Whimsical, Hobbit-like Chicago home listed for less than $500K

Bilbo Baggins’ charming home only exists in the fictional Shire, but a Chicago house that bears a striking resemblance to it can be yours for $495,000.

In the Windy City’s Irving Park neighborhood, this 1,869-square-foot, three-bedroom spread has nabbed more than 24,000 views on Redfin since it was listed nearly three weeks ago, according to Block Club Chicago, which has everything to do with its whimsical decor.

Tucked behind an unassuming white exterior surrounded by greenery, the interior comes fully stocked with antique knickknacks — including wooden gondola lanterns from Venice, a wooden cabinet carved with Christian motifs, stained-glass windows and a French chaise percée that conceals the master bathroom’s toilet with the shape of a chair. The listing images show that each corner of the home is accented with decorations — even the kitchen, where cabinets are partly concealed by wreaths and framed paintings hang over a cast-iron AGA range, the latter of which is included in the sale.

Fittingly, it’s owned by a woman named Christa Brachert, who owned an antique shop until last year when she retired after 50 years in the business. And for her, the charming clutter is just what she wants.

“I don’t like having things put away in storage and never touched,” she told Block Club. “What are you saving it for? I don’t see the sense in that.”

Her other belongings include tapestries adorning almost every wall in the home and elaborate garlands hanging from the wooden ceiling of a breakfast nook. She previously tried sticking to a single decorating theme, but found it too constricting — and ended up blending together everything she liked.

Brachert and her husband, art dealer Donald Paset, aren’t sure where they’ll move after they sell the house — and they’ll auction or donate the antique items too bulky to take. They bought the 1904-built home in the 1990s.

“When I was looking for a home in the area this one stood out as a blank canvas, which was wonderful,” Brachert told the publication. “It had a large yard that didn’t have much in it. No pool. Nothing. We decorated over the years in this wonderful way and I’ve made this my comfortable home. It’s cozy and beautiful and fabulous. I love it. There is something magic about this house.”

It’s even lovely outside, where there’s a pool, a wooded area that shades a seating area and a dining area that also features a number of decorative wreaths.

Both her garden and the home itself earned the love of her neighbors, who were surprised the couple listed the property for sale.

“I’ve admired your garden every time I go by,” a neighbor, Dana Soedt, wrote in a postcard after the listing hit the market. “Here’s hoping that your property retains every ounce of charm under its new ownership.”



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