Whitney Houston built her New Jersey estate in 1987, the year “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” topped the charts and Matthew Krauthamer hit the second grade. Now Krauthamer, an emergency room physician and investor, is buying Houston’s home. It reminds him of the singer’s true heart, he said, and the things her music and life taught him about taking care of the people you care about.
The Houston mansion, on 5 wooded acres in New Jersey, is fit for an ’80s pop superstar, with round, sunken rooms, skylights, white couches and glamorous walls of windows. And it has been vacant for years, giving it a frozen-in-time feeling.
Others might turn it into a museum or remodel it for a more modern feel, but Krauthamer, 33, who paid $1.5 million, says he will do neither. Instead, he said, a fresh coat of paint and some new appliances will return it to its original ’80s glory.
“The house in and of itself is absolutely stunning,” he said in an interview. “Wooded acres, gated property, two-floor poolhouse, two Jacuzzis. The house is really an incredible home.”
The home at 22 N Gate Rd in Mendham, NJ has languished on and off the market since 2009, only to be sold in February to an investment company.
Since Houston died in February 2012, the price of the 5-bed, 6-bath, 13,607-square-foot home has been cut and cut.
The purchase is a business decision for Krauthamer, who has been successful in his real estate side business. But it’s also sentimental for him, since he grew up listening to Whitney Houston.
“She got, obviously, some bad press at times, but one thing that she was was a very kind and generous person,” said Krauthamer, “She took care of the people that were closest to her and that’s something that’s always stuck in my mind.”
Krauthamer said he has been contacted by filmmakers and fans who want to see the house, but he assured Houston’s family he doesn’t want to exploit the late singer’s fame.
When Houston’s estate failed to sell the home, an investment company bought it in February for $999,900. Selling agent Greg Taylor, who represented the company, Commercial Property Management Group (CPMG), said the company considered renovating the home before listing it for sale, since it has been vacant for so long. But when they listed it, Krauthamer, who lives just a few blocks away, quickly snapped it up.
At one point, the home was listed for $1.75 million.
Now that Krauthamer is getting ready to move into the Houston estate, he has listed his nearby home at 88 W Main Street for $1.349 million. This castle-style home also has a unique past: It is known as the Chapel Hill Manor, which was built in 1918 for former Mendham mayor William Cordingley. It contains 18 rooms and a 2,500-book library that has secret doorways.