What is the White House Worth?

atkins bookshelf triviaThere are several spectacular homes in the United States that are worth more than $100 million, but there is no other home like the White House, a truly one-of-a-kind property that possesses such a fascinating and significant history. The White House was originally built in 1800 (at a cost of $232,372) as the home of the President of the United States. The six-story home, with more than 55,000 square feet, features 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, 3 elevators, a secure underground bunker, and 28 fireplaces. The house sits on 18 fully enclosed acres possessing the most famous address in the country: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. In January 2017, Zillow, the real estate analytics firm, valued the White House at $397.9 million (and don’t bother asking for comps). Why they didn’t just round up to $400 is a bit of a mystery; nevertheless the home has slowly crept up in value. It is considered the most expensive home in the United States.

When President Barack Obama and his family moved in into the White House in January 2009, the house was valued at $308.1 million by Zillow. President John Adams was the first president to occupy the White House on November 1, 1800. And as Michelle Obama recently noted, the house that is a symbol of democracy was ironically built by slaves — specifically African-American free laborers and slaves. In fact, most of the workers were immigrants without official citizenship.

But of course, the White House is more than just the President’s house, it is a museum. J. B. West, author of Upstairs at the White House (2008), elaborates: “the Executive Mansion of the United States is far more than a temporary home for the family who lives there for four or eight years. It is now a museum containing priceless works of art and furnishings, a national monument open to 2 million tourists a year, a guest hotel for entertaining visitors of state and, in recent years, an impregnable fortress for protecting the life of the commander-in-chief.”

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