A Home for the Holidays

It’s interesting that home ownership plays a role in two of the most popular Christmas movies: Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life.

In 34th Street, Santa literally dons a real estate agent’s hat to ensure that the young girl secures the ranch house of her dreams at the end of the film. (Sorry, should I have marked this as a spoiler?)

Wonderful Life is pretty much an advertisement for home ownership, noting that that have and have nots can be divided between owners and renters (from Mr. Potter, no less).

At the core of Wonderful Life, James Stewart and Donna Reed pretty much break into an abandoned house (with around five bedrooms for their future family) and fix it up over the years. There’s a house exactly like it in our neighborhood here in Hampstead– five bedrooms, three sitting rooms, pretty much boarded up. In fact, we saw squatters forcibly removed from it about a year ago, and fresh boards put over windows and doors.

In fact, it is the quintessential Wonderful Life house– corner lot, literally faces the open grass of Hamptead Heath, a turret, a garage. It went on the market about four months ago, and workers moved it to strip the interior. Their signs are all gone now, but the for sale sign is still in the window.

In our Christmas mood, and being have-not renters, we looked up the listing today, simply knowing we could move in like Stewart and Reed and fix the place up over several years. I could just image the school parties I could host in such a home, and models of bridges and skyscrapers in the main parlor.

Here’s the listing:

House for Sale


In sum, they want 3.25 million pounds for the shell. Yeah, we know a lot of families with kids who could sign off on that mortgage. Mr. Potter strikes again! :)

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