CBS Touts ‘Obama Premium’ On Real Estate In First Family’s Chicago Neighborhood

Dean Reynolds, CBS Monday’s CBS Early Show took time to highlight the selling power of the Obama family as correspondent Dean Reynolds reported: “Bill Grimshaw thinks he has the perfect sales pitch for the house he’s trying to sell on Chicago’s south side....he lives right next door to the Obamas....because of this...special location, the sky could well be the limit.”

Reynolds gushed over how the Grimshaw family was “So close they let Obama use their living room as a backdrop to record a holiday message days before last year’s Iowa caucuses.” He then spoke with real estate agent Matt Garrison, who argued: “We anticipate an Obama – an Obama premium. We don’t know exactly how much that is.” Reynolds wondered: “An Obama premium?” Garrison reiterated: “Yeah, an Obama factor, an Obama premium.” Reynolds further explained: “For example, Matt says living next door to the Nobel Peace Prize winner could make Grimshaw a winner, too.” Garrison remarked: “We certainly think it makes the price go up.”

Grimshaw did note a downside to living next to the First Family: “It’s like getting into East Berlin every night. They had bomb sniffing dogs, mirrors that went under the car. We had to get out of the car, let the dogs sniff us. That part was not too nice.” Reynolds dispelled the concern: “But living barely 15 feet from history is obviously tempting. The listing is so special it has its own website, 5040Greenwood.com, which recorded 60,000 hits its first week....A residential ring side seat.”

This is not the first time CBS has touted the affect of the “Obama premium” on sales. While the First Family vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard in August, White House correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: “One thing that’s going to give a huge boost to the economy is all the Obama paraphernalia...t-shirts, it’s baseball caps and magnets and coffee mugs and glasses. And restaurants are selling the ‘Baracko Taco.’ Bars are selling ‘Ale to the Chief.’ And all of it is selling like crazy.”

Here is a full transcript of the Monday segment:
8:00AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: And is this the safest neighborhood in the United States?

BILL GRIMSHAW: They had bomb sniffing dogs, we had to get out of the car, let the dogs sniff us.

SMITH: We’ll tell you what it takes to become the ‘First Neighbors.’

8:19AM TEASE:

KELLY COBIELLA: And still to come, want to become the ‘First Neighbor’ and live next door to President Obama? Yes, it’s possible. We’ll show you how.

8:44AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: When buying a house, there is more than just location. There is also the neighbors. So how would you feel living next door to the President of the United States? CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports on a unique real estate offer.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: First Neighbors; House Next to Obama’s Chicago Home For Sale]

DEAN REYNOLDS: Bill Grimshaw thinks he has the perfect sales pitch for the house he’s trying to sell on Chicago’s south side.

BILL GRIMSHAW: It’s the safest place in the city by far.

REYNOLDS: That’s because he lives right next door to the Obamas. Yes, the Obamas.

GRIMSHAW: We used to chat over the back fence, back porch neighbors.

REYNOLDS: So close they let Obama use their living room as a backdrop to record a holiday message days before last year’s Iowa caucuses.

BARACK OBAMA: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

SASHA OBAMA: Merry Christmas.

MALIA OBAMA: Happy holidays.

REYNOLDS: The Grimshaw family has lived in the 103-year-old house since they bought it for $35,000 in 1973. But now he and his wife are empty nesters and ready to go. Obama paid 1.6 million for his home four years ago. Something Grimshaw noted. And what’s the asking price now?

GRIMSHAW: There is no asking price. That’s one of the remarkable things.

REYNOLDS: Houses in this neighborhood generally sell for $1.5 million to $2 million. But because of this one’s special location, the sky could well be the limit.

MATT GARRISON: Eight bedrooms, 3.5 baths.

REYNOLDS: Wow.

REYNOLDS: Matt Garrison is the real estate agent.

GARRISON: We anticipate an Obama – an Obama premium. We don’t know exactly how much that is.

REYNOLDS: An Obama premium?

GARRISON: Yeah, an Obama factor, an Obama premium.

REYNOLDS: For example, Matt says living next door to the Nobel Peace Prize winner could make Grimshaw a winner, too.

GARRISON: We certainly think it makes the price go up.

REYNOLDS: A semi-retired university professor, Grimshaw warns that living next door to the President requires an adjustment.

GRIMSHAW: It’s like getting into East Berlin every night. They had bomb sniffing dogs, mirrors that went under the car. We had to get out of the car, let the dogs sniff us. That part was not too nice.

REYNOLDS: But living barely 15 feet from history is obviously tempting. The listing is so special it has its own website, 5040Greenwood.com, which recorded 60,000 hits its first week. So you’re sitting on a good thing?

GRIMSHAW: If you’re getting calls from Singapore and Saudi Arabia, London, yeah, it’s an amazing thing.

REYNOLDS: A residential ring side seat. Dean Reynolds, CBS News, Chicago.

SMITH: What do you do when you want to go borrow a cup of sugar?

KELLY COBIELLA: Can you knock on the door?        

SMITH: Well, or-

COBIELLA: Or do you have go through the whole rigamarole

SMITH: And you know they’re not home. I mean, it’s – you know.     
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC