I thought I was going to Surprise Valley but found that today's home is just off South Surprise Way in Homestead Rim, yet another new subdivision. The neighborhood is a green oasis amid an expanse of sage brush.
Today's home is an imposing greenish gray two-story house with cream-colored trim and full front porches on the first and second floors. Because of the porches, I already like the house. From the front porch, the view includes lovely homes across the street and, peeking above them, the foothills and Tablerock.
The front door leads to a well-lit entryway with a 19-foot ceiling soaring above the stairs, and a hallway of sunny maple floors leading to the kitchen. To the left is an archway in the Craftsman style leading to a generous-sized, tan-carpeted living room. Its focal point is a gas fireplace surrounded by off-white built-in shelves (backed by bead board). The walls are taupe with off-white trim.
An identical arch leads to a cheerful, formal dining room floored in more maple. This room is lit by sliders to a patio, and is decorated by a chair rail. There is a short breakfast bar and a wide entrance to the kitchen, whose floor plan I like because of its big window over the sink. Black and stainless steel appliances include a gas stove. There's a large pantry, lovely maple Shaker cabinets below a plant shelf, and two small windows above that. Behind the kitchen is a big utility room lit by a window and including a folding shelf, a cabinet and hanging rods. Another door leads to an oversized, finished two-car garage with automatic opener. It opens onto a paved back alley.
Returning to the hallway, I head up the single flight of stairs carpeted in off-white. To the right of the corridor is a child's room painted an exuberant purple with tan wainscoting. The next bedroom is being used as an office, and there are a lot of views from its back windows, including a sage brush-covered hill, and above it, houses on a rim in the next subdivision.
The hall bathroom has elegant gray/white carved tile backsplashes, which I also saw in the kitchen, well-done gray/green tilelike vinyl floor and a huge skylight. The tub/shower is framed by an archway.
I'm anticipating the master suite with interest, and am not disappointed. It is large and painted light blue, with sliding doors opening onto the lighted front porch. Here's a view of the foothills, with their early green growth, worth looking at. All you can hear is the quiet and the sounds of birds and the breeze when you sit on this north-facing porch. Off the bedroom is a mocha bathroom with double sinks, gray/green tile countertops and backsplashes, and a big shower with clear glass doors. The walk-in closet is just inside of the bathroom. All the ceilings in this house are 9 feet high.
Out the dining room doors is a cozy, east-facing patio surrounded by some lawn. There are glorious vines growing on the fences and cheerful flowers in the flowerbeds. A gate leads to the alley, where the owners have planted more flowers along the fence.
Pros: I heard that the one of the best finish carpenters in the valley did the interior work on this house, and the results are evident. I love the maple floors. The front porches are wonderful places to sit and recreate. The house, patio and small back yard are laid out very efficiently and charmingly. I love houses with garages that open onto back alleys.
Cons: The second floor porch has solid railings so I could only see the upper parts of the hills and the sky when I was seated in the porch swing. While high railings provide safety for pets and children, maybe higher chairs (or something) could be found for adults. The occasional transmission tower is visible north of the neighborhood. The lot is small, but lots of people like that.