Welcome to the L.A. Troll Apartment. You can live under a bridge for only $250,000

A vertical frame of a one-story dwelling sitting atop a water-canal bridge.
This apartment on Main Street in Alhambra is on the market for $250,000. The catch: You don’t own the property it sits on and there is no dedicated parking.
(Courtesy of Douglas Lee / Compas)

Housing does not come cheap in Los Angeles. But if you are willing to live somewhat like a troll, there might be something available for you in Alhambra.

Compass Real Estate recently put on the market a one-bedroom fixer-upper on East Main Street that sits under a bridge, within walking distance of a Vietnamese restaurant and a hair salon.

Southern California’s pricey housing market has forced many potential buyers to either settle into comfortable homes in far-flung suburbs or purchase postage stamp-size properties closer to the region’s job centers. The recent hikes in mortgage interest rates have only aggravated the problem.


Another extreme option for potential buyers: Consider a quirky, one-of-a-kind property like Alhambra’s bridge house.

The 450-square-foot apartment built in 1949 has a terrace that looks over a stream and a rooftop patio that sits next to a road bridge, separated only by a fence. It is priced at $250,000 — a steal considering the median sale price for an existing single-family house in Southern California is about $785,000.

“We had no comparables … no similar properties,” said Doug Lee, the Compass agent who listed the home, which he said once belonged to a high school friend’s parents. “This is a very, very unique property.”

Lee said his friend’s parents purchased the home in 2005 for about $72,000.

A view of a kitchen painted light yellow.
Interior view of an Alhambra home built over a stream that is on the market for $250,000
(Courtesy of Douglas Lee / Compass)

Already, Lee has seen a flurry of interest in the home, which has been on the market for a few weeks.


He held open houses and showed the place to 40 or 50 groups each day, he said.

“This weekend we had it open and it was a zoo,” he said.

The average one-bedroom home in the Alhambra neighborhood costs about $350,000, so Lee decided to strategically price the apartment at just under $250,000 to generate interest — and because there’s no dedicated parking spot, Lee said.

“It’s a fixer-upper. We didn’t know how responsive the market would be,” he said.

The low price makes it one of only 11 properties in the county listed for under $250,000, Lee said.

There is one potential hiccup. While most homeowners own the land under their house, the bridge is presumably public land, Lee said. The real estate agents are working to clear up such property issues with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.