The Craziest House You’ve Ever Seen?

We all had that one friend growing up whose parents were odd.

Remember the first time you went over to that friend’s house?  It was like walking into one of the scary scenes from Alice In Wonderland, or Jacob Two-Two Meets The Hooded Fang (that one especially scared the crap out of me).  And all of a sudden, your friend’s demeanour at school made more sense.

I’m a big fan of crazy houses, but one exterior photo will simply not do.

Take a  look at the following house, and tell me how long you could live there before you’d feel the need to redecorate…

CrazyHouse

I know what you’re all thinking.

But guess what?  You’re wrong.

You all think I’m going to feature “The Clown House” at 222 Chatham Street in Brantford, Ontario, but that was last week’s news.

Truth be told, somebody sent me the link for that listing on Monday morning, but in the world of instant information in 2017, I couldn’t act on it fast enough.

By Monday afternoon, BuzzBuzzNews had a feature running: “The Listing Photos For This Clown Filled Bungalow Are The Stuff Of Nightmares”

By Monday night, there was a story on Vice about the house: “We Found Out What The Hell Is Going On With This House Full of Clowns”

By Tuesday morning, The Star had picked up the story: “You Won’t Believe What’s Inside This House For Sale In Brantford”

The house was pretty creepy, I’ll give it that.

But it was just was just a normal house with strange possessions.

If you want a true crazy house, there are other criteria.

First and foremost, my favourite kind of crazy house looks completely normal from the outside.

The photo I used at the top – that’s the first image that popped up in Google Images when searching “crazy house.”  It looks odd, but it’s actually a masterpiece of modern architecture.  It’s made to look that way.

So when searching for a solid crazy house, just like the one at 222 Chatham Street, it should look normal from the outside, like this one:

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Totally normal, right?

The pink garage panels might not be to your liking, but overall, this house looks normal.

Here’s the back of the house:

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Totally normal!

Not crazy at all!

A lush green lawn, well-manicured trees.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the people that live here are John Normal, and his wife Jane.

It’s really, really nicely landscaped:

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Gorgeous!

And did I mention normal?

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These folks know how to take care of a house.

That’s a top-dollar pool cover right there.

Gone are the days of those blue tarps that sink into the middle of the pool, because the owner used water-filled balloons to keep the tarp in place.

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So now that we know the house is totally normal from the outside, perhaps it’s time to check out the inside?

Black and white.

Jekyll and Hyde.

Oil and water.

And the beat goes on.

This house could not possibly be any different on the inside.

Let’s start with a photo of the foyer:

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Totally reasonable, right?

They just happen to like green.

Well who doesn’t?

Green doors, green steps, green wallpaper, and even green circles and stars in the linoleum tile.

Here’s a shot of the main floor powder room:

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Yup.

Just your standard gold sink and faucet.

The very definition of normal.

Head to the kitchen, and it feels like home:

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It’s not that weird, right?

The living room is where things get a bit weird:

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Where in the world did they find that broadloom?

That’s not an area rug – that’s broadloom!  From corner to corner, and that came off a roll in a warehouse somewhere.

In any event, the leopard looks comfortable.

Here’s the den:

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Nice wood-pannelling, very reminiscent of your basement in 1970.

The Geisha’s with the lamps coming out of their heads are a nice touch.

The dining room takes us back to crazytown, however:

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That’s the same wallpaper that they used in the foyer, FYI.

They must have got a great deal.

The green tile floor must be custom.  They don’t sell those at Home Depot.  I checked.

The family room is kinda cozy:

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The carpet looks just about as lush between your toes as the green grass outside.

And more of that wallpaper eh?

This might be the best room in the house:

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I can’t tell if that’s a mirror to the right of the purple chair, or if that green door is down a half-level, perhaps leading to one of these bedrooms:

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Seriously though, is this bedroom any better than the one with the clowns?

At least there’s a home-phone-line there in case you need to call for help.

