A house that looks like it belongs in a forest from “The Hobbit” is enchanting the Chicago housing market — and despite its highly personalized decor and whimsical ornamentation it’s already in contract just 23 days after listing.

Located 15 minutes outside of central Chicago, the property has been listed for $495,000. It’s a 1,869-square-foot, three-bedroom white cottage surrounded with greenery that both surrounds and enshrouds the home itself. Current owner Christa Brachert owned an antique shop and, over the 50 years she spent running it, decorated her home with the interesting artifacts she and her art dealer husband Donald Paset found.

Along with a garden-style interior, the house boasts an interior filled with everything from leopard-print carpeting to stained glass windows, paintings of animals, dried flower wreaths, gondola lanterns, statues in the shape of Russian knights and a French chaise percée used to cover a toilet.

“The owners  didn’t believe in putting anything away in storage,” Nick Fallico, the Dream Town Realty agent who is tasked with selling the property, told Inman. “They felt that anything that goes in storage should be sold.”

As a result, all the antiques and artifacts are included in the price of the house — a unique, whimsical look that earned Fallico hundreds of calls since a local outlet first wrote about the listing. To date, it has been viewed on Redfin more than 24,000 times. Fallico’s team is in contract to sell but, as the sale has not yet gone through, they’re still showing it to new potential buyers.

It was built in 1904 and is part of a number of country-style homes built in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago in the early part of the 20th century. A tree canopy leads to the house and, according to Book Club Chicago, is commonly used for wedding and graduation photos by locals.

“The sellers created an art stage that they don’t want to take apart before they leave,” Fallico said. “They want to sell it the way it is and hope the next buyer enjoy it as much as they have.”

As creatives and members of the Chicago art community, Brachert and her husband were hoping to find someone who appreciates its country house style. Fallico said that the vast majority of those who saw the house said they were drawn in by the charm and want to keep it exactly as it is now — even amid the pandemic, interest in its fairytale design has been enormous.

“When I first saw the listing, I didn’t know which way it was going to go,” Fallico said. “I didn’t know if this was going to be the hardest sale of my life or if this was going to be so unique that it goes viral. Luckily it was the second.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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