The cost of building the White House was $232,372. According to Money, that price in the 1790s is equivalent to nearly $100 million today. At that rate, it would take more than 200 years to pay for itself.
The national debt at the time of its construction was less than $7 million (about $63 million in 2017 dollars). By 1835, just 12 years after it was built, the national debt had increased to $57 million ($470 million in 2017 dollars). Within 25 years, it had doubled again to $115 million ($938 million in 2017 dollars). By the time Andrew Jackson became president in 1829, the national debt stood at $97 million ($786 million in 2017 dollars).
Under his management, it more than doubled again to $230 million by 1837. When William Henry Harrison took office the following year, the national debt was $200 million ($1.5 billion in 2017 dollars). He died after only 31 days in office, but not before the government had to declare bankruptcy due to inability to repay its debts.
In 1841, Congress passed a law requiring all future presidents to live in the White House. Before this law, some leaders lived elsewhere while others didn't live at all.
The first building was completed over an eight-year period at a reported cost of $232,371.83 (equivalent to $3,543,000 in 2020). The White House was ready for occupation on November 1, 1800, despite the fact that it had not yet been built. It is estimated that the total cost of construction of all five buildings was about $750,000 ($10,560,000 in 2020).
In 2019 dollars, this is about $9 million (in 2016 dollars, this would be about $48 million). This estimate does not include the land upon which the buildings are located, which is valued at about $140,000 ($1.5 million in 2016 dollars).
Even with these estimates, the price of the White House has not even approached what many people think it costs to live in. According to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household income in Washington DC was $57,097 in 2017. This means that even if you deducted the cost of renting a house in Washington DC from your income, you would still have about $33,000 left over every year.
In conclusion, living in the White House is very expensive. If you don't have a lot of money, then it's probably not a good idea to live in the White House.
According to Zillow, a US-based real-estate listings business, the White House is valued $397.9 million as of 2017. It is the most expensive residential property in the world.
The White House was built between 1792 and 1794 by French-born architect Pierre L'Enfant for $25,000. It has been altered many times since then, but its basic design has changed very little. The current interior was designed by Henry Francis du Pont and Thomas Jefferson and completed in 1824. The building is owned by the federal government but leased to the president for $1 a year.
Originally, only the first three floors were built with the rest to be finished later. However, due to political reasons, additional rooms were added over time. In total, there are about 7500 square feet on the first five floors - the executive mansion consists of only these five floors. The top two floors are not part of the official residence and they are not used as such; instead, they contain offices and guest rooms. The total area of the first five floors is about 37,000 square feet - this includes all hallways and rooms.
The value of the White House has increased over time.