1. If you appraised the White House as if it was any other property and home in Washington DC, it would be valued at around $110 million!
2. In the midst of the Great Recession, 2009 saw more foreclosures than marriages in the U.S.
3. The profession with the highest percentage of homeowners (and least number of renters) is farmers and ranchers, with a 90.4% homeownership rate.
4. By the way, real estate agents are second with 84.9% homeownership, followed by postal workers (84%), firefighters (83.6%), and police officers (80.1%).
5. Do you think real estate disclosures are a little excessive in California? In New York State, owners legally need to disclose if the home they’re selling is thought to be haunted by ghosts or paranormal activity.
6. The average U.S. home built last year is early 2,600 square feet, and we even consider older 1,500 square foot homes small. But in most developing countries, a common home may only be 75 square feet – basically, one room!
7. We might hem and haw when interest rates climb a little bit these days, but we’re still spoiled compared to where rates have been in the past. In fact, the historical average for a 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is about 8.53%!
8. The highest interest rate (in the modern era) was in 1981 when they were a whopping 16.04% for a 30-year fixed loan! But the lowest average interest rate was in 2013 when they fell to 3.66%.
9. Incredibly, since 1972, interest rates have been over 9% a lot more (15 times) than they have been under 6% (8 times).
10. Alaska holds two important distinctions for U.S. states: it’s both the northernmost state and the easternmost state.
11. Speaking of Alaska, many people don’t realize that Japanese forces invaded a few remote Alaskan islands during WWII, making it the only occupied U.S. land during that war.
12. When real estate and hotel mogul Leona Helmsley passed away in 2007, she left $12 million to her dog, Trouble, in her will.
13. There are five times as many vacant houses in the U.S. as there are homeless people.
14. The competition for the tallest building in the world used to be all consuming and create intense competition, so when the Chrysler Building went up in New York in the 1920s, the architects wanted to keep the final height a secret from other city's builders. So they actually built a 125-foot spire and stored it inside the building, and then only pushed it up out to top the structure when it was done, earning the designation of the tallest building.
15. These days, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, reaching an unbelievable height of 2,717 feet tall (more than half a mile.) It’s so high that you can watch the sunset from the bottom floors and then take the elevator to the top and watch it again.
16. In order to preserve the natural scenic beauty, the states of Vermont, Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine have laws that ban all outdoor roadside billboards.
17. Back in the 1930s, gangster Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd robbed a lot of banks. But he was seen as a hero by common people since he would collect mortgage documents and destroy them every time he robbed a bank, freeing hundreds of people from their home loan debts.
18. In China, they’ve made prefabricated construction so efficient that they can erect a 30-story skyscraper in only 15 days!
19. Eerily, on the owners of the World Trade Center had a meeting scheduled for 09/11/2001 to talk about their strategy in case of a terrorist attack. The meeting, which was to be held on the 88th floor, was rescheduled the night before because someone couldn’t attend.
20. In Scotland, homeowners who have paid off their mortgage paint their front door bright red as is the custom, letting others know they’re mortgage debt free.
21. In the U.S., we’d have a lot of red doors, as almost 30% of American homeowners – or 21 million homes - own their home free and clear.
22. Flood insurance is a necessity around Lake Superior. In fact, the Great Lake holds so much water that if it every emptied, it could theoretically spill one foot of water across the entire United States!
23. "We're going to Vegas!" is a common rallying cry for partiers, gamblers, and those who need a vacation. But most people don't realize that the majority of the Las Vegas Strip sits in the neighboring city of Paradise, saving casinos, hotels, and other establishments millions of dollars in taxes.
24. The game of Monopoly wasn’t intended to be a primer in the benefits of real estate investment, but originally to warn players about the pitfalls of Capitalism.
25. Warren Buffet may be one of the richest men in the world, with a vast fortune due in part to real estate investments, but the Oracle of Omaha still lives in the same house he bought with his wife for $31,500 in 1958.
26. The planet Pluto has a smaller surface area than the country of Russia.
27. You've probably heard of people who specialize in bartering, and maybe even seen TV shows where people try to "trade up" to bigger and better possessions. Well, one man started with a single red paper clip and traded his way up until he owner an entire house!
28. McDonald's, the most famous restaurant chain in the world, doesn't make its fortunes from selling burgers, but selling real estate to franchisees for their fast food locations. In fact, McDonald's is the largest commercial landowner in the world.
29. When Apple computers wanted to build a new facility in North Carolina, they bought a single acre of land in the path of the project’s build for $1.7 million from an elderly couple. Their profit? They’d bought it for $6,000 34 years earlier.
30. The wealthiest man in India has built a billion dollar personal residence, complete with 27 floors and six levels just for parking, accommodating his 168 cars.