How Wealthy Were the McCallisters in ‘Home Alone’? Economists Answer – The Hollywood Reporter

It’s been 33 years since Home Alone was released on the big screen. and fans are just now getting an answer to an age-old question: How wealthy was the McCallister family?

Not only did the famous movie family — Peter (John Heard) and Kate McCallister (Catherine O’Hara) and their five children, including Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) — live in quite a large home, but they were also headed out on a trip to Paris in the 1990 film.

So The New York Times decided to get to the bottom of it, working with three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago — Max Gillet, Cindy Hull and Thomas Walstrum.

Since the McCallisters’ home is an actual real-world property in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, the economists were able to compare data from household incomes in the Chicago area in the 1990s, the house’s property value and mortgage rates as well as taxes and insurance.

'Home Alone' house

‘Home Alone’ house

Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

They determined that a household with an income of $305,000 in 1990 — or about $665,000 in 2022 — would have been able to afford the home, assuming the family did not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That makes the home only affordable for those in the top 1 percent of Chicago-area incomes, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Zillow also estimated the Home Alone house would cost about $2.4 million in 2022, and listed the home in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the United States.

Though the film never revealed what the parents did for work, the novelization, written by Todd Strasser and based on the screenplay by John Hughes, made Kate McCallister a fashion designer since there were mannequins in the house and Peter McCallister a businessman because it was “a safe bet,” said Strasser.

He added that he never really thought to explain how the McCallisters got their money and just assumed they were “upper middle class” but not “super rich.”

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