Let it be known that Americans are cunning and resourceful, but also emotional, when it comes to being dealt a bad hand by others, or simply by life itself. Sometimes, spite is a strong source of inspiration and creativity, despite its negative connotations. Such is the case with so-called "spite houses," housing or buildings built solely to anger neighbors or fellow property. Consider that the situation in Seattle, for example: A tiny spite house just got sold in the posh neighborhood of Montlake.
The Montlake Spite House, located on the corner of 24th Avenue East and East Boston in central Seattle, was a source of legend and myth for some time. It is a very tiny house at 830 square feet, shaped like a pie slice, and in such a way that while living in the house is possible, it is probably unwise and unhealthy to do so. It possesses such features as an oven that a resident that has to stand to the side to open, and a bedroom where the mattress is located in what would otherwise be considered an alcove. There is in fact a driveway, but it sits on the front door.
Originally, the rumor around the Montlake Spite House went that the property owners were a divorcing couple that split property in such a way that the wife was only give the front yard, while the husband received the house. The wife's response was to build the Montlake Spite House, out of spite. That would make some sense, except the property's shape makes that idea preposterous.
After some research, the Montlake Spite House was determined to be the result of a property dispute, just not of the divorcing kind. It turns out that that a property owner sought out the pie-shaped corner of land on 24th Avenue East between East Boston and East Newton in 1925. The neighbor who owned the land made an offer so heinously low, that the property owner built the pie shaped Montlake Spite House to block the view of what was then a decent open Seattle landscape.
The property sold for just under $400,000. While it is an affluent neighborhood in Seattle, the cost of the Montlake Spite House should be an indication that housing has gotten ridiculously expensive these days, but more importantly that people will pay ridiculous amounts of money for this sort of thing.