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Open House Review – 14882 Elm

This week, I visited 14882 Elm in College Park. Listed as a 5+3 home, this house actually has four bedrooms 2.5 bathrooms, and a large bonus room. The price was recently reduced to $899,000 and the HOA dues is only $50 per month, which gives you access to three pools, a brand new clubhouse, a park with a newer playground, a volleyball court, BBQs, and picnic areas. The house is a very short walk away from the neighborhood park and College Park Elementary School, both of which can be reached without crossing any streets. It is also just a few houses away from one of the community pools and a short walk from the pool where the College Park swim team holds their practices.

The Basics:
Asking Price: $899,000
Bedrooms: 4 + bonus room
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 2,621
Price per Sq. Ft: $343
Lot Size: 5,000
Property Type: Single family home
Year Built: 1974
Community: College Park
HOA: $50 per month / Mello Roos: No
Days on Market: 21
Schools: College Park Elementary, Venado Middle School, Irvine High (Irvine Unified)

14882 Elm has a small front porch and landscaped front yard. The entry hall has wood floors and a long wall that could hold a bench or table. The flooring differentiates the hall from the living room, which is carpeted. The stairway has an open wood railing and is about halfway down the hall. There is a coat closet on the right near the end of the hall.

The living room has vaulted ceilings with recessed lights. There is a huge window facing the front with standard blinds. The room is a good size and is open to the dining room behind it.

The dining room has standard-height ceilings and a chandelier with a dome light. There is one window facing the side of the house that also has blinds.

The kitchen is behind the dining room and is also accessible from the front hall. Like the front hall, it has wood floors. The appliances are black and include built-in double ovens, a separate cooktop, and a dishwasher. The white cabinets are original but have updated knobs. A large window above the sink faces the backyard. A peninsula has cabinets on one side and seating for four on the other. The updated counters have large stone tiles. There is a large, walk-in pantry with shelves on the side and low ceilings, as it sits beneath the stairs. The old fluorescent lights in the ceiling were removed but parts of the ceiling are still lower.

 

The kitchen also has a breakfast nook on the other side of the peninsula. The space is large and can easily hold a table for 6 – 8 people. A wide, sliding glass door with vertical blinds opens to the backyard.

The family room is one step below the breakfast nook and also has wood floors. One wall has a window facing the backyard. Another wall has a fireplace with a brick surround and hearth and a white mantle.

A hallway off the family room leads to the laundry area, powder room, and garage. The laundry area has space for side-by-side machines and upper cabinets. The bathroom has a full vanity with several cabinet and drawers and a long counter. The cabinets are original but the cabinet knobs and faucet are updated. The laundry area and bathroom have tile floors.

The backyard is an average size for an older home in Irvine. It has a large patio with a pergola that stretches across the front half of the yard. The back half is grass and there is a garden box around the edge.

Upstairs, the hallway is lined with linen cabinets including four sets of both upper and lower cabinets. The entire second floor is carpeted, though the carpet is old and shows wear in many places.

The huge bonus room is at the front of the house. Two windows face the street. The ceiling is vaulted and there is a ceiling fan with a light. The floor has large, black and white tiles and the walls are painted a deep red. This room doesn’t have a closet, though it is currently used as a bedroom.

The master suite is a big room on the left side of the staircase. One large window faces the backyard and there is a ceiling fan with four lights. The walk-in closet is narrow and deep, with hanging poles lining both walls and shelves at the back.

The master bathroom only has one sink. The vanity is similar to the one on the first floor, with older cabinets and a newer faucet. A separate door leads to the shower, which is all original. The tile is dingy and the sliding doors look tired.

There are three secondary bedrooms. The first one faces the back of the house. It has a single window and a ceiling fan with lights. The room is a good size, but the closet is small. It has full-height, mirrored doors.

The second bedroom also faces the backyard. It also has a ceiling fan with lights. The closet matches the one from the first bedroom.

The third bedroom faces the side of the house. Like the others, it has a ceiling fan with lights. The mirrored closet occupies one full wall.

All three secondary rooms share a bathroom in the hallway. The vanity is the same size as in the other bathrooms, with just one sink and original cabinets. It is missing one drawer and doesn’t have updated faucets. The shower/tub combo is also original.

This home has a good floor plan, but would benefit a lot from updates. It could use fresh interior paint and new carpets. The bathrooms need updating, especially the secondary bath upstairs and the master shower. The updated kitchen counters help give the room a newer feel at quick glance, but the cabinets and ceiling remind you that it is an older home. The windows are new throughout the house. I haven’t seen many houses in college park and was pleased to see that the price per square foot is much lower than what I’m used to seeing in Northwood.

