*warning – spoiler alerts*
Love it or hate it, chances are someone you know is reading the 50 Shades trilogy by E.L. James. The first book in the series has sold more than 25 million copies, and James recently sold the filming rights to Universal Pictures – so this is one phenomenon that won’t be going away any time soon.
The bestselling novels have caused fans to flock to lingerie stores – and to the Pacific Northwest, where the books take place. One destination in particular has seen a lot of traffic: Escala, the luxurious condo tower in Seattle, where main characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey really get to know each other.
According to KOMO News, several times a week 50 Shades fans wander into the lobby asking to take a look around. An Escala penthouse like the one described in the book sold for nearly $6 million (it was purchased by Diamond Parking owners Joel and Julie Diamond). Unfortunately for most fans, penthouse tours are only available for those who pre-qualify.
Ok, here’s where the real spoilers come in, so stop reading now if you’ve only read the first book!
In 50 Shades Darker, Christian plans a special surprise for Anastasia… a trip to see a home. Keep your mind out of the gutter.
The two hop in a car and head north on I-5, taking exit 172 (local Seattleites will know that’s the 85th Street/Aurora exit). Anastasia isn’t sure where they’re going, but she spots a road sign – 9th Ave NW. A few minutes later Christian turns sharply left, and they arrive at a fabulous Mediterranean-style mansion overlooking Puget Sound. Based on the directions, they’re right around the North Beach/Blue Ridge area of Seattle (north of Ballard).
The home is described as being in a densely wooded area, with a large meadow. It has hardwood floors, chandeliers, and a sweeping staircase. Outside is a manicured lawn and terrace, with majestic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Anastasia provides a pretty detailed account of the home: “There’s a huge fireplace and a whole line of French doors opening onto the terrace. It has an old-world charm. The house is enormous: twelve thousand square feet on six acres of land. As well as this main living room, there’s the eat-in—no, banquet-in—kitchen with family room attached—Family!—a music room, a library, a study and, much to my amazement, an indoor pool and exercise suite with sauna and steam room attached. Downstairs in the basement there’s a cinema—Jeez—and game room.” She estimates that the home is worth $5 to $10 million dollars.
Alas, there are no homes for sale in the neighborhood that match that exact description – in fact no homes sold in the last three years do. However, if you’re in the market for a new home and want to live it up like Christian Grey, check out these amazing Seattle waterfront homes, which come as close as possible to the home described in the book:
List Price: $1,995,000
Sq. Ft.: 4,050
This timeless estate is located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, which is southwest of the area Anastasia and Christian visited. The home has a stucco exterior, gorgeous hardwood floors, French doors, and stunning old world chandeliers. It’s perched on 100 feet of Puget Sound waterfront, offering amazing views of the water, mountains and islands. It has direct access to the beach below, perfect for skinny dips in the sound.
List Price: $4,499,000
Sq. Ft.: 7,610
This Magnolia mansion is in a gated community and sits on a lushly forested acre with 150 feet of beach front. With a fireplace in the master bedroom, jetted tub, family room, game room, library, vaulted two-story atrium, iron promenade staircase and a terrace teeming with beautiful flowers, it comes pretty darn close to the fictional home the Greys purchased. All it’s missing is the house boat!
List Price: $2,200,000
Sq. Ft.: 8,540
Located just north of Carkeek park, this property is closest in proximity to the home described in the book. And at 4.5 acres and 8,540 sq. ft., it’s also the closest in size. It has several features Anastasia listed, including a manicured lawn and terrace, gated entry, indoor hot tub/spa, eat-in kitchen, game room, library and last but definitely not least, and amazing view of Puget Sound.