To many young dreamers, entering a life of politics is a way of transforming the world. To the politicians themselves, there are plenty of other perks. Whether it’s trips all over the world, endless business opportunities, book deals, or just all-you-can-eat pizza, they know how to make their time in the office very worthwhile. And while it might not be the highest-paying job in the world, somehow they still manage to own some downright beautiful homes. Read on for our top picks.
To unwind away from the stress of the campaign trail, Hillary and her husband retire to their very own fortress of solitude in Chappaqua. Located 35 miles north of New York City, and an easy commute to Campaign HQ, the 1889 three-story home is an oasis of calm for the Clintons. And with a high security fence, Secret Service personnel living in their barn, and the location on the Old House Lane cul-de-sac, it’s easy to see why.
Although security isn’t nearly as tight as it was during Bill’s presidency (when all cars even entering Old House Lane were stopped), any troubles can be instantly forgotten on the 1.1-acre property. There’s space for the entire family, plenty of lawn for their lovable guard-dogs in training, and even a heated pool. The Clintons’ favorite coffee shop is just down the road, too.
With success in the political sphere (as Ted Cruz’s running mate) and an influential tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly has the purchasing power to buy a palace. While she has splashed out a bit of cash on her home, the keywords here are understatement and charm. In 2011, she purchased her North Virginian home for $6.1 million. All we can say is WOW!
The home itself sits on five acres and has beautiful sweeping views of the Potomac river. There are six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and an incredible five fireplaces to keep the house warm through those cold winter nights. Best of all, she’s just a stone’s throw away from the action in Washington D.C., where no doubt she’ll be putting in an appearance again.
A big personality needs a big space, and Donald Trump has both. His lavish penthouse apartment takes up the entire top three floors of his eponymous New York towers, and the interior design simply screams opulence. Decked out in a Louis XIV style, the apartment is dripping with 24K gold, marble, crystal chandeliers and highly ornate furnishings. There’s framed pictures of himself, too – just in case he forgets.
The view from the top is breathtaking, both outside and in. From the painted ceilings, to the luxurious rugs, to the hand-carved marble columns, no shortage of cash has gone into the Angelo Donghia design. In fact, records show that Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the entire tower. He might have needed to buy a new chair.
If we ever needed more proof that hot air rises, all we had to do was look at Ted Cruz’s luxury apartment. Set on the 19th floor of an exclusive high-rise condo complex, the home looks out on commanding views of the Houston skyline and those staggering Texan sunsets. Bought for a modest $837,000 eight years ago, there is no doubt it could go for a lot more now.
It accommodates his wife and two daughters perfectly, with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms (we’re with you, Ted – why would you need more?). But if that seems lacking to you, consider that the family has a spacious 2,000 square feet of living area to play, work, and rest in. The junior senator and one-time presidential hopeful could do a lot worse.
Honest politics is not always a lucrative career. Far more money can be made in the high-stakes world of business and finance. But Rand Paul goes to show that you can do a lot with just a little income. With only $500,000 – based on assessments – he has staked out a big and beautiful corner of the earth, and the amount of land Rand Paul owns is something that many people dream of having.
The Republican candidate’s property lies on almost 2 acres of land and features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Built in 1994, the home is surrounded by lush and cool foliage, ensuring that the Kentucky summer heat never gets unbearable. To us, it looks like a perfect place to retire and put the feet up.
It’s hard to pick just one property of the former New York Mayor and hugely successful businessman, Michael Bloomberg. The multi-billionaire doesn’t just have one home – he has 11. And he doesn’t just take a Winnebago to go between them – he has a private jet. We’d hate to see the size of his keyring.
The eleven properties include homes in Bermuda, London, Colorado, Upstate New York, and three properties in New York City. He has townhouses, resorts, ranches, and probably a chalet or two. The sixth-richest person in the world has so many properties that in the twelve years he served as mayor, he never quite got around to moving in to Gracie Mansion, where every other mayor lived. We think, Michael, that you should just consider renting.
George W. Bush
It’s not often you see a property which is more intelligent than your owner, but George W. Bush and his Texan Prairie Chapel Ranch has somehow managed it. Designed to withstand and even thrive in the harsh, arid Texan summers, Bush’s sprawling 1,500-acre home features every kind of state-of-the-art water and energy saving technology.
Using geothermal heat pumps, 300-foot deep water at a constant 67 degrees is piped through the house to both heat and cool it – a 75% energy saving on traditional methods. A 25,000-gallon reservoir collects rain and purified waste water to irrigate the surrounding land. The house itself is built from local limestone and positioned perfectly to catch every fresh breeze and every stunning view. It’s probably the only aspect of Bush that’s ever been environmentally friendly.
Although the Reagan name came to be synonymous with wealth, high-spending, and ridiculous excess, in truth his home life was far more modest. Well, modest except for the views. Situated in the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara, California, The Reagans’ getaway ranch was an exercise in both style and simplicity.
