Orchard Hills: Terra Collection Review

Terra is the last collection in The Reserve at Orchard Hills. Built by Irvine Pacific, there will be 135 homes with three different floor plans. Homes range from 2,721 square feet to 3,221 square feet. The houses have 4 – 5 bedrooms, 3 – 5.5 bathrooms and options for either a den or a loft. All homes have an attached, 2-car garage at the front of the house. The average lot size is approximately 4,600 square feet. However, the models are on lots between 7,000 – 10,000 square feet, so what you see is much bigger than what you get.

 

Included Features
Terra homes come standard with ceramic tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush carpet throughout living areas; single-panel interior doors with Baldwin® satin nickel hardware; 10’ ceiling at select locations; coffered ceiling at master bedroom; pre-wired with media plate consisting of RG-6 and 1 CAT-5 line at great room, master bedroom, and secondary bedrooms; CAT-5 line for phone at master bedroom and dual CAT-5 line for phone/data at kitchen; powder room with Kohler undermount sink and polished chrome faucet; inside laundry room with sink and Kohler® faucet; landscaped walkways and common areas; decorative front entry doors with dark bronze Baldwin hardware; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; Wi-Fi thermostat; and Lutron home automation system. The gourmet kitchens include a KitchenAid® stainless steel appliance package with a commercial-style 48” cooktop, oven/microwave combination, dishwasher, and hood; cabinetry in white satin Thermofoil finish with concealed and soft close hinges, soft close drawer guides, adjustable shelves, and under-cabinet lighting; granite slab counters with 6” backsplash and full splash at cooktop; Kohler® Smart Divide stainless steel with Kohler faucet; and refrigerator space pre-plumbed for ice maker. The master suites include Kohler freestanding tub, separate shower with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround and clear glass enclosure; and dual under mount Kohler sinks with cultured marble countertops and Kohler polished chrome faucets. Finally, the energy-efficient features that come with the home are dual-glazed, vinyl windows with low-e glass; whole house fan; high-efficiency air conditioning and 92% a.f.u.e. gas furnace; tankless water heater; and energy-efficient lighting.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $299 at buildout for Reserve at Orchard Hills Community Association
Base Property Tax: 1.05% of sales price
AD Tax: $2,250 per year
CFD Tax: $1,700 per year
Other Taxes: $171 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.3%
Prices start at $1,457,290 for Residence 1; $1,623,100 for Residence 2; $1,597, 369 for Residence 3; $1,611,369 for Residence 3X

Schools
Students living in Terra will attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District.  Children in grades K – 6 will attend Canyon View Elementary School. Students in grades 7 – 8 will attend Sierra Vista Middle School. Students in grades 9 – 12 will attend Northwood High School.

Residence 1
2,721 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Tech space
Optional den at bedroom 4
Optional back kitchen at pantry
Early pricing ranged from $1,457,290 – $1,467,290

Residence 1 is modeled in the Formal Spanish elevation, with Santa Barbara and Early California options also available. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, vertical grain metro LM60 rialto cabinets, Lew’s hardware brushed brass bar series knobs and pulls, additional electrical outlets, Wi-Fi thermostat, audio and video systems, and all decorator’s items.

This home has a very wide entry hall with plenty of space for a table or bench. The door to the garage is at the end of the hall on the left. The stairs are at the end of the hall on the right and there is a coat closet with extra storage beneath them. The bathroom is also on the right side of the hall. It features a vanity with a single sink, two cabinets, and two drawers. The cabinetry, hardware, and quartzite countertop and backsplash are all upgrades. The shower has a fully upgraded tile surround. The crown molding in the bathroom is upgraded, too.

 

The den is through a doorway on the right side of the hall, just inside the main entry. The room is a good size, with a window facing the street and two smaller ones on the side. The den replaces the standard bedroom 4. The only difference is that the bedroom would have a closet to the left of the doorway. Upgrades shown in the model include recessed lights, coffered ceiling, and crown molding.

 

The main hall opens to the great room and kitchen. The great room has a full wall of sliding doors opening to the backyard. The room comes standard with the panoramic sliders, as shown, and with pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments. There are two smaller windows at the far end of the room. The recessed can lights, floor outlet, and flat screen pre-wire are all included. The crown molding is upgraded.

The kitchen is open to the great room on one side and the dining room on another. The center island holds the sink and dishwasher, with seating for 3-4 people, and the rest of the kitchen forming an L-shape around it. The model shows an upgraded appliance package, with a KitchenAid 42” built-in refrigerator, 30” stainless steel warming drawer, and 24” stainless steel wine fridge. The cooktop, oven, and microwave are the included appliances. Additional upgrades in the kitchen include the Caesarstone “Blizzard” countertop with upgraded tile full-height backsplash, waterfall island in quartzite “Avalanche,” vertical grain metro LM60 “Rialto” cabinets, Lew’s hardware brushed brass bar series knobs and pulls, the pot and pan drawers, and the crown molding.

A door in the back corner of the kitchen leads to the walk-in pantry. The small room has L-shaped counters with upper and lower cabinets offering a ton of extra storage. There is an option to convert the pantry to a back kitchen, which would include a cooktop, pantry-height cupboards, and additional cabinetry. Upgrades shown in the pantry are crown molding, Single Lite door, the cabinets (standard is open shelving), countertop, cabinetry, and knobs.

The dining room is at the back of the house. It is very bright, with panoramic sliding doors lining one wall and floor-to-ceiling windows on another. The doors are standard and come with pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments. The crown molding is an upgrade.

The backyard has a large covered patio and a grassy area. The average homesite will have a much smaller yard, though some premium lots may be this size. The model also has a great view of the city and the hills.

The second floor has a tech space at the top of the stairs. There are three windows that face the front and side of the home. The reinforced wall outlets, built-in desk, and Caesarstone countertop are all upgrades. The space is small but could hold one or two workspaces.

The master suite is across from the tech space. It stretches across the back of the house. The master bedroom is large, with a big window facing the backyard and two smaller ones on the side. A recessed area in one wall offers space for a dresser or a built-in. The recessed lights, barn door separating the bedroom and bathroom, paint grade ceiling treatment, and electrical outlets are upgraded.

The master bathroom has two vanities, each with its own sink, cabinets, and drawers. The countertops on each vanity are much smaller than in a typical master suite. The freestanding bathtub sits between them. The shower is across from the tub and has a built-in seat. The walk-in closet is at the end of the bathroom and has a complete organizer system. Upgrades seen in the bathroom include the reinforced ceiling outlets in lieu of recessed lights; quartz countertop with 1” sponge lip and upgraded full-height backsplash; tile shower surround with limestone “Crema Perla” honed slab shower seat, dam, and jamb; rialto cabinetry; Lew’s hardware knobs and pulls; decorative framed mirror; mirrored closet door; closet organizer in Ivory; and 3/8” frameless glass shower enclosure.

 

A hallway across from the stairs leads to the other rooms on the second floor. The laundry room is the first door on the right. It has space for side-by-side machines with cabinets above them on one wall, and a sink and linen cupboards on the other wall.

Bedroom 2 is across from the laundry room. It has a small window facing the street and another small one on the side. The room is an average size, though the closet is somewhat small. The recessed lights are an upgrade.

Bedroom 3 is next to bedroom 2. It also has a small window at the front and another small one on the side. Both the bedroom and closet are the same size as in bedroom 2. The recessed lights and wall treatment are upgraded.

Bathroom 2 is at the end of the hall. It has a large area with two sinks set into a shared vanity. The countertop, backsplash, cabinetry, knobs, and floating mirrors are all upgrades. A separate doorway leads to a shower/tub combo, which is shown with the standard tile and an upgraded ¼” frameless clear glass enclosure. There is an option for just a shower in lieu of the combo.

This home has a good layout and spacious rooms, though I would have liked to see a bigger loft area instead of just a tech space. It is quite similar to most other new homes on the market.

