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Townhouse With Nice Feel, Nice Town

April 28, 1999|Chris Ceballos

Selling points: Kid-friendly townhouse near mountains, parks and a lake

Location: Rancho Santa Margarita

Asking price: $183,900

Status: In escrow

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"We did everything backward," Robin Watson says. "We bought a minivan, bought our first house and then we had a baby. Usually it's the other way around."

Still, the Watson family has been living happily in their two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath townhouse for six years. But now they're ready for something a little bigger. "We had been married for a little over a year and had thought of starting a family like most couples," Watson says. "It was a good place for us, being first-time homeowners."

The townhouse features an unusually large backyard with a patio, garden and a lawn area, perfect for children. Watson and her husband even transformed their son's room into a Paddington Bear palace.

"My husband was born in England and so we decided to go with Paddington Bear," she says. "Our son [Alec] has got all these different Paddington Bear toys. There's Paddington wallpaper and a chair-rail around the room."

The home is on a cul-de-sac, and during the summer the neighbors close off the street for block parties. "Rancho Santa Margarita is a very nice family-kind of town, and there are a lot of people like us, married couples with children," Watson says. "It's quiet, peaceful and clean. It's gotten bigger in the six years we've been here, but the features that brought us here are still here."

A balcony off the master bedroom is large enough for a table and two chairs and offers an excellent view of the Saddleback Mountains. The home is close to shopping and elementary schools, and backs up to Mesa Linda Park, which has tennis and basketball courts and a playground. It's also near O'Neill Regional Park, and association dues allow access to the beach club at Lake Santa Margarita.

"It's beautiful," Watson says of the lake. "In the summertime there's lots of people out, and you can buy an ice cream cone and just stroll around."

Information: (949) 588-4137

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