It's a case of life imitating art, or at least Hollywood.
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The mansion from the classic 1986 comedy ‘The Money Pit,' located in Long Island, has finally been sold, but at a big loss and after millions of dollars in restorations, according to real estate records.
The film, featuring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a couple attempted to renovate a nightmare of a Gilded Age home, made the Locust Valley mansion a familiar sight, but the allure of living in a “Hollywood” home turned out to have little bearing on its value.
Rich and Christina Makowsky bought the residence 17 years ago for $2.12 million and spent $5.9 million on renovations. Despite the investments, however, it sold for just $3.5 million, according to Newsday.
The property was only used for exterior shots in the movie, with interior filming for ‘The Money Pit’ done mostly on a sound stage. Probably for the best when filming scenes like a collapsing staircase, a claw-foot bathtub plummeting through a floor and spontaneous electrical combustion in the kitchen, but even so, the house needed plenty of work.
When the Makowskys bought Northway, they added all new appliances, a new pool house and nine-foot white gates at the home's entrance.
“We didn't realize how bad it was,” Rich told The New York Times in 2014, when the home went on the market for $12.5 million. “The house was falling apart when you went from room to room. We definitely could have done the sequel.”
The restoration process lasted well over a year, including an upgrade of the mansion’s plumbing and the installation of a new roof made of cedar, but the couple were confident of turning a profit.
“It will be the anti-money pit,” real estate agent Shawn Elliot told the website Zillow in 2014.
But the current broker for the home, Lois Kirchenbaum, says that it was not “appropriately priced” at the time despite its beauty and grandeur.
“It was a very ambitious price at the time," Kirchenbaum told the Daily Mail. "Now, we had a price that is well worth the listing price. It's a beautiful home, beautifully done with all-new high-end appliances.”
The newest buyer’s identity is currently being kept secret, but Newsday said the purchaser is from Long Island
Northway was built in 1898 and boasts 23 rooms including eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a chef's kitchen, a six-car garage and an in-ground saltwater pool.