Who Wants To Ironically Buy the House From ‘The Money Pit’?

By  · Published on June 17th, 2014

Universal Pictures

Houses famously used as movie locations are often up for sale, and usually their listings make the rounds on movie blogs. Yeah, it’s neat when Cameron’s home from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the farmhouse from Field of Dreams or the Home Alone home hit the real estate market, but it’s not funny. But the idea of buying “the money pit” from The Money Pit is pretty hilarious, right? After all, the mansion was one of the few non-horror-movie abodes to make our list of cinematic houses you don’t want to live in a while back. What makes the news of its actual listing, via the New York Times, even funnier is that the price is a whopping $12.5m.

No, actually the funny part is that the current owners of the Long Island home – which goes by the name The Northway House – bought the thing as, yep, a money pit. Back in 2002, Rich and Christina Makowsky paid $2.125m, which was low for the area. That’s because it was falling apart. “We definitely could have done the sequel,” Rich is quoted as saying to the Times (he’s kinda joking, but I’d have watched that doc option). If only they’d paid more attention to the rumors at the time. Or read the New York Post article from 2001 (when it was listed at $2.95m) warning that “if life does imitate art, you may want to avoid buying this house” and referencing brokers who disputed Sotheby’s claim that it had been renovated to “aesthetically and technically complete” condition.

I’d love to know more about the previous owners. According to Property Shark, that’d be the Badias, who’d only bought the place a year before it went back on the market. Had they been swindled into buying a lemon, too? What I think would be amazing is if troubles with the home, originally built in 1898, first stemmed from the production of The Money Pit. According to the Post article, then-owner Eric Ridder (of the Knight-Ridder publishing syndicate and an Olympic gold medalist for yachting) leased the mansion for exterior filming at a time when he was trying to sell, and his wife became upset with how much cosmetic damage was done temporarily for the shoot. What if producer Steven Spielberg and company never put things back in order? What if The Money Pit caused the house to become an actual money pit?

Well, since the Makowsky purchase, the Northway has gone through seemingly more of a facelift than its fictional counterpart did in the movie. See the Times piece for the details, but it sure sounds like its worth the extra $10m now. Then again, in 2007 it was listed for only $7.9m (a price also mentioned as being the sale amount for 2009 listings, according to Curbed). Presumably there have been double even more renovations done since then. But who wants to spend the money to find out if the Northway is now in perfect condition? I dare someone to ironically take it off the Makowsky’s hands.

If you want to turn it into a profit, you could always turn the place into a Money Pit themed attraction. I’d buy a ticket for the Rube Goldberg scaffolding ride:

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.