Author Wendy Wunder once wrote, “The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” I believe that by looking at the homes of a city, you can glimpse what makes it truly beautiful: its people,. This past month, I had the opportunity to tour three homes in Corvallis that were listed on the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service for close to, or above, $1,000,000.
The most common response when I tell people about this piece is that I am just trying to show “how the other half lives,” as if “the other half” is a completely different species that doesn’t need a place in this paper. But that’s not my point. My point is to try to show that Corvallis has so much more to offer than what first meets the eye. There is in our little university town, design.
True, our little locus of techie goodness is generally focused on green energy, healthy alternative living, riding bikes, and reciting poetry, but it’s also a place where many walks of life come to mingle and thrive.
My goal is not to say, “Look what these people have,” but to help show a small piece of Corvallis that most people do not associate with the town. These are not actually the most expensive homes in the area, but the ones that our staff found the most architecturally interesting within the price range.
4430 NW Honeysuckle Drive,
5 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath, 6,200 sq. ft.
Realtor Tim Rist
I have to admit, when I stepped out of my car and was greeted by Tim Rist, I was surprised to see how young he was, but I soon learned how he had become such a competitive realtor at such a young age. His passion for people showed clearly as he introduced himself. Tim says that he is a man of faith, that he feels led on a path to help people through the sometimes incredibly difficult time of selling their home.
The home he showed me was simply incredible, yet it wasn’t the fancy appliances or big spaces that were his favorite, nor mine. No expense was spared on any of the finishes, especially the 4.5 x 13.5 foot single sheet granite island, and the layered lighting system, allowing the same amount of light to be anywhere in the room.
What really won my heart was how sustainable the home was, with complete LED and natural lighting, and added insulation to keep the heating system supremely efficient. The home fit perfectly into the hillside and backed up straight into green space; the front of the house was complete suburbia, but the back was devoted to nature. While we stood in the house and talked, a little deer grazed not three feet from the patio. With trails leading into MacDonald Forest and a huge backyard, it would be the perfect home for an active family with kids. At the end of the tour, Tim said, “I’ve noticed that when I first walk in this house it feels so huge, but once I spend some time here, it doesn’t feel so big.” I would have to agree. When you first arrive it’s a house, but by the time you leave it feels like home.
5850 NW Highland Place,
4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bath, 4,710 sq. ft.
Realtor Fred Adams
Fred Adams was waiting for me when I pulled up to this gorgeous and unique house. The owners of the house were working on the grounds, and it was lovely to get to meet them and hear about their favorite parts of the house. The most striking thing about this place was the fact that almost every room had some kind of rounded wall. The home was built on granite, and there are tons of different levels throughout the layout.
The common areas are expansive, and centered around the kitchen and a large living room with huge ceilings and beautiful fireplace. This is the heart of the home. The flow is conducive to taking food from one room to the next; the dining room is gorgeous. An entertainer’s dream, the back deck can easily support 30-person dinners, and the whole home is full of space for a family to spread out. Many windows face out to the valley below, making for beautiful views.
Every bedroom in this home is a suite, complete with a huge closet, a bathroom, and beautiful windows.
My favorite part of the property was located outside: a man-made creek, designed after an actual creek located on Marys Peak. The home also features several wood touches, including a door with engaging patterned carvings. You will not see another house like this elsewhere.
2807 NW Silktassel Court,
4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath, 4,110 sq. ft.
Realtor Sue Long
I arrived at this final house a bit early, and was welcomed in by the owners of the home. I was able to talk with them for awhile before Sue Long arrived right on time. She was not only incredibly nice, she came quite prepared with a volume of information about real estate sales in Corvallis.
The home itself was beautiful and efficient, just like Corvallis. It had under-floor heating, and was built with insulated concrete form, meaning the walls maintain temperature very efficiently. It featured huge spaces on the top level, with Swedish maple floors, Italian marble counters, and beautiful picture windows. The kitchen is definitely a highlight, with incredible counters, a huge pantry, and just the perfect splash of red. A great thing about this home is the ability to live on one single level, without the need to navigate the stairs, but my favorite room happened to be just down those same stairs. The maple office and library was a place any reader or writer would be proud of and happy to live in the rest of their days. Huge shelves lined the walls, and a built-in corner desk completed the room. The downstairs also featured a complete media room, and more bedrooms and bathrooms.
This home’s roomy feel and great views make it one of the most comforting yet luxurious places I’ve been to.
Upon returning to my simple little apartment after touring these homes, one thing was very clear. People define homes in different ways, but no matter where or how you live, Wendy Wunder was right: it feels good to leave home, but it feels even better to come back.
Final note, if you wish to call one of these properties home, you best hurry. At press time one had already sold.
By Kyra Young