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$1.9M ‘skinny little house’ for sale in Burnaby goes TikTok viral

'Storage shed' or the future of housing? A narrow home about half as wide as usual garnered over 100K views on the video app.

A Burnaby home up for sale recently went viral on TikTok for its unusual narrow size.

The lot is 16.5 feet wide – half the size of a more common lot frontage of about 30 feet.

The three-bedroom home in Burnaby’s South Slope neighbourhood at 6038 Mckee St., which is now unlisted but will go back on the market soon (and is still available as an “exclusive” sale according to realtor Rimpy Hothi), was listed at $1.88 million earlier this year.

Social media users on TikTok were not impressed by the size.

“My car is wider,” wrote one user. “Shoe box,” said another.

“What is that? A storage shed?”

The TikTok was viewed more than 112,000 times.

The home’s top two floors make up more than 1,150 square feet, and its lower basement is 685 sq. ft. It sits on a 2,014 sq. ft. lot.

The tiny lot exists due to an anomaly in its zoning: it had two parcel IDs on the property predating Burnaby’s zoning bylaw. That allowed the 49.5-foot lot to be split into two lots: one with a frontage of 33 feet and one with 16.5 feet, according to the homeowner Joe Manhas.

He said he knows of three other similar properties with the elsewhere in Burnaby.

Manhas, a realtor by trade, said he wanted to build the narrow home as he could get more profit by selling it separately.

“There’s over $1 million more profit if you build two rather than one,” Manhas said, calling the home a “skinny little house.”

While it took some back-and-forth with the city to get the house built, Manhas, his wife and mother-in-law (along with the family’s white Maltese dog named Fido) have been living there for a little more than two years.

Realtor for the home Hothi called it one of the most unique homes built in Burnaby and added the home is better than a duplex and less expensive than a regular detached home.

“It’s like buying a duplex, but there’s nobody behind you; there’s nobody beside you; you own the entire house,” she said.

As for the TikTok comments, Manhas said living in the home is fine.

“Regarding the comments, it’s definitely not something for everybody, but it is something for many people,” Manhas said, adding the city should consider allowing more of these types of narrow homes.

“It’s a unique home build in Burnaby, perhaps the future of Burnaby. There’s not enough housing; take a large lot and turn it into a small lot. Instead of one family, you can have three families,” he said, also noting the province is now promising to allow up to four units on single-family lots.

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