In New York, you can’t be too rich or too thin – even if you’re a building. A recent news report about a really skinny house has people around the country laughing their heinies off at poor, beleagured lower Manhattan, where a cool $4.3 million is what you’ll have to pay if you want to live in a house just nine feet wide.
That’s four feet smaller than the length of a Volkswagon bug, and three feet smaller than a teeny-weeny Mini Cooper. It doesn't even have a full address -- it's 75 1/2 Bedford Street.
The city is full of tiny-abode stories, but this one takes the teeny-tiny sliver of cake!
I mean, I thought the story of the 90 foot apartment was weird, but the whole point of that place was it was cheap, and a rental, and the woman who lived there was doing it so she could enjoy living in a place otherwise out of her price range. If a place this small is going to cost this much – well, that’s just a king-sized rip-off.
In its defense, the wee house was once home to Cary Grant and John Barrymore, not to mention the anthropologist Margaret Mead. It has three bedrooms and two baths, though there’s some question about what size bed would actually fit in those bedrooms. The floor plan reveals … really just two bedrooms and a study, and the master bedroom, at 7’4”x15’, barely fits a king-sized bed:
Nonetheless, it is awfully cute! I would totally love to stay there. The kitchen and bathrooms are refinished beautifully, there’s a nice-sized basement rec-room, and a back garden. For Manhattan, that’s quite a coup, and I think it’d be reasonable to ask a million or two for the prime location. Which is what it went for last time this building was up for sale.
The brokers are now asking twice as much, during a huge recession, and that’s just greedy, stupid, and tone-deaf. For comparison purposes, here’s just one room for a house that costs about the same here in San Francisco, and has 5,700 square feet:
Here’s what you get in LA for the same price. I’m pretty sure they shot an episode of Entourage in this Bel-Air manse. 6,143 square feet:
And if the city life isn’t for you, you can move to Asheville, N.C., and for the same dough you get two houses with a pool and seven acres of land:
The listing for the super-skinny Bedford Street house wasn't in the listing, but some quick work with my calculator put it at about 750 square feet, plus the shared garden. That's approximately $5,500 per square foot!
So come on, New York. You're a great town, but get real. This house is cute and unusual, and carries with it a built-in joke from Being John Malcovich, but four and a half mil? As New Yorkers like to say, fuhgeddaboudit.
Do you think these real estate agents will get their outrageous asking price, or do they need to get real?