624 N. Grey Pebble Pl.: 5,400 Sq. Ft.: 6 bd, 3 1/2 ba 

Lot Size: .47 acre

built in: 2005

$849,000

American Realty: Heidi Swenson, 208-631-2999

Depending on the style of your own humble abode—not to mention your social circle—the term "mcmansion" is either the shade of financial success or a more pejorative color of gaudy. Regardless of the connotation of the terms associated with the mcmansion trend—a list includes "garage mahals," "starter castles," "monster houses," and my favorite, "faux chateaux"—this home fits the bill.

This sprawling 5,400-square-foot monster appears surprisingly unrestrained on less than a half-acre, thanks in part to the empty adjacent lot and the rolling greenery of Eagle Elementary's back yard, which is also adjacent to the property. Curbside from the cul-de-sac, however, it's an austere scene with a neutral brown facade, unadorned windows and an awkward absence of complementing foliage. The house looks like it literally dropped from the sky into a field of green and simply refuses to interact with the landscape.

A heavy double wooden door is a formidable entrance, and one that I loathe to say could look more inviting with a portico or other adornment. Once inside the door, however, the house cozies. The two-story entryway is overlooked by a wrapping balcony (which once you're upstairs is better described as "balconied hallway"), making it thankfully tall while the walls close in on either side. The door to the study sits immediately right with access to a formal living room—dropped two stairs below the entryway and the adjacent dining room. The formal living room sits to the left of the entryway and leads into the formal dining room and kitchen that follow in succession to the back of the house. It's possible to walk the length of house through each room or to follow the entryway back into a great room, open to the breakfast nook and partly open to the kitchen. Exit to the back yard, with a large partly covered concrete patio, is through the breakfast nook. The master bedroom is also on the first floor, and like most homes of this size, has access to the back patio, a fireplace and an elegant master bath with shower and spa-style tub, and walk-in closet.

Upstairs is where the home's floorplan is most unique, with most of the rooms situated around the balcony overlooking the entryway. A large media room with Pergo floors and a built-in wet bar is central upstairs and accessed immediately from the top of the stairs. Next to the media room is a bedroom with four single-door closets built diagonally into each corner of the room. The hall leads into a large bonus room with views to the front and back of the house. Two other bedrooms are connected by a jack-and-jill bathroom, and a fourth is currently being used as an exercise room.

For homeowners who entertain, this property is ideal. In addition to being spacious, the first-floor layout has spaces for large groups or provide some privacy for smaller clusters. And with a game and media room, the kids can take one room, the sports-minded another and the talkers can collect downstairs.

Little things like built-in speakers throughout the house, a built-in desk in the kitchen, stair lights that go on with sensors and an outdoor gas hookup for the barbecue add a measure of convenience. The house also has blown blanket insulation, which the current homeowner says has kept her utility bill under $200 per month, and two separate air-conditioning systems (one for each floor).

Pros: Access to Eagle Elementary School is ideal for families. According to the current owner, the neighborhood is a tightly-knit group.

Cons: Having access to the school adjacent to your property means hordes of SUVs in the cul-de-sac as parents try to avoid Eagle Road traffic by making twice-daily stops in front of your house.

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