For $1.2 million, you get a ten foot wide, two-bedroom home and a little piece of Boston history.
44 Hull St., North End
Size: 1,165 square feet
Like trucks getting Storrowed, Boston’s “Skinny House” is a local legend that we simply can’t look away from, and for good reason. When this narrow, little home was last on the market, it drew in crowds from as far out as Lexington trying to take a peek, because who would turn down the chance to see what it’s like inside a house that’s as wide as the line at Dunkin’s on a weekday morning? Well, fanatics of unusual Boston history, your time has come once more, because this skinny legend is for sale again.
Ten feet wide and 30 feet long, the Skinny House was last on the market in 2017 for $895,000. After many open houses packed with onlookers, the North End property was sold for $900,000. Four years later, it’s for sale again, this time for $1.2 million. Listing agent Carmela Laurella of CL Properties says she can’t keep up with the interest the property has already received since it went up for sale Monday night. And while it’s appealing for its…unique build, it also has a lot of other redeeming traits.
“The special part about this home obviously is its history back in Boston,” says Travis Fachs, Laurella’s partner at CL Properties. “Every tourist that comes to town and does the Freedom Trail wants to be in front of this house and take a picture. It’s a single-family home, which are rare. There’s no condo fee with it, you make your own maintenance costs, and you’re not handcuffed to condo association fees and regulations. If you wanted to rent it out one month, you can do that…. This house pretty much has everything, even though it’s 1165 square feet. It has decks, unobstructed views of the city and harbor, and it has outdoor space.”
Maybe it’s all that, but it’s likely the notoriety drumming up interest in this home. The so-called “spite house” was allegedly built in 1890 by a man who returned home from the Civil War to find his brother built a giant house on the shared piece of land they both inherited from their father. Annoyed his brother hogged their inheritance while he was literally out risking his life, the man built a home squeezed in between two other properties with the sole intent of blocking the sunlight and harbor views from his brother’s new home. And thus, the “Skinny House” was born.
The lucky buyer who has $1.2 million and an ability to live in narrow spaces will get 1,165 square feet of living space spread out across four stories of this home. And they’ll also get the views the vengeful brother sought to block. From the kitchen, you can spy Copp’s Hill, while a private roof deck offers views of the rest of the North End and Boston Harbor. And just because it’s tiny doesn’t mean you won’t have everything you need here. The new owners will still have a full-sized kitchen with updated appliances, custom cabinetry, and stone countertops, as well as a living and dining area. On the second level, there’s a full laundry room, sitting area, and a bathroom with a shower/tub combo.
The home’s two bedrooms are tucked away on the two upper levels. The primary bedroom suite comes with custom lighting and access to the private roof deck, while the guest bedroom on the level below sports a living nook and a “reach-in closet.” Sounds a little cramped, but the trade-off is the outdoor space: out back is a private garden. Brick accents, motorized window treatments, hardwood floors, and newly added recessed lighting round off this unique place. And if you’re intimidated by the size, fear not: Laurella said the space feels bigger than it is.
“The place just lives much larger than the square footage states,” she says. “It just feels like such a really comfortable home. It really lives larger. It’s all the windows and gardens and views.”
Laurella says the current owner has been living in the home and renting it out occasionally, but is now selling as she prepares to move out of the area. Over the last four years, the current owner modernized the space, including adding recessed lighting and upgrading the garden, heating system, and air conditioning.
“Last night she told me when she saw (the listing) go up, she got sad,” Laurella says. “Then she said ‘I had the best feeling being there. It’s always so comfortable.’”
For more information, contact Carmela Laurella, CL Properties, clproperties.com.