The Politics of Real Estate

It was recently reported in the Chicago Tribune that Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and Chicago native, has rented out his four-bedroom, 2,719-square-foot house in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood for one year at $4,995 a month. Peanuts for New Yorkers and Californians; mountains of cash for the good folks of Arkansas.

Emanuel, who now resides full-time in Washington, is likely covering his political bases by keeping his Chicago home. After all, no one stays in the White House forever and Emanuel might be eyeing a seat in Congress post-Obama -- and what better spot to launch a political bid from than your home turf?

From a real estate perspective, however, the chief of staff may just figure it's a wiser investment to hang on to the old homestead. According to Trulia, the median sales price for homes in the Lakeview area of Chicago from August through October of this year was $406,250 based on 12 sales -- exactly the same value as the same period a year earlier. So prices there are holding steady, or maybe even ticking up.