Cadence Park: Cantata Collection Review

I recently visited the Cantata collection in Cadence Park, another Lennar community. Cantata is projected to have 67 homes with three different floorplans. The homes are situated between the Encore and Adagio communities on the southern side of the neighborhood. They are a short walk from the community park and the new K – 8 school. Cantata homes range from 3,026 – 3,507 square feet, with 3 – 4 bedrooms, 3 – 4 bathrooms plus two half-baths per home, and a third-floor bonus room. Each home has a private, 2-car garage at the front of the house.

 

Included Features
Cantata features Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” policy. What you see in the models is primarily what you get and there aren’t many options to upgrade or customize the home. However, you can make changes to things like flooring, backsplashes, and paint. The homes come standard with smart products controlled by Amazon Alexa, including Echo Dot and Echo Show; Baldwin® Evolved smart lock; Honeywell Lyric round™ wi-fi thermostat; Leviton® Z-wave plug-in module; Lutron Caseta® wireless in-wall dimmer, Smart Bridge Pro, lamp module, and Pico remote with double stand; Ring® video doorbell pro; Samsung SmartThings® hub; and Sonos® PLAY:1 wireless speaker. Efficiency features include energy-saving LED lights; radiant barrier roof sheathing; Sherwin-Williams® two-tone low-VOC interior paint; sealed heating and cooling ducts; dual-glazed windows with high performance low-E glass; full exterior door weather stripping; tankless water heater; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; and pressure balanced valves in showers and tubs.

The kitchens have a GE stainless steel appliance package with Monogram® Professional Series 6-burner + griddle gas range cooktop, hood, built-in oven and convection oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, and beverage center or mini fridge (per plan). They have a large farmhouse sink with designer Moen® faucet; quartz countertops with 6” backsplash and full-height splash at cooktop; Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges; under-cabinet task lighting; built-in spice rack; pull-out trays in pantry cabinets; and roll-out shelf for trash and recycling.

The bathrooms include Piedrafina™ countertops with 6” backsplash; Moen® bath accessories in brushed nickel; frameless shower enclosure with ceramic tile surround and Moen® showerhead; and Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges in pre-selected colors. The master baths have top-mount double sinks. The laundry rooms have Piedrafina™ countertops with 4” backsplash; sink with Moen® pull-out faucet; and a vacancy switch.

Additional features in the Cantata homes include Seagull® decorator-selected coach lights; Win-Dor stackable sliders with specialty casing for indoor/outdoor living; ThermaTru® insulated fiberglass 8’ entry door; Kwikset® satin nickel door levers; 5.5” baseboards; Daltile® glazed floor tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush wall-to-wall Mohawk® carpeting; USB outlets in kitchen and bedrooms; flat-screen TV blocking with smurf tubing to hide cables; rocker light switches; telephone jack in kitchen and master bedroom; and cable outlets in all bedrooms, living room, and den/bonus room.

Schools
Cantata is part of the Irvine Unified School District. The brand new Cadence Park School serving grades K – 8 school opened in August 2018 with grades K – 6. It will add 7th grade in 2019 and 8th grade in 2020. Until those grades are added, middle school students will attend Beacon Park School, which serves grades K – 8. The neighborhood is served by Portola High School, which will have grades 9 – 11 in 2018-19 and will add 12th grade the following year. Seniors moving in this year will attend Northwood High School.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $215 per month at buildout for the Great Park Neighborhood Association
Basic Property Tax Rate: Approximately 1.0785%
CFD Tax: $9,088 for residences 1 and 2; $10,096 for residence 3
Recent pricing started at $1,379,990 for Residence 1, $1,399,990 for Residence 2, and $1,494,990 for Residence 3

Residence 1
3,026 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 half-bathrooms
Third-floor bonus room
Lot sizes on recent homes ranged from 4,638 – 5,078 square feet
Pricing on recent homes ranged from $1,379,990 – $1,432,990

Residence 1 has a small, covered front porch with space for a couple of chairs.  Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, ceiling fans, lighting, and all decorator’s items.

