The Price of Spite: Boston’s Skinny House Is For Sale For $895K

updated Feb 4, 2019
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Before people threw shade and sent subtweets, they built spite houses. One of the more famous real estate clap backs is Boston’s Skinny House, and it is currently for sale.

Spite houses are exactly what they sound like: real estate built to spite someone else by blocking a view, annoying a neighbor, or to get around a zoning law. There’s usually an interesting story attached, and who doesn’t like a home with its own legend?

The Skinny House’s tale goes like this: A father dies and leaves his two sons a plot of land in Boston’s North End. After coming home from fighting in the Civil War, one of them returned to see that his brother built a large house that took up most of their shared property. And so, he built the Skinny House, effectively blocking sunlight and his brother’s view of Boston Harbor. Even for spite houses, that’s pretty spitetacular: “Building on top of your brother’s house to block his view means that your view gets blocked too, and you have to live next to the guy forever,” The Hairpin wrote, ranking it the spite-est of spite houses. “It takes an awful lot of spite to live like that.”

Well, now you can live there—for a cool $895,000. The two bedroom, one bathroom house—formerly available for rent—clocks in at 1,166 square feet, but is just over six feet at its narrowest point. The space is split up amongst four floors that are about 300 square feet each: The kitchen and dining room on the first floor; a living room, bathroom, and dining area on the second; the third has a study and a bedroom with built-in bunk beds; and the master bedroom comprises the fourth floor. There’s also a roof deck with those spite-worthy Harbor views.

“Every nook and corner is used to maximize the space,” Realtor Eric Shabshelowitz told Boston Magazine. “It’s tight quarters. You find a way to make everything fit.”

And what about holding open houses? “Over ten [people] is gonna be tight.”