When they bought the Rancho Del Cielo (or Sky Ranch) in 1974, the 700-acre property cost them just over half a million dollars. With a pond called Lake Lucky and access only by a single lane road, the house that many called “The Western White House” must have seemed a world away from the bombings, arms races, and Cold War of the time. Today it is preserved by the Young America’s foundation as a “living monument to Reagan.” That would explain the 1970s furniture, at least.
Many would know about the former Governator’s gigantic Pacific Palisades mansion that he shared with his ex-wife Maria Shriver. But we want to talk about his other stunning home. A home so luxurious, so wonderful, so bright and cheerful, that he turned to bodybuilding in a desperate attempt to escape. We want to talk about Austria.
His family home in Thal, southern Austria, is now a museum open to the public. In the small town with a small future, you can see drab former forester's lodge where he was born. The tiny single bed where he spent his youth dreaming of getting out. The handful of rooms that forced him out into the wide world and superstardom. Will he be back? Not likely, but we sure hope so.
The presidency of Gerald Ford might be before the time of many of us, but residents of Vail, Colorado still fondly remember him - as “a guy who loved to ski.” His former holiday home in there is a testament to the fact that not only did he love to ski, he loved to ski in style. $14.9 million dollars’ worth of style.
That’s how much his Bavarian style chalet was listed for in 2009. It may have been cheaper in the time that Ford and his Secret Service agents blasted down the slopes, but we’re betting it wouldn’t be by much. With seven bedrooms, eleven bathrooms (why?), and an unparalleled view of the Beaver Creek Mountain from the “Presidential Master Suite”, Ford’s snow retreat always oozed style. We wouldn’t mind stopping by for a schnapps.
While he may have been snubbed by Trump in the vice-presidential race, at least Christie has the consolation of having a fabulous home to go back to. So fabulous, in fact, that when offered the traditional governor’s home in Princeton – the amazingly named Drumthwacket – he snubbed it himself. Instead, he decided to stay put in his five bedroom, seven-acre mansion in Mendham.
And why not? With total privacy – the nearest house is a half-mile away – tasteful French furnishings, rolling expanses of lawn in every direction, three fireplaces, a pool, and air-conditioned gym, and your very own barn, why would you need to go anywhere else? I mean, it only cost him cool $2 million or so. Which seems to be hardly anything in governor dollars.
Colin Powell knows there’s more than one way to get to the White House. In the affluent McLean, Virginia, a resident built an almost exact replica. We’re not sure how Powell feels when he passes by the mini White House look-a-like (nostalgia or a heart murmur?), but considering he still has a lot of opinions on presidents past, current, and future we suspect it might be the former.
Set at the end of a cul-de-sac, Powell’s home is an exercise in not much restraint. In a suburb where the median house price alone is a little shy of a million dollars, you can bet on a swimming pool, a tennis court or two, and far more bedrooms than children. Is doesn’t look like the former US Army General and Secretary of State has suffered too much from his time in the military.
The renowned environmentalist and almost-president’s home is, curiously enough, almost the opposite of Bush’s. Where the Bush ranch saves on power, water, and money, Gore’s expansive Tennessee mansion consumes a shocking 12 times the amount of power as an average Nashville property. If only it was a glass house, then the irony would be complete.
But where does all that power go? Try 20 rooms and 8 bathrooms, a separate guest house, a pool, and a pool house, all heated by natural gas. True, he has made some improvements in recent years, installing rainwater tanks and solar panels. And let’s face it, a palm-tree fringed pool is undeniably awesome. But save some planet for the rest of us, please.
Madeleine Albright might have been the first-ever female Secretary of State, but she’s not the first Secretary of State on this list to own a magnificent, and magnificently expensive home. From the 1960s she called this seven bedroom, 4.3-acre property home, even after she was called to serve in Washington D.C.
Once owned by members of the Tiffany family, the house features stained-glass windows, intricate carved wood moldings, and antique lamps. Along with a groundskeeper’s cottage, the home also included a vast expanse of perfectly clipped lawn and lavish saltwater pool, complete with pool house. The Virginian home was recently listed for an incredible $3 million. We’ve started saving.
If there’s one thing that politicians can do well, it’s humility. They are men and women of simple and inexpensive tastes. They know that to serve is its own reward, and are often embarrassed by the wages they receive for their work. Former Mormon preacher, governor of Massachusetts, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney knows all about living a Spartan lifestyle – his house only cost him $12 million.
But he’s satisfied with his little hut on the oceanfront at La Jolla in California. He’s more than happy with the poky 3,000 square feet. Well, he is renovating it to quadruple the size now, but we think that’s just so he can see more of the ocean. To feel his own powerlessness in the face of nature. To forget that he owns almost $30 million worth of property and remember why he became a politician in the first place. To get closer to the people.
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