Most of what we know about these houses and stunning real estate is based on what we’ve read in journals and seen on popular TV series and movies. Read on to get a glimpse of some pretty interesting real estate facts.
Monica’s apartment on Friends is worth millions
When Friends superfans re-watch the 90’s sitcom for the umpteenth time, they must stop and wonder how aspiring chef Monica can afford her amazing New York City apartment. It must be especially annoying for those fans watching from their teeny tiny studio apartments in which they are struggling to keep up with the rent.
In truth, Monica, played by Courteney Cox, would have to be pretty well off to be able to afford the apartment she had on the show, even with a roommate. When you take into account its size, location and amenities, if the apartment had actually existed, it would be worth roughly $2 million in today’s market.
Mark Zuckerberg Bought His Neighbors
Obviously, the Facebook co-founder and CEO did not buy actual people, but he did want to decide which people could live next door to him in his Palo Alto home. We must admit that it may not always be easy to be one of the world’s richest and most famous individuals. It makes sense that Zuckerberg would want to take precautions to protect himself and his family.
Therefore, he decided to keep the houses next door to him from being sold as “neighbor to Mark Zuckerberg.” He bought up four of them for well over market value and then leased them back to the families that had been living in them. All this in a bid for privacy and to keep people from looking into his backyard and bedroom. Well, it’s not like he can’t afford it.
Japan Has A Highway That Goes Right Through A Skyscraper
Here’s one you don’t see every day. This 16-story building in Japan has an actual highway going through it. The road connects two elevated highways which pass through the Osaka Gate Tower’s fifth, sixth and seventh floors. The building is a short walk from Osaka station and apparently seeing it is the experience of a lifetime.
The road, which we’re happy to report doesn’t touch the building itself and is suspended on both sides. Due to the fact that this was the first piece of real estate of its kind, laws and building codes had to be developed in order to allow its construction.
What is The White House Valued At?
The White House is owned by the United States government which means you probably won’t see it on the market any time soon. However, it is the home of one of the most powerful people on the planet, which definitely makes it a prime location. And you know what they say about real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.
The White House was completed in 1972 and has housed every U.S. president in office since. Even real estate experts would have a hard time estimating the historical building’s true value. But some have ventured a guess and came up with a staggering worth of $110 million. Coming up, more fascinating facts about the White House and more.
Selling Virtual Real Estate In A Game Made Someone a Millionaire
Ailin Graef, or as she’s more commonly known, Anshe Chung, has a thriving career as a real estate developer. She started out with an investment of just $9.95 and over 32 months managed to earn $1 million! She did this by buying, developing and reselling the property and then used her profits to purchase some more.
The money Chung has earned is quite real, but the “property” she works with is not. She deals solely in virtual houses on internet game Second Life. The game allows players to make deals in a virtual real estate market through a personalized avatar. Chung is the first person to ever become a millionaire in real life by selling virtual property online.
The Hotel That Was Once Luke Skywalker’s Home
Star Wars fans are going to love this one. Luke Skywalker began his journey on Tatooine living with his aunt and uncle, a long time ago and in a galaxy far, far, away. This intergalactic complex can actually be found at Hotel Sidi Driss, in the miniscule Berber-speaking town of Matmâta, in southern Tunisia.
George Lucas and the crew behind the Star Wars films used the town’s underground tunnels as the set for Luke Skywalker’s home. Since then it has been converted into a “hotel.” If you have ten dollars in your pocket and are in Southern Tunisia, you can spend the night there. When filming wrapped on the original films in 1976, the hotel’s business declined but picked up again in 2000 when filming began for prequel Attack of the Clones.
Not All Treehouses Are What You Think
When you think about a treehouse, you are most likely imagining a dad and his kids building a little wooden house perched in a tree. Well, that kind of treehouse doesn’t have to be up to code or pay property tax and is not considered real estate. There are however other kinds of treehouses that can actually be considered real estate, with some getting pretty fancy.
The biggest treehouse in the world is located in Crossville, Tennessee. It is a nearly 10,000-square-foot structure with 10 floors, 80 rooms, and even its own church. Now that sure sounds like real estate to me. Another famous treehouse is the two-story “Levitating Lighthouse” in Seattle which was built in 2014 as part of the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters. It was put on the market in 2017 for $475,000 – only cash offers accepted – according to The Seattle Times.
The Tiny House Movement Exists
Yep, there is an actual movement which advocates building and living in tiny houses. They believe that instead of spending all of one’s life working to pay off the house, one should just downsize and simplify own less stuff. So just how small does a house have to be for it to be considered a tiny house?