 

Residence 2
2,853 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Loft
Optional back kitchen at pantry
Optional bedroom 5 & bathroom 4 at loft
Early pricing ranged from $1,483,100 – 1,623,100

Residence 2 is modeled in the Early California style, with Formal Spanish and Spanish Monterey elevations available. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, “IP White” Shaker paint grade cabinets, solid core doors, optional Wi-Fi thermostat, audio and video systems, and all decorator’s items.

As in residence 1, this house has a wide entry hall with space on either wall for a table or bench. The stairs are at the end of the hall on the right and have a storage closet beneath them. A doorway on the right leads to the downstairs bedroom and bathroom.

The bathroom has a single sink, with two cabinets and two drawers. The cabinets, polished nickel hardware, countertop, and backsplash are all upgrades. The model shows the optional shower in lieu of the shower/tub combo. The tile surround and limestone seat and dam are upgrades as well.

Bedroom 4 is just across the alcove from the bathroom. It is smaller than the bedrooms in residence 1. There is one window facing the street and two more on the side. The bi-pass closet is small.

The main hallway opens to the great room. It is a wide, open room with two small windows on one side and panoramic sliding doors lining another full wall. The doors are pre-wired for motorized window treatments. The media credenza along the side wall is an upgrade.

As in residence 1, the kitchen is open to the great room and the dining room. The island has seating for 3 – 4 people, the sink, and the dishwasher. It is upgraded with paint grade “spiced rum” cabinets, a Kohler white cast iron apron front sink, and a stainless steel sensate touchless faucet. One long counter holds the cooktop, several drawers, and upper cabinets. The other wall has a built-in oven, microwave, refrigerator, and optional wine cooler. The upgraded appliances are Jenn-Air stainless steel, including a 48” range, 30” oven/microwave combo, 48” canopy wall hood with imperial chimney, dishwasher, warming drawer, 42” built-in fridge, and 24” wine fridge. Additional upgrades include the cabinetry, hardware, clear glass upper cabinets, Caesarstone counter with full-height backsplash, and reverse osmosis system.

The pantry shows the standard open shelves and an upgraded counter. There is an option for a back kitchen, with a stove and pantry-height cupboards.

The dining room is at the back of the house. One wall has floor-to-ceiling windows and another has panoramic sliding doors with pre-wire for motorized window treatments.

The premium-sized backyard features a covered patio with a built-in barbecue and fridge, a pool, and a grassy area.

 

On the second floor, this home has a full loft at the top of the stairs. It is open to the stairway, with three windows facing the street and two more on the side. The model shows an upgraded, built-in credenza beneath the TV; there is an option for a built-in desk in the same space.  The loft can be converted to a fifth bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. The bedroom would be on the smaller side, with a standard bi-pass closet that would eliminate one of the windows. The en-suite bathroom would have a single sink set into a small vanity and a choice of a shower or shower/tub combo.

The master suite is across from the loft. The bedroom is a good size, with large windows facing the backyard and two smaller ones on the side. The recessed lights, reinforced ceiling outlet, crown molding, and ceiling treatment are upgrades. There is an option for a door separating the bedroom from the bathroom.

The master bathroom has two sinks set into a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three shared drawers. There is a free-standing tub in the corner. The shower is across from the vanity and is larger than in residence 1. It has a built-in seat. The walk-in closet is at the far end of the bathroom. Upgrades include the cabinetry, hardware, cabinets above the toilet, closet organizer, limestone countertop with ogee drop edge, backsplash with ogee edge, tile shower surround, limestone shower seat and dam, crown molding, framed mirror, Kohler HydroRail shower column with rainhead and handshower, and the 3/8” frameless clear glass shower enclosure.

 

A hallway across from the stairs leads to the other rooms. Bathroom 2 is the first door on the right. It has two sinks with two sets of cabinets and three drawers. A separate door leads to the shower/tub combo, which has a shower-only option. Upgrades include the Caesarstone “Ginger” slab with 1” sponge lip and full-height tile backsplash, tile tub surround to ceiling, and decorative framed mirror.

The laundry room is across from the bathroom. It has a sink and space for side-by-side machines. There is a shelf above the sink and upper cabinets over the machines. There are open linen shelves at the end of the room. The countertops are upgraded Caesarstone.

Bedroom 2 faces the front of the house. It has double French doors opening to a Juliet balcony overlooking the street and two windows on the side. The Spanish Monterey elevation has a full balcony that stretches across the full width of the garage. The bedroom is large, and the bi-pass closet has upgraded mirrored doors. The recessed lights and closet organizer are also upgrades.

Bedroom 3 is comparable in size and also has a bi-pass closet. The room only has two windows facing the side of the home, so it won’t get as much natural light as bedroom 2. The recessed lights and closet organizer are upgraded.

 

This home is quite similar to residence 1, with the key difference being the full loft (and optional bedroom) instead of the smaller tech space.

Residence 3 & 3X
3,221 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
Optional back kitchen at pantry
Optional bedroom & bathroom 5 at family room
Early pricing for residence 3 ranged from $1,597,369 – $1,682,369
Early pricing for residence 3X ranged from $1,562,369 – $1,692,369

Residence 3 is modeled in the Traditional Monterey style, with Santa Barbara, Formal Spanish, and Tuscan elevations available. Residence 3X offers the same four elevations but is not modeled. The key difference between the two is that the garage and front entry are both on the same side in residence 3, but on different sides of the house in residence 3X. Because of this, residence 3X is always a corner unit, with the garage facing the main street and the front door on the side. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, recessed panel Star Light paint grade cabinets, top knob square bar pull and knobs in flat black, optional Wi-Fi thermostat, garage floor coating, audio and video systems, and all decorator’s items.

Though the entrance to the property in residence 3 is on the same side as the garage, it actually just takes you to a private walkway, and the door to the house itself is on the side. Residence 3X doesn’t have the walkway, but the entry to the home is in the same place as residence 3. When you walk in, there is a wide foyer, with a space across from the door for a table or bench. The stairs are on the left and there is a closet beneath them.

The powder room is through a doorway past the stairs. It has a single sink with a set of cabinets beneath it. The cabinets and knobs are upgraded, as well as the “Calcatta Gold Suprema” marble slab backsplash and a reinforced ceiling outlet in lieu of the standard recessed can light.

Bedroom 4 is at the front of the house. Tall windows face the street and there are two smaller windows on the side. The room has a standard bi-pass closet and is shown with upgraded recessed lights. The en-suite bathroom has a vanity with one sink, one cabinet, and two drawers. The cabinets, knobs, and marble slab are all upgraded to match the powder room. The shower has an upgraded tile surround to ceiling with Caesarstone “Pure White” slab seat and dam. The framed mirror is also an upgrade. There is an option for a shower/tub combo in lieu of the standard shower.

The great room is to the right of the foyer. It is a very large space, with two windows on the side and panoramic sliders along the back. There is an upgraded built in unit along one wall and crown molding throughout. The panoramic doors come standard with pre-wire for motorized window treatments.

 

The kitchen is set up in the same way as the other homes, with the great room on one side and dining room on the other. The island in this model is shaped like a wedge, with seating for 5 – 6 around the curved edge. One side has a cabinet and drawers while the other has the sink and dishwasher. The refrigerator, oven, and microwave are on one wall, while the stove and a wine fridge are on another. Upgrades in the kitchen include a reinforced ceiling outlet, recessed panel cabinetry in Star Light paint, top knob square bar pull and knobs in flat black, “Calcatta Gold Supremo” slab with full-height tile backsplash, crown molding, and a Prolific stainless steel sink with Tournant faucet. The upgraded appliance package from Wolf in stainless steel includes a 48” range, 30” oven, 30” microwave, 48” wall canopy hood. Additional appliance upgrades include a SubZero 42” built-in fridge, SubZero 24” built-in wine fridge, and an Asko dishwasher. The door to the garage is in the back corner of the kitchen. There isn’t a drop zone or mudroom separating the garage from the kitchen.

