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New York City real estate: Tiny houses

How small a space could you live in?

Could you be comfortable in a home that measures a mere 9.6 feet wide? If the answer is no, one tiny house in New York City might not be the place for you. At less than 10 feet wide and roughly 990 square feet, this West Village townhouse crams lots of luxury into very little space. It's currently listed on the New York City real estate market with agent Bo Poulsen of Town Residential, but buyers who get claustrophobic need not apply.

My colleagues at Zillow uncovered this little beauty (emphasis on "little") with a big time literary and Hollywood pedigree that dates back to 1873. Home at various points to cultural icons such as American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, actors Cary Grant and John Barrymore, and famed anthropologist Margaret Mead, the property proves that no home is too small to contain greatness.

The tiny, storied townhouse is miniscule enough to warrant a half address. Located at 75 1/2 Bedford Street, the three bedroom, two bath property maximizes its small proportions in a very contemporary way. The cozy living space features a planted outdoor garden and no less than four wood burning fireplaces. The home has been extensively remodeled and boasts Italian marble countertops, custom millwork and a clawfoot bath tub.

The property has been on the market since early 2009, when it was purchased for $2.175 million before promptly being listed again -- with a much increased price. If you want to make this pretty yet petite home yours in 2011, it will cost you a staggering $4.3 million.

Why the astronomical price increase? All those Italian marble upgrades did not come cheap to the current owner, who evidently, according to Zillow, elected not to move to the Big Apple after all. However listing agent Polsen points out that the Bedford Street home is actually a relative bargain, when you consider that surrounding West Village townhouses run about $6 million.

The appropriate buyer, according to Polsen, is someone who "who understands and appreciates the history of the building and is a person who is going to add to the interesting story of the property."

More on MoneyWatch:
Tom Brady selling Boston condo
Nelson Rockefeller residence for sale in New York
What can you rent for $20,000 a month?

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