NYC is obscenely expensive, the rent is perpetually too high, and affordable apartments are heading the way of the subway token. Why keep throwing away your hard-earned cash on short-term investments in order to take part in a literal rat race when you could instead go in with a couple friends on an energy-efficient, lovingly designed Hobbit house?

Located just an hour and a half from the city in the adorable Dutchess County town of Pawling (you know, Upstate NY), you can find the Hobbit Hollow at 16 Wilkinson Hollow Rd. It is the result of nearly five years of construction by Jim Castigan, a construction professional and Lord of the Rings aficionado (though he notes he's more of a "Silmarillion geek" in his bio). He documented the process in painstaking detail on his website My Hobbit Shed, where you can find more photos and explanation of the project.

"I needed a place to put my lawn tractor and outdoor tools so I told my wife that I was going to build a shed," he wrote. "She said: 'Fine.' Then I thought it would be pretty cool if the shed was built like a Hobbit house. When I told my wife I think she said: 'You’re crazy.' Soon thereafter I began this project."

"Of course, my inspiration was BagEnd from Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring movie," he added "I'm still amazed at the architecture of the Hobbit home in that film and would love to replicate it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could build something like that. I wanted it to be real and I wanted it to last."

He finished the project once and for all this past spring, turning his initial dream of a Hobbit-inspired shed into an actual "earth sheltered passive house," which minimizes the amount of energy used to heat and cool a house. And then he put the house on the market—a few months later, the two bedroom, two bathroom home is still available for $795K. According to the listing, in addition to being the only Tolkein-based architecture in the region, it is also "built on a historic site alongside a stream with waterfall & pond, beautiful rock outcroppings, a little bridge across the stream, the setting is magical. There is a big lawn in front of the house, plenty of room for a garage, stonewalls, bluestone walkways & a rooftop bluestone patio!"

Of course, if you want to fiddle with the design of the Hobbit Hollow, there are plenty of options for that. And you can always look at other Hobbit homes from around the world for inspiration as well.

[h/t Laughing Squid]