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For sale: Kurt Cobain's childhood home, Nirvana nostalgia, bad carpet

September 26, 2013|By Maria L. La Ganga
  • Kurt Cobain at Nirvana's '93 Forum concert, a song from which is on live album.
Kurt Cobain at Nirvana's '93 Forum concert, a song from which… (Larry Davis / Los Angeles…)

SEATTLE -- Got more money than you know what to do with? A terminal case of Nirvana nostalgia? A fondness for dingy carpet? Then you'll be happy to know Kurt Cobain's childhood house is for sale.

At $500,000, the Aberdeen, Wash., bungalow will set you back more than a copy of the reissued "In Utero," which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the grunge group's third and final studio album.

The Cobain family's modest Craftsman bungalow is a far cry from the multimillion-dollar mansion where the rocker lived with wife Courtney Love and shot himself to death in 1994 at age 27. That one, in a flossy Seattle neighborhood near the shores of Lake Washington, draws pilgrims on a regular basis.

The Aberdeen property, built in 1923 in the beleaguered fishing and logging town south of Seattle, is still “largely preserved,” according to the online property listing. What exactly that means is anybody’s guess.

But what most prospective home sellers would haul off to the dump or paint over appears to have elevated the listing price for this little home. The four-bedroom house is described as still containing “many belongings of Kurt’s.”

“There are even marks and drawings on the walls made by Kurt, and pieces of original furniture including family dining table/hutch, Kurt’s childhood mattress, the rug in his room and more,” the listing boasts.

Cobain moved to the East 1st Street house -- all 1,522 square feet of it --  with his family when he was just a few months old and lived there until his parents separated when he was 9. He returned at age 16, left at age 20 and with Nirvana found breakthrough success at 24 with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Cobain and bandmate Krist Novoselic practiced in the attached garage in the late 1980s. He took out his early angst upstairs, where, the listing says, his former bedroom contains “artwork drawn directly on the walls and a hole in one wall where he punched it as a teen, almost breaking his hand.”

The listing suggests “exciting possibilities” for a prospective owner, including “renovation, moving the building and incorporating it into a larger institution or private collection or creating a museum in Aberdeen or elsewhere (provided the necessary consent is obtained).”

The Cobain family has sweetened the online presentation with photos of its famous son. Which might be necessary. At least one real estate website pegged the average sales price for similar homes sold recently in the neighborhood at $93,150.

Realtor Billy Rose, president of Beverly Hills-based The Agency and the property's listing agent, said the house "absolutely can be lived in" but "I'm not sure it's the highest and best use" for the property.

"It enables us to get insight into the childhood and mind of a rock legend," Rose said. "We've had calls from people who are interested in ... making it available to the the public, either in Aberdeen or elsewhere."

All that, and with just one bathroom.

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