The gossip among local real estate agents in Rancho Mirage is that this house in the Thunderbird Heights neighborhood is in escrow and the potential buyers are none other than the Obamas, says the LA Times. The listing agents have declined to comment, and the White House denies that the First Family is buying the property, which has a four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom main house, as well as a three-bedroom, three-bathroom "casita," elevators, and a putting green with sand trap on 3.29 gated acres. The residence itself is elegant and located in an exclusive part of Rancho Mirage known for attracting celebrities, but the acting president cannot have a pool that has a 20-foot, backlit waterfall. A simple waterfall, maybe, but—not like this. It's just too swingin'. Dealbreaker.
The rumors have been flying ever since President Obama hit the links with Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison on his private course and the Sunnylands golf course earlier this year. (The president's also made three desert trips in the last year.) Rancho Mirage has been referred to as "the playground of the presidents"; Gerald Ford spent quite a bit of post-presidential time in the same Thunderbird Heights neighborhood. (His house sold a couple years ago.) The recently-updated Sunnylands, built by the Annenberg family, has hosted many presidents over the years. The Obamas also have friends in the neighborhood: Michael S. Smith, a designer who worked on the White House, lives right up the street.
The rumored Obama house is locally known as the Joseph Wambaugh House, for the bestselling writer of police novels who once lived there. It last listed for $12 million, so the $4.25 million it's now listed for is a real steal.