House Hunters Christmas Special: The Griswolds Buy a New House

Sparky and Ellen

Clark and Ellen are raising a family outside Chicago, Illinois. They have two wonderful kids and a dog, and they love the charm and character that their current 3 bedroom house provides, creating scores of cozy holiday memories they will cherish for years to come.

250,000 lights!

However, they are quickly running out of space, and would love a new home with better access to public energy utilities for proper exterior illumination, enough space to keep their parents out of a hotel during the holidays, and neighbors who are NOT Todd and Margo Chester.


The first home we found for them is a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom brick colonial across town, in a nice suburb outside Chicago.

Silver Tuna

The Silver Tuna, as it is known in local burglary circles, has a detached two car garage, a large kitchen with an island, and a beautiful staircase in the vaulted ceiling foyer. Clark praises this house for its curb appeal and cozy attic that reminds him of their old place, but worries about the neighborhood. He knows the Murphy’s next door have been robbed in the past, and isn’t sold on their neighborhood watch program. Ellen loves the spacious bedrooms and quiet cul-de-sac, but worries the price is a bit too high. Clark assures her that the food additives and condiments business is the future of the food industry, and expects a hefty bonus this year, which should allow them to make it work.

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House number 2 is a cheaper option, but it would require the family to pack up their things and move to the sunshine of the west coast.

This 5 bedroom 4.5 bath 4100 sq ft McMansion with a gigantic infinity pool certainly meets their requirements for space. This home was last remodeled in 1997, so it would provide the Griswold family with all the modern amenities they deserve, including reliable electricity for their seasonal Christmas display. Clark loves the open concept kitchen and gigantic pool, but worries about being a part of the LA county school district because he thinks Rusty might be the victim of bullying in a new school, and makes a mental not to teach him a thing or two about how to deal with bullying. Ellen loves the home’s amenities, but has questions about the property’s previous caretakers:

Thurman's in charge

The wooden pickle themed decor is not Ellen’s style, but at minimal cost she thinks she can add her personal style to turn this house into a Griswold home. And while they are not thrilled about uprooting the entire family, the size and price of this home is tough to pass up. Clark even mentions how close they are to Wally World.

House number 3 is the smallest of the bunch, but it certainly has the most character.


This 4 bedroom 2 bath detached house is a shade over 1,700 sq ft, but instantly the Griswolds felt a connection with its bones. Built in 1895, this home has been through multiple major renovations, which have driven the price up substantially. Ellen wasn’t sold on the decor, but Clark was inexplicably drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

FRAGILE, its Italian

This house certainly lacked the curb appeal of the first home, and the amenities of the second, but the bones were solid, and despite the heft price tag, the Griswolds really like what it had to offer.

So, what did the Griswolds decide to do? Will it be house number 1, The Silver Tuna? House number 2, the Sun-drenched Christmas paradise? Or house number 3, the Italian themed traditional cottage?

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