The pantry is opposite the garage door, though the model shows the optional back kitchen instead. The upgrades include cabinetry, knobs, and countertop to match the kitchen, crown molding, Wolf 15” transitional multifunction module and Wolf 30” SS Pro wall hood. One small window faces the backyard.

The dining room is at the back of the house. As in the other residences, it has one wall with floor-to-ceiling windows and another with panoramic sliders. The crown molding is an upgrade, but the recessed lights and pre-wire for window treatments are included.

The backyard is again on a premium-sized lot. The model shows a large, partially-covered patio with a built-in barbecue, a pool, and a lawn. The view is impressive, though most homes in the neighborhood will just look into the backyard of another house.

On the second floor, there is a loft (called a family room in the brochure) at the top of the stairs. One window faces the street and two smaller ones face the side. In the Santa Barbara elevation, the front-facing window is replaced with a French door and a Juliet balcony. Upgrades in the model include the reinforced ceiling outlet and the media built-in.

There is an option to convert the family room to a fifth bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom would be an average size with a standard bi-pass closet. There would be one window facing the street and two smaller ones on the side. The en-suite bathroom would have a single sink in a small vanity and a shower/tub combo, with the option for just a shower. There would be an additional linen closet just outside the bedroom.

As in residences 1 and 2, the master suite is to the right of the stairs and spans the back of the house. The large room has big windows facing the backyard and two smaller ones on the side. The dual walk-in closets are accessed from the bedroom, rather than the bathroom. Each is shown with an upgraded, built-in organizer. The bedroom is also upgraded with six recessed lights, a cased opening to the bathroom, and crown molding at the coffered ceiling.

The master bathroom has two sinks set into a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three drawers. The vanity is upgraded with a “Calcatta Gold Honed’ slab countertop and backsplash, cabinetry, and knobs to match the rest of the house, and Tresham top mount vessel-style sinks. The free-standing bathtub sits across from the sinks. The large shower is at the end of the bathroom. The tile shower surround is upgraded with “Calcatta Gold Honed” full height at all walls and slab at shower seat, dam, and jamb. Additional upgrades include the white Carrara marble base trim, 3/8” frameless clear glass enclosure, and Kohler rain shower head. The water closet has an upgraded Kohler Karing bidet toilet.

The main hallway across from the stairs has a laundry room on the right. It has space for side-by-side machines on one side and a sink on the other, shown with upgraded cabinetry, knobs, and a “Bella Statuario” counter and backsplash. There is an open linen closet at the back with upgraded shelving and a “Bella Statuario” slab.

Bedroom 2 is on the right. This is the smaller of the secondary rooms and has just one window facing the side of the house. The room is upgraded with four recessed lights and two reinforced wall outlets with sconces. The en-suite bathroom has a small vanity with one sink, one cabinet, and two drawers. Upgrades include a “Pental Altea” countertop and backsplash and cabinetry and knobs to match the rest of the house. The shower/tub combo has an upgraded tile surround. There is a shower-only option available.

Bedroom 3 is across the hall and is a lot bigger than bedroom 2. It has two small windows on the side and one at the front, as well as a set of French doors. In the Traditional Monterey elevation (modeled), there is a full balcony spanning the width of the garage. Two of the elevations only have a Juliet balcony and the Tuscan elevation has no balcony at all. The room is upgraded with four recessed lights and includes a walk-in closet. The en-suite bathroom has a vanity with one sink, one cabinet, and two drawers. The cabinets and knobs are upgraded, as are the Pullman tile backsplash and framed mirror. The model shows the shower-only option instead of the standard shower/tub combo. Upgrades include the tile surround, shampoo niche, and floor; shower enclosure; and Kohler HydroRail shower column with Kohler Katalyst rainhead.

Residence 3 is the only Terra home with a private bathroom in each bedroom. It has the same number of rooms and layout as residence 2, but is about 350 square feet bigger, making each room a little more spacious.

All the homes in the Terra collection are basically the same. Each has three bedrooms and an extra living (or tech) area upstairs and an additional bedroom downstairs. The options are similar throughout the collection, though residence 1 cannot add a fifth bedroom upstairs. These homes are just like every other new house in The Reserve at Orchard Hills.

Orchard Hills: Como Collection Review

The next collection I will review from The Reserve at Orchard Hills is the Como Collection. Built by Pacific Homes, there will be 85 homes with two different floor plans, plus a slight variation of the plan 2 (2X). Homes range from 2,494 – 2,753 square feet and sit on lots of approximately 4,200 square feet. The homes have 4 bedrooms and 3 – 4 bathrooms, with options for a den in lieu of the downstairs bedroom. Each home also comes standard with a loft or optional fifth bedroom. All homes have an attached, two-car garage. The neighborhood is long and narrow, with several u-shaped streets. Some of the homes will border the new Crestview Park, which is slated to open in a few months.

Included Features
Verdi homes come standard with ceramic tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush carpet throughout living areas; single-panel interior doors with Baldwin® satin nickel hardware; 10’ ceiling at select locations; coffered ceiling at master bedroom; pre-wired with media plate consisting of RG-6 and 1 CAT-5 line at great room, master bedroom, and secondary bedrooms; CAT-5 line for phone at master bedroom and dual CAT-5 line for phone/data at kitchen; inside laundry room with sink and Kohler® faucet; landscaped walkways and common areas; decorative front entry doors with dark bronze Baldwin hardware; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; Wi-Fi thermostat; and Lutron home automation system. The gourmet kitchens include a KitchenAid® stainless steel appliance package with a commercial-style cooktop, oven/microwave combination, dishwasher, and hood; cabinetry in white satin Thermofoil finish with concealed and soft close hinges, soft close drawer guides, adjustable shelves, and under-cabinet lighting; granite slab counters with 6” backsplash and full splash at cooktop; Kohler® Smart Divide stainless steel with Kohler faucet; and refrigerator space pre-plumbed for ice maker. The master suites include Kohler Hytec tub with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround, separate shower with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround and clear glass enclosure; and dual under mount Kohler sinks with cultured marble countertops and backsplash with Kohler polished chrome faucets. Finally, the energy-efficient features that come with the home are dual-glazed, vinyl windows with low-e glass; whole house fan; high-efficiency air conditioning and 92% a.f.u.e. gas furnace; tankless water heater; and energy-efficient lighting.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $299 at buildout for Reserve at Orchard Hills Community Association
Base Property Tax: 1.05% of sales price
AD Tax: $2,000 per year
CFD Tax: $1,700 per year
Other Taxes: $171 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.4%
Prices start at $1,364,532 for Residence 1 and $1,416,818 for Residence 2

Schools
Students living in Como will attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District.  Children in grades K – 6 will attend Canyon View Elementary School. Students in grades 7 – 8 will attend Sierra Vista Middle School. Students in grades 9 – 12 will attend Northwood High School.

Residence 1
2,494 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Loft
Optional den at bedroom 4
Optional bedroom 5 at loft
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,364,532 – 1,371,532

Residence 1 is modeled in the Formal Spanish elevation, with Santa Barbara, Early California, and Tuscan options also available. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, high-gloss Luxe Blanco cabinetry, Amerock Monument satin nickel pulls, additional electrical outlets, Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat, audio and video systems, and all decorator’s items.

Inside, residence 1 has an L-shaped entryway with plenty of space for a bench or entry console. There is a deep coat closet across from the entry, with additional storage under the stairs. The pre-wire for wall sconces, cased opening and window, and crown molding in the entry are all upgrades.

 

A hallway on the right leads to the first-floor bedroom, bathroom, and access to the two-car garage. The model shows the optional den in lieu of the standard bedroom 4. The den is open to the hall, but there is an option for either double French doors or pocket doors instead. The model shows upgraded wall paneling and a built-in unit with cabinets and a desk. There are two small windows facing the side of the house, so this room does not get a lot of natural light. The recessed lights and cased opening are also upgrades. In the standard bedroom, there would be a walk-in closet on the left wall, which would cut into the coat closet, giving all the storage under the stairs to the bedroom closet instead.

