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The White House Listed On Real Estate Website 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.


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The White House Listed On Real Estate Website

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  • John Doe lives there, right? =D
    • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:01PM (#32566954) Homepage Journal
      This isn't news really, I mean we all know that the white house has been for sale to the highest bidders for that last few administrations.
      • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DesScorp ( 410532 ) < minus math_god> on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:14PM (#32569022) Homepage Journal

        This isn't news really, I mean we all know that the white house has been for sale to the highest bidders for that last few administrations.

        The White House... and every other government center of power... has been for sale on and off since they all came to exist. That's the rotten nature of politics. The more a politician claims to be cleaner than his opponents, the more skeletons he has in his closet.

        • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

          I heard someone say once (it may have been Ira Glass on TAL but, I am not sure), "If I told you that I am basically a decent guy, you would instantly know that I am not to be trusted, and you should probably keep your kids away from me".

          Overall, I don't think that reaction is as common as it should be, because the sentiment seems to be dead on.

          I am certainly not the first person to point out that the politicians and commentators who get caught with prostitutes or having affairs, all seem to be the ones that

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by MoeDumb ( 1108389 )
          The entire nation will be in hock soon and up for grabs anyway. Why should Pennsylvania Avenue be any different?
  • Ten Million is a steal if you realize how much you can make off renting it out. All those bedrooms, a huge garden, round the clock military security!

    And close to historical sites for educational purposes!

    I'm making an offer today!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tomhath ( 637240 )

      Ten Million is a steal if you realize how much you can make off renting it out.

      Heck yes!. Clinton was getting $100k per night [] for the Lincoln Bedroom alone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ... not to mention the prestige factor of being able to say that you live there.

      It's also an incredible place to base your business. If you leave a message saying "Pleasd call Bill Smith at The White House 773-555-1376", You're almost sure to get a callback.

    • Hmm, I don't know. It still seems expensive. Does it come with a laundry machine?

    • by Kenoli ( 934612 )
      The $10 million price was clearly an error. It takes much more to become president.
    • by Miseph ( 979059 )

      I regret to inform you that you have been outbid. Privacy regulations and campaign contribution rules prevent me from telling you who the bidder was by name, sorry.

      I can, however, tell you that all of the Dow Jones Industrial Average companies outbid you. Have a nice day, and don't forget to vote in November :snicker:.

  • The answer.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:57AM (#32565198) Journal

    Is the White House for sale? No, but you can certainly *rent* it for four years at a time, if the price is right.

  • by courteaudotbiz ( 1191083 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:58AM (#32565210) Homepage
    If so, I don't want it even if they give me a billion to own it! ;-)
  • I didn't know the US budget was in such dire straits =P
  • by DieByWire ( 744043 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:58AM (#32565218)
    I think the price is a little high. You can buy a senate office for a lot less than that.
    • Please tell that to Meg Whitman

  • Must have been to pricey to hire Indian resources to even screen the data coming in. Congrats to refin for being another duplicator instead of innovator.
    • by Myopic ( 18616 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:08AM (#32565370)

      It might be 'to' pricey, but you can buy 'to' of them if you want 'to'.

    • by Deag ( 250823 )

      This seems to be evolving into the standard how to promote your real estate site stunt. Zillow did the same a few years ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      Must have been to pricey to hire Indian resources to even screen the data coming in.

      It was most likely not scraped, and almost certainly not screened.

      I'm the DBA at a large (annual revenue in the billions) real estate firm, and we have feeds negotiated with all sorts of websites to syndicate our listing data around the web. Regional MLS boards operate under strict sets of rules surrounding what you can distribute and where. However, the onus is never on the publisher to screen listing data coming in; instead, a disclaimer such as "Information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed" must be

  • Considering that the current occupant paid $740.6 million [] for a 4-year lease....
  • This is obviously just some funny tech mistake, but I think in reality it would be good for the govt to sell some buildings.

    Could we not make some govt staff site a little closer to one another.

