It may seem unfathomable to jaded Southern Californians, but there are still many places in the United States where one can score a (relatively) nice house on a (relatively) big lot for way under $1 million. Take the coastal Rhode Island town of Portsmouth, where veteran YouTube star Scotty Kilmer and his longtime wife Leslie have paid $580,000 for a charming spot with through-the-trees views of Sakonnet River, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Records suggest the couple does not have a mortgage on the property.
Kilmer actually bought the house last fall, and has already shown off bits and pieces of the place on his YouTube channel — naturally. The mostly flat property spans more than half an acre of land, and comes complete with a detached two-car garage, a large shed, lush lawns and a 1965-built main house. At just under 1,200 square feet, that house is small, but it’s been nicely updated throughout with an open floorplan, hardwood floors, two large fireplaces and even a master bathroom with radiant heated floors.
A native of Niagara Falls, Kilmer had an unusual path to fame and fortune. The 68-year-old has worked as a mechanic for decades, and in the 2000s he hosted a TV show on a local Houston network that saw him answering questions related to mechanical problems and providing car-related advice. From those entertainment industry seeds sprang his popular YouTube channel, which has attracted widespread attention in the car community and legions of both fans and critics.
Unlike most other YouTube auto reviewers, Kilmer typically doesn’t record himself driving cars or even sitting in cars, for that matter. Instead, watching one of his videos is a frequently surreal experience, with the sunglasses-wearing Kilmer often screaming at the camera while flailing his arms up and around. While he is particularly fond of Toyotas, he criticizes most other brands, and his videos usually digress from cars into the subjects of aftermarket additives, politics and beyond.
Controversial as it may be, Kilmer’s unconventional approach has paid off. Today, he’s accumulated nearly five million YouTube subscribers and a whopping 1.7 billion lifetime views, making him one of the platform’s most successful automotive channels of all time — and assuredly a very, very wealthy mechanic.