Open House Review: 243 Mayfair

Today I am reviewing the Santa Maria, Plan 2 model of Stonegate at 243 Mayfair.  With an atrium and attached 2 car garage, this home provides a bit of outdoor space.  Within the past months, the same model on the same street has sold for $607,500, $615,000, $610,000 and $590,000.  Keep in mind some of the homes did not have some of same upgrades.

The basics:
Asking Price: $621,900
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 1,484
$/Sq Ft: $419
Property Type: Townhouse
Year Built: 2012
Community: Stonegate
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Beacon Park – Welton Collection Review

The Welton Collection at Beacon Park is another neighborhood of single family, detached condominiums. Built by Taylor Morrison, the collection will have approximately 50 homes. They will be located on the western edge of the neighborhood, adjacent to the new school. The homes have between 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5-4.5 bathrooms, and range from 2,188 – 2,739 square feet. The four elevations include Spanish, Mid Century Modern, Abstract Traditional and American Farmhouse.

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Included Features
The Welton homes have designer tile and color-coordinated carpet in a choice of color palettes; integrated multi-media prep system; rounded bull-nose corner drywall detailing with square corner detailing at windows; interior laundry rooms with upper cabinets; white thermafoil cabinetry; 3 1/2″ baseboards; 2 1/2″ door casings; digital thermostats; and tankless water heaters. The secondary bathrooms have solid surface E-stone countertops with undermount sinks; white 6″ x 6″ tile in showers and bathtub surround; and Moen(R) chrome plumbing fixtures. The master baths also have E-stone counters and Moen(R) chrome fixtures, along with fiberglass rectangular tubs with 6″ tile deck and skirt; and a separate shower with 6″ white ceramic tile, clear glass enclosure and shampoo niche. In the kitchens, the Welton homes have white thermafoil cabinets with concealed hinges and recycling bin; choice of slab granite countertops with 6″ backsplash and full height splash at cooktop; stainless steel GE profile appliances including dishwasher, 5-burner cooktop, built in micro/convection microwave, and 36″ canopy hood; Kohler(R) Sterling undermount stainless steel sink with Moen(R) pullout faucet in chrome finish; fluorescent under cabinet lighting; and space for a 36″ refrigerator and plumbed for icemaker.

Beacon Park is going to have its own K-8 school, called Beacon Park School, which is slated to open in August 2016 as part of the Irvine Unified School District. There will be a new high school, Portola High, opening nearby (also scheduled for August 2016, though possibly not with all grades opening the first year). Until then, students will attend Canyon View Elementary, Jeffrey Trail Middle School, and Northwood High School.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $141 – $216 per month for the Great Park Neighborhood Association
Base tax rate: Approximately 1.0785%
Community Facilities District Tax: see sales associate for details
Prices start at $900,610 for plan 1, $1,011,180 for plan 2, $1,080,015 for plan 3

Residence One
2,188 square feet
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
California Room
Optional formal dining room at California Room

Residence One is the only Welton home with a starting price of under $1,000,000. The model shows the Mid-Century Modern elevation, with the home also available in Abstract Traditional and Spanish Elevations. It has a very small, covered front porch.


The entryway offers a great space for a table or bench, with a glimpse of the dining and family rooms farther back in the house. A short hallway to one side leads to the coat closet and powder room. The closet goes partly under the stairs, though not as far back as some closets and overall the ceilings are pretty low throughout. The powder room has a pedestal sink and a small window overlooking the front porch. The stairway is just past the foyer.

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The dining room is the first room at the end of the hall. Unlike many great rooms, this one has more of a designated area and isn’t just an extension of the living room. It’s a pretty big space, with a full wall allowing for a taller china hutch if desired. Windows face the side of the home.

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The kitchen is next to the dining room and it is quite large. The longer center island has seating for four along one side plus room for a fifth chair along the short end. The sink, dishwasher, and a few drawers and cabinets run along the other side. Each wall in the L-shaped room offers numerous cabinets and drawers, along with plenty of counterspace. One wall has the built-in oven, microwave and refrigerator. The other wall has the cooktop and a set of pantry-height cupboards. One full wall has sliding doors out to the California Room, with options for 4-panel bifold doors instead. Garage access is in the space between the two counters.

