Natural beauty, open space and wetlands define the Painted Lakes subdivision, where no home backs to another home.
Leslie and Kurt Nauta's home in Lake Villa backs to a 14-acre nature preserve where they see egrets, cranes and an occasional deer, while their neighbors Lisa and Scott Hamilton back up to open space and a pond.
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Listing sheetPrice range: $190,000 to $300,000 for single-family house.
Age of homes: 14 to 17 years old
Schools: Oakland Elementary and Antioch Upper Grade schools in Antioch Elementary District 34 and Lakes Community High School in Community High School District 117
Parks: Lake Villa Parks and Recreation
Scott Hamilton says it's so quiet at night that they hear owls, and they see fox and even turkeys in the subdivision.
Situated on Deep Lake Road north of Route 132 in Lake Villa, Painted Lakes features 218 single-family homes and 134 townhouses built by Centex in the mid- to late 1990s.
Floor plans feature a number of two-story houses and one ranch design with two to four bedrooms, two- to three-car garages and some basements. Townhouse buildings house three to five units with two to three bedrooms and two-car garages.
The Hamiltons bought a newly constructed, four-bedroom house in Painted Lakes 15 years ago. The home had plenty of space for the couple and their two children, an English basement and a lot of windows that let in the natural light as well as scenic views.
When the couple lived in Franklin Park before they moved, they spent summers in the Chain O' Lakes area, and every year they took their kids to the Wauconda Apple Orchard.
When they started looking for a new home near Franklin Park, everything in their price range was either near the airport or too expensive. Then they thought about their family trips farther north and decided to check out the real estate.
"We absolutely love it here. We love our house. We love our neighbors. And we love the sunsets," Scott Hamilton said. "We have a deck with hot tub, and because of the mosquitoes, we added a screened-in porch with a 12-foot ceiling. We're out there every single night barbecuing or visiting with our neighbors.
"Although we're in a cul-de-sac within a neighborhood, it feels like we're in the country."
Painted Lakes residents have a bounty of recreation nearby.
"We have two parks in the neighborhood, each with tot lots and one with a basketball court," said Leslie Nauta, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and 14-year resident of the neighborhood.
"Sun Lake Forest Preserve borders the subdivision on the west and has walking and biking trails that connect to Frank Loffredo Park and the Lake Villa Baseball Park," she said.
Homes on the west side of the subdivision actually back to the beautiful forest preserve, added Kurt Nauta, Leslie's husband and real estate partner.
Painted Lakes is in a great spot for residents to enjoy all the popular summer and winter sports in the area such as boating, fishing, snowmobiling and ice fishing tournaments.
"We're 10 minutes from the Chain 'O Lakes where we go camping and boating," Hamilton said. "We love it."
On Cedar Avenue, Lehmann Park offers swimming in Cedar Lake, a boat launch, volleyball, picnic shelter, horseshoe pits and playground. Many people consider Lehmann Park the jewel of Lake Villa. The park hosts various events and is the focal point for community activities.
Painted Lakes also offers a convenient location for residents very close to the elementary and high schools, and Lakes High School is almost across the street, Leslie Nauta said.
"We're close to Gurnee Mills for shopping, 10 minutes from the train station and close enough to the (I-94) tollway that in 15 minutes we can be in Grayslake, Gurnee or Antioch."