A year after the real estate listing became a widely shared internet news item, the new owner of the house in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood used for the filming of “Purple Rain” has been revealed: Prince himself bought the place eight months before his death.
“I don’t think he had a plan. I think he just wanted it,” guessed the home’s selling agent, Deborah Larsen of Coldwell Banker Burnet in Minneapolis, who remembers the transaction being predictably unusual.
Larsen said she got a call just before 5 p.m. one day last July from a woman in California who wanted to quickly make an offer “sight unseen” on the house at 3420 Snelling Av. S., just south of Lake Street and east of Hiawatha Avenue. Even more surprising, the caller offered to pay everything up front, no financing.
“Yeah, right,” Larsen recalled thinking, especially after hearing from a lot of fans only pretending to be prospective buyers. She still gave the woman instructions on how to formalize the transaction.
“I told her to call me in a couple hours when she did all that. Lo and behold, she called almost to the minute and had everything done.”
When she saw the name on the paperwork, NPG Music Publishing — Prince’s company — Larsen realized who was behind the purchase.
The singer paid $117,000, just a little over the asking price of $110,000. A two-story, three-bedroom house built in 1913, the home appeared to be empty at the time of sale and still looks uninhabited. The listing for the home stated it “needs to be rehabbed.”
Apparently, it still needs that work. Larsen said she got a call from a Minneapolis city staffer a few months after the sale, complaining that the so-called R and R (repair and replace) requirements — the new owner’s responsibility, according to sale documents — had not been completed. She could not remember the specific work needed.
After his death on April 21, the house became part of the Prince estate now overseen by Bremer Trust. It’s one of dozens of local properties the rock legend owned at the time of his death, including his Paisley Park Studio and several high-value sites in Chanhassen as well as his real childhood home in north Minneapolis.
Prince never actually lived at the Snelling Avenue house. The filmmakers of “Purple Rain” paid the then-owners to use it for the exterior shots of the home where Prince’s character, The Kid, lived a turbulent life with his parents in the 1984 film. Most prominently, one scene shows Prince’s father being taken away in an ambulance after he shot himself. Interior scenes were filmed elsewhere.