13349 N. Shafer Way; 1961 sq. ft.; 3 BD, 2 BA 

Built in 2005

Lot size .14 acre

$319,000

Hutchison Realty, Inc., Dave Hutchison 208-345-8010, www.hutchsold.com

Hidden Springs exudes a certain serenity that borders on eerie. Obviously, the 25-minute drive from downtown has a lot to do with that. The drive is long enough to mentally disconnect from the traffic of downtown, but it shouldn't deter any potential buyers who work in Boise. The subdivision's peculiar stillness is also due to the extremely planned nature of things. I found this Tuscan-esque home squeezed into the center of a block of houses. It faces a small splotch of wetland that separates two roads and keeps to the community's principle of rural character.

The exterior of the house has a large amount of stonework. The multi-hued, multi-shaped stones complement the taupe-ish color of the outer walls. Between the red shingles of the roof and the rustic look of the wood trim and exposed beams (decorative), it has a nice mesh of tones. The entrance "tower" structure attempts to beef up the home, and it succeeds due to all the stone and its arched access.

Once I entered, I was struck immediately by how well kept the home is. Granted, it was just built in 2005 so it hasn't had much chance to fall into disrepair, but still, the place is pristine. The property is corporate-owned and is being liquidated by the company. It was only occupied by a single professional for a short time, which explains its condition. The large number of windows light the interior well, and the hardwood floors, which appeared very durable as well as attractive, are a highlight.

A couple of small rooms flank the main entrance. One has a window-paneled door, which also has a second door leading to the courtyard. The living room feels quite spacious with a 12-foot ceiling. A breakfast bar separates the living room and kitchen, which is teeming with cupboard space. It's sans refrigerator, however. But the kitchen does include a dishwasher, microwave and gas range, which are all stylish and like new. The floor plan actually ties the living room and kitchen together with the dining area. Windows surround the dining area and offer a view of the courtyard (with its Idaho-shaped gas fireplace) and the neighbor's proximate home.

Moving through to the back of the house brings you to its stately master bedroom. Its high barrel ceiling is a nice touch. This room also has access to the courtyard (the architect was really trying to sell that patio). The master bath had me returning twice after my initial survey. I was fascinated. Its toilet is walled off. A small passage complete with its own little barrel ceiling leads to the soaking tub and separate shower. The master bath is nicely tiled and features a large translucent window directly over the tub. Other than one very large and well-shelved closet, the bedrooms are nice but unremarkable. Heading out back toward the garage, I first passed through a laundry room. From the laundry room you can enter the home's oversized three-car garage. The extra space provides for a large L-shaped workbench with a couple sheets of pegboard above. The homes in this collection have "North-End-inspired designs," and part of that is the alley access to the garages, which seems like the best way to fit it all in given that the footprints of these homes practically spill over onto the neighboring lots.

Pros: This home is in mint condition and in a peaceful community. I can picture the streets teeming with kids in the summer, and with the area's minimal traffic it seems perfect for families. You'll have a few amenities right there in the neighborhood, potentially saving you the trip into town.

Cons: Small yard, closeness to neighbors. Despite the variety of designs, the area has a hyper-designed personality. While it's certainly comprised of stylish homes, some might find it a little creepy.

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