‘House of Cards’ house goes up for auction

‘House of Cards’ house goes up for auction
The four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath, 3,840-square-foot house that inspired the Underwood's home in 'House of Cards' goes up for auction next month.

Fans of the Netflix series “House of Cards” know that before moving into the White House, Frank and Claire Underwood lived in a red-brick Victorian on a leafy D.C. block, not far from the heart of American political power.

Now you have a chance to own this piece of somewhat-famous real estate, which isn’t actually located in the nation’s capitol. According to realtor.com, the four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath, 3,840-square-foot home is at 1609 Park Ave. in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood, and on July 27, it will go up for auction. Bidding starts at $500,000.

The listing for the property says its been “carefully restored and updated with original details,” including 12-foot ceilings, five fireplaces with the original marble mantles and pocket doors with etched glass and transoms. And there’s that large gourmet kitchen, where Frank can be seen in several episodes making a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.

But not really. While the outside of 1609 Park was seen often in the early seasons of ‘House of Cards,’ usually at night, the inside is pure inspiration for the Underwood’s stylish home. Interiors for the show were shot on a stage.

One similarity is the entryway, which on the show seems chronically under-lighted and vaguely sinister. The real one is bright and less alley-like. The sitting room is “the spitting image” of the Underwoods’, realtor.com says, right down to the fireplace, which was recreated in detail by the show’s set designers.

So what’s the house likely to sell for? Depends on who you ask.

While affection for the show will attract bidders, the house never had that big a role. As one New York-based agent told realtor.com, “Unlike, say, the ‘Full House’ Victorian in San Francisco or the mansion used in ‘The Royal Tennenbaums,’ there were almost no memorable scenes from ‘House of Cards’ shot in this home,”

Still auctions are notoriously unpredictable. While one agent sees the house selling in the $700,000 neighborhood – or 10-15 percent above the starting bid – a marketing expert says don’t be surprised if the bidding gets much higher.

“An auction lends itself to generating a higher price point than a traditional selling situation would, because buyers bid up the price in a competitive and emotionally charged environment set up for such escalation,” he said.