In a battle between celebrities and reality TV for the ‘Brady Bunch’ house, TV won — at twice asking price
Its broker expects an ‘avalanche’ - of lookers, at least
The bidding for the “Brady Bunch” house got down to a horse race, listing agent Ernie Carswell said, but it was HGTV that ultimately pulled away from the pack. So, just how much did the cable network spend to secure the television-famous property? About twice the asking price.
HGTV paid $3.5 million to buy the Studio City residence, or $1.615 million more than the list price of $1.885 million. The sale closed Friday.
The home received eight offers, Carswell said. The players included stage and television producers, corporate parties and entertainers such as singer-dancer Lance Bass, who was “heartbroken” to learn he had not submitted the winning bid. All of them planned to keep the home basically intact.
“Every [bidder] intended to retain the front facade as a historic preservation, but most of them intended to renovate the interiors,” Carswell said. “No developer submitted a bid for the property.”
In the case of the “Brady Bunch” house, nostalgia appears to have played a big part in its closing price, which is well above the market rate for the area. In June, the median sale price for single-family homes in the area was $1.134 million, according to CoreLogic.
“The dollar amount absolutely speaks to the fame of the house,” real estate agent Steve Shrager said. “Under normal circumstances it would have sold to a developer for even less than the asking price.”
Shrager, who is not affiliated with the “Brady Bunch” house, last year listed and sold a nearby Studio City home where pop singer Britney Spears married dancer Kevin Federline in 2004. Many people came to see the house after news of its celebrity ties became public, but it didn’t translate into additional offers, nor did it help the closing price, Shrager said.
“That ‘Brady Bunch’ house is so iconic and so representative of a way of life,” he said. Its celebrity “definitely put more money in the seller’s coffers.”
HGTV has already hinted at what may be in store for the beloved home.
On an earnings call this week, Discovery Inc. Chief Executive David Zaslav said the network planned to “restore the ‘Brady Bunch’ home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can.” A spokesperson for Discovery declined to elaborate on the project.
As part of the sale, HGTV will receive the original 1959 blueprints for the house, Carswell said.
The split-level home, which is so popular it has its own Yelp page, was used for outdoor representations of the “Brady Bunch” family home. That included the show’s opening and closing scenes as well as numerous interludes to denote the time of day. Interior scenes for “The Brady Bunch” were filmed in a studio.
The home’s floor plan retains a host of 1970s details but bears little resemblance to the layout familiar to TV viewers.
A rock-wall fireplace and wood-paneled walls are among classic details found in the living room, which features a built-in bar. Floral wallpaper and window coverings are another vintage touch. The home’s MusiCall intercom and whole-house radio also remain.
“This is a postcard of exactly what homes looked like in the 1970s,” Carswell told The Times last month.
There are two bedrooms, three bathrooms and about 2,500 square feet of living space that may not include an expansion of the downstairs family room, Carswell said. The garage was converted into a recreation room.
Violet and George McCallister, the parents of an almost-Brady-size “bunch” of five sons, bought the house in 1973 for $61,000, records show. The TV series ran from September 1969 to March 1974 before moving into reruns in syndication.
The McCallisters are both deceased, and their children are the sellers.
1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information about the sales price and Studio City housing market.
12:14 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect that the sale has officially closed.
This article was originally published at 9:25 a.m.