List of Interesting Real Estate and Building Construction Facts

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Interesting real estate facts

Following is a list of some of the most interesting real estate facts and building construction facts, compiled from a variety of source. The real estate facts apply to any type of property from residential real estate to commercial real estate.

  • During the construction of New York’s Citicorp Center in 1977, the builders bolted joints together instead of welding them as originally specified. A year after completion, the building’s chief engineer discovered the change and realized the joints would be too weak to withstand hurricane-force winds, potentially leading to the building’s collapse in a dense urban neighborhood. To correct the problem, a team of workers were hired to weld two-inch-thick steel plates over each of the 200 bolted joints. Six weeks into the repair job, Hurricane Ella was off the coast of North Carolina, headed for New York. Just hours before New York City was to face emergency evacuation, the hurricane veered out to sea. The crisis was kept secret from the public for almost 20 years

 

  • New York City has more skyscrapers (buildings that are more than 40 floors high) than any other city in the world.
  • At one time, Sears sold entire houses in a Do It Yourself building kit.
  • The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge is the world’s longest bridge. It is a 102.4 mile long viaduct on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China.
  • NASA researchers are currently working on figuring out how to bring 3D printing technology to space. The idea is to send robots ahead of astronauts to construct buildings and infrastructure on lunar surfaces
  • The sixty story John Hancock Tower in Boston is haunted by a mysterious problem: it’s windows, huge 4′ X 11′ panes of glass, pop out unexpectedly and shatter on the street below. Construction of the building was completed in 1972. When it was less than a month old, dozens of its windows began popping for no discernible reason. Determined to remedy the situation, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company replaced all 10,334 windows with 400-pound sections of half-inch tempered glass. The windows kept popping out. Today the mystery remains unsolved, and windows occasionally still pop. To protect people on the street John Hancock hired two permanent guards who do nothing but peer up and spot the cracked panes before they tumble to the sidewalk.
  • There is enough concrete in the Hoover dam to build a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York.
  • The world’s largest office building by floor size is the Pentagon in Virginia, USA, with over half of its 6,500,000 square foot floor area used as offices.
  • There are actually so many businesses in the Empire State Building that the building was assigned its own zip code, 10118.
  • A bridge built in Lima, Peru around 1610 was made of mortar that was mixed with the whites of 10,000 eggs. The bridge, appropriately called the Bridge of Eggs, is still standing today.
  • The longest town name in the world is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob
    wlllantysiliogogogoch
    . The name is frequently shortened to Llanfair PG. It is located on the island of Anglesey, on the Menai Strait, in Wales.
  • As of 2015, there were roughly 76,000 elevator devices in New York. There are about 1,570 miles of elevator shafts (assuming a reasonable average floor height, etc.) compared to 840 miles of subway tracks. Across the city, New Yorkers take elevators on roughly 4 million rides on the average day.
  • A Japanese company developed a residential earthquake-proofing system that raises a house off of its foundation as far as 3 cm using just air pressure. When an earthquake hits, compressors activate, forcing an immense amount of air under the home. The house will levitate until the earthquake ends and is then gently placed back on the foundation.
  • With 6.6 billion acres, Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s largest landowner, with King Abdullah as the closest runner-up, holding control over 547 million acres. Media mogul John Malone is the largest landowner in the United States.
  • Hotelier and real estate magnate Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog, Trouble.
  • In 2010, the computer company Apple wanted to buy an acre of land in North Carolina, on which they planned to build a data center for the iTunes Cloud. An elderly couple owned, who owned the land for more than 30 years, originally bought it for just $6000. At first, they resisted to sell, but Apple gave them a blank check and said to name their price. The family decided to sell the property for $1.7 million.
  • Commonly referred to as the “Ghostbusters ruling”, the case of Stambovsky vs Ackley legally requires New York property sellers to disclose information on beliefs that their property could be haunted.
