Remember “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the hit NBC show from the 1990s starring Will Smith as a streetwise teen from Philadelphia sent to live with his rich relatives in a gorgeous mansion in Bel-Air, CA? That iconic house has now returned to the limelight as an Airbnb rental.
Starting on Sept. 29, Los Angeles County residents will have a chance to book one of five October stays in the Fresh Prince’s wing of the mansion. And it can all be yours for the astonishingly low price of just $30 per night—a fan-friendly rate set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the home’s TV debut.
Guests will revel in the home’s ’90s decor and amenities as well as enjoy exclusive Airbnb experience perks, including donning a new pair of Air Jordans to shoot hoops in the bedroom, dining on literal silver platters (all meals are included), and playing the home’s vinyl collection on a turntable like the one owned by show co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Given the world we live in today, all local COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly enforced. (The home will be scrubbed between guests, following both CDC and Airbnb enhanced cleaning protocols.) In fact, guests (two max per stay) must show proof of L.A. County residency and live in the same household to minimize potential health risks.
And to help celebrate community and support youth during this 30th year milestone, Airbnb is making a donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, which happens to also be Smith’s hometown. Isn’t that sweet?
The reality behind the Fresh Prince mansion
Of course this is a made-for-TV tale, so not everything is exactly true to life, including the location of the famed estate. For one, it isn’t in Bel-Air—it’s actually located in nearby Brentwood. But “The Fresh Prince of Brentwood” doesn’t sound quite so lofty, does it?
Granted, in reality, the difference between these two tony enclaves is subtle. Bel-Air, just minutes from West Hollywood, is a smaller area with winding streets and loads of privacy. Meanwhile, Brentwood feels like a more traditional neighborhood, albeit with lovely lush yards plus easy access to top-notch schools and world-class shopping, dining, and nightlife.
And if it’s celebrity residents you seek, both neighborhoods sport multimillion-dollar mansions and can point to many famous celebs as current and past residents.
“Bel-Air commands prestige: Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, and Frank Sinatra all lived here, as have business and tech moguls like Elon Musk,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Brentwood’s residential bragging rights include Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Harrison Ford.
Another thing these two areas have in common are sky-high home prices.
“The two areas have evolved tremendously since ‘The Fresh Prince’ first aired, and real estate values have soared by several million dollars over the past 30 years,” Ameer adds.
So even if your Bel-Air Airbnb stay won’t be in Bel-Air, that’s no reason to let that stop you.
“There are many L.A. shows filmed with exterior shots of famous homes, while the interiors are done on a sound stage offsite,” says Tyler Drew, CEO of Anubis Properties in Los Angeles. “But at $30 a night, I think a stay here is well worth the price for a little historical inaccuracy.”
How much is the ‘Fresh Prince’ mansion worth today?
This particular property in Brentwood was apparently chosen for a starring role in the show because it has a traditional American style, albeit one stuck in a ’90s design rut. It’s currently valued at around $6.4 million, but some agents think it could be worth more to the right buyer.
“The home, which is probably worth around $7.5 million depending on condition, is really a snapshot in time of that decade’s pop culture, which includes other shows like ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,'” says Ameer.
However, most buyers wouldn’t be likely to embrace the property’s boxy formal style and old-school, chopped-up living and dining spaces, eschewing them for more modern open-plan rooms.
“Given that the home is from 1937, someone buying it now may eye the property for a substantial remodel or teardown,” Ameer adds.
Nonetheless, Airbnb fans probably aren’t eager to own the place as much as just soak it in for a night.
“Staying here for a night is all part of the throwback experience,” Ameer says.
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