‘I’ll trade you 450 square feet for, like, a jillion dollars.’
Even the ad was small. So small I’d missed it entirely.
I’d just passed The Dude the real estate section of the East Hampton Star and he says “Hey, look. The Little House. It’s for sale.”
“Really? How much are they asking?” (The Little House was what we called our much-beloved former ‘Hamptons home’.) Well, when he told me the price, which was as astonishingly large as the house is astoundingly small, I grabbed that section back fast. “You have got to be kidding!”
“Look!” I say, reading from the (very small) ad and snorting coffee every which way, “it says it’s ‘3 BR, 2B'”. Good grief. Are they counting the outdoor shower?
Now I’ve written about the Little House before, in a piece called ‘The Perfect House meets the Perfect Storm(s)’ , where I talk not only about how much we loved this house (which we did) but also how it was so ramshackle when we bought it that we basically had to rebuild it from scratch and how it was like living on a boat. Really like living on a boat. For one thing, it was only 450 square feet, which is tiny for a house, but pretty roomy for a boat. But mostly because you could see water in practically every direction.
Of course, all that watery closeness came with a price. Every time a storm sailed through we’d get slammed — one, The Perfect Storm, had us dodging waves which were breaking right onto our roof. So, salty and soggy but sad, we cried ‘Uncle’ and moved on when we had the chance.
But back to that real estate ad. We’re thinking that it’s those water views (plural) that’re driving that (really big for a teensy house) asking-price train. Current hurricane season be darned, a water view in The Hamptons is still a water view in The Hamptons.
So okay, granted this house has two ‘water views’. But if it has ‘three bedrooms’ and ‘two bathrooms’, having lived there myself I honestly couldn’t figure out where they’d put them. So I clicked on the website. (The Little House has its own website! Which I’m tempted to share, but probably shouldn’t. So I won’t.) And I discovered that, bless their hearts, the current owners had finished the basement, hence the ‘third bedroom’ and ‘second bath’. (When we owned it, we never even went in that basement except to repair the fish-and-salt-water-filled storm-damaged furnace.)
Once we’d solved the Mystery of The Third Bedroom and Second Bath, we had some fun thinking of other features they could advertise. Like the ‘soaking tub’. Or the ‘game room’. Why, when we owned the house, it even had a pool.
The Little House did have another feature when we owned it: crickets. (I’ve written about crickets before, too, as in a chirping-crickets ringtone that confused The Dude no end on a a bike ride one day.) But these were real crickets. We thought they were rather charming at first. I’d capture the little fellers with a magazine blow-in card clapped over the end of a plastic cup and release them into The Wild. But I soon discovered that they liked to eat flip-flops (The Dude’s) and papier-mâché finger puppets (The Child’s). Seriously. Both items were covered with tiny little chomp marks. And then one Friday night I opened the front door after being gone all week to discover what looked like a carpet in our living room — a carpet that was chirping and hopping. So I sucked ’em up with the vacuum and had The Dude caulk the baseboards.
Well, maybe we could cricket-proof that Little House, but no matter what we did, we couldn’t storm-proof it. So good luck, current Little House owners. Hope you get your asking price before you need a sump pump for your ‘second bathroom’ and ‘third bedroom’.
New York City. September 2017