The bathroom is across the hall from the bedroom. It has a vanity with a single sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. The cabinets are upgraded to a high-gloss, Luxe Blanco finish with Amerock Monument satin nickel pulls (as found throughout the home). The countertops are upgraded to Limestone “Gascogne Blue” and the beveled, framed mirror is a decorator’s upgrade. The sink and faucet show the included Kohler models. The shower is a good size and is shown with upgraded limestone at the shower dam and upgraded tile at surround and floor. The shower has a soap niche and shows the included enclosure and towel bar.

The living areas are to the left of the entry hall. The dining room is a flexible space with room for a large table. One wall has two windows facing the side of the home. Another wall borders the stairs and could hold a low buffet, but the room doesn’t offer space for a full-height china cabinet. The recessed lights are included with the home.

The great room is behind the dining room. There is a small window in one corner and full-height windows lining another wall. The third wall has standard panoramic doors opening to the backyard. The recessed lights, flat-screen pre-wire, TV/data outlet, and pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments are all included with the home. The built-in entertainment unit is an upgrade.

The kitchen is across from the dining room. Because it’s set at an angle to the great room, it doesn’t offer great options for conversation. The kitchen has an island with seating for 3-4 on one side and the sink and dishwasher on another. The pendant lights, waterfall style sides with limestone counters, and Kohler Tournant faucet in vibrant stainless steel are all upgrades. The wall on the left side of the island holds the refrigerator, oven and microwave and the longer wall holds the cooktop. The model shows the standard appliances, as well as the KitchenAid French door refrigerator and an optional KitchenAid wine refrigerator at the end of the counter. The cabinets and pulls are upgrades, as are the frosted glass at the stacked upper cabinets. The back counter shows an upgraded Pental “Imperio” countertop with full-height backsplash. The drawers under the cooktop are also upgraded. There is a walk-in pantry in the corner, shown with upgraded open shelves and Imperio counters.

 

The backyard shows a combination of hardscape and artificial turf. The size is comparable to an average lot and there are fantastic views, at least until the surrounding homes are built. Unlike many other home collections, the Como models do not come standard with a California room.

The model shows the standard loft on the second floor. It isn’t a particularly large space, but it works well as a playroom or small study. There is an option for a built-in tech desk along one wall. The flat-screen pre-wire is an upgrade. There is also an option to convert the loft to a fifth bedroom. It would be a small room with a bi-pass closet. With the loft or bedroom option, there are two windows facing the side of the home.

The master suite is to the right of the stairs, stretching across the back of the home. The bedroom is a good size and includes a recessed area for seating. Two windows face the side of the home and the recessed area has windows on all three sides that overlook the backyard. The recessed lights, reinforced ceiling outlet, paint grade paneling at coffered ceiling, and ceiling fan are all upgrades. There is an option for a door separating the bedroom from the bathroom.

The master bathroom has a vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three drawers. The cabinets and pulls are upgraded to match the rest of the home. The countertop shows an upgraded Caesarstone “ginger” and decorative framed mirror, but the standard sinks and faucets. The tub and shower sit side-by-side on the right side of the vanity. The tub has an upgraded Caesarstone deck, which forms a ledge in the shower; the shower also has a matching corner seat. The shower dam is limestone. The tile that lines the walls of the shower and around the tub are upgraded, as is the shower floor. The Kohler Hydrorail shower column, rain head, and hand shower in polished chrome are additional upgrades. The toilet is an upgraded Kohler bidet toilet. The walk-in closet is on the left side of the room and has an upgraded organizer system and mirrored French door.

   

The laundry room is just left of the loft. The long, narrow room has full-height linen cabinets near the door, followed by a sink with base cabinets, and side-by-side machines with upper cabinets. The cabinetry, knobs, appliances countertop, backsplash, wall paneling, and cased window are upgrades.

The secondary bathroom is next to the laundry room.  The vanity has two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three small drawers. The cabinets, knobs, full-height tile backsplash, and Caesarstone “Frosty Carrina” countertops are all upgrades. The decorative mirror is upgraded, too. The shower/tub combo is through a separate door and has an option for just a shower. The tile is upgraded.

Bedroom 2 has two small windows facing the side of the home. This is the smallest bedroom upstairs. Even the bi-pass closet is smaller than average. The recessed lights, reinforced ceiling outlet. Wainscot paneling, and pendant light are upgrades.

Bedroom 3 is much larger than bedroom 2. It has two windows facing the street and another on the side of the room. The recessed lights, pre-wire, and wall sconce are upgrades. This room also has a bi-pass closet.

Residence 1 has good options to customize the home, allowing you to choose between two bedrooms, a den, and a loft. I don’t like the layout downstairs, as I prefer a great room that is more open to the kitchen. The closets are on the small side, and if you choose the downstairs bedroom, there is very little storage at all outside the bedrooms.

Residence 2 & Residence 2X
2,753 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Loft
Optional den at bedroom 4
Optional bedroom & bathroom 5 at loft
Phase one pricing for residence 2 ranged from 1,416,818 – 1,426,818

Residences 2 and 2X have virtually identical floorplans, with slight variations in the windows on one side. Residence 2X is always a corner unit while residence 2 is never a corner unit. Residence 2 is not modeled, and has Santa Barbara, Formal Spanish, Tuscan, and Monterey elevations. Residence 2X is modeled in the Tuscan style, with Santa Barbara and Formal Spanish options as well. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, solid core doors, additional electrical outlets, audio and video systems, and all decorator’s items.

Inside, the entryway is open to the stairs, offering space for a bench or low table. A small window on the side brightens the space. Access to the garage is just left of the entry. The front hall has a small alcove nestled in the u-shaped stairs and a coat closet with storage beneath the staircase.

The model shows the optional den in lieu of the standard bedroom 4. The room is directly across from the stairs and has two small windows on the side. The cased opening is an upgrade, and there are options for either pocket or French doors. The recessed lights, cased window, wall paneling, built-in unit, and 2” flex tube conduit are additional upgrades. The standard bedroom would be the same size, but with a bi-pass closet along the wall that is open to the hall in the den. The door to the bedroom would actually be off the alcove near the adjacent bathroom.

The downstairs bathroom has a vanity with a small counter, one cabinet, and two drawers. The cased opening to the hall is an upgrade. There are upgraded white paint grade cabinets with Pental “statuario” countertops and a decorative, beveled framed mirror. The shower tile is upgraded throughout, but the enclosure is standard. The shower includes a corner seat and soap niche. There is an option for a shower/tub combo in lieu of the standard shower.

The main hall opens to the great room. It has two windows on the side and panoramic doors opening to the backyard. The crown molding and cased opening are upgrades. The recessed lights, flat screen pre-wire, tv/data outlet, pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments, and duplex floor outlet are all included with the home.

The kitchen is fully open to the great room, which I like more than the setup in residence 1. The center island can seat 3-4 people on one side and houses the sink and dishwasher on the other. The refrigerator, oven, and microwave are on the left, the walk-in pantry is in the corner, and the cooktop sits in the middle of the longer wall opposite the island. Nearly everything in the kitchen is upgraded, including the recessed lights above the sink, crown molding, white paint grade cabinets, paint grade “roasted pepper” at island cabinets, Pental “Imperio” countertops, full-height backsplash, cove edge at island countertop, pantry doors, Kohler white cast iron undermount sink, and reverse osmosis in brushed chrome package. The fully upgraded KitchenAid appliance package shows a stainless steel 30” combination oven/microwave, 36” white range, canopy wall hood, stainless steel dishwasher, warming drawer, and built-in fridge. The room has ample cabinet space and plenty of shelves in the pantry.

