Boston’s ‘Skinny House,’ sells for more than $1.2 million 


Boston’s infamous ‘skinny house’ built amid a Civil War-era family feud has sold after roughly a month on the market for $1.25million. 

The single-family home is only ten feet wide and 30 feet long with 1,165 square feet of space spanning four floors – not to mention a private roof deck with views of the Boston Harbor – all on a total of 0.03 acres.  

It was listed on August 10, and had seen high demand, going under agreement in less than a week, real estate agency CL properties announced on Facebook Thursday. 

Legend has it that the home – dubbed the ‘Spite House’ – was built in 1890 on a lot shared by feuding brothers who inherited the land from their father. One returned from fighting in the Civil War to find his brother had built a large house on the lot so in an act of revenge, he squeezed his own property between two other homes to block the sunlight and harbor views. 

‘Shaquille O’Neal would definitely be able to touch wall to wall,’ Travis Sachs, executive vice president for CL Properties, told the Washington Post

It was sold for $50,000 over the original asking price to a family of four after the deal was finalized this week. 

Boston’s infamous ‘skinny house’ in the city’s North End sold to a family of four this week for $1.25million after about a month on the market. The single-family home is only ten feet wide and 30 feet long

In the kitchen, the original antique floorboards remain and from the window there's a view of Copp's Hill

In the kitchen, the original antique floorboards remain and from the window there’s a view of Copp’s Hill 

There's a backyard garden (pictured) and a roof deck. Listing agent Carmella Laurella of CL Properties told Boston Magazine: 'The place lives much larger than the square footage states. It's all the windows and gardens and views.'

There’s a backyard garden (pictured) and a roof deck. Listing agent Carmella Laurella of CL Properties told Boston Magazine: ‘The place lives much larger than the square footage states. It’s all the windows and gardens and views.’

Square footage-wise Sachs said the sale price was roughly in line with the city’s real estate market. 

‘In the North End waterfront area, we basically average here about a thousand dollars a square foot,’ he said. 

‘We sold above that, for about $1,500 per square foot, the reason being that the house is fully renovated, has the outdoor space in the back and also the private roof deck.’ 

Demand for the house was such that when realtor Eric Shabshelowitz hosted an open house for the 44 Hull Street property when it was listed, the line to get into the house was wider than the home itself.

Shabshelowitz told Boston Magazine that the place feels shockingly big inside despite the dimensions. 

‘Every nook and corner is used to maximize the space,’ he said, pointing out an area near the front door that was turned into a coat closet.

‘You find a way to make everything fit,’ he added.  

The main entrance to the home is in a side alley that leads guests straight into the kitchen and dining room, which may have been a space-saving design decision when it was built over a century ago.

Prospective buyers and curious tourists come to gawk at the pale green ‘skinny house’ not only for its unique design but also for it’s quirky history.

The home – dubbed the ‘Spite House’ – was built in 1890 and local lore has it that it was on a lot shared by feuding brothers who inherited the land from their father.  

Upon returning home from the Civil War one brother was annoyed that the other took over the inheritance while he was out on the front lines.

In spite of his brother’s new-build home, the man squeezed a house between two other properties just to block the sunlight and harbor views from his greedy sibling. 

A wooden sign outside the home that reads ‘The Skinny House (Spite House)’ makes the property an unofficial Boston landmark. The house is located just steps from the Freedom Trail.

‘Every tourist that comes to town wants to be in front of this house and take a picture,’ Laurella’s business partner Travis Fachs said. 

Now a lucky buyer will get to enjoy the views the bitter brother set out to block 131 years ago. From the kitchen window you can see Copp’s Hill and the roof deck boasts views of the rest of the North End and Boston Harbor. 

The original exposed brick and beams still remain but updates such as new kitchen appliances, stone countertops and a second-floor laundry room give the modern homeowner everything they may need

The original exposed brick and beams still remain but updates such as new kitchen appliances, stone countertops and a second-floor laundry room give the modern homeowner everything they may need

The main entrance to the home is in a side alley that leads guests straight into the kitchen and dining room, which may have been a space-saving design decision when it was built over a century ago

The main entrance to the home is in a side alley that leads guests straight into the kitchen and dining room, which may have been a space-saving design decision when it was built over a century ago

Two bedrooms - each less than 300 square feet - occupy the two upper levels. One suite has a study and built-in bunk beds

Two bedrooms – each less than 300 square feet – occupy the two upper levels. One suite has a study and built-in bunk beds

Legend has it the 'Skinny House' - also known as the 'Spite House' - was built in 1890 by feuding brothers who shared a piece of land they both inherited from their father

Legend has it the ‘Skinny House’ – also known as the ‘Spite House’ – was built in 1890 by feuding brothers who shared a piece of land they both inherited from their father

Upon returning home from the Civil War one brother was annoyed that the other took over the inheritance while he was out on the front lines

 Upon returning home from the Civil War one brother was annoyed that the other took over the inheritance while he was out on the front lines

In spite of his brother's new-build home, the man squeezed a house in between two other properties just to block the sunlight and harbor views from his greedy brother

In spite of his brother’s new-build home, the man squeezed a house in between two other properties just to block the sunlight and harbor views from his greedy brother

A lucky buyer will get to enjoy the views the bitter brother set out to block over a century ago. From the roof deck there are views of the rest of the North End and Boston Harbor

A lucky buyer will get to enjoy the views the bitter brother set out to block over a century ago. From the roof deck there are views of the rest of the North End and Boston Harbor

The original exposed brick, beams and antique hardwood floors still remain but updates such as new kitchen appliances, stone countertops and a second-floor laundry room gives the modern homeowner everything they may need. 

Two bedrooms – each less than 300 square feet – occupy the two upper levels and a basement and back garden take up the two lower levels. 

To make things even better there are no condo association fees or regulations. You also make your own maintenance costs, as reported by Boston Magazine. 

‘If you wanted to rent it out once a month you can do that,’ Fachs added.

The ‘skinny house’ was last on the market in 2017 for $895,000. It sold for $900,000 within three months.

Laurella said the current owner has rented out the home occasionally but is now selling it for good as she is moving out of the area. Over the past four years she updated the space even more with recessed lighting, garden upgrades, plus new heating and air conditioning systems.

The realtor said the owner ‘got sad’ when she saw the listing go up on the website.

‘I had the best feeling being there. It’s always so comfortable.’ 

A wooden sign outside the home that reads 'The Skinny House (Spite House)' makes the property a sort of unofficial Boston landmark. Potential buyers and curious tourists alike rushed to see the 'skinny house' in person at Saturday's open-house

A wooden sign outside the home that reads ‘The Skinny House (Spite House)’ makes the property a sort of unofficial Boston landmark. Potential buyers and curious tourists alike rushed to see the ‘skinny house’ in person at Saturday’s open-house

Each bedroom is less than 300 square feet. The fourth floor bedroom - the master bedroom - has access to the roof deck

Each bedroom is less than 300 square feet. The fourth floor bedroom – the master bedroom – has access to the roof deck

From the street there appears to be no front door because the main entrance is in a side alley that leads guests straight into the kitchen and dining room. There is also a finished basement

From the street there appears to be no front door because the main entrance is in a side alley that leads guests straight into the kitchen and dining room. There is also a finished basement



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