Thursday, September 11, 2003
Donna and Adam Messer''s North County home is so much bigger than the typical Monterey County home that the Messers are able to turn their house into a multi-purpose family center.
For starters, Donna homeschools their two children in the five bedroom, 2,600-square-foot house, located in the suburb known as Oak Hills. The Messers'' son gets a room just to play his drums, thankfully located on the other end of the house from Donna and Adam''s bedroom. Adam has a home office. Donna has a sewing room. And everyone has their own bathroom.
"It''s a U-shaped house, so we''ve got separate living quarters for our guests," Adam explains. "The house backs up to a greenbelt which gives us even more privacy."
The kids love to play outside on their tire swing, which hangs from a large oak tree, and on their playset and trampoline. Plus, they run through the nearby fields on the side of the house and the greenbelt behind the home.
"They make it their own Middle Earth," says Donna. "It''s far enough from the city that it''s an incredible place for someone who loves to look at the sky-at night it''s perfect for stargazing. There''s lots of privacy, and the houses are well-spaced, but they are close enough so you don''t feel isolated from other people."
Adam, who used to make a 45-minute commute to San Jose, has plenty of room to work from home. When Donna wants to take the kids to ride their bikes on the Rec Trail in Monterey or visit the Aquarium, it''s about a 20 minute drive.
There aren''t any amenities in the neighborhood-shopping is mostly done in Salinas or Castroville-which is just fine with Donna.
"It''s a bedroom community, which keeps it really quiet," she says. "But we''re only 10 minutes from Moss Landing and really close to Elkhorn Slough. Neither of those beaches gets as crowded as the ones towards Monterey."
When the kids have their friends over, they like to make s''mores in the living room fireplace. A patio with a BBQ is located off the kitchen, which has large windows in two directions and views of the oak trees and the wild turkeys that roam through the yard.
The family has a room off the dining room used like a library to play board games and read aloud from school books. And after dinner, there are always neighborhood walks.
"It''s kind of a tradition in Oak Hills that everyone goes out to walk their dogs at night after dinner," Donna says. "It''s kind of something you don''t see in cities anymore."
The Messers acknowledge that country living isn''t for everyone, but for them, the space and peace and quiet outweighs having to drive for city amenities.
"We''re relocating for another job," Adam explains. "Oak Hills is a fun place to live depending on what you are looking for."
Price: $579,900. 15390 Charter Oak Bl., Salinas. Contact Becky Jones of Greg Shankle Real Estate at 601-0237.