Real Estate Trivia

What characteristics must a home have to be considered a prestigious property?

Uniqueness--one-of-a-kind; Design--architecturally unique; Location; Celebrity status--owned by a well-known person.



Who is the world's largest landowner?

The United States government, with holdings of 728.8 million acres of land.



What criteria determines the hot real estate markets (currently Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Miami)?

Job/personal income growth; population/household growth; housing affordability/appreciation; and current inventory.



What is considered the oldest surviving non-Indian building in the U.S.?

The governor's palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico, built in 1609, was constructed with materials and methods adapted from the native Indians.



What was the greatest land grant ever given to an English subject?

William Penn arrived in October, 1682, to take over his enormous grant that later became Pennsylvania and Delaware.



What metropolitan area boasts the highest median price homes?

Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu is worlds apart from other cities; the median price home is $360,000, highest in the U.S.


What famous writer's home is Rowan Oak?

Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi, was the home of William Faulkner from 1930 until his death in 1962.



What celebrity home sold recently for a reported $5.5 million, despite its yellow-and-rust striped paint job?

This Hollywood Hills residence was the former home of Madonna.



In what renowned area will you find the Pacific Heights and Sea Cliff neighborhoods?

These neighborhoods in the upscale segments of San Francisco are known for their luxury homes.



What is one of the most common reasons for selling a home?

Job promotion and transfer are the top reasons for selling a home. Four million families sell a home each year.



What house is considered to be the first house with running water in America?

John Headly's home built in Newport, RI in 1723, was equipped with an underground pipe from the nearby spring.



What is the average age of an American home buyer?

The median age of a home buyer in the U.S. is 36 years.



What acclaimed house built of stone, concrete, and glass is built over a waterfall?

Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA, built by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the most-visited homes in the U.S.



Which nation, fueled by an oil and manufacturing boom, claim the world's tallest building and soon the longest building?

Malaysia has the tallest building, the twin Petronas Towers at 1,483 feet; the proposed "Linear City" will be the longest.



What is considered to be one of the soundest long-term investments?

Real estate has a long-term record of strong investment return and is a driving force of the national economy.



Legend has it that when Brigham Young first saw this city in 1847, he exclaimed: "This is the place!"

Salt Lake City, UT has been at the top of the U.S. News metropolitan areas with the fastest-rising home prices for the last 2 years.



What land did the U.S. Government buy for $7.2 million?

The U.S. bought all of Russian America (Alaska) from the Russian Czar in March 1867.



Why is the Terra Amata site in Nice, France famous?

Remains of 21 huts found in 1965 are thought to be the oldest known habitation from the Acheulian culture 400,000 years ago.



Which home is considered the ultimate in California craftsman-style architecture?

Located in Pasadena, the Gamble House, built in 1908 by Charles and Henry Greene, is a National Historic Home open to visitors.



What is the world's oldest wooden structure?

The oldest wooden buildings are the Pagoda, Chumanar Gate and Temple of Horyu in Nara, Japan, dating from A.D. 670.



What is a Balloon Mortgage?

A balloon is a short-term mortgage which requires the entire balance of the loan to be re-paid at the end of the loan term.



What is considered to be one of the soundest long-term investments?

Real estate has a long-term record of strong investment return and is a driving force of the national economy.



What is considered the riskiest of all real estate investments?

Raw land is considered the riskiest investment because it produces no annual income and the payoff off comes only when it's sold.



What famous example of post-colonial architecture is modeled after the palace of the Duke of Leinster in Ireland?

The White House in Washington, D.C., begun in 1792 and burned by the British in 1814, was rebuilt in 1818 and restored in 1951.



What high-profile rental property rents for $13,500 a month although the star hasn't lived there for over 19 years?

Shirley MacLaine's name is still used to promote her Encino, CA, estate even though she hasn't lived there in years.



What amenity do 48% of all homes in the new housing market have?

48% of all newly-constructed homes now have 2 1/2 baths or more, up from 1985 when only 29% had more than 2 baths.



By the year 2000 nearly every state will have a mandate for seller disclosure. What must a seller disclose?

The seller must disclose any existing problems or conditions that could affect the value of the house.



What is the primary distinction of the Imperial Palace in Beijing?

In the center of Beijing, Gugong is the world's largest palace, dating from 1402-1424



What famous example of post-colonial architecture is modeled after the palace of the Duke of Leinster in Ireland?

