With so many amazing homes in Central Florida, we thought about what would be the coolest homes to inspect in our immediate area. Believe it or not, there are so many famous houses here!
And of course, we don’t think Cinderella’s Castle counts.
So in no particular order, here are our TOP 5 coolest houses in the area that we would LOVE to inspect:
1) Bartow’s “Wonderhouse”
Referred to as “The Crazy House” by some, this one has a fun story behind it. It was built by a man named Conrad Schuck. Schuck was given only 1 year to live by his doctors in the early 1920s.
He moved his family to Bartow in 1926 and built his dream home with his sons. The home has “ingenious touches” and unique features that you just have to see. It would be a super cool experience to inspect this one.
Er, on second thought, maybe just a walk-through to check it out may be our real desire!
2) The “My Girl” House
Remember this classic? The home from this 1991 classic film starred Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd.
This famous house was built in 1906. At 7,396 square feet under roof (per property appraiser data), this large home last sold for $382,500 in 2019. Now, it’s estimated to be worth $491,329.
Quite the increase in 2 years!
We drive by it sometimes, and it’s hard not to remember scenes from the movie. Let’s BEE honest, you know it jerked a tear or two from you, too.
UPDATE: This one recently went back on the market for sale (July 2021) for a cool $675K. Talk about a robust market! (Checkout our related blog post – Lakeland/Winter Haven 2nd fastest growing in US).
Last week, it was actually the most popular listing on Realtor.com. Let’s hope it finds a buyer who can bring out the best of her, while restoring and preserving the Victorian charm and history.
3) Usonian House
Located at Florida Southern College, this masterpiece highlights Frank Lloyd Wright’s affinity for cypress. This was originally designed in 1939. However, it was newly constructed in 2013 to serve as a tourism and education visitor’s center for the college.
We are so fortunate to have a vast collection of his works in our community. In fact, the college is the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world!
Usonian was derived from the word Usonia and referred to the USA in general. It became a type of residential architecture formed during his later years. These homes embody the philosophy to provide affordable housing with sensible, good design to the masses of our nation.
Maybe you’ve heard of prefabricated house kits from Sears, many of which still stand today. He felt he could do that even better.
The concept never fully took off at full scale, as only around 60 of these types of homes were built around the country. Yet, the contribution of thought and design to our housing can’t be overlooked.
Key elements are simplified systems to minimize cost. Therefore, these single-story homes had no garages, attics, or basements, and space is intended to be efficient and naturally well-lit.
Large, cantilevered overhangs were a part of the design to maximize natural cooling and passive heating potential. As always, a visual connection to nature was an important part of his design, rendering these houses famous for their unique concept.
RELATED: FLORIDA HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
4) Edward Scissorhands
Another early 90’s classic! Who can forget this movie?
Not us! The famous house where Johnny Depp trimmed the hedges to look like dinosaurs sold for a modest $230k just last year.
It’s actually a nice but very simple home in Lutz that might be worth more to movie buffs that loved this film. But it would be an incredible experience to grace the halls and walls with our “inspector eyes.”
5) Derek Jeter’s Mansion
For only a cool $29 million, you can have Derek Jeter’s waterfront Tampa mansion on Davis Islands. But you’d first have to kick Tom Brady out, who
is was the tenant. No, we wouldn’t want to inconvenience the G.O.A.T. After all, he seems like a nice guy, and we finally have another Super Bowl victory largely because of him in “Champa Bay.” So he definitely has a lifetime free lunch in these parts as far as we’re concerned.
But we don’t serve lunch, we inspect houses! At over 32k square feet under roof, this is easily the most famous house on the block and is absolutely HUGE. It was custom built for Jeter and his family in 2012, and is nicknamed “St. Jetersburg.”
We would certainly have to set several days aside (and maybe utilize specialists for some systems) to inspect this one properly, but it sure would be neat to do it!
UPDATE: This one sold in May 2021 for about $22.5M to an undisclosed buyer (Apparently not TB12). Not quite the asking price, but still a hefty chunk of change.
Although homes recently have been selling over asking price in our very popular market, it’s important to remember that homes over a certain value play by a different set of rules than conventional residential homes. It’s really like a whole different marketplace at that price-point.