On a sunny August morning, Val Murphy tends the flowers around her nearly vacant home on Madison's west side.
Having spent over 30 years in the Parkwood Hills neighborhood with her family, she's ready to downsize -- but she's taking decades of memories with her.
"We loved the neighborhood the whole time through," she said.
The Murphys moved into their first house in 1986 on South Yellowstone Drive, but they outgrew it when their third child was born. So in 1993 when their daughter was 6 months old, they found the perfect spot to continue raising their family: just a few blocks away on a quiet, tree-lined street at 310 Everglade Drive.
"There's tons of space," she said. "And it's a great house for kids."
Now they want another family to enjoy the house and make it their own.
310 Everglade Drive
Built in 1976, the 3,800-square-foot colonial house features five bedrooms on the second floor with tons of closet space, plus an office on the main floor.
"We walked in and just loved the spaciousness and liked the floor plan," Val said.
The Murphys gave the house a pop of color, painting the gray siding a bright blue that goes beautifully with the brick and stone accents, mature trees and superb landscaping.
"It's a good yard for gardening," Val said. "You get enough sun that you can grow lots of perennials."
Val said the kitchen gets lots of natural light, and the space opens up to an eat-in area with large windows overlooking the fenced-in backyard. A big selling point for her was that she could cook and also keep an eye on the kids while they played in the step-down living room.
"Having moved in here with three kids under the age of 6, it was really nice," she said.
The layout also makes it easy to visit with people if they are in the formal dining room. When Val would host large family gatherings, she had space to extend tables into the front room.
Also on the main floor are a half bathroom and separate laundry room, as well as multiple entries from the 2-car garage.
Even though Val said they left the basement fairly simple, the wide open finished space that leads to the backyard was a big hit with the kids as their second playroom. They had two active and imaginative boys, so they've had to replace the windows and carpet.
The Murphys also added built-in cabinets downstairs that were used to store board games. There's also plenty of shelving and storage space in the unfinished part of the basement.
With a new roof, screened-in porch and low-maintenance composite deck, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your dream home.
Click here to learn more about the property and see more photos.
The neighborhood holds several events throughout the year, including an Easter egg hunt and fall bonfire at Everglade Park just up the street. The association also sends out a quarterly newsletter, The ParkWord, and a directory that includes recommendations of neighborhood kids willing to babysit, shovel and mow lawn.
Over the years, Val joined the board and even volunteered to be an "elf" to drive Santa around the neighborhood to bring kids gifts (that their parents leave on the front step) before Christmas.
The Murphys were also members of the nearby Parkcrest Swim and Tennis Club, where the kids could easily walk or bike to the pool for their swim team practice or lifeguard jobs.
"We got tons of use out of it," Val said. "It's a great group of parents and really good activity for the kids."