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For sale - the smallest house in town

PUBLISHED: 15:21 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

It might be the smallest house in Sheringham, and there may not be enough space to swing the proverbial cat, but according to Barbara and Derek Smith, their tiny, one up, one down home is a des res with all the mod cons anyone could possibly need.

It might be the smallest house in Sheringham, and there may not be enough space to swing the proverbial cat, but according to Barbara and Derek Smith, their tiny, one up, one down home is a des res with all the mod cons anyone could possibly need.

Three years ago, the couple, who then lived at Briston, decided they would like to move nearer the sea. But, with a tight budget, the only house they could afford was Little Gem, an £85,000 cottage in Co-operative Street.

“It had already been on the market for two years, but we decided that, for the money we could afford, it was the closest to the shops and the sea we were likely to get,” Derek explained.

Upstairs, the cottage had room only for a sofa bed and a couple of chairs, while the downstairs space was completely taken up by the kitchen and shower room.

And with the only outside door opening straight out onto the pavement, the owners were forced to store their wheelie bins on a patch of council land in the next street.

But, undeterred by its size, Derek and Barbara decided to buy Little Gem and after moving in, set about making use of every inch of available space.

As well as having new windows and front door fitted, they added a fitted cupboard to the bedroom, created an under-stairs storage space, and installed a breakfast bar, under which a tumble drier and fridge are cleverly concealed.

The cottage has every modern convenience, with a washing machine and half-size combi boiler housed under the sink, and heating provided by a pair of newly-installed storage heaters.

Retired engineer Derek also re-designed a utility cupboard to include space to store an ironing board, and decided to make changes to the tiny shower room.

“I wanted to get rid of a big heated towel rail as, every time you bent down to dry yourself you ended up burning your posterior,” he explained.

While they say they love living in the cottage, Derek and Barbara admit that it can feel a bit overcrowded and have therefore decided to sell up and look for something slightly bigger.

“You do get under each other's feet a bit, but it is a lovely little cottage that is cheap to run as well as being two minutes from the shops and the beach,” Barbara said.

Little Gem is now on the market for £99,950 with Brown and Co, who, in true estate agent-speak, describe it as “a unique property offering compact, well thought out use of the accommodation.”

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