When Peter and Lisa Mourfield began looking for a house two years ago in Columbia County's Lakeside school zone, they had a list of things they did and did not want in their new home.
"We wanted all brick, low maintenance with (a) small yard in a neighborhood," she said. "And we've always wanted a pool."
Or so they thought.
The house they bought met none of those criteria, but what it did have was even better, she said.
Their home is in the Lakeside district, but it's on a 1-acre lot near the Savannah River, and has a pond in the back and a huge, covered back porch. The porch often serves as a family room.
"We like to sit out and watch the Braves and football, she said.
It's a usable space, even in summer.
"We get a cool breeze off the pond. It's shaded and really pleasant," her husband said.
The pond is a source of recreation for the family, too.
"There are fish in the pond. We fish a lot," Lisa Mourfield said.
The family often sees wildlife behind their home, including deer and foxes and recently even some otters.
Inside, there is a spacious living room that the previous owners probably created by removing separating walls.
Peter Mourfield likes the unusual slatted ceiling, which caught his attention early in the house-hunting process.
"When I first walked in the door, I said, 'I don't need to look at any other houses,' " he said.
There is a bonus room above the garage. It is far enough away that if their sons want to play loud music, it doesn't bother the parents, they said.
The Mourfield's house is not alone on their street, but the other homes are situated on larger lots with space between the neighbors.
Not being in an organized neighborhood with a swim team and other activities is no problem for the Mourfields.
"We love it out here," she said.