This Eastie Condo Comes with $480 in Pennies Embedded in the Floor
A penny for your...er, bedroom?
251-253 Saratoga St Unit 3A, East Boston
Size: 578 square feet
Bathrooms: 1 full
Coins are in short supply in America right now, but touring this East Boston condo, you might be convinced otherwise. Once you’ve checked out the unit’s other selling points—a spacious back deck, convenient Blue Line access, and killer views of the city skyline—head into the bedroom and look down. No, that’s not a funky patterned tile you’re looking at, but $480 worth of actual pennies glued into the floor. Naturally, such a design feature begs questions: Who did this? Why? And where on Earth did they get so many coins? Melvin Viera, the RE/MAX Destiny realtor selling the joint, says the project was a “labor of love” by its current owner who saw a video of a couple who did something similar in their home and thought, “I can do that.”
While many of us plan home projects only to end up with unused paint cans and piles of wood abandoned in our garage, this homeowner truly committed to his task, pulling up the carpet and using bond glue to place each and every coin. Viera says it actually took several years to collect all the necessary coins and finish the flooring, but the effort paid off. Literally. “He realized he’s getting savings on heating costs,” Viera says, explaining that the copper absorbs and then releases heat from the floor. Talk about a home improvement—heated floors for under $500!
After nine years in this unit, the current owner is moving to Seattle for work. The pennies will remain for the next homeowner, becoming a bragging right (or something to replace with carpeting stat, depending on their taste). “If someone covers those up, they have buried treasure,” Viera points out. Leave them visible, though, and you’ve got quite a conversation piece. Plus, Viera says, there’s one dime hidden amongst all the pennies—so if you like “Where’s Waldo,” finding that should be a fun challenge.
Of course, there are other reasons why this condo might appeal to you. The one-bedroom unit is close to the water, the airport, the T, and restaurants like Rino’s Place (which has Italian food so good, there’s usually a long wait even for takeout). Besides the deck, a shared backyard offers additional outdoor space, and the condo’s air/heating systems have been updated, too. With a few additional improvements, the place could be worth even more—and while the $480 inlaid in the floor is not actually built into the value of the unit, Viera says it has been quite a selling point. “I’ve had more people come just look at it because of the pennies,” he says. “I’ve had people call me about the pennies. It’s a unique place.”