SUMMERVILLE – After nearly a year of renovations, a unique Lowcountry home that’s been called the “Hobbit House” is on the market for $1.4 million.
The Barfield Drive residence Summerville’s Walnut Farms measures 5,761 square feet.
Originally listed for $540,000 in October 2020, the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home on 2.37 acres that backs up to the Ashley River sold in June 2021 for $380,000 to Kaisen Investments LLC, a Goose Creek real estate investment firm.
The home’s original owner, Gary Duncan, said he started working on the property more than two decades ago.
From the beginning in 1996, his vision was singular: a fairytale cottage, but big enough for a crowd, with a thatched roof and a turret. When the Post and Courier wrote about the home in 2008, the turret had been abandoned after an architectural board dispute, but the thatched roof remained.
Duncan, a transplant from Minneapolis, said it was a continual challenge to find the right craftsmen. The exterior stonework or “nogging,” which involved bricks laid in an off-kilter pattern around protruding pieces of stone, was too far a cry for a bricklayer who was used to creating clean, straight lines.
Roofers had a hard time laying out the cedar shingles, which needed space to expand when wet.
That left Duncan doing, in his telling, 99 percent of the work, from pouring concrete into the hand-dug foundations to putting a turtle mosaic in the floor of one of the five bathrooms.
Though he had occasional help.
“You get a couple of guys together and give them a case of beer,” Duncan told The Post and Courier in 2020. “We had some of that.”
While The Post and Courier dubbed the home the “Hobbit House” in its 2008 piece, Duncan said kids in the neighborhood more often called it the “haunted house” or “Harry Potter house.”
The technical architectural style is 16th-century Elizabethan.
The biggest issue for any future owner was that the interior of the house had not been finished.
“When I’d go into the grocery store, I’d mention the ‘Hobbit House’ and people knew exactly what I was talking about,’” said Matt Sotiroglou, who undertook the task of completing the construction on the house. “The word of mouth about this house was incredible and that convinced me that we had to get involved with this project. This is a true diamond on the rough.”
Sotiroglou and his partners poured more than $500,000 into the renovations.
“This wasn’t like flipping a house, this was a major, major renovation project,” he said. “It was pretty much a full rebuild. Everything but the exterior shell had to be replaced and brought up to code. Basically, only the brick work and the foundation stayed.”
Despite all the renovations, Sotiroglou said he was determined to keep as much of the original concept as possible.
“It was a shame that the previous owner didn’t get to finish what he started,” Sotiroglou said. “We did our best to honor his vision. We kept a lot of details and brick work that he did, the exterior trim. (Duncan) did a lot of great work.”
Sotiroglou said he wanted to brighten the interior of the home.
“We really wanted to give it a modern feel, while at the same time keeping the character that makes this house so unique,” he said. “If it feels like a dark, damp castle on the inside then no one would have wanted to live there. We made it bright and gave it an open floor plan.”
Chris Sotiroglou with AgentOwned Realty is the listing agent. An open house is schedule for May 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reach Andrew Miller at 843-937-5599. Follow him on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC