Sign in to comment!

Luxury

Why Hasn't Anyone Bought the 'Funny Farm' House in Vermont?

  • 82CommonRoadExterior-e1450892777518-d2d3f08c070d1510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    82CommonRoadExterior

  • 82CommonRoadAntiques-e1450892745401-d2d3f08c070d1510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    82CommonRoadAntiques

  • GettyImages-480840001-e145082742918-d2d3f08c070d1510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    Chevy Chase in Funny Farm (2013 Getty Images)

  • 82CommonRoadKitchen-e1450892718838-d2d3f08c070d1510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    82CommonRoadKitchen

  • 82CommonRoadDiningRoom-e14508926504-d2d3f08c070d1510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    82CommonRoadDiningRoom

A quintessential Vermont home -- think historic appeal and surrounded by trees -- used to film the 1988 comedy "Funny Farm" isn't selling.

It's no laughing matter -- although it is baffling given the historic importance of this Federal-style house in Townshend, VT, which dates to 1792. Currently listed for $329,000, the home has had a series of price cuts over the past couple of years.

One reason the house has not been snatched up could be the asking price. The median listing price in Townshend (population 1,149) is $245,000, says listing agent John McPherson.

A second strike against a sale is that the listing for the three-bedroom home is showing its age. The home first popped up for sale in 2007 at an inopportune time.

"It went on the market just as the market was sinking, and they were asking for what would be a fair price in 2010 [$595,000], but not in 2007," says McPherson.

Plus, the market for historic homes in the area is a bit tepid.

"There are a lot of houses of this vintage in the area that are on and off the market," says McPherson. "It's largely a function of the economy." Earlier this year, the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant -- a major area employer -- announced its shutdown, leaving about 600 people without jobs.

And yet this notable house has many cool perks, including its brick exterior.

"Brick houses around here are very unusual. In 1792, you paid somebody several ox carts to bring the bricks in. You couldn't buy them here," says McPherson, adding that there are only a dozen or so brick homes in the area.

The current owners, who poured $150,000 into renovations for the property, realized their dream of operating a bed-and-breakfast, along with an antiques business, on the property.

"They enjoyed doing that, but as they got older they decided to move to Florida," says McPherson. "They were a lot less motivated [to sell in the past] than they are now."

Also in the home: two sitting rooms with fireplaces, a barrel ceiling, a wide front porch, built-ins in the dining room, and themed bathrooms.

"It's a good-sized house, and the quality is there. Since we've dropped the price we've had a fair amount of interest in it," says McPherson.

The '80s farce filmed at the home stars Chevy Chase as a man who uproots his city life for a try at peace, quiet, and hobby farming with his wife. In fact, the film still resonates with locals.

"A lot of people around here were extras in it. It had quite an impact on the community," says McPherson. "This is a landmark house and recognizable by locals. Plus, it was one of the first movies made here."

Other films soon followed the path blazed by Chase and crew. "Me, Myself & Irene" (starring Jim Carrey) and "What Lies Beneath" (starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer) also filmed in the vicinity.

Regardless of whoever steps up to buy this slice of Hollywood in the Northeast, it's likely this historic home will garner better reviews than the movie that was filmed here.