PHOENIX – With the many real estate websites that exist these days, looking at homes on the Internet has never been easier, where people can look up their home’s current value, see what’s for sale in any neighborhood across the country, or decorate . ideas.
Now one man has tapped into people’s real estate obsession and created “Zillow Gone Wild.”
Wealth, prestige and success. Robin Leach tapped into our love of looking at luxury. Then, starting in 2000, MTV showed celebrity cribs.
A peek into someone else’s life is tempting. It’s a way to escape from your own reality, but to be honest, most Americans don’t live in a mansion.
However, in the digital age, it’s easier than ever to look up someone’s home.
“People really personalize their homes,” said Samir Mezrahi. “Sometimes it can be hard to sell again, but they seem to enjoy it, so it’s all good.”
With home listings online, people stuck at home during the pandemic and many looking to move, Mezrahi had an idea.
Mezrahi, who works for Buzzfeed, launched Zillow Gone Wild, an Instagram account in December 2020.
“I’m lucky enough that I started it when I did, and that it took off the way it did,” Mezrahi said.
As of now, the account has 1.6 million followers. It features MLS listings from around the country. Every house has an unusual twist.
Like a home in Cleveland, Ohio with a Jurassic Park vibe…
…Or a pirate ship in Virginia…
…as well as a house in Georgia shaped like a guitar.
“One of the [funniest] one was one in South Carolina that looked like it was blown up like a balloon,” Mezrahi said. “Every time I see it, I smile.”
A mid-century modern in Florida made Zillow Gone Wild, as well as a semi-normal exterior Las Vegas house that has a sex dungeon inside. All of the homes are for sale, and sometimes a home in the Phoenix area is picked up.
Meet Richard Brodie and his partner, Watson. Brodie is trying to sell his home in the Ahwatukee Foothills on E. La Mirada Way. The two-story home has a pool and a golf course view.
“I love this neighborhood,” Brodie said. “Love living at South Mountain, a hidden gem in the Valley.”
In 2014, the British bachelor became obsessed with the game of golf. To go from bogeys to birdies, he got the idea to install a nine-hole putting green in his house!
We asked Brodie what the reaction was from people who had never seen his house.
“The people who like golf are like, I don’t see a problem, sign me up,” Brodie said.
Instead of ripping out the course, Realtor Benjamin Funke with HomeSmart embraced the custom course, and the living room’s green went viral.
“To be featured in the New York Post, Daily Mail, I don’t even know what their advertising rates are, but I’m sure very expensive,” Funke said.
Before his house was put on display, Brodie didn’t realize how much the bill had followed.
“It was interesting to see how different houses are all over America,” Brodie said.
Not many homes get picked up by Zillow Gone Wild.
“These entries, once they’re live, they’re in the wild,” Funke said.
However, this is Funke’s second listing that has been picked up.
His first, was a bungalow with a bright paint job inside and out in the Garfield district of Phoenix.
The former owner was a DJ who made clothes for exotic dancers. Surprisingly, it sold quickly.
“She just lived out her fantasy to the fullest on that one,” Funke said.
That’s the point. It’s your home, so personalize it.
A Scottsdale home with a little league field in the backyard has been viewed by millions. More than a thousand people commented on a house in Scottsdale that had a castle decoration.
Looking at the houses is fun, but Funke says when you go to sell a custom home like this, not everyone will think it’s a hole in one.
“It’s kind of a form of entertainment,” Funke said. “Viral entertainment I’m not sure has very real effects on a real listing.”
Today, Mezrahi is bombarded with MLS entries, and he enjoys sharing them with his audience.
“It was a lot of fun for me, like I said it brings you joy, and I’m happy to do a good thing on the Internet for people,” said Mezrahi.
Many homes on Zillow Gone Wild sell quickly, but the market is changing due to higher mortgage rates, so the putting green home is currently still for sale at $919,900.
Funke believes that if they had put the house on the market just a few months earlier, he believes it would have sold immediately. Timing is everything in real estate