2714 W. Stewart St. 

This section of Stewart is sandwiched between Jerry's Market on 27th and open land adjacent to the ponds by the Greenbelt. It doesn't quite have the same historic character and consistency as the neighborhood to the east of 27th, but it has a mix of older homes, multi-family type units and even a row of some new single-family units just to the southeast of this house behind the Islamic Center. Along with most neighborhoods in Boise, it seems as though this area is seeing a lot of "action." There are a number of houses for sale, some of which are in the fixer-upper state like this one, and others being marketed as remodeled. The area's close proximity to downtown, shopping, transportation and schools makes it a hot market for investors and buyers.

The house sits on a .13 acre triangular lot, which is angled to the street and slightly elevated. The house has a unique presence on the street. It is clad in pinkish metal siding with mauve colored trim. Concrete steps with an iron railing lead up to a small stoop and entry to the house. The first thing I noticed walking in the door was how low the ceilings were--"low enough touch them with my fingertips low." One could increase that height by a couple of inches just by getting rid of the thick brown carpeting (OK, perhaps that's an exaggeration). It does not appear to be a drop ceiling, but the only way to find out is to take a hammer to it. The front room is clad in wood paneling. And it's not your typical wood paneling, but a much wider variety with an exotic wood species look. A wood stove sits in the corner with 12-inch square tile around and hearth.

The kitchen is equipped with all the avocado-colored appliances ever made (like the Sears Cold Spot Refrigerator--sweet!), beautiful stained plain front wood cabinets, a crazy mix of faux marble plastic laminate countertops (white and brown) and some funky patterned sheet flooring. Just above the sink is a wall-mounted mirror that once was a window looking out to the side yard, and when the garage was added, it the window was filled in. A skylight centered in the space makes up for the loss of the natural light. The dining room is adjacent to the kitchen and has some knotty pine paneling. The washer and dryer are tucked in a closet.

The three bedrooms are accessed off a hall from the living room. All have ceiling fans and carpeting. I did pull up one corner of carpet and it looks like the original floors are intact but have been painted. One bedroom is relatively small and does not have any closet space. The bathroom looks to have been spruced up recently with a new vanity cabinet, faux tile work, a chrome shelving unit, wooden seat lid and a Jacuzzi-type tub--although the latter looks like it has been around awhile.

The basement is quite large and that slight elevation above the street allows for some natural light opportunities. There is only one window but more would be nice. The ceiling is slightly lower than the first floor and the floor is a rough concrete.

The triangular lot has been landscaped in a variety of ways. The front and west side yard are fairly typical: some grass, trees and shrubs. The "back" yard has a small storage unit, which is being advertised as a shop and is surrounded by a stockpile of large stones, a pond with cattails and a patio. Around the corner of the house is another little pond.

PROS: The '70s are alive and well with the current decor. If fashion really is cyclical, somebody is gonna be real lucky. Another smoker's paradise. I like the pond and cattails.

CONS: OK, so there is a lot of work to do. I am not sure I could stand the siding and trim color. I would probably rip it off and see how the original siding looks. The lot makes for some challenging future additions (because, come on, 1,460 square feet is just not enough!) but the lot has some great large shade trees. The 198K price tag seems high, especially with the work that needs to be done.

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