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Smart tiny cabin perches on Guemes Island for $369K

Put enough dormers on it, give it a big enough covered porch, and you may never notice that it is a tiny house

How you design it and build it matters. This cabin on Guemes Island has the details and quality that would fit in with million dollar lodge. They applied that effort to a 560 square foot, 2 bedroom (or is it only 1? The listing casts doubts.) cabin with a 3/4 bath. The other luxury is not having to pay for, maintain, or fill the extra thousands of square feet of a conventional building. With a price of $369,900, living there means getting more time and money to spend on enjoying island life, however you define that.

The front of the cabin has many of the classic features: a wide, covered porch; a pair of dormers; a metal roof; and wood siding. The double front doors make it look like an entrance to a much bigger space; which it effectively is. The interior is brighter than most cabins because it uses light tile floors, white walls, and a wood ceiling rather than the wood-everywhere style of some log cabins. A balcony and loft design opens the space - and makes it easier to talk between the kitchen and the sleeping areas.

For hints about the size, notice the dining area seats two easily, four reasonably, with any more working best with really good friends. Size also probably influenced the choice of 3/4 bath instead of including a tub; and the choice of a small but pragmatic wood stove. An alternative source for heating and cooking comes in handy on small islands that might lose power frequently. Check with the neighbors for their experience.

There's good news and bad news about the lot. It is listed as 'sloped' and 'steep slope'. That's bad news for gardeners, but evidently there's enough room on the 0.49 acre lot for at least a small garden and palms sitting beside pines. That slope is good news for providing that possible view from the second lot.

An extra building on the lot provides nearby shop space (but without much of a description in the listing). Sloped or not, having nearly a half acre provides opportunities for creative people. The extra land also means a bit more privacy - which Guemes already provides naturally.

Prices on the islands are interesting things. For some, living on the island is an inconvenience, so the demand and the price should be lower. For others, living on the island is a treat, so the demand and the price is higher. Being back from the water makes prices drop; but, this property gives you the possibility of building on an upper lot that includes a view that stretches south across Fidalgo Bay.

Are you ready for island life? If Anacortes is big enough for you, it's a small, short ferry ride away. If you need the big city, Seattle can take you a couple of hours. Of course, that may be the point. (Oh yeah, and if you decide to move there, make sure you know how to pronounce, Guemes. Good luck with that.)

· 7760 Holiday Blvd, Guemes [Estately]