1,806 sq. ft.: 4 bedrooms, 2 and one-half baths
Built in 2006
Lot size: about 65 feet by 120 feet
Group One: Joann Rice, 208-850-7103; http://jrice.group-one.com
This house is priced quite low compared to houses of comparable size in Boise. It's painted tan with stone accents; the front porch roof is supported by three attractive Craftsman-style pillars, and the house is landscaped with two young trees and flowers and bushes in concrete curbed flower beds.
All the doors in the house are white paneled, which is a nice feature. Reddish brown tile covers the entry floor, and the rest of the floors in the house are covered in tan carpeting. Double doors lead to a room—that could be a den or a bedroom—with white plantation shutters on the windows.
A corridor leads to a vaulted great room and a kitchen that has oak cabinets, white appliances—including a smooth-top stove—and a nice side-by-side refrigerator included in the sale. There's also an island with more storage, and a breakfast bar. The countertops are a peachy rose Formica with stone back splashes, and the floor is a faux-stone vinyl so realistic I had to touch it to be sure it wasn't tile. A ceiling fan in the living room keeps the air moving; a gas fireplace surrounded in reddish brown tile gives the room a cozy feel and I love the high ledges on which to put plants or objets d'art.
A door from the living room leads to a big vaulted master bedroom with a walk in closet. Another door leads to the bathroom, which has a garden tub, a large separate shower and two sinks. The bathroom also has a vinyl floor, done in a stony gray, and the countertops are covered with gorgeous gray-green Formica.
Back in the hall, there's a kitchen pantry and further along is a half-bath. Across from that is the laundry room, and a third door leads to the three-car finished garage.
Also off the hall are stairs leading to the second floor with a loft under two windows which could be used for a comfortable seating area, a play area, an office, etc. The bedrooms on this floor face the front of the house, and the second one has a big walk-in closet. The hall bathroom has one sink set in an eye-catching copper-colored vinyl counter top, and a shower/tub combination.
The sliding glass door in the dining room opens to a small back patio that faces north. The yard is fully fenced and is planted in lush new grass (no weeds!). On the other side of the yard is a wooden shed and there's one small tree and more flower beds. The very good news is that the pressurized irrigation system uses cheap irrigation water not city water: a big savings in the summer watering months.
Pros: $224,900 is a real steal for this much new house. My round trip from Boise took 50 minutes though the ride from Nampa, Caldwell and other outlying areas takes longer. I really don't know how cheaper housing in those areas can pay for the high gas prices and personal frustration buyers endure. For them, some kind of light rail system can't come soon enough.
I'm partial to a front porch. A first-floor master bedroom is very convenient should climbing stairs be a problem. The garden tub with a clear window offers a place to soak and look at the sky and/or the stars. Plantation blinds look so fine. A pool and play area are going to be built in the neighborhood this year.
Cons: The house has the advantage of newness, and the disadvantage of a new development: small trees, etc. It is decorated in somewhat muted colors and mostly vinyl where there are no carpets so it remains for the owners to liven the home up with plants, art, window treatments or other splashes of colors.