More popular than ever before is the trend of flipping an investment house or buying an aging one stuck in another decade with the idea of turning it into your dream home. Anyone who is mesmerized by the idea of restoring an old house should first watch 'The Money Pit.' Though exaggerated as filmdom will do to hold an audience’s attention — not so quick. Take another look. Tom and Shelley (as Walter and Anna in the movie) might have fallen through floors and set the house on fire due to worn-out wiring while the audience howled with mirth, but many do-it-yourselfers are falling through boards and igniting wiring every day, but their howling comes from anguish.
It was easy to see why Walter and Anna fell in love with 'The Money Pit' home’s potential. The house, that in real life was owned by Olympic gold medalist Eric Ridder, was grand at 14,000 square feet and wonderfully located in a preferred enclave on Long Island, close to Manhattan. It had a show-stopping entry with grand staircase and large formal rooms opening to the left and the right. It had all the attributes of the Gilded Age lady it was, even if the “lady” were more “bag” than gilded. They were able to grab it for only $200,000 and felt they had managed to steal the bargain of the century. Life was good. At first. Throughout the film, the audience vicariously lived the redo process laughing at their inexperience and foibles. Fortunately, the destructive mess made out of the house by the contractors was filmed on studio sound stages and not in the actual mansion. When the couple managed to get through the film’s restoration that lasted over four months instead of the two weeks they were promised, it had almost destroyed their relationship. But they bounced back and ended up getting married standing in front of their dream home.
After the film crew finally left, the house still needed massive repairs. Fortunately, a real life couple came along and bought the 1898 mansion named Northway, and immediately got to work on the house the right way. It took four years of hard work by the best designers, decorators and contractors to turn it into a jewel box that script writers and set designers for 'The Money Pit' could never have imagined. Now for sale as its best possible self, every detail has been addressed from its elaborate moldings to its gleaming ebony wood floors to the formal gardens and the soft sound of fountains. The 23-room home has seven large ensuite bedrooms plus a four-room master suite, an eat-in kitchen, eight fireplaces including one in the grand foyer, large formal rooms, study, pool and pool house. The mansion’s brick terrace overlooking the gardens and woods is a perfect place to sit and ponder your next home improvement task.
No longer a fixer upper as portrayed in the 1986 film 'The Money Pit,' Long Island’s Northway estate is priced at $5.9 million. The listing agents are Lois Kirschenbaum and Margaret Trautmann of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in Locust Valley, New York.
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