Here’s your chance to own a piece of Seattle lore. The infamous 1925 spite home in the Montlake neighborhood is for sale.
The 830-square-foot home is in the shape of a pie slice, and just 55 inches wide at its narrow end.
“Some have called it a houseboat on land,” said Lisa Horton, owner of the home at 2022 24th Avenue East. “It’s whimsical. It makes you smile.”
There are several different stories about how it came to be, Horton said, but one thing is clear: “The bottom line is: it was built out of spite.”
The version Horton first heard involved a land dispute: “There was an owner of the property who went back to Germany, as the story goes, and was allowing somebody to build a house on the property.”
The landowner had one request of the builder: leave him enough space to construct his own home upon his return. But when the landowner returned, he saw that the new structure was much bigger than he’d expected; he could no longer build the home he wanted.
“Out of spite, he [the landowner] built that funny little pie-shaped home [as a barrier],” said Horton. “I also heard that back when it was first built, the side that was facing the neighbor had been painted black.”
It’s not clear how two people came to have claim over the same lot, says Horton.
“It’s the lore. I don’t think there’s any official history of it anywhere,” she said.
Since she first heard that story in 2000 when she bought the tiny home, Horton has heard other versions. Some say the landowner grew spiteful after a neighbor made an insultingly-low offer on the strip of land. Others say a bitter divorce is to blame.
Whatever the truth, Horton has enjoyed the attention the home has garnered.
“People would leave notes in the mailbox—neat little stories from people [that start], ‘I remember when I was a little girl,’” she said. “When I’m out gardening, people would stop and ask questions.”
Despite its unusual shape, the house is quite roomy inside “with the exception of where it narrows into the kitchen,” the owner said. “You can’t stand in front of the oven, for example. You have to stand to the side.”
Horton, who has been renting the two-bedroom home for the past eight years, says she hopes its next owner will appreciate its quirks as much as she has.
“It’s a wonderful little house, and just the right person will get it,” she said.
The asking price is $397,500.