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Obama's next door neighbour selling house

world Updated: Sep 13, 2009 01:07 IST

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A rare opportunity to get closer to US President Barack Obama just opened up as his Chicago neighbours are selling their house.

Bill and Jacky Grimshaw, who lived in the house next door to Barack and Michelle Obama's Kenwood home since 1973, now feel "it is time for them to move on", an NBC Chicago report said.

It is the "first time a home directly adjacent to a sitting president's residence has been put on the open market," it said.

Sale of the 17-room, 6,000 square feet house at Greenwood Avenue is likely to take about six weeks and the "Obama factor" is expected to have an impact on the selling price of the house.

The Grimshaws sometimes babysat the Obama children and Jacky is very close to first lady Michelle Obama, it said.

The couple noted that living next to a sitting president has its own downside. "It is an advantage not having him here, because the security increases tenfold. It is challenging and really disrupts the neighbourhood," the report quoted Bill, a political science professor, as saying.

Houses in the Obama neighbourhood typically sell for about USD 1.5 to 2.5 million and the first family paid USD1.65 million for their home in 2005.

After Obama was elected, the Secret Service approached the Grimshaws about leasing their property but they had then declined.