The 1986 movie The Money Pit was a comedy of house errors, showing just about everything that could possibly go wrong with a fixer upper. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long played a young couple that bought a house that seemed too good to be true.
They filmed the exterior shots at a Long Island mansion known as Northway, which imitated life by falling into a serious state of disrepair itself for a while after the movie was made.
In The Money Pit, Walter and Anna bought this place for $200,000, but the real thing is on the market for $4.5 million. At least it’s already been fixed up for you — take a look!
The Real “Money Pit” House
At the end of the movie, they added window boxes to indicate the renovations were complete:
The listing says:
“A quarter-mile gated drive introduces Northway, a grand estate lovingly and meticulously restored, featuring elaborate moldings and ebony wood floors.”
It’s a big place, with a whopping 14,000 square feet.
In the DVD Special Features, Director Richard Benjamin shows the model of the house
they used when planning stunts. This is the back of the house on the model:
And the interiors were recreated on a soundstage, so no houses were harmed during the filming of the movie.
One of my pet peeves was they didn’t show us how all the rooms turned out in the end.
We did see the staircase and entry hall, though:
And we got a glimpse of the rooms on either side of it, but they weren’t furnished or decorated.
This is what the real entry hall and staircase look like:
Love that it has a fireplace in it, and I prefer the wood floors it has.
The house was built in 1898.
The dining room seats 28, according to this article. Plenty of space for entertaining, as they’d say on “House Hunters.” 😉
“A crew of 30 spent a year and a half gutting the house, taking down ceilings, ripping out the cast-iron radiators, redoing the plumbing, heating and electrical systems, installing a cedar roof that cures to gray, not brown, and restoring the home to the splendor of Long Island’s Gilded Age.”
Moments later, the tub crashed through the floor and landed here:
It has 8 bedrooms + 10 baths.
There are 8 fireplaces throughout the house, including one in the “opulent 4-room master suite.”
Hard to imagine what a young couple like Walter and Anna in The Money Pit would do with such a big, formal house. You could lose each other in a place like this!
In the movie, the kitchen was a dangerous room to spend time in:
Remember this scene, in which a simple flick of the light switch ended up destroying much of the room?
This is the real kitchen, and its electrical system is presumably more reliable:
The house was owned by Olympic gold medalist Eric Ridder when the movie was filmed here, but it later fell into disrepair.
Here’s how the back of the house looked in the movie (a miniature model was used for some scenes):
New doors and windows have been added since then.
The property also comes with a saltwater pool and a 6-car garage.
The Money Pit was loosely based on the classic Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House:
They dressed up the front of the house for the wedding scene in the movie with ribbons, flowers, and garland.
The current owners of Northway say art imitated life for them when they bought the house in 2002, telling the NYT, “We didn’t realize how bad it was. The house was falling apart when you went from room to room. We definitely could have done a Money Pit sequel.”