Home Sweet Home 

This week, I went bargain hunting in West Boise, where there's an awful lot of inventory in the $150,000 to $200,000 price range. I narrowed my task of sifting through 160 active listings by arranging them according to price per square foot and starting with the lowest. My search for five contenders turned up a townhouse near the Greenbelt, a newly constructed home, one built in a family centric location, a 1978 tri-level and a two-story cream puff.

In West Boise you will find Boise Towne Square Mall and several other large shopping centers, Hewlett Packard's headquarters, the West Boise YMCA and Boise City Aquatic Center. The area's mix of mid-century neighborhoods and newer subdivisions is enhanced with well-maintained community parks.

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If your idea of fun is biking with friends on the Greenbelt to the Saturday farmers market in downtown Boise, then you'll love this six-year-old townhome's proximity to Boise's popular, verdant pathway. The facade of the 1,567-square-foot dwelling bears river rock accents that allude to the riverside trailhead located at the Glenwood Bridge three-tenths of a mile away. The three-bed/two-bath townhouse's open great room comes with hardwood flooring and a fireplace. A covered patio and a small back lawn make entertaining the weekend's focus instead of yard work. 8201 Ringbill, $150,000. MLS #98398369.

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This new residence is a 1,699-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Priced at $98 per square foot, it comes with a living room and a separate flex space that can be used as a family room or office. Outside, you get sod and sprinklers in the front yard, two trees, five shrubs, landscaping bark, wing fencing and photo cell garage lights. The interior is painted a neutral putty hue and the house's simple exterior is attractive. 1058 Dove, $166,595. MLS #98395248.

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If tot lots, a fenced back yard and proximity to schools and swimming lessons at the local YMCA are important to you, then consider this two-story family home. Located close to Albertsons and Blockbuster at McMillan and Eagle roads, this 11-year-old, four-bed/two-bath house measures 1,500 square feet and is located conveniently close to the necessities of a busy clan. The living room has a vaulted ceiling and a wide, arched window that allows a view past the kitchen sink and into the breakfast nook. The private master suite is the only room on the upper floor. 13589 Acorn, $170,000. MLS #98392079.

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At 2,376 square feet, this 1978 tri-level is the largest residence of the bunch. Yet, its $76 cost per square foot is the lowest. Family and friends will gather in the kitchen, dining nook and living room on the main level. The master suite and two bedrooms are tucked privately on the top floor. Guests can be quartered in the fourth bedroom on the lowest level, where there is also a family room. The modest exterior bears a mix of beige brick and matching siding topped by a low-sloped roof. 676 Queens Guard Way, $179,900. MLS # 98398060.

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This two-story cream puff is blessed with an abundance of custom cabinetry and views of the mountains. A large entertainment center in the 7-year-old home's family room provides space for an upright piano or an oversized television. One entire wall in the office features three tiers of hardwood cabinets and a built-in desk. The second-story master suite has views of pastures and mountains, which are also visible from the covered rear deck of this sweet, clean four-bedroom home. 4130 English, $199,900. MLS #98362303.

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