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Boston's skinniest house for sale

The spite house of Hull Street in the North End can be yours for $1.2 million.

H/t Cara.

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Comments

It is a pretty cool house and the inside is well done, given the space limitations.

I wonder if those cool stairs would meet code current code.

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Voting closed 18

If stairs are headed to a den or whatnot rather than a main living area, the ship's-ladder-type can often be used. I think this usually goes by square footage being accessed, so in this case, they'd probably be fine. When it's something like a rehab of an industrial space, they're usually granted an exception by explaining, look, we can either use steep non-code stairs with a sturdy railing that a sleepy person can likely descend during an emergency, or we can access this area with a rickety pull-down attic ladder (which code allows if you say it's not a sleeping area or daily-use area, but then people of course use the spaces for those things anyway).

This blog talks some about IBC and some about Seattle codes, but is along the lines of everything I see in architecture blogs about odd stairs:

https://blog.buildllc.com/2016/08/art-of-the-nonconforming-stairs/

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My understanding is that staircases need blocking such that you can't stick your foot beyond the end of the stair. In this house they are open -- there is no back to the stairs.

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ADA prohibits any open-riser stairs. Building code just prohibits passage of a four-inch sphere (i.e., the smallest a kid's head would be) just as it does between balusters and similar openings.

http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com/Stair+risers+and+child+safety

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…than going up. My 1830 house in Provincetown has stairs as steep. When we renovated we gutted every floor, floor joist, wall. Literally the only thing left standing was the stairs.

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i didn’t know larry david was a boston resident!

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Covid probably gave some locals a break on exposure to loud, drunken stumblebums wandering down the street every night for a while, and might again, but I'd check closely on ambient noise at $1030/sq. ft. Sitting between a cemetery and a playground, and not too close to many restaurants, must be a plus in that neighborhood.

Also, the listing cites garage parking, but I don't see any details of that, wonder if it means, "You can rent / buy a garage space for an extra $350/month / $150K+." Having once made the mistake of living in City Point without off-street parking of my own, I'd never get a place in the North End without it, especially at that price.

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You could live in the North End without a car and enjoy the fact that you're just a few blocks away from pretty much every subway line in the city.

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for me for about half of my career, working in town. I would often walk to/from some of those jobs when the weather was nice. The other half, I've had to commute to the 128 or 495 beltways, like I do now (though recently reinstated in-office work looks to be on the bubble again). No combination of bus, T and commuter rail has ever been practical there.

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That's when you look into renting a parking space if you live somewhere without off-street parking and you don't want to deal with parking on the street.

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There is an immense garage with lots of spaces for rent just a block away.

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I feel sorry for anyone living there who ends up on crutches or in a wheelchair.

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My wife's friend in her late 50's moved down to the Carolina's into a ranch house. She had formally been in a two-story cape in the Boston area. When we visited she told us she gets totally winded if she has to do even a flight of stairs. Use it or lose it.

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Yes, it's great for keeping you in shape. But even people who work out and eat right and all that can have accidents that lead to broken legs or ankles, or develop illnesses that debilitate them.

I live in a 2-story house and was unable to access my BR or shower for over 3 months after an accident that left me forbidden to put any weight at all on my left leg and with my right leg too injured to handle my body weight, therefore needing a wheelchair or walker. Slept in a hospital bed in the living room.

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I knew someone who had lived with his parents in a house in the back bay and it was similar but obviously wider. The roof deck was amazing but every floor literally had two rooms so it was not until the fourth floor that his parents bedroom appeared. I never met his parents but I imagine they must have been very fit.

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The current owners paid $900,000 for the house in May 2017. If they get the asking price, they will realize 33% appreciation over four years.

I don't know what the current owners are doing with the house. The former owners, before them, had been listing it as a vacation rental on HomeAway, a competitor to AirBnB -- although in the early 2000s they were living in the house with their 2-year-old daughter. I assume that when the daughter got older, that couple had to get a bigger house somewhere and started to rent this one out. Then they sold it in 2017.

Here's a link to a 2005 Globe article:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/02/13/living_sideways/

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The strategy for listing real estate today is totally upside down from what it used to be. You pick an asking price (say, $500k), list for less than that (say, $400k), and rely on multiple offers over asking to come in to net you the most money. The real asking price is a number whispered through realtors.

It's the equivalent of selling an iPhone 12 on eBay with a starting bid of $0.01, even if you know it will sell for a thousand bucks. You attract more bidders with a low starting bid.

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If you don't get a flood of over-asking offers within a few days, pull the listing and try again in about 6 months.

It's amazing how often that works.

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Does wonders in making a narrow space feel larger.

There is a cute house on in Savin Hill. The bathroom is tiny enough that when one rises from the throne one immediately greets the sink. Square footage is actually smaller than the North End house.

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Do the control freaks who refuse to allow new construction of not only houses like this, but any type of traditional urban house or apartments, due to rules about setbacks, floor area ratio, off-street parking, and lot coverage rules feel that places like this need to be torn down since they're so evil?

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it burns..

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