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Become Obama’s neighbour

Become Obama’s neighbour

An empty lot next to President Obama's Chicago home has gone on sale for $899,000, but potential buyers are going to have to undergo strict security checks, including submitting their financial information and ID to the secret service, before they can even attend the viewing.

The 50-by-150-foot lot in the city's upmarket Kenwood area sits directly next to the Obama family's $1.65 million mansion, which America's First Family visit on a semi-regular basis. The current owners of the next-door plot had planned to construct an 8,000-square-foot home on the site, which has never materialised, and have also offered the lot to the Obamas so they could extend their own property, which they were not interested in doing.

“We're just testing the market to see what kind of interest there is in it. There haven't been too many presidents with a piece of land next to their house for sale,” commented Anthony Rouches of Property in Chicago, the listing agent.

Potential buyers who pass security checks are going to have to get used to living in a state of high alert. The street has a regular police presence even when the Obamas are not in residence and neighbours and their guests are expected to carry ID at all times. When the President and his family visit the property surrounding streets are often blocked off and cars towed away.

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