CT home goes 'wild' on viral social media accounts

Every homeowner makes their space their own, be it through furniture, paint or even a few construction projects. But a full in-house barber shop in New York, a home “Oval Office” in Ohio or a regulation-sized ice rink in Connecticut took the notion of making a home your own and made it “wild” – or at least, that’s what the ever-popular @zillowgonewild Instagram and Tik Tok accounts propose.

Finding some of the most over-the-top homes listed on real estate site Zillow from around the U.S. and around the world, the accounts are quickly amassing social media followers. Each post shares images of the for-sale properties and their most eccentric — and often hidden — features, with users contributing their commentary on the homes' quirks. And in January 2021, Stamford, Conn. had one of its own properties grace the digital spaces thanks to its regulation-sized ice rink that comes complete with a Zamboni.

The original owners of the home at 503 Studio Road, which is currently listed for $5.9 million, had the professional ice rink added to their over 13 acres of property in 2004 to satisfy their passion for skating. Part of their six bedroom, eight bathroom home that spans 18,166 square feet, the indoor ice rink was also outfitted with “heated team bench seats, lighted scoreboard, home and visiting team locker rooms,” as well a fully-integrated sound system and even a “luxurious viewing lounge” from which to watch hockey games or performances, according to the Zillow listing.

And Instagram users were here for it. “I really just want the Zamboni,” said Instagram user @gavinwarren, while @chaiandparleg ogled at the rink’s size, “That ice skating rink would accommodate my whole house.”

After creating the account from his own “bored” Zillow browsing, founder of the @zillowgonewild accounts Samir Mezrahi — who is also the deputy director of social media at Buzzfeed and “head salad” for Twitter meme generator, Kale Salad — thought others might also enjoy seeing some of the “crazy homes” he’s passed by on the site. Now, marveling at these unique homes is only half the fun.

“I think the account has become successful [because] it’s brought the casual home enthusiast together and highlights the funnest coolest weirdest stuff out there,” he told Hearst CT Media in an email. “It also seemed to have spark[ed] ‘viral homes’ where people are intentionally staging and listing homes with the intention of them going viral.”

The account has amassed over one million followers since its first post in December 2020 and even spawned a celebrity homes edition called @zillowgonewildcelebrityhomes. With so many properties up for collective viewing — and commentary — on Mezrahi’s accounts, there’s no telling when a Connecticut property might show up again.