Sources: Clintons agree to buy Westchester house for about $1.5 million
By John King/CNN
September 1, 1999
Web posted at: 5:51 p.m. EDT (2151 GMT)
AUBURN, New York (CNN) -- The first family has put in an offer to purchase a five-bedroom colonial home in New York's suburban Westchester County, two sources familiar with the situation told CNN on Wednesday.
The sources were reluctant to provide details, although one said the purchase price was "in the ballpark" of $1.5 million. Both said an official announcement was expected later this week, perhaps as early as Thursday.
The Clintons have agreed to buy this New York home
The house at 15 Old House Lane in Chappaqua, a quiet community of about 16,000 just north of White Plains, was listed for $1.69 million with Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate.
The company had no immediate comment on the Clintons' offer, but a neighboring realty group, Holmes & Kennedy, said the first family put in the offer about two weeks ago -- one of more than five offers shortly after it came on the market.
"We've heard it's a done deal," agent Cathy Paulsen said.
She said she was unsure of when closing would be, but added that closings typically happen within 90 days of the offer. Paulsen said the house is one of the most expensive in town as the average home in Chappaqua sells for about $550,000.
The Clintons visited the home in Chappaqua on Saturday and afterward mingled outside with prospective neighbors. "It's a very nice house, but we don't have any announcement to make," Clinton said after the visit.
The white colonial, built between 1875 and 1880, has 5,300 square feet and is situated on 1.1 acres of land with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool. It has 11 rooms, including an exercise room on the top floor.
"It's gorgeous, stunning. Everything was perfect," Paulsen said. "The older part of the house was restored perfectly."
In addition to being the couple's post-White House address, the location of the house would allow the first lady to establish residency in New York necessary for her possible Senate run. Hillary Rodham Clinton has until Election Day 2000 to establish residency in New York to be eligible to represent the state in the U.S. Senate beginning in January 2001.
But she is said to be eager to buy a home as soon as possible to give a clear signal of her intentions and to help counter critics' suggestions that she is a "carpetbagger" unfamiliar with the state and its concerns.
The Clintons also must clear the house with both the Secret Service and the White House counsel, so both security and legal matters related to their transactions are settled before the deal is final.
Chappaqua, settled by Quakers in the 1600s, is less than an hour from New York and a popular community for doctors, lawyers and CEOs with a top-notch public education system, Paulsen said.
Perhaps the most famous person to ever live in Chappaqua was Horace Greeley, one of the founders of the Republican Party who lost in the 1872 presidential election. More recently, Vanessa Williams, the former Miss America and now an actress-singer, graduated from a local high school and still lives in the area.
As for the Clintons arrival, the community's reaction is mixed, Paulsen said.
"Some people are excited. Some people who don't like them are upset," she said. "So it's interesting."
The Clinton family has not lived in a private home for nearly two decades. They lived in the Arkansas governor's mansion in Little Rock for 12 years, and they've been at the White House since 1993.
The first family is on the last leg of their summer vacation, spending five days at an estate borrowed from developer Thomas McDonald in Skaneateles, New York, near Syracuse.