February 23, 2024

I just read this crazy Zillow listing, (Update: It’s gone, check the archive.org copy) and Stangle’s Kid, who posted it on X/Twitter with the description, “I guarantee that you are not prepared for the description of this house,” was absolutely correct. 

I was expecting something that looks like it belongs on Tatooine, or this crypto bro monstrosity, or this real life Barbie Dream House. Or maybe some wild color schemes or a sex dungeon—you know, the typical weirdness that’s featured on Zillow Gone Wild.

It’s none of those things, unfortunately. 

The 3 bed 2 bath, 1566 square foot new construction in Rio Rancho, New Mexico has been on Zillow for 17 days and is listed for $370,475. The heading announces that once the house is completed, it will includes spacious walk-in closets, a bar top, and optional vaulted ceilings. Nothing out of the ordinary here. But then I kept reading:

Just like Harriet Tubman, the icon of American courage and freedom, this home stands out amongst the crowd. The ready to be built Harriett floor plan with it’s distinctive elevation features an ‘entertainers’ kitchen with a bar top between the kitchen and the great room. The owners suite features a spacious walk in closet, and the optional vaulted ceilings in the great room can make it live larger than it is. Discover why this plan was the winner of the ‘Buyer’s Choice Award’ in the Parade of Homes.

Wait, what? Big Red Celt sums up my feelings, “How is it worse than anything I thought it could be?”. Anita agrees, stating simply, “On MLK Day!?”. And Sara Straw posits, “This is why realtors shouldn’t be allowed to deviate from the lexicon (“charming” “good bones”). You give them the wheels, a little scope for creativity… they drive the bus off a cliff.” Finally, Joshua House states, “I’m not sure what’s more bold, writing that description at all, or writing it for a house in a suburb of ABQ.”

Turns out, though, it wasn’t the realtor who created the crazy Zillow listing—it was provided by the home builder, New Mexico-based Abrazo Homes, which builds new constructions in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The company is owned by co-founders Brian McCarthy and Mackenzie Bishop, who call themselves “light and fresh” and “a little unorthodox.” On their website, they provide descriptions of the 30 floorplans they offer, many of which are named after famous women. Some make more sense, like the ones named after architects like Eileen Gray (“The Eileen”) and Julia Morgan (“The Julia”). But others are almost as puzzling as “The Harriet”, if not quite as offensive. Here are some others that I just don’t understand:

“The Frida”: Just like Frida Kahlo, this ready to be built floor plan is a portrait of beauty, which coincidentally gets its name from the famous self-portrait Mexican painter. The Frida is the original, very first floor plan built by Abrazo that has been refined and perfected over the years. It is a single story 3 bed, 2 bath home that checks all the boxes while still maintaining its affordability.

“The Jane”: Just as Jane Austen used social commentary in her novels, our Jane floor plan follows suit by promoting a change in the way home building is done! This open concept single story is an entertainer’s dream. The work center is a great ‘drop zone’ for your mail and keys, and doubles as a great work space. The work center can also be an optional powder room if you wish. This plan features an oversized shower in the owners’ suite, an optional buffet in the dining, an expansive covered patio plus a tandem garage that can be converted into a flex space.

“The Selena”: Known for mainstreaming Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla was small but powerful, our Selena floor plan portrays her in just that way. The Selena is a ready-to-be-built plan that features a recessed patio, offering the luxury of privacy while you sip coffee in your robe in the morning. This three-bedroom house offers great view potential from the great room, kitchen, and the owner’s suite.

“The Thatcher”: Strong and powerful in likeness to the ‘Iron Lady’ Margret Thatcher, our Thatcher floor plan is the luxury sport utility of homes. Our ready to be built Thatcher is an ‘upscale’ 2 story with the owners’ suite on the first floor, all your daily living on a single level, tons of space and tons of flexibility. This plan has an oversized loft, and a flexible bedroom / study space down stairs and volume ceilings in living room. Finally, if you’re looking for a party deck to enjoy the outdoors, this is the house!