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Orchard Hills Overview 2: The Groves

Aug 14th, 2014 by Karen 

Over the last several weeks, I have visited and reviewed the non-gated portion of Orchard Hills, including the parks, common areas, and all five sets of homes.  Today, I will give an overview of The Groves at Orchard Hills, the gated portion on the west side of Culver.   In the coming weeks, I will review each of the seven sets of homes.

All seven collections in The Groves are single family homes.  Each one has three or four different models and all homes are two stories.  Five different builders designed the homes.  All of the homes in the Groves are part of the Tustin Unified School District. Currently, students will attend Hicks Canyon Elementary School from kindergarten through fourth grade, Orchard Hills School for fifth through eighth grade, and Beckman High School.  However, Orchard Hills School is officially designated as a K-8 school, so as the population of the neighborhood grows, students will likely attend Orchard Hills beginning in kindergarten and will not be slated for Hicks Canyon.  Potential buyers should always verify school information with the sales office and/or school district.

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Posted in New Homes

Irvine Housing Overview: Condos and Houses—July 2014

Aug 13th, 2014 by Sylvia Walker 

Below are numbers provided by Redfin for Irvine’s July housing market. The numbers are broken down so that the statistics for condos and houses can be seen. The number of homes on the market in Irvine appears to be leveling off. And the number of homes sold has decreased when compared to previous months this year.

Also note that Altos Research states that the Market Action Index (MAI) for Irvine’s single-family housing market was 35.13 on August 8, 2014. According to Altos, above 30 indicates a sellers’ market, below 30 indicates a buyers’ market.

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Posted in News

Open House Review: 6121 Sierra Bravo

Aug 12th, 2014 by SMS 

Turtle Rock Detached Single Family 4 Bedroom Home in Sierra Ridge
6121 Sierra Bravo  $1,295,000

Turning off of Turtle Rock Drive onto Sierra Lisa takes you to this single level, single family home on Sierra Bravo.  On the market about 30 days, this property shows very well. According to the broker, it has $350,000 in upgrades and finishes. Recently I have seen several properties in this Sierra Ridge community, and this one competes well in space, overall finish and location.

Significant Numbers: Built in 1972, the home is 2,150 sq. ft on a 6,534 sq. ft. lot. It has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. HOA dues are $129 a month and the price per sq. ft. is $602.  There are no Mello Roos taxes.

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Open House Review: 19 Lucero East

Aug 11th, 2014 by Joy 

This home is nicely located on a quiet cul-de-sac street with Santiago Hills Elementary within short walking distance, just on the other side of Yale. One of the 2 community pools is just steps away from the end of the cul-de-sac.

The basics:
Asking Price: $808,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 1,910
Lot Size: 4,792
$/Sq Ft: $424
Days on Market: 18
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 1978
Community: Northwood – Park Paseo

HOA dues are $85 per month and there no are Mello Roos taxes.

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Open House Review: 40 Sandpiper

Aug 8th, 2014 by SMS 

Woodbridge Detached Remodeled Single Family Home Inside the Loop
40 Sandpiper $875,000

Turning off of West Yale Loop onto Stonecreek takes you to this single level 3 bedroom, 2 bath single family home on Sandpiper.  This home raises some questions. It has a polished remodeling with added square footage, pristine outdoor setting, and inside loop Woodbridge location. But it has been moving slowly through the market. It was listed in May at $999,000  and has been reduced to $875,000.  Traffic was busy at last week’s open house as a number of couples checked it out.

Significant Numbers: Built in 1976, this 1,900  sq. foot, single level home is $461 a sq. ft.  HOA dues are $82 a month.  The lot size is 4,356 sq. ft.  There are no Mello Roos taxes.

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A Review of the Strada Tract at Orchard Hills

Aug 7th, 2014 by Karen 

The final collection of homes in the Orchard Hills II neighborhood is Strada.  These homes are the biggest, ranging from 2,195 – 2,693 square feet.  Again, these homes were built by Irvine Pacific.  All homes have 4 bedrooms, 3 – 4.5 bathrooms, and some models also have a loft or bonus room.  All homes have a two-car garage.  In addition to the three standard models, there is also a Residence 2X and a 3X.  All models have a main floor bedroom.  The Strada collection is the first one north of Narrow Path when you enter the community.  It surrounds Orchard Vista Park and some homes will have views of the avocado groves.

Some of the standard amenities in all homes include Kitchenaid stainless steel appliance package, including cooktop, oven, microwave, dishwasher and hood; white satin Thermofoil cabinets with adjustable shelves; granite slab kitchen counters with 6-inch backsplash and full backsplash at cooktop; stainless steel double basin sink with Kohler pull-out faucet; master bath with a sterling tub with 6” x 6” tile surround and separate shower; dual Kohler undermount sinks with marble countertops and backsplash; Kohler polished chrome faucets; ceramic tile flooring at entry, kitchen, dining, baths and laundry; plush carpet throughout living areas; pre-wired multi-media plate; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; decorative front doors; high efficiency air conditioning and gas furnace; tankless water heaters; and energy efficient bathroom fixtures.  All homes are Build it Green™ Certified.

Strada homes have four different elevations: Monterey, Northern Italian, Formal Spanish and Tuscan.  The Strada neighborhood is actually split between the Tustin and Irvine Unified School Districts.  Of the 224 total homes, 60 will attend Tustin schools and will be in the first several phases released.  The remaining 164 homes will be zoned for Irvine Unified, with those phases coming after the initial 60 have sold.  Students going to Tustin schools will attend Hicks Canyon Elementary, Orchard Hills School, and Beckman High School.  Currently, Hicks Canyon serves grades K – 4 and Orchard Hills serves 5 – 8.  Eventually Orchard Hills will be a K-8 facility.  Students attending Irvine Schools will go to Canyon View Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, and Northwood High School.


Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $196 per month
Approximate Tax rate: 1.06%
Approximate Mello Roos for schools in Irvine Unified: $4512 per year (AD Tax: $2,650; CFD Tax: $1,700; other tax $162)
Approximate Mello Roos for schools in Tustin Unified: $4,554 - $5,104 per year (AD Tax: $2,650, CFD Tax: $1,800 - $2,350; other tax: $104)
Overall Effective Tax Rate: 1.5%
Prices start at around $970,000 for Residence One, $1,020,000 for Residence Two, and $1,088,000 for Residence Three.

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Posted in New Homes

What a Difference Two Months Make in Drought Stricken California—And It’s Not Good

Aug 6th, 2014 by Sylvia Walker 

“The entire state has been in severe drought since May, but more of it has since fallen into more severe categories – ‘extreme’ and ‘exceptional.’ Nearly 22% more of California was added into the exceptional drought category in the last week alone.”—Joseph Serna, “California breaks drought record as 58% of state hits driest level,” Los Angeles Times 

 “Not everybody in California understands how bad this drought is … and how bad it could be. There are communities in danger of running out of water all over the state.”— State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus  

Intensity Levels:

Yellow - Abnormally Dry
Peach - Moderate Drought
Orange - Severe Drought
Red - Extreme Drought
Maroon - Exceptional Drought

The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary for forecast statement.

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Posted in News
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