5823 Plantation Rd. 

So this was a surprise find. I happened to be out cruising through the Lake Harbor/Plantation neighborhood, accidentally made a wrong turn and out of the corner of my eye, saw a row of homes that caught my attention. It was a fairly typical subdivision street scene with garages front and center. Built during the early '80s, this row of homes had front courtyards pushing out just enough to soften the blow of the garage. The courtyard is such a simple concept, providing some visual interest along the street and much needed activity in most subdivisions, where the street and front yards are like ghost towns. The other noticeable and welcoming feature of these homes was the understated entry. There was no three-story gable structure screaming "duh, enter here." Rather, my path of entry/discovery involved opening a decorative black iron gate into a secluded courtyard from which I then made my way up the entry walk, stopping along to check out the Japanese maple and rhododendrons. Ahhhh, it's good to be home.

The house is a single story situated on a relatively quiet street backing up to the Plantation Golf Course. Luckily the house and backyard is separated from the golf course by a wonderful and very active pond. A few ducks glided across the water just as I stepped out on the deck. It was a little too perfect, reminding me of a scene from the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm, "Cue the deer ..."). It was a quiet day on the fairway, with only a few white hats and yellow cardigans to be seen. Perhaps they were already swinging and schmoozing in the clubhouse. After all, it was early in the afternoon.

The layout of the house is straightforward with the front door opening into a small marble-tiled entry hall. From there, private functions are to the left and public to the right. My first stop was the newly remodeled kitchen, complete with cherry cabinets and stainless steel pulls, dark gray solid surface countertops and a complete set of sleek Frigidaire stainless steel appliances. Directly off the kitchen was what is probably considered the dining room but was instead outfitted with a television the size of a small tank. There was some serious TV/home theater action in the room, but dining rooms are a bit passe anyway. There is plenty of natural light from the large sliding glass doors, which leads out to a wood deck and backyard. Around the corner is the living room, a large open room with hardwood floors, dark-stained trim and a fireplace with slate hearth and surround.

Just off the entry is a den/office with two large skylights. It's open to the hall, which has full-height glass, providing views to the rhododendrons along the entry walk. The master bedroom is spacious with direct access to the back patio. The master bath has also been recently remodeled with new beige tiled countertops, floor and shower. The listing indicates three bedrooms, but only two of them have windows. The windowless, code-violating third "bedroom" is probably more suited for the unwelcomed, visiting relative or junk room. The last bedroom has access to the front courtyard.

PROS: Front courtyards, what a great concept. This one is not terribly large but is plenty capable of handling a couple of chairs, a table and pitcher of Sangria. The fairway and the pond provide hours of enjoyment watching the ducks and golfers. The house is not huge but has plenty of room, great natural light (except for the dungeon of a third bedroom) and with the recent remodel, there is very little work that needs to be done to move in—unless dark colors are not your thing.

CONS: A minor detail: The cheap brass floor register placed in the slate hearth must go. And carpet in bathrooms is a big no-no.

*Editor's Note: During that tiny window of time between the completion of this article and Boise Weekly's press time, this property was sold.

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