The dining room is at the back of the house, behind the kitchen. It shows the optional cabinetry extended from the kitchen all the way to the back wall. The pendant light and pre-wire and crown molding are additional upgrades. The dining room includes a wall of full-height windows facing the backyard and a set of panoramic doors.

The backyard is mostly hardscaped, with some artificial turf and plants around the edge. The model shows a built-in grill and glass walls to show off the view of the city.

 

On the second floor, the stairs open to a long hallway, with the loft and secondary rooms to the left and the master suite to the right. While the loft is open to the hall and stairs, an open doorway leads to a parallel hall with doors to the bedrooms and laundry room. There are four upper and lower linen cabinets outside the laundry room with an upgraded countertop.

The loft is larger than in residence 1 and has windows facing both the side and front of the home. The model shows an upgraded built-in unit and flat-screen pre-wire. There is an option to convert the space to a fifth bedroom and bathroom. The entry door would be off the back hall, across from the laundry room, rather than right off the stairway. The bi-pass closet would be where the current loft opening is, and the bathroom would be next to it (alongside the stairs). The bathroom would have a small vanity with a single sink, a shower/tub combo, and an option for just a shower.

Off the back hall, bedroom 2 is on the right. It has two small windows facing the side of the home and a bi-pass closet. The recessed lights, mirrored closet doors, and closet organizer are upgrades. The en-suite bathroom has a vanity with a tiny counter, one sink, and two cabinets. The shower/tub combo has an option for just a shower. The Caesarstone “open foam” countertop, tile backsplash, shower/tub tile, and polished chrome framed ¼” clear glass enclosure with tubular towel bar are all upgrades.

The laundry room is next to bedroom 2. It is a long room with a window at the end. There is a sink with base cabinets and a shelf above, space for side-by-side machines, and upper cabinets. The countertop and wall paneling are upgrades.

Bedroom 3 is much larger than bedroom 2. It has two windows on the side and double French doors opening to a balcony that overlooks the street. All elevations in both the 2 and 2X model have a balcony; the residence 2 Monterey elevation has a much larger balcony that stretches the full width of the house (that room also has two additional front-facing windows). The recessed lights in this room are an upgrade. Bedroom 3 has a bi-pass closet shown with the standard doors, shelves, and chrome poles. The en-suite bathroom has a small vanity with one sink, one cabinet, and two drawers. The model shows the shower-only option in lieu of the shower/tub combo. The tile surround (including the height), shower floor, polished chrome frameless 3/8” clear glass enclosure with tubular towel bar, and Kohler Hydrorail shower column, rain head, and hand shower in polished chrome are all upgrades.

The master suite is at the back of the house, with an entry to the right of the staircase. The bedroom is large, with windows facing the back and side of the home. The recessed lights, cased opening at windows, and paint grade wall paneling are upgrades. A slight recessed area in one corner offers a great spot for a bureau. There is an option for a door separating the bedroom from the bathroom.

The bathroom has a large vanity with two sinks, two sets of wide cabinets, and three wide drawers. The pendant lights over the sink replace the standard recessed lights. The Kohler Tresham sinks, Pental “statuario” countertops, and decorative framed mirror are upgrades. The bathtub is next to the vanity. It is shown with an upgraded tile face, Pental statuario deck, and cove drop edge, with the deck forming a ledge in the shower. The shower has an upgraded, full-height tile surround, and upgraded tile at the seat, dam, and floor. The polished chrome, frameless 3/8” clear glass enclosure with tubular towel bar is another upgrade. The walk-in closet is a good size and has an upgraded organizer system.

I like the layout of this home more than in residence 1. The rooms downstairs flow better and make it feel more open. There is still flexibility with the options for the den, loft, or bedrooms. This home has a bonus of a private bath for each bedroom.

Overall, the Como collection fits well with the Pacific Homes brand, showing similarity to the other collections throughout Orchard Hills. Neither of these models offers anything unique, but the rooms tend to be spacious and the lots are bigger than anything else I’ve seen in The Reserve so far.

Orchard Hills: Lago Collection Review

I recently visited the Lago collection in The Reserve at Orchard Hills. Built by Pacific Homes, there will be 132 detached condos with two different floor plans. Homes range from 2,227 – 2,388 square feet and sit on lots of approximately 2,800 square feet. Both models have four bedrooms (including one downstairs), three bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Neither has a loft, den, or other extra space.

Included Features
Verdi homes come standard with ceramic tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush carpet throughout living areas; single-panel interior doors with Baldwin® satin nickel hardware; coffered ceiling at master bedroom; pre-wired with media plate consisting of RG-6 and 1 CAT-5 line at great room, master bedroom, and secondary bedrooms; CAT-5 line for phone at master bedroom and dual CAT-5 line for phone/data at kitchen; inside laundry room with utility sink and Kohler® faucet; landscaped walkways and common areas; decorative front entry doors with dark bronze Baldwin hardware; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; Wi-Fi thermostat; and Lutron home automation system. The gourmet kitchens include KitchenAid® stainless steel appliance package with a cooktop, oven/microwave combination, dishwasher, and hood; cabinetry in white satin Thermofoil finish with concealed and soft close hinges, soft close drawer guides, adjustable shelves, and under-cabinet lighting; granite slab counters with 6” backsplash and full splash at cooktop; stainless steel double basin sink with Kohler faucet; and refrigerator space pre-plumbed for ice maker. The master suites include Kohler Hytec tub with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround, separate shower with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround and clear glass enclosure; and dual under mount Kohler sinks with cultured marble countertops and backsplash with Kohler polished chrome faucets. Finally, the energy-efficient features that come with the home are dual-glazed, vinyl windows with low-e glass; whole house fan; high-efficiency air conditioning and 92% a.f.u.e. gas furnace; tankless water heater; and energy-efficient lighting.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $299 at buildout for Reserve at Orchard Hills Community Association
Base Property Tax: 1.05% of sales price
AD Tax: $1,750 per year
CFD Tax: $1,700 per year
Other Taxes: $171 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.4%
Prices start at $1,127,595 for Residence 1 and $1,167,118 for Residence 2

Schools
Students living in Lago will attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District.  Children in grades K – 6 will attend Canyon View Elementary School. Students in grades 7 – 8 will attend Sierra Vista Middle School. Students in grades 9 – 12 will attend Northwood High School.

Residence 1
2,227 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,127,595 – 1,149,595

 

Residence 1 is modeled in the Tuscan elevation, with Santa Barbara, Early California, and Formal Spanish options also available. The front door is on one side of the house and the garage is on another, off a shared motor court. Both the Tuscan and Formal Spanish elevations have small balconies above the front door. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, solid core doors, additional outlets, and audio/video systems.

When you enter the home, there is a small hallway that could hold a narrow bench or table, but no larger pieces of furniture. The dining room is straight ahead, with the stairs just off to one side and a small coat closet on the right.

The dining room comfortably shows a table for six. It could hold a longer table easily, and the space could be expanded into the great room to accommodate a larger table. The dining room, along with the great room, shows upgraded crown molding.

The great room is left of the dining room. It is a spacious room that comes standard with panoramic doors opening to the backyard. The screen on the door is an upgrade.

The kitchen is open to the great room. It has a small window facing the front walkway. Although the room is somewhat small, it is laid out well and has good storage. The island can comfortably seat three people and includes all drawers in lieu of the standard cabinets. The waterfall sides and natural stone “corteccia” countertop are upgrades, as are the pendant lights above it. The u-shaped kitchen has the fridge and walk-in pantry on one side; the microwave, oven, sink and dishwasher on another; and the cooktop on the third. The cabinets are upgraded to “IP White” 380 recessed panel doors with stain nickel knobs. Additional upgrades include the crown molding, pental quartz “Alpine” at perimeter countertops, full-height tile backsplash; reverse osmosis system, and the pental quartz “Alpine” countertop in the pantry.

