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Wanna Buy a Hastings Hobbit House?

A place fit for Isumbras Took the First!

1:28 PM CDT on July 12, 2023

Melbye Real Estate Experts

Realtor Jameson Melbye hasn't heard anyone describe his listing in Hastings as a "hobbit house," but he gets the comparison.

"It's super cool. It's a fun, interesting, potentially tough sale because it's so niche, right?" Melbye says, noting that it's his first time selling this style of home. "But I figure once the right buyer finds it, they're going to fall in love with it."

What sort of homebuyer might scoop up 17309 Kendel Ave., which hit the market in May and was recently discounted to $474,900?

"Somebody who's eco-conscious," the RE/MAX Results listing agent predicts. "This house, being in the ground, there's a lot of energy savings." It can get so toasty in the dead of winter, he reports, that the current owners sometimes open up the windows.

The two-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,716-square-foot home was built in 1986 using the "bermed" method of earth-sheltered construction. The advantages, as outlined in this primer from The Spruce, include: energy efficiency, soundproofing, protection from the elements, and low maintenance. "A house that is surrounded (completely or partially) by earth that stays at a steady 55-60° temperature year round requires less heating in the winter and less cooling in the summer," reads this explainer from Williams College. And mowing the roof? Seems fun to us! On the downside, bermed shelters are more expensive to build and repair, plus there's the ever-looming threat of moisture issues.

But, perhaps, J.R.R. Tolkien summed up the architectural appeal with more literary panache in The Hobbit:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: It was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

The example on Kendel Avenue boasts plenty of appeal surrounding the house itself, including a brand-new septic system, six acres of country land located just seven minutes from downtown, and a cavernous pole barn that can accommodate, as you see in the photos below, a literal semi truck plus a whole lot more. The property last sold in 2004 for $240,000, per county records. It has been on and off the market since last summer.

Let's take a photo tour courtesy of Melbye Real Estate Experts:

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