According to CNN, the average American home is roughly 2,600 square feet. Although there are no set guidelines, the definition of a tiny house is typically between 100 and 400 square feet. That is less than one fifth of the size! The move to such a house is obviously good for the environment but it can also save a lot of money on everything from rent, and furniture to the heating bill.
The Seattle Kingdome Costs Money Long After Being Demolished
Seattle officials had the idea of building an enormous covered sports stadium in 1959, but it took them nine years to convince voters to support the project. In 1968, the voters in King County approved issuing $40 million in municipal bonds to build the Seattle Kingdome. The stadium went on to become the home of the Seattle Supersonics, Mariners and Seahawks.
It seems like the voters were right to be skeptical of the costly undertaking. The Seattle Kingdome ended up being so expensive to build that it wasn’t fully paid off until 2015, a whopping 15 years after it was destroyed in 2000. Now that is some kind of mortgage!
The world’s Biggest Pyramid Isn’t In Egypt
The ancient civilization of Egypt has incredible archaeological sites and a fascinating history going back thousands of years. Nothing represents Egyptian culture better than their famous pyramids, which symbolize the country’s national pride. Although most people don’t know that the biggest pyramid in the world isn’t in Egypt at all.
That illustrious title goes to the Great Pyramid of Cholula which is located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. When its final form was completed in the ninth century CE, the pyramid stood at a total volume of over 4.45 million cubic meters. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in comparison, measures at roughly 2.5 million cubic meters. This amazing structure is still the largest pyramid to exist in the world today.
Canada and Denmark Have Peacefully Settled Disputed Land
Countries all over the world should learn their lesson from how Canada and Denmark have been handling their land dispute. The two peaceful democracies have not seen eye to eye since the 1930s regarding ownership of the remote and desolate Hans Island in the arctic north. The Danes and the Canadians, however, decided to tackle the issue in a way most other countries wouldn’t consider.
Denmark’s Minister of Greenland Affairs kicked things off in 1984. While visiting the island, he planted his country’s flag along with a note which read, “Welcome to the Danish island” and, according to CBS, left a bottle of brandy, This started off an awesome tradition in which both countries would visit the island, put up their flag and leave a bottle of liquor.
The Eiffel Tower Has A Hidden Apartment
In 1889, when the astounding marvel that is the Eiffel Tower was revealed to the world, people all around sang the praises of civil engineer Gustave Eiffel. Although kind words are always nice, it seems like Eiffel had a more practical reward in mind for all his hard work, which was soon revealed.
It took the form of a small apartment he built near the top of the iconic tower. The apartment sits 1,000 feet above the street and is not fancy or big, but cozy and romantic. Apparently, it made the Paris elite crazy with jealousy. Eiffel had many offers to rent out the space and for exorbitant prices, but he always refused. Although he was known to host prestigious guests and show them the view.
The Vegas Strip Isn’t Exactly Vegas
Hoards of tourists come to the city of sin each year to party, chill out by the pool and try their luck at gambling. Though most of these folks have no idea that a large part of the Vegas strip isn’t actually situated in the city of Las Vegas, but is really in a census-designated town named Paradise.
The town was founded in 1950 in order to get out of paying heavy taxes. It is essentially is an island of land surrounded by Las Vegas. Paradise, which is the perfect name for a place without taxes, contains McCarran International Airport, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and most of the tourist attractions in the area. The ZIP codes that serve the town are assigned the default name “Las Vegas” and that’s most likely the reason this has remained relatively unknown.
California Decoratively Disguises Their Oil Rigs
California is known all over the world as a leader in green energy, which may lead people to think that they no longer produce oil. That is simply not true. In 2017, the Golden State produced 173.2 million barrels of oil, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. That is an impressive 56% decrease since 1985, but it is still the sixth biggest oil supplier in the nation.
But when visitors travel through the state, they may not believe it, because California cleverly disguises its oil rigs by hiding them in plain sight, especially in Los Angeles. They simply make them look like other types of real estate. For example, the property which houses Pacific Coast Energy in L.A.’s Pico-Robertson neighborhood looks like a synagogue but is actually home to 40 oil wells.
Ever wonder how the landmark ‘Hollywood’ sign came to be?
Nothing is more synonymous with the entertainment industry than the Hollywood sign. It appears in TV shows and movies and serves as a symbol of every young actor’s hopes and dreams. The sight of it brings to mind epic stars, fancy parties and multimillion-dollar homes. But before all that, it started out as just a real estate ad.