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The family room is at the back of the house, behind the dining room. With windows on three sides, this room gets a lot of natural light. A fireplace sits between two windows and has space to mount a TV above it. The model shows optional built-in cabinets surrounding the fireplace. There is an option to replace two of the windows with either 4-panel bifold or 4-panel sliding doors to the California room.

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The California room offers a nice outdoor living room. In addition to the covered area, there is still a yard behind it. The model includes a small pond and fireplace. This yard is definitely bigger than the outdoor spaces in any of the other detached condos I have seen. There is an option to convert the California room to a formal dining room, bringing it inside the house instead of being an outdoor space. There would still be an option to include bifold doors between the kitchen and/or living room and the dining room. The dining room would have sliding doors leading to the backyard.

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A curved staircase leads to the second floor, where all of the rooms come off of one small landing. The laundry room is at the top of the stairs. It has side by side machines, a sink with a small counter, and several upper and lower cabinets.

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Bedroom 3 is at the front of the house. The room is average sized, though it felt somewhat small. It has two windows facing the street, though in the Spanish elevation, they are replaced by a single door and a tiny Juliet balcony. This room has a standard, two-door closet.

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A Jack and Jill bathroom sits between the two secondary bedrooms. It has two sinks, each with cabinets beneath and one set of drawers in between. The vanity shows numerous upgrades. A separate door leads to the shower/tub combo, shown with upgraded tile and hardware.

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Bedroom 2 is on the other side of the bathroom. It is a little larger than the other bedroom and has two windows facing the side of the house. This room also has a walk-in closet, shown with a single shelf and pole.

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There is a set of linen cabinets in the short entryway that leads to the master bedroom. The room itself has high ceilings and tall windows on two walls, making it feel spacious, though it isn’t particularly large. A recessed nook in one wall offers extra space for a dresser, built-in, or mounted TV.

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The master bath is bigger than the bedroom itself. The sinks are set into separate vanities, perpendicular to each other. One is nearly twice as long as the other. The rectangular bathtub has a wide deck with upgraded hardware and surround. The shower has a tiled dressing area just outside it, then an open entry into the very wide shower. Buyers may want to consider frosted glass on the three windows, as they will face other homes. The walk-in closet shows the included shelves and poles.

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I really liked the layout of the first floor. I thought the rooms flowed nicely together and, though they had an open feel, each still had a designated space. The condo has a good amount of outdoor space as well. The bedrooms are fairly small. I would have preferred to see the garage access in the foyer, rather than in the kitchen, since it would have been pretty easy to relocate the door.

Residence Two
2,412 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Optional Office at Bedroom 4

Residence Two is modeled in the Spanish elevation, which features a round “entry tower.” The other elevations available are American Farmhouse and Mid-Century Modern. The welcome center replaces the garage in the model.


Like Residence One, this home has an entry hall with room for a table. The stairs are just off the front door and have a coat closet beneath them. Garage access is also in the entry, which I think works much better than having it in the kitchen.


The front hall opens up to the dining room. Its setup is similar to that of the first home. It has a defined space, with three windows on one wall. A low hutch could go beneath the windows, or a taller one could go on the narrow wall near the stairs.

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The kitchen is next to the dining room. Unlike most modern kitchens, this one has a peninsula with bar seating, rather than an island. Nearly everything in the model has been upgraded, including the appliances, counters, cabinetry, and hardware.  One wall holds the stove, another has the sink and dishwasher, and the third has the fridge, oven and microwave. This kitchen has numerous upper and lower cabinets, as well as storage drawers, and one set of pantry-height cupboards. Having a peninsula instead of an island makes it feel less open to the other rooms.

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The family room again is at the back of the house. It has windows on two walls and a fireplace on the third. A single French door leads to the California room, with an option for either bifold or 4-panel sliding glass doors instead.

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The California room occupies most of the outdoor space. There is a small yard behind it, shown here with grass instead of fancy features like fountains and fire pits.

