Long Beach Skinny House now “Fat” in Comparison

Years ago, when I was just starting out in real estate, the very first Long Beach home I sold was also the very skinniest.

Located at 708 Gladys in the Rose Park Historic District of Long Beach, it was just 9 feet wide. The Skinny House was built in 1932 by Newton Rummond after he acquired the 500 sq. ft. lot to settle a $100 debt. He hired local tradesmen and built a beautiful 3 story, 860 sq. ft. home with a rooftop deck — and even a teeny back patio. Reportedly, it was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

I remember the day after I saw it, I received a call from a potential buyer who told me she was looking for something different, something with character and charm and history for $100,000 or under.

“I have just the home for you,” I told her. It was just $99,000. She wrote an offer on the spot.

A few years later, she moved and I sold it again — and this time, the home was written up in the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Los Angeles Times (which got my name wrong).  I was even interviewed on Good Morning America — my two minutes of fame, if you will.

But it seems the skinny house of Long Beach is now fat in comparison to what’s being built in Poland.

Jakub Szczesy is planning a home with a “wide point” of just four feet. At it’s narrowest, it will be just 28 inches wide. Yet, like the skinny house of Long Beach, it will have spaces for sleeping, eating and working.

The place will have off-grid plumbing inspired by boat sewage technology and electricity from a neighbor.

To save space, the entry stairs will fold up with a press of a button and become part of the first floor. Definitely technology that wasn’t available in the 1930s when the Long Beach Skinny House was built.

The new model may be skinnier, but I still think the Tudor in Long Beach will retain the honor of being the prettiest skinny house. And besides, it has a rooftop deck that gets lovely ocean breezes — something the new version in Poland clearly doesn’t have.