Romney vs. Obama: Where their money goes
Here's a look at President Obama's and Mitt Romney's homes, cars and clothes closets.
This post comes from Renee Morad at partner site Money Talks News.
As the presidential race heats up, Americans are trying to assess the spending priorities of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on everything from Social Security to health care.
We're tuning in to speeches, debates and news articles to understand the presidential candidates' values. But as we consider what these men will do with taxpayers' money, perhaps we can learn something from how they spend their own.
Romney's net worth is estimated at $250 million; Obama's is about $11 million. Here are some details about their big purchases over the years.
Mitt and Ann Romney own a 3,009-square-foot Mediterranean-style beachfront property in La Jolla, Calif. Romney purchased the home for $12 million in 2008. The house, built in 1936, has three bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a deck with a lap pool and spa. But it may not be there for long. In 2011, he filed an application with La Jolla officials to bulldoze the single-story home and replace it with a larger, two-story home.
The Romneys purchased a 13-acre property on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., for $2.5 million to $3 million in 1997. The main house is 5,400 square feet, and there's also a boathouse (valued at $630,000) and a horse stable with guest houses above it. The assessed value of the estate was $8 million in July.
In addition to his California and New Hampshire homes, Romney bought a 2,100-square-foot, two-bedroom townhouse in the Woodlands at Belmont Hill, in Massachusetts, for $895,000 in June 2010. In the past, Romney owned a larger estate in Belmont, Mass., which he sold for $3.5 million in 2009, and a ski home in Park City, Utah, which he sold for about $5.25 million in 2009.
Obama and first lady Michelle own a 6,199-square-foot brick home in Chicago. They purchased the property, built in 1917, for $1.65 million in 2005.
That's the only home the Obamas own. However, the New York City apartment he rented while a student at Columbia University in the 1980s was recently on the rental market, according to Zillow -- with a price tag of $2,400 a month for two bedrooms and one bath.
Back in February, Romney discussed his family's collection of cars during a speech in Detroit.
"I love this country. I actually love this state. It just feels good, being back in Michigan," Romney said. "I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three (major automakers) covered."
According to CBS News, Romney's campaign quickly issued a clarification explaining that Ann's cars are 2007 and 2010 Cadillac SRX models, and that one of them is at the family's house in California, while the other is at their Massachusetts residence.
To accommodate his car collection, there have been rumors that Romney plans to build a "car elevator" for his four-car garage during his California home renovations.
Obama leased a fully loaded 2005 Chrysler 300C when he was a U.S. senator. He ditched the Chrysler in the summer of 2007 when he launched his presidential campaign and decided to lease a more fuel-efficient 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid.
According to used-car authority Kelley Blue Book, Obama's former Chrysler 300C is valued at $19,142. In early 2009 when Obama took office as president, veteran eBay car seller Lisa Czibor, who lives near Chicago, tried to sell the car for $1 million -- with the help of a posted photo of the car's title in Obama's name.
As for the Ford Escape, it was returned to the Illinois dealership in 2010. The vehicle was put up for auction, but no further details were released.
Mitt Romney's longstanding reputation for wearing tailored suits and ties traces back to his early days at Bain Capital. Back in 2007, when Time magazine put Romney on its cover, the headline read, "Sure, he looks like a president."
More recently, however, Romney has been opting for Kirkland-brand dress shirts that cost $18 at Costco, prompting speculation that he's trying to better relate to everyday Americans on the campaign trail.
Ann Romney claims she's an avid Costco shopper as well, but has also been seen sporting pricey attire: Her $990 Krakoff T-shirt drew criticism this spring after her appearance on CBS' "This Morning."
In August, a knee-length Oscar de la Renta dress Ann wore during a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., also created buzz. The Financial Times' fashion editor said the dress cost somewhere between $2,090 and $2,490.
Obama has made appearances in suits that cost an estimated $1,500. But that's nothing compared with Michelle Obama's occasional splurges. She wore a $6,800 jacket from designer J. Mendel to a reception at Buckingham Palace for the opening of the London Olympics, for example.
During less lavish soirees, Michelle is often dressed in a more subtle fashion, such as a dress by Tracy Reese paired with pumps from J. Crew. The dress has not yet been produced, but similar versions cost $395 to $450.
It's worth adding that Michelle's fashion often comes without a price: She sometimes receives wardrobe items from top designers like Jason Wu for free, months before the fashion lines hit stores. Oh, the luxuries of being first lady.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
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I think its a crime that these two blow money [ tax payers money !] while people are hurting for food ,housing ,jobs
etc.... the ladies are also very spendy ! All these gluttons and CEOs included will have their day when they meet
with the almighty ! No amount of money,fancy cars,extravagant homes or clothing is going to buy their way thru!
Kinda feel sorry for them in a way ..
Romney needs another house. Maybe he'll purchase another one for his cars..With the tax cuts for the rich I'm sure he'll be making that purchase soon after he steals the election.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'
The article is so biased it's pathetic....what a typical liberal bias. It's all about how much more Romney has and how poor Obama is. Yeah right...99.9% of us don't have net worth's of $11,000,000.00 like Obama. How can Obama "play common man" with money like that...get real already!! When Obama was a Senator, the Chicago hospital put Michelle on the payroll - with a job title of public relations. She made $380,000 per year. and funny how when they hit the White House....the hospital job was not filled again. What a coincidence!!
Obama is "playing the American voters" for fools...I'm for the common man, so vote for me...while his kids attend $24,000 per year, per child - private school in DC. Obama and Michelle laugh everyday at how they fooled the voters in 2008....not this year....the fools' on him!!
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