President's Day. The day we remember the indispensable contributions of Washington and Lincoln and other Presidential patriots. When you compare today’s typical Greenwich house with the one-room log cabin of Lincoln’s birthplace, the reality of where we have been, where we have gone and what makes for a home, is striking.
Last week, as the nation prepared for this year’s President’s Day, the NAR put out a novel kind of civic-minded observation. “In the spirit of President’s Day,” they had a stab at chronicling today’s Chief Executives’ official digs with our own—their fellow citizens’ residences.
“How Does the White House Compare to the Average Home?” didn’t deliver a warm and fuzzy “we’re all in this together” kind of takeaway—but the average reader probably didn’t expect that it would. The high points were presented in an infographic with colorful boxes and circles loaded with small print facts about the White House and the “Typical House.”
In fact, the White House has virtually nothing in common with the Typical House, which was represented by a picture of a nicely-painted row house. Most typical Greenwich houses aren’t row houses, but if we ignore that for the moment, there were some interesting tidbits:
• The Typical House was built in 1991, so it’s newer than the White House which was built in 1792. (Not mentioned: the alterations made by the British when they torched it in the War of 1812).
• The Typical U.S. detached single-family house as purchased is approximately 1,950 square feet. The most common size home sold in Greenwich in 2016 was somewhere between 2,000-3,000 square feet. Whether you live in Greenwich or other parts of the country, we're betting your home is a good deal smaller than the White House, although the square footage isn’t listed anywhere(maybe it’s classified?). What is detailed is the White House’s 132 rooms. They include a jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, billiard room and bowling alley-- all amenities that can be found in some Greenwich homes.
• The Typical House in the U.S. has a median of 3 bedrooms and the average number of bedrooms in a Greenwich home that sold in 2016 was 4. The White House has 35 bedrooms.
• Nationwide, the Typical House’s tenure with the typical owner is 12 years, whereas the White House’s inhabitants will have to call the moving vans after just 4 or 8 years.
So it turns out that the White House isn’t really a lot like most normal houses. And let's not forget that besides square footage, number of bedrooms and amenities there are those six flights of stairs that you need to carry laundry up and down.