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Real Estate: The Value Of The White House

by Marquette Turner

in Features, Real Estate Radar, Wise Guy

With so much worldwide discussion and excitement the occupants of the White House, the ladies and gentlemen at Zillow sought to put a value on the property.

The White House was built on the back of slave labour between 1792 and 1800 at a cost of $232,272 USD. On the January 20th, 2008, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, will be the first African-American, together with his family, to take up residence in the Pennsylvania Avenue property.

The White House, Washington DC

The White House, Washington DC

Ok, it’s not for sale, and the historic nature of the property certainly adds a huge unknown. Nonetheless, the valuation exercise certainly shows how property prices appreciate over time which, despite the current economic downturn, credit-crunches and bailouts (and every other negative terms journalists have come up with), ultimately should those that are in the property market for the long-term good reason to be positive.


So what are the basic facts that can be taken into account?

  • There are 132 rooms;
  • Size: 55,000 sq ft, 18 acres
  • There are 16 family-guest rooms;
  • It has an underground bunker;
  • There are, 3 kitchens, 3 elevators, and 28 fireplaces
The Green Room

The Green Room

And what other considerations:

  • The most expensive home sales in Washington DC in 2008 (taking into account the sale price, tax issues, and their physical aspects)
  • A number of properties sold in Washington DC with historical value (to discover the premium that historical homes possess compared to standard homes with similar attributes)
  • The features of the White House (such as number of bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas)
  • The land size of the White House
  • Calculations involving all of the above, taking into account the premiums of historical homes (with the White House being considered the most premium)

And the price Zillow determined? $308,058,000 USD

Some other interesting points to note:

  • Not even the White House is immune from the economic downturn. The above value is 7.2% less ($23m USD since January 2008)
  • Since President George W Bush took office, the value of the property has more than doubled, being valued at $167,861,500 since January 2001.


(steel-frame renovation courtesy Truman Library)

Obviously there are some immensely priceless elements of the White House, so it doesn’t hurt to mention them here:

  • the underground bunker that should withstand a nuclear fallout
  • the one-lane bowling alley installed at President Nixon’s demand
  • the extensive redecoration of Jackie Kennedy, or massive steel-frame renovation
  • of course the basketball court, horseshoe pit, putting green, doctor’s surgery, stunning gardens, offices, and specialty rooms that makes the White House more of a mini-city than a house

The leaders and representatives of nations throughout hundred’s of years that have been guests of the property, which is in many ways more of a museum and monument to the history of the United States, is quite simply “the best public housing” in the word’s of former President Truman.

If walls could talk!

Simon Turner

MORE INFO: Take an interactive 360 degree tour of the White House

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