Brady Bunch home up for sale at $1.885M
LOS ANGELES – Here’s the story of a lovely family home, which just hit the market for $1.885 million.
The Brady Bunch house, a Traditional-style residence near the Colfax Meadows neighborhood, was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family’s abode. 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 studio.
Violet and George McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom house in 1973 for $61,000, records show. The series ran from September 1969 to March 1974 before moving into reruns in syndication.
Ernie Carswell, a Douglas Elliman agent who is listing the property, said the split-level house has been updated and upgraded but retains almost the exact interior decor from that era, though the layout does not resemble the TV show home.
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 said.
The home has about 2,500 square feet of living space, but that may not include an expansion of the downstairs family room, according to Carswell. The garage was converted into a recreation room – much like the garage turned den on “The Brady Bunch.”
Preservation: The desirability of the property is enhanced by its size, a 12,500-square-foot lot that abuts the L.A. River. It sits in an area that has been ripe for tear-downs and new development in recent years. But the owners will give first consideration to bidders who want to keep the home intact, Carswell said.
“We’re not going to accept the first big offer from a developer who wants to tear it down,” he said. “We’re going to wait a few days, in case there are others who want to purchase it as an investment to preserve it.”
“The Brady Bunch” as a brand has stood the test of time, according to Joe Maddalena, founder of the “Profiles in History” memorabilia dealer and auction house.
Maddalena, who is not affiliated with the listing, has experience when it comes to marketing properties with Hollywood cachet. He previously handled the personal property collection of late singer-actress Debbie Reynolds, which included her North Hollywood dance studio, and once marketed a property seen on “American Horror Story.”
“‘The Brady Bunch,’ over the next 20 or 30 years, will never be forgotten,” Maddalena said. “I think there is a definite cool factor (in buying) one of the most recognizable television homes in existence.”
Carswell expects to see overwhelming interest in the property. “We’re preparing for an avalanche,” he said. “Emails, telephone calls – we may see upwards of 500 calls a day.”
The Brady Bunch house is among the most photographed homes in America and attracts a steady stream of 30-50 fans each day, according to the agent. The property even has its own Yelp page.
“Finally got to see the Brady Bunch house, and couldn’t help but feel nostalgic … 4 stars!,” one Yelp user wrote.
From there, the challenge becomes weeding out the looky-loos from actual potential buyers. Carswell said he plans to show the house by appointment only – something residents in the quiet suburban neighborhood will likely appreciate.
“I just don’t think we can have a Sunday open house where 1,000 people show up,” Carswell said. “We’d be inviting chaos.”
Private broker tours are another possibility, but not without security on site.
“The house is for sale, but this is not an exercise in publicity,” he said.
The family: Violet McCallister, the mother of an almost-Brady “bunch” of five sons, was never bothered by the daily visitors who came to take a picture or drive by the house, according to Carswell. However, after the public became emboldened enough to approach the front door, a low brick wall was erected around the property.
The McCallisters have both passed away. Their children are selling the home.
The home’s celebrity is something the next owner will have to consider, said Maddalena.
“You’re buying a never-ending attraction,” he said. “There are positives and negatives.”
One only needs to look to New Mexico to see another example of the drawbacks. Last year, owners of a house known around the world as Walter White’s residence on “Breaking Bad” had to build a fence around the property because of unwanted visitors. In addition to taking photos, many fans came to recreate a famous scene in which White tosses a pizza onto the roof of the home.
For all the fan attention they draw, famous Hollywood homes don’t always command a premium on the market.
When the “American Horror Story” house, a Gothic Tudor-style home in L.A.’s Alrlington Heights area, sold three years ago, it did so after years on the market and roughly $14 million below the $17-million original asking price.
But for every horror story, there is a happy ending: Two years ago, a much-publicized Alhambra home featured in the movie “Father of the Bride” sold for the asking price. Last year, a Venice compound made famous on the show “Californication” sold for $14.6 million, setting a record for the area.