Ever wonder what Barack Obama‘s life was like long before he resided in the White House? Now’s your chance to get a good look, since a New York apartment the former president once rented (with roommates!) is now listed for sale for $1.45 million.
Obama’s old apartment is located in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan near Columbia University, where he majored in political science in the early 1980s. The building has since been fully renovated and converted into a 39-unit co-op building. However, it’s still cool to think that this is where, decades earlier, the ex-POTUS was studying, sleeping, and (yes!) even partying up a storm.
Listed with the brokerage Brown Harris Stevens, Obama’s former digs are situated on a quiet side street, and has been beautifully updated to showcase its prewar perks, which include high ceilings and generously proportioned rooms.
“It’s a fully renovated property in a charming building with a live-in superintendent, which means the buyer doesn’t have to do anything—just move in,” says listing agent Scott Harris.
In case you were wondering, Obama’s student kitchen where he survived long nights on pizza and beer did not include all those gleaming white cabinets, high-end appliances, and full-size, in-unit washer and dryer.
Along with these luxe amenities come great bones.
“This building dates back to 1907 and was designed by the celebrated architects Schwartz and Gross, which will appeal to many buyers who are looking for solid prewar construction,” says Dolly Lenz, a real estate agent at the eponymous firm in New York City.
Will Obama’s legacy create real estate buzz?
You can’t top Obama’s name when it comes to history and fame. Combined with the apartment’s prime location and recent makeover, “this should help prop up the price of this specific unit compared to others in the area,” says Lenz.
And while Harris says he’ll never predict the outcome of any apartment sale, he reports that he’s “delighted that Obama having lived here could sprinkle a little fairy dust on the apartment.”
How much will Obama’s apartment sell for today?
At almost $1.5 million, the price for this co-op is the same as it was five years ago, which may make some potential buyers wonder what’s up: Why hasn’t the price risen?
Real estate agents point out that COVID-19 has had a dampening effect on Big Apple prices as people flee for the burbs.
COVID-19 “is definitely affecting both pricing and sales rates in the city,” Lenz says. “The Hamptons and other surrounding areas are seeing the appreciation now.”
Still, given the current market conditions, “The pricing seems fair,” says Jennifer Lenz, a real estate agent at Dolly’s firm, especially since “the building is a co-op, which can limit the prospective buyer pool.”
In fact, only one other apartment in the building has sold for more than this unit, she points out. Add to this the relatively low monthly maintenance fees for an apartment of this size ($1,448), and it could mean the place may get snapped up soon.
“Bidding wars are generally more common in a seller’s market, and given where we are, we think buyers will come armed with information and research and be ready to present offers,” says Harris.
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