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The large kitchen is open to the living room, which Velva says is nice for entertaining and having everyone in one area.

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Walking into her home back in 2008, Velva Strand knew it was hers.

"It was the wow factor when I walked in the door."

And wow it does.

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Open the door to the one-level home at 2226 Wilderness Trail in Detroit Lakes, and anyone can see what she's talking about. The kitchen, dining and living rooms are all one area, and the 13-foot ceilings make it look even more open and spa-cious.

Built by Dick Bristlin at the end of 2008, Strand, a realtor, said she was just simply going to walk through the house and become acquainted with the listing, in April of the following year.

The kitchen, which is made for entertaining, boasts granite countertops, maple cabinets and hickory flooring.

"When my kids are home, it's great," Strand said of the open area. "I'm cooking and they're all just right here."

Strand has three adult children, and her husband, Bill Strand, also has two adult children. Bill is an airplane pilot, and Strand is not only a realtor, but is going back to work as a flight attendant, a position she held for many years before airlines started merging after 9-11.

Tucked away in the living room, near the dining area, is a bar Strand revamped from the original. Pushed back against the wall, it's hardly noticeable, but it has the capability to pull completely out so a bartender can get behind it, along with two stools for guests.

Through the living room is the sun porch, which serves as Strand's office, and through there is the master bedroom. Although smaller in size, it's as great as the great room that serves as the living room.

With space for two sitting areas and a massive entertainment center, there are separate his and her closets as well.

The master bathroom includes a shower and separate Jacuzzi tub, along with a private stool area.

Down a hallway off the entryway, there are two spare bedrooms, a bathroom and the laundry room as well. There is surround sound throughout the house.

Of all the rooms, of course it's the kitchen and great room that Strand lists as her favorites.

"There is lots of cabinet space," she said of the kitchen. "Actually, I can't find my stuff most of the time," she adds with a laugh.

"It's an entertainment home. It's great when you have family -- everyone is all together."

Outside the house, Strand said she and her husband have worked for the nearly five years they've lived there to make the yard what it is. Showcased on the spring garden tour last summer, the Strand yard includes rock gardens filled with hostas, and path through the evergreens.

"It's a park-like setting," she said.

The house sits on 158-feet of Glawe Lake shoreline, and they have access to Big Detroit Lake just down the street. Though they aren't on Detroit Lake, they do have a pontoon in the slip provided for those living in The Preserve, the development the Strand house is located in. That works well for pontooning to their favorite restaurants around the lake, she added.

After the changes they made inside and the extensive yard work they did outside, Strand said the house is basically maintenance-free now, short of some basic mowing and weeding.

"I just knew I wanted it," she said of the house.

"It's nice, but comfortable. I don't feel like people can't come in and be comfortable."

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