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 “Money Pit” House
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 8 bedrooms, 10 baths, and a whopping 14,000 square feet.
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 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.
It still makes me mad that 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.
The real house also needed a lot of work:
“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.”
After they filled the tub with hot water (above), it crashed through the floor (below):
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?
The house was owned by Olympic gold medalist Eric Ridder when the movie was filmed here.
The back of the house in the movie (below):
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.”
For photos and information about 199 Feeks Lane in Locust Valley, New York, check the listing
held by Margaret Trautmann and Lois Kirschenbaum at Daniel Gale Associates.
Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see the others I’ve featured, listed A-Z.