Zillow House of the Month: Eat Your Heart Out, “Bridgerton”

It seems to happen in the blink of an eye: One minute we’re staying out until 3 a.m. on a Wednesday and the next we’re Zillowing houses we could never afford and critiquing their floor plans. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s just something thrilling about hating on a multi-million dollar mansion that doesn’t have a wine cellar. And to provide you with ample real estate ammo, we’re rounding up a new house each month for your perusing pleasure. From sprawling estates to compounds that rival the Kennedys’, behold… Betches’ Zillow House of the Month. 

September’s selection is, truthfully, going to be hard to detest, but we wanted to give you an idea of the “houses” we’re showcasing. We’re not looking at the four-bed/three-bath suburban nightmare that 95% of us are going to end up in (myself included). We’re talking about the places where a full staff and Moira Rose accent are required, and first up is this casual $87,000,000 Zillow listing. If you got a little lightheaded counting those zeros, I can confirm: This is an eight-bedroom/14-bath house that’s going for almost 90 million dollars. 

Honestly, I was immediately drawn in because this place gives major Bridgerton vibes with its vaulted ceilings, manicured gardens, and seemingly endless sitting rooms (complete with fainting couches, of course). I mean, the 21,800 square-foot Beverly Hills mansion could comfortably fit about 21 of my own houses, which is reason enough for me to dissect it in the extreme, borderline obsessive detail of someone who will actually put in an offer. Shall we?

First things first, the curb appeal on this manor is out of control — except not really because it’s gated atop a literal promontory (see: a point of high land). All that’s missing is a dragon to guard the place and you’re set on the untouchable front. And truthfully, the 3-story, European-style estate pretty much rivals any regency-era palace thanks to its 90210 zip and celebrity neighbors. Plus, there’s a theater, a spa, and a ballroom! Clyvedon Castle could never.

While granted, the idea of hitting balls outside sounds miserable, nothing says “I’m rich, and I like to do rich person things” like having your very own tennis court. Besides, tennis outfits are cute and overpriced, so it totally fits the aesthetic. Other rich people things your admirers will notice before even entering the main house? A koi pond, a putting green, multiple gardens, and 360-degree views of L.A. 

It’s giving Gatsby. It’s giving Titanic. It’s giving a place Leo DiCaprio would frequent (as long as there are a few 25-year-olds in attendance as well). The entrance foyer’s imperial staircase—a term I just Googled that means a staircase with divided flights—was made for putting the attention on you. Just imagine cascading down these bad boys during a party, a PTO meeting, or to pick up your Uber Eats. It’s a narcissist’s dream, and I, for one, am entirely here for it.

It wouldn’t be a proper palace without “look but don’t touch rooms,” and the good news is you have plenty of options to choose from here. Will you perch on the edge of an uncomfortable-looking chair as you wait for your suiters? Or perhaps at the piano, where you’ll attempt to plunk out the notes to “Heart and Soul” which you swear you know thanks to the three months of lessons you took when you were eight. And they said old-world sophistication was dead. Not here, not today!

Even though this place has a billiards room, an oversized home gym, and a wine cellar that looks like “the storefront of an early 18th century English saloon” (whatever that means?), my favorite room has to be the library. Just look at it in all its stained glass, two-story, spiral staircase glory! It’s simply the perfect place to curl up amongst the books and scroll on your phone. 

It’s hard to fully judge this bar from the photo, but for some reason, it’s the first feature that just doesn’t sit well with me. The vanity lights and mirrored walls feel a bit too Vegas for such a dignified space, and the odd placement between the open doorway and the French doors seems haphazardly thrown together. Also, where are the chairs? I’ve just spent $87 million on a house. There’s no way I’m about to stand like a peasant while waiting for a drink, thank you very much.

Another area of disappointment and disbelief lands us in the “chef’s kitchen.” Admittedly, I do see at least two ovens, two refrigerators, and a wine fridge, but all of it falls a little flat. I’m expecting a Master Chef setup with Gordon Ramsay on staff and TBH, this just feels underwhelming. Even though there’s a center island and (oddly unpictured) pantry, it simply doesn’t scream “I could proudly host the Obamas for a catered-quality meal” here. Plus, the wood cabinetry? The clear doors on the shelves? The framed photos lining the top? Woof.

Luckily the kitchen is redeemed by one of the most impressive formal dining rooms I’ve ever seen. Like, hi, does Chuck Bass live here? Finally, you can sit at one end of the table while your partner sits at the other and shout across the room like the true royals you are. Yes, it has an ornate chandelier. Yes, it has Venetian stained glass. And yes, it will make every single person jealous as you (AKA your staff) serve them delicacies like chilled soup and raw steak. Bon appétit, b*thes. 

If the 12-person dining room feels a bit much for breakfast with your, ahem, overnight guests, the nook just off the kitchen is light, bright, and still feels completely over-the-top in a slightly more intimate way. The garden theme could be either tacky or cute, but I’m going with cute because the cottage-y chandelier and floral detailing somehow work for me. Just be careful about any makeup residue from last night—all that natural lighting looks rather unforgiving.

If you noticed the little bridge leading from the kitchen nook, you’ll be happy to know there’s another adorable dining option for your more casual meals: an al fresco, mote-surrounded space you have to access via footbridge. This is just one of the multiple outdoor spaces for eating and/or having sex in the rain while an instrumental version of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” plays in the background, but aesthetic-wise, it really slaps.

Ready to be confused again? Allow me to present the master bedroom. In fairness to the space, I think this is just a really bad angle, but it begs the question: Is the room weird or should the photographer be fired? Hard to say, but we need another vantage point to understand what we’re working with.

