Ugliest Home in the US Built By a Criminal

Many of you see our Tacky Thursday posts on social media that provide an opportunity to caption the headline for some pretty odd, tacky, filthy, or just plain awful homes.  However, this week's home offers a back story that is too salacious NOT to share!

For anyone who missed our post yesterday, here is the photo of the entry hall of the Kessler mansion in the US that has been listed for sale for a long time without selling.  It's easy to understand that the interior style may not be for everyone.  However, once you know who the original owner was and his background, you may understand his viewpoint.



Dubbed the "Kessler Mansion" (NO relation to the beloved former Vancouver Canucks player, Ryan Kesler), this home was built in Indianapolis and is over 29,500 square feet.  The owner, known as "Mr. Big", was actually a convicted pimp who made his money in the construction industry.  His actual name was Jerry Hostetler, and he was given that name since he stood almost 7 feet tall and prior to his death weighed almost 500 pounds.  He originally owned a smaller portion of the property which was home to a modest 3 bedroom residence.  As his wealth increased, he continued to buy up neighbouring properties and he then embarked on building his dream estate that would reflect absolute luxury.


According to media reports, Hostetler's probation officer stated "When asked how he became involved in the [pimping] business, [Hostetler] said it was difficult to pass up that easy money." Hostetler felt that construction loans were even easier money (and legal) than prostitution, and he was quickly offered numerous loans from several banks to build his dream mansion.  What is very interesting is that as he continued to obtain construction loans, Kessler would put different titles on different buildings on the property. When he died in 2006, the home went into foreclosure, but in SEPARATE pieces as portions of the home were taken over by the various banks, but not all of the estate.


The estate does not have one specific style and many have commented that this may be the reason that the property was considered the "Ugliest Home in the US" and has been referred to as the "Midwestern Vegas Versailles" by the Huffington Post. Some of the more interesting features of the home included a 7,000 square foot ballroom, life-like statues of gorillas, and a Playboy-inspired grotto with hot tub.

The present owner, while trying (unsuccessfully) to find a buyer for the property has now resorted to renting the estate out on Airbnb.  In 2010, it was reported that the Baha Men called the estate home while launching their comeback tour.   It will certainly be interesting to see who the next owner of this unique home is!

When it comes to real estate, whether you are looking for a unique estate, family home, investment property, or your first condo, our Layzell Dreger & Associates Team can help.