Certain homes seen in television or films live long in the memory; sometimes that’s because they seem like appealing places to live, and sometimes it’s the exact opposite. Usually, where the movie is supposed to be set and where it’s shot are two different places. For the purposes of this list, the attached values are based upon where the home is supposed to be rather than where it was filmed.
From the crumbling Paper Street Soap Company in Fight Club to the luxury of Tony Montana’s mansion in Scarface, this eclectic collection of movie homes looks at how much they’d be worth today based upon their real locations. If the town or city is fictional, the nearest plausible real-life equivalent is used in the estimates.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox188 VOTES
Location: Mt. Baldy, CA
Estimated Value In 2022: $1,400,000
This 1980s action romp was mostly shot in and around Los Angeles, even the scenes in Val Verde and the island compound of the film’s climax. Val Verde is a fictional country used as a plot device by writer and producer Steven E. de Souza for multiple films. (Whenever a vaguely Central/South American country was necessary for the story, de Souza would use Val Verde in place of a real location, so as not to ruffle any feathers.) Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1980s classic Predator is also supposed to have taken place there.
The scenic rural cabin where John and Jenny Matrix live is in Mt. Baldy, CA. Built in 1981, the three-bedroom abode sits on a sizeable 9.36-acre lot, so you’d need a bank balance bigger than Matrix’s bulging biceps to buy it. The garden and mansion where the final shoot-out takes place were actually in Beverly Hills - only about a 90-minute drive away from the cabin in real life.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Location: Chicago, IL
Estimated Value In 2022: $1.5 million
With Chicago such a key part of the movie, it might come as a surprise to learn that Ferris Bueller’s home is actually in Long Beach, CA. That means the short drive to Cameron’s house in Highland Park, IL, would have taken a bit longer - about 30 hours longer.
The prop house in Long Beach is a 4,900-square-foot behemoth with seven bedrooms and five bathrooms sitting on a 0.36-acre lot. The house was also used in other movies, so if you’d care to own that piece of film history, you’ll need deep pockets: $2.4 million is the estimated value today. But if we were to imagine an equivalent property in the film’s fictional town of Shermer (based on Northbrook, IL), the price would come down a fair bit.
Northbrook still isn't exactly cheap, and the Bueller abode is obviously not your typical run-of-the-mill house. A similar home in that neighborhood would be in the region of $1.5 million.
- 3103 VOTES
Location: Amityville, NY
Estimated Value In 2022: $900,000
The movie, loosely based on the disputed real events, depicts a couple that purchases a home at a steep discount because it was the site of a mass murder the year before. The Long Island town hasn’t exactly taken the infamy to heart.
The intrusion of tourists led to a local ordinance forbidding parking on the street of the real-life Amityville house. The home used for filming was actually in Toms River in neighboring New Jersey.
The real Amityville house underwent remodeling and a change of address after it was last sold in 2017. Today it’s worth somewhere in the region of $900,000 - assuming no haunted house discount.
- Photo: Orion Pictures
Location: Perryopolis, PA
Estimated Value In 2022: $170,000
The creepy four-bedroom Victorian home occupied by Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs was discovered by location scouts during pre-production and the owners allowed it to be used for filming. The house was used for both interior and exterior shots, although the cellar set was filmed elsewhere.
The movie was primarily shot in Pennsylvania; the facility that held Hannibal Lecter purported to be in Baltimore, but the exterior shots were done at the now-closed Western Center of Canonsburg, a state mental hospital. The interior shots were in the Old Allegheny Jail in Pittsburgh; the FBI allowed its academy in Quantico to be used as well.
Going by Clarice Starling’s movements to track down Buffalo Bill in the movie, the location of the house of Perryopolis just about lines up. The real house sold recently for $290,000 to an investor who has since turned the property into a vacation rental. The notoriety of the film greatly inflated the final sale price, so if we are imagining how much Buffalo Bill - or rather Mrs. Lippman - would get for the property today, the figure would be much lower. Going by the less-famous houses nearby, the figure is closer to $170,000.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures586 VOTES
Location: Fairvale (fictional), CA
Estimated Value In 2022: $800,000
Was the spooky mansion that overlooked the Bates Motel real? Yes and no. The exterior was a set built for the movie and is now housed in the Universal Studios lot. It was inspired by an Edward Hopper painting, which in turn was inspired by a mansion in Haverstraw, NY. The Victorian-style four-bedroom abode overlooks an isolated motel in an unspecified location in California.
Janet Leigh's character Marion Crane absconds with $40,000 embezzled from her employer in Phoenix and drives through the night toward the fictional town of Fairvale in California. After stopping to change cars at a used car lot in Bakersfield, she continues up the highway before pulling off to the motel under torrential rain.
She probably ended up somewhere in Solano County, and the real town of Fairfield could serve as a plausible proxy for the fictional Fairvale. With a median home value of $600,000 (and leaving the motel out of it), a house in the area similar to the Bates mansion should be in the region of $800,000.
- Photo: Toei Company
Location: Koriko (fictional), inspired by Visby, Sweden
Estimated Value In 2022: $400,000
The animated classic is an adaptation of a series of novels by Japanese writer Eiko Kadono. The English dub differed a little from the Japanese version, with the cat Jiji (voiced by the late Phil Hartman in his last speaking role) far more sarcastic and, well, catty. The charming seaside town of Koriko was inspired by the Swedish town of Visby on the island of Gotland, but also took in elements from Stockholm, Paris, Naples, and even San Francisco. The town is supposed to represent an idealized Japanese view of northern Europe, based upon research trips by the studio’s staff.
Visby is known as the “city of roses and ruins” thanks to hundreds of well-preserved medieval buildings and the profusion of roses in the summer. The city’s walls, built in the 13th century, are still largely intact. While not quite as pricey as Stockholm, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the more expensive places to buy property in Sweden.
If you were looking to open a bakery there today, you’d need a fair bit of seed money to get it off the ground. With a two-bedroom residence in Visby coming in at an average of 3 million Swedish krona ($326,000), you’ll be parting with at least $400,000.