The Problem with Old Houses/Movie Real Estate

The Problem with Old Houses/Movie Real Estate

When I was a kid, I conspired to buy my old house, the one that I lived in when I was very young. The move had not been traumatic, we moved literally a quarter mile down the road in the same neighborhood, but there were a lot of good memories in the old house. In general, I understand the unrelenting pull of nostalgia. It makes us want to breathe new life into old posters, pictures and furniture to revive the emotional connections that used to be. However, while the Braves 1993’s poster of the Five Aces (Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery, and Pete Smith) may still be ok, I figure the Power Rangers may be a little aged.

This issue is made worse in a recession. Those with money are repurchasing the memories of others, including toys they either destroyed or always wanted, classic cars, and real estate. Nowhere is this more ridiculous to me then purchasing of old movie properties.

I understand the movie posters, autographed head shots, collectors boxed sets, special editions, maybe even a few props. However, in the last few months, filming locations have come for sale. In Atlanta, we have ‘Tara,’the iconic house from Gone with the Wind near where Tuxedo and Paces meet. (The movie was filmed on a set, but this is the house it was based on.) In Cleveland they have the Christmas Story House. However, with the new level of this concept. No one lives in the Christmas Story House and the people who own Tara live in a house that never really existed in the movie. The new version of this is different.

I first realized the absurdity of this when the Home Alone House came up for sale in May and now the Big Lebowski is up for sale. This is not the Big Lebowski’s house; this is the Dude’s house. Both are listed for around $2.3 Million. Let’s look at this for a moment. Yes, the Home Alone House is in an expensive house in an expensive area. The Big Lewboski house as they are calling it, is priced at nearly 2.5x the value of the surrounding house.

In either of these houses, what is the draw? I hope that no one purchases them for their film connection; ironically though, I understand why the owners would sell it. No one wants to be attached to the almost nauseating attachment that these films draw. In full disclosure, not only do I love both of these films, but I was nick-named the Dude for a while. However, I could not imagine the desire to want to invest, effectively, on the lasting impact of the movie. How many people would steal your rug? Bring ferrets to your house? What would folks say if you painted the walls? What if you preferred a whiskey sour to a white russian? Though you can’t argue with the Nixon Bowl Poster, what about pink toilets? What if the Home Alone House wanted to finish their basement, or, parish the thought, got Brinks Home Security instead of paint buckets and rapscallions.

However, I am not above this…Purchase the birthplace of the Dudeletter Editor!


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