Crazy Times at the Walter White House – Shocking Scenes

The Breaking Bad TV series, which concluded in 2013, remains hugely popular, and fans continue to flock to the home in Albuquerque, New Mexico that was used as the exterior for the White family residence. However, what was initially a novelty for the homeowners has turned into a nightmare for the Padilla family as they’ve been inundated with trespassers, pizza-throwers, and over-eager fans.

Visitors expecting a casual photo opportunity at Walter White’s house from “Breaking Bad” might be taken aback by the likelihood of encountering hostility from the owner for merely observing the property. The family has a longstanding history of being combative with fans, and the psychology surrounding the entire situation is surreal at times.

The late matriarch Fran Padilla became infamous for harassing visitors, and her daughter Joanne has carried on the combative legacy, frequently confronting and deterring fans despite the home’s iconic status. Despite the constant intrusions on their privacy, the family has refused to sell the property or capitalize on its fame, leading many to question their motivations amid the unending chaos they’ve seemingly invited upon themselves.

The intricacies and stories behind the family’s behavior are complicated. Hence why many fans take to social media to share their conflicts and experiences at the Breaking Bad house.

Here’s everything you need to know before visiting the Walter White House.

Visiting Walter White’s Breaking Bad Home

A great way to relive the series is to see the different filming locations in Breaking Bad’s hometown. Personally, our favorite site was the Walter White House in Albuquerque’s Loma del Rey neighborhood. While not as dark as the White family drama, the owners have created so much controversy that you may leave with your own unbelievable Breaking Bad story.

3828 Piermont Drive before the renovations were completed on the Walter White House.

Life as the Owner of Walter White’s House

Frances “Fran” Padilla had no idea what she was getting herself into when she agreed that Breaking Bad film crews used her house’s exterior as the White family residence. At the time of filming, the Padilla family resided here for about 35 years.

Of course, the Padillas were financially compensated in exchange for using their home during production. According to their grandson, while the couple retired nearly millionaires, they agreed to $3,000 per episode for a total payout of about $150,000.

Before their patience wore off, Fran and Louis Padilla were friendly with fans. She even kept a visitor journal. Photo captured in 2014.

Fans Document Their Experiences

As fans began flocking to Breaking Bad filming sites, people started documenting their experiences online. Soon there were hundreds of stories shared about the encounters with “the crazy lady who lives at the Breaking Bad house.” Fran often sat outside in her garage and harassed people who came near the home. Some even suggested her goal was to ruin visitors’ photos of the famous house.

Fans managed to see the backyard of the Breaking Bad house in 2014.

Interestingly, in the early days, fans relayed that the patriarch Louis Padilla was a delight. He was on record sharing stories of the filming and interacting with fans. There are also photos on X of fans sitting in the backyard, graciously thanking Fran for the opportunity to sit in the same spot Bryan Cranston did during filming.

Why the Anger?

Many visitors wonder where all the anger comes from considering that the family agreed to use their home as the Walter White house. Looking back, they had no idea that Breaking Bad would eventually rise to stardom, becoming one of the most popular shows of all time.

The house’s backyard offers the money shot, which still resembles the scenes from Breaking Bad.

Initially, social media posts show that the family enjoyed some of the fame and notoriety. Unfortunately, as the cult following grew, so did the trespassing on their private property.

There is nothing original or funny or cool about throwing a pizza on this lady’s roof. —Vince Gilligan, 2015

Fans would come by and throw pizzas on her roof. Landscaping rocks were stolen as souvenirs until the fence was put up. People would drive past the house, gather around the property, and take photos 24 hours a day. There are even reports of fans jumping in the pool and ringing the doorbell asking for Jesse Pinkman. Joanne claimed in a YouTube video that she was “attacked by drones.”

Fran Passes in 2020

For many years, Fran was the face of the Walter White House. People could read about her interactions with visitors, notably with her firey red hair and feisty New Yorker personality.

Before her passing, visitors would often find Fran in her front yard.

Sadly, she passed away on May 8, 2020, at the age of 78—and because people are crazy, there are even Breaking Bad-associated reviews on her obituary page, with one of them full of rage and hate. Louis still resides at the home and suffers from dementia. His daughter Joanne now lives at the house and is his primary caregiver.