  • What buildings near the White House are being used for comparison on this sale? My guess is that 10 Million is on the low side given the amenities in the house. Hell, there are places half that size out in Arlington that are going for a couple million, and they don't have anything like the primo location the White House enjoys.
    • On the other hand, isn't the White House located practically in the middle of a ghetto? Obviously that lowers the property value. Someone who knows more about Washington can correct me if wrong.
      • by tibman ( 623933 )

        It is surrounded by monuments and museums.. i don't think anyone lives around it. Unless you count bums.

        • by blair1q ( 305137 )

          its immediate vicinity isn't so bad. But that lousy Congress lives down the street. Hard to keep prospective buyers from finding that out before they make an offer, too.

          • by tibman ( 623933 )

            Hah, thank you for the correction. It should read: "Unless you count bums and congress-critters."

    • The biggest problem is you can't drive a car within a few hundred yards of the front door. Unloading groceries must be a pain in the ass!
    • What buildings near the White House are being used for comparison on this sale?
      Depends if you are considering it a residence only or an office building with attached living quarters. If the latter then there are lots of office buildings nearby and I bet a lot of them have apartments or similar in among the offices. So since the WH wastes a lot of space on a huge lawn and garden and is only a few stories tall, it isn't worth much as a commercial office structure.

  • It's to rent the place (for a maximum of 2 4-year lease terms). And $10 is just a down payment of a small portion of the cash required for the buyer vetting process.

    Generally the vetting process requires over 6 months, and requires the owner's special board they like to call the "Electoral College", to approve of you.

    They also have to approve you renewing the lease.

    • by HBI ( 604924 )

      The 300 million member HOA is also very annoying and intrusive.

      • Fortunately if you just promise half of them to nuke somebody they dislike and the other half to save the endangered snails. Er, the snails endangered when you dropped that nuke, you're virtually guaranteed in.
  • Mistake, or really good way to draw attention to your website?
  • I'm sorry, it can't be up for sale. They sold it off some time ago (to the highest bidder)...

  • Ross Perot stands a chance of being able to get into the white house!
  • From the summary:

    I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.

    What else in the DC area has an indoor pool, indoor bowling alley, private basketball court, and a private helicopter landing site?

  • The $10 million isn't the *cost* of the house. It's what lobbyists and big business will *give* you if you live there.
  • Buy it, slap on a coat of white semi-gloss, resell it to the federal government for a cool 100 mil!
  • It does have one hell of a finished basement.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:14AM (#32565462) Homepage Journal
    I didn't think things had gotten so rough for Halliburton that they would need to start selling some of their properties...
  • maybe the bank's foreclosing and listing the property preemptively. Did anyone check to see if the Obamas were in default? Just another black family getting tossed out by heartless corporate fatcats, nothing to see here.
  • Nothing but bait for lame "buy the President" puns and a flood of partisan counterattacks. Nice work, editors.

  • I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.

    That statement most certainly does not account for all the "extras" the house comes with. Has several floors that extend below ground level. Security facilities. Built-in armageddon proof bomb shelter. State of the art communications. and so on.

  • This does prompt a good question: How much would it really cost to make a copy of the white house, including the known grounds and security stuff presumably inside, as accurately as possible minus the one-of-a-kind artifacts?

    • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @01:34PM (#32567424) Journal

      It's pretty tough to come up with an accurate number for a building that complicated without a decent amount of work, but we can ballpark some numbers just to give us something to think about. According to, there's about 55,000 sq. ft. worth of space in the building. The typical american stick-frame house usually runs somewhere between $100 to $200 per square foot, depending on the design/finishes/etc. If we split that, and go with $150 per sq. ft., we're already up to $8.25 million. I think once you add on the fact that it's not 2x4 wood framing (there's actually a steel frame that replaced the original heavy timber framing), and that you've got stone facade rather than vinyl siding, probably some very nice finishes, plus the fact that a bunch of people work there all day, plus all the security stuff, plus facilities for tours coming through,'d probably be looking at at least three or four times that. Buildings are expensive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dahamma ( 304068 )

        Yeah, but that's just for duplicating it as a "normal house". I think you MASSIVELY underestimate the "security stuff"... ie, the giant underground bunker underneath the East Wing known as the "Presidential Emergency Operations Center". Not to mention all of the security systems (laser blinders? Stinger batteries? Flying monkeys??) we don't know about...

