The Real Life Simpsons House Is An Absolute Nightmare

By Brian Myers | Published

simpsons house

Jeff Charney was serving as marketing director for Nevada home builders Kaufman and Broad when he was struck with a unique idea: Build an actual 3-D replica of the Simpsons house as a publicity stunt, putting it front and center in a development attributed to his employer. But what would be a dream come true for many fans quickly evolved into an outright nightmare for the neighborhood, the developers, and the eventual owners of the Simpsons house. The neighborhood association hated the design and the obnoxious colors, the home drove a lot of unwanted traffic into the quiet residential neighborhood that hosted it, and the developers soon found themselves with a house that was nearly impossible to move.

The Simpsons House

simpsons house

The Simpsons home itself was a pretty simple structure from the outside, the designers at Kaufman and Broad commenting that it was just a “box-on-box” design that had a garage attached to it. The developers watched scores of episodes so that every interior detail could be perfect. This went beyond the shapes of doorways and the bright colors on the walls of each room.

The little details were really what made the Simpsons house seem authentic. Mouse holes were painted on walls, an oil stain painted on the driveway, Snowball II’s food dish was placed in the kitchen, and Bart’s treehouse was built in the backyard. The fridge contained cans of Duff beer (Mmmm, beer), Bart’s closet had a row of his shirt/shorts combo, and Lisa’s saxophone was leaning against her bed.

A Winner Is Found

simpsons house

The Simpsons house contest quickly came together and excited executives at Fox just as much as the heads of Kaufman and Broad. Fans bought Pepsi products that contained unique numbers for chances to win the house in a random drawing, the developers got attention, and the show itself was heading for a giant start to the 97/98 season.

The winning number was drawn and shown on screen during the season nine premiere episode, “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson.” But when no one came forward, the backup plan to draw from mail-in entries was initiated. The Simpsons house was awarded to a 63-year-old woman from Kentucky, who ultimately decided that she didn’t want the home and opted for the $75,000 cash prize instead.

A House No One Wanted

This put Kaufman and Broad in an awkward position. They raced to repaint the Simpsons home a neutral color to get the homeowner’s association off their backs and were forced to seal it off and hire 24/7 security guards to keep it safe from curiosity seekers that had been breaking in to swipe objects. It sat empty until a former secretary from Kaufman and Broad noticed the company had the house on the market.

While she didn’t recognize it at first from the exterior photos, she quickly realized the work that would need to be done to the Simpsons house to make it livable. The “dizzying array of colors” on the interior walls needed to be painted, carpeting installed, drywall damaged from looters replaced, and other small fixes.

Fans Drove The Owner Nuts

But after the Simpsons house was remodeled, her family had to deal with unwelcome visitors. In an interview, she recalled how people would show up and demand to see the inside. The traffic from fans wanting a look at the outside was constant, and her mailbox was flooded with letters addressed to members of the Simpsons family.

The House Endures

In the nearly three decades since it was first constructed, the hype surrounding the house has largely been forgotten. The former secretary remains there, serving as the sole owner of what will forever be known as the Simpsons house.

The show drones on, too, nearly 800 episodes, a movie, and dozens of Emmys to its name.

Sources: Mental Floss