Which Celebrity Childhood Homes Demand the Biggest Star Premium?
You’ll be shocked at which celebrity childhood homes are worth the most (in the current owners’ opinions)
Would you pay more for a home if you knew a star had toddled the lengthy hallways, or rolled toy trucks over the shag carpeting? If so, for which celebrity childhood homes would you pay a premium?
It stands to reason that celebrity childhood homes are much less expensive than the lavish estates the glitterati have more recently inhabited. After all, many are in small towns where real estate prices are lower than the glam spots they’re drawn to now. But you’d be surprised by the premiums some star parents, (Curt Cobain‘s) are asking, and which star’s parents (Blake Shelton‘s) are all about the fair market price.
The folks at Realtor.com asked me to investigate this phenomena, and supplied me with killer research on the list prices of certain celebrity childhood homes. You will be amazed by who tops the list of childhood homes of celebrities that are asking a premium for the privilege of prepubescent star dust.
Which celebrity childhood homes have the biggest premiums?
Childhood home: Omaha, NE Last listed price: $260,000 Comparable median price: $183,000 Celebrity premium: 42%
Brando lived in the Omaha, NE, house with his father, a pesticide and chemical feed manufacturer, mother, and two older sisters before going on to become the most acclaimed film actor of his generation. The owners of the five-bedroom, four-bathroom frame home were clearly hoping someone would make them an offer they couldn’t refuse when they listed it, although it has since been taken off the market.
The home was listed at more than double the price of other properties, of all sizes, in the neighborhood—$260,000 compared with $120,000. Public records show that the 4,119-square-foot home was built in 1900. But it appears to have been charmingly updated, and even includes a pool.
Childhood home: Palisades, NY Last listed price: $1,895,000 Comparable median price: $1,110,000 Celebrity premium: 71%
Angelina Jolie was born in Los Angeles, but by the time she was 6, her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, and father, actor Jon Voight, had split, and Bertrand moved the family to Palisades, NY. There they lived in an elegant and contemporary home known as the Whitney House, which was built in 1958 for a descendent of the Whitney American Art Museum family.
The 4,088-square-foot Whitney House, sitting on a 2-acre lot, has been on the market for almost a year. And despite its nearly $2 million price tag, it isn’t the only expensive home in the neighborhood: The ZIP code’s median listing price is $1,300,000.
Childhood home: Port Arthur, TX Last listed price: $500,000 Comparable median price: $283,000 Celebrity premium: 77%
Janis Joplin famously was not a fan of the conservative, small town of Port Arthur, TX, where she grew up in the ’40s and ’50s. But that isn’t stopping the current owners of the five-bedroom home from asking $500,000 for the 1,450-square-foot house—despite a tax assessment of just $52,000. It’s astronomical given that median-price homes (which may not have nearly as many bedrooms) in the same neighborhood are going for just $144,000.
One selling point for fans of the singer, who died when she was just 27: New owners can show off where she carved her first name into the floor of the garage. I’m guessing the owners were inspired by the December sale of Joplin’s kaleidoscopic-painted Porsche, which was auctioned off in New York City. The vehicle was expected to go for $400,000 to $600,000, but when the gavel finally came down, the bid had skyrocketed to $1.76 million.
Childhood home: Aberdeen, WA Last listed price: $329,000 Comparable median price: $169,900 Celebrity premium: 94%
Kurt Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, apparently hopes that fame will multiply the value of the house where the Nirvana frontman spent most of his childhood years. O’Connor listed the humble home in Aberdeen, WA, for $329,000—nearly double the price of what similar homes are selling for in the neighborhood. And that’s heavily discounted from fall 2013, when it was listed at $500,000. It is now off the market.
O’Connor isn’t living there now, but those who have seen it suspect that she is intentionally keeping it in the same condition as when the ’90s grunge superstar left, with flowered wallpaper, shag carpeting, linoleum floors, and yellow Formica kitchen counters all intact.
Cobain fans can also see their icon’s artwork drawn on the walls of his old bedroom. And they won’t want to miss the hole he punched in the bedroom wall—perhaps after his parents divorced.
Perhaps O’Connor is hoping that if it doesn’t eventually get bought up, it could become a tribute museum—thousands visit the nearby Kurt Cobain Memorial Park annually.
Childhood home: Indianapolis, IN Last listed price: $674,900 Comparable median price: $305,000 Celebrity premium: 121%
The fact that the genius author of “Slaughterhouse-Five” likely penned his first essays within the walls of this stately Indianapolis-area home might justify this premium price for book-loving buyers. Kurt Vonnegut’s childhood home was originally listed at $899,000 in summer 2014, but the price was dropped several times before it was taken off the market. The median price of all homes on the market in the same ZIP code is just $61,500.
The 5,907-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom brick residence was designed by the author’s father, Kurt Vonnegut Sr., a prominent local architect, according to The Indianapolis Star. The “Breakfast of Champions” writer moved in with his parents and two siblings in 1923, a year after he was born. But the family was hit hard by the Depression and in 1930 were forced to move into a smaller home.
See even more photos and information about celebrity childhood homes at Realtor.com.