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$799K NW Contemporary features hobby room with a view

Low maintenance means more time enjoying life, visiting the park - and at least for one person, working on a train set in a house that’s big enough for it

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Shopping for houses in December? At least you get to see plenty of decorations. If you happen to be interested in a 1978 Northwest Contemporary in Des Moines, you might even get to see a nice train set. (Though, finding it cordoned off with “Do Not Touch” signs would not be a surprise.) Keep in mind that the house is for sale, listed at $799,400. Don’t just be a lookie-loo.

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The main reason to check out the house are the parts that won’t change with the seasons. The view may be the most immutable. Sitting beside Saltwater State Park is enough proof that the land is special. Look out across the neighborhood to see the Sound and the Olympics. While the house is set within the trees, a prominent deck juts out for a better view. Check to see if the hot tub has good sight lines while also having privacy.

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Inside and out, understated brick fireplaces are subtle enough to be timeless yet distinctive enough to help define the Northwest style of simple, clean, and casual. Exposed beams and big windows fit well, too. The three bedrooms and three a quarter bathrooms spread out in the 2,916 square foot space with room for at least one large walk-in closet.

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Foodies, or at least big families, can enjoy an updated kitchen with lots of workspaces, and an enormous refrigerator.

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In true Northwest fashion, there’s a library with a wall of shelves plus a Franklin stove, just right for winter cocooning.

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With 0.6 terraced acres, pocket gardens are a natural, and lawns are minimized. Low maintenance means more time enjoying life, visiting the park - and at least for one person, working on a train set in a house that’s big enough for it.