Bidding on the iconic ‘Brady Bunch’ home ended on Friday, after a week of frantic bidding that turned into a razzle dazzle horse race, according to real estate agent Ernie Carswell, who was the main listing agent for the precocious property. He says that the highest bidder by far, and the most aggressive, was HGTV — and so the reality network now owns a historic piece of Americana. Rumors that the Smithsonian, out of Washington D.C., wanted to purchase the property so it could be dismantled and shipped back East to be set up in one of the museum buildings on the Mall were discounted by Carswell as just media hyperbole.
The listing price for the split level ranch style home was set at one-point-eight million dollars. But when the bids started coming in to Carswell they were all well beyond that mark. The agent says that some high stakes players were involved in the bidding war — including Hollywood celebrities, theme park franchises, and even a Las Vegas mogul who wanted to take the beloved home back to Vegas to set up next to the blackjack tables. But HCTV beat all comers with a final bid of three-point-five million dollars, and so secured the heirloom television house.
HGTV says that they plan on keeping the house basically intact, including the decor and landscaping. While the network has not released any official statement on what exactly they plan on doing with the property, Hollywood gossip mongers are already busy speculating on its future uses. These include the focus of a reality show that would feature families from the Midwest coming to stay in the home and being filmed reacting to the strange and deviant behavior of the surrounding denizens of La La Land. Other rumors have it that the house will be open to the public for guided tours. The most intriguing rumor is that the network plans on using the house as a sort of bed-n-breakfast for its business partners when they fly in for conferences. But again, it must be emphasized that no official statement has been issued by HGTV or its parent company Discovery Inc. as to just exactly how they are going to monetize the property.
Other nearby domestic properties in Studio City have also recently been up for sale, and some of them also shared a show biz patina of sorts. Agents recently listed a nearby home that was made famous when pop diva Britney Spears tied the knot with danseur Kevin Federline back around 2004. The house got a lot of look-sees once its celebrity provenance was publicized, but it ultimately sold for less than half a million dollars — disappointing the real estate brokers who had hoped for at least a million dollar price tag.
Along with the purchase of the home, HGTV also purchased the rights to the original 1959 blueprints of the home from the original building company. The house stands on land that had once been a truck garden, growing melons, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. It has then been used as a parking lot for fuel trucks in the 1940’s. By 1951 it was part of a vast home development plan that turned into Studio City — marketed to white collar workers at all the nearby movie and television studios. The original cost of the Brady house, according to county tax records, was somewhere around twenty-four thousand dollars. A swimming pool in the backyard was later filled in and turned into a tennis court.