No matter what their political point of view, real estate agents in the Washington, D.C., area love a change of administration.
When a new president is elected, especially if there's a change in party, a whole lot of moving goes on, as the old crew leaves and the new people come to town. The president alone is responsible for filling 4,000 government jobs. Additionally, a new Cabinet will also make changes in their individual departments, generating even more career moves that result in homes sold. When the ship of state makes a turn (to starboard this time), it's happy time for real estate agents who represent the power base of the nation's capital.
Most government jobs pay a decent salary, but that salary is inconsequential to many of the people filling high-level positions. Starting at the top, Donald Trump is the wealthiest president in the nation's history. According to Bloomberg, Trump is worth $2.9 billion. Forbes pegs it at $4 billion, while Trump himself says it's over $10 billion. No matter which number you pick, Trump is worth a boat load more than any other president.
In today's dollars, John Kennedy comes in second at $1 billion, and the father of our country, George Washington, did OK for himself at $525 million. Nevertheless, Trump's fortune is greater than all former presidents combined. If you added them all up, it would come to $2.6 billion.
As you might expect, billionaires hang out with other billionaires. Not only is Trump the wealthiest president in history, his Cabinet also has a combined net worth that's greater than any previous Cabinet. Here's a sampling of the net worth for some who have been confirmed and nominated to Trump's Cabinet:
•Wilbur Ross — Secretary of commerce — $2.5 billion
•Betsy DeVos — Secretary of education — $1.3 billion
•Rex Tillerson — Secretary of state — $325 million
•Steven Mnuchin — Secretary of treasury — $300 million
•Andy Puzder — Secretary of labor — $45 million
•Ben Carson — Secretary of HUD — $29 million
•Elaine Chao — Secretary of transportation — $24 million
•Tom Price — Secretary of HHS — $10 million
•Sonny Perdue — Secretary of agriculture — $6 million
•Jeff Sessions — Attorney general — $6 million
•James Mattis — Secretary of defense — $5 million
•Rick Perry — Secretary of energy — $2 million
No doubt, there are a whole lot of high rollers coming to town, and that even doesn't include presidential advisers like Linda McMahon, Trump's small business adviser. She helped create World Wrestling Entertainment and turned it into a billion-dollar family fortune.
So, if you're a real estate agent in Washington, D.C., there might be a few people floating around looking for a pretty nice place to live. One of the most sought-after neighborhoods is a community called Kalorama.
Home to 28 lavish embassies, Kalorama (which sounds like an amusement park but is actually Greek for "beautiful view") is one pricey place to live in Washington. There are currently nine homes listed for sale in Kalorama, ranging in price from $2.79 million to $7.9 million. The nearly $8 million home is a classic Beaux-Arts design built in 1926 and renovated to the highest standards. With five bedrooms, seven baths and 7,000 square feet, it's great for growing families or the Secretary of Something who has their sights set on changing the course of the free world.
Sales in Kalorama have been very strong over the past year. The average sales price was $6,337,500, which was 99.3 percent of the average list price. The highest price was for 2320 S. Street NW; it was listed for $22 million and sold for $23 million after zero days on the market. Not exactly a starter home, it had 27,000 square feet, with 11 bedrooms, seven full baths and six half baths. The real estate taxes alone on this home are $337,662 per year. Commission for the buyer broker on this sale was a cool $690,000.
One of the sales in Kalorama in 2016 was 2449 Tracy Place NW. That residence is reportedly the new home of D.C.'s latest power couple, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, senior adviser (and son-in-law) to Trump. Their new home is typical of what you find in Kalorama. It's six bedrooms, six baths, was listed for $5.6 million and sold for $5.5 million. According to the remarks in the multiple list system, it has "7,000 square feet of contemporary elegance" — sounds like Ivanka's style. There are also five fireplaces and a staff apartment.
But, if you're beginning to think Kalorama is only home to fat cat Republican capitalists, you'd be wrong. The other new resident in Kalorama is former President Barack Obama. The Obamas didn't buy, but it's believed that they're renting at 2446 Belmont Road NW. That home has eight bedrooms, six baths and 10,922 square feet of living space. It was last for sale in 2009. At that time, it had an asking price of $5.75 million. Recently, the Secret Service has been busy making extensive changes to provide the security necessary for an ex-president.
Ivanka Trump and the Obamas are literally around the corner from each other; it's a five-minute walk door to door. Maybe they can car pool when going to the airport? A little bipartisan ridesharing might save the taxpayers a few bucks on those big caravans of black SUVs.
Bob and Donna McWilliams are practicing real estate agents and can be reached at 443-994-9589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.