 

The backyard is extremely narrow, with only about 8 – 10 feet between the house and the back wall. The model shows it mostly hardscaped, with a strip of plants around the edge.

The first-floor bedroom and bathroom are on the other side of the entry from the living areas. The bathroom has a vanity with a set of cabinets, two drawers, and a good amount of counter space. The cabinets, knobs, and countertop are upgraded to match the kitchen. The backsplash is also upgraded. The shower is shown with upgraded tile; there is an option for a shower/tub combo instead.

The bedroom has two narrow windows facing the motor court and two facing the front walk. One wall has a standard bi-pass closet, shown with the standard doors, shelf, and chrome pole. The recessed lights and wainscot paneling are upgrades.

The landing of the stairway has six base cabinets, shown with upgraded doors and knobs. The countertop is upgraded to Caesarstone quartz “ocean foam” in lieu of the standard wood top.

Bedroom 3 is at the top of the stairs. It is the largest secondary room, with a recessed area on one wall offering a good space for a desk or dresser. The bi-pass closet has the standard doors but upgraded organizers inside. The recessed and pendant lights are upgrades as well. Windows face the motor court and side of the home.

The secondary bath is next to bedroom 3. It has two sinks set into a shared vanity, each with its own set of cabinets and a shared set of three drawers. The cabinets and knobs are upgraded to match the kitchen, while the countertop matches the stairway linen cabinets. The framed mirror is also upgraded. The shower/tub combo is through another door and has a shower-only option. The model shows upgraded tile and a ¼” clear glass enclosure.

Bedroom 2 is on the other side of the bathroom. It is also a good-sized room, with two windows facing the motor court and two more facing the front walk. The bi-pass closet is shown the standard doors and shelves but upgraded casing around the doors. The recessed lights, ceiling fan and pre-wire, and wall paneling are all upgrades.

The laundry room is outside bedroom 2. It has space for side-by-side machines and a utility sink. There are cabinets below the sink and above the machines. The cabinets, knobs, and countertop are all upgraded.

The master suite spans the back of the house. The bedroom in this elevation has the Juliet balcony above the front door (as does the Formal Spanish elevation); the other two homes have windows in lieu of the doors. The recessed lights, crown molding, and cased opening between the bedroom and bathroom are upgrades. The walk-in closet is off the bedroom and is shown with the standard shelves and chrome poles. There is an option for a door between the bedroom and bathroom.

The master bathroom has two vanities, each with one sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. They are upgraded to include cabinets and knobs that match the rest of the house, pental quartz “Calacatta” countertops and backsplash, and framed mirrors. The bathtub sits between them and has upgraded cabinet face panels and a deck that matches the counters. The shower is across from the far vanity. It is somewhat small, with a corner seat and upgraded tile.

 

This home has a good layout, though it doesn’t have much closet space outside the bedrooms. The second-floor bedrooms are spacious. The yard is tiny, but given the condo designation, that is to be expected.

Residence 2
2,388 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,167,118 – $1,193,118

Residence 2 is modeled in the Santa Barbara elevation, with Early California, Formal Spanish, and Tuscan elevations also available. The front door is next to the garage, facing the motor court. The Santa Barbara and Tuscan elevations have small balconies above the front window. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, optional round Wi-Fi thermostat, solid core doors, additional outlets, and audio/video systems.

Inside, the front hall is longer than in residence 1, and is just wide enough for a narrow table or bench. A doorway on the left leads to the first-floor bedroom and bathroom. Direct access to the two-car garage is on the right. There is a coat closet just outside the bedroom.

 

Bedroom 4 has two windows facing the front of the house and one on the side. It has a walk-in closet, but only one side has a shelf and pole. The cased opening between the entry and bedroom is an upgrade, as are the recessed lights, ceiling fan, and pre-wire.

The bathroom has a vanity with a single sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. The Kohler “Vox” rectangle vessel sink is an upgrade. The pental quartz “Sahara” countertop, 6” backsplash, and framed mirror are also upgrades. The cabinets actually show the standard Thermofoil Shaker doors and satin nickel knobs. The shower is through a separate door. It has a corner seat and is shown with the standard door, but the tile is upgraded throughout. There is an option for a shower/tub combo.

The main hall opens to the great room, with the staircase on the left. The great room is big, with two windows on the side and panoramic doors (standard) across the back wall. It models the included recessed lights, pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments at the panoramic doors, TV and data outlet, flat screen pre-wire, and duplex floor outlet.

The dining room is at the back of the house. It is also shown without upgrades (besides the floor and window treatments), so the recessed lights, panoramic doors, and pre-wire for motorized window treatments are included. The dining room is not as open to the great room as in residence one, so the size of the table is more limited.

The kitchen is next to the dining room and is bigger than in residence one. The island can seat up to four people and holds the sink and dishwasher. The Kohler single basin vault apron front sink, Kohler purist vibrant stainless steel faucet, and pendant lights (plus pre-wire) are upgrades. A long counter on one wall holds the stove and oven (upgraded from the standard cooktop) while the shorter wall has the microwave, oven, and fridge. There are numerous cabinets and drawers. The upgraded KitchenAid appliance package includes a 36” commercial-style range and hood, dishwasher, warming drawer, and single-door refrigerator. The clear glass doors next to the hood, natural stone “Perla” countertop, and full tile backsplash are upgrades as well. The walk-in pantry has a full organizer system and extensive storage beneath the stairs.

  

The backyard is wider than in residence one, shown mostly hardscaped with garden boxes on the edges. A narrow strip of yard runs behind the dining room as well.

On the second floor, the master bedroom is directly across from the staircase. The large bedroom has three windows facing the back of the home and two on the side. The wood beams are upgraded though the coffered ceiling is standard. The recessed lights are also upgrades. There is a walk-in closet off the bedroom with an upgraded organizer system. This is the smaller of two closets in the suite.

The master bathroom has two sinks set into a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three shared drawers. There are upgraded Kohler “Vox” rectangle vessel sinks and a pental quartz “Sahara” countertop with 6” backsplash. The bathtub is across from the vanity. It has an upgraded deck and face to match the countertop and an upgraded ogee drop edge detail. The deck forms a narrow ledge in the adjacent shower, which has upgraded tile throughout and an upgraded 3/8” frameless, clear glass enclosure.  The Kohler HydroRail shower column is an upgrade as well and deletes the standard soap niche. The second walk-in closet is bigger than the one in the bedroom and has an upgraded organizer system.

A hallway on the right side of the stairs leads to the secondary bathroom, laundry room, and two bedrooms. There are four base and four upper linen cabinets in the hall near the top of the stairs. The countertop is upgraded.

The secondary bathroom has two sinks in a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three shared drawers. The pental quartz “Nuage” countertops and 6” backsplash are upgrades. The shower replaces the standard shower/tub combo. It has an upgraded tile surround and floor, with a 3/8” frameless clear glass enclosure and Kohler HydroRail shower column. There is a tiny corner seat.

The laundry room has space for side-by-side machines with upper cabinets. The sink has lower cabinets and shows the included countertop, cabinets, knobs, sink, and faucet.

Bedroom 2 is at the front of the house, with two windows facing the motor court and two more on the side. The room is a good size and has a walk-in closet. The only upgrade in the room is the recessed lighting.

Bedroom 3 is larger than bedroom 2. It has a Juliet balcony facing the motor court (in two elevations only) and one small window on the side. There is a standard bi-pass closet, shown without upgrades. The recessed lights are upgraded.

This home has better storage than residence one. I like the bigger kitchen, though there is less flexibility in the dining room. I also prefer the layout of the backyard in this home.

Overall, the Lago collection fits the same mold as the other new homes. There aren’t any interesting variations to the layouts and the choices for cabinetry and countertops are similar. They are generously sized condos situated on small lots.

