Obamas’.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also lives in the neighborhood; he purchased a $5.6 million house in February. Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos paid $23 million in January for the largest home in DC, a former museum.
The Obamas’ (now former) landlord at their new Belmont Road, Northwest, address was Joe Lockhart, once press secretary for President Bill Clinton and a political strategist in Washington before being named executive vice president of communications for the NFL, a job that required him to move to New York with his family last year.
According to records, Lockhart purchased the house in May 2014 for $5.295 million.
The 8,200-square-foot home, which last fall underwent upgraded security preparations in order to accommodate the family’s arrival, is now blocked off to public access by concrete barriers, manned 24-7 by United States Secret Service officers.
Additionally, the Obamas have secured office space in the West End neighborhood of Washington, about a mile from their house.