A man in Maple Glen, Pennsylvania, left his five-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house and moved to nearby Philadelphia. He then rented out the home on Airbnb, at a premium price due to its special feature. The home is now for sale, listed for $750,000 with realtor Melissa Leonard. She posted the listing with an extensive slideshow of pictures. That’s when the house went viral, because the special feature that drew Airbnb customers was a “sex dungeon,” a large bedroom in the basement with a swing, a bed equipped with bars and chains, and various BDSM apparatus and accessories. The basement room is no longer included in the real estate listing, but you can see the pictures at Buzzfeed. The resulting publicity drew TV news crews, police, gawkers, interested buyers, and angry neighbors to the house. In a phone interview with Leonard, this exchange was overheard.
I had Philly police here, and all the TV channels.
Hold on, now the neighbors are flagging me down. They’re really upset. You probably want to listen to this. Hello, sir.
Male voice: Are you the real estate agent?
Leonard: Yes. I’m Melissa.
Male voice: We’re very upset about this whole thing. We do not want something like this in our neighborhood. Take that off the internet. That’s disgusting. We don’t want that.
Leonard: Sir, if the owner wants those photos on the listing, that’s their choice!
Male voice: You’ve got to take them down! We live next door and we don’t want this!
Leonard: You’re angry at me but you’re really angry at the owner. I’m trying to sell the house as fast as possible.
Male voice: People are all over the neighborhood and they’re all saying they’re here to see the sex house!
Read the story of the viral home listing in the interview at Slate.
(Image credit: Melissa Leonard/Coldwell Banker)