Rumor Persists that Obamas Will Live in Magnum PI Estate Post White House

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Magnum PI's Robin's Nest From the Air (highlighted in red)
Magnum PI’s Robin’s Nest From the Air (highlighted in red)

The Magnum PI estate went on sale for $15.75million in March of 2014 and less than a year later, it was sold for $8.7-million … but to whom? Of course the press jumped on the confluence of Obama courtiers involved in the convoluted sale. There were non-disclosures, LLCs, and executive assistants signing mortgage papers … and then denials that the Obamas were involved.

Having been on Oahu for over a month, I have to say the locals I’ve chatted with firmly believe it’s all a smokescreen and that the Obama family will be the next residents of the Anderson Estate (no relation, more’s the pity).

The estate, located at 41-505 Kalanianaole Highway in Waimanalo, was built in 1933 for previous owner Eve Glover Anderson’s grandfather. Anderson was a step-daughter of a Cox Communications heiress and a local politician in her own right (although documents hint that she and her brother didn’t receive much from the spoken-for Cox trusts). Like the President, Anderson attended the prestigious Punahou School many years apart. Unlike the President, Anderson is a Republican.

The home consists of a 9,000-square-foot Spanish-style main home, boathouse (Magnum’s lair) and a 1,900-square-foot, 5-bedroom gate house sitting on nearly 3 acres of oceanfront land. There is also an extensive basement, quite unusual for Hawai’i (especially beachfront). In recent years, the home fell into disrepair and a niece moved into a refurbished gatehouse to keep an eye on things.

The home faces away from the water. (Photo: Eric Mansperger/LIST Sotheby’s International Realty, AP)
The home faces away from the water. (Photo: Eric Mansperger/LIST Sotheby’s International Realty, AP)

One who’d been in the home as a child said that for an oceanfront home, it doesn’t take advantage of its location with the bulk of the rooms facing away from the water and into a courtyard. About the only room I’m told that faces the water is a ballroom. News reports backup claims that the home is in need of extensive renovation. The ocean and termites are very harsh on structures. Some think a renovation may turn into something more extensive once things get going (so far all’s quiet). Renovation or rebuild, it’s the perfect opportunity to install all the security needed by a former President. (Count me in on the painting party!)

In fact, it’s easy to see other advantages to this home for the Obama’s. It’s located quite near the Kailua area the Obama’s have spent their Hawai’ian holidays in. The turtle enclosure (where the home gets its Hawai’ian name Pahonu) seen in the aerial photo and a lava rock sea wall provide layered physical barriers from the sea. The boathouse with a full apartment could store all manner of watercraft and Secret Service agents. The 5-bedroom gatehouse offers plenty of room for a Secret Service detail. Being on the Kalanianaole Highway offers good road access. Proximity to the Marine base at Kaneohe and Bellows Air Force Station. Potential to remove the tennis court in favor of a helipad.

A peek of the house shows it's position to the ocean.
A peek of the house shows it’s orientation away from the ocean.

The only potential sticking point might be the Shriner’s Beach Club bordering the property. I mean, regardless of their charitable endeavors, how many times can you see and hear a bunch of adult men dressed as clowns driving around in go carts and fez hats?

Lest we think this secrecy is some political plot, remember that post-Presidential living arrangements are often shrouded for security purposes (especially when they’re not returning to their old digs). For example, George and Laura Bush’s Dallas home purchase was only announced a month prior to leaving office and was originally purchased by longtime Bush friend Robert McCleskey and financed through a Midland bank. And remember, Candy broke that news on DallasDirt before anyone else, thanks to her sources.

For whomever occupies this home (reportedly vacant), according to the Honolulu county tax assessor, they’ve already made a chunk of change. The home, valued in 2015 at $8,753,700 (likely the precise purchase price) has jumped over $600,000 in value to $9,370,000. But not to worry, these aren’t Dallas property taxes we’re talking about. The 2015 bill was listed at $30,367.95 … about $215,000 less than he’d pay in Dallas.

In the end, the only thing locals are torn on is whether the Obamas will consider Hawai’i their full-time or part-time home. Did Hawai’i lose the Presidential library to Chicago only to gain the man himself … at least part of the year?  I think yes.  The locals always know what’s going on … especially on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.


Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (they’re legal)!


Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jon Anderson says

    As a fellow former Chicagoan who still visits several times a year, I can say there are plenty of things to do there that can’t be found in Dallas or Honolulu.

  2. BabyBoomerang says

    LOVE Chicago! GREAT city! We used to live there before moving to Dallas and miss living there (although don’t miss the wind, grey skies and snow!!!).

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