If a new home next door to you were to be on the market and you could pick anyone in the world to be its buyer, who would you choose? For a fair contingent of Americans, they'd pick the family soon to be departing the White House: the Obamas, according to the results of a newly released poll.
Real estate listings website Zillow is out with its annual Celebrity Neighbor Survey, getting the pulse of homeowners' thoughts and impressions regarding public figures and who'd they'd like to be neighbors with. The top choice for this year is the First Family, with 14 percent of respondents believing the Obamas – specifically Barack, Michelle and Sasha (older daughter Malia is away at college) – would be model tenants.
Of course, over the past eight years, the Obama family has called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., home. But on Jan. 20, they will return to private life, and the prestigious property's next occupants – Donald and Melania Trump – will take up residence after the 45th president of the United States takes the Oath of Office.
Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow, referenced how the Obama family won't be moving too far, having purchased a new residence in the nation's capital.
"There was a lot of excitement around the fact that the Obamas chose to stay in D.C. after living in the White House – a first for a former president since Woodrow Wilson," Wacksman explained. "Maybe it's the additional neighborhood security or the possibility of running into other influential and famous people, but it's clear people are intrigued by the idea of living next to the First Family."
Where will they live next?
Prior to the Obama's purchase of the 8,200-square-foot mansion in Kalorama – a transaction that was first reported by Politico – some speculated that the soon-to-be former president and his loved ones would relocate to Hawaii – a common retreat where the First Family has vacationed over the years. If they had decided to move to the Aloha State, their buying options would be somewhat limited, as inventory there is low and prices are high. According to the National Association of Realtors, a single-family residence in Hawaii currently goes for a median dollar value of $745,300 – over $500,000 more than the national median.
However, considering that their actual purchase last sold for nearly $5.3 million in 2014 – based on figures available through Redfin – cost of ownership clearly isn't an issue for the Obamas, whose net worth is believed to be $12.2 million, according to website Celebrity Net Worth Club.
The First Family aren't the only prospective neighbors that Americans believe would be cool to have living on their block. Second on Zillow's Most Desirable Neighbors List was actor and professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, followed by Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV's highly popular program "Fixer Upper", and comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, along with her partner Portia de Rossi.
Nearly 30 percent wouldn't want a celebrity neighbor
At the same time, though, not everyone is desirous of having someone well known living next door to them, perhaps turned off by the attention that it would draw from media outlets. Twenty-eight percent of respondents in the Zillow poll said they'd just as soon not live next to anyone in the 2017 list, others of which included Grammy award-winning musicians – Adele and Taylor Swift specifically – movie stars and real estate moguls.
As for who Americans think would be the absolute worst public figure to have living near to them, musician and heartthrob Justin Bieber was the runaway leader, with 36 percent of respondents indicating as much, the poll found.
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