Odds & Ends » Home Sweet Home

5568 W. Hidden Springs Drive

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Hidden Springs has grown since the last time I drove out there several years ago. To the bungalows, arts and crafts homes, and farmhouses have been added prairie-style homes, Spanish style houses and at least two enormous and elaborate Victorians. The homes in Hidden Springs are truly beautiful and, the garages are tucked away so as not to detract. Since I think the architecture in most of today's newer subdivisions is awful, Hidden Springs is a real treat.

The house I went to see is a charming yellow farmhouse with a front porch and a yard surrounded by a white picket fence. The inside of the home is breathtaking. The entryway and stairwell are two stories high. Off the entryway is a small parlor, hall closet and half bath. The main part of the first floor is an open plan, beautiful and very cozy. The kitchen has granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a pantry and an eating bar. It faces a large dining room with an exquisite hanging lamp. A sliding glass door off the dining room opens to a side patio.

Next to the kitchen is an elegant family room. It is modestly vaulted with a black ceiling fan at the peak. An elaborate fireplace, flanked by built-in shelves, is the focal point of this room. Off this side of the house is another sliding glass door opening to a bigger patio, which has nice views of the foothills.

Behind the dining room is a long utility room with a sink, window, clothes closet and lots of cabinets. It leads to the two-car garage, which is located at the back of the house, in the alley.

Also on the first floor of this house is the bright and generously sized master bedroom. The master bathroom, which has a spa tub and a separate shower, is located in the bedroom without a separating wall.

Upstairs is a loft, which the current homeowner is using as a media room. There are also three more bedrooms and another full bath upstairs. The entire first floor, stairs and media room have hardwood floors. The three upstairs bedrooms are floored with berber rugs. The kitchen and all the bathrooms have vinyl flooring in a nice stone pattern. All of the rooms that are not vaulted have crown molding.

The house is on a fairly small lot. There is not much of a backyard, just the two side yards and the front yard. This lot would be perfect for someone who didn't want to spend a great deal of time grooming a yard. An owner who didn't mind the yard work could make a bed all along the inside of the picket fence and plant flowers if they wanted to do more gardening. However, to supplement the neighborhood's small yards are several parks in the subdivision.

The house is next door to the Hidden Springs Charter School so there are neighbors only on one side. The bungalow-style clubhouse with a pool and exercise room is very conveniently located across the street. The street speed limit is 25 mph, and this house is in the school zone, so when children are present, the speed is lowered to 20 mph.

PROS: It is beautiful up in the foothills in Hidden Springs. This house is charming outside and exquisite inside. I love large utility rooms, like the one this house has. I also like houses with one eating as opposed to both a formal dining room and breakfast nook.

CONS: From downtown, it took me a half-hour to get to Hidden Springs on a Sunday afternoon. I would speculate the drive is longer during rush hour on a weekday. Hidden Springs is hardly a self-contained community.