Dexter Filming Locations: Dexter's Childhood Home


The location: Dexter's Childhood Home.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A residential home.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. This is the home where Dexter grew up with his adopted family, and we see it in flashbacks, usually involving a young Dexter interacting with his foster father and/or his sister, Debra.

    We first see the house in Episode 5 (of Season 1), "Love American Style". A teenage Dexter is out mowing the lawn in front of the house, when a girl shows up and asks a young Dexter if he is he is going to a school dance, hoping he will ask her out. He doesn't.

    Observing this, Dexter's foster father tells him she wanted him to ask her to the dance. When Dexter replies he isn't interested in that sort of thing, his father cautions him that most normal boys his age are, and that he needs to take care to appear normal.

    We see the house again in Episode 6 (of Season 1), "Return to Sender", when Dexter's young sister, Debra, is upset with him because he told their father that she used the father's gun for target practice without permission.

    (And the home was used in several interior scenes as well - see the details below.)

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An actual house, but far from Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The house is actually at 2431 Chatwin Avenue, in Long Beach, California. It's on the west side of Chatwin (the second house south of Vernon Street), in a residential Long Beach neighborhood known as 'Los Altos'.

    It is literally right next door to Angel's house (you can see part of the roof of Angel's home to the left in the photo below).

    And it's just two streets west of Rita's home (on San Anseline Ave.)

    According to an in-the-know source ( thanks! ), they also shot several key scenes inside the home, including most of the "teen Dexter" scenes, in Episodes 5, 6, 8 & 9. They even used the home's original furniture.

    In Season 1, those interior scenes included the scene of teen Dexter in a tux about to go to the prom (and getting advice from Harry), teen Dex mock-ambushing Harry in the kitchen to sharpen his skills, and a scene where the family gets a letter saying that the adopted Dexter is now officially a Morgan.

    The birthday party for Rita's daughter, Astor, which was supposed to have taken place at Rita's house, was actually shot in this home's back yard (in Episode 6 of Season 1).

    In Season 2 (Episode 10), the scene where Harry gets mad and smashes a bottle (after learning the cops had to let a bad guy go on a technicality) was shot here.  The memorable scene (in the same episode) where Harry walks in and sees young Dexter cutting up a victim for the first time (and vomits as a result) was shot in the garage of this same house. (In fact, they borrowed, from the owner, the vessel Harry used to throw up in.)

    Also in the second season, when they filmed a murder scene next door in Curtis Brown's house, the female "corpse" came over to this house after the scene and asked to use the shower to wash off the fake blood. And in that same 2nd season, they borrowed some of the home owner's wind chimes for the scene where crazy Lila goes on a stealing spree.

    I shot the photo below in Dec. 2007

    [ Warning: This is a private home.  Do not knock on their door, trespass on their property,
    or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]

    The majority of location filming for "Dexter" was done in Long Beach.

    This Los Altos neighborhood contains at least six different homes used on the TV show, including Rita's house, Angel's house, the house of the neighbor with the noisy dog, the Dade City house that Dexter inherits from his biological father, and the house of the old lady across the street.

    It's also close to the intersection where the "Ice Truck Killer" stopped his car to check on his captive (Debra) in the car trunk.

    The neighborhood is located just south of the San Diego (405) Freeway, and just east of Bellflower Blvd (and north of 23rd Street), in upper Long Beach.

    Here is an aerial photo of the location. And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I already knew the location of Rita's home, so when I went looking for young Dexter's house, I started my search in the same Los Altos neighborhood.

    Using Live Local aerial photos, I looked for the curved driveway and garage seen in the episode where Dexter is talking to his father. I also looked for the houses to the north of his house, which were visible behind Dexter in his scene with the girl, and a row of ten thin evergreen trees, which were also seen in the background of that same scene. I found them, then visited the neighborhood in person to verify that it was the right place..

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