A $295,000 Home Where We Can Bonk Our Head
10:01 AM EDT on September 9, 2023
I was an extremely clumsy child. Clumsy enough that, for a period of time, I was on a first-name basis with the guy who took the X-rays at the hospital nearest my house. I lacked respect not only for my body but also my being. My threshold for self-preservation was near zero. I jumped out of trees way too high up just to show off in front of my little sister. I skipped one, two, almost three rungs on the monkey bars. I turned the corner at the end of the driveway like a Tour de France rider, and ate grass for my bravado. Once I fell down at the dinner table right out of my chair. It's still unclear how this happened.
Part of this was because my hearing bones in my right ear were being destroyed (a story for another time), but most of it was because I grew too fast. My own mother once described me trying to run as "a baby giraffe trying to stand up." And she was right. I was all limbs, flailing and uncoordinated, and longer every day. I remember, in elementary school, standing in line (as an "M" last name, I was always in the middle of the line) and being able to see over everyone's head in front of me.
In fourth grade, I was 5-foot-3 tall. My doctors told me, I'd be 5-foot-10. Just shows you how little doctors know. And then... I just stopped growing. I only grew another half inch.
All of this is to say that I have a complex where in my head I am still tall and everyone else is also tall because of this. Rationally, I know I am not tall. I don't even want to be tall. It's just that my lizard brain thinks that I am still tall, and will always be tall. To this day, I have no idea how tall I am or how tall anyone around me is. People who are significantly taller than me, I can recognize as taller than me. But anyone between 1-7 inches taller than me, I think is my height.
Emotionally, I am tall. So when reader Chris emailed me, "As a tall, this home terrifies me. But as a big goofy weirdo, well it certainly has some moxie that I can appreciate. From afar. VERY afar." My immediate thought was that I (also a tall) should also be scared of this.
Chris also began his email with either an insult or the greatest compliment of all time: "You’d get this weird-ass thing."
You know what, yeah. Absolutely, I'm intrigued. Here's the home he sent:
When I sent this photo to my colleague Chris Thompson to make the lead art for the blog, he said, "Hmm is the house hidden behind that termite structure."
Unfortunately, no, it is not. That is the home. According to the Zillow listing it is one bedroom, one bathroom, 590 square feet, and... uh... $295,000. That's pretty expensive for a tiny little house! But it is located on a full acre that backs up to public land on two sides, so you're paying that much to commune with nature, I guess.
The listing tries to do some propaganda to get us to be open-minded about this Play-doh-ass house. "This magical example of SuperAdobe architecture has been likened to a cozy Hobbit hole or Yoda's house." Who likened it to a cozy Hobbit hole? I doubt that happened! This thing is beige!
Let's go inside, I guess.
Just like our emailer Chris, I am very concerned about bonking my head in here. Not only because I am famously tall, but because there are so many pieces of furniture in this tiny room and all of them are in the walking path.
The first thing I'd like to note is that the walls do not look any better from in here than they do from outside. The walls look like spray insulation, and I am rather concerned about that rock that is just... sitting on the floor in the middle of the room. What is it doing?
"The ladder to the overhead structure in the living(?) room gives me pause," Chris wrote. "What is up there? It looks very tight. Is it storage? I need to know. There also seems to be some crawling required to access certain spots, which is not ideal."
That is concerning, Chris. What is up there? I think it might be a little cozy spot to lie down, but that is just another opportunity to head bonk.
Let's look at the same room from another angle:
I imagine that people with trypophobia should not look at this house, but I find the little finger shaped windows kind of satisfying. I like the little spots of green. I wonder how much better this would look if the walls were painted or even (hear me out) mosaic'd!
One thing that the previous owners of this house did correctly is the lighting. You cannot have any direct light in a house like this, and because the walls are white, bouncing the lights off of them makes this very warm and soft. So maybe I'm wrong about painting the walls.
Here's another angle:
I do love this cozy little fire, but something about this picture makes it look like a Barbie stove where there is just a photo of fire on the back of that door.
Here's a little door to what seems to be an office with a glass ceiling:
I do like that. It seems very nice to lie in there while it rains, which it always does in my imagination and experience of the Pacific Northwest, where this house is located.
Here's the little tunnel to the bedroom:
Unfortunately, I do find this ridged shaping around the tunnel very fun. I love textures, sue me!
I'm interested in this mattress pad, also. I assume this has been laid down so that you don't scrape your knees trying to slide through this little hole, but it isn't very cleanly installed so instead it looks like the kind of bed listed on a cheap Airbnb. Someone can sleep here, for sure! Don't question it.
Here's the bedroom:
At first, I thought this looked very cozy. I'm persuaded by the gold paint that there is opportunity inside this house, if not comfort. But now that we are inside this little room, I am concerned that it seems like the bed is actually just a sheet stapled to the ground.
I did not survive to adulthood to regress back to a weird mattresses on the floor with navy sheets! The throw pillows will not trick me! I am grown. I know better.
Let's go back out to the little hub/loft/living room and journey to the kitchen:
Immediately, I'm looking at these cute little mugs on the shelf, and imagining myself trying to carry something out of the kitchen and obliterating all of them. That's not pressure that I can live with. I'm too clumsy to have my nice mugs on the precipice of disaster!
Here's the kitchen:
Is this really a kitchen? It's unclear. It seems to have a sink, and a small fridge, but no real oven. There is a hot plate we could cook on, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
I'm fascinated by the fact that this house has electricity, when everything else about it indicates that it would not. I wonder if that's what the $125/month HOA fee for this house goes toward, because I cannot imagine what else it would be for.
Here's a room for your friends to stay in:
Unfortunately, after a weekend in this house they will be so heavily concussed that neither of them will remember you, so then you will just be living inside a terrible mole home with two strangers, but maybe that's part of the fun.
At this point, we have seen a lot of upsetting rooms. Usually, in this column the most upsetting room of all is the bathroom, but where... is the bathroom?
Ah. I see. "Outhouse includes new/unopened compost toilet. Perk test complete for future septic whether you enjoy as-is or build your future dream home," the listing says. I'm not opposed to the concept of compost toilets but I am opposed to not seeing any pictures of this, which makes me afraid. The other thing I'm afraid of is the shower, which is outside:
No! Nope! Absolutely not! It is one thing to have an outdoor shower, I enjoy an outdoor shower! But this weird bamboo wall is going to get filled with weird debris and mold and all sorts of things. And there is a huge difference in outdoor shower and outdoor tub. Imagine all the spiders inside that big brown tub that you wouldn't see because it's so deep and has so many nooks! I would rather not shower than stand outside in that deep brown tub surrounded by a strange rickety screen and get devoured by spiders.
Maybe there is something redeeming on the property we can find to calm us down. Let's go down this path:
Imagine me frolicking around over this bridge humming the Twilight song and yelling "This is the skin of a killer, Bella!" Now, we are having fun. Over the bridge we go:
This is nice! As Chris concluded his email, "Damn if the location isn't just gorgeous. That sticks with me." Maybe access to this is worth living in a weird little puffy dome that gives us a unending head trauma. After a while, we won't remember another life existed anyway.
This week's house has been listed on Zillow for 16 days for $295,000. If you buy this house, please do not invite me. It is too small for two people.