Sunday, February 6, 2011

Has the White House Really Dropped 23.6% in Value?

The Zillow Real Estate firm estimated the White House was valued at $167,861,500 when President George W. Bush entered office in 2001, and peaked with the housing boom three years ago at $331.5 million.

Zillow estimates, using calculations known only to itself, that the value of the White House dropped 7.2%, $23 million, by the end of President Bush’s term, and 23.6% in the middle of President Obama’s term. In short, President Obama drove down the value of the White House from $308,058,000 to $253.1 million.

The White House has 55,000 square feet in six stories, bigger than your normal KMart, 16 bedrooms, 132 rooms, 35 baths, and 28 carbon dioxide emitting fireplaces. It is handicap accessible to accommodate President Roosevelt’s wheel chair. It has a swimming pool, doctor’s office, barber shop, tennis court, basketball court, bowling alley, a horseshoe pit favored by President George H. W. Bush, putting green, jogging track, movie theater, the latest in telecommunications, cable and satellite hookups, the red line to Moscov,HD and closed circuit TV's throughout the complex – all the amenities of a Beverly Hills Mansion or nuclear aircraft carrier, and perhaps a surface to air missile camouflaged by the vegetable garden planted on the roof by Jackie’s Executive Chef, Rene Verdon. It contains guard shacks, servant quarters, an office building, and on-again, off-again solar panels.

The White House has a 1950’s bomb shelter, presumably with a copy of the classic “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye“ poster.

The 18 acres are prime open space, suitable for 13 story condos, coops, and office buildings for the burgeoning bureaucracy. A public park across the street, Lafayette Park, and federal office buildings on three sides preclude further construction in the area. The site is unique.

No comps can be used to value the residence.

Only the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon in California can come close to matching it. San Simeon is now owned by the state of California, which lacks funds to maintain its properties.

Conversely, the White House is probably the only building owned by the National Park Service that is not suffering from deferred maintenance.

The White House is often confused with the People's House, but that is the House of Representatives a few blocks away.

How can any public housing be worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

How can the White House be valued at only $253.1 million when President Obama intends to raise $1 billion for a new 4 year lease on the White House?

The history, the tradition – the only colonial house where George Washington never slept.

The historic status of the White House is incalculable.

How, for example, do you place a value on America’s first African American President occupying a house partially build by slaves?

How do you value the White House swimming pool where President Kennedy exercised his libido at night with naked young women while Jackie turned a blind eye?

How do you value the Monica foyer in the Oval Office?

What is the rental value of the Lincoln Bedroom to President Clinton for campaign contributions?

Priceless is President Nixon’s farewell helicopter ride.

The deals, promises pacts, betrayals sealed within the walls of the White House.

And yet it can’t be that valuable! It’s a do-over. The British burned and gutted it
in 1814 – so much for our “special relationship” with the Brits.

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