- Mike Thakur, a Houston resident, is now under contract for a Franklin mansion that was heavily damaged in a fire last year
- A Zillow listing for the mansion went viral last week
- Thakur, his wife and his three teenage children plan to live in the guest home on the property, which was not damaged in the fire
- The family will document their renovation as they go along
The burnt-out Tennessee mansion behind a viral Zillow listing for $1.5 million is now under contract with Houston resident Mike Thakur.
Thakur, who is originally from England, told The Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network, he and his family were pondering a move to Nashville and spotted the mansion in an email alert about new listings in the area from Zillow.
Two days later, they were under contract for the home – which also comes with about five acres of land and a roughly 2,300-square-foot guest house that was not damaged in the fire.
“Did something a little crazy over the weekend and bought a burned down mansion,” Thakur said in an Instagram post Tuesday.
Paula Duvall, the owner and agent behind the listing, confirmed Wednesday Thakur was under contract for the mansion. The sale has not yet closed.
Thakur said he, his wife and his three teenage children saw the listing on Jan. 18, a day before they had plans to fly to Nashville to look at homes. Thakur reached out to local real estate agent Sam Miller to set up a tour. After the family toured the mansion on Jan. 20, Thakur said they asked the agents to step away while they discussed.
“We’re a pretty tight-knit family. We make a lot of decisions together with the children,” Thakur said. “We all thought this was going to be a great project and we decided we were going to give it a go. We shook on it there and then.”
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Family plans to document renovation
Thakur, who owns a few co-working spaces in Houston, said he and his oldest son plan to move to Franklin, a Nashville suburb, once they close on the home and start working. His other two children, who are still in school, will follow later with his wife.
While the fire stayed mostly to one side of the mansion, Thakur said, there was water damage throughout. Still, he’s hopeful about what they can salvage and the location of the property. The guest house is livable, albeit a little tight for their family of five. Thakur said it’ll be a family effort to renovate the home and they hope to salvage and restore some parts while making the rest their own.
“The commute doesn’t seem bad,” he said with a laugh. “Just across the backyard.”
While home renovation, along with the flurry of media attention that’s reached as far as the BBC, is new to the family, Thakur said they plan to document the process on his YouTube channel and Instagram account.
Follow along on YouTube at YouTube.com/@realmikethakur and Instagram at instagram.com/RealMikeThakur.
Viral Zillow listing: Franklin mansion a ‘total loss’ in fire
The original listing topped 400,000 views and was bookmarked by nearly 8,000 people. The lead image featured the mansion going up in flames as a fire truck dumped water to douse the blaze. The listing called the mansion “a tragic total loss” and said it was being sold as-is.
Photos showed heavy fire and water damage throughout the home, along with soot. Duvall said the address listed on Zillow was incorrect, and that it’s actually in a neighborhood off Interstate 65 near the Peytonsville Road exit in Franklin.
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She said she and her husband were renovating the home when the fire broke out in mid-September. A worker was using a spray painter when a spark ignited the blaze, according to Duvall. The worker was hospitalized but is OK, she said.
“The day of the fire was an emotional day,” Duvall said.
She and her husband are excited that the Thakurs want to renovate the home.
The listing boasted open hilltop views, a large outdoor kitchen and porches and roughly five acres. Things like the foundation, porches, patios, landscaping, custom pavers and limestone are salvageable, along with some of the interior features, according to the listing. It also said Williamson County impact fees and other fees were waived for the property.