Finding a bit of country in the city

They wanted a larger house, but Mark and Zena Ellis weren't finding much in their casual searches through Orange.

Besides, their sons Sean, 10, and Brandon, 12, liked their school and didn't want to leave their friends.

But one day the Ellises drove through their dream neighborhood about three miles away and found the perfect house: a four-bedroom home in Maybury Ranch. The price was right, about $350,000, and they put an offer on it immediately.

"We were just casually looking, but we couldn't resist," Zena, 43, said.

Now they're enjoying their new home, and the boys can stay at their school.

The house, which is about 1,200 square feet larger than their old one, has a spacious backyard and a swimming pool--perfect grounds for critter hunting, one of Sean and Brandon's favorite pastimes.

"We love it," Zena said. "It's a little bit of country in the city."

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