Karen Goettsche's first transaction as a Realtor 24 years ago was the purchase of a lot in the Muirfield subdivision in Inverness as an investment for her and her husband Jerry.
But on second thought: "Wouldn't it be fun to live here," she said.
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Listing sheetPrice range: $500,000 to more than $1 million
Age of homes: Most 28 to 33 years
Schools: Marion Jordan Elementary and Walter Sundling Junior High schools in Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and Fremd High School in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211
Parks: Inverness Park District
Today the Goettsches love their French Country home in Muirfield purposely designed to be very efficient. "We wanted a first-floor master, but didn't need an oversized foyer," Goettsche said. "There's a lot of home built into this space.
"We have a library with glass shelving and two computer stations where we love to be in the winter. And in the summertime, we enjoy being out on our screened porch that overlooks the patio and fountain; we have some privacy because there are no homes immediately behind us."
Another great aspect of their house is that the kitchen stretches from the front to the back of the home. "We love the kitchen because we love to cook and entertain," said Goettsche, a former Daily Herald Cook of the Week for her spicy sausage dip.
The upscale Muirfield neighborhood showcases custom two-story and ranch homes on acre homesites along winding roads that meander through the countryside.
These distinctive homes feature unique architectural designs because of the diversity of builders in the subdivision, said Tony Sarantakis, real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
Situated southwest of the intersection of Ela and Dundee roads, the subdivision was developed in 1979 during the residential explosion of larger homes and varied designs in Inverness in the 1970s and '80s.
Sarantakis is marketing a home in Muirfield where there are a few more lots available that are privately held.
Although the custom homes, kid-friendly neighborhood and beautiful setting are big draws to the subdivision, a lot of people move here to be part of the sought-after school districts, especially Fremd High School, Sarantakis said.
Muirfield also has a very active homeowners association that hosts a lot of social activities and events, said Tina Sarantakis, also a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
"We have a lot of nice events -- a summer picnic for kids, things for adults," Goettsche said. "We're having an ornament exchange for women coming up. If people want to be part of it, OK, but there's no push. No one is intrusive.
"It has just been a delight living here. Like every neighborhood, there are health concerns or family losses, and here the neighbors surround you. We have never regretted our decision to live here."
For recreation and sports activities, the Inverness Park District manages three beautiful parks -- Maggie Rogers Park, North Park and South Park. It also offers sports leagues and classes for children and adults and hosts summer concerts and annual holiday events.
Also, just as the Inverness Golf Club was the center for recreation in 1939, it's a center of social life today. The club offers golfing, gourmet dining, tennis courts and swimming -- something for everyone in the family.
Residents have easy access to Route 53 and I-90 while commuters can board the train in Palatine or Barrington.
While the picturesque village has grown since its beginnings, it still maintains its rural character and natural beauty that attracted early settlers to the area more than 70 years ago.