Lake Lanier Blog

What would the White House Appraise for? Is it in a declining market?
February 4th, 2009 10:08 AM

As a real estate appraiser, it is front and center just how severe the housing crisis is today. The Realtors here on AR know this all too well.

With a new president in the White House, the photos of the White House this morning when it was snowing and news about the housing crisis; being able to buy houses for the same price as a car, it got me to thinking....I wonder how the White House would fare if it was appraised TODAY.

I would love that assignment. I wonder if the White House has ever been appraised? Getting comps for this one would be a real challenge. Although I have seem some stately homes on acreage with huge pillars in front right here in the Atlanta Area, but somehow I think there would have to be a huge LOCATION adjustment.

Maybe I would go to other countries and use those Rulers residences as comparables, BUT when did they sell last? Certainly not in the past 3-6 months which the lenders require us to stay within when using comparables. Well maybe there are some listed for sale? NOT LIKELY! Of course someone buying this piece of real estate would likely pay CASH...No jumbo loan would cut it for this house!

The home was built in 1800 but renovated at least every time a new president took occupancy. Depreciation adjustment? Well of couse we have to look at its effective age, not its actual age. Cost approach to value would be an interesting development, but then the home is so old, maybe we can just say the cost approach is really not applicable in this case.

HOWEVER, this may be the only approach we can use given the lack of comparable sales. Use cost minus depreciation, plus land value and exterior improvements and you have the value for the White House....or DO YOU? How about historic value, well now you have to look at popular historic places that have sold to see how much historic value is worth? Would it be comparable to an Entertainment Moguls residence in Historic value? Maybe Donald Trumps house could be used as a comp? That one sold in the past year I do believe.

Who really owns the White House, WE DO, the taxpaying public!

How many acres are we talking about? "The White House sits on an 18-acre plot of land that, together with the Ellipse to the south (52 acres total), is called "President's Park." - The White House Museum

What if things went to hell in a hand basket and we had to sell the White House....Let's just hope that would never happen. Since WE the People own this property, we would all have to give our consent and you know that will never happen as we would NEVER have a 100% consensus of the hundreds of millions living here in the USA.

Well that is my fun, yet thought provoking thought for the day, would love to hear your input! Long live the White House and may it never decrease in value like so many other homes have.


Have a great week everyone!





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Posted by Mary Thompson on February 4th, 2009 10:08 AMPost a Comment

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