- A British entrepreneur is buying a fire-ravaged Tennessee mansion listed on Zillow for $1.5 million.
- Mike Thakur told Insider he and his wife “have never been scared of a challenge.”
- The Zillow listing, complete with pictures of the fire damage, has been viewed nearly 450,000 times.
A British entrepreneur is buying a fire-ravaged Tennessee mansion that went viral after it was listed on Zillow with a $1.5 million price tag.
Mike Thakur and his wife, both originally from Manchester, UK, live in Houston with their three children and had been looking for a home in the Nashville area, he told Insider.
Thakur, who runs a flexible office space business in Houston, said his wife received an email about the mansion the morning of January 18 and he thought at the time it “could be interesting.” He said he was undeterred by the fire damage and decided to stop by while looking at properties in Nashville.
“The wife and I have never been scared of a challenge,” he said. “We’ve moved countries a couple of times, so I think we’re just predisposed to take a little bit of risk.”
The burnt-out mansion, in Franklin, Williamson County, was built in 1997, according to its Zillow listing. It was undergoing construction work in September 2022 when an explosion caused a fire that spread to the roof, which partly caved in and damaged several rooms, per WKRN, a Nashville TV station.
The burnt-out property was later listed on Zillow with pictures of the fire and resulting damage — as well as a $1.5 million price tag, which drew ridicule on Twitter and elsewhere on social-media. The Zillow listing has received nearly 450,000 views.
Paula Duvall, the owner of the home and the selling agent, told WKRN she “wanted to be transparent about the history of the home, and we wanted to show how grand the home was and how grand it could be again if they chose to rebuild.”
She told The Tennessean on Wednesday that Thakur was under contract for the property but the sale hadn’t closed. Thakur declined to disclose to Insider how much he’d offered.
He said he and his family were impressed by the “presence” of the home when they pulled up outside. “It just sits on the top of a hill, you drive up the driveway, and it’s just looking at you, the sun was obviously just beautiful that day,” he said. “It really looked spectacular, even though obviously it sustained some serious damage.
“The kids were excited, my wife was excited, I was pretty excited. We’re just a couple of people with three kids and a dream, so we figured ‘hey we’ll go for it. This might be our only chance.’
“We love the idea of being able to bring something back to life and restore something back to its new glory — not necessarily its former glory — rather than just throwing things away.”
He said he intended to see what could be saved from the property and reused, adding: “We live in a throwaway society and I don’t think that’s always a good thing.”