Tracking down both Meredith Grey’s house and the Dream House Derek built for her on Grey’s Anatomy

We’ve all swooned over the house that McDreamy built for Meredith OR dreamed about taking up a bedroom in Mer's house (which was home to about half of the show's main characters throughout the years). But do these homes even exist in real life?

Lauren Morling
11 Min Read

Grey’s Anatomy is an award-winning medical drama series that’s graced our screens for well over a decade. It feels like years ago and yet just the other day that the very first episode screened back in March 2005.

Since then, it’s run through 19 well-loved seasons, making it the longest-running American primetime medical drama in television history!

Named after Henry Gray’s 1858 human anatomy textbook called ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ and inspired by a Visible Woman doll, Grey’s Anatomy is filled with fascinating medical stories and oh-so-relatable dating dramas. 

We may not be doctors, but we can certainly empathize with the characters’ relationship dramas which range from soppy love stories to gut-wrenching heartbreaks!

And it’s these relatable episodes with their inspiring motivational quotes that have won Grey’s Anatomy multiple awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama as well as 38 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Now, that’s pretty impressive. 

So, we’ve established we all share a love for Grey’s Anatomy, right? So there’s nothing we’d love more than to delve behind the scenes of our favorite series together. 

Grey’s Anatomy scene showing Meredith and Derek in their dream house, with stunning views of Seattle in the background. Image credit: ABC

Derek and Meredith’s house, a dream family home that we’re still swooning over

Derek and Meredith had a storybook romance through the series with many moments that had us reaching for tissues.

But hands down one the most memorable was when McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) told Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) about his plans to build her a dream house after she admitted she wanted to be exclusive.

This has to be one of the most romantic episodes in TV history – where Meredith showed that she’s looking forward to the two planning a future together by replicating Derek’s design for the house using candles to mark the layout of their would-be four-plus-bedroom family home. Swoon!

house mcdreamy built for meredith grey with candles
meredith grey standing in front of derek shepherd in the outline of the house made out of candles

After they were married, Derek shared his plans for the Dream House with his friends, Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Mark (Eric Dane), which would include a log cabin design, a large living room and kitchen, a swimming pool, and, of course, play areas for the children.

He spilled that he had first started building the house the day he became Chief, and the entire thing took two years to complete.

Throughout the time Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd’s house was being built, there were several shots filmed there – like the time they first met Zola, who they planned on adopting, and when Derek spent the night at the construction site after an argument.  

derek working on building their house

Finally, when the house was built, Derek and Meredith moved in with Zola, and they lived there together (with Amelia joining them for a short period of time) until Derek’s tragic death.

What happened with the dream family home Derek and Meredith shared?

After Derek’s untimely death, Meredith felt that the house held too many painful memories, so she sold it and moved back into her longtime home, which she had to buy back from Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). 

The house — somewhat of a symbol of the main characters’ love and commitment to each other — made a quiet exit from the show once their love story had come to an end.

But before we let it slide into oblivion (like the show’s creators did), let’s take a closer look at how the dream house came to life on our screens.

Unfortunately, the house Derek built for Meredith isn’t a real home — and even the set was dismantled

grey's anatomy meredith and derek dream house

Grey’s Anatomy is famously set in Seattle but the majority of the show is actually filmed in Southern California, at Prospect Studios in Los Feliz.

There aren’t many details about the mysterious Dream House, but we’ve learned that exterior shots were filmed at Poo Poo Point on West Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington, and that the lake you see in the background is actually Lake Sammamish in King County. 

But, unfortunately, the Dream House is exactly that – a dream house.

Unlike the Grey’s Anatomy house film set which is still in use (scroll down for more info on that house), Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd’s house, which was once a film set too, no longer exists.

It was dismantled during the break between seasons 11 and 12 as it would no longer feature in the show. 

During its heyday though, it was a gorgeous family home characterized by scattered toys, children’s artwork and photo frames of the McDreamy family. Not to mention the famous framed post-it note which was relocated from Meredith Grey’s house to the new Dream Home! 

Interestingly, the Grey’s Anatomy Dream House is available on Sims 4 if you’d like to get a feel for it yourself. And if you feel like bringing other iconic TV homes to life, here’s a list of cool movie homes you can built with LEGOs.

How about Meredith Grey’s house?

After moving out of the dream house she shared with Derek, Meredith returns to her longtime home — which is a real house in Seattle, located at 303 Comstock Street, in Queen Anne.

The Queen Anne house is the second most important filming location on the show (after the hospital itself), serving as background to many memorable scenes throughout the years.

See also: Inside Ellen Pompeo’s House and Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Portfolio

Moreover, about half (if not more) of Grey’s Anatomy‘s main characters have either lived here or crashed on the couch at one point.

The house, which Meredith inherited from her mom — world-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey — started out as home to the interns in the first seasons of the show, which Mer shared with Izzy and George. In more recent seasons, Meredith’s roommates are her two sisters, Amelia and Maggie.

While indoor scenes that take place in Meredith’s house are filmed on a soundstage, the cast and crew take a few days each year to travel to Seattle to film exterior scenes and establishing shots of the Queen Anne house.

This has made the 303 West Comstock Street property one of the most recognizable filming locations in all of Seattle.

In real life, the house’s exterior looks exactly like on the show. Built in 1905, the home has 4 bedrooms and 2,740 square feet of living space, sitting on a roughly 7,000-square-foot lot. Real estate website places its current market value right under the $2 million mark, estimating that Grey’s house is worth a little over 1,800,000.

Meredith Grey's house in Seattle at 303 Comstock Street via Google Maps.
Meredith Grey’s house in Seattle at 303 Comstock Street via Google Maps.

After the fire: a new chapter for the Grey’s Anatomy house

As the show was preparing for Meredith Grey’s exit, seeing her off to Boston to work on her next daring adventure — curing Alzheimer’s — the house’s symbolic role was taken up a notch.

Signaling the big change in the show’s trajectory, the Grey’s Anatomy house goes up in flames during a lightning storm in the mid-season finale (episode 6, season 19, called Thunderstruck) in a cross-over episode with spinoff show Station 19.

And while at first, fans were unsure of the fate of Meredith’s house after the fire, it turns out the show’s producers had a lovely surprise in mind. Left with a hole in the roof, the house reverts back to its original state — of a slightly ‘unfinished’ house occupied by the hospital’s residents.

Much like in the medical drama’s first seasons, when it welcomed any resident who needed a place to stay, we see Simone Griffin (played by Alexis Floyd), Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis), and Derek Shepherd’s nephew, Lucas Adams (Niko Terho) taking up residence here.

Continuing its long-lasting legacy of “taking in strays”, in Derek’s unforgettable words, the Grey house retains its central role even after Meredith’s exit from the show.

Other Grey’s Anatomy filming locations

There are a few other Grey’s Anatomy filming locations that aren’t set in California — and that stay true to the story and depict the city of Seattle.

One of the most famous is the Veteran’s Administration Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in North Hills — a working hospital where the exterior shots of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital are filmed.  

Other locations include the Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle and the KOMO Plaza in downtown Seattle (used as the hospital rooftop). 

The majority of Grey’s Anatomy’s interior shots are filmed on set – taking up an impressive six sound stages at Prospect Studios in Los Feliz, California.

More homes from movies and TV shows

Are they Real? The Picture-Perfect Houses of Wisteria Lane in ‘Desperate Housewives’

All the Glamorous Penthouses, Suites, and Lofts in Gossip Girl

The Byrde Family House in ‘Ozark’ is Actually in Georgia

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