What happens to a president after he retires? It’s a big decision, choosing where home is after the Oval Office. What are former presidents in need of? What didn’t they get enough of while in office? Sun, quiet civilian anonymity, golf?
To find some insight into these questions, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our most recent former presidents and where they moved after the White House:
1. Obama stayed in D.C.
Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have been renting a home in Washington, D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood (they’re renting so Sasha can finish high school). According to Travel + Leisure, the property dates back to the 1920s and has nine bedrooms, beautiful gardens lining the edges of the property, flagstone terraces, eight-and-a-half bathrooms, and an au pair suite downstairs. The neighborhood is lined with trees and features beaux-arts architecture and various chanceries, churches, and private schools.
Next: Obama isn’t the only former president to live in Kalorama.
2. A home to many past presidents
Obama isn’t the first past president to call Kalorama home. The distinguished D.C. neighborhood has also housed William Taft, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt — all of whom lived in Kalorama prior to heading to the White House. It’s also where former president Woodrow Wilson chose to relocate after his presidency.
Next: George W. Bush bought two homes in one cul-de-sac.
3. George W. Bush stayed in Texas with two homes
The second Bush to sit in the Oval Office returned to Dallas after leaving the White House. He’s listed as the owner of two properties, both in a gated cul-de-sac. (One of the homes was torn down so the family could use the space as an extension for their backyard.) Former President George W. Bush even has a man cave on the second floor. For those looking to live in the neighborhood, the price is somewhere around $15 million.
Next: The Bush family’s 1,600 acre ranch
4. Their Crawford ranch
The Bush family also owns what’s known as the Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX. The ranch sits on a 1,600 acre property and features 40 miles of bike trails, a grove of live oak and cedar elms, and a single-level, three-bedroom limestone main building with an accompanying two-suite guesthouse. When the younger Bush was in office, the ranch was known as the Western Whitehouse, as it hosted various heads of state, such as Vladimir Putin and Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
Next: The Clintons quickly moved to Westchester County.
5. Bill Clinton headed north
After Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, he and Hillary moved to Westchester County. There, they purchased a home for $1.7 million at 15 Old House Lane, tucked safely into the end of a cul-de-sac. The Dutch Colonial-style home houses five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a pool.
Next: They moved for more than just the neighborhood.
6. They moved there for Hillary
The Clintons wanted to move to New York state specifically in preparation for Hillary’s run for the U.S. Senate . Prior to this residency, Hillary had never lived in New York and her then opponent, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, had been repeatedly reminding the public of that fact. But clearly, the Clintons moved just in the nick of time, as Hillary won the election
Next: George H. W. Bush always knew he wanted to retire in Texas.
7. George H. W. Bush wanted to retire in Texas
Even before the first President Bush took office, he knew where he wanted to retire. In 1985 (three years prior to his presidency), Bush purchased a plot of land in Houston, TX. Today, the plot houses a red brick two-and-a-half story home. Once they moved in, Mr. and Mrs. Bush were determined to fit in among the locals, participating in such neighborly activities as handing out candy on Halloween and informing the neighbors when the dog got out.
Next: The famous Bush Compound
8. Their second home
As much as they love their Houston home, the Bushes have another property that’s been in the family for over a century. Not only is the family’s Maine home beautiful, it also gives the couple a place to retreat to during the intense Houston summers. The property features a large main house and a guest home for visiting dignitaries.
Next: Jeb wanted to stay close to family.
9. They made room for their son
In addition to housing Mr. and Mrs. George H. W. Bush, the property also intended to be home to former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. According to the Boston Globe, Jeb had a separate house built for him that featured a wraparound porch and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Next: Reagan wanted to be close to Hollywood.
10. Ronald Reagan returned to Hollywood
Former President Ronald Reagan chose to retire in Los Angeles, CA. According to Realtor.com, “The proximity to Hollywood, where he rose to fame, met his future first lady, and co-starred with Bonzo, was alluring for the former actor.” He purchased the one-acre home in 1986 for $2.5 million. Back in 1988 when the Reagans moved in, the property was seen to be on the lower end of Bel-Air real estate, but it has since gained significant value.
Next: The Reagans also felt at home at Rancho del Cielo.
11. Reagan Ranch had a special place in the Reagans’ hearts
The Reagans also had a 688-acre ranch in Santa Barbara County known as Rancho del Cielo. The two frequented the ranch during their time at the White House when they were in need of a vacation. Mrs. Reagan sold the ranch to the Young America’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving historic sites, in 1998.
Next: Jimmy Carter’s modest taste
12. Jimmy Carter retired to a modest home
After failing to be re-elected in the 1980 election, former President Jimmy Carter retired in Plains, GA. The modest home has been in the Carter family since 1961 and is the only home the family has ever owned. According to Realtor.com, living in the neighborhood is relatively affordable (as far as presidential neighborhoods go). They mentioned a four-bedroom home listed at $109,500.
Next: Gerald Ford loved to ski.
13. Gerald Ford’s ski paradise
After leaving the White House, Gerald Ford headed to Beaver Creek, CO. When Beaver Creek Resort opened in 1980, they gave Ford first pick of ski-in/ski-out homes. The former President chose 65 Elk Track Court and built a seven bedroom, 10 bathroom home. He and his family had been coming to nearby Vail for years to ski, golf, and relax, so the move after his presidency seemed like a natural fit.
Next: A desert home for warming up
14. The Ford family’s second home
In addition to their ski home in Colorado, the Ford family also had a desert home in Rancho Mirage, CA. They needed a place to thaw out after a long, cold ski season, after all. This 6,300-square-foot desert home features seven bedrooms facing the 13th fairway of the famous Thunderbird Country Club. When the former president wasn’t skiing in Colorado, he loved to golf in the desert.
Next: Nixon’s San Clemente retreat
15. Richard Nixon left for La Casa Pacifica
Nixon had his own Western White House in La Casa Pacifica, a mansion located just above the Pacific Ocean in San Clemente, CA. Nixon purchased the Spanish Colonial in 1969 for $1.4 million. Though, in 1980, Nixon sold the red-tile roofed home to pharmaceutical executive Gavin Herbert for an undisclosed amount, according to Realtor.com.
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