I wonder how many channels they get on that TV.

Here’s the master bathroom:

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Awkward.

I have the same poodle statue.

The second “kid’s bedroom” is a bit friendlier:

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It looks really cozy.  And playful.

And I was getting kind of tired of the green wallpaper, so it’s nice to see that red pattern that plays of the bright-red carpet so well.

Here’s the master bedroom, with a circular-bed that we can all relate to:

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Those window coverings are standard, right?

I just know I’ve seen them at Blinds To Go at least once or twice.

The little guy with the umbrella is a nice touch.  For those rainy days…

Love the green toilet here:

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And last but not least, this is the hallway leading to the master closet:

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If these people aren’t Asian, then what do yo make of their obsession with Geisha’s?  One trip too many to the far-east?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the reveal.

Where do you think this house is located?

What country?

Any guesses?

What if I told you this was in the good old US of A?

What state?

Any guesses?

How about……………New Jersey.

Yes, New Jersey.

I’ve never been, but if I ever happen upon the garbage-state, I’ll be sure to find a local Realtor, and take a tour of houses just like this one.

If any of you guys have found crazy houses, I implore you to share!

Can you beat this one?  Give it a try.

17 Comments

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  1. Frances says:

    I think the house is very well done. It’s not my style and I wouldn’t live with that decoration, but I appreciate it for what it is. Once the furniture has gone, I think you would find it fairly easy to do over. I think the kitchen is too dark but is otherwise okay and the bathrooms aren’t all that bad either except for that fancy gold sink. The wallpaper would have to go and probably the carpeting but who knows what is under it. If it’s hardwood, then you don’t have to do anything but clean it.

  2. Alexander says:

    Booo-riiing

  3. Kyle says:

    I don’t know if this place is crazy or pimp, but one thing’s for certain, these people take damn good care of their stuff! Everything is 45+ years old, and still in perfect mint condition. 5 week old IKEA couches show more wear than their sofas. They even have a diving board cozy!

    By the way the 19th Century French Comtoise Clock in their front hall is probably worth about $7K.

  4. Appraiser says:

    I can’t decide which is more garish; that house or Donald Trump’s apartment.

  5. Black Card says:

    my eyes are BLEEDING.

  6. Buckley B. Buckington says:

    Looks nice. I’d probably change a few of the paintings and statues, but this place has A lot more character than the minimalist white/dull grey aesthetic that you see so much of these days.

  7. Condodweller says:

    This house speaks volumes to the character of the owners and I would buy the house in a heartbeat. When I saw the perfect landscaping, the style right away suggested Japanese/Asian owners which was confirmed by the interior decor. Ignoring the style, it is a beautifully and meticulously decorated place which is perfectly maintained.

    This is not a crazy house at all. The only thing crazy about it is the fact that someone is calling it crazy.

  8. Joel says:

    This makes me think of some of the gaudy houses in Forest Hill and Rosedale if they had been owned by Chinese grandparents. Everything looks well done and coordinated, just overly lavish and bizarre compared to what I am used to seeing.

  9. Libertarian says:

    So the first question that comes to my mind is….if this house is for sale, what is the strategy? Do you stage it to try to get top dollar? Do you try to do some renovations yourself to maximize the price? Or do you sell it for 50 cents on the dollar because the buyer will have to renovate every square inch of the place?

    The bottom line is that I’m thinking that the owners will leave a lot of money on the table, so I hoped they enjoyed the house. Unless they got the house for free, they’ll probably lose a lot of money. So much for housing being an appreciating asset.

    1. Ralph Cramdown says:

      You should recognize this place for what it is… A 4 bedroom house on well landscaped, oversized lot, a short and easy commute into Manhattan, and it sold in under two weeks for half a million US, which was no discount to other places in the neighbourhood. There’s nothing wrong with the place that isn’t quick, easy and cheap to fix. Just call Home Depot, tell them you need ten gallons of eggshell, five gallons of beige, 50 Decora switches, receptacles and covers, a couple of bathroom vanities, stainless kitchen appliances, some flooring, window treatments and light fixtures, and you can have a home that looks like every other boring suburban tract home in under a month.

