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A Review of the Las Colinas Tract at Portola Springs

Feb 29th, 2012 by Wendy Larson 

Las Colinas is one of the larger (and pricier) tracts in Portola Springs. They’re currently in their final phase and have about seven properties left. I reviewed the property on a beautiful Saturday morning. Clear blue skies put me in the buying mood for some reason, so my review may have a positive twist. I noticed that the neighborhood was quiet, which was almost an eerie feeling since I’m so used to loud neighbors. The demographics in this neighborhood were different than the other Portola Springs communities. I saw the age 40+ crowd walking their dogs or jogging. I observed this very quickly since I’m used to seeing kids everywhere in the other neighborhoods. Indeed, the Las Colinas housing feels like it’s not built for families. The aura and atmosphere felt like it catered to an older, more established homeowner. I could never imagine skateboarding ramps or Hop Scotch chalk drawings on the sidewalks. Maybe that’s why this neighborhood appealed to me.

The builder of this tract is Taylor Morrison. Their motto is “homes inspired by you.” I tend to agree with their tag line. Out of all the builders that I’ve seen, Taylor Morrison is my favorite. They have hits and misses, but overall I like them the best because they’re the most practical and share my love of big bathrooms. The neighborhood does have its down side. It’s constructed like a quarter slice of a piece of a pie—literally. Depending on where your lot is positioned, you could experience street noise from Portola Parkway. Granted, there is a berm of trees and shrubs shielding you from the ugly street view, but if you get one of those loud construction trucks barreling down the street, you’re going to hear it. The outermost houses border Ridge Valley, so no matter where you go you’ll hear some street noise. Welcome to California.

Would I live here? Yes—if the house was given to me. If I had to sink money into it, I’d choose to bypass this property. It’s too big for someone like me. Even if I was married I still couldn’t imagine living in the space, unless I did a large volume of entertaining and had house guests often. Pricing ranges in the high $900,000s but you’re probably looking at well over $1 million if not higher. I’m not sure I can justify the price. I’d want a bigger lot size for that chunk of change. I’m sure it’s comparable to other properties, but I’m a dreamer and still holding out for that “gem” of a property that gives me more bang for my buck.


Community Overview

Site Map


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Posted in New Homes

Buy or rent at Kelsey Lane in Oak Creek

Feb 28th, 2012 by zovall 

31 Kelsey is a 4 bedroom, 2.5ba detached home in the Kelsey Lane tract in Oak Creek.

Kelsey Lane is a tract in the southern most part of Oak Creek and is bounded by the 405, Sand Canyon Ave, Alton Parkway, and Valley Oak.  Click the picture below for a closer view.

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Similar Homes. Different Villages.

Feb 27th, 2012 by Cubic Zirconia 

Two properties that we will compare today have a lot in common. They have similar floor plans. They have the same square feet area. They are situated in two beautiful villages of Irvine. Their schools have the desirable range of API and test scores. Both have two Home Owner Association dues. The similarity doesn’t end here, they are both extremely close to ‘Eastern Transportation Corridor’. Shopping districts, proximity to freeways and hospitals is also a tie. Still, there is a price difference of $129,000. Which one would you buy?

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Closed Sales from 2/16/2012 to 2/22/2012

Feb 24th, 2012 by nilam 
Date Sold Address Zip Tract Sold Price Beds Sq Ft
El Camino Real          
2/16/2012 4912 Gainsport Cir 92604 El Camino Glen $454,000 4 1202
2/16/2012 15302 Touraine Way 92604 Ranch $647,000 4 2082
2/21/2012 90 Oval Rd 92604 Walnut Square $265,000 2 1059
2/16/2012 67 Olivehurst 92602 Auburn $410,000 3 1550
2/17/2012 5 Poway 92602 Miramar $880,000 4 2810
2/21/2012 68 Meadow Vly 92602 San Simeon $525,000 3 1500
2/16/2012 60 Streamwood 92620 Irvine Springs $142,500 1 639
2/17/2012 32 Torrey Pine 92620 Camellia $957,000 5 3100
2/22/2012 21 Streamwood 92620 Irvine Springs $141,500 1 639
2/17/2012 167 Tangelo 92618 Lake Condos $258,000 2 954
Quail Hill            
2/17/2012 78 Figtree 92603 Soltice $620,000 3 1900
2/21/2012 71 Stepping Stone 92603 Casalon $476,000 3 1582
2/20/2012 53 Kingsbury 92620 Maricopa $1,004,073 4 2974
Turtle Ridge          
2/20/2012 105 Canyoncrest 92603 Chantory $510,000 2 1150
Turtle Rock            
2/21/2012 10 Rocky Gln 92603 Glen Townhomes $620,000 2 2033
University Park          
2/19/2012 4355 Sandburg Way 92612 Village II $542,000 4 2000
2/21/2012 44 Acacia Tree Ln 92612 Village III $565,000 3 2072
West Irvine            
2/17/2012 97 Sapphire 92602 Mandeville $366,000 3 1500
2/17/2012 10 E Elderwood 92614 Willow Creek $425,000 2 1301
2/17/2012 50 Serenity 92618 Santa Rosa $348,000 1 1120


Posted in News

Active topics this week at Talk Irvine

Feb 23rd, 2012 by zovall 

There are some great discussions around Irvine real estate taking place in the Talk Irvine forums.  Take a look and join in!

Posted in News

The Neighborhood of University Hills

Feb 22nd, 2012 by nilam 

University Hills is the University of California, Irvine's campus housing community for individuals holding full time employement at UCI.  Seeing some of the homes in University HIlls from Bonita Canyon makes me want to get a job at UCI.  Part of the appeal is that it's kind of exclusive.  It's not like other parts of Irvine where (as long as you have enough money), you can buy or rent in any neighborhood.  The other draw is that the homes are so said to be much more affordable than their equivalents down the street in other parts of Irvine. 

According to the Irvine Campus Housing Authority website, "University generally regarded as the most successful on-campus housing program of its kind in the country."  It is an academic community in residence to provide affordable housing to eligible full time employees of the University of California, Irvine. University HIlls is located on the South end of campus, and is bordered by Anteater Drive, Los Trancos Drive, Gabrielino Drive, Vista Bonita Drive and California Avenue. 

Community Map

Note: Information from

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Posted in Community Profile

A Review of the San Mateo Tract at Stonegate

Feb 21st, 2012 by Wendy Larson 

Déjà vu! San Mateo at Stonegate is the spitting image of the Siena tract at Laguna Altura. I’m not surprised, but am a little disappointed particularly because my original assessment of Siena at Laguna Altura was overpriced. I stand by my opinion. San Mateo is significantly cheaper than Laguna Altura and if I had to choose between the two locations, Stonegate or Laguna Altura, I’d choose Stonegate. I like the neighborhood better and you’re not surrounded by freeways. San Mateo is close to an on premises soccer field and Hummingbird Park. I was impressed with the park and soccer field. Summertime would be fun in this community.

Estimated Property Taxes and Special Assessments:
Base Property Tax:  1.05% of sales price
AD Tax:   $1,694 per year
CFD Tax:  $1,700 per year
Other Taxes:  $152 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.7%


Revised Exterior Renderings



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Posted in New Homes
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