Home Alone, the cult classic comedy which turned Macaulay Culkin into one of the most recognizable child actors ever, is as present on our TV screens now as it was when it was first released in November 1990.
The story of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister — who, accidentally left behind by his family during the holidays, is forced to defend his home from two dimwit burglars — is arguably the best Christmas movie of all time.
The movie gained such notoriety that today, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” around the time TV channels start running Home Alone for the millionth time.
To pass down the legacy to the new generation, Disney released a remake of the holiday classic, Home Sweet Home Alone starring Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Archie Yates, which you can now stream on Disney+.
News of a new Home Alone movie intrigued fans all over the world, who were all left wondering whether the remake could live up to the original. Considering that the sequels in which Macaulay didn’t star were total flops, many believed that only a Christmas miracle could help Disney meet fan expectations.
But it wasn’t just Culkin that shot to stardom when the iconic movie was released.
The McCallister house became a character in its own right, with its picture-perfect exterior and festive décor now being synonymous with holiday cheer.
And as is turns out, the gorgeous family home from Home Alone is as real as can be (though possibly safer from dimwit bandits than its movie counterpart). So we just had to track it down in real life.
Revisiting the Home Alone house: A walk down memory lane
Built in 1920, the Winnetka, Illinois house used for the first Home Alone movie belonged to John and Cynthia Abendshien.
The couple hadn’t owned it for very long when the production company approached them about transforming their new home into a filming set for the movie. Director Chris Columbus later stated that finding a house to fit his vision was no easy task:
“We needed to cast a house that would work for the stunts and also a house that was visually appealing and, if this makes sense, warm and menacing at the same time. It’s the kind of house if you were a kid it would be fun to be left home alone… I wanted it to feel timeless.”Chris Columbus, Home Alone Director
The Abendshien family were still living at the house while they were filming Home Alone — which took around 4 to 5 months to shoot.
Their daughter Laura Abendshien was six years old at the time, and she took a stroll down memory lane in late 2020, appearing on U.K.’s This Morning show to talk about her experience growing up in the iconic house.
Abendshien recalled that the cast members became part of the family in a way during filming:
“They would spend time in the house when they weren’t filming their scenes. Macaulay Culkin used my room to study with his tutor and his brother [Keiran], wasn’t filming as much, so he would just hang out in my room.”Laura Abendshien, who lived in the Home Alone house at the time
The house was a perfect fit for the McCallister family
If you’re wondering where you’d find it in real life, the real Home Alone house’s address is 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 (though we’re pretty sure the new owners would rather not have fans lingering outside, so please respect their privacy).
In fact, the house is one of the few properties that are blurred on Google Maps, an initiative that was likely taken by the owners to discourage fans from showing up uninvited.
The red-brick, Georgian-style home sits on a half-acre lot and has about 4,200 square feet of living space. All in all, the house has five bedrooms, including a four-room master suite, which spans the entire west wing of the home, and three-and-a-half bathrooms.
The iconic suburban home also has a large kitchen, a detached double garage and a greenhouse.
While Hollywood productions and TV series alike tend to use existing homes only for exterior shots (with interior scenes normally being shot on soundstages), quite a few scenes of the holiday flick were actually filmed on location.
The kitchen, along with the main staircase, basement, attic and most of the first floor landing, were filmed on location in the real house. These are the only interiors that made their way to the big screen.
Remaining scenes filmed in the McCallister house were recreated or duplicated on a soundstage built in the gymnasium of the former campus of New Trier Township High School. And that’s because the filming crew had a hard time fitting their bulky equipment in the family home.
As for Kevin’s backyard tree house, that was built specifically for the movie — on property grounds — and was demolished soon after filming was done. Too bad, since the Abendshiens lived there for 20 years and we’re pretty sure their daughter would have loved to keep it for herself.
The Home Alone house now
For the first time in 31 years, the Home Alone house opened up to the public in 2021. For a very limited time, people could book a short stay at the iconic holiday house.
Briefly listed on Airbnb in early December, the suburban Chicago home of the McCallisters offered a one-night stay to die-hard fans, accommodating up to 4 people for a mere $25/night (plus taxes).
To offer the complete experience, the actor that played Kevin McCallister’s older brother, Buzz, would be the one welcoming guests, who would also be greeted with Christmas decorations, and some true Home Alone classics: booby traps, a candlelit dinner of microwavable macaroni and cheese, Kevin’s dad’s after shave, 90s junk food, “Chicago’s finest pizza” and more, NBC Chicago reports.
And while only four lucky fans got to enjoy the memorable stay, the house’s brief stint on Airbnb gave us a peek inside — and a good idea of how the iconic property has changed over the years.
Times have changed and so have the trends, which means the Home Alone house has a tad of a more modern feel, despite its exterior’s unchanged, recognizable look.
Nevertheless, the owners made sure to redecorate before listing the house on Airbnb, painstakingly recreating many of the original details and the signature interior style.
That included the floral wallpaper, velvet green curtains matched with a green velvet sofa, Christmas stockings hanged over the fireplace, and a red runner gracing the iconic staircase.
Just looking at the photos takes us back the oh-so-familiar house of the McCallisters, filled with its red and green furnishings, charm, character, and over-the-top Christmas decorations.
How much does the Home Alone house cost?
Even without making an appearance in a massively successful movie, a suburban five-bedroom home in the Chicago metro area doesn’t come cheap.
In 2012, the real-life McCallister home in Winnetka, Illinois sold for $1.585 million, a relative bargain compared to its original listing price of $2.4 million. Now, the property’s value is estimated to be around $2,000,000, but it hasn’t been listed for sale since 2012.
That’s a little higher than the average home price for the area. In mid-2021, the median list price of homes in Winnetka, IL was $1.4M, trending up 11.9% year-over-year.
Which might make you wonder: what did the McCallisters do for a living to afford such a generously sized and downright lovely family home?
The general consensus is that Peter McCallister, Kevin’s dad, was a prominent business man (with some sources even suggesting he was a day trader), while Kate McCallister, the mom, was a fashion designer. Her trade also explains why there were so many mannequins in the house for Kevin to use in the party scene.
Having such lucrative careers means the two could easily afford the 5-bedroom spread in the popular Chicago suburb.
The Home Alone remake ‘casts’ Montreal-area house
As we’ve mentioned above, a Home Alone remake was released in 2021 and a big part of it is shot in Canada.
The new movie, called Home Sweet Home Alone stars Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, Ellie Kemper, and was filmed in the Montreal area — which is known for its idyllic, snow-heavy cold season that creates the perfect winter wonderland background for a Christmas family movie.
The producers haven’t revealed too many details regarding the filming locations, but we do know that a house in the popular suburb of Longueuil (located roughly 15 minutes driving distance from downtown Montreal) plays a central role in the new movie.
Story-wise, the action is also set in Chicago and the famous Christmas market in Parc St. Mark will be one important location.
The new Home Alone is directed by Dan Mazer and the cast of characters includes Archie Yates in the role of Max, Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney.
And while we have nothing but love for the production crew and everyone involved in the new movie (and are grateful that they’re passing along a most wonderful story to the new generation), Kevin McCallister and his booby-trapped, holiday-perfect suburban home will always hold a special place in our hearts.
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