The White House in Washington, D.C., begun in 1792 and burned by the British in 1814, was rebuilt in 1818 and restored in 1951.
 

What was the first land designated by the US government as a National Park?

Yellowstone was established "as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of people" in March 1872.


What is the mysterious island whose private owners are intent on preserving the ways of early island life?

The Robinson Family, owners of Niihau, Hawaii, have done everything in their power to preserve traditional ways.


What area in the U.S. has been referred to as the "American Riviera"?

Miami Beach in Biscayne Bay is Florida's pre-eminent place for "people watching" and hot spot for celebrities.


Which hazardous substance is contained in sixty-four million houses and apartments?

HUD estimates that 64 million homes and apartments built before 1978 contain lead-based paint.


What area in the U.S. now famous for astronomical property values and mansions was bean fields in the 1880s?

Beverly Hills was used for growing lima beans until the 1920s.


How much does a celebrity's name boost the price of a property?

Typically no more than 5 percent, but there are exceptions--the greater the fame, the higher the price!


Which amenity do 89% of all Westerners want included with their newly-constructed home?

The desire for a garage is strongest in the West because most homes do not have basements for storage, as well as sheltering cars.


Where was the first hotel built in the US?

The Union Hotel (1802) Saratoga Springs, NY, is the first hotel emphasizing lodging and services, in addition to food and drink.


What is a Buyer Broker?

A buyer broker represents buyers, helping them to find the best property and negotiate the best purchase price and terms.


What took over 30,000 workmen to construct and is considered the second largest palace in the world?

The Palace of Versailles, 14 miles southwest of Paris and completed in 1682, is famous for its size and its beauty.


What price range is considered up-scale or high-end in residential real estate?

It depends on the market, but upscale homes are usually $250,000+ with 3,000+ square feet of finished area.


What is the world's oldest wooden structure?

The oldest wooden buildings are the Pagoda, Chumanar Gate and Temple of Horyu in Nara, Japan, dating from A.D. 670.


What is considered to be one of the soundest long-term investments?

Real estate has a long-term record of strong investment return and is a driving force of the national economy.


What area in the U.S. is known for its pre-civil war mansions?

Natchez, Mississippi boasts over 500 pre-civil war-style mansions; many are open to the public as museums.


What city is home to three of the world's tallest buildings?

Three of the world's tallest buildings rise above the Chicago skyline that contains many architectural masterpieces.


What is considered to be the largest residence in the world?

With 1,788 rooms and 257 bathrooms, Istana Nurul Iman, palace of the Sultan of Brunei, was completed in 1984 at a cost of $350 million.


When completed next year, what $120 million tower will be the tallest residential building south of New York and east of Chicago?

The Santa Maria, a 51-floor tower on the shores of Biscayne Bay, Florida, is the latest in Miami's luxury condominium boom.


What does the common acronym FSBO (pronounced fizzbo) stand for?

For Sale By Owner. (Between 85 to 95% of existing homes are sold with a real estate agent's help.)


What was the greatest land grant ever given to an English subject?

William Penn arrived in October, 1682, to take over his enormous grant that later became Pennsylvania and Delaware.


What is the mysterious island whose private owners are intent on preserving the ways of early island life?

The Robinson Family, owners of Niihau, Hawaii, have done everything in their power to preserve traditional ways.


What was the first territorial acquisition made by the U.S. Government?

The Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 for $15,000,000 increased U.S. national territory by 140%.


Until recently what private residence is considered the most expensive house ever built?

The Hearst Ranch in San Simeon, California cost over $30 million; Bill Gates' new home will cost $40+ million.


Whose mansion sold for about $2 million after just one day on the market?

Soon after the death of George Burns his home was put on the market; the home sold in 24 hours.


What is considered one of the greatest U.S. construction projects that was also of great strategic importance to the U.S.?

The Panama Canal, begun in 1904 and completed in August, 1914, which cost $366,650,000.


True or False. Nearly two out of every three Americans over 50 would buy the same size home they currently live in?

True. A new study of seniors age 50 to 80+ reveals that two out of three would buy the same size home.


When completed next year, what $120 million tower will be the tallest residential building south of New York and east of Chicago?

The Santa Maria, a 51-floor tower on the shores of Biscayne Bay, Florida, is the latest in Miami's luxury condominium boom.


What is the most expensive piece of property ever recorded?

In October 1988, the Mediya Building in central Tokyo was quoted at 358.5 million yen ($248,000) per square foot.