When Shelley Smith Williams, her husband and two children moved to San Ramon in 1993, a yellow Victorian with large windows and intricate detailing caught their attention.
Unfortunately for the Williamses, the custom-built home constructed in 1988 was not on the market. So they moved into a home roughly a mile away.
For nearly a decade the family watched and waited for the home to become available. Williams recalls a day in 2001 when she, her husband and both children sat around the dinner table, each clutching a flyer advertising 9714 Alcosta Blvd. for sale.
"We all said, 'Our favorite house is for sale,' " Williams said.
The family put in an offer and moved into the four-bedroom home with a swimming pool, front porch, office and dining area set on a .34-acre lot.
Though the home looked immaculate from the exterior, the interior required an update, Williams said. They removed the wallpaper and painted, but left original detailing like the crown moldings around the doors and windows.
Even though her daughter was a sophomore in high school and her son was a junior in college at the time of the purchase, Williams said the family looks at the San Ramon Victorian as their favorite home.
The large scale of the home made it ideal for the family and enabled everyone to have their own space. Yet that doesn't mean the home doesn't invite entertaining or gathering.
"We sit on the front porch watching cars go by and have our own little happy hour," Williams said. "There's a sense of community here, and our neighbors are not right on top of us."
The home backs up to an undeveloped space and Williams has enjoyed catching glimpses of wildlife such as pheasants, turkeys and foxes while watching from the home office.
In recent years, a family of ducks used the pool as a training ground for their young, she said, and Williams has been known to battle with neighborhood squirrels who feast on her tomatoes.
The home is near freeways and BART, making it ideal for occasional commutes to Silicon Valley or visits to San Francisco.
Williams and her husband are selling the home because their kids have moved out and the space is too large for them. She knows it's the right decision, but Williams is clearly melancholy about having to leave the home.
"Everything in here is deluxe," she said. "It's like a Southern Belle in the East Bay."
The master suite is located on the main floor and Williams said people sometimes get turned around in the home because of its size and scale.
"The bonus room is almost an afterthought," she said. "We turned it into a media room, and people who go upstairs miss it because of the twists and turns."
The family room is centered around a tall brick fireplace with decorative inlays, and a casual dining area sits beside a modern kitchen with custom cabinets, stainless steel finishes and stone counters. The main level is also home to a formal dining room with hardwood floors and fireplace, as well as the living room.
A walk-in closet, dual vanities with bowl sinks, a soaking tub and glass shower complete the master bathroom, and the home includes two interior staircases.
Outside, the backyard includes a swimming pool with diving board and a level grass pad. The yard slopes upward and includes a gardening area where butterflies and hummingbirds flutter about, Williams said.
"It's like moving into a fairy tale," she said.
Address: 9714 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon
Price: $1.1 million
Features: Four-bedroom Victorian with custom finishes, pool, front porch and two interior staircases.
Open house: 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday