California home with wild interior that went viral sells for $500,000. What’s next?

Cameron Clark/cclark@sacbee.com

A Sacramento home with a wild interior design described as a mix between Spanish artist Antoni Gaudi and Dr. Seuss has sold for $500,000.

The home originally listed for $725,000 in October, but quickly dropped in price to $650,000. From the beginning, real estate experts agreed the unique property in a highly desirable neighborhood was a difficult one to appraise.

The colorful, whimsical and artsy interior of the Curtis Park residence at 2510 Coleman Way quickly became a viral sensation on social media. Hundreds of people streamed through the property during the first open house weekend. Lyon Real Estate listing agent Janet Carlson’s cell phone blew up with calls from news media around the world.

A Sacramento-area couple with young children put in an offer for the home in late October. When that deal didn’t materialize, Bobby Peterson, a Sacramento real estate agent and owner of Bobby Buys Homes, stepped in and purchased the house. The deal closed Nov. 22.

The home’s fantastical interior was the longtime creation of late Sacramento psychiatrist Lou Kraft. His artwork featured representations of the four spiritual life elements, brightly painted walls and sculptures, Zodiac signs and hidden hidey holes.

The art will be removed, and the home will be renovated and then put back on the market, said Peterson, who lives nearby. With a substantial 2,320 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a swimming pool, a large basement that is rare in Sacramento, as well as other unfinished spaces, the property offers plenty of opportunity for renovation.

“We are going to remodel it and hopefully resell it,” he said. “I do like some features of the property a lot. Overall, I am taking some of the walls and the art down.”

First, Peterson will hold an open house this week to pay homage to Kraft’s personal creation.

“I’m doing an open house,” said Peterson, who fixes and flips around a dozen homes a year. “I am calling it a last look, or toast ... to the (previous) owner. I have to do something, break bread or have a toast before tearing it apart, so it’s my best version of trying to honor him because there’s a lot of sentimental aspects to it, and the family was close to the previous owner. There are a number of people who aren’t going to be pleased about a flipper coming in and tearing the art apart.”

Family members have reached out to Peterson and will take home some of the removable art pieces.

“This is a polarizing house in that people have strong opinions about what should happen with it,” said Ryan Lundquist, a Sacramento appraiser and housing market analyst. “Social media comments are divided with some thinking the art should be retained, while others are adamant that bringing back classic Curtis Park era charm is the way to go.

“The truth is this property had viral national exposure, and an art enthusiast could have purchased the house if desired, but that didn’t happen. So while people can feel unhappy about the home being flipped, the reality is a future buyer is going to be delighted with the remodeled outcome. In real estate the owner gets to control the next page in a home’s history book, and that’s what is happening here.”

That’s where Peterson and his company come in.

“This house really needed some work, too, and many buyers simply wouldn’t even have the capital to complete the house — not to mention the artistic skill to replicate in every room what the previous owner hard started in various portions of the house,” Lundquist added.

After the open house is held and the permits pulled, the residential rehabilitation will quickly start, Peterson said. His plan is to put the residence back on the market in late March or April. He estimated his cost will run about $225,000 for the remodel.

The home, despite being 82 years old, has good structure, so much of the work will be cosmetic, Peterson said. His designer and an engineer has already looked at the space to see what changes they need to make, such as moving the basement stairs and making the living room open up to the dining room.

“Even though it looks like it’s a massive project, it’s actually not overly complicated,” he said.