A home equity loan taken out by Congress in 2008 for much-needed renovations to the White House has fallen seriously in default and rumors are swirling that the bank holding the loan is considering foreclosure on the structure.
While the first mortgage on the White House was paid in full decades ago, Congress decided to cash in on the equity of the historical building to make necessary repairs to the infrastructure, including electrical wiring and plumbing. Claw-foot bathtubs were replaced by modern tub enclosures, kitchen appliances in use since 1970 were upgraded to stainless steel to give the kitchen area a more modern look, and then there is that rug for the Oval Office recently purchased after Obama took office.
Now, word is out that the housing crisis has hit Pennsylvania Avenue as well. Reports have come out stating that the White House has lost $80 million dollars in value just in the past two years, which means that it now counts itself among the many American properties that are worth less than the loans taken out on them, i.e. underwater properties.
The government has been given thirty days to come up with around $400 million dollars to pay off the equity loan, but with the White House currently worth a mere $253.1 million dollars, even a short sale may not be in the cards for the stately mansion.
The only hope is that the bank in question will consider taking possession of the federal property and leasing it back to the Obama administration for a fair sum. While Democrats are willing to pass a measure making this possible, Republicans who are hell bent on quelling any further entitlement spending may just quash the deal, leaving the Obamas out in the cold.
Meanwhile, the same bank that holds the second mortgage on the White House also owns mortgages on the Lincoln Memorial, several of the Smithsonian Museums and the Congress Building. Many insiders claim that unless something is done quickly, we may as well just slap a big "Welcome to China" banner across the city's corporate limits.