Quirky Alhambra bridge house sells for $430,000 — $180,000 over asking price

After a frenzied bidding war, a quirky house built on a bridge over a concrete drainage channel in Alhambra has sold for $180,000 over the asking price in what still may be considered a bargain in Southern California’s pricey real estate market.

The unusual location of the house and its comparatively modest $250,000 asking price drew national attention and hundreds of visitors when it hit the market a few weeks ago. Most of the visitors were looky-loos who wanted to get a peek at the small home someone built in 1949 into the side of a bridge owned by the city overlooking the Alhambra Wash.

“This was definitely a unique property, no doubt about it,” said real estate agent Douglas Lee of Compass, who had the listing. “I have never come across anything like this.”

People were enthralled by what TV tabloid show “Inside Edition” called “the troll house” for its bridge location — more than 155,000 have viewed the show segment about the home posted on YouTube.

Lee declined to identify the buyer who came up with the top bid of $430,000, but Lee said he is a retired Rosemead High School teacher.

The 450-square-foot dwelling on the 1300 block of East Main Street has a terrace that looks over the wash and a rooftop patio that sits next to a road bridge, separated only by a fence. It’s within walking distance of a Vietnamese restaurant and a hair salon but has no designated parking spot.

The house is a one-bedroom, one-bath fixer-upper that once belonged to the parents of one of Lee’s high school friends. Lee said his friend’s parents purchased the home in 2005 for about $72,000. Their plan was to use it as a swanky “man cave,” Lee said, but it sat vacant for nearly two decades according to KTLA5.

The average one-bedroom home in the Alhambra neighborhood costs about $350,000, while the median sale price for an existing single-family house in Southern California is about $785,000.

Times staff writer Noah Goldberg contributed to this story.

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