This week, as usual, Litchfield celebrates President’s Day on the 3rd Monday in February. Ideally, Litchfield’s citizenry observes the holiday by recalling the indispensable contributions of Washington and Lincoln and other Presidential patriots. When you compare today’s typical Litchfield house with the one-room log cabin of Lincoln’s birthplace, you get a glimpse of how far we’ve come in little more than a couple of centuries. A lot of Presidents had a hand in getting that accomplished.
In the intervening years, keeping track of what, exactly, comprises the typical American home has been the subject of much measuring and reporting. But 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 Litchfield houses aren’t row houses, but if we ignore that for the moment, there were some interesting tidbits Litchfield homeowners might find interesting:
· 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—probably a good deal smaller than the White House, although the square footage isn’t listed (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.
· The Typical House in the U.S. is a lot like a typical newer Litchfield house, with a median of 3 bedrooms. The White House has 35.
· 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 Litchfield houses. True, most purchases are also previously-owned, detached single-family homes; but since most of today’s families couldn’t use 35 bedrooms, there the comparison begins to crumble. Besides, few would want to cope with dragging the laundry basket up and down the 6 levels…
Here’s hoping that your own Litchfield house is well-suited to the practical needs of your family. If not: I’m a phone call away!
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