The US$4.25m California desert home the Obamas are thought to be buying

Family thought to be buying in southern California 'playground of the presidents'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2014, 10:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2014, 10:04pm


US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, could be the owners of a US$4.25 million home in the southern California desert community of Rancho Mirage before the month is out.

The first family is believed to be in the process of buying a home in a gated community where entertainers Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby once maintained estates.

The White House said "rumours regarding a home in Rancho Mirage are not true".

But estate agents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, insisted the Obamas were buying a Rancho Mirage home. Listing agents Marc Lange and Carl Blea of HOM Sotheby's International declined to comment.

The Obamas would not be the first presidential family to move to the southern California desert. After completing his time in office, former US president Gerald Ford moved to the area, which has been called "the playground of presidents". Other US presidents have visited and spent time in the Coachella Valley.

Speculation about a potential purchase started when the Obamas spent a long Father's Day weekend there. The president was also in Rancho Mirage earlier in the year, mixing business and golf, The Desert Sun reported. The president played at Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison's private course at the Porcupine Creek estate and at Sunnylands.

The 8,232 sq ft compound is next to a bighorn sheep preserve on a 1.33 hectare hilltop with panoramic views.

The custom-built main house, constructed in 1993 and designed for entertaining, includes a gym, four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A 2,000 sq ft secondary dwelling has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Outside features include a pool with a six-metre waterfall, a rock lagoon, two spas, a misting system and a putting green.

The property was listed eight years ago for US$12.5 million.

Among the neighbours are interior designer Michael Smith, a friend of the Obamas who worked on the White House. The Obamas also own a residence in Chicago.