2609 Ponderosa 

2609 Ponderosa

1,789 sq.ft.: 2 bd, 1 1/2 ba

built in 1944


Keller Williams: Jenny Wells, 208-631-5531, www.kwboise.com

This unassuming little white house, a stone's throw from busy Vista Avenue, was built for Joe Albertson's mother in 1944. Five years after her son founded the first of what became a nationwide chain of grocery stores bearing the family name, Mrs. Albertson was living in 1,029 square feet of space (the above listed 1,789 includes the footage in the partly unfinished basement). Clearly, Joe had yet to make his millions.

Built long before the days of the trend toward garage-farm neighborhoods with gaudy front entrances, the simple white siding and unobtrusive front door almost seem too understated. Two windows, each flanked by black shutters, divert attention away from the front door, which is set back to the right rather than at the exact center of the house's face. Though the front stoop is covered (on top by a slight extension of the roof and on the bottom with Astroturf), the two front windows could use a little covering themselves, if only to enhance the home's overall curb appeal.

Inside, the house is a retro-lover's Elysium. And while, yes, at times a realtor may gratuitously employ the use of the word "retro" to simply cover up what is an outdated property in need of a good face lift, tummy tuck and Botox treatment, that ain't this residence. Gleaming hardwood floors—nary a scratch in sight—stretch throughout the living and dining areas, as well as the bedrooms. Though neither the living or dining areas could be considered large, they are two discernible—albeit connected—spaces.

Two bedrooms sit to the front of the house (each claim one of the two dominating front windows). Neither room is considerably large, sticking close to the true meaning of "bed"-room. The home's main bathroom is the first hint of the true retro about to come. The mauve- and rose-colored tile may be off-putting to new owners who prefer something more drab and neutral. But (and I say this despite hating all shades of pink), it works. The flower-flecked floor, however, pulls the retro tile a little too far into old lady realm.

The kitchen is a retro superstar. With storage. Lots of storage. Patterned red formica countertops extend throughout the kitchen, as does cabinetry that includes 22 cupboards and 22 drawers. That's enough space for every kitchen gadget Williams Sonoma sells and all the ones you inherit from your own grandmother. If this were the fine print, it would say that the dishwasher and stove are included. The built-in shelves tucked between the windows (one of which is appropriately placed above the kitchen sink) add some open shelving to the space. The breakfast nook also has a built-in, but who cares about that when there's that fabulous bay window looking out into the back yard? And as you sit with your bowl of Wheaties, just what will you be looking out over? An oddly triangular-shaped back yard enclosed partly by a wooden fence and partly by the side of the detached, giant, cinder-block two-car garage and shop, which is wired for 220 amp service. A garden on a slight berm lines the fence, a covered deck provides space to entertain and an ancient—but useful—free-standing clothesline sits right in the center of the yard.

PROS: Got junk? The basement has what could rightly be called "loads" of storage space. Eight floor-to-ceiling cabinets can store all the junk you can collect. The basement also has a carpeted (though closet-less) bonus room, as well as a half-bath. That back yard is plenty private.

CONS: The outside wall of the garage bordering one side of the back yard is one wide expanse of white cinder block. The front yard is a bit patchy, and the flower bed full of giant stones—while ideal for Boise's desert weather—could only benefit from the height of native plants. The noise from traffic on Vista requires homeowners with super-duper ear plugs.

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