President Obama personalized the promotion his housing agenda today, saying he would save money by refinancing his family’s home in Chicago.
“I would probably benefit from refinancing right now. I would save some money,” the president said in an online forum hosted by real estate website Zillow.
“When you’re president, you have to be a little careful about these transactions, so we haven’t refinanced. But there’s no doubt that somebody like Michelle and I, who bought our house, you know, several years ago, that if we went out to the market right now, we’d end up saving some money,” he said.
The Obamas’ interest rate on their Kenwood home, which they purchased for $1.65 million in 2005, is 5.625 percent, significantly higher than today’s rates.
The president joked that their White House home is just a “rental.” Zillow estimates that it’s worth roughly $319 million, although it’s obviously not for sale.
The president stayed on message during the 30-minute online, question-and-answer session moderated by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and made no mention of terrorist threats, NSA leaker Edward Snowden or Russian President Vladimir Putin. Instead, he repeated calls for lawmakers to make it easier for homeowners to refinance at today’s lower rates and highlighted his proposal to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Obama said refinancing can provide “immediate relief to homeowners” and that he plans to push lawmakers to get a housing bill done by the end of the year.