Housing Complex

D.C.’s “Smallest Tiniest Dinkiest” House Could Be Yours for $1,200 a Month

Downsizing is the name of the game these days, but with the city's tiniest houses not yet eligible for actual residency, a true microdwelling can be hard to come by. Fortunately, a house on Capitol Hill has you covered.

A Craigslist ad was posted yesterday for a house—a full house, mind you, not a basement or apartment—at 12th Street and Constitution Avenue NE that's all of 252 square feet. The house has earned its share of notoriety: In 2009, The Washington Post's Gene Weingarten marveled in a column that it "stands out from the other houses on the block like a Barbie doll in a police lineup" and wrote, "You walk in to a living room the size of a kitchen, then a kitchen the size of a bathroom, then a bathroom the size of a closet, then ... nothing. That's when you have to walk back up front and realize that the living room the size of a kitchen is also the bedroom."

According to Weingarten, it's the smallest house in D.C.—much smaller than the 371-square-foot behemoth UrbanTurf recently gave the same label—and its owner initially tried to market its coziness before embracing its absurdity and marketing it as "THE SMALLEST TINIEST DINKIEST MOST RIDICULOUS ABSURD MINI-DEMI-PSEUDO-SILLYHOUSE IN WASHINGTON." She apparently found a renter willing to pay $1,000 a month for it (after she bought it for $245,000).

But now it's on the market again, and the price has gone up to $1,200 a month. Not bad for a Capitol Hill home, until you consider that an apartment for a normal human being at the same price per square foot would cost over $3,000 a month.

Is it a steal or a swindle? Take a look at the photos and judge for yourself:

h/t @AndrewRestuccia

  • name

    If they'll take dogs, it's a steal.

  • Lisa

    "the 371-square-foot behemoth..." Nearly choked on my lunch.

  • pepper

    But, what are they waiting? where is the 2nd floor? and the 3rd???the living room on the 1st flor, the kitchen in the middle and the bedroom in the 3rd. problem solved (and house valued at $500k

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  • tntdc

    IKEA has several 250sq' apartments in their stores that are exceptionally livable.

    $5sq' is a little steep. Class A apts in nice areas go for $4 and this is class B. I'd say $1000 is plenty.

    Almost the entire rear yard can be enclosed eventually and a 2nd floor which doesn't show from the street added.

  • Read Scott Martin

    It's a garage, people. It's a garage. Lovely though. Worth it for somebody.

  • Alan

    I actually think it looks absolutely charming. That said I don't understand why they don't tack on at least another floor.

  • Meret

    This is murphy bed central.

  • Meret

    Where is the bathroom? Off the kitchen? No thank you.

  • vinkadog

    Hey there! Owner of said house. Thanks for your comments! You all make great points that I'll address.

    -There's no second or third floor because I live next door and I have windows on that side of my house. I bought it to preserve said windows and prevent someone from building up and back.

    -I have rented it in the past for $1200, so the market tells me that the price is about right. Considering the large yard, off-street parking, in-house washer/dryer, and non-basement status--that's a lot going for it. There's more to a house's value than rent divided by square footage.

    -It's definitely not for everyone. I get it. It takes more showings than usual to find the right tenant, but in the five years I've owned the house it has never gone unrented.

    Thanks everyone!

  • vinkadog

    Also, the bathroom's location: it's on the opposite side of the kitchen wall. So if you take a right at the stove, you're in a hallway that takes you to the backdoor. The bathroom is accessible from that hallway and not directly from the kitchen.

    You can see the video tour here:

  • Pancake Johnny

    You can optimize indoor room by adding an outhouse.

  • Nuies

    Vinkadog, thanks for preserving your unique gem. I wondered where that hallway next to the stove went. I hope you find a good tenant for it.

    Put something like "minimalist abode for those who abhor our materialistic society" and I bet you could double the price.

  • Nuies

    Vinkadog, thanks for preserving your unique gem. I wondered where that hallway next to the stove went. I hope you find a good tenant for it.

    If you throw the words "minimalist abode for those who abhor our materialistic society" in your ad, I bet you could get 1600. : )

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  • Susan Dixon

    Is this house still available?

  • Great Investigative Reporting

    @Meret: "Where is the bathroom? Off the kitchen? No thank you."