2016 Westgate 

Fairview at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Apparently it's the place to be in all of Boise. En route to this house, I was (un)fortunate enough to experience the hubbub of Fairview, but my curiosity about this house had been captured by the description of a "Spanish-style courtyard." All houses should have a courtyard of some sort. I'm not sure I have ever been down Westgate Street, even though I know this area well from when I was a kid and Westgate Mall was the only mall in town, where my family used to shop at the Bazaar for school clothes. Now the shopping center is an odd mix of just a Pojo's and some government agencies.

Westgate Street is like most subdivision streets: curb, sidewalk, grass, house. It sure makes a difference in the streetscape when that 5-foot landscape strip does not exist—street trees are nice. Westgate Street has a mix of housing. Duplexes, condos and single-family units are available. Most of the single-family houses are modest in size, similar in style and likely all built during the '60s.

This house sits on almost a quarter-acre, which has been nicely landscaped with a mix of hardscape, pines and shrubs. The house and garage together form a u-shape, thus creating the courtyard (duh), which faces the street. The brick veneer wainscot that runs along the wall of the house extends out to help enclose the space. The house is a single story structure with a low-sloping gable roof and white metal siding.

The entry door opens into a small hall with hardwood floors and a small closet. The kitchen sits just off the hall, and although not terribly large, it seems functional. The wood cabinets look original but the sheet flooring does not. The kitchen transitions into the dining area. The flooring continues and the washer/dryer closet and a tall storage cabinet are also in the space. From there you can make your way into either the family room or the living room. The family room has sliding patio doors leading out to the courtyard, beige carpet, khaki walls with white trim and a bank of tall storage cabinets. The living room has a nice fireplace, painted paneled walls and carpet. The three bedrooms are about the same in size, two are carpeted and the third has exposed hardwood floors. The bathroom has tiled floors, a countertop and cabinets, all of which look original.

The garage can easily accommodate a car and shop space. The wall opposite the door has been framed-in for another garage-type door, which if put in place would open out to the landscaped backyard. The backyard has a concrete patio, a couple of wood decks (one covered), a separate storage unit and some tall bushes that completely screen the neighbors across the fence.

PROS: The courtyard notion needs developing because it could really be a great space. The hardwood floors are in good shape, and although they are under some fairly new carpet, I would still expose them. Plenty of yard and back deck space to enjoy. The wood grain on some of the cabinets is beautiful. Even though the washer/dryer look a bit out of place in the dining area, the cabinets above them rock. The house is in good shape and would be easy to move into and start living in. The price is right. With some new paint, new windows and new siding, the place could look pretty sharp.

CONS: The white metal siding and kitchen/dining flooring look worn out and ready for removal.

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