  • A life-sized, fully-furnished Simpsons’ house replica was constructed in Henderson, Nevada, as the main prize for a Fox and Pepsi-sponsored competition in 1997. However, the winner forwent the 2,200 sq ft, four-bedroom house for the cash prize of $75,000 instead. The house was eventually stripped and sold in 2001, without its Simpson’s colors.
  • Before central heating existed, housewarming parties were held as a way to get fire wood from neighbors. Guests brought fire wood for fireplaces as a gift.
  • In the United States, there are five times as many vacant houses as there are homeless people.
  • There are more than 50 streets in the greater Atlanta area which include the word Peachtree.
  • When Philippe Petit walked 61 meters between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope nearly 1,300 feet above the street in 1975, he not only broke records, but he also broke law. The stunt was called the “artistic crime of the century.” He planned the tightrope stunt for months. He conducted research on the buildings by dressing up like a construction worker and office employee, forging ID cards to get through security. He and his team used a bow and arrow to pass large ropes across the divide of the buildings so they could string the steel cable used for the walk. Petit was offered to be cleared of all charges in exchange for doing a public performance for children in Central Park. He performed a high-wire walk over Turtle Pond.
  • Monica’s apartment from “Friends” is estimated to cost $3,500,000.
  • The difference between an On-Broadway show and an Off-Broadway show has nothing to do with location, but rather the seating capacity. Broadways shows must have seating of 500 or more, while Off-Broadway falls under any seat capacity that falls in the 100-499 range.
  • In 1994, Howard Stern made headlines by running for Governor of New York on the platform of promising to limit road work to night-only hours. He withdrew from the race, but the Howard Stern Bill was signed into law later that year, taking construction off the streets during the daytime hours.
  • The number 4 is considered an unlucky number in China because it is nearly homophonous to the word “death” (pinyin sǐ). In a study of five years’ worth of real estate sales in the greater Vancouver area, researchers found that houses in Chinese neighborhoods with an address containing a 4 sold for an average of $8,000 less than their luckier counterparts.
  • Rather than building up, millionaires in central London are building down, creating mega-basements. Nicknamed “iceberg homes” because there’s more square footage under the ground than above.
  • Don’t be so quick to change your brass to brushed nickel. Brass doorknobs disinfect themselves. It’s called the oligodynamic effect: the ions in the metal have a toxic effect on spores, fungi, viruses, and other germs.
  • There was a woman named Edith Macefeild who would not sell her house to make way for a commercial development project in Seattle. When she died, she willed the house to the leader of the construction project “in gratitude for the friendship he had shown her during the construction.“
  • India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani, built a $1 billion home. It has 27 habitable floors, including six parking floors for capacity of up to 168 cars. A staff of 600 maintain the home.
  • In Scotland, homeowners paint their front door red when they pay off their mortgage.
  • The Seattle Kingdome was so expensive, that is wasn’t paid off until 2015, a full 15 years after it was demolished.
  • In 2009, there were more foreclosures in the United States than marriages.
  • Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year. Read the full story.
  • The famous Las Vegas strip is, for the most part, not located in the city of Las Vegas. To avoid tax, it is in a city known as Paradise, which is completely surrounded by Las Vegas.
  • In a competition to build the world’s tallest building, the architect of the Chrysler Building secretly built it with a 125 foot long spire inside the building’s frame. When his competitor’s building was completed, the spire was push up through the building, making it taller by 119 feet.
  • The White House has been valued at $110,000 Million
  • Using prefabricated modules, some builders in China are able to build a 30-story skyscraper in as little as 15 days.
  • In 1945, a B-25 Bomber pilot crashed his plane into the Empire State Building in New York City. The impact of the crash snapped the cable of the building’s elevator shaft. By the time the elevator reached the bottom, a thousand feet of cable had piled up beneath it, acting like a spring. The cushion effect of the spring allowed the elevator’s lone occupant to escape, injured but alive.

If you have any additional funny or outrageous facts, please leave a comment below.

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