Jimmy Bradley’s party house was languishing a bit on the market. Then Zillow Gone Wild found out.
Now fans of unusual houses on the market are trying to figure out what it reminds them of. The house at 1809 Carl St. in Fort Worth is listed on Zillow and went viral in social media posts from an account called Zillow Gone Wild late last week. The property is nearly as unique and indescribable as the owner himself.
“I didn’t really know how big a deal it was,” Bradley said. “I knew the house was special, but I never even thought the world would find out.”
The highlight of the 7,000-square-foot, three-bedroom home with an attached study is that more than 4,000 square feet of its space is devoted to an enclosed entertaining area. It has a heated swimming pool with a slide and diving board surrounded by a grassy area with an outdoor kitchen and table tennis, pool and air hockey tables.
“I have a lot of nice clients who have been very successful in life and have traveled all over the world, and their reaction is they have this big old smile on their faces, and they say, ‘Jimmy, I’ve been to many nice houses, fabulous and sumptuous, but I have never seen anything like it.'”
Zillow Gone Wild shares interesting real estate listings found on Zillow, such as a three-bedroom home in South Carolina that looks like a big teapot and a “butterfly house” in California.
As of Tuesday, the Fort Worth home has gotten 105,000 likes on Twitter and nearly 31,000 likes on Instagram. On Facebook, the post received 8,600 reactions and 4,300 comments.
“Part Dave and Buster’s, part 80s drug lord. I LOVE IT,” said one Facebook user, Jamee Smith Gomez, in a Facebook comment. Another, Amber Dillon, tweeted “this is the party house you wish you had access to as a kid this winter.”
Dave Perry Miller Real Estate listing agent Lance Blann took a screenshot of the home on Facebook on Thursday while on vacation in Mexico.
“When I logged in, there were already 3,500 comments,” Blann said. “I could not believe it.”
He then began receiving calls from friends, other agents and the media, followed by messages from investors and their agents. You’ve also heard of a company that scouts filming locations for movies.
“Whoever runs that Zillow Gone Wild page, they don’t realize the power they have,” Blann said.
The big tour
The house is the creation of Bradley, 76, who owns the Bradley Insurance Agency in Fort Worth and whom Blann describes as “the quintessential Fort Worth eclectic cowboy.” Bradley bought the house about three years ago as a side project, the first time he’d bought a home for renovation.
“Good heavens, I saw what that house might be,” he said. “It was just something I thought would be a lot of fun.”
Bradley gave the Dallas Morning News a tour of the house on Monday. He has a systematic method of showing it to guests, leading to a big reveal. He starts with the bedrooms near the front of the house, one of which has an access door directly onto the patio.
Then she takes guests into a dimly lit office she’s transformed from a bedroom, lined with antiques like animal-print chairs, sculptures, and a mother-of-pearl mirror. Much of the furniture bought from Habitat for Humanity.
“I wanted this thing to amaze you, everywhere you look,” Bradley said. “I put my spirit into this business.”
Once her guests arrive in the master bedroom, complete with sofa, fireplace, and soaking tub, she keeps the curtains drawn over the windows. By this time, guests may already be sold.
That’s when he quotes the late radio host Paul Harvey: “Now, are you ready for the rest of the story?” He opens the curtains to reveal the pool and huge enclosed entertainment area.
The walls are decorated with giant advertisements for beer he got from a liquor store in a building he owns, which he assumes date back to the 1940s.
The entire entertainment area and even the front yard is covered in artificial grass which he also purchased from Habitat from Humanity. He was told it was from the Texas Christian University football field. Many people online mistakenly thought turf was carpet.
Bradley has held about 30 birthday parties at the house, three weddings, family reunions and Super Bowl parties.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re 3 or 83, they go crazy,” Bradley said. “The boys have fun.
“I’m aware that whoever buys it is going to do whatever they want,” Bradley said. “But I enjoyed it and wasn’t worried about staying in the box. I went outside the box with this one, pretty much.”
The struggle to sell
Blann, the real estate agent, was introduced to the house through his friend Clint, Bradley’s son. Blann figures the home might go to a “Fort Worth playboy” type of buyer, someone who wants a home solely for entertaining and hosting large parties.
“It kind of gives me old-school Jack Ruby vibes from the Kennedy era,” Blann said. “When we first walked in, I looked at Clint and said, ‘Why the hell didn’t we have a party here?'”
It would also be perfect for a large family, she said, as the attached studio could be ideal for a teenager or in-laws.
Blann first listed the house in July for $795,000, but interest from serious clients was low and it only got five or six showings. It dropped the price last week to $745,000.
Now that the house has received so much attention, will it sell any faster?
“People just don’t know what to do with the house, honestly,” said Blann. “It’s a big house in a neighborhood of smaller homes, and not everyone needs 4,000 square feet of recreation area and an indoor pool.”
The house was gaining attention on social media even before Zillow Gone Wild. Some agents only visited the house to promote themselves in TikTok videos, Blann said.
“Every young media-savvy agent in the Metroplex was looking to go to that house to do their own promotional videos,” he said. “It must be too much, trying to coordinate to get the owner out, fix the house; it just became too much.”
The man behind the house’s viral spread is Samir Mezrahi, 40, a New York-based Buzzfeed social media director who started the Zillow Gone Wild Instagram account in December 2020 out of a personal interest in browsing home listings. on classifieds site Zillow.
“I felt like a lot of people out there were doing the same, maybe they were working from home, maybe they wanted to relocate aspirational, maybe they were really thinking about relocating,” Mezrahi said. “I opened the account, and it really blew from the start.”
He launched Zillow Gone Wild on Twitter, Facebook and TikTok as well as a newsletter with nearly 100,000 subscribers. The Instagram account now has 1.7 million followers.
Mezrahi said the Fort Worth home has become one of the most popular homes he has ever published.
“In many homes, from the outside, you can’t tell what unique things are happening inside,” she said. “And that [house] only had the last space to relax in the indoor pool. It was really fun.”
Bradley says the house reflects his personality, which is all about welcoming everyone.
“I wanted to do it my way, kind of like old Frank Sinatra says,” he said. “Here’s what I want that house to say when they walk in there: ‘Come in. Let’s have some fun.’