The Hollywood sign is truly representative of the story of a star. It came from humble beginnings and became known all over the world. The sign was first put up as an advertisement for a new suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland” and over time became what it is today. It’s no wonder, real estate is just as important in Hollywood as movie making.
Once Upon a Time, Houses Were Delivered By Mail
It seems hard to believe, but once upon a time people could order a house and have it delivered through the mail along with an instruction manual. From 1908 to 1940, Sears, Roebuck & Co. sold between 70,000 and 75,000 of these mail-order houses. Some of which are still around today.
The various parts would arrive in a special kit, mostly by boxcar and Sears claimed that a “man of average abilities” could finish building the structure within 90 days. This sounds like an interesting idea, but it’s not really surprising that these houses no longer exist. Do you know anyone in this day and age of smartphones and instant gratification that would spend months building their own house?
In 1949 The White House Interior Was Completely Replaced
By 1945, the White House had already been around for an impressive 145 years and it was starting to show. Harry Truman, who was president at the time, got the job of figuring out the best way to modernize and fix up the building. He had to take into account the damage done by the British in 1814 and by the Christmas Eve fire in 1929.
The building’s precarious position was made clear when Truman’s daughter’s piano almost fell through the floor into the room below. Some advocated the destruction of the whole thing and wanted to replace it with something new, but the president believed the White House was a national monument and decided to just gut the interior and rebuild it as close to the original as possible.
Breaking Bad Fans Love Trashing Walter White’s house With Pizza
Fans of the cult show Breaking Bad have been trespassing on a private residence to recreate a famous scene. They throw pizzas on the roof of the house in which Walter White, chemistry teacher turned drug dealer, and his family lived on the show. This sounds like a good time, but not for the person who actually lives there.
It’s no surprise that the owner of the house is less than overjoyed with strangers messing up her roof, and of course, wasting warn and delicious pizza. The owner, Joanna Quintana, put up with this monkey business for seven whole years, but eventually constructed an impressive 6-ft. tall iron fence to keep some of the rowdier fans in line.
In New York State sellers must Be Honest About Haunted House
Most people don’t take ghost sightings into consideration when thinking about buying a house, but apparently in some states divulging information about things that go bump in the night is a legal requirement. All paranormal activity must be reported when it comes to selling real estate.
According to the cleverly titled “Ghostbusters ruling” from 1991, New York State homeowners must notify potential buyers about any suspected hauntings, but only if they’ve shared their suspicion “to the public at large.” So, if you’re looking for a home but are a bit superstitious, the Empire State may be the right place for you.
Rain Clouds From A Factory
The Boeing Factory located in Everett, Washington is the biggest building in the world by volume, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This unbelievably enormous factory is so large that if not ventilated properly, it creates its own weather patterns and rain clouds form within it.
The building was first built in 1966, to provide space for the development of a new kind of plane, but the Boeing company was so proud of the amazing new factory, they started doing tours of it just two years later. The very same year they introduced their first 747. These days, they still offer tours, but sadly people won’t be able to capture the experience, because there is a strict “no photos” policy.
Some Apartment buildings Are Not What They Seem
Visitors to big cities such as New York, London or Toronto may be impressed with local architecture and point out the beautiful and well-maintained apartment complexes around the city. They may be surprised to discover that no one lives in them and they are in fact not apartment complexes at all.
Urban areas are home to enormous buildings and developments whose only function is to hide cell phone towers, vent shafts, and railways. These complexes are built to resemble apartment building in order to maintain the illusion that they are occupied. This is done purely for aesthetic reasons, and they must be doing a good job because most people are completely fooled.
The Meaning Behind The Red Door
When people start thinking about the thirty-odd years they still have to keep paying off their mortgage, it may make them want to climb into bed and never come out. But if you have successfully finished paying off your mortgage, you inevitably feel a well-deserved sense of pride. In some places in the world, people have found a special way to show off that pride.
Scottish homeowners, in particular, have come up with a tradition to mark the occasion. People in the country who pay off their mortgages paint their front door red as a symbol of the accomplishment. We have no idea why the color red was chosen for the occasion, but we applaud their unabashed pride.
This Is The World's Oldest Standing Wooden Structure
Jerusalem’s famous Western Wall was built from limestone in 19 BCE and is still mostly standing. That makes it even more incredible that the Horyuji Temple in Japan, made of wood and created only 600 years later, is still intact. The temple has been around for 1,412 years and is the oldest surviving wooden structure in the world.
