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Yet Another DC Couple Ditches Condo for Freestanding House

With their delayed move to Ward 3 next week, a public servant and her lawyer husband will join a pandemic-era trend of seeking more space.

Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff. Photo by Adam Schultz/ Biden for President.

Yet another DC couple has decided to ditch their downtown condo for a Ward 3 residence that offers more space.

Kamala Harris, a federal employee, and husband Doug Emhoff, an attorney, will move in this week to a large, freestanding home on upper Massachusetts Avenue NW, leaving behind their Foggy Bottom condominium. In doing so, they will be part of a broader move away from the dense DC neighborhoods that have bloomed over the last few decades as Washingtonians sought to live in walkable neighborhoods close to businesses and restaurants. The restrictions caused by the pandemic pushed many well-heeled condo residents to seek out homes with yards, causing an unprecedented real estate spike over the last year.

Unlike the Washingtonians who queued up in long lines for open houses and bid up houses hundreds of thousands above the asking price, Harris and Emhoff did not have to participate in a grueling property hunt. They are living in the new home, located next to the Naval Observatory and close by the National Cathedral, on a lease that accompanies a job Harris started in January.

Still, the pair waited to move in while repairs were made following the departure of the previous residents, Mike and Karen Pence. The Indiana couple were obliged to move after Mike Pence lost his job in November.

Living in the home should help the Harris/Emhoffs, who previously split time between Washington and California, as they make the District their full-time home. It will also make it easier for them to host their large blended family on holidays.

The grand mansion’s previous residents include Indiana lawyer Dan Quayle, documentary filmmaker Al Gore, and Lynne and Dick Cheney, the writer and longtime public employee best known as the parents of Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney.


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Michael Schaffer has been editor of Washingtonian since 2014. A former editor of Washington City Paper and editorial director of The New Republic, Michael is also the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about America’s obsession with pets. A DC native, he currently lives in Chevy Chase DC with his wife and their two daughters.