When the White House was first occupied, by John and Abigail Adams, in November of 1800, the U.S. government had spent about $232,000 to build the president’s residence. That building, burned during the War of 1812, is worth about $284.9 million today, according to real-estate website Zillow. That’s up 1.5% since 2008, but below the the 2006 valuation of $299.9 million.
That’s some serious appreciation, considering that on an inflation-adjusted basis, the building’s cost in 2011 would have been just over $3 million. Now the rebuilding, remodeling, and expansion costs after the White House burned (twice, 1812 and again in 1929) and following renovations and expansions by a number of presidents is very likely to be much higher. The GSA, for example, is currently in the midst of a four-year renovation project that has been budgeted at $376 million.
But the true value of the White House comes from its historic significance and its famous residence. The Wall Street Journal cites a historic-homes marketing specialist who valued the White House at $1.5 billion.
Of course no resident lives there for more than eight years now, and frequent turnover could have a negative effect on that estimate.