Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who ran against Joe Biden during the Democratic primary race, delivered one of the keynote speeches on night four of the Democratic National Convention. Buttigieg told the South Bend Tribune ahead of the speech that he planned to speak in front of a “symbolic” location in order to “show off South Bend.” He ultimately chose the site where he and husband Chasten Glezman Buttigieg tied the knot in 2018.
Buttigieg’s parents, Joseph Buttigieg and Jennifer Anne Montgomery, moved to South Bend for teaching jobs at Notre Dame after they got married. Buttigieg was born and raised in South Bend and when it was time to put down roots of his own, he purchased a house just around the corner from his parents. Voters caught glimpses of Buttigieg’s historic home during the primary campaign.
Here’s what you need to know about Pete and Chasten Buttigieg’s house:
Pete Buttigieg’s Historic House Had Fallen Into Disrepair After Sitting Vacant For Two Years
Buttigieg fell in love with his house several months before deciding to pull the trigger and buy it. As he explained in his memoir Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg first toured the North Shore Drive property in 2008 and recognized that it needed extensive repairs. But Buttigieg said the historic house, which was first built in 1905, captured his imagination:
It had been vacant for nearly two years; most of the pipes had burst, and an irregular chorus of low-battery beeps came from a half dozen smoke detectors upstairs. The porch was in near-collapse; some of the small columns holding up the second-floor veranda were split in two, yet somehow still in place. Two big columns held up a small balcony outside the attic, one with a hole in its base so big you could put your hand through it. Carpenter ants and termites had undermined the pillars. Inside, every room had either cracked plaster or strange and peeling wallpaper, or both.
Yet the house drew me in. There was a fireplace, not working but salvageable. No one had painted most of the wood inside, including paneling in the hall. Its beauty was faded but not destroyed, and even the textures of its decay were appealing, like the irregular painted flooring of the small back porch.
Another appealing aspect of the house was its location in the “North Shore Triangle” neighborhood, where Buttigieg grew up. As he explained in his book, the neighborhood runs along the St. Joseph River. It is bordered by Michigan Street to the east and Angela Boulevard to the north. Buttigieg described the park in the middle of the neighborhood as the “general headquarters of my boyhood.”
Buttigieg Watched the Price Drop For Six Months Before Buying the House for $125,000 in 2009
Buttigieg was working for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company at the time he started looking to buy a home in South Bend. According to his federal tax returns, which he released during the Democratic primary campaign, his adjusted gross income in 2007 was $80,397. In 2008, it went up to $122,680.
Buttigieg explained in his memoir that he waited to purchase the North Shore Drive home until the price came down to a price he felt he could afford. He wrote that for six months, he watched as the price was lowered by a few thousand dollars each month “as the bank that had foreclosed on it grew more realistic.”
Buttigieg had been paying approximately $1,600 per month in rent for a place in Chicago at the time. He wrote in his book that he finally bought his dream property after the cost of the “mortgage, insurance and taxes all together would be about eight hundred bucks a month.” St. Joseph County property records show Buttigieg bought the house in March 2009 for $125,000.
Buttigieg’s White House Overlooks the River
The house Pete and Chasten Buttigieg share is a beautiful two-story white house that sits along the St. Joseph River. During the primary campaign, a feature in Vogue touched on how Buttigieg’s home was representative of how his midwestern roots differentiated him from most of the field: “The home is one of the nicest in the city and serves as a reminder of South Bend’s distance from the coasts: The mortgage payment, according to Buttigieg, is about $450 a month.”
County property records show the house has about 2,400 square feet of living space. There are four bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The unfinished basement has about 1,200 square feet. During the winter, the Buttigiegs have to scrape ice off their vehicles because the home does not have a garage. The property’s estimated value has risen since Buttigieg purchased it. County records show an approximate value of $255,000 as of July 2020.
The Buttigiegs allowed a camera crew from TIME inside their home during the primary campaign. During the interview, the former mayor explained that they decided against having a TV in the main living area. “We don’t want our living room to revolve around a TV,” Buttigieg said. “It’s nice to be home and just have a board game or a fireplace or a dog, or something else to look at that isn’t a screen.”