RANCHO MIRAGE â€“ After numerous visits to the Coachella Valley, both professional and recreational, the Obama family has long been rumored to be relocating â€“ for at least part of the year â€“ to the desert. The most recent report says it’s a “done deal.”
Since 2013, President Obama has visited the region six times. Following a June 2014 visit, the word on the street was the First Couple was in the area house hunting. However, a house that sold in the exclusive Thunderbird Heights community following their visit â€“ which added fuel to the rumor fire â€“ was indeed not sold to the Obamas, but rather to a scientist from Nebraska, according to the Desert Sun newspaper.
But just this week, the New York Post, citing unnamed sources, said it’s official that the Obama family has purchased a home in Rancho Mirage.
“According to sources, the Obamas have purchased a house in Rancho Mirage, Calif., not far from Sunnylands, the former Annenberg estate, which presidents use as a getaway and which is thought of as the unofficial West Coast Camp David,” the Post reported Sunday.
Rancho Mirage is known for its resort and retirement community in the Southern California desert. It’s situated about 10 miles southeast of Palm Springs.
Current and past residents near the Thunderbird Heights area of Rancho Mirage include former president Gerald Ford, Bing Crosby and Michael S. Smith â€“ a designer who helped the Obamas decorate the White HouseÂ and is reportedly a good friend of the family.
Patch searched through Riverside County records but could not locate anything to verify the report. White House representatives could not be reached for comment.
The Desert Sun was told that “it’s all rumors” by a local realtor.
The family is also rumored to have purchased a home in Hawaii.
The only official announcement on where the Obamas will go come January indicates the family will settle in Washington, D.C. President Obama announced that he and his family would stay in Washington for a few years instead of heading straight back to Chicago so the family wouldn’t have to pull their youngest daughter, Sasha, out of high school before she could graduate.
The house where they’re reportedly set to live is in the Kalorama neighborhood. The home, which was built in 1928, has nine bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms and was last sold in May 2014 for a staggering $5.3 million.
Images via Google Maps, Patch / Additional reporting by Dan Taylor (Patch Staff)