828 W. Rollins 

Although not my personal preference, homes with little or no yard on small lots seem to be taking Boise by storm, so I thought it best to get in one and see if it could win me over. This home is located in Southeast Boise, just two streets off Broadway. The location is convenient to the downtown area, as well as the Interstate, and it is near Ivywild Park and Pool. Like many of its comparables, the home is situated on what used to be a small field, but is now bursting at the seams with homes.

Curb appeal on this property is debatable, depending on personal color preferences. The front façade is a mixture of grey shingle and a light pink siding. The shingle lends a unique quality to the exterior, but I don't know if all buyers could get past the idea of living in a pink house. There is a miniscule strip of lawn in front that would take only 30 seconds to mow--decidedly less time than it would take to drag out the lawnmower.

The entrance to the home is located on the side, which I found odd, but once indoors, its placement allows for a nice layout. Upon opening the door, you are greeted by the stairway. I never find that very welcoming. To the left is the living space, situated along the back of the house. The living, dining and kitchen are all open, and large windows bring in more light than expected in a North-facing home. The entire floor area has 12-inch tile in a warm reddish-brown, but the detail that grabs your attention most is the Hickory cabinetry in the kitchen. The cabinets are craftsman style, with both light and dark tones on each panel, and this distinctive wood adds interest to an otherwise lackluster kitchen.

To the right of the entry there is a powder room and a large master suite. Main-level master bedrooms are an important selling point to many people, and I was impressed by the size, but was rather put-off by the fact that the room's large window is a mere 10 feet from the curb. In this bedroom, quality window treatments would be a requirement, and the noise from the street may be bothersome.

The upstairs is unlike any home that I've seen. At the top of the stairs is a room. Its exact purpose is unclear to me--perhaps storage, petite office or solitary confinement. At approximately four feet wide and four feet deep, it seems like an architect's afterthought. There are two average-sized bedrooms upstairs, a bathroom, and a large den or bonus room. It is unfortunate that a closet wasn't put into the final room because its dimensions are much more comfortable than those of the other bedrooms upstairs.

I was unable to venture out into the backyard due to small but ferocious dogs, although from the sliding door in the kitchen, you can see the entire area. It is small, only 50 feet wide and less than 10 feet deep. The yard is fenced--and wisely so--with a widely-spaced aluminum product that allows you to see through it to a small irrigation canal. If the fence were solid wood, claustrophobia would likely be a problem. As is, people who have been incarcerated may not be enthusiastic about the tight quarters and bars.

PROS: The ceilings downstairs are higher than average, and there are several quality upgrades to the living area. The floor plan is well-planned, creating the sense that the home is actually larger than it is. The yard is virtually maintenance-free.

CONS: The neighbors are only five feet away, and across the street are several mammoth duplexes. The yard is nearly nonexistent.

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