The erstwhile housing boom fueled many fantasies, including the fantasies of at least one developer to help people live as Hobbits lived. However the developer behind The Shire in Bend, in Oregon, has seen his vision fall somewhat short of market expectations after defaulting on a construction loan.
Promoters had billed the scheme a “place of enchantment” modeled after an “oldworld English country village,” inclusive of Hobbit holes and a network of streams and ponds with a pathway leading to what was called “The Ring Bearer's Court.” Fans of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series will instantly recognize that Bilbo Baggins had a hand in the design process.
The Shire recently entered foreclosure proceedings after the developers defaulted on a $3.4 million loan. The Frodo-friendly, 31-lot project was profiled in a 2006 BBC radio program as an example of the propulsive US real estate market. According to a press report in late July, only one home in the Shire has been sold, for $650,000.
It is expected that Umpqua Bank, which made the development loan according to media reports, will be unloading the homes and home sites at a steep discount. If you've ever pined to live like a Hobbit in a hole, this is your chance.