Geolocating a “$5.5 Million MEGA Mansion”

In this video, Carter Banks walks through two condos:

Yup, I found it.

This one was harder. Carter said it’s in the south, but the main clue is at around 33:21:

“MORE THAN PINK” corresponds to the Komen Foundation’s MORE THAN PINK Walk. As this video was posted in early 2024, I assume it was taken in late 2023. Reviewing 2023 event locations, the only one that is really “in the south” is Atlanta, Georgia.

Careful analysis of the drone shots and other clues in the video suggest this is a large home in an older neighborhood. Why older? The addition of condos in the back, which are nowhere near as old as the house, generally can only happen in older neighborhoods with looser zoning or deed restrictions.

Additional clues on its location:

  • Loud road noise place it near a major highway.
  • Various videos indicate it faces a well trafficked, two-lane road.
  • The road has a crosswalk.
  • The left side of the house (from the perspective of standing in its front yard) is one or two lots away from another two-lane road (we’ll call that road 2), and that other road has less traffic.
  • The house to the left has a white roof and a narrow pool.
  • Behind the house is a small cul-de-sac that intersects with road 2.
  • The house faces to the east. That was apparent by the shadows. The exterior videos all felt like mid-day, so the sun was likely mostly to the south. Since the shadows fell off the north side of the building, that means it faces to the east.

This gave me a distinct fingerprint to look for.

Atlanta is big. It took a while. I initially focused east and then north of downtown. I later branched out on the northeast side and found it:

Now for commentary on Carter’s truthiness. He has a bad habit of using tall tales to sell his videos. He didn’t punch much higher this time.

First, important background: the main house—the “mansion”–is one of six condos on this property. The other five are in the horseshoe. Carter first entered condo #1 (property record), then he entered condo #6, the “mansion” (property record).

Condos 1-4 and 6 are owned by three people who share a last name. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are related. Those condos are all unoccupied, and the current owner of condo 1 used to also own condos 2 and 6 but sold those two to their current, same-last-name owner. Condos 1-4 and 6 all had sales transactions within the past 20 years.

Condo 5, which Carter claimed is occupied, has had the same owner since 1987, way before the current, last-name-sharing owners snapped up condos 1-4 and 6. The name is different. I see no connection.

Carter conveyed accurate information on the home’s age. The property record shows it was built in 1920.

Carter’s $5.5 million mansion value is unlikely to be true. The main house–condo 6–is tax-appraised at $2.1 million. $5.5 million exaggerates its value by almost two thirds! Even if you add up the tax-appraised value of all six condos, you end up at only $3,997,100.

Is this a “MEGA mansion”? No way. At 6,784 square feet, this is at best a small mansion, maybe more accurately just a large house.

Carter said that the prior owner died in 2005, the wife could not keep up with the mortgage, and left it abandoned during a major renovation.

None of that is likely true.

In 2005, the mansion (condo 6) was owned by Diana Fiksman. She survived her husband Alex who, per his August 2000 obituary, was “owner operator of Alex Hairstyles in Atlanta for over 30 years”. (Diana passed in 2020.)

Per the record of a lawsuit that rose to the Georgia Supreme Court, the Fiksmans were associated with that property no later than 1993. Their start could have been earlier. While I am not a lawyer, my read of the lawsuit suggests that Diana was in a position of strength on the property, not someone in dire straits.

Diana sold the house (condo 6) in 2006 to the same person who later purchased condo 1 in 2015. I’m going to bet that owner resided in the house until he sold it in 2018 to a person with his same last name.

I doubt the current owner resided there. I think he bought it to renovate. Based on the condition of the interior, I think the renovation work is fairly recent. Also, in May 2017, trash cans were stored by the street:

They were gone by December 2018, after the sale:

Removing those cans from the driveway would make sense if you no longer reside there. And why would you not reside there? Because you’re renovating it.

Also, isn’t this a fairly recent Chipotle cup in part of the fountain?

Carter also suggested that the prior resident of the mansion (condo 6) was of a specific ethnicity, collected art, and ran a business out of the home. The last names of the owners of condos 1-4 and 6 do correspond to a particular ethnicity. But the art collection and business-running are unclear.

Likely, all we got from this is walkthrough of a paused, recent renovation on a large home, accompanied by some buildings out back in varying states of repair. The intrigue concocted through a back story appears to, once again, be untruthful. But that’s how you sell boring walkthroughs of commodity structures.

2 thoughts on “Geolocating a “$5.5 Million MEGA Mansion””

  1. Aren, thank you for the article and de-bunking the myths.

    Two versions of this video have been posted by the same producers with different hosts. There are many inaccuracies. The videos were clearly filmed at different times, based on lighting and the contents of the house.

    In one video, the mansion is “Mediterranean Style” in the other it is “Victorian”. By my estimate it is likely Georgian. Haha.

    In one video, they characterize the Chinese/ Asian lions on the front porch as “gargoyles”. Haha.

    The condos in the back were built in the 1970’s based on lenient zoning regulations. The condos have nothing to do with the 1920’s original house.

    In one video, they suggest the 2005 owner was an art and antique dealer. In the other, they identify him as Alex Fiksman, a successful Atlanta hairdresser.

    In one video, they claim Fiksman died of an unknown illness (not true, old age) and the bank repossessed the “mansion” because his wife and heir could not make the payments (also not true). The host immediately contradicts himself, stating the home is owned by a Chinese family.

    The hosts have no clue as to what furniture are antiques vs. vintage, much less, which are quality.

    The host is correct that there was an estate auction after Fiksman’s death, as part of settling the estate; not as a result of the house being “abandoned”, as he claims.

    1. That video you shared is from Jeremy Abbott (JeremyXplores). To Jeremy’s credit, he did explore more of the history of some of the prior occupants. I liked that he shared an article that described how the property was redeveloped.

      His coverage of these people does not rise to documentary-level accuracy, but he is trying.

      I found this curious: It’s the 2004 estate of Alex Fiksman. I think I saw some of the unsold items in the home?

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