KMIR News Exclusive: Inside Luxury Community Where Obamas Stay & Could Buy

KMIR News Exclusive: Inside Luxury Community Where Obamas Stay & Could Buy


Rancho Mirage, CA

Has former President Obama and his family purchased a home in Rancho Mirage?

"It’s the number one question, everybody wants to know, there’s a lot of speculation on whether he actually has bought a home or not," says Robert Downing, with Bennion Deville Homes, who specializes in luxury real estate in the valley.

But because the Obamas have chosen to visit the city more than half a dozen times, insiders speculate they will buy a home in one of the city’s most exclusive communities. 

"It is pretty certain that he is going to ultimately make the desert one of his primary residences and more than likely it will be Thunderbird Heights," says Downing. 

Our cameras got a rare look inside the gates of the community and outside the home where the Obamas stayed on this visit and many others: the estate of former ambassador to Spain, James Costos and his partner, interior designer Michael Smith. The couple is friends with the family and Smith redecorated the private quarters and Oval Office of the White House for the family.  Some have speculated they may even build a home on the lot below the home that was purchased by Smith.

Downing says there’s a reason they, other presidents and celebrities like to live and stay in Thunderbird Heights, "Thunderbird Heights is unique because it is actually one of the few communities that terraces up the mountain versus sitting on top of it or below it so it adds a different level of privacy than most of the communities out here in addition to that it is guard gated so there’s 24/7 guard and very high security here."

Downing says if the Obamas buy a home in Thunderbird Heights, it will be a plus for the already popular community and the valley too, "For the ex-president and all the ex-presidents that have owned a home here in the desert and Rancho Mirage to get that highlighted again is going to just a lot of excitement."

Rancho Mirage Mayor, Ted Weill says he hopes the rumors are true and has a message for the former president, "We look forward to you becoming just another valued member of our community and we’re honored that you’re considering making this your home."