      I like how industry people always say that “today’s buyers are savvier than ever” but can’t see past dated wallpaper, and are easily fooled by a bit of rented furniture.

      1. Ralph Cramdown says:

        Buckley B. Buckington is right, and I’m out of date. Ten gallons of eggshell and five gallons of flat grey.

      2. Libertarian says:

        I guess it depends on what your definition of “…quick, easy and cheap to fix” is. To me, it looks like a lot of work, so I wouldn’t pay market rate for the house. Why pay market rate when you have to spend $100,000 to $200,000 changing the place to your liking? Granted, I’m not a general contractor, so I have no idea how much essentially gutting the interior of the house would cost. It seems to be a lot more work than covering everything in paint. Chances are that other houses on the street, which have all the same characteristics (a 4 bedroom house on well landscaped, oversized lot, a short and easy commute into Manhattan) would require less work, so why pay top dollar for this house?

        On the other hand, if the buyer likes everything, then congrats to both of them. Talk about a match made in heaven!

        1. Ralph Cramdown says:

          It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to do a really rough estimate on reno costs (i.e. “cheap” or “expensive”). Foundation work? Exterior walls or windows? Replumbing? Changing HVAC? Major electrical work? Roof? Interior bearing walls? That’s the stuff that is expensive. If you’re not doing that, things are pretty cheap. I literally gave you a bill of materials to fix this house, and you replied by suggesting a $100k-$200k gut job — for an apparently well maintained house built in the late 1960s????. If you are a homeowner, or are ever planning to be one, you owe it to yourself to learn a little bit about this, just so your contractor doesn’t rip you off.

          When I said “oversized lot” I didn’t mean the same size as every other house in the neighbourhood, because that wouldn’t be oversized. This house is on 1/3 of an acre, and close to the New Jersey Turnpike, feeding right into the Holland Tunnel to downtown Manhattan. It wasn’t on the market long.

          1. Libertarian says:

            As I wrote, your to-do list is a lot shorter than mine would be, hence my $100,000 price tag. Yes, the landscaping is nice and well maintained, but everything on the inside seems to need much more work than simple cosmetic updates. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
            If you and the other commenters who like the house think that it’ll be very fast, easy, and cheap to change the look of the house to make it somewhat decent, and the buyers got a steal, then I’ll take your word for it.

            Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

          2. Condodweller says:

            @Libertarian I believe Ralph’s point is to erase the style to make the house your average home with beige walls to appease most buyers only requires you to pull off all the wallpaper and paint it, which is relatively cheap. You definitely would not need to gut the place. Replacing some flooring is understating it a bit as I think all of the broadloom would need to be pulled and depending on the replacement material it could get pricey. But nowhere near $100,000.

        2. Libertarian says:

          Sorry Condodweller, but Ralph’s to-do list was much more than walls and floors. That was the point of my original comment: as a buyer, I wouldn’t pay top dollar/full price/full market value (whatever you want to call it) for a house that needs work.

          If trying to buy a house for less money makes me NOT a “savvy” buyer, then I don’t want to be one.

          Must be nice for all of you who like the house to have enough money to buy it for top dollar AND update the interior. Since all of you have so much money, if you’re ever looking for a car, I’ll sell you a “well-maintained” 1985 Cadillac Seville for the same price as a 2015 Cadillac CTS. I’m sure that ’85 Caddy would go well with that house. You can paint it to match the house.

      3. KatLyn says:

        I agree with you Ralph. If today’s buyers are so “savvy” why can’t they see past the decor? I think that is a well-maintained house on a lovely lot in a good location. Wallpaper, carpeting, and even fixtures are fairly easy to change. The furniture, statues, pictures, etc. will all be gone when the new owner moves in.

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