The Firm Real Estate Corporation
Britney Mills, 208-371-1113
Although the area in which this week's property is located is surrounded by upscale properties—the grand homes overlooking Ann Morrison Park to the north, and to the south by neighborhoods brimming with charming early-to-mid 20th century homes of various architectural styles—this neighborhood is filled with small, post-World War II cottages.
The Boise Train Depot sits a few blocks to the east, and the railroad tracks that extend westward are visible across the street from the house. Since the depot now hosts weddings and executive parties instead of regional travelers, and the train has stopped running, the humble area seems ripe for a renaissance.
The thing I like about this 68-year-old dwelling is its quirky marriage of old and new. The layout is a little funky, too, adding to its charm. The home has a slightly sloped roof that appears nearly flat, and its boxy exterior bears brick facing on the lower portion of the walls and siding above it. The medium gray exterior gives no hint to the updating and remodeling that has taken place inside.
Out front there is a clean, circular driveway covered with gravel, a few newer landscaped beds, a new sod lawn, a big old shade tree and an established lilac border along one edge of the driveway. The front door is flanked by two full sidelights, and as you step inside, the first thing you'll notice is the golden glow of the hardwood flooring—some of it original, some of it newly replaced. The interior is painted wheat color with white trim, except for the kitchen, which is chartreuse.
An informal dining space and a living room with several tall windows are the first rooms you see as you step inside. From the dining space you can enter the remodeled kitchen, which features travertine tile counters, ceramic tile flooring, a pass-through window opening to the living room, and stark white cabinets and appliances that help to soften the kitchen's contemporary hue. Beyond the kitchen is another small dining nook, a half bathroom and the laundry room/mud room, from which you exit to the back yard.
Out back, there are two storage sheds, a small lawn and a concrete patio that has a brick fireplace with an arched opening and a ta pered chimney. It seems like a good spot for putting up your feet with a cold one, telling stories and toasting marshmallows with family and friends.
Back inside, there are three bedrooms along the home's only hallway. The bedroom layout is quirky. The first bedroom shares a Jack-and-Jill bathroom with the third bedroom (located at the end of the hall) so there isn't really a master suite. The second bedroom is tiny and would make a good nursery or home office. The finished basement is composed of a single room that might make a good play room or storage space, but the stairway that leads down is awkward because of a deep overhang that requires you to lean backward in order to pass underneath.
From the house, it's just a three-minute drive to downtown Boise, Boise State and expansive parks like Ann Morrison and Julia Davis. The Boise River flows through both parks, bordered by the paved Greenbelt that connects Lucky Peak reservoir in the east to Hawks Stadium in the west. Architectural stand-outs in nearby neighborhoods will provide visual interest for morning runners and walkers.
Pros: Newly remodeled older home with quirks and personality in a location that is close to downtown, shopping and restaurants.
Cons: Awkward basement access, no master suite. No garage, but plenty of onsite parking.