If you’ve been looking for a gaudy 11-bedroom mansion that oozes personality from every beam for under $2 million, then we may have found your dream home on Realtor.com. But some of the listing’s questionable staging choices really make this one a head scratcher.
The tone of the listing begins at excitement level of 10, boasting that this is the home or investment for you if you’re looking for “income and personality plus.” Well, okay, but what exactly is the plus? Perhaps it is the inviting below-ground pool that is also “the center of this universe.”
The home in question sells for a cool $1.75 million, a bargain considering it comes with nearly 30,000 square feet of personality — we mean square feet. It was built by Jerry A. Hostetler, an Indiana native often referred to as “the almost-famous pimp-turned-construction mini-magnate”
by a local newspaper.
The “style” of the home can best be described as a mix between superfluous and illogical — for example, staircases and balconies have no railings. Hostetler purchased the property at age 23 in 1960, when only a modest ranch home stood on the land. That ranch home has since been converted into the main house, the centerpiece in this cornucopia of crazy.
Hostetler bought up surrounding properties and, up until his death in 2006, he continued to build, build, and build — creating a nonsensical, over-the-top East Coast version of San Jose’s famous Winchester Mystery House.
But before you whip out your checkbook, let’s take a closer look at some of the listing’s more questionable staging choices.
1. Is the mini-trailer included?
When staging the perfect aerial shot, don’t forget to remove the trailer from the drive. Nothing ruins an atmosphere of elegance like a faded, white mini-trailer in the drive.
2. What about the rolling chair?
The lavish entranceway makes one feel like you’ve gone back in time to visit an 1980s doctor’s office, and the oddly out-of-place rolling chair in the background does very little to make this home feel like a professional environment.
The office chair, in its native habitat.
3. We found the office water cooler
Continuing the “is it a home or an office” vibe, the dining room has been staged with a water cooler. Yes, a water cooler. And once your eyes spy said cooler, it’s nearly impossible to see anything else in the photo, perhaps thankfully.
4. Honestly, we have no idea
Perched at the bottom of one of the mansion’s many railing-less winding staircases is a table and two chairs. While it may not feel so oddly placed it was a backgammon or bridge table, but here it looks like you should be checking in for a tour of the house of horrors.
5. We found the office mini-fridge
Walking through 30,000 square feet of home can make you thirsty, and you never know when the need to hydrate will suddenly strike. Perhaps it will happen when you’re just standing in large empty overly-white room. Good thing there’s a mini-fridge in the corner. But is it included with the property, or is it extra?
6. Why does anyone have to share a bedroom?
With 11 bedrooms to choose from, why would anyone need to bunk with someone else? Yet, here in one of the mansion’s many bedrooms is not one but two beds — and one strangely staged in the far end of the bedroom in front of the window.
7. Still more beds than bedrooms
Here again we are witnessing the unnecessary over-staging of beds, almost as though this pair is being pitted against each other. Or perhaps the kids were playing pirate ship. Who knows, but this is certainly one trend you’d never expect to see in an over-sized home with nearly a dozen separate bedrooms. Maybe the previous owners were the Brady Bunch?
8. One of these is not like the other
Can you spot what’s missing in this gem? If you’re going to be gaudy, go 100 percent. We almost feel cheated that a lion’s head is missing. Interested homebuyers should ask for a price reduction just on principle.
9. Again, we have no idea
Forget the lion’s heads. Forget the table and chairs, and even the mirror. What exactly is that circular object resting conspicuously on the middle of the floor? High-tech floor cleaner? Over-sized hockey puck? UFO? Ticking time bomb? We literally have no idea, but it seems like the perfect place for it when you’re taking photos to try and sell the property, right?
10. Children and fire do not mix
There’s a reason flammables come with warnings to keep away from children: fire is not a toy! But here again the stagers have outdone themselves by placing a bunk-bed in the background of a room that includes an open fireplace. What could possibly go wrong there? We’re hoping the smoke detectors are working. Plus, said fireplace looks like an open mouthed monster out of a Stephen King novel.
11. Greek statues galore
Because nothing says classy like Greek statues, right? The lavish cosmic-poolside area is adorned by a plethora of marble-esque Greek statues. They’re almost enough to convince you that you’re actually somewhere classy, or even at the center of the universe as promised by the listing. Almost.
12. But then you see this statue
Dolphins. So, not that we’re counting, but this property’s theme includes lions, Greek statues, and sea critters. Got it. Wait, what? We have to say this about Hostetler, he was fully committed to his lack of commitment on a design theme for the property.