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Barack and Michelle Obama Are Buying This Island Retreat for $14.8M—and It’s Peculiar

Barack and Michelle Obama Are Buying This Island Retreat for .8M—and It’s Peculiar; Pete Souza/Official White House Photo

After years of vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Barack and Michelle Obama may finally be ready to purchase a home on the affluent island off the coast of Massachusetts. The former president and first lady are reportedly in escrow on a $14.8 million property in Edgartown.

The Obamas have a long history of renting on the island, most notably the $18 million house in Chilmark that was dubbed their “summer White House” in 2013. But when that jaw-dropping estate was sold in June 2018, we couldn’t help but wonder which not-so-humble abode would be the next summer retreat for the former first family.

We’ve now learned that they have decided to go all-in on the home they’ve been renting this summer, a sprawling seven-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom estate on 29 acres. Multiple island sources say that the Obamas are in the process of buying the home from Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.

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Barack and Michelle Obama are reportedly in escrow on this Martha’s Vineyard estate.

Built in 2001, the nearly 7,000-square-foot home offers plenty of space for entertaining guests (Fourth of July at the Obamas’!), but don’t let those rustic-looking shingles fool you. Inside, the vibe is contemporary—and a little cold.

That’s not to say that this massive seaside property isn’t stunning. It comes with beautiful views and plenty of privacy—perfect for a high-profile family looking for a little low-key rest and relaxation. But an inside look at the home reveals that it’s high time for a decor update.

A stark white color palette dominates the interiors, which lack any real personality. Plus, there are odd architectural touches like metal cables connecting the vaulted ceiling in the living room and concrete columns that scream “parking structure” instead of “palatial New England home.” Assuming that these details will need to be improved, one might argue it’s a $14.8 million fixer-upper.


Watch: Peek Inside President Obama’s Opulent New Home


We were also surprised to learn that the Obamas are not buying in their beloved Chilmark, the notably quiet, more rural part of the island where the summer party crowd is less likely to gather (it’s the only “dry” town on Martha’s Vineyard, so you can’t buy booze, although you can BYOB).

Edgartown, on the eastern part of the island (or, as locals say, “down island”), is known for its classic white-painted New England architecture; however, its proximity to the ultrapopular South Beach means it’s swarmed with tourists during the high season.

Still, Edgartown is ripe with world-class restaurants where it’s not uncommon to see A-list celebs such as David Letterman, Amy Schumer, and Spike Lee. But if the family ever wants to take a day trip to the quieter beaches in Chilmark, it’s an hour bike ride away—though the road is mercifully flat.

Curious to see inside what could be the Obamas’ new Martha’s Vineyard getaway? Scroll through the photos below.

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The Obamas may soon own this waterfront property.

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The pool area is shaded and private.

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Inside, there are strange architectural touches, including these metal wires suspended above the living room.

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Concrete pillars are also odd to see in a coastal New England estate.

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We’d strongly urge the Obamas to reconsider that bulky kitchen island.

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Another room with beautiful bones but questionable design

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A silver pool table is the focal point in the family room.

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At least the master bedroom looks comfortable.

The master bathroom has plenty of space to overhaul it into a true oasis of relaxation.

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