"The woman is walking in front of the house."
Translation:Die Frau läuft vor dem Haus.
I see your point, and I understand the nuance. However, if the idea of the sentence was that the woman passed the front of the house on her walk would I be right in thinking that the accusative must be employed? (I'm sure that there is a more precise verb like, say, vorbeigehen (+an), which could be used in this case, but....)
Hmm, if you insist on the verb 'laufen' and the preposition 'vor', you are left with two possibilities: 'Sie läuft vor dem Haus' (dative) and 'Sie läuft vor das Haus' (accusative). As the second alternative would imply that she moved from someplace else to the front of the house, the closest you can get to your intended meaning under the given constraints is 'Sie läuft vor dem Haus'. But as the dative implies that she doesn't change the location of her walking, in order to express the idea of passing by you really would have to use 'Sie geht / läuft am / vor dem Haus vorbei'