Old rumors that Barack and Michelle Obama are looking at property in the golf-mecca of Rancho Mirage, California, have resurfaced among realtors in the Coachella Valley.
Agents who spoke to Mansion Global couldn’t confirm that it’s a done deal, but they did say that a friend of the first family, Michael S. Smith, who lives in town, has looked into properties in Rancho Mirage in recent years. And if the Obamas were going to purchase a new pad they would likely buy it under an alias or LLC for security reasons.
Over the years, the Obamas have taken a number of trips to the desert resort city, where they’ve visited Mr. Smith, an interior designer who has decorated the Oval Office and the White House dining room, and his partner James Costos, the current ambassador to Spain.
There were once reports in 2014 (now debunked) that the Obamas bought a home in the same gated enclave as Mr. Smith, an exclusive neighborhood called Thunderbird Heights. But the rumored seven-bedroom home actually sold to a Nebraska couple, according to property records from Riverside County.
Now, new reports say Mr. Obama has settled on a home not far from Sunnylands golf course, according to the New York Post.
When news swirled two years ago, the White House press office denied the rumors, calling them “false.” Earlier this week, a spokeswoman said the White House had no comment.
A public relations representative for Mr. Smith did not return requests for comment.
If it turns out Mr. Obama is still in the market for a Rancho Mirage home, there’s plenty of grand and secluded properties in the neighborhood. Here’s some eye candy if you haven’t yet made your mind up, Mr. President:
PRICE: $9.75 million
BATHROOMS: 9 bathrooms
SIZE: 5,744 square feet
The listing describes this house as “The Playground of Presidents,” pointing out that many celebrity parties and fundraisers have been held in the main house’s wine room. Like most other homes in the area, there’s a seamless blending of interiors and exteriors, and that exterior happens to include ponds, an infinity pool, gardens, a tennis court and more. The 2.4-acre property has a main home and two guest houses, so the Obamas would have plenty of room to entertain overnight guests who might appreciate a less formal setting than the White House.
PRICE: $12.995 million
BATHROOMS: 6 full bathrooms, four half-baths
SIZE: 15,300 square feet
If the Obamas want to show off a little, this house, the most expensive currently listed for sale in Rancho Mirage would be the way to do it. The Mediterranean-style home, named Casa Bella, likely offers the right amount of privacy a former president and his family, seeing as it’s set in a guard-gated community. Built just four years ago, it’s got an elevator and five-car garage, and sits on resort-like grounds with a firepit, mosaic-tiled pool, and nine-hole putting green.
PRICE: $3.795 million
BATHROOMS: 4 full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms
SIZE: 6,371 square feet
Part of the Mirada Estates gated community, this house has some seriously stunning views of the city, the desert and the valley thanks to zero obstructions. Mr. and Mrs. Obama could enjoy their master bedroom with his/her bathrooms and a gym (we figure the fitness-minded couple would appreciate that). There’s also a covered outdoor entertaining area with misters, space heaters and a kitchen. There’s a pool spa and cascading water features, which the first family will likely appreciate using 12 months a year. That sure beats Washington, D.C. or Chicago in the winter.