REAL ESTATE

Is This Tiny Treehouse the Cheapest Home in Orange County?

  • Your wee loo.

    Your wee loo.

  • Outside the itty home.

    Outside the itty home.

  • A little bit of living space.

    A little bit of living space.

One of Orange County's cheapest homes is a perfect retreat for the woodsy: The 390-square-foot, $324,000 Modjeska Canyon retreat may be "really small," says listing agent Charlie Gilbert, but "it's a nature setting unlike most in Orange County."

The one-bedroom cottage, nicknamed the "Treehouse" because of the tree poking through its roofing, doesn't offer a ton of space to spread out, but the 7,700-square-foot lot means there's room to grow if the tiny house lifestyle doesn't suit you.

Interior space isn't the main thrust of a possible purchase. You're paying for instant access to nature and an easygoing community. Set in the wooded foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, the home is steps from trails and a "majestic canyon," says Gilbert.

Gilbert also notes the tight-knit neighborhood: "It's really a gathering of the like-minded," he says. "A bit of a hippie enclave -- type area back there. But it's not an escapist thing -- it's just that living is more important than possessions." Look forward to movie and pizza nights and plenty of yoga.

While the above-ground basement isn't connected to the upstairs living, sleeping, dining, and bathroom area, it's the perfect size for a man cave or den -- and with concrete flooring, beamed ceiling, and cement-block whitewashed walls, it's a blank slate for your own creativity.

You could (and probably should) call the main floor a tight squeeze, but its open kitchen and living spaces, divided by a little bar, make the room feel grander than its footprint. And with the patio and outdoor space right outside, the house has an "indoor-outdoor vibe to it," Gilbert says.

While the house certainly isn't a great pick for those concerned with a grand interior, its nature setting and neighbors are what make this cheap Orange County home a buy.

"It's definitely a little tucked-away, woodsy, rustic, friendly neighborhood," Gilbert says.