Homes of the political stars: Kamala Harris owns three homes worth $8 million; Joe Biden’s two homes are worth $5 million.

For many years the Washingtonian regularly ran a photo feature called “Map of the Stars.” We’d take a picture of a VIP’s home (from the sidewalk or street, never going onto the homeowner’s property), give readers the general location but not the street address, and include its purchase price and year it was bought, its current value (estimated by a real estate agent), and its assessed value. The assessed value was a reason to do it other than voyeurism—if a city council member lived in a house worth $900,000 and the house was assessed at $400,000, it  seemed a public service to point that out.

Some owners of the homes featured weren’t happy about it. Not long after one Map of the Stars, I was having lunch at Duke Zeibert’s, a popular DC restaurant, when humor columnist Art Buchwald walked up to our table, pointed at me, and said, “You son of the bitch, they burglarized my house.”

The Washingtonian no longer runs the feature but the Wall Street Journal recently featured “The Homes of Kamala Harris.” The vice presidential candidate and her husband Doug Emhoff have three homes valued at close to $8 million.

The main home, in Brentwood, California, was bought by Emhoff in 2012 for $2.7 million two years before the couple married. The WSJ story says, “The style of the property is difficult to determine as it is largely hidden from the street by foliage and is blurred out on Google Maps Street View feature, which allows users to submit a request to have a home, a car or themselves obscured for privacy. It was built in the 1950s and is about 3,500 square feet, according to Zillow. Houses along the street appear to vary architecturally, from Mediterranean-style with terra-cotta roofs to classic clapboard homes.” The home is now valued by Zillow at $5 million though homes nearby are valued for as much as $30 million.

In Washington, the WSJ says, “Harris owns a two-bedroom condo at the Westlight condo complex in the district’s West End. Local agent Daniel Heider of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, who has sold units in the building, said it attracts athletes, real-estate types and foreign families, some of whom have used the building as a ‘high-end dorm for their well-heeled children’ attending George Washington University. Senator Harris paid $1.8 million for the condo in 2017 and it’s now valued at $2 million.

In San Francisco, the WSJ says, “Sen. Harris bought her apartment in the SOMA neighborhood for $489,000 in 2004, records show. That same year, she began serving as California’s first Black district attorney. The property is about a mile’s walk from the San Francisco Superior Court House. The loft-style apartment is close to 1,000 square feet in a modern condo building, according to Zillow, and is also located close to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Gardens. The listings site values the loft at nearly $890,000.”

The WSJ story ends with “Thanks in large part to its location in major cities, Sen. Harris’s real-estate portfolio exceeds Mr. Biden’s in terms of value. Mr. Biden owns roughly $5 million worth of real estate, according to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis: an estate in Wilmington, Delaware’s “château country” next to a man-made lake built by the du Pont family and a beach house in Rehoboth Beach. Last year, the Bidens rented a large Georgian-style home in the D.C. area that once belonged to former Secretary of State Alexander Haig.”

 

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