Luckily, there is one other view of the master which makes the room look completely different. I had to switch between both images and play a frustrating version of “I Spy” to make sure I was talking about the same space, but at least this view gives a better idea of the size and detail. The blue coffered ceiling and large sitting area are actually really inviting, and the fact that the room has multiple private terraces, his and hers closets, and a massage room(!) makes me feel like it’s a liveable situation, even if you secretly detest your spouse (as I assume most rich people do?). 

This is, suspiciously, the only bathroom photo (out of 14 full baths!) posted to Zillow. I’ll let it slide, though, due to the sheer fact that the bath-to-beds ratio of this house is almost double. Double! This means even if you share a room and ensuite bath with your significant other, you never have to worry about someone being in the bathroom when you need it or worse, stinking up a shared space because you have so! many! other! options! While I’d love to make sure all the bathrooms at least have separate showers, dual sinks, and spacious vanities, I’ll settle for the fact that I can, at least, soak in this antique-style tub while staring over the city where dreams go to die. 

One especially great perk of this house is the fact that you don’t *have* to let your guests sleep in the main house. I mean, how embarrassing would it be to bump into some random overnighter while you’re in the kitchen, demanding the chef make you a late-night snack? While there aren’t many pictures of the detached guest house, this view gives an idea of just how many people you can host if your black tie galas run a little long. Also, if your guests get bored, they channel their inner Beth Harmon with a lively round of yard chess. It’s called hospitality, look it up.

One of the last views of the house is of the pool, and for a Beverly Hills situation, I’m slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the fountain concept is sort of fun, and the shape is different, but this is the land of sunshine and water-side lounging. Considering this fortress is all about luxury, couldn’t we get a more unique aquatic space? Let’s see a waterfall! A lazy river! An infinity pool or a small-scale waterpark at least. Also, what’s up with the dolphins? All that squirting feels a bit aggressive, no?

After spending far too long critiquing the space, even I have to admit that this humble abode is actually pretty solid. From the unnecessary number of balconies to the fact that this house could basically host the entire cast of 90210, it’s a great jumping-off point. With a bit of remodeling and a flirty friendship with one of your celebrity neighbors, it just might be what you’ve been looking for. In-person tours are happening now, so put on your family jewels and pop on over—we’ve got a house to buy.

Images: Zillow (16)

7 Facts That Will Ruin Your Favorite HGTV Shows

Is there anything better than laying on the couch with a bottle of wine and screaming at a couple who’s trying to decide between a shanty within walking distance of the city or a chicken farm 18 miles away for their family of six on House Hunters? Or laughing at how ADORABLE Chip and Joanna are? How about begrudgingly turning on Love It Or List It and mentally drop-kicking the idiot people that literally always stay in their stupid houses? No, there is nothing better. HGTV is in a golden age, but there are dark, dirty, and weird secrets hiding behind the shiplap exterior. Here are some things you never knew about HGTV.

1. They’ve Usually Already Bought The House

I AM SHOOK. This goes for House Hunters and Fixer Upper (probably a few others, too). Because filming is on a very short timeline, in order to qualify for many of HGTV’s shows, participants need to have already gotten through much of the buying process—with some even close to closing. This news broke in 2012, so it shouldn’t be a huge shock to any of you, but it definitely explains some of the super scripted-sounding exchanges between couples on the shows.

2. Participants On ‘House Hunters’ Get Paid

Yo, sign me up. In addition to being on HGTV, participants on House Hunters get paid $500 for about one week of filming and those on House Hunters International get about $1,500. According to Business Insider, the payment acts as an incentive for embarrassing yourself on national television (I paraphrase). There can also be cool sh*t like lunches with the director and some light pampering, too.

3. Hilary Farr Is An Actress

LOL YIKES. According to BuzzFeed, Hilary Farr, of Love It Or List It, used her birth name, Hilary LaBow, and appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Betty Munroe. The casting must have translated to real life, too, since the majority of Farr’s fashion choices are about as terrifying as the costuming in that film.

4. Jonathan Scott Isn’t The Contractor

I f*cking knew it. Apparently, Jonathan will do a few things here and there, but the majority of any heavy lifting during the construction portion of Property Brothers is done by a real construction crew so that Jonathan doesn’t get his plaid shirts dirty risk losing a hand. According to this article, “The heavy lifting is done by the show’s less telegenic construction crew, but he’ll wear his tool belt and plaid shirt in solidarity.”

5. The Beginning Of ‘Fixer Upper’ Is Fake

Like House Hunters, many of the participants on Fixer Upper have already bought a house when the beginning of the show is filmed. Meaning that the couple, Joanna, and Chip are literally all lying to our faces for the first 15 minutes when they pretend to be interested in shack option 1, old haunted Victorian mansion option 2, and murder house-turned-chicken-farm option 3. HOW COULD YOU?!

6. ‘Fixer Upper’ Participants Don’t Get To Keep The Furniture

This is v rude. Apparently, Joanna just stages all those nice little rustic-chic houses and the participants have the option of BUYING the furniture she uses. That may explain why I’ve seen the same couch three to six times in several different homes and also why there are no TVs in 75% of the reveals.

7. No One Keeps The HGTV Dream Homes

HGTV has been doing the whole Dream Home contest since 1997, which usually comes with cash, a car, and this baller party pad. Sounds amaze. However, even though the house is free, taxes aren’t, and people end up paying tens of thousands of dollars per year on these things if they keep them. Many choose not to, though, and according to Cosmo, taxes are the cause of many people that win the HGTV dream homes not keeping them. Almost every winner has sold the home immediately—which, bummer.

Images: Giphy (5)