Zillow Gone Wild posts make Fort Worth man's home an internet sensation

Zillow Gone Wild posts make Fort Worth man’s home an internet sensation

Jimmy Bradley’s party home was languishing a little on the market. Then Zillow Gone Wild discovered it.

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 almost as unique and indescribable as the owner himself.

“I didn’t really realize how important that 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 studio is that over 4,000 square feet of its space is given over to an enclosed entertainment area. It has a heated swimming pool with a slide and a diving board surrounded by an artificial grass area with an outdoor kitchen and table tennis, billiards and air hockey tables.

“I have a lot of really good clients who have been very successful in life and have traveled all over the world, and their reaction is they have this big smile on their face, and they say, ‘Jimmy, I’ have visited many beautiful, fabulous and lavish homes, but have never seen anything like it.

Zillow Gone Wild shares interesting real estate listings found on Zillow, such as a three-bedroom house in South Carolina that looks like a large teapot and a “butterfly house” in California.

Since Tuesday, the Fort Worth house has obtained 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, part 1980s drug lord. I LOVE IT,” Facebook user Jamee Smith Gomez said in a Facebook comment. Another, Amber Dillon, tweeted “this is the party house you wish you had access to as a kid during the winter”.

On Thursday, listing agent Lance Blann of Dave Perry Miller Real Estate got a screenshot of the house from Facebook while on vacation in Mexico.

“When I logged in there, there were already 3,500 comments,” Blann said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

He then began receiving calls from friends, other agents and the media, followed by messages from investors and their agents. He even heard of a company that scouts movie locations.

“Anyone running this Zillow Gone Wild page, they don’t realize the power they have,” Blann said.

The big tour

The house is the brainchild of Bradley, 76, owner of Bradley Insurance Agency in Fort Worth and who Blann describes as “your quintessential Fort Worth eclectic cowboy.” Bradley bought the house about three years ago as a side project, his first time buying a home to renovate.

“My God, I saw what this house could be,” he said. “It was just something that I thought was a lot of fun.”

Bradley gave The Dallas Morning News a home visit on Monday. He has a systematic method of showing it to guests, leading to a big reveal. It begins with the bedrooms near the front of the house, one of which has an access door that opens directly onto the patio.

Homeowner Jimmy Bradley, 76, sits at his desk in the office of his home in Fort Worth.
Homeowner Jimmy Bradley, 76, sits at his desk in the office of his home in Fort Worth.(Rebecca Slezak / Staff Photographer)

Next, he ushers guests into a dimly lit office he’s turned into a bedroom, lined with antiques such as animal-print chairs, carvings, and a mother-of-pearl mirror. Much of the decor he purchased from Habitat for Humanity.

“I wanted this thing to wow you, everywhere you look,” Bradley said. I put my mind in this business.

Once his guests arrive in the master bedroom — complete with a sofa, fireplace, and bathtub — he keeps the curtains closed on the windows. At this point, the guests can 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 swimming pool and the huge enclosed entertainment area.

The walls are decorated with giant advertisements for beer he bought from a liquor store in a building he owned and which he says date from the 1940s.

The entire entertainment area and even the front yard are covered in artificial grass which he also purchased from Habitat from Humanity. He was told it came from the football field at Texas Christian University. Many people online mistakenly thought that grass was carpet.

The heated indoor swimming pool at Jimmy Bradley's house is equipped with a slide and a diving board.
The heated indoor swimming pool at Jimmy Bradley’s house is equipped with a slide and a diving board.(Rebecca Slezak / Staff Photographer)

Bradley has hosted about 30 home birthday parties, three weddings, family reunions and Super Bowl parties.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re 3 or 83, they’re going crazy,” Bradley said. “Kids just have fun with it.

“I’m aware that whoever buys this will do whatever they want with it,” Bradley said. “But I had fun and I wasn’t afraid to stay in the box. I went off the beaten path with this, pretty much.

The struggle to sell

Blann, the real estate agent, was introduced to the house by his friend Clint, Bradley’s son. Blann imagines the house might go to a “Fort Worth playboy” type of buyer, someone who wants a home strictly for entertaining and hosting big parties.

“It kind of gives me the old school Jack Ruby vibes from the Kennedy era,” Blann said. “When we first walked in there, I looked at Clint and said, ‘Why the hell didn’t we party here? “”

It would also be ideal for a large family, he said, as the adjoining studio could be ideal for a teenager or in-laws.

The gated area behind Jimmy Bradley's Fort Worth home includes many games...
The gated area at the back of Jimmy Bradley’s Fort Worth home includes plenty of games and entertainment for guests. The house has over a dozen televisions.(Rebecca Slezak / Staff Photographer)

Blann first listed the house in July for $795,000, but interest from serious clients was scarce and she only got five or six showings. He dropped the price last week to $745,000.

Now that the house has attracted so much attention, will it sell faster?

“People just don’t know what to do with house, honestly,” Blann said. “It’s a big house in a neighborhood of small houses, and not everyone needs 4,000 square feet of recreation space and an indoor pool.”

The house was attracting attention on social media even before Zillow Gone Wild. Some agents were visiting the house just to promote themselves in TikTok videos, Blann said.

“All the young media people from the Metroplex were trying to go to this house to do their promotional videos,” he said. “It was getting too heavy, trying to coordinate getting the owner out, setting the house up; it has become too much.

Gone mad

The man behind the house going viral is Samir Mezrahi, 40, a New York-based social media director for Buzzfeed who started the Zillow Gone Wild Instagram account in December 2020 out of personal interest in browsing house listings on the Zillow SEO site.

“I felt like a lot of people were doing the same thing, maybe they were working from home, maybe they wanted to move out of aspiration, maybe they were actually thinking about moving,” said said Mezrahi. “I launched the account, and it really exploded 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 house has become one of the most popular houses he has ever published.

“In a lot of homes, from the outside, you can’t tell what the unique things are. happens inside,” he said. “And that [house] just had the ultimate indoor pool cooling space. It was really fun.

Bradley says the house reflects his personality, centered on welcoming everyone.

“I wanted to do it my way, kind of like old Frank Sinatra says,” he said. “Here’s what I want this house to say when they walk in: ‘Come in. Let’s have a little fun. “

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