 

Orchard Hills: Verdi Collection Review

Verdi is the next collection I visited in The Reserve at Orchard Hills. Built by Pacific Homes, there are two primary floor plans and a variation on each (1Y and 2X). Homes range from 2,182 – 2,495 square feet with 3 – 4 bedrooms and 2.5 – 3.5 bathrooms. Most models have options for a den and/or loft and every home has a 2- car garage. All homes have a first-floor bedroom, with most models having the master suite downstairs.

 

Included Features
Verdi homes come standard with ceramic tile at entry, kitchen, baths, laundry, and launch (per plan); plush carpet throughout living areas; single-panel interior doors with Baldwin® satin nickel hardware; 10’ ceilings at select locations; coffered ceiling at master bedroom; pre-wired with media plate consisting of RG-6 and 1 CAT-5 line at great room, master bedroom, and secondary bedrooms; CAT-5 line for phone at master bedroom and dual CAT-5 line for phone/data at kitchen; powder room with Kohler® undermount sink and polished chrome faucet; landscaped walkways and common areas; decorative front entry doors with dark bronze Baldwin hardware; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; Wi-Fi thermostat; and Lutron home automation system. The gourmet kitchens include KitchenAid® stainless steel appliance package with a cooktop, oven/microwave combination, dishwasher, and hood; cabinetry in white satin Thermofoil finish with concealed and soft close hinges, soft close drawer guides, adjustable shelves, and under-cabinet lighting; granite slab counters with 6” backsplash and full splash at cooktop; stainless steel smart divide sink with Kohler faucet; and refrigerator space pre-plumbed for ice maker. The master suites include Kohler Hytec tub with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround, separate shower with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround and clear glass enclosure; and dual under mount Kohler sinks with cultured marble countertops and backsplash with Kohler polished chrome faucets. Finally, the energy-efficient features that come with the home are dual-glazed, vinyl windows with low-e glass; high-efficiency air conditioning and 92% a.f.u.e. gas furnace; tankless water heater; and energy-efficient lighting.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $299 for Reserve at Orchard Hills Community Association
Base Property Tax: 1.05% of sales price
AD Tax: $1,800 per year
CFD Tax: $1,700 per year
Other Taxes: $171 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.4%
Prices start at $1,147,747 for Residence 1, $1,185,481 for Residence 1Y, and $1,167,160 for Residence 2

Schools
Students living in Vivo will attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District.  Children in grades K – 6 will attend Canyon View Elementary School. Students in grades 7 – 8 will attend Sierra Vista Middle School. Students in grades 9 – 12 will attend Northwood High School.

 

Residence 1
2,182 square feet
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
Den
Optional loft at bedroom 3
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,147,747 – $1,157,747

Residence 1Y (not modeled)
2,418 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Den
Loft
Phase one pricing started from $1,185,481

Residences 1 and 1Y are nearly identical. The main difference is that residence 1 has either a loft or bedroom 3 on the second floor, whereas residence 1Y includes both the loft and the bedroom. There isn’t a model for residence 1Y. Residence 1 is modeled in the Tuscan style, with Early California and Traditional Monterey elevations also available.  Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmer switches, additional outlets, Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat, audio/video systems, light fixtures, and decorator’s items.

Residence 1 has the garage on a shared motorcourt and the front door on another side of the home. Inside, the entryway is a long hallway leading toward the back of the house. It has space for a narrow table or bench on the right. The staircase is on the left and there is a coat closet with extra storage beneath it. Upgrades in the hall include the reinforced ceiling outlets and wall paneling.

The den is on the left side of the foyer. The room is open to the hallway but there is an option for double French doors. The room has a big window facing the street and a smaller one on the side. The built-in unit, recessed lights, and wall paneling are upgrades.

At the end of the hall, an alcove on the right leads to powder room, laundry room, and access to the garage. The model put the optional barn door to separate these rooms from the kitchen. The powder room has a single sink set into a vanity with a small counter and one set of cabinets. The cabinetry is upgraded in vertical grain “Metro Oregon Pine” with tubular pull hardware. The countertop is upgraded from the standard matte white cultured marble to Caesarstone “Frosty Carrina.” The room also has upgraded crown molding and a beveled, framed mirror.

The laundry room has space for side-by-side machines with cabinets above them. The room also has a sink with lower cabinets and a set of full-height linen cabinets. The cabinets, tubular pulls, and countertop are all upgraded to match the powder room.

The kitchen has an island with the sink, dishwasher, and seating for 3 – 4 people. One wall has the refrigerator, oven, and microwave. The other wall has the cooktop and a set of pantry-height cupboards. Overall, the kitchen has a lot of cabinets but not very much counter space. There are numerous upgrades, including the quartzite polished “bianco aquamarino” countertops and splash, cabinetry, tubular pull hardware, drawers under cooktop, roll-outs at pantry, waterfall island, Kohler stainless steel undermount apron front sink with Kohler tournant faucet, and reverse osmosis system. Decorator’s upgrades include the pendant lights with pre-wire (deletes one can light over the sink) and crown molding. Except for the refrigerator, the model shows the standard appliance package.

The dining room is behind the kitchen. One side is open to the great room, so it has flexibility to put a bigger table if needed. There are two windows facing the side of the house. The back wall has panoramic doors that extend all the way through the dining room and great room. The doors come standard with pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments. The crown molding is an upgrade.

The great room is also at the back of the house. The crown molding that extends from the dining room is an upgrade. The recessed lights and pre-wire for motorized window treatments are standard features. The built-in unit is an upgrade.

The backyard is even smaller than the yards I saw in the Vivo homes. It runs behind the dining room and great room, but isn’t very wide. Unlike most new homes, this one does not have a California room.

The master suite is on the first floor. The bedroom is an average size, with two small windows on one side and two on another. Because the windows are all small, the room doesn’t have much natural light. The recessed and pendant lights are upgrades. The coffered ceiling is standard, but the crown molding is an upgrade. The cased opening to the master bathroom is another upgrade; there is an option for a pocket door there as well.

The master bathroom has a single vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three drawers. The cabinetry, tubular pulls, countertop, overmount sinks, and framed mirror are upgrades. The faucets are standard. The bathtub and shower sit across from the vanity. The tub has an updated deck to match the countertop and it forms a ledge in the adjacent shower. The tub has upgraded cabinet panels. The shower includes a corner seat (shown with an upgraded top) and has upgraded tile throughout. The showerhead and clear glass enclosure are standard. The closet is at the end of the bathroom. It is shown with an upgraded, mirrored door and organizer system. There is an option in the standard residence 1 model only for an adaptable/accessible shower, which would eliminate the bathtub.

The second floor has the main variation between the 1 and 1Y models. In residence 1, the hallway has a set of linen cabinets at the end, shown here with upgraded doors and pulls. Residence 1 comes standard with two bedrooms, but has an option for a loft in lieu of bedroom 3. Residence 1Y includes two bedrooms and a loft, as well as an additional bathroom.

In residence 1, the secondary bathroom is across from the staircase. The vanity has two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three drawers. The model shows upgraded cabinetry, pulls, backsplash, and beveled floating mirror. The countertop is the included matte white cultured marble with undermount sinks and polished chrome Kohler faucets. A separate door leads to the shower, which is shown with an upgraded shower-only instead of the shower/tub combination. The 6” x 6” white tile is standard for the shower-only option, but the showerhead and enclosure are upgrades.

In residence 1Y, bathroom 2 is also in the hallway. It only has one sink, which is set into a very small vanity. It comes standard with a shower/tub combo but has an option for just a shower.

In residence 1, bedroom 3 is closer to the staircase. It is the largest secondary bedroom and it includes a walk-in closet. There is one window facing the street and two more on the side of the house. The recessed lights are an upgrade. There is an option to convert this room to a loft. It would encompass the entire space of the bedroom (including the closet) and the hall, so it would be quite large. There would be a second window facing the street (the one in the closet in the bedroom).

