The Playboy Mansion Is for Sale, if You’re Willing to Live With Hugh Hefner

Hefner, as immortalized by Madame Tussauds. Photo credit: Cliff, CC BY 2.0.

Real estate aficionados take note: the Playboy Mansion is for sale.

The Mansion was originally constructed in 1927, and has subsequently been renovated to include features such as a zoo (as The Hollywood Reporter notes, “the Mansion is one of America’s few private residences with a zoo license”), a home theater, and—of course—the Grotto.

The person buying the mansion will also get one more permanent feature: Hugh Hefner.

To quote CBS News:

[Real estate broker Greg Harris] said the house appraises for about $35 million. But he acknowledges there is added historical value to the 22,000 square foot Holmby Hills home, like Graceland, or Michael Jackson’s Neverland.

But there is a catch: the buyer has to agree to a roommate, Hefner himself.

“Hefner would be able to stay in the house until he dies,” said Harris. “We haven’t seen it at that price point ever happen before. It happens from time to time.”

(I should add that CBS News also already snagged the title I wanted to use for this piece: “Playboy Mansion could soon sell for a Hef-ty price.” I would have left the hyphen out of “hefty.”)

If you’re a This American Life fan, you might remember their story “Deal of a Lifetime” in Episode 314: It’s Never Over. Sarah Koenig tells the story of her stepsister Rue, and her decision to buy a home that came with a similar bargain:

The deal was this: Rue moved into her dream house at $110,000 discount. The catch was Ned, an elderly, sick man, who sold the house cheap on one condition, that he never have to move out. Rue lives in the upstairs apartment. Ned lives in the more spacious downstairs, where he will stay until he dies.

It occurs to me that this could be one solution to our current real estate problem. Aging adults who don’t want to downsize out of their homes could sell the houses at a discount to the younger generation on the condition that the older adults get to spend the remainder of their lives there.

It’s the type of solution that comes with as many problems as it solves (would the new homeowners also be responsible for eldercare?) but I could also see it being attractive to a lot of people. Maybe the older generation could even throw in all of their furniture, since we already know that their children and grandchildren might not have the place to store it. Win-win!

Would you buy a home that came with an existing tenant, whether or not it was the Playboy Mansion? Or do you want any home you own to be completely yours?

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