You may be surprised to find that in this city of mansions and penthouses and eight-figure sales, last week’s most notable sale was none of the above. Instead, it was a free-standing studio cottage hidden behind a three-unit Edwardian building in The Mission. 444 A 14th Street came onto the market in early March, listed at $495,000. It sold last week for $550,000, nine percent over asking and $1,515 per square foot.

It’s almost a shame to have this little treasure off the market, because during its time as an active listing it charmed almost everyone who went through it. Located between Valencia and Guerrero Street, it sits shielded from the street and surrounded by gardens and a shared patio, the hustle and bustle of the busy Mission District seemingly miles away. The house itself has only three separate living spaces — living/sleeping, kitchen and bathroom — but its former owners maximized space and the property’s high ceilings and ample windows make it seem much larger than its 363 square feet.

Not a big shock that a “tiny house” would garner so much attention; San Francisco is the perfect city for the latest craze in real estate. Our town is full of small living spaces — cottages like this one, small apartments, converted stables, cobbled together 1906 earthquake shacks. Don’t forget that in the early years of the 20th century, creative San Franciscans towed decommissioned trolleys and cable cars to Ocean Beach, where they set up a neighborhood that became known as “Carville-by-the-Sea.” “Tiny house” enthusiasts may seek to simplify their lives; in San Francisco, small living spaces are a constant fact of life.

But there is more than 444 A 14th Street than storybook charm; there is also art and poetry. The home’s former owner was San Francisco poet and novelist John Norton, publisher of three books of poetry, former Board President of the Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center and one of the organizers of the Crossroads Irish American Festival. Norton was a familiar figure in San Francisco literary circles and part of the “New Narrative” movement of the 1980s, one of the most impactful literary movements to come from our city. When Norton passed away last August, his wife, artist Anne Cunningham Subercaseaux, chose to sell their house.

Speaking to Curbed San Francisco in March , listing agent Laura Taylor of Paragon Real Estate speculated that potential buyers for the home ranged from first-timers to pied-à-terre buyers. Whomever these new owners are, as they settle into their hidden, tiny paradise, they can feel welcomed by these lines from Norton’s poem “Double Feature:”

in the kitchen garden

the struggle pressed on

to bring in new blood

that the family may go on

Sorry you missed this little fairytale cottage? Don’t worry; you’ll get your chance to see it when it appears on HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” later this year.