Bedroom 2 is also big. It has one window facing the street and two smaller ones on the side. This room has a small bi-pass closet with two shelves and chrome poles. The recessed lights are an upgrade.

In residence 1Y, there would be an open loft at the top of the stairs. It would be about the same size as bedroom 3 in the model but without the closet. There would be a set of linen cabinets near the top of the stairs. The loft would have one window facing the street and two on the side. Bedroom 2 would be the first bedroom on the right, across the hall from bathroom 2. It would be the smallest bedroom, with just one window facing the street. There would be a walk-in closet. Bedroom 3 would be a little bigger. It would have a window facing the street and French doors leading to a Juliet balcony on the side. There would be a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom with a single sink and a shower, but no tub.

The first-floor master bedroom and den are appealing features in residences 1 and 1Y. I also like the downstairs laundry room. I think the homes are laid out well. The optional loft in residence 1 and the extra room in residence 1Y offer some flexibility as well.

 

Residence 2
2,348 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Optional den at bedroom 4
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,167,160 – $1,182,160

Residence 2X (not modeled)
2,495 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Pricing not available

Residences 2 and 2X have almost the same floorplan. The only difference is that residence 2 has a bedroom downstairs without an en-suite bathroom, and an option to convert the bedroom to a den. Residence 2X has a full master suite downstairs, with an attached bathroom, and a separate powder room in the hall.

Residence 2 is modeled in the Formal Spanish elevation. Other options for the 2 and 2X homes include Early California and Tuscan. All elevations have a Juliet balcony off the bedroom above the garage. Unlike residence 1, this home has the front door and garage both on the same side of the house. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers, additional electrical outlets, solid core doors, audio/video systems, light fixtures, and decorator’s items.

Inside, the entryway is open to the great room. There is space along the wall for a table or bench. The stairs are on the right and a hallway leads back to the first-floor bedroom and bathroom.

 

The great room is a good size. It has two windows facing the side of the house and panoramic sliding doors to the backyard. The recessed lights, flat screen pre-wire, multi-media outlet, floor duplex receptacle, and pre-wire for motorized window treatments are all included features. The room is set off from the dining room and kitchen, so it doesn’t have the open feel of a typical great room.

  

The dining room can seat about eight people comfortably. There is room to expand the table, but it would partly block the walkway between the hall/great room and the dining room and kitchen. There are two windows facing the backyard on one wall and panoramic sliding doors on another. The recessed lights and pre-wire for motorized window treatments are included.

The kitchen is large and has a ton of storage. The center island has seating for 2 – 3 people on one side and optional large drawers on the other. The u-shaped kitchen has the refrigerator, microwave, and oven on one wall, the cooktop on a second wall, and the sink and dishwasher on the third wall. The appliance package is upgraded to show a KitchenAid 30” combination oven/microwave, 36” commercial-style range and hood, dishwasher, warming drawer, and built-in fridge. The counters are upgraded Della Terra “Metropolis Dark” with full-height tile backsplash. The pendant lights and pre-wire are also upgrades. The cabinets show the standard white Thermofoil shaker-style doors with brushed chrome knobs. There are pantry-height cupboards on both sides of the oven and microwave.

A doorway in the corner of the kitchen leads to the launch zone, garage, and laundry room. The launch zone includes the upper and lower cabinets but has upgraded glass doors on the top. The counter is upgraded to match the kitchen. I really like having a space between the garage and kitchen, so the launch zone works well.

The laundry room has a sink with some counter space, side-by-side machines, and upper cabinets. The countertop, tile, and chair rail are upgraded but the cabinets are included.

The backyard is accessible from both the great room and the dining room. The lot is a good size for a detached condo. It is mostly hardscaped, with a cover over part of the patio. One section has artificial grass and a little space for kids to play.

Back near the entry, a hallway leads to the downstairs bedroom and bathroom. Both residences 2 and 2X have linen cabinets in the hallway, shown in the model with an upgraded countertop. They also both have a coat closet under the stairs.

The standard residence 2 has a full bathroom at the end of the hall. The vanity has a little counter space, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. The countertop is upgraded, including both the material and the cove drop edge. The shower has upgraded tile and a corner seat with an upgraded top in Limestone “Mocha Cream.” There is an option for a shower/tub combo. The recessed lights, cabinets and knobs, polished chrome Kohler faucet, Kohler undermount sink, and polished chrome framed ¼” clear glass shower enclosure with tubular towel bar are all included features.

In residence 2X, this bathroom is a powder room, not a full bath. It still has a vanity.

Residence 2 has a secondary bedroom next to the bathroom. It is an average size for a downstairs bedroom. There is one window facing the street and another on the side. The bi-pass closet is shown with standard doors but an upgraded organizer inside. The recessed lights and crown moldings are also an upgrade.

 

There is an option to convert this bedroom to a den. It would be the same as the bedroom except it wouldn’t have the closet. There would be a door separating it from the hall.

In residence 2X, there is a full master suite instead of the bedroom. When you enter, there would be a short hallway with a walk-in closet on the right. The bedroom would be larger, and would push the outer wall of the house out several feet. There would be two windows on each wall instead of one. The full bathroom would be where the closet is in the standard residence 2, but pushed back farther (it would be behind the stairs). The vanity would only have one sink and it would come standard with a shower, with an option for a shower/tub combo.

On the second floor, there aren’t any differences between the 2 and the 2X homes. The master suite is on the right at the top of the stairs. The bedroom is an average size, with two windows facing the street and two more on the side. The recessed lights, ceiling fan and pre-wire, crown molding, and wainscot wall paneling are all upgrades. The coffered ceiling is included. The model shows the optional pocket door between the bedroom and bathroom.

   

The master bathroom has two vanities, each with one sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. The quartzite natural stone “leather” countertops are upgraded but the cabinets are standard. The sinks and faucets are standard as well. The bathtub and shower are across from the vanities. The bathtub has an upgraded deck to match the countertops. The tile on the tub face is upgraded, as is the tile backsplash, shower surround, and shower seat. The tub deck forms a narrow ledge in the shower. The polished chrome frameless 3/8” clear glass shower enclosure with tubular towel bar is an upgrade. The walk-in closet is between the two vanities and is shown with the included shelves and chrome poles.

The secondary bathroom is off the main hallway. There are several linen cabinets outside it, shown without any upgrades. The bathroom has a vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three drawers. The Caesarstone “fresh concrete” countertop, full-height tile backsplash, and framed mirror are upgrades. A separate door leads to the shower. The shower/tub combo is shown with an upgraded full-height tile surround and clear glass ¼” tub enclosure. There is a shower-only option.

Bedroom 3 is the largest secondary bedroom. It has a small window on the side and double French doors opening to a Juliet balcony that overlooks the street. The bi-pass closet has upgraded mirrored doors and an upgraded organizer. The recessed lights are also an upgrade.

Bedroom 2 is across the hall. It has two windows facing the backyard and upgraded recessed lights. The closet is shown with the standard doors.

I like the spacious bedrooms in this house and was happy to see so much storage. I don’t like how the great room is offset from the kitchen, as it makes conversation harder.

Overall, the Verdi collection is like the Vivo homes and most other new construction in Irvine. The layouts don’t vary much. Residence 2 has a good-sized yard but residence 1 is on a very small lot.

Open House Review: 4 Ramada

Behind the entry-coded gate of Northwood’s Canyon Creek sits a desirable single level home on the cul-de-sac street of Ramada.  The home has a mix of original and updated features, and shows nicely.  The street has very limited residential traffic and has walking trails, community tennis courts and pool close by. The home is in close proximity to Santiago Hills Elementary School, Sierra Vista Middle School and Northwood High School.

Asking Price:   $938,800
Bedrooms:       3
Bathrooms:      2
Square Footage: 1,841
$/Sq Ft:           $510
Lot Size:          5,227
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built:      1979
Community:    Northwood – Canyon Creek
HOA dues are $180 per month
Mello Roos:    No

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