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Does Trump have to live in the White House?

Will the president-elect move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—even with the marked lack of gold-trimmed everything?
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Jason Markusoff is working to provide answers to some of the most burning questions in the wake of Donald Trump’s historic win to become president-elect of the United States. Read more of his FAQs here.

Where will Donald Trump live?

The president-elect mostly avoided hotels over the last year, preferring to fly his Trump-branded jet to New York, to rest his meticulously sprayed coif on his own pillow at the 30,000-sq.-foot, three-storey penthouse in Trump Tower. It’s decorated in Louis XIV style, with plenty of gold and marble—you know, classy.

United States law entitles the president to live at the White House’s executive residence, but doesn’t require it. The president-elect could theoretically choose to live in his midtown Manhattan tower and sometimes stay down the street from the White House in a suite at his new Trump International Hotel. Secret Service would have something else to say about it, as would Manhattan residents who’d have to deal with a nightly presidential motorcade down Fifth Avenue.

“Yes, I would live in the White House because it’s the appropriate thing to do,” Trump said early in his campaign. It’s a bit of a downgrade for Trump—20,000 sq. feet of private quarters—but shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, since he is one of the few American executives used to living in the same building as their corporate headquarters. Trump will have congressional money for redecorations, and there’s a fair amount of leeway for repainting and such. But there’s also a White House preservation committee that could call to heel anything too revisionary. So don’t expect the president’s name in giant letters along the roofline, even if media will being calling it the Trump White House.