Real estate pro Dan DePaepe’s Christmas tree takes up a lot of real estate inside his home. His tree starts on the first floor of his home and rises to the ceiling, then spans his entire second-floor owner’s suite and all the way up on the rooftop. The tree is bigger than the house, at 20 feet tall. And—it spins.
It lights up the corner of a residential street in a Chicago neighborhood. The gigantic tree is decorated with about 50 6-inch ornaments and bright shining lights and even has a star perched on the very top that passersby outside see on the roof.
His tree has drawn spectators from across the city to visit his home to view it, and also has become a much-buzzed-about internet sensation. A giant rooftop tree has been done before, he says, but he wanted to put a unique spin on the idea by making his tree rotate.
“It gets a lot of smiles,” says DePaepe, adding that a few hundred cars drive past his home to look at the tree each night. “I’m sharing Christmas with others while enjoying it myself. … I love seeing all the excitement and enjoyment it is getting from the public.”
When DePaepe isn’t constructing larger-than-life Christmas trees, he is a real estate pro with Dream Town Realty in Chicago. He’s been a real estate professional for 12 years and also was a residential property appraiser.
For the past year, DePaepe has been dreaming up plans for his 20-foot rotating tree. It’s quite an upgrade over his previous seven-and-a-half-foot tree that he displayed every year.
But the hobbyist woodworker was inspired to go bigger with his festive display this year. The 20-foot tree is put together in pieces. He won’t divulge his secrets about how the tree appears to be so tall that it is poking through his home’s roof. But the real estate pro is quick to caution others: “Do not put a hole in the top of the house” to display your tree.