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Zillowing Out

A $150,000 A-Frame Home I Would Very Much Like To Have

overexposed artist's rendering of an a-frame house
Chris Thompson/Defector

The chaos has mostly abated in Washington, D.C. There are still troops near the capitol and terrible fences that seem like they might stay up forever, but in my neighborhood, things are back to the new terrible normal we’ve all learned to endure. Except for the sirens. The sirens are worse. 

Not the terrifying ambulance sirens we also hear. Those we are used to. These are motorcade sirens. Trump was a terrible president and living in this country under his administration was embarrassing on the best days, but he did basically only stay in the White House. He never went to D.C. restaurants, ruining them with his attention for weeks afterward like Barack Obama did. He never went anywhere except Mar-a-lago, and so in four years I forgot what it sounds like to have a normal administration. When I first moved here in 2014, people in my neighborhood joked that you could set your watch by the Biden (then VP) motorcade. And you could! Every day at 6:00 p.m. his little cohort of SUVs drove on Connecticut, sirens blaring. There he went. The first week they were back I was happy. Felt like things were changing. But now i am sick of them again and I want to run away. 

What I want is to leave my apartment: the same thing I have wanted this whole past year. I want to go to an Airbnb in the woods but I hate going to Airbnbs because I would have to pack like half of my kitchen to have a nice time cooking there since I can’t go anywhere else. What I want yet again is a weekend home. I want to run away on a Friday afternoon and disappear, to be cozy in the woods and have some different walls to look at. I want to take a break from all my chores and go up to my little woods home and do some of the many pages of writing I am supposed to have already done. Specifically, I want this week’s house. 

I honestly do not want to show any of you this week’s home because I love it so much that I am emotionally attached to it. This happens every so often (remember the dome home?). Zillowing Out is a dangerous game. Sometimes you fall in love. And love with a house you cannot have, when you do not even understand how people purchase houses in the first place, is the worst kind of unrequited love. 

This house is so right for me that it was sent to me earlier this week by my pal Megan and within 30 minutes, three other people had sent it to me. “IT’S PERFECT!!!!!” they all yelled. And they are all right. It is perfect. And if I had a better grasp of how one “owns a house” and whether you can “have a weekend home and rent a primary home,” I would already own this little house and all of you would be crying with jealousy. Looking at it to write this story made my little belly nauseous with want. 

But because I am a generous person and we are all pals here, I am going to share. This house will certainly be sold by the end of this weekend, at which point I will cry, but until then, let’s dream a little, shall we? 

Screenshot: Zillow

Welcome to our little house. It is an A-frame, which is my favorite shape of house even though it is impractical for bookshelves. The outside is painted a nice, muted gray, and there are big windows everywhere. We see some tall pine trees just to the side and a nice large deck. Imagine having your little coffee out there while your dog sprints around in the grass and you don’t have to walk her around the block. Isn’t it wonderful? There are also some big shrubs on the front of this porch which is nice because our house is only on one acre; some privacy, but not much. 

The door is white, and the trim looks a little bad but that is something I personally can fix. The door even has a little dog door. Adorable. Let’s go inside. 

Screenshot: Zillow

OH MY GOD!!!! Look at it!!!! Look at all this wood!!!! Look how all the planks on the steep walls don’t quite line up. Look how warm and cozy it feels. This is a cabin all gussied up. Look at the giant windows, which inside look even bigger. There is just a flood of light here that I have to imagine only happens for a few hours a day or I will get too upset. 


There is a spiral staircase we will come back to and a wall full of plants, but this over here is too good to be true. There is a big stone wood-burning fireplace in the corner, and all around it is a SUNKEN LIVING ROOM! Now whoever has staged this house (no offense to them) has done a terrible job, because looking at this it is clearly a conversation pit. Add some nice big cushions to these platforms, and you’ve got the coziest nook of all to drink your martinis in and talk to your pal who has come to meet you for the weekend. There is something big and square and black in the middle of the conversation pit currently. I can’t tell what it is, but we will remove it. The sight lines will be incredible. Everyone’s faces will be flushed and golden in the light of the fire. This is the dream: to be indoors and cozy with friends again, but better because we would have our own conversation pit!!!!

Screenshot: Zillow

Also on this floor we have a white bathroom. Fine. Something I’ve noticed recently is that all bathrooms have two design choices that are so boring they offend no one except for me. Why is this whole bathroom white? It is so boring. Bathrooms should be fun. They are such small rooms. People are in there for not a long time. They do not need to feel expansive. They need to be more fun. Another thing designers keep doing to make bathrooms feel bigger is getting the tiniest sinks I have ever seen in my whole life and putting them on tiny pedestals. This is bad. Water will get everywhere. Plus, we have things! Bathrooms need counter space for my toothpaste and antidepressants! We will have to fix this, but it will do for now. 

Screenshot: Zillow

The kitchen is also a little strangely designed. We have a standalone steel sink, a giant steel table that looks like the industrial ones we had at the bakery I worked at in high school. But then we have a black stove? And a black fridge? This does not make sense but we can replace it later. Because this is a weekend house, it is okay that the kitchen is small and cozy. We don’t need too much space. I do appreciate that of the very few items contained in this staged kitchen three dog bowls, a giant hydroflask, and a box of wine are included. 

Up the spiral staircase is a loft that has a bunch of random stuff in it: a rowing machine, a bed, a TV, three guitars. We will make this the main bedroom obviously because the light is incredible and also because no guest should have to sleep without a door to their room. The arched ceilings do seem like they lose you a bit of space, but perhaps we could build in some shelves here. I love that the ceiling is flattened, though, and doesn’t go all the way to the peak. 

Back downstairs there are still a couple more rooms. One with a desk and some nice windows that would make a great study or guest room with a small little electric fireplace. Then there is one room that I think is being listed as the “third bedroom” but actually just has a washer and dryer in it. This is fine by me. I haven’t had an in-unit washer/dryer in eight years. This is luxury. I do not care if it takes up a whole bedroom. I will simply put some ugly stuff in this room so no one has to see it. 

Screenshot: Zillow

You can tell from the tone of these last few paragraphs that I am searching for something wrong with this house, trying to find something to make me dislike it, but sadly one of the hallmarks of love is that even when you see a few problems, you only like the house more for them. 

The best thing about this house is that it is somehow listed at $150,000. I am sure it will go for more than that, but that’s a price you can afford to dream about, a mortgage you could maybe afford. I want it. I want the little A-frame house so badly it hurts. 

This week’s house has been listed on Zillow for 3 days. Bids for this house are due tonight so hurry up if you want to buy it. If you purchase this week’s house, never ever tell me because I am so jealous.

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