One of the interesting quirks about valuing fictional properties is that you’re always a hit at a party. It goes like this: People find out what I do for a living and start challenging me to recall the value of famous fictional homes from memory. Between myself and the Movoto Real Estate bloggers, we’ve looked at most of the houses people come up with (Hogwarts Castle is everyone’s favorite), but there’s one home that gets asked about frequently that we’ve had on the back burner for a while now: the mansion from “Scarface”.
We haven’t delved into this famous movie’s most iconic location because, well, we like a challenge, and didn’t think Tony Montana’s home presented one. (In hindsight, we should have known better.) Over the weekend, I found myself in another one of these “funny party trick” situations, and, once again, someone asked me if I knew the value of Montana’s home. I gave my answer (“Nope, care to try again?”), and then filed it away, deciding to finally do it.
So, what is the estimated value of the Scarface Mansion? If it were on the market today, I estimated it would be worth $11,337,480. A paltry sum for a drug kingpin, right?
If you’re interested in figuring out how I did it, pull on your shades, brush up on your ‘80s-era Miami lingo, and say hello to my little fictional real estate evaluation.
Who Put This Thing Together? Me, That’s Who!
When it comes to novelty real estate, the Movoto bloggers and myself are old hands. The blog team has been all over the world; all over the galaxy, even. What we’ve found is that there are always three things you need to find the estimated value of a home (a castle, or a shack on Dagobah). Theres are:
- Comparable properties
I’m going to start with location, which I assumed would be easy.
This Is Paradise, I’m Tellin’ Ya
Before I dig into what I found, I’m going to go give you a refresher. In the film, Montana is a Cuban refugee who finds his way to Miami, FL. Eventually, he becomes a drug kingpin and purchases a large mansion in Coral Gables, a very real location in the Miami area. You would think this is the end of it, but I wanted to know if the home Montana purchased was real, and thus find the actual square footage of the home. This is where I ran into my first roadblock.
In searching for properties Montana’s mansion, I came across three homes that get a lot of attention. These were:
- 42 Star Island Dr., Miami Beach, FL
- 485 W. Matheson Dr., Key Biscanye, FL
- 631 Para Grande Lane, Santa Barbara, CA
I looked into all three of these locations. Here’s what the Internet knows:
There was a big to-do about 42 Star Island Dr. a while back. Apparently, this home is owned by one of the “Real Housewives of Miami”. Back in October of last year, the owners threw a “Scarface”-themed party, apparently to poke fun at the fact that people think it’s actually the home in the movie (it’s not). This last bit took a chainsaw to any thought that it was in the film.
Then there’s 485 W. Matheson Dr. Unlike the previous theory, this one had some legs—much like Elvira Hancock. Again, I dug around and came across several sites indicating this house was indeed in the movie, but it was not the house everyone has come to think of as Montana’s stronghold.
This meant that the home used in “Scarface” was actually thousands of miles away, which really isn’t that surprising. My research showed that the house in “Scarface” is El Fureidis, aka Little Paradise, a villa located at 631 Para Grande Lane in Santa Barbara, CA (Montecito, CA, technically).
Say Hello To My Big Friend
We’re used to having to do some pretty crazy tricks in order to determine the size of a property. We’ve used the sizes of door frames and the shoulder widths of adult men, to name a few. So, it was refreshing when all we had to do to come up with the actual size of El Fureidis was look up the real home. What did Montana buy with the profits from his drug empire? A 9,816 square foot home with four bedrooms.
Other Places Scarface Would Have Loved
We mentioned above that Montana moved into Coral Gables, a seriously fancy area. I based my comparable properties on similar homes in this area. To come up with a price per square foot for the area, we looked up five luxury homes in Coral Gables that had a similar size to the California villa used in the film. What we discovered is that luxury homes in Coral Gables similar to Montana’s cost about $1,155 per square foot.
Never Cut Home Evaluation With Anything
Now it’s time to put it all together. We took the price per square foot in Coral Gables ($1,155) and multiplied it by the size of the El Fureidis (9,816 square feet) to get an overall value. So if you have $11,337,480 to burn, this house—and the world—could be yours.
Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is a national online real estate brokerage. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes, CBS News, and The New York Times.