1709 N. 13th St. 

Aaah, Hyde Park on a balmy autumn afternoon. Could there be anything more idyllic? Living one block beyond Hyde Park may be just the thing. This listing is literally a stone's throw from the quaint storefronts and restaurants of the North End's jewel. While many homes can boast having such an enviable location, a limited few are brand new.

In a neighborhood that cherishes the historic and refurbished, I was mildly surprised the first time I saw the "Rowhouses at Hyde Park" being constructed. Distinctly modern, they stand out among the traditionally charming bungalows that surround them, and yet they somehow manage to fit into the scene without interrupting its allure. The façade is colorful, with each unit painted differently, but the color choices are muted with natural shades that blend into the scenery. Each unit has a small terrace in the front, as well as an upper patio that overlooks 13th Street and its steady stream of pedestrians.

The interior of the featured unit is definitely small--with a width of only 18 feet--but the design is efficient and flows well from room to room. The entrance opens into the living room, which has Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors that immediately grab your eye. Built-in shelving and a gas fireplace surround the living room. The room has a very finished and neat appearance, and could easily be transformed into any style.

The hardwood floors carry you past the stairwell and into the kitchen. The granite counters are a unique pattern, the appliances are all stainless steel and the counter height is raised with a bar for eating a quick breakfast or resting your drink on as you watch your host whip up a gourmet meal. Almost anyone would feel comfortable in the kitchen.

In addition to the kitchen and living room, the first floor also has a small dining area and a powder room tucked under the stairwell.

On the second floor, the hardwood is replaced by carpet in a shade of green. My initial reaction to the green carpet was not entirely positive, but it is a quiet shade as opposed to the screaming green of decades past. In fact, after browsing the upper floor, I found that the green carpet had actually grown on me a bit.

The upper floor has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open area that can be used as an office or sitting area. The bedrooms are not huge, but they are adequate, and both bathrooms complement the kitchen in upgrades and amenities.

Outside is a small backyard with a patio, a patch of grass and a single car garage. The alley access is a nice feature and each unit has an additional parking space in back. These units may not be a perfect fit for every buyer, but they are undoubtedly a dream home for many.

Pros: Location, location, location, as they say in the business. The upgrades throughout the home are numerous, and the style is a very chic modern.

Cons: At $337,900 you could buy a much larger home, with a much larger yard. The traffic on 13th Street may be aggravating at times.

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