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A LOOK BACK: A jar and a story help sell a house

Each year Times reporters revisit a story with special meaning to them. Reporter Dan Churney revisits a Beyond the Listing feature that centered around a little jar.

The 925-square-foot structure at 454 Tenth St. in La Salle looks cute, but unassuming.

However, the ninth most popular online Times story in 2017 was a Beyond the Listing feature on this home, titled "Charm with a jar."

The modest, two-bedroom traditional style house has a lot going for it, especially a small jar, containing wedding bands, a crucifix and other jewelry items that presumably belonged to the first owners, Elizabeth and Edmund Blei.

The jar and certainly the house itself charmed a number of people shopping for a home, according to seller Nick Duncan.

"The difference in interest was notable after the article ran. Several people contacted us about the house and told me they had read of it in The Times. And many knew the story about the jewelry. I'm sure it would have eventually sold, but who knows how long it would have taken?" Duncan recalled.

Duncan said the couple who ended up buying the house a few weeks later visited the house and made an offer the next day to pretty much meet the asking price.

"They didn't need to look at it much, they told me, because they had already 'seen the house' through the story and photos," Duncan noted.

Even though Duncan sold the house, he still retains a bit of loyalty to the little jar.

"I mentioned the jewelry to you by chance, and it ended up making the story. A lot of people remarked about it. I told the new owners, 'I know it's your house, but I hope you'll think about leaving it here if you ever sell the house.' "

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