by Vincent Tan
Prospective homeowners like a house with personality, a certain atmosphere that enhances liveability. Some houses have such a strong vibe however, you might consider whether you will really connect with their legacy. Here are three famous homes in the US that currently mean much more to folks than “home sweet home”.
The Goonies House
Imagine not only owning a piece of America’s history but living inside it! Sitting atop a grassy slope on 38th Street, Astoria, Oregon, is the historic home where the 1985 cult classic was filmed, presently owned by Sandi Preston. Ever since a resurgence of interest in The Goonies following the movie’s 30th anniversary last year, this charming property, where Chunk did the “Truffle Shuffle”, has been constantly inundated by ‘nostalgia tourists’ of the movie. Throughout its history, tributes – including the ashes of a fan – have been left behind by visitors. However, trash littered by the scores of tourists have prompted the owner to cover her home in blue tarp since last August to deter visitors. As small as Astoria is, other houses in the neighbourhood have also been used as film sets in movies like Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, and Free Willy.
Nestled between the wings of a large shopping centre, the home of former WWII spy, Edith Macefield, bears an irresistible resemblance to (and many claim was the inspiration for) the home in UP! Like the movie home, its history also displays the gutsy gumption of its elderly owner who resisted repeated buyout offers in 2006 until developers, faced with her indomitable will, decided to build around her property instead. A short stroll away from a fitness centre and a dress shop, and offering a limited view of NW 46th St, this delightful property features a chain link fence decorated with tributes to Edith’s steadfastness, and its fame has extended to local tattoo parlours which created designed of her home in ink. Once valued at US$1 million by building developers, this piece of land has become a local legend, with its own Facebook page. The land on which the house stands has been owned Ballard Blocks (the developers who offered the US$1 million bid) since Edith’s death in 2008, and the house – due for demolition – will now be moved and preserved in another location thanks to a local Kickstarter campaign.
Synonymous with sex, celebrity and luxury, this 21,987 square-foot, Gothic Tudor-style mansion is the ultimate bachelor pad. Historically a venue for lascivious liaisons, wild parties with the cream of Hollywood, and the setting for numerous films and TV shows, the Playboy Mansion is at last on the market following the decline of the Playboy magazine. The most interesting part is that it comes complete with its former owner, Hugh Hefner, as a housemate till his death, as part of the terms of sale. The five-acre property features 29 rooms, a wine cellar, home theatre, and even a pet cemetery where many of the magnate’s animal companions throughout the years are no doubt buried. You’ll also inherit Hugh’s living pet monkeys, cockatoos, peacocks, African cranes, parrots, toucans and pelicans, along with a very rare zoo license to keep them all. It’s in the market at just $200 million – if walls could talk, they will no doubt be valued much more.