Next Generation of Crazy

While videos and photos of Fran prove otherwise, some suggest that the matriarch was never the problem—rather her grey-haired daughter Joanne Quintana is the wild card. After Fran’s passing, Joanne assumed the position of head watchdog and angry instigator. Unfortunately, Joanne appears more combative than her mother.

Fran’s grandson shares, “To be honest, they are mean people. They are quick to anger, judgemental, etc. They don’t need to sit in the garage and yell at people all day. However, I’d get sick of people harassing my house to. People have gone into their pool in the middle of the night to get a selfie. The pizzas on the roof. Things like that. They don’t need to be crazy, but it didn’t just come out of nowhere.”

Popular Fan Questions

After reading numerous reviews, visitors always leave the Walter White House with the same questions. They are:

  • Why not just sell the house if they hate all of the attention?
  • Why stay out in front of the house so much if seeing fans is so triggering?
  • What power do they have in regulating public spaces like sidewalks and streets?
  • Why did Breaking Bad producers pick that specific house?
  • From an entrepreneurial perspective, why not turn the property into a Breaking Bad-themed Airbnb?

Interestingly, there are reports that the family will never sell the property. In one video, a fan asks Joanne about the prospect of turning the Breaking Bad house into an Airbnb to make money.

Her reply was, “No, this is my family private home. I’ve owned this house for 50 years. No, you make your house an Airbnb.” However, the grandson has hinted that they may sell the property once the patriarch Louis passes.

Only the exterior was used for filming in Breaking Bad. The majority of interior shots were filmed on a soundstage.

Why 3828 Piermont?

Many fans wonder why 3828 Piermont Drive was chosen as the Walter White House. The Reddit post, “Ask me anything about the Breaking Bad house. I’m part of that family.” is an insightful read and answers many of the above questions.

To summarize, the grandson of Louis and Fran explained:

“So the location of the house fits their needs first and foremost. It has a long street leading directly to the house, and side to side streets. So the house was just easy for filming I think. They also have a pool, which is uncommon in ABQ…They did use a set for the master bedroom scenes, but the front, dining room, and pool were shot on site…They literally knocked on her door, said “were filming a show, here’s a business card, if you’re interested we will be in touch,” and that was that.”

Albuquerque Over Riverside

Given Breaking Bad’s signature aesthetic, could you imagine the series being filmed anywhere else besides Albuquerque? However, surprisingly, New Mexico was not the first choice to host Breaking Bad. Instead, it was originally planned to be set in Riverside, California. The location was only moved due to tax laws and other financial incentives.

This camera angle shows why the Padilla house was chosen, with a long street leading up to the house and side streets in each direction—perfect for filming.

Where to Join the Conversation

Previously, some of the best reviews and commentary were documented on Google Maps. The listing was where fans could virtually gather to share photos and humorous stories of their experience at the Breaking Bad house. Unfortunately, sometime in 2024, Google Maps blurred out the house and scrubbed the listing from the internet.

Today, the best conversations are on TripAdvisor, Reddit, and YouTube, especially with famous Youtubers sharing their encounters with the crazy Breaking Bad lady.

The production design team made the home look desolate. However, producers fully restored the pool to its pristine condition after skateboarders damaged the surface when filming this scene.

No Regrets

Fans who visit 3828 Piermont Drive may find themselves disappointed. Over the years, many modifications were made to the exterior of the Breaking Bad house including a fence and a new roof. Additionally, deterrents are scattered everywhere around the property. Cones, signage, security cameras, garbage cans, and caution tape don’t offer a “Breaking Bad circa 2008” photo.

There are reports that the roof was changed to this material to better accommodate fans’ thrown pizzas.

Given that the Walter White House is protected with security cameras and fencing, there must be an element of enjoyment that comes from harassing fans and causing a scene in the neighborhood. This is evident when Joanne recently stated on camera that she has no regrets about being a part of the show.

Famous YouTuber Danny Duncan charms Joanne who gives him a private backyard tour. She asked him to leave the pizza boxes behind which he brought to film the video.

On the right day and with a certain level of fame, you might convince her to give you a private backyard tour. She might even invite you to sit on the same patio table used in filming, still on the property.

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