Open House Review – 3 Alegria

A couple of weeks ago, I went to an open house at 3 Alegria. At the time, the home was in the midst of a remodel. The floors and carpets had already been replaced, the bathroom vanities were on site but weren’t all installed yet, and the interior had fresh paint. Since my visit, they put in new appliances and quartz counters in the kitchen and new windows throughout the home.

The Basics:
Asking Price: $978,800
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,178
Price per Sq. Ft: $449
Lot Size: 5,580
Property Type: Single family home
Year Built: 1977
Community: Northwood – Woodside
HOA: $120 per month / Mello Roos: No
Days on Market: 4
Schools: Santiago Hills Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, Northwood High (Irvine Unified)

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Open House Review: 13 Cintilar

This week, I saw 13 Cintilar in the Woodside community in Northwood. The home is in a great location at the end of a cul-de-sac and bordering a greenbelt. A short walk takes you to the community pool, tennis courts, and tot lot. It’s also a short walk to the Hicks Canyon trail and a nearby shopping center.

The Basics:
Asking Price: $1,080,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 2,400
Price per Sq. Ft: $450
Lot Size: 4,500
Property Type: Single family home
Year Built: 1979
Community: Northwood – Woodside
HOA: $120 per month / Mello Roos: No
Days on Market: 9
Schools: Santiago Hills Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, Northwood High (Irvine Unified)

This house has a long driveway and a two-car garage. The front yard has a couple of rose bushes and a large grassy area. Inside, the house doesn’t have a foyer, but rather brings you right into the living room. The wall on the right has a small coat closet and a wide staircase.

The living room has vaulted ceilings with crown molding. There is tile flooring. A large window faces the street and is only a few inches off the ground. Another window above that one brings in a little more light.

The dining room is right behind the living room. Its windows face the backyard and the ceilings are also vaulted. It has one full wall that can easily hold a china hutch.

The kitchen is accessible both from the dining room and the hall. It has been fully remodeled, with laminate flooring, solid surface countertops, and lighter-colored cabinets. The five-burner stove and double oven are new. All of the appliances are white, including a warming drawer, but the dishwasher and trash compactor have cabinet paneling on the front. A full wall of windows above the sink overlook the backyard. There are two pantry-height cabinets in the corner of the breakfast nook. While most homes of this model have an open railing overlooking the family room, this one has a low, solid wall.

 

The family room is three steps below the kitchen. It is carpeted and has new, recessed LED lighting. It has a built-in desk where the wet bar used to be and a large built-in unit in the corner. One wall has a brick fireplace in the middle. There is one window next to the fireplace and a sliding door leading to the backyard.

A doorway off the family room leads to the powder room, laundry area, and garage. The powder room has a full vanity with the original cabinets but an updated faucet. The washer and dryer sit side-by-side across from the powder room and have cabinets above them. The garage also has built-in cabinets along both sides.

The backyard is mostly hardscaped, with a wide pergola for shade. There are fruit trees growing along the back edges of the yard.

All four bedrooms are on the second floor. The master is on the left at the top of the stairs. It has crown molding and a ceiling fan. There is one window facing the side and another overlooking the backyard. One wall has a built-in desk and shelving unit with recessed lights above it.

Three steps lead up to the closet and bathroom. The walk-in closet has a few shelves and poles for hanging clothes, as well as an access door to the attic. The bathtub is all original, with a white tile deck and old faucet. The shower has been updated with new tile and sliding doors with a brushed nickel frame. It has a full bench and soap dish. The L-shaped vanity has two sinks and a makeup area, with updated faucets but original cabinets and countertop.

The first secondary bedroom is next to the master. It has a double-door entry, recessed lighting, and a ceiling fan. One window faces the greenbelt that runs along the side of the house. There is a two-door, mirrored closet.

The secondary bathroom is in the middle of the hall. It has the original vanity and only one sink. The shower/tub combo has newer tile and hardware. There is a set of linen cabinets in the hall.

The other two bedrooms are at the front of the house. One room faces the greenbelt and has a bigger window than in the first bedroom. The two-door, mirrored closet is smaller than average and has gold trim. This room also has a ceiling fan.

The last bedroom faces the front of the house. It has a ceiling fan with lights and a huge window with plantation shutters. There are built-in shelves and cabinets on both sides of the window. This room has a walk-in closet with built-in drawers and shelves.

Overall, I think 13 Cintilar is in good condition. The bathrooms would benefit from updates and the carpet isn’t new. There is a whole-house water filter and reverse osmosis system. The owner of the house is representing himself, so buyers that aren’t working with a realtor may be able to negotiate a good deal on the commission.

