Browsing for a bunker abode befitting Bilbo Baggins that won’t break the bank? Buddy, have we got the hobbit house for you. Located about 30 minutes east of the Twin Cities in River Falls, Wisconsin, N8064 975th St. just hit the market for $315,000.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom, semi-subterranean home was built in 1972 by Mike McGuire, the regionally renowned architect/artist from Stillwater. As you surely noticed, all 2,236 square feet of it was installed into the woodsy 3.5-acre lot 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,” Williams College explains. On the downside, bermed shelters are more expensive to build and repair, plus there’s the ever-looming threat of moisture issues.
The example at N8064 975th St. has been tastefully updated and includes three fireplaces, two newer furnaces, five newer skylights, and a two-car garage. The property was last sold in 2019 for $190,000, according to county records. “This home is surrounded by nature and privacy and is truly one of a kind! This artistic masterpiece is a must-see!” the listing raves.
But, perhaps, J.R.R. Tolkien summed up its 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.”
Seeking additional hobbit house intel, I emailed the listing agent, Sara Capecchi of eXp Realty, but didn’t hear back. And if you’ll indulge my petty professional woes, it has been a helluva week securing sources! Just look at this failed attempt to land a burger-centric interview with drive-thru FBI raid target Mike Lindell—aka the My Pillow crackpot:
Anyway, here’s a photo tour of that sick western Wisconsin hobbit house courtesy of eXp Realty. Wanna see the place with your own hobbity eyes? There’s an open house Saturday from 1:30-3:30 p.m.