Islands don't get much smaller than the river rock in Serbia that has supported a one-room shack for more than 45 years—inbetween seasonal floods of course—but there are plenty of diminutive private islands on the market for those undeterred by rising tides. Best of all, these isles are also pretty affordable, at least compared to that $231M archipelago off the coast of Italy. Jepson Island has just enough space for a house, on stilts no less, a small lawn, and a floating dock. Listed for just under $2M, this small Connecticut rock is one of the Thimble Islands, where pirate Captain Kidd supposedly buried some treasure and where President Taft would abscond for the summer. The more modern house crowning this property might lack the charm or history of Taft's historic home, but this one is cheaper than most. In 2003, one wealthy widow bought nearby Rodgers Island for a whopping $22.5M.
↑ Elsewhere in the Thimbles, the one-acre Belden Island offers up more space and more history, but at double the price: $4M. The charming 100-year-old Victorian farmhouse looks to be impeccably maintained, despite one corner hanging precariously off a rocky outcrop. The lawn, too, is well kept and there is a sandy beach, but a dock is conspicuously absent. The remnants of a stone pier also don't inspire much confidence, but the four-bedroom house has survived for this long, and seen many a "hundred year" storm.
↑ The popular conception of a private island involves year-round sun and palm trees. Pretty Joe Rock, near Marathon in the Florida Keys, is only lacking a sandy beach, otherwise it is a 0.25-acre slice of paradise, with excellent snorkeling and fishing both close at hand. Listed for $1.5M, Pretty Joe Rock boasts a two-slip dock—plus a dock on the mainland with parking space—and a single spacious master suite. That all sounds good, but the decor is horribly dated, and changing it all out would have to involve more than just a moving truck.
↑ If money were no object, only the hardiest of souls are likely to be enticed by Maine's Chandler Island, a one-acre island that shrinks to just a half-acre at high tide. But, at just $40K, this rocky isle might win over a budget-minded island buyer, despite lacking any meaningful shelter or any electric or water supply. There is a rather raggedy gazebo set amidst the scrub, but this place is probably better suited for private afternoon nature excursions than any significant construction.
↑ If Ontario's Pearl Island is anything to go by, the Canadians know how to do the tiny private island thing properly. Rather affordably listed for $268K, this is one of the Bustard Islands, a chain in Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron. Equipped with a two-bedroom cottage and a more rustic cabin, the island has several old growth trees and, in a modern twist, an Xplornet High Speed Internet system. Access is provided by boat or float plane.
· Serbia's One-Room Hut Has Sat on a Rock for 45 Years [Curbed National]
· A Pricey Amalfi Archipelago and Some Cheaper Alternatives [Curbed National]
· Jepson Island [Private Islands Online]
· She Bought Another Island. People Are Wondering. [NYT]
· Belden Island [Private Islands Online]
· Pretty Joe Rock [Private Islands Online]
· Chandler Island [Private Islands Online]
· Pearl Island [Private Islands Online]