‘Breaking Bad’ Bummer: Why You’d Hate Owning Walter White’s House

Walter White's house from Breaking Bad

Steve Snowden/Getty Images

“Breaking Bad” superfans may soon go into withdrawal as the home of their antihero, Walter White, gets a whole lot harder to see.

That’s because the Albuquerque, NM, house that served as the chemistry teacher-turned-meth king’s residence on the beloved TV series has been overrun by so many unruly visitors, the house’s actual inhabitant has decided to build a fence around the property.

According to local news outlet KOB4, resident Joanne Quintana (whose mother owns the house) has decided to install a 6-foot-high, wrought-iron fence around her yard to keep “Breaking Bad” fans at bay. And for good reason. Back when she agreed to rent out the place to AMC’s film crews starting in 2008—moving out so they could use both the interior and exterior—she figured this temporary uprooting would be the worst inconvenience that she’d have to endure. But then the show aired and become a passion for millions of viewers. Four years after the final episode, the obsession with all things “Bad” is still going strong.

Much to the chagrin of Quintana.

Fans ‘tell us what to do on our own property’

In the years since the show ended, streams of fans have showed up at Quintana’s home to snap pics, throw pizza on the roof (copying Walt’s own actions after one memorable marital spat), steal rocks from her landscaping as souvenirs, and all in all horn in on her once-peaceful existence. On one recent weekend, Quintana estimates that “hundreds” came by, and many went overboard to get their “Breaking Bad” fix.

“They feel the need to tell us to close our garage, get out of the picture, you know—tell us what to do on our own property,” Quintana told KOB4.

Another local who knows just how bad “Breaking Bad” fever can get is Frank Sandoval, who runs Breaking Bad RV Tours where he drives by Quintana’s property, as well as Jesse Pinkman‘s house, the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant, and Saul Goodman‘s strip mall law offices. While he always tells his customers to maintain a respectful distance from the homes, he’s seen some visitors cross the line.

“About 95% of the fans are very respectful and grateful to be able to take pictures,” Sandoval tells realtor.com®. “However, the other 5% take it a step further, parking their car in the driveway, knocking on the door, jumping in the pool, and even going as far as graffitiing the house.”

Quintana hopes a fence will help alleviate these problems, although she’s not thrilled about the idea of walling off her property, either.

“We don’t want to gate ourselves in,” Quintana said. “We’re the ones who’s being locked up. We did nothing wrong.”

Famous homes that made their inhabitants miserable

Of course, Quintana’s struggles living in a famous home from a hit TV show aren’t hers to bear alone. Many homes that have gained acclaim have become magnets for fans—and trouble.

Take the Manhattan brownstone that served as Carrie Bradshaw‘s apartment in HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Located on a quiet residential street in the West Village, this stoop now sees dozens of tourists every day—so much so that the homeowners have put up a chain across the bottom of the stoop asking people to stay off the stairs.

The brownstone of Carrie Bradshaw, fictionally on the Upper East Side but really in Greenwich Village.
The brownstone of Carrie Bradshaw, fictionally on the Upper East Side but really in Greenwich Village.

Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images

“There are always throngs of people at all hours,” says Dolly Lenz, a New York City real estate agent who has served many celebrity clientele.

Overall, she thinks this home’s popularity has been good for the neighborhood.

“It’s been fantastic for the West Village,” says Lenz, who believes the show played a role in the steady rise of apartment prices in the area. But for the actual residents in Carrie’s home, the nuisance of having tourists on their stoop nonstop may cancel out the benefits.

“If I lived at the house, I wouldn’t be thrilled,” Lenz admits.

‘It’s an endless stream of people’

Fans of the late ’80s-early ’90s sitcom “Full House” (and the 2016 Netflix version “Fuller House”) aren’t any less pushy when visiting the site of the iconic two-story Victorian “Tanner house” in San Francisco. And that home was used only for exteriors!

“It’s an endless stream of people,” neighbor Andrew Clemens told the Wall Street Journal. “They drive through the neighborhood blasting the theme song.”

As Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson‘s character Michelle would say, how rude!

The Full House house
The Full House house

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But if you want to see just how bad it can get for a famous home, look no further than the one used for the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.” The Seaside Heights, NJ, beach house has perhaps endured the most damage from rowdy fans wanting to leave their mark, or take a memento home.

According to TMZ, at the height of the show’s popularity, fans took to writing on the exterior walls and even stealing shingles from the house. As a result, the house had to be repainted on a weekly basis. We guess the one upside is that the homeowners have rented out the place to fans for up to $2,500 per night.

In other words, fame isn’t all bad. Perhaps Quintana might feel a bit better about her circumstances after a few Airbnb rentals.

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Source: Realtor.com