In-town home offers rural feel | SteamboatToday.com

In-town home offers rural feel

Nick Foster

— Some people purchase miniature waterfalls for the soothing sounds the flowing water produces. Mark Lea was seeking similar tranquility when he built his house at 665 Meadowbrook Circle, but his dreams of flowing water were on a much larger scale.

Lea planned for his home to sit just a few feet from Fish Creek. Of all the homes in the neighborhood, and perhaps in all of Steamboat Springs, his house is the closet to the creek. He built a neighboring house in 1996, but he wanted to get even closer to the creek when he built his current home in 2000.

The property has a pump that pumps water to the top of his driveway to create an artificial stream that cascades down a small waterfall, under the driveway to a small pond at the front door.

Lea wanted the home to appear to have been there much longer than it has been, and he achieved that by leaving most of the trees on the lot. Spruce, pines, aspens and oaks grow right up to the edge of the house. Even in the middle of the day, the lot is almost covered by shade.

The Sheraton Golf Course on the other side of the creek helps complete the property’s private, rural feel.

“It’s close to town, but it doesn’t seem like it in the back yard,” Lea said. “It seems like it is in the country.”

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Lea came to Steamboat Springs with a buddy while in college. He meant to stay for a year and be a ski bum, he said.

“I used to tell my friends the only way to get me out of here would be in a box,” Lea said. “I love it here. I left for a little while, but I always knew I’d be back.”

Now, though, he wants to move closer to family. Still, he is somewhat reluctant to sell the five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom home he created. The 5,000-square-foot house is listed at $1.95 million.

The driveway to the home leads directly to a two-car garage, where the homeowner can walk through a door into a large laundry room leading to the kitchen that also serves as a pantry and a place to hang coats and hats.

Visitors can bypass the garage entrance via a path leading past the artificial stream and pond to the front door. Slate tile in the foyer leads to a great room with an 18-foot ceiling and hickory floor.

Can lights and huge windows lining the back, south-facing wall light the great room. The focal point of the room is a large, stacked-stone fireplace and chimney, where spaces have been left on both sides of the fireplace for a television and other electronics.

“A lot of craftsmanship went into the stonework here,” real estate agent Peggy Wolfe said. Stones also are featured above the exhaust vent covering the gas range in the kitchen.

The kitchen and bathrooms feature granite countertops. The kitchen’s largest counter has an inlaid sink and a lowered area to serve as a breakfast bar.

The kitchen and adjacent dining area are also part of the great room.

To the back of the great room is a deck that provides a glimpse of the creek and beautifully landscaped back yard.

The final rooms on the main floor are the master bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom features modern fixtures with a tub and separate glass-doored shower.

Upstairs is a private living area that could be used as a long-term living space for visiting friends or relatives. It has a large living room, a bedroom and a bathroom.

On the bottom floor, a main living space used as a game room or family room is surrounded by three bedrooms and an office.

Two bedrooms are set side by side, separated by a bathroom, and another bedroom is on the other side of the basement, which has its own bathroom.

Lea’s office also has a view of the back yard. Once, he looked up from his computer to see a bear with both paws on the window, he said.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the house is in city limits, Lea said.

— To reach Nick Foster, call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com