How much would the White House cost?

White House, Washington DC, USA

All eyes are on Washington, D.C., today, as Donald Trump is sworn in as the President of the United States. The mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, which boasts 132 rooms and 35 baths across 6 storeys, is arguably the most famous property in the world. As a new resident moves in, the question on our lips is how much it would cost to move in to that property ourselves.

The home has been subject of much speculation over the years. In 2008, research by Movoto estimated the building was worth between $50 million and $99 million. Four years later, the White House was thought to have increased to be worth between $110 million and $115 million.

Why? Many presidents add features to the property during their residency, introducing bowling alleys, running tracks and swimming pools to the expansive estate, which already has elevators, tennis and basketball courts, and a cinema. While George W Bush lived there, for example, the value of the White House jumped by $36,918,000.

But the wider market also plays a part.

“To calculate the White House’s list price in 2008, we compared the difference in property values in the Washington, DC area to today’s price,” explained Movoto’s David Cross. “During this time in November 2008, the price per square foot of a home in Washington, DC was $378. Today the cost per square foot is $433. This means with the increase in price, the President’s home gained a hefty chunk of change.”

Later that year, the site upgraded its rating to suggest that the 55,000 square-foot property would be worth approximately $1,364 per square foot if it were up for sale.

As the 44th President’s inauguration unfolds in 2016, meanwhile, Zillow has conducted its own research into what the property is worth.

According to the US site, the home has risen in price by 15 per cent since the Obamas moved in eight years ago. Zillow first calculated the estimated value of the White House in 2009, based on public data and recent sales. Since then, the wider market has continued to grow: home values across the country appreciated 6.5 per cent over the past year and 9 per cent since Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

“President Obama’s term coincided with a massive recovery of the US housing market, and that’s reflected in the updated value of the White House. Home values across the country are growing at their fastest pace since 2006, with many markets setting new records – one of the reasons why the White House is worth more now than it has ever been,” Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman.

The overall price tag? A staggering $397.9 million.

That price is expected to climb 3 per cent over the next year, in line with home value growth expected throughout Washington, D.C.

Unlike some past presidents, of course, luxury living is not new to Trump, who is moving from his three-story penthouse in The Trump Tower. For a normal buyer, though, the price would be far out of reach. If you took out a standard 30-year fixed mortgage on the White House today, the monthly payment would be about $1.6 million, according to Zillow. The monthly rental payment? Just over $2 million per month.

Factor in the building’s historic value and the actual sale price could be even higher.

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