Harry Potter's legendary cupboard under the stairs could be the next hot feature in California real estate.
A home seller in San Diego's Logan Heights has listed her nearly 100-year old, 1,322-square-foot home with a unique feature: A Harry Potter-style storage room underneath the stairs. The asking price for the property is $425,000.
Readers of the popular book will remember Harry's cruel aunt and uncle, his guardians after the death of his parents, made him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Harry eventually left the home on Privet Drive in Surrey, England, for greener pastures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The room was made iconic in the film series with a young Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role.
Owner Kristin Rye said she would read the books to her son, and while she admits she isn't a super fan or anything, it still was the first thing that popped into her head when trying to describe the storage room. In addition to other features, the short listing reads: "Large 'Harry Potter' storage room underneath stairs."
"It's exactly what it is," she said of the first-floor storage room. "It's just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don't know how else to describe it."
Rye said she was mainly hoping to convey it is an old house that has storage.
Despite a slowing real estate market, the house is on its way to selling quickly. Rye said a young couple has made an offer on the home and there is a chance it could enter escrow by the end of the week. Because of privacy laws, she couldn't say much about the potential buyers. No word on if the cupboard under the stairs was a selling point.
The home was listed for sale on June 24 and offers were not accepted until the open house on June 30. So, it basically got an instant offer.
Looking like a scene out of the first Harry Potter movie, the storage room is a shabby closet that looks like only a bad person would require someone to sleep in. It is 3.5 feet wide and 10 feet long, and any muggle taller than 5'10" would hit their head on the ceiling.
In the film version of the book, Harry has managed to put most of his modest possessions in the cupboard with a small bed. In one scene, his spoiled cousin Dudley runs up and down the stairs, knocking dust and dirt down on Harry.
Warner Bros. recreated the room for its studio tour in London, but it isn't the first time it has shown up in real estate. An Airbnb host in metropolitan Seattle is advertising a Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs for $36 a night, and a dad in Connecticut made waves online for making his own replica (much nicer) for his two sons.
For Harry Potter fans not used to the California real estate market, the $425,000 price tag isn't that out of the ordinary for a 99-year old home. The median home price for a San Diego County resale single-family home was $620,000 in May. It is still high for the Logan Heights area, but it has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, which is hard to come by for less than $500,000 just about anywhere in the region.
The property also has a parking spot, space in the back for a garden and a pull-up bar (possibly for for Quidditch training). The home needs some work, but it isn't as bad as some lower-cost homes seen for sale lately.
It has the characteristics of a very old house: Creaky floors, a musky smell, carpet, stained windows (not intentionally) and plenty of cobwebs. However, it is very close to downtown and only a few blocks from the San Diego Trolley, a sort of Platform 3/4 called the "25th & Commercial" stop.
Rye and her husband aren't major real estate investors, but decided to purchase the Logan Heights home at 2036 Harrison Avenue during the Great Recession. Property records put the sale at $120,000. They rented the home for 10 years and are selling it as her family prepares for a move to Washington.
Expect plenty of Harry Potter tomfoolery in San Diego in two weeks when Comic-Con starts. A Harry Potter cosplay gathering will be held outside July 19 at 10 a.m., according to the Facebook event page, and the newly released Harry Potter: Wizards Unite augmented reality game is sure to be lighting up mobile phones.