 

Open House Review: 6 Cetinale Aisle

This week, I toured a townhome at 6 Cetinale Aisle in Westpark’s gated Corte Bella neighborhood. The home has been on the market since December and had a recent price drop of $9,000. The price is in line with recent sales and other comparable homes currently on the market.

The Basics:
Asking Price: $610,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 1,443
Price per Sq. Ft: $423
Lot Size: N/A
Property Type: Condominium (end unit)
Year Built: 1970
Community: College Park
HOA: $388 ($346 + $42) per month / Mello Roos: Yes (expected to end in 2 – 3 years)
Days on Market 105
Schools: Westpark or Culverdale Elementary, South Lake Middle School, University High (Irvine Unified)

Families living in this part of Westpark have the option to attend either Westpark Elementary, which operates on a year-round schedule, or Culverdale Elementary, which follows a traditional calendar. The middle and high schools both follow a traditional calendar.

This home is located in a gated community that has ample guest parking throughout the complex. It is located toward the back of the neighborhood and I passed a community pool along the way with a large pool, spa, grill, and fountain.

The condo is down a short walkway and is an end unit. There is a small patio out front and several of the neighbors had dining tables. The garage is accessed from a shared motor court and is tucked into a back corner. Several of the homes have a private entry door from the motor court, but this one doesn’t have a door in the back.

When I entered the home, I was in the living room. There are a couple of places where you could put a small table or bench, but no true foyer. The stairs are just to the left of the door. There are hardwood floors throughout the house. The living room has several windows facing the front walkway. There is a two-sided fireplace and a cutout window between the living and dining rooms. It doesn’t have an ideal layout for furnishing. The room has recessed lights and crown molding.

The dining room is a good size and has windows overlooking the motor court. The fireplace is a nice touch and the cutout window could be a nice place for display items. There is also an open, recessed area beneath the cutout.

Across from the dining room, there is an extra space that adds a little flexibility to the layout. It could easily hold a desk and make a good work area, but could also be a small sitting room or play area for small kids. The stairs leading down to the garage and powder room are off this area.

The powder room is off a landing three steps below the main floor. It is a small room with an older vanity and tile floors. The garage is at the bottom of the stairs. The washer and dryer are in the garage and there is a storage closet tucked next to them beneath the stairs. There aren’t any closets on the main floor, so this is the closest the house has to a traditional coat closet.

The kitchen is at the back of the house. It has dark granite countertops and white cupboards that look to be original. There is a stainless steel, four-burner range, built-in white microwave, and a white dishwasher. The end of one counter has several open shelves and the other side has a glass-fronted cabinet on the end. There are three pantry-height cupboards and sliding doors that lead to a Juliet balcony.

 

All three bedrooms are on the second floor. The master is on the right, facing the front walkway. It has two windows and vaulted ceilings with recessed lights and fan. It has a small closet with built-in shelves in one corner and a walk-in closet in another.

 

The master bathroom is through an open doorway. It has tile floors and a vanity that matches the counters and cabinetry in the kitchen. There are two sinks each with one set of cabinets, and three drawers in between them.  There is a shower/tub combo that needs a really good scrubbing.

There is a linen/utility cabinet in the hall outside the two secondary bedrooms.

The first secondary room has a double door entry and vaulted ceilings with recessed lights. It has one window facing the motor court. There is a narrow closet with mirrored doors and a recessed area on one wall with a shelf in the middle. The room is very small and felt more like a den than a bedroom. There isn’t much space to put furniture.

The other bedroom is a little bigger and has a better layout. This one also has a window facing the back and recessed lights, but it doesn’t have vaulted ceilings. The closet is bigger and also has mirrored doors.

The secondary bedrooms share a Jack and Jill bathroom. It has a pedestal sink and no medicine cabinet, so there isn’t anywhere to put a toothbrush or other basic toiletries. There is a standard shower/tub combo.

This condo is in good condition, but is in need of a deep cleaning and fresh paint. Though the owners did recently drop the price, they have passed on a couple of offers that were deemed too low, so I don’t know how much room there is to negotiate. The most recent sale price was $590,000, so I imagine they owners won’t accept anything below that.

 

Open House Review: 75 Kimbal

Today I am reviewing one of two Open Houses on Kimbal.  They are both the same model but 75 Kimbal is priced lower, reasonably so, since this home does not have as many of the upgrades found in the other model. Let’s explore this property first.

The basics:
Asking Price: $1,300,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Square Footage: 2,650
$/Sq Ft: $ 491
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 2015
Community: Stonegate
HOA: $120/month
Mello Roos: Yes

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