How Much Would it Cost to Buy the White House?

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by Mr Roaming 3 Comments

I love real estate and am constantly studying the local market to be ready to make my next move. Buy, sell, what are the up-and-coming neighborhoods, renovations, house flips … you name it! So I was thrilled to see The Wall Street Journal launch a luxury real estate section called Mansion.

In honor of the upcoming election, Mansion asked appraiser Dennis Duffy, CEO of Real Estate Appraisals & Consulting to consider a thought exercise: How much would it cost to buy up various iconic Houses of the Founding Fathers of America?

Enjoy my pictures and see the appraisals of three presidential properties in the Washington, DC area: Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home; Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home; and the White House, the home of every president since John Adams.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, the plantation home of Founding Father George Washington, spans 7,000 square feet, has views of the Potomac and spacious grounds spanning 500 acres. George and his wife Martha are also entombed on the grounds, adding some ghostly history. However, the lack of bathrooms is not convenient to modern sensibilities. Duffy’s assessed value for the home, including all outbuildings and infrastructure? $150 million.

George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon


Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is enormous, with 43 rooms over 11,000 square feet, not to mention a whopping 2,200-2,500 acres of land. The neoclassical architecture also lends an extra aristocratic air to the place, in addition to its location at the summit of a hill. However, the building likely needs quite a bit of renovating. Duffy’s assessment? $106.5 million.

Garden in Monticello

The White House

Centrally located and spread over 100,000 square feet, the White House would be far and away the most expensive residence in the nation’s capital if, in a parallel universe, it hit the market. However, we were shocked by the staggering grand total that Duffy came up with: $1.5 billion. In the past couple years, the 132-room landmark has been valued for somewhere in the realm of $300 million, so this latest valuation is quite a leap up.

Considering its overall size, condition, location and grounds, the White House is worth nearly $1.5 billion, Mr. Duffy estimates.

Would you rather own a building in midtown Manhattan valued at $1.5 billion, or the White House? In this picture, Lafayette Square, located directly north of the Executive Mansion and the surrounding historical buildings.

3 Responses

  1. Kasi says:

    These pics are great Ricardo. We’re going to Monticello this weekend .. maybe I’ll come back a new homeowner. :)

  2. Colin says:

    I used to live in Bethesda, Maryland. From what I hear from mates there, real estate is still quite expensive.

  3. carley says:

    And now, I am tempted to say “only in Washington”. I wonder who actually knows the true value of the WH or these other famous buildings. Both Mount Vernon and Monticello are beautiful.

Leave a Reply