Big For Its Size
Thursday, April 19, 2007
One of the more compelling ways to recognize that a house is a good home before even touring it is by the immediate sense of rapport with its family. Although one’s ability to feel that is hardly high science, it is palpable in certain houses, some more than others. The two-story house at 3256 Sandpiper Way in the sunny section of Marina smiles its pride of family right from the start.
The front door (with frosted sidelights) isn’t seen from the street and is privately reached by a gardened walkway along one side of the house. When the door opens, the first of many unanticipated views is presented. Although the kitchen (with stainless Whirlpool appliances, oak cabinets and recessed ceiling for hanging pots) is a left through the standard doorway, one’s attention goes to the extraordinary natural light emanating from the rooms ahead, after which the eye is quickly drawn to a similarly illuminated staircase. A large window at the landing beams sunshine in while looking out onto tile roofs. The whole lower floor seems to have arms open wide.
Merrian Gagnon and her three children, sons Reece and Jared and her daughter Bergan, probably ought not be counted as the only residents. Two cats, two parakeets and a tank of fish have been placed perfectly to participate in activities all around them. “I’ve recently been told about different reptiles needing a good home,” Gagnon laughs, “but for everyone’s sake, I’ll wait ‘til we’ve moved.”
A pure white cat with long fur lofting decorously like fairy tale feathers arrives for a proper greeting and the birds whistle and chirp as the visitor turns in a circle to appreciate the levels of sunlight. Aside from the light on the landing, sliders to a screened-in sun porch, two tall windows on either side of the mantled fireplace, and picture windows in the adjoining dining room create a confluence of light with no one source dominating any other. As if for balance, a hallway with ambient light goes right at the foot of the stairs, offering another room (bedroom/den/etc.), a half bath across from it and, further down, a door to the double garage where a quiet, comfy room awaits. “That’s our official ‘homework’ room,” says Gagnon.
The other three bedrooms and two baths are upstairs, sparkling in the same great light as below and with more surprising views. Mt. Toro is seen through a long horizontal window that’s set into a wall along a walkway above the living room. Marina’s natural ground ridges in the foreground seem to race toward Mt. Toro as if to win. The same view also impresses from the master bedroom (with walk-in closet), as does a sky full of stars after the city lights have closed for the night.
The house is 1,521 square feet, yet has more rooms for more purposes than many larger homes do. “It has been a really ideal house for us,” says Gagnon. “For one thing, my utilities are only $60 a month all year round. The kids have lots of room inside, lots of yard and there’s space for our animals to be happy among the comings and goings here.”
It’s clear the house has great rapport with this family, and apparently it also did with the couple that sold it to Gagnon. “They were wonderful artists,” she says. Their murals remain on several walls, subtle and distinctive scenes befitting the personal values of the whole property.
Price: $692,000 3256 Sandpiper Way, Marina • Contact Michelle Cohen, Flat Rate Realty, 649-8700.