Horyuji was constructed by Prince Shotoku, one of the early supporters of Buddhism in Japan, in 607. At the time, Muhammad was still going strong and Christianity was in the process of taking over Europe. It’s hard to believe that a building made of wood has endured for so many years. This longevity has earned the Horyuji Temple its status as a World Heritage Site.
Most houses in Japan rapidly depreciate in value
If you are an American or European trying to get a handle on the Japanese real estate market, make sure to do some research. The market in the Land of the Rising Sun is quite different than what Westerners are used to. One major difference is the way in which Japanese houses decrease in value – in a big way.
Japanese brokerage company Nomura’s statistics show that the value of the typical Japanese home falls to zero in only 22 years! This leads to homes being torn down and rebuilt instead of fixed up. In Europe and America in 2017, previously owned homes make up 90% of real estate sales and new properties just 10%, according to The Economist. In Japan, these numbers are reversed.
The Simpsons House Exists
It’s true. Pepsi held a contest in which you could win either a life-size replica of the Simpsons home or $75,000. The house was built as a nearly exact 3-D replica of 742 Evergreen Terrace, where Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie live on the show. No detail was overlooked, right down to the cat’s food dish and the crooked picture on the wall.
In the end, the contest winner wasn’t interested in moving to Henderson, Nevada and decided to take the money instead. The person who ended up living in this cartoon fantasy home has probably gotten used to fans of the show showing up at all hours and trying to get a peek inside. If you found these facts fascinating, you’re going to love what’s coming up.
Most of McDonald’s Fortune Does Not Come From Burgers
McDonald’s is probably the most well-known fast food chain in the world with locations all around the globe. It would surprise most people to discover that the company doesn’t make its money mainly from Big Macs and Happy Meals, but from real estate. Franchises cook and sell the food, but McDonald’s owns the land and or the buildings and leases it to them.
The company in essence serves as the landlord for its franchises, making it one of the world’s biggest commercial real estate operators. According to the company’s 2015 10-K, the vast majority, roughly 85 percent of McDonald's restaurants, were managed by franchises and not the company itself. Keep reading for more astounding info about real estate.
The Government Owns All The Land In Singapore
Singapore is well known for its entrepreneurial spirit and free-market aspirations, but some things are highly regulated in this sovereign city-state. The republic offers good conditions for businesses, with the highest income tax rate of just 22 percent and no taxes on capital gains or inheritance.
Real estate, however, is a completely different matter. The government owns all the land in the city-state and a whopping 85 percent of housing is provided by a government-owned housing corporation. You should probably take that into account if you are considering an investment in the Singapore real estate market.
The Egyptian pyramids are closer to civilization than you think
The ancient Egyptian pyramids are some of the most impressive structural wonders ever made by man. They are famous and appear in important books about history, culture and art and also surprisingly on social media - particularly Instagram. There are thousands of posts showing tourists enjoying this amazing travel destination. But don’t believe everything you see; these pictures may be purposely misleading regarding the location of the pyramids.
The most common pictures show the Egyptian pyramids tall and impressive, alone in an ocean of sand. It’s true that the pyramids can be found in the desert, but they are not as isolated as these photos would make it seem. They are actually quite close to the bustling metropolitan capital of Egypt, Cairo.
There is a Basketball Court on the Top Floor Of The U.S. Supreme Court
It’s common knowledge that the U.S. Supreme Court is the “Highest Court of the Land”, but it turns out that there is one court that is even higher – quite literally. The Supreme Court building features a basketball court on its fifth floor, with the fitting nickname of “the highest court in the land.”
The basketball court was not part of the original design. It started out as a spare room used to accommodate journalists and store documents. The space was turned into a fitness area for courthouse employees in the 1940’s and baskets were put in later. But the court of law is still the most important one and there is a sign on the basketball court instructing users not to play ball while it is in session.
Warren Buffet hasn’t moved since 1958
The name Warren Buffet is synonymous with wealth. Therefore, it might come as a surprise that Buffet has lived in the same house since 1958. He bought it for $31,500, or with inflation roughly $250,000 today. The house is in a peaceful neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska and according to Business Insider is currently worth about $652,619.
Buffet serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and is known as one of the world's best investors. He has remarked that his unpretentious home is the “third-best investment he has ever made.” When asked by BBC why he has never moved to a more luxurious home, his reply was “I’d move if I thought I’d be happier someplace else.”