For rent: Obama's college apartment
For $2,400 a month, you can live in the space where a president lived when he was a student — lots of charm and 'unbeatable dinner conversation.'
Do you think you'll be president someday?
For most of us, the answer is no. But if you're looking for another way to follow in President Barack Obama's footsteps, you can rent his college apartment in New York's Morningside Heights neighborhood.
The two-bedroom, one-bath unit is being offered for $2,400 a month, not a bad price for Manhattan, but be warned — this apartment is on West 109th Street, a bit north of midtown. It is, however, in an up-and-coming area, much more trendy than when Obama lived there.
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"It’s a charming little apartment," Zak Kneider of City Habitats, the broker, told CNBC. "It’s your typical third-floor walkup with a bit of charm that a million other New Yorkers are in."
It's hard to get much of a sense of the place from the listing photos. We'd guess from the décor it still is collegiate housing. According to the listing, the apartment is "fully renovated with lots of charm," including exposed brick, high ceilings, hardwood floors, good closet space and "best of all, it's unbeatable dinner conversation!"
When Obama shared the apartment with a roommate in the early 1980s while attending Columbia University, the rent was $180 a month. The last time it came up for rent, two years ago, the landlord was asking $1,900.
If you're wondering how that apartment compares with others in New York City, Curbed New York has a helpful feature on what you can rent for $2,400 a month in various neighborhoods.
While the news that Obama slept here is helping the landlord find new tenants, sharing the quarters once inhabited by the commander-in-chief has not been good for the current tenants, who have been plagued by gawkers since the news came out. Some don't take no for an answer.
"Everybody under the sun is calling. I do feel horribly for the tenants," Kneider told CNBC. "They’re calling him and trying to come in and he’s going to be moving … one of the most stressful things in life."
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.