01/28/2013 11:26 am ET Updated Mar 30, 2013

Federal Deficit: What $1.1 Trillion Would Buy in Real Estate Transactions

In 2012, the United States racked up a federal deficit of $1.1 trillion, according to the New York Times. This number can be difficult to understand. In fact, most people have a hard time comprehending large amounts of money because they are outside their common experiences. Still, there are ways to explain $1.1 trillion in more manageable terms.

Below is a breakdown of the county's 2012 federal deficit in easily digestible time frames, and what types of real estate transactions the country could have undertaken in the span of those time frames. In other words, this is the breakdown of the federal deficit in relation to real estate.

To break down the federal deficit, I divided the given time frame (second, minutes, hour, etc.) by $1.1 trillion. For example, I divided $1.1 trillion by the number of weeks in a year. This means each week the federal deficit increased by $21,153,846,154.

Federal Deficit in Real Estate Transactions

  • 1 Year: In one year you could buy almost three out of four owner-occupied homes in Texas
  • 1 Month: In one month you could buy every owner-occupied home in Nebraska
  • 1 Week: In one week you could buy 192 White Houses
  • 1 Day: In one day you could buy the Empire State Building -- five times
  • 1 Hour: In one hour you could purchase the Fleur Lys Estate in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive homes in America
  • 1 Minute: In one minute you could buy nearly three homes in San Francisco, which has one of the most expensive list prices in the country
  • 1 Second: In one second you could remodel your kitchen or two bathrooms.

Real Estate Transactions Broken Down

  • 1 Year: At the end of 365 days you could have purchased 73 percent of Texas's owner-occupied homes, or nearly three out of four homes. There are 5,431,000 owner-occupied homes in Texas, which have an average list price of $278,280.
  • 1 Month: Every four weeks the United States added another $91,666,666,667 to the federal deficit. With this much money, you could purchase every owner-occupied household in Nebraska. That's 478,000 homes that have an average list price of $188,288.
  • 1 Week: Seven days came with sizable deficit increase -- $21,153,846,154. This is the equivalent of purchasing 192 White Houses at $110 million a pop.
  • 1 Day: Every day came with a price tag of $3,013,698,630. This is enough to build the Empire State Building about five times over. How do I know? It cost $40,948,900 to build the famous structure. That would be $618,527,746 in today's currency. At this price the country could have built just shy of five Empire State Buildings every day of the week.
  • 1 Hour: Every sixty minutes the country's federal deficit increased by $125,499,144. This is slightly more than you would need to purchase the Fleur Lys Estate in Los Angeles, which is among the most expensive homes in the country. The Fleur Lys Estate includes 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms situated on about 5 acres.
  • 1 Minute: Every minute the country's federal deficit increased by $2,091,458. In real estate terms, this means that in one minute the nation could purchase about three homes in San Francisco, which has one of the most expensive average list prices in the States. The average home in the City by the Bay goes on market for $700,728.
  • 1 Second: Each second the federal deficit increased by $34,858. This is more than what it would cost to remodel a kitchen or two bathrooms -- depending on the materials and size of the rooms. According to a Houzz survey, the average cost of a kitchen remodel or addition is $27,000. What about a new bathroom? The National Kitchen & Bath Association states the national average for a bathroom remodel is $16,000.