Here's How Much the White House Would Cost if It Ever Went up for Sale
President Barack Obama and his family will be moving out of the White House in a few months. But as far as we know, they aren't looking to sell. Of course, it's not in any president's power to actually sell the White House, and it's unimaginable that the historic home will ever be sold.
But what if it did? How much would 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue fetch on the market?
Barrons wanted to find out, and Ann Gray, of the Los Angeles–based Gray Real Estate Advisors, estimates that $90 million would be a fair price for the president's residence. The ballpark figure came after the realtor incorporated factors such as the cost of construction ($232,000 in the 1790s, or about $100 million today), potential rental operating income from the home's 16 bedrooms ($5 million a year), and the market price for comparable properties (Donald Trump's 17-acre Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach is valued at $100 million).
Some real-estate pros think $90 million underestimates the White House's real value. “I think $90 million seems on the low side,” Florida Realtor Cara Ameer explained on Realtor.com, after researching her own set of comparable properties, including the Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion, which was originally listed for $200 million and sold for $100 million. “If you look at several significant properties that have been on the market across the country, you can get an idea of value [for the White House] that is north of $100 million.”
Everyone agrees that if all of the artwork, historic artifacts, and American memorabilia were included in the sale, the asking price would soar—to upwards of $250 million, according to Gray.
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According to Zillow, even that's a huge underestimate. The website, which gives estimates for real estate all over the country, says that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., is worth roughly $389 million. The site notes, though, that the property is "off market" as of now.