        (also, it's probably not necessary for a back of the hand calculation like this, since it seems to have been done by expert real estate appraising comp

      • Problem #1 with your analysis is that "the typical American house" and "the typical American house in the Washington D.C. metro area" cost VASTLY different amounts.

        As they say: location, location, location.

        • While construction costs do vary by location, the bigger premiums in houses generally have more to do with the cost of the land, which is a separate issue from my little cost exercise.

          No doubt that big chunk of landing the middle of dc is quite valuable.

  • In the interest of full disclosure. We have to report a major structural fire on August 24, 1814. Most of the interior was gutted, and some exterior walls had to be re-built. The fire was ruled to be Arson, perpetrated by a gang of disgruntled Canadians. Since that time, there have been 40 other owners. Mostly white professionals although persons of a mixed ethnic background have been moving into the area in recent years.
  • To try to sell something this expensive without title to it. Obviously this is a hack. But there have been cases of "title identity theft" in the past by shady characters in my town. The county clerks dont rigorously check all the documents. If you after a change of mortgage lien along with owner name change, they assume the banks have worked it out. The shady cahracters would disguise this during a refi.
    • by socsoc ( 1116769 )
      Did you even read TFS? Aside from that county clerks have nothing to do with a listing, it wasn't a hack or anything intentionally shady.

      It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website by mistake.

  • Seems like a steal. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nobo ( 606465 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:36AM (#32565742)
    Per the District of Columbia Assessor [], the property is assessed at $995 million -- $963m for the 18 acres of land and $31.1m for the building.
  • First it's his Senate seat, then he tries to sell Obama's house right out from under him. Cold-blooded :)
  • Don't be silly - China already owns it.
  • If you take into account the vast deep nuclear bunkers under the building, with self-sufficient life support, massive communication infrastructure and likely miles of secret passages, $10mln sounds like a very modest price for a secret base for a supervillain.

    Too bad it's already occupied by one.

  • I just want to be there and watch when the people try to move in! I would be sure to record it.
  • I didn't know the foreclosure problem getting this worse. or maybe we should have expected its coming, given our trillion dollar debts.
  • It reminds me this famous scam [] (English subtitles) in a 60s Italian movie. "Selling the Trevi fountain" has become an idiom in Italy since then.
    • The same thing is true in the USA, and older than the 60s: Selling the Brooklyn Bridge. Though jokes about it abound, several different Con men have "sold" it many times over in the past. It invariably ends with a sucker trying to build a toll both, waving a deed at the police, then being hauled off the bridge.
  • Does it come with the security detail and the cooks?
    • by zill ( 1690130 )
      For some reason Nixon's face popped into mind when I read your post. Then I realized I misread "cooks" as "crooks".
  • ... from the War of 1812. You should definitely ask for a discount.

  • This is the sample listing used on the open source software Open Realty. I installed it via Simplescripts and the white house listing is automatically created as a demo record.

    A lot of commotion over nothing. I'm sure Open Realty is loving all the publicity though. I've been developing a property management site with it, and it's a great piece of software.

  • Want to live in the White House but hate Washington politics? Check this out: []
  • They have rented a less expensive Condo in california Americathon
  • I've heard that it has a nicely finished basement.

  • has a detailed listing [] for the White House saying it's worth $270,050,000. Interestingly, its purchase value peaked at $331M on April 1, 2008.

  • Matt from Redfin here... For those curious we blogged about how the White House came to be for sale on Redfin, No, No, the White House is Not For Sale [].
  • Subject says it all....
  • I dunno, its kinda in a high crime neighborhood, considering that most of the laws that come out of Washington these days aren't authorized under the Constitution.
  • I thought Oprah bought the WhiteHouse....

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