7120 Maxwell Dr 

I didn't want to ignore Boise's west end, so I visited this home near the intersection of Cole and Fairview. Despite being near a very busy intersection, Maxwell Drive is a cul-de-sac that feels like it's out in the country. The houses are mostly brick ranch-style houses on large lots (the house across the street has a horse set-up).

This home is tan brick with white trim; it has a shallow pitched roof and a wall of windows in the front. A circular driveway leads to many steps and a front stoop.

Inside, the entryway is floored in flagstone. The ceilings are vaulted with exposed white beams. To the right is a big living room with a dining room beyond. One of three fireplaces in the house covers a whole wall and anchors the living room. Off the dining room is the kitchen, where it's most obvious that the entire house was remodeled in 1998. The kitchen walls are covered in lovely green patterned wallpaper, the cabinets are oak, and it's a big room with plenty of room for a table. All the appliances are present except for a refrigerator. To the front of the kitchen is the family room--the living room's twin--and it also has a stone fireplace. The entire house is carpeted in wall-to-wall, off-white carpeting and has 9-foot ceilings except where they're vaulted. Down the corridor are two bedrooms and a master suite. The master bedroom has two closets, and the bathroom features floral vinyl flooring, floral wallpaper and a shower. The hall bathroom has a shower/tub combination, and the walls in this room are also covered with beautiful wallpaper.

This is a big house, so there's more on the lower level. A door off the family room leads down berber-carpeted stairs to an enormous recreation room. There's yet another stone fireplace in this room. Next door is a big unfinished room which only has the furnace and water heater in it, so it could easily be turned into another usable room. Down the other side of the house, a corridor leads to two more bedrooms with egress windows. The third bathroom features another shower and more decorative wallpaper. At the end of the hall is a large utility room that could double as a sewing room. All throughout the basement are closets with shelves--plenty of extra storage.

At the end of the dining room and kitchen, doors lead to the back patio and an extra-wide door to the garage, which includes more storage cabinets, a garage door opener and lots of square footage. Four cars would easily fit in this garage, or with the number of windows that let in natural light, the back of the garage could be turned into a shop, and there would still be room to park two cars at the front. Another door leads out the other side and the front of the house. This house, while hooked up to city water, has its own well so the owners do not have to pay for city water.

The grounds of this .7-acre lot are lovely, yet low maintenance. In the front are lawn, trees, an irrigation canal about 8 feet wide and the neighbors' extensive lawns. It really feels like a park. The lot is watered by inexpensive canal water pumped into a sprinkler system. The side yard consists of lawn sloping down to the canal, and there are tall sycamore trees along the back fence. Just in front of the garage is a full grown Blue spruce, which is a glorious specimen.

Pros: This is a big house with plenty of place to play inside and out. If there's a woodworker in your family, he or she would probably love the opportunity to set up a shop at the back of the garage. The yard is my favorite feature. I can just imagine sitting in the front, enjoying the park-like atmosphere and the ducks and geese. The back patio is perfect for outside dining.

Cons: There are two apartment buildings nearby, across the canal and right behind the back fence. There are some big sycamore trees planted to provide screening, and new owners could plant more if they felt the need for more privacy.

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