Doesn't it always happen that way? Just as Shamyla and Anthony Lando started to enjoy their freshly renovated dream home on a bluff above the Minnesota River, a new job is forcing the family to move from the leafily enchanting Eden Prairie neighborhood that some call Narnia, the fantasy world created by author C.S. Lewis.
Shamyla, an innovative leader in information technology, has already begun working as chief technology officer at Duke Health in Durham, N.C. Husband Anthony, a private banker, will soon follow. In the meantime, he's savoring the sunrises and sweeping panoramic views of the river valley from his bedroom, the deck off the owners' suite, the bank of windows on the south side of the house and from as many spots as he can in the 5,184-square-foot house.
"In the fall, the views are magnificent as the treetops become this amazing blaze of color," Anthony said, describing images that could have been painted by Monet or Van Gogh. "There are not many places like this — the amenities, the natural light, the privacy and the spectacular views. To be honest, we kind of want to hold onto it."
There are other houses with views of the river, a flyway for abundant wildlife such as cranes and eagles. But few look out only onto water and trees, not industrial plants or even Valley Fair amusement park.
"Our view is all nature — no factories or other houses or even people," Shamyla said. "Even in the winter, you feel like you're on a ski slope or mountain somewhere. You're elevated, and it's just you and the valley down there."
The house on E. Riverview Drive in Eden Prairie isn't visible from the street. All you see is the long driveway that leads to the 1.64-acre lot. The sense of solitude extends to the siting of the four-bedroom, five-bathroom house that was built in harmony with the trees and is enhanced by the deer, turkeys, foxes, eagles and other fauna that regularly show up.
The Landos bought the house in a short sale nearly five years ago. The previous owners had run into a rough patch, leaving the place in need of serious repair. The new owners replaced the garage floors, redesigned a wall and upgraded all the windows to offer better views of the valley.
They also installed rot-resistant, maintenance-free siding.
The garage has three stalls, but two of them are extra deep, which means that the garage can accommodate five cars or a combination of boat and cars. There also is additional storage under the garage.
The 1987 structure was well-built, the Landos said, with three inches of concrete under the sunroom and steel beams across the house to support the main level.
"In engineering and architectural terms, it's solid," Anthony said.
Listing agent John Prins, RE/MAX, said that both house and site have made him gaga.
"I've been in this business since 1979, and you don't ever want to fall in love with the inventory but 'Wow!' " Prins said. "The lot by itself is so spectacular, and then you put a house like this on it."
The only challenge the Landos had at first came from the creatures they liked so much. Deer demolished their hostas and other flora. So they planted deer- and rabbit-resistant foliage. And then they hoped to be able to enjoy their home for a lifetime.
"Sitting in the sunroom and looking at the view outside is very calming," Shamyla said. "Watching the kids just playing in the yard or sitting around the firepit in the evenings — it's such a great spot."
Before they bought the house, their extended family had reunions that moved around the country. But that all changed once they visited Minnesota. "Everybody always wanted to come here," Anthony said. "There's lots of room for everybody, they love the privacy and the views, and you create some great memories."
John Prins, 612-845-0412, RE/MAX, has the listing.