Inside, there is a long entry hall with space for a narrow table or bench. The stairs are on the left side. Near the end of the hall, a door on the right leads to the garage. There is a small coat closet just past the garage. The left side of the hall has an alcove and the powder room, which features a vanity with one sink and two cabinets.

The hall opens to the 14’ x 17’ dining room. It has plenty of space for a table and is open to the kitchen. One full wall has windows facing the side of the home and the model shows a low buffet unit under the window. Another wall has folding doors that lead to the California room.

 

The kitchen is quite spacious. It measures 16’ x 20’ and has an island that can easily seat 4 – 6 people along two of its sides. The sink and dishwasher are also in the island. One long wall has the cooktop in the middle and ample counter and cabinet space on both sides. The other wall has another counter, the fridge, both ovens, and four pantry-height cabinets. It has a small window in one corner and is open to the family room at the back of the house.

The family room is 16’ x 16’ and has recessed lights. Two walls are lined with windows and a third has one small window facing the side of the house.

The California room is about the same size as the family room. It is shown with the included fireplace and an upgraded, wall-mounted TV. The rest of the backyard is just a narrow strip that runs across the back of the house. It is shown with a small lawn, a fountain feature, and a built-in grill/outdoor kitchen. An extra patio on the side of the California room offers space for a dining table.

The second floor has a set of base linen cabinets at the top of the stairs. The laundry room is just to the right. One wall has a sink with counter space, upper and lower cabinets, and a shelf. The opposite wall has side-by-side machines and upper cabinets.

Bedroom 2 is at the end of the hall on the left. It is 12’ x 12’ with just one window facing the side of the house. One corner of the room has a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom. The vanity is pretty small, with one sink, two cabinets, and a tiny drawer. The bathroom also has a shower/tub combo.

Bedroom 3 is next to the laundry room. It also measures 12’ x 12’ but is brighter, with two windows facing the street. The setup is similar to the other bedroom, too. It has a walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom in one corner. The vanity and shower/tub combo match those of the other room.

 

The master suite is at the end of a very long hallway. Though it isn’t shown in the model, there is a door about halfway down the hall. Once you’re through the doorway, the walk-in closet is on the right and the master bath is on the left. The closet is a good size and has a small dresser built-in at the back. The bathroom has an L-shaped vanity with sinks at both ends. It has ample counter space and numerous cabinets and drawers. The full-height backsplash is an upgrade. The bathroom includes a freestanding tub and large, walk-in shower with a bench.

    

The master bedroom is 16’ x 15’ with small windows on the side walls and a full wall of windows facing the back. The construction of other homes behind this one demonstrates just how close together the Cantata homes really are.

The third floor has a 16’ x 22’ bonus room. The space can easily be divided into different areas if you wanted a work space and a play/relaxing space. The model has upgraded, built-ins on one wall. An alcove in the corner has a set of base linen cabinets and a half bathroom. The vanity is like the powder room from the first floor. The bonus room has a large deck, with a 12’ x 9’ covered portion and a 21’ x 13’ open portion.

 

The house is similar to all other Lennar homes in Cadence Park. It doesn’t feel like 3,000 square feet, as it only has three bedrooms, but the bonus room adds a lot of extra space.

Residence 2
3,148 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 half-bathrooms
Third-floor bonus room
Lot sizes on recent homes ranged from 4,576 – 4,733 square feet
Pricing on recent homes ranged from $1,399,990 – $1,424,990

Residence 2 has a front stoop, but not a full porch like we saw in residence 1. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, ceiling fans, lighting, and all decorator’s items.

At first glance, the front hall looks just like residence 1, with the stairs on the left and space for a narrow table. The powder room is on the first landing of the staircase and it has a vanity with two cabinets and a tiny drawer. At the end of the hall, the garage is on the left next to a coat closet that extends beneath the stairs.

The hall opens to the 15’ x 14’ dining room. Windows along one wall face the side of the house. Another wall offers space for a full-height china cabinet. The room is open to both the kitchen and great room.

The great room is behind the dining room. It is 15’ x 14’ with small windows on every wall.  It is set off from the kitchen, so it won’t be too easy to have a conversation from room-to-room.

 

The kitchen is 16’ x 16’ and has folding doors along one wall that lead to the California room. The island has cabinets on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other, so it doesn’t provide additional seating. One wall of the kitchen has pantry-height cupboards, the cooktop, counter space, and several drawers and cabinets. The second wall has the fridge and ovens along with more counter space and cabinets. The third wall has a counter and base cabinets with windows above them.

The California room has a counter with seating below the kitchen window. It also has space for a regular table and chairs. This one does not offer a fireplace. There is a built-in barbecue on the patio behind the California room. The patio extends across the back of the house and the narrow area is shown with additional seating.

A hallway off the dining room leads to bedroom 4. It is only 11’ x 10’ with a small window facing the side of the house. A short hallway leads to the en-suite bathroom and includes a bypass closet with a single shelf and pole. The bathroom has a small vanity like those in residence 1 and a shower but no tub.

The second floor has a wide landing with rooms or stairs at each corner. The laundry room is toward the front of the house. It has upper and lower linen cabinets just outside the door. Inside, the sink it set into a long counter with base cabinets and there are upper cabinets above the side-by-side machines.

Bedroom 3 is at the front of the house. It is 13’ x 12’ with windows facing the street and the side of the home. There is a walk-in closet in one corner with shelves and poles on two sides. Another corner has an en-suite bathroom. The vanity is small, with one sink, and it has a shower/tub combo.

Bedroom 2 is across the landing. Its en-suite bathroom is on the left as soon as you enter the room. It has a tiny vanity with one sink and a shower/tub combo. The room measures 13’ x 11’ and has two windows facing the side of the house. The walk-in closet is fairly small and has just a single shelf and pole.

The master suite is at the back of the house. When you enter, the bathroom is on the right. It has L-shaped counters like those in residence 1. The sinks are at opposite ends and it has ample cabinets and drawers. The shower is so large that the freestanding tub actually sits inside it, which is a setup I have never seen before. The shower also has a long bench on one side.

The walk-in closet is on the left as you enter the bedroom. It is long and narrow with two windows and a built-in dresser. The bedroom is 15’ x 15’ with three windows facing the backyard and two on the side.

 

The third floor has a 20’ x 19’ bonus room. A small built-in unit at the top of the stairs has base cabinets and a mini fridge. The room has three tiny windows near the top of one wall and folding doors on another. It has a powder room off the back corner with a small vanity. There are base cabinets just outside the bathroom. The deck is large, with a covered portion and an open potion.

The key difference between this home and residence 1 is the first-floor bedroom. The master bedroom is a little smaller in this home, but the secondary rooms are a little bigger, with the exception of the one downstairs.

Residence 3
3,507 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms
Third-floor bonus room
Lot sizes on recent homes ranged from 7,200 – 7,251 square feet
Pricing on recent homes ranged from $1,494,990 – $1,530,990

Residence 3 has the garage on the main street side of the house and the front door on another side. There is a very big porch by the front door. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, ceiling fans, lighting, and all decorator’s items.

The home lacks any type of foyer or entry hall. There is space for a low table or bench left of the door, but otherwise the home opens directly into the dining room. The room is 15’ x 13’ with a big window facing the porch. It is fully open to the kitchen and has a cased opening to the great room.

The great room has high ceilings with exposed beams. It is 16’ x 16’ with big windows facing the front porch and smaller ones on the side. The third wall has folding doors that open to the California room.

The kitchen is 11’ x 15’ and has a large island with seating on one side. The dishwasher and sink are also in the island. One wall has the cooktop and short counters on each side, along with a few cabinets. The longer wall has the fridge and ovens, a counter, and several more cabinets.  Overall, the kitchen doesn’t seem to have as many cabinets or as much counter space as in the first two residences. It also lacks pantry-height cupboards. The kitchen also has folding doors to the California room.

 

A doorway off the corner of the kitchen leads to a drop zone and access to the garage. There is a single base cabinet with a drawer and one upper cabinet. The drop zone also has a pantry/closet under the stairs. The setup is odd, with just a few shelves at the back.

 

The California room feels like part of the home, as it is fully open to both the kitchen and great room. The model even shows it with matching flooring. It is much bigger than in the first two residences and does have a built-in fireplace. The rest of the backyard is narrow and modeled with a patio and garden.

There is a powder room to the left of the front door. It has a vanity with one sink, two cabinets, and a low drawer.

The junior master bedroom is just past the powder room. It is 15’ x 14’ and has a big window facing the porch. The model shows an upgraded built-in unit in the corner with base cabinets and open shelves. The bathroom has a long vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, several drawers, and open storage for towels. The shower is a good size and includes a bench on one side. The walk-in closet has shelves on two walls and a built-in shoe rack.

On the second floor, the laundry room is near the top of the stairs. It has a set of upper and lower cabinets on one side. The other side has a counter with a sink and base cabinets, side-by-side machines, and four upper cabinets.

Bedroom 2 is a generous 14’ x 14’ and is actually the smallest of the secondary bedrooms. It has two windows facing the street. There is a walk-in closet just inside the doorway and an en-suite bathroom in another corner. The bathroom has a small vanity and a shower/tub combo.

Bedroom 3 is next to bedroom 2. It is 15’ x 14’ with a big window on the side and a smaller one facing the street. The walk-in closet is in a small entry vestibule. The en-suite bathroom is similar to the last, with a small vanity and a shower/tub combo.

The master suite is at the back of the house. When you enter, there is a walk-in closet on the left side. There is a second walk-in closet on the right, along with a linen closet and the master bathroom. The bathroom has split vanities. The smaller one has a single sink, three cabinets, and four drawers set into a fairly short counter. The bigger one has four cabinets and four drawers that are wider than the others. There is a lot more counter space on each side of the sink. The bathroom has a freestanding tub that sits beneath two windows. The huge shower has a seat across one side.

The master bedroom is 18’ x 16’ and has windows lining the back wall. Two additional windows sit on another wall. The room is spacious enough for a couch at the foot of the bed. The bedroom has a lot of privacy, as it is alone at the back of the house and sits above the California room.

The third floor has a 14’ x 19’ bonus room and a powder room with a small vanity. There is a narrow storage closet just outside the powder room, but it doesn’t include any shelves. The room feels narrow because it is so long, and the windows are all small. One wall is shown with a built-in counter that could be a work station. As in the other residences, this one has a deck with both open and covered portions.

I loved seeing bigger bedrooms in this model and the junior master suite on the first floor will probably appeal to many buyers.

Overall, the Cantata collection doesn’t seem very different from Lennar’s other homes. The layout is similar in all of them. I was happy to see that each home had a coat closet on the first floor, as so many new homes do not. I wish the secondary bathrooms had more counter space on the vanities. The bonus rooms on the third floor are a great addition to the homes, though having an extra flight of stairs is a little less appealing.

Cadence Park – Encore Collection Review

I recently visited the Encore collection in Cadence Park. Built by Lennar, Encore will have 106 detached homes with three different floorplans. The homes are located in the southwest corner of Cadence Park and will be within walking distance to the new K-8 school and the neighborhood parks. Encore homes range from 2,826 – 3,16 square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 3 – 4 bathrooms. Each home has a private, 2-car garage accessed from a shared motor court.

 

Included Features
Encore is built by Lennar, which is known for its “Everything’s Included” policy. What you see in the models is primarily what you get and there aren’t many options to upgrade or customize the home. However, you can make changes to things like flooring, backsplashes, and paint. The homes come standard with smart products controlled by Amazon Alexa, including