[Posted by WLS Shipwrecked]:
I’ve seen some snarky articles around the web mentioning Obama staying in a $9 million mansion while on vacation in Hawaii. Frankly, most of the coverage is nonsense.
First, while the house did sell last January for $9 million, the fact is that it sits on a one acre parcel of beachfront property at the far end of Kailua Beach. That parcel of land itself, with nothing on it, would sell for more than $7 million easy. Much smaller lots along the beach in Kailua or Lanikai sell for no less than $5 million. The popular saying among the real estate people here is “They ain’t making no more beach front property. Pay what you have to pay if you want some.”
Here is the Yahoo Maps Satellite view of the house. The Secret Service probably likes this a lot because its bounded on 3 sides by water, is at the end of a private road which had a normally unmanned guard shack at the entrance — Secret Service occupies it now — and has only one entrance to the property itself at the end of the street.
Obama vacation house.
The property has two houses, both of which suit the property, but neither is a “mansion.” The neighborhood where this house is located is not “swanky” at all. It’s a nice neighborhood, and some new very expensive houses were recently built just a few lots away from the house where Obama is staying, but the overall character of the neighborhood is “comfortable” but far from ultra-high end. Houses not on the water in this neighborhood go for $1 million and higher. But since the “average” home price in Hawaii is close to $600,000 — and that won’t buy you much — houses for $1 million aren’t really luxurious.
And, yesterday Obama played golf at Olomana Golf Course. This is the same course he played at last summer.
He’s the President-elect and he could play at any course on Oahu that he wanted to play. But he chose Olamana — a public course owned by the City&County of Honoulu — which plays about 6000 yards. It’s pretty much your basic “muni” course — nothing fancy.
And the course was not closed to the public as I’ve seen written elsewhere. The hole immediately in front of him and the hole immediately behind him were kept open by the Secret Service, but otherwise the course was open for normal play.
And, the guy has gone to Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base to work out two straight mornings. If you move the Yahoo image directly up, you can see the “back” entrance to K-Bay is about a 1/2 mile from the house where he’s staying, though the drive to get there is a little longer. This is clearly the quickest, easiest, and easiest to secure location he could use.
— WLS Shipwrecked