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A short hallway off the family room leads to the main floor bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom has a single sink set into a small vanity and a shower without a tub. Upgrades include the tile, hardware and cabinetry.

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The model shows the optional office instead of the standard bedroom. While the bedroom has a standard, two-door closet, the office has a recessed area instead, shown in the model with built-in cabinets. The model also shows a large built-in unit behind the desk. Whether you choose the office or the bedroom, there is an option for French doors to the backyard in lieu of the windows.

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On the second floor, the rooms come off a long hallway overlooking the first floor. The laundry room is at the top of the stairs, with linen cabinets outside of it. It has side by side machines, a sink, counters and cabinets.


Bedroom 3 is at the front of the house. It has windows overlooking the street and two more on the side. The Spanish elevation has a French door opening to a large balcony; the Mid-Century Modern elevation has a smaller balcony and the American Farmhouse elevation does not have a balcony at all. This room is much bigger than the other secondary rooms. It has a two-door, standard closet.

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As we have seen in many of the detached condos, the secondary bedrooms share a Jack and Jill bathroom. It has two sinks in a shared vanity. A separate door leads to the shower/tub combo. The tile walls throughout the bathroom are all upgraded.

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Bedroom 2 faces the side of the home. Though smaller than the other room, it doesn’t feel too tiny. This one also has a two-door, standard closet.

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As in Residence One, a small foyer with linen cabinets leads to the master bedroom. The room is just an average size, and doesn’t have the high windows or inlet on one wall that made the master in the first home feel bigger. This one does have windows on two walls, but even these are smaller than in Residence One.

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The master bath has two sinks set into a shared vanity, with plenty of space between them. The bathtub sits across from them. Next to the bathtub, there is a tiled dressing area leading into the open shower. The shower is long, but narrower than in Residence One. The walk-in closet is a good size, with a few shelves and poles.

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Buyers will likely welcome the opportunity for a first floor bedroom. Other than that, I think that Residence One has a nicer overall layout and style. This model has a smaller yard and the kitchen feels more separate from the other rooms. Though this is a detached home, the base price tag of $1,011,180 seems high for a condo, and that’s without the numerous upgrades shown in the model.

Residence Three
2,739 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
California Room
Private Living Suite

Residence Three is shown in the Abstract Traditional elevation, with the other options including American Farmhouse and Spanish. The garage is on one side of the house, while the front door is around the side. There is a covered porch, with entrances to both the main house and the private living suite.

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The entryway of the main home has vaulted ceilings, as it is open to the second floor. It is a wide foyer, with the family room on the left and the dining room straight back.


The family room is set off by itself, so you don’t get the great room feel of most homes where it is open to the kitchen. One wall has a fireplace, with windows on each side. Built-ins below the windows show an optional upgrade. The room also has windows facing the street and sliding doors to the California room on the third wall. Optional bi-fold doors are available. The family room has higher ceilings; this elevation has wooden beams at the top.

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The dining room is behind the foyer. It is a pretty big area, with windows on one wall and sliders or bi-fold doors to the California room on the other. It doesn’t have any full, empty walls, but a low hutch could sit beneath the windows.

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The California room is shown with a built-in, outdoor kitchen, including a grill and mini fridge. This home doesn’t have much space for a yard beyond the California room.


The kitchen is next to the dining room. Its center island has seating for 3-4 people, as well as the sink and dishwasher. The shorter wall includes the fridge, oven and microwave, with a few small cabinets above them. The long wall has the (upgraded) cooktop, numerous cabinets and drawers, and two long counters. Glass-fronted upper cabinets show another designer option. Unlike the other two Welton homes, this one boasts a walk-in pantry, which is off the hallway behind the kitchen. However, it doubles as a coat closet, with storage under the stairs.

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The hallway behind the kitchen also leads to the garage access, powder room, and private suite. The powder room has a pedestal sink.

The private living suite will definitely be a strong selling point for this home and, so far, is the only one I have seen in any of the Beacon Park homes (though I imagine I will see more as I move into the bigger models). I entered the sitting room first. It is a good-sized room, with windows facing the street and a door to the front porch. The model shows the upgraded window seat with storage drawers. The sitting room also includes the kitchenette. It has a sink, mini fridge and convection microwave, along with a few cabinets and drawers.

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The suite’s bedroom is behind it, with windows facing the front and side of the house. It’s a pretty standard size for a first floor bedroom and has a two-door closet. The bathroom is off the bedroom. It includes a single sink set into a nice vanity and a shower with a seat.

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On the second floor, the laundry room is at the top of the stairs. Linen cabinets outside it offer extra storage. The room has side by side machines, a sink, and several cabinets.

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Bedroom 3 is one of the biggest secondary rooms I have seen. It had two windows high up on one wall and a single French door leading to a small deck on another. The size and locations of the decks in both secondary bedrooms vary with each elevation. This room also has a walk-in closet. Bedroom 3 also has a private, en-suite bathroom. There is a single sink and a shower/tub combo.

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Bedroom 2, unfortunately, is much smaller, though not as tiny as some rooms I’ve seen. It has a standard closet and double French doors opening to another deck. In some elevations, Bedroom 3 may also have a door to this deck. Bedroom 2 also has an en-suite bathroom that is identical to the other (though the model shows different upgrade options).

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The master bedroom is quite private, as it is down a long hallway, sitting by itself at the back of the house. Windows line the wall overlooking the backyard while two more look over the California room. The space is big enough for a sitting area if desired.

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In the master bath, his and her walk-in closets sit side by side, and are actually connected on the inside. The two sinks are set into one very long vanity, with a lower makeup table between them. The bathtub is at the back of the bathroom. The large shower has a built-in seat and, unlike the other Welton models, this one has a normal door and no dressing area.

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I think the private suite is the highlight of this model. I also really liked the size of Bedroom 3 and wish we could see more secondary rooms like this. I didn’t like that the family room was separate from the other rooms downstairs.

Overall, the Welton collection condos really feel like single family homes and they have the price tag to match. They have the benefits of some outdoor areas being maintained by the HOA without having to pay a separate dues. The homes don’t have too many options within the floor plans, so they have pretty basic layouts.  Two of the models start at over $1,000,000 and, with upgrades, I’m sure Residence One could easily get that high as well.

Open House Review: 72 Navigator

Coming into Woodbury, 72 Navigator sits nicely at the end of a cul-de-sac street.  It is in turn-key condition with many upgrades.  Last month a 4 bedroom with a loft, on the same street, sold for 1,160,000. For a three bedroom home that backs to Trabuco, let’s see if the home is priced fairly for the neighborhood?  The home had a price reduction from its July listing of $1,039,888.

Asking Price:   $1,025,000
Bedrooms:       3
Bathrooms:      2.5
Square Footage: 2,345
$/Sq Ft:           $437
Lot Size:          2,679
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built:      2010
Community:    Woodbury
HOA dues are $110 per month
Mello Roos:     Yes

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Open House Review 29 Milazzo

I am reviewing a home today in Northwood’s Vista Filare Community.  The home has been nicely upgraded and is walking distance to the middle school and Venta Spur Trail. The property backs to Sierra Vista’s track and field.  It is a zero-lot-line property but with the high ceilings, bright rooms, and upgrades, it did not occur to me that it was a zero-lot line.

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Asking Price:   $650,000
Bedrooms:       2
Bathrooms:      2.5
Square Footage: 1,385
$/Sq Ft:           $469
Lot Size:          2,400
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built:      1985
Community:    Northwood – Vista Filare
HOA dues are $118 per month
Mello Roos:     No
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Beacon Park – Harper Collection Review

The Harper Collection at Beacon Park includes three different detached condominiums. Built by Lennar, there will be a total of 84 homesites. The homes are just across the street from the neighborhood park and diagonally across from the planned K-8 school. These look like traditional single family homes, with the garages facing the main street, rather than having a motorcourt behind the condos. The homes range from 3-4 bedrooms and from 1,693 – 2,019 square feet. There are three different building elevations for each model, including Contemporary Spanish, Art Deco and Contemporary.

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