The New Jersey home of the late singer Whitney Houston, which languished on and off the market since 2009, only to be sold in February to an investment company, is once again changing hands. Dr. Matthew Krauthamer, a 33-year-old emergency room physician, is not only the buyer of Houston’s Mendham, New Jersey, home, but he is also a big fan of the late singer. The original price of her home 5.6 million, since Houston died in February 2012, the price on the home, at 22 N. Gate Road in Mendham has been cut and cut.
Dr. Krauthamer, a self-described Houston fan, nabbed the enormous, untended five acre estate for $1.5 million — which isn’t bad for all that land plus 13,607 square feet of a five bedroom home. Oh, plus a tennis court, a swimming pool, two Jacuzzis (do people Jacuzzi anymore?), soundproofed recording studio, media room with retractable screen, and all the other stuff you might expect of a home that was built in 1987, hosted a Houston-Bobby Brown wedding in ’92, and was the setting of the couple’s short-lived reality show in 2005.
It’s hard to say why it took so long for the house to sell, but some of the marketing was truly offensive. As Denver Westword’s Dave Herrera reported in 2012: The sprawling mansion where the legendary performer once lived in Mendham, New Jersey, is reportedly being tastelessly touted by a real estate broker from Beverly Hills as “the scene of the activity that brought down this incredible musical diva over a 15 year cycle.”
The listing continued: “The mansion was also used in the filming of a 2005 reality show in which she and her ex-husband appeared at the pinnacle of Whitney Houston’s fall from musical power and grace.”
After the tasteless listing was noted by various media outlets, it was changed to: “The mansion was also used in the filming of a 2005 reality show in which she and her ex-husband appeared at a very rough time in Whitney’s life.”
Better, I guess, yet the photos accompanying the listing all had the same caption: “Whitney Houston mansion with 6-car garage, where her drug addiction flourished and ruined her singing career.” Below, various listings photos of the home, which are still up on the ad itself and on Zillow, among other places.
The current version of the listing on CarProperty.com — which notes the house is sold — has a very American idea for the new homeowner: “If you could get the permits you might be able to turn it into a Whitney ‘Graceland’ for tourists…”
They then add: “but there are no guarantees that you could use it for that.” (Thankfully, the new owner has no such plans and has pledged to live in the house and treat it in accordance to the Houston family’s wishes.)
The listing described the house as “A stunning departure from the ordinary – a sheer bravado of expansiveness and creative expression, this ranch-style contemporary home fulfills the fondest aspirations.” The house has 5 bedrooms and 4.2 baths.
When Houston’s estate failed to sell the home, an investment company bought it in February for $999,900. Selling agent Greg Taylor, who represented the company, Commercial Property Management Group (CPMG), said the company considered renovating the home before listing it for sale, since it has been vacant for so long. But when they listed it, Krauthamer, who lives just a few blocks away, quickly snapped it up.
At one point, the home was listed for $1.75 million.The purchase is a business decision for Krauthamer, who has been successful in his real estate side business. But it’s also sentimental for him, since he grew up listening to Whitney Houston.
Later, Krauthamer said he watched as she struggled with substance abuse and other problems.”She got, obviously, some bad press at times, but one thing that she was was a very kind and generous person,” said Krauthamer, “She took care of the people that were closest to her and that’s something that’s always stuck in my mind.”Krauthamer said he has been contacted by filmmakers and fans who want to see the house, but he assured Houston’s family he doesn’t want to exploit the late singer’s fame.
Now that Krauthamer is getting ready to move into the Houston estate, he has listed his nearby home at 88 W. Main Street for $1.349 million. This castle-style home also has a unique past: It is known as the Chapel Hill Manor, which was built in 1918 for former Mendham mayor William Cordingley. It contains 18 rooms and a 2,500-book library that has secret doorways.