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BEYOND THE LISTING: Ottawa home for sale has the Spirit of '76

Closets, closets and more closets, some walk-ins — those are a few of the qualities of the house at 17 Oak Lane in Ottawa.

"This home has plenty of storage. That's for sure," said Laura Gross, who, with her husband, Brett, has owned the two-story home more than 13 years.

The house was built in 1976 by Vincent J. Lyons Jr. and his wife, Joyce Lyons. Vincent was an accountant and stockbroker; Joyce was a columnist for The Daily Times. They shared the home until selling to the Grosses in July 2005.

The Gross couple took over a sturdy, 2,542-square-foot structure that sits on almost half an acre in Ottawa's northwestern quarter. The property, as does the whole neighborhood, boasts dozens of towering trees, making for a sylvan setting.

And a safe setting.

"Our kids can ride their bikes all over. There's little traffic," Laura noted.

Around Christmas, the neighborhood has been known to line the streets with luminaries, creating a real life Currier & Ives scene. At 17 Oak Lane, a backyard fire pit also warms up things.

Inside, the home glows with a wood-burning brick fireplace, which is gas ignited. The two furnaces, central air conditioning and everything else that counts is up-to-date and humming.

The layout of rooms provides the best of both worlds.

"The house doesn't have an open floor plan. It has privacy, but it still flows," Laura noted.

One of the more charming private spaces in the home is a childrens' reading nook beneath the basement stairs, which comes with its own overhead light. The perfect hideaway for youngsters to lose themselves in Harry Potter or The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

The nook is nestled in a finished basement that offers an alternative, if below ground, living room. The home's bay windows also add a great deal of charm to the living quarters.

Access to the greater world is furnished by the nation's main road, Interstate 80, which is a few minutes from the driveway.

• Drawn to this property? The price is $265,888. Call Theresa Poundstone, of Coldwell Banker the Real Estate Group in Ottawa, at 815-228-5842 or 815-615-9149.

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