Highlands Village Condominiums; Bogus Basin Road near Hill Road, Boise; Completed in 2007; 

2,047-2,217 square feet

3-4/Bed, 3-3.5/Bath

$399,900-$529,900

Holland Realty, Inc.

Denise Hodges, 208-371-7410

www.HighlandsVillageBoise.com

MLS #98349319 and #98359735

Two types of condominiums are available at the Highlands Village complex: three-story townhome units arranged in horseshoe-shaped clusters along Bogus Basin Road; and spacious, single-level apartment-style flats that fill four handsome buildings located at the center of the complex.

The no-maintenance lifestyle of condo ownership would suit a busy professional or family who wants the benefits of homeownership without the hassle of regular maintenance duties like mowing lawns, trimming hedges, replacing a roof or repainting the dwelling's exterior. Such tasks are the responsibility of the homeowners' association, to which a monthly maintenance fee ($150-$328) is paid for all exterior upkeep.

Located on what used to be an empty six-acre lot adjacent to Ridley's Market on Bogus Basin Road, the 41-unit complex won a Grow Smart award in November 2005 from Idaho Smart Growth for building mid-density housing within walking distance of existing retail stores, restaurants and parks. The grocery store is 100 yards away, two restaurants sit right across the street, Camel's Back Park is a 10-minute walk away and downtown Boise's Saturday farmer's market is a mere two-mile pedal.

Clustered in groups of four attached units per structure, each three-story townhome-style residence is defined by exterior colors like brick red, mossy green, taupe and khaki. I looked at a three-bedroom furnished model, which is located on busy Bogus Basin Road. While the unit's formal front door is located at the top of a half-flight of stairs, at street-level, there is a small, gated patio that leads to a door. It opens to a bedroom that would make a good office because traffic noise is noticeable there. The first floor also has a full bathroom and access to the two-car garage. The second-story's living room, kitchen and casual dining space are laid out in a great-room configuration with hardwood floors.

The appearance is bright and open due to windows aplenty, tall ceilings and a light color palette of creamy yellow walls with white trim. The third floor contains the master suite, a second bedroom suite and a laundry room.

To access the single-level apartment-style condo, you enter a locked security door and take an elevator that delivers you to your unit's private entrance. Stepping inside is like stepping into a chic uptown apartment, except this one is located in Boise's hilly North End.

Like the townhouse unit, the flat is laid out in a great-room configuration with tall ceilings and many large windows. The living room has a gas fireplace and built-in bookshelves. The kitchen has cork flooring, and the home's three bedrooms are in a split-bedroom arrangement.

The kitchens in both types of condos feature slab granite counters, stainless steel appliances and a work island/breakfast bar punctuated with pendant lights. Both styles of master bathrooms use travertine tile on the floor and in the oversized shower stall. Both condos have beautiful hardwood cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms, and both have water-saving toilets.

Whether you prefer the traditional styling of the townhouse condos or the elegance of the flats, living at Highlands Village could help you save gasoline and incorporate a little exercise into your daily life. Buy before October and you'll receive a spiffy Smart Car from the developer.

Pros: No-maintenance living in a desirable North End location close to shopping, dining and recreation. More luxury features than space to describe.

Cons: Traffic noise in units on Bogus Basin Road.

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