Live Next to The Obamas

Built in 1906, the home has 17 rooms

By Steve Bryant
|  Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 9:21 AM PDT
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Sold: Obamas Next Door Neighbors Close the Deal

Blitz Group LLC

5040 Greenwood Avenue (right), the home directly adjacent to the Obamas' residence, is for sale.

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The house next door to President Obama's Chicago home is up for sale.

In what's apparently a historically unique opprtunity, the turn-of-the-century, 17-room home in the posh Hyde Park neighborhood -- the Obamas' direct neighbor to the north -- will go on sale this morning.

Interested buyers are required to register with the real estate agent. The sale process will unfold over the next six weeks. Bi-weekly tours will be scheduled through September and into October.

The current residents, Bill and Jacky Grimshaw, have lived in the home since 1973.

Bill, a former professor at University of Chicago, and Jacky, a Chicago Transit Authority board member, say it's simply time for them to move on.

Jacky is also vice president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a Chicago based Environmental group, and vice chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism, which is focused on reviving traditional urban neighborhoods and transit.

According to liberal Web site Daily Kos, the Grimshaws sometimes babysat the Obamas children, and Jacky is very close to Michelle.

During World War II, the Grimshaw's home was used to house officers, according to the real estate firm selling the property. The house then became the boarding house for a small military school. The Grimshaws bought the home from the colonel who ran the school in 1973.

As for living next to a sitting president, Jacky didn't sound too enthused.

"It's an advantage not having him here, because the security increases tenfold. It's challenging and really disrupts the neighborhood," Jacky told CNBC reporters.

Bill Grimshaw says he did become accustomed to the Secret Service presence once he realized he never had to lock his house, or worry about leaving his keys in his car, according to a person familiar with the CNBC interview.

The security on Greenwood is stiff. Both ends of the street are blocked off by Secret Service, and at least two agents are visible outside Obama's property at all times.

No cars are allowed on the street unless they belong to residents.

Homes in the Obamas' neighborhood typically sell for about $1.5 to $2.5 million, according to a person familiar with the Grimshaw's sale.

After Obama was elected, the Secret Service approached the Grimshaws about leasing their property. The Grimshaws declined, but decided perhaps it was time to move.

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