You Can Buy Janis Joplin’s Childhood Home for $500K

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The house at 4330 32nd St., Port Arthur, Texas where Janis Joplin lived from ages four to 18 is on the market. The list price is $500,000, which is a bargain considering the music legend’s wildly painted 1964 Porsche went for $1.76 million at an auction this past December.

SFGate spoke to Sarah Bellian, curator for the Museum of the Gulf Coast, which boasts a large Janis Joplin exhibit, about why the asking price is so seemingly low. She doesn’t believe that the owners will even get $500K.

“The problem is, unlike having a car or a piece of clothing or something that you can take with you, the house is where the house is,” said Bellian. “So you have to look at the surrounding market for it.”

Houses of similar age and size to the 1,450-square-foot, white-painted home in the southeast Texas neighborhood typically go for $75,000, and the property in question is only valued at $52,500, according to Jefferson County Appraisal District public records.

The realtor charged with finding a new owner for the house is Diane Fernandez, who contacted the Museum of the Gulf Coast to see if any board members would be interested in buying it before putting it on the general market. The members declined.

Many aspects of the house have changed since Joplin lived there as an adolescent. In fact, Fernandez said that really the only things original to the home are the doors and doorknobs. However, the concrete garage floor holds something distinctly Janis Joplin: the singer carved her first name into the cement next to her sister’s name, Laura. The property also features a placard in the front yard from the Texas Historical Commission declaring it a historical site, giving a brief history of Joplin’s life.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom house is available for tours only to those seriously interested in purchasing it, with proof of funds required. See more pictures of the house, including a shot of Joplin’s name in the concrete, here.

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