'Roseanne' House Sale More Drama Than Comedy

Neighbor Theresa Chadwick confronts buyer Dave Clark about what he plans to do with the house.
Neighbor Theresa Chadwick confronts buyer Dave Clark about what he plans to do with the house.

Reporter: Ben Jackey

The TV comedy is now in re-runs, but Tuesday's auction of the now-famous 'Roseanne' house in Evansville had the feel of a first season reality show.

The two story home at 619 Runnymeade Avenue is shown at the opening of 'Roseanne' which had a nine season run on prime time. Tuesday, the property became the show, and when the auction was over, some neighbors gave mixed reviews to the new owner.

The action played out like a Hollywood script.

First, the emotion.

Owner Ann Noble says, "I'm a little sad about this because this is where I grew up, and this a big part of my family that I'm letting go tonight." Ann Noble's grandparents built this home in 1923. Her mother raised her here.

Then, comes the euphoria.

'Roseanne' creator Matt Williams, a former University of Evansville student, asked the school's drama director to photograph homes for his sitcom. Williams chose 619 Runnymeade. Noble says, of the announcement, "My mom and I kind of stood there looking at each other like, 'Okay, what do you mean? What TV show?'"

The home's fame cashed out with a one-time check and a lot of radio interviews. Noble says, "It was like, 'Who cares where this house is?'. But, apparently people did."

Apparently mom didn't care for the show set at her home. Noble says, "No, 'Roseanne' was a little too over the top for my mom. She was a little more old-fashioned."

Fast forward 15 years.

The build up, auction day..memories going to the highest bidder. The happy Hollywood ending would be that a family buys the home and cares for it. But then comes the Hollywood twist. The buyer is an investor who says his first option is to sell. Buyer Dave Clark says, "We're going to go in there and make some improvements and try to put it back on the market and make a small profit."

But Clark also owns several rental properties, and neighbors don't want any more college kids living in the area.

Neighbor Theresa Chadwick confronted Clark after the sale. "They tear up the houses. They have the litter and the trash." Clark replied, "It's our retirement. So, we're going to try to take care of them. But we can never guarantee it's not going to be college kids. We can't guarantee they're not going to tear it up, but if they do, we're going to kick them out." Chadwick shot back, "If there's gonna' be problems, we'll be the first to call."

It's anything but the script the owner had written in her mind. Noble says, "I was hoping it was someone that was going to make a home out of it, and turn it back into what I remember as a child. That it was a happy place to grow up. I guess that's not going to happen."

Clark says it's up the market to decide how the story ends. He says he owns several properties in the UE area, but only one rents out to college students. Clark told us he'd rather sell the 'Roseanne' house instead of rent it out, and says he was shocked that he got the home for $55,000.