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The White House: ultra-premium public housing

The White House is the toniest example of U.S. public housing, valued at $289 million. It offers 55,000 square feet of living space.

The terms “public housing” and “glamorous” rarely appear together. But the White House is one unique example.

President Obama and his family enjoy 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 55,000 square feet of living space. The residence has its own swimming pool, movie theater and bowling alley. 96 full-time staffers cook, clean and serve the First Family.

It’s not the biggest house in America, but would be among the most expensive – if it ever hit the market. Real estate experts peg its value at $289 million.

Most Americans live somewhat more modestly. The average single-family home built in 2010 had about 2,400 square feet and a median market value in 2012 of $256,900.

Check out our photo gallery for more White House facts. See “What Do Others Say?” for more views, then add to the discussion below. How do you feel about 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? How important is this symbol of American power?

What do others say?

  • Forbes: Forbes: “America’s most expensive homes for sale” More

  • The Wall Street Journal: Wall Street Journal: “How much to sleep in George’s bed?” More

  • White House Historical Association: White House Historical Association videos: “A tour of the White House” More

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