The Most Lavish Homes Of Former Presidents

After living in the White House, any other home might feel a bit small — but that hasn't stopped many former United States presidents from trying to recreate the lavish quarters they lived in while in office. While many U.S. presidents returned to smaller, more modest homes after their presidencies, quite a few opted for properties that offered a bit more spectacle. Starting with George Washington's Mount Vernon estate and moving forward in history to Donald Trump's elaborate Mar-a-Lago mansion, there have been plenty of opulent residences owned by former presidents.

Though both architectural style and interior design trends have changed between the 18th century and the 21st century, it's still easy to pick out which of the former presidents' homes are the most elaborate. From details like gold-plated sinks to incredibly high ceilings, join us as we discover which U.S. presidents chose to live the life of luxury after leaving office.

George Washington built his own Mount Vernon estate

Unlike every other United States president, George Washington spent his time in office in a location other than the White House. Per History, the first president to actually live in the White House was John Adams — the second U.S. president — since it wasn't completed in time for Washington to make his home there. So, although many former presidents have gone on to live in extraordinary homes and estates, Washington never left his Virginia abode.

Considering Washington's Mount Vernon estate includes a mansion, gardens, and a farm, it makes sense he was comfortable leading the United States from the comfort of his own home. The mansion on the estate — according to the Mount Vernon website — features 21 rooms in total, which were built over a 45-year span. Washington even attempted to make his home as symmetrical as possible, though this dream was not fully achieved before he finished work on the mansion.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello sits atop a mountain

After his stint as the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson retired to a gorgeous home in Virginia — though he had actually been working on it for some time before his presidency. Jefferson's home, which he began working on in 1768, is named after the mountain on which it sits: Monticello. In fact, it was this very mountain where Jefferson played when he was younger, near his own father's plantation, Shadwell. Unfortunately, the final product of Jefferson's dreams wasn't completed by the time his wife, Martha Jefferson, passed away. He ended up renovating and added to the home for another three decades.

If you tour the house in person (or virtually), you'll understand just how lavish it really is. From incredibly tall ceilings in Jefferson's private bedroom to the room which features a dome ceiling — as seen on the five cent coin in the United States — this mansion is filled with architectural surprises and interesting details.

James Madison lived in his lavish family home

James Madison's home in Virginia — Montpelier — had actually been in the family prior to his birth. Beginning in 1723 (28 years before Madison was brought into the world, according to the National Park Service), Montpelier was the location that the Madison family called home. And though Madison grew up at Montpelier, he spent a lot of time away from home until 1797. That year, though, he and his wife ventured back and moved in with Madison's mother and father.

Rather than sit back and enjoy the home as it was, though, Madison decided to add a northern wing to Montpelier, which was finished in 1801. He and his wife lived in this part of the house — which was separate from the rest, creating a bit of privacy for the couple. In addition to this wing, Madison also had a portico (which is simply a porch that leads to the entrance of a building) with columns put at the front of the house, helping to make it all feel cohesive.

Andrew Jackson constructed Tennessee's Hermitage

Before becoming the United States' seventh president in 1829, Andrew Jackson and his wife bought a 425-acre property and farm in Tennessee. The reason for the purchase was actually due to a financial strain — but the Hermitage quickly became one of the most well-known and lavish homes in the state.

If we go through the rooms of the house, it's easy to see just how luxurious it really was during Jackson's life. Just take the entry hall, for instance, which features an elaborate grand staircase — in addition to the two parlors, one which was more formal, the other less so. This particular home offered so many rooms for entertaining guests and family. If you visit, you'll also find that the Hermitage is equipped with a stunning library and a dining room with unique interior aspects — like a patterned floor and paint that was chosen to reflect light. Per the home's floor plan, the Hermitage has a total of 15 rooms — not including the house's entry hall.

Abraham Lincoln only owned this stunning home

Not everyone stays forever in the very first house they buy — but Abraham Lincoln did. Up until his death in 1865, Lincoln made his home in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln and his family bought the house for $1,500 in 1844, per the Lincoln Home website, and just two years later, they were already making major renovations. Of course, once is never enough — and Lincoln updated his home a total of six times through the years.

One of the most memorable parts of the Lincoln home is the extraordinary wallpaper throughout. When renovating the home, there were only a few photographs and drawings on which to base the wallpaper from the original walls, but historians were able to reproduce what the house would have looked like when Lincoln and his family lived there. The home is also equipped with elaborate carpeting and luxe curtains throughout — giving us a clue as to the lavish nature of the Lincoln home.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's home was originally built in 1793

Although the Hyde Park, New York home in which Franklin D. Roosevelt resided was constructed in 1793, it had already gone through intense renovations by the time he was born in 1882. Before he became president, though, Roosevelt decided to renovate his childhood home again — this time by expanding it to make room for his family, as well as changing the style to help achieve his political goals.

Per a virtual tour of the Roosevelt estate, we see that the exterior of the home features a neutral color scheme of white and brown — until we get to the window shutters, which are painted green. The entire home was constructed in the Dutch Colonial style, which was chosen by FDR himself. If you take a peek inside the house, you'll find a huge library — with two separate fireplaces — and multiple bedrooms throughout. This home was clearly special to Roosevelt, as he was once quoted saying, "My heart has always been here. It always will be."

John F. Kennedy resided in Cape Cod's Kennedy Compound

Take a trip to Hyannis Port in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and you'll find yourself face-to-face (if you can get that far) with the Kennedy Compound. The property, per CNN, amasses six acres right by the water, and has served as a home for John F. Kennedy and his family for decades. As an aerial view of the compound will show, there are several Kennedy homes on this property, belonging to Joseph Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and, of course, former President Kennedy. Even without a look inside the actual homes, it's pretty clear that these houses are unbelievably lavish — especially if you consider the size of the property.

According to that same CNN article, this was where JFK would spend time with his family before and after becoming president. In fact, Marine One (which is the helicopter used by the president of the United States) touched down in the Kennedy Compound several times while JFK was in office. Of course, it wasn't all fun and games, as JFK also hosted different political figures and leaders on the property as well.

Lyndon B. Johnson called his home the White House in Texas

While many former presidents stayed in close proximity to Washington, D.C. after their presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson preferred it down south — specifically in Texas. In fact, he even called his ranch in this southern state the Texas White House. With a mostly white exterior and plenty of room for meetings, it certainly fits the bill.

Per this video tour of the grounds, you'll be able to see the luscious oak trees that shade the property, the office in which Johnson worked while he wasn't at the official White House, and the spacious dining room that's ready to feed plenty of political leaders. On the more private side of the home, Johnson had added on extra master bedrooms — including his own separate suite. You'll even find that Johnson brought three TV sets into his home, so he could keep up to date while not in Washington, D.C.

Richard Nixon lived in this oceanfront estate

In San Clemente, California, Richard Nixon owned a stunning estate. Similarly to Lyndon B. Johnson's White House in Texas, this home also had a nickname: the Western White House. The house itself was originally built in 1926, and — per the Los Angeles Times — was put on the market for $57.5 million in 2019. The property covers 5.45 acres, and was purchased by Nixon in 1969. Here, he hosted both political leaders as well as celebrities — including Frank Sinatra.

The estate is just as luxurious as it sounds, too; it features an ocean-front office (used by Nixon), a courtyard situated in the middle of the property, a guest home with two bedrooms, and several places for staff to live, too. Inside, there are plenty of architectural details that make this property incredibly unique. And on the exterior, you'll also find a swimming pool and private tennis courts. Talk about a lavish estate!

Ronald Reagan retired in this Bel Air mansion

Like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan escaped to California after his presidency. Instead of San Clemente, though, Reagan retired to Bel Air in Los Angeles — and made his home in a mansion now worth over $22 million (per Zillow). What's interesting about this living situation, though, is the fact that — according to the Reagan Library — it was actually purchased for the Reagan family by several of his friends in 1986. The Reagan family was given the opportunity on a lease-to-own basis, and it was officially put in their names (via a trust) in 1989. Both Reagan and his wife lived there until their deaths.

In terms of the mansion itself, it features 17 rooms over an impressive 7,192 square feet, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter. Not to mention, the property also includes a swimming pool on the 1.29 acres — perfect for Los Angeles weather. It sold for $15 million after Reagan and his wife passed away.

Bill Clinton owns a hidden New York gem

Purchased by Bill Clinton in 1999 for $1.7 million, this home in Chappaqua, New York serves as the former president's beautiful hideaway. It was originally constructed in 1889, and sits on 1.1 acres of land, per House Beautiful. With Dutch Colonial architecture, this home is stunning from top to bottom. The exterior features white walls and a brown roof — almost reminiscent of a barn. Of course, the inside is anything but.

The interior of the abode features five bedrooms, along with four bathrooms. The property is also equipped with a pool and a high fence — for security reasons. Because of this (and the security office at the front), getting onto the property is particularly difficult. Clinton was still the U.S. president when he purchased the home, so it makes sense that he'd need extra security measures to keep himself and his family safe. If you want to be neighbors with the Clintons, though, prepare to pay a pretty penny — Chappaqua is one of the most expensive zip codes in which to live as of 2015, according to Forbes.

Barack Obama's home is worth $7 million

After his eight years in office, Barack Obama and his family moved to a $7.2 million home in Washington, D.C. According to Politico, this impressive property features 8,200 square feet and nine bedrooms in total. It's also noted that the home includes a garage (holding two cars) with room in the courtyard for another 10 — either for the family or their guests to park. 

When the Obama family bought this home, though, it wasn't quite as pricey as it is today. It was put on the market at $5.3 million — a couple million less than it's reportedly worth today. Before this home was owned by the Obamas, it was the living place of Joe Lockhart, former White House Press Secretary, and his wife Giovanna Gray. Since their departure, it has remained in the hands of the Obama family, at the time this article was written.

The house itself is reminiscent of a castle on the exterior, with stone detailing and large windows on the front. Inside — per Redfin Realty — are luxury amenities, walk-in closets, and plenty of space for the Obama family. There's ample room outdoors for entertaining, too — including a gorgeous courtyard.

Donald Trump lives in a Palm Beach estate

After one term as a U.S. president, Donald Trump retired to his estate in Palm Beach, Florida. And although Palm Beach itself is exclusive in many ways, Trump's home there is even more so. He and his family live in Mar-a-Lago — a club closed to the public. Per Town & Country, the mansion itself features 128 rooms, and was built in 1927. Trump actually bought the property back in 1985 for $5 million — and turned it into the exclusive club that it is today.

Mar-a-Lago been extremely lavish since its inception, and has remained so throughout history. With oversized chandeliers, $7 million of gold leaf detail in the ballroom, and even gold-plated sinks, Mar-a-Lago under Trump is still incredibly opulent. He spent more than 100 days at Mar-a-Lago while in office as well, making good use of the "Winter White House" — as nicknamed such by the previous owner, Marjorie Merriweather. In 2019, Trump made Mar-a-Lago his permanent home, moving his official residency from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Florida.