As Christmas arrives, house hunters start to think about the New Year and what real estate markets will be the most reliable in 2017. Will you invest in the UK’s buy-to-let industry? Flock to America, where interest rates and economic confidence are on the rise? Take advantage of Europe’s low mortgage rates?
Looking ahead is important in real estate, but so is looking back – and so, inspired by festive season, we cast our memories back to our favourite houses from Christmas movies, in the hope of providing some seasonal inspiration for your next property purchase.
7. Bad Santa (2003)
Photo credit: Zillow.com
This naughty Christmas movie saw Billy Bob Thornton play a shopping mall Santa Claus of ill repute. Eventually, his character comes across a child living home alone in California and, instead of taking advantage of relatively low US prices to buy a cheap home and earn capital growth as a long-term investment, decides to move in for free. The real-life property, located at 7211 Whitehall Lane, is listed on Zillow last sold in February 2012 for $1.1m. (Zillow estimates that price has since risen to $1.5m.)
6. Elf (2004)
Photo credit: KimNCris
Elf is a charming, cheerful Christmas film that focuses on Will Ferrell’s unconventional little helper, who moves from the North Pole to New York to live with his Scrooge-like dad. His father’s apartment, at 55 Central Park West, is a typical example of New York’s expensive accommodation, but is instantly recognisable to film fans from its other starring role in 1984’s Ghostbusters. Two movies for one? That earns it an extra special place on our seasonal list.
5. A Christmas Story (1983)
Photo credit: AChristmasStoryHouse.com
A Christmas Story is the popular story of a young boy called Ralphie, who asks Santa for a BB gun for Christmas. Restored in the decades since the film’s release, the house has since been converted to a museum that celebrates its on-screen history. Among the props and costumes on display on the premises are the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car. Tours around the property are held every day, at the cost of $11 (adults) and $7 (children). Now that’s what we call a ho ho healthy ROI.
4. The Holiday (2006)
Photo credit: HookedOnHouses.net
A tale of two houses swapped by women for Christmas, The Holiday may well be enjoyed by property aficionados more than cinema-goers. Moving between a real California home and a fake English cottage, the film used both Mill House in Surrey and an LA mansion designed by Wallace Neff for its real estate locations. The former can be seen at HookedOnHouses , alongside the real-life UK home owned by another character played by Jude Law, while the nine-bedroom US property sold back in 1998 for $3.25 million.
3. A Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Photo credit: Zillow.com
This Christmas classic has spawned several remakes over the years, but the subsequent movies could never match the original’s memorable house, introduced at the end of the film when young heroine Susan discovers her dream home in Port Washington. The property, which MSN reports covers 1,730 square feet, still looks the same as it did on screen and can be found at 24 Derby Road.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Photo credit: IAmNotAStalker.com
Frank Capra’s seminal seasonal film set in the fictional Bedford Falls was mostly shot on a California set, but while that studio has now been demolished, there are still two surviving locations from the production. One of them is the Martini family home in La Canada, Flintridge, a property whose silver screen status was officially confirmed only a few years ago. It can still be seen at 4587 Viro Road.
1. Home Alone (1990)
Photo credit: HomeAloneHome.ColdwellBanker.com
One of the most iconic movie houses of all time, thanks to its starring role in the 1990 movie, where it not only provides a festive backdrop to events, but plays an active part in the plot. Away from the screen, the Home Alone house went on the market a few years ago, much to the excitement of the movie’s many fans. Sold by Coldwell Banker , the 1920s mansion contains a four-room master suite and covers a half-acre lot in Winnetka, Chicago. The owners originally listed the property with an asking price of $2.4 million but reduced its price to $1.95 million, before finally closing the transaction for $1.585 million in 2012. (Kevin McCallister’s home security system not included.)
Don’t want to be home alone this Christmas?
Treat yourself to a Christmas present to last a lifetime:
What Christmas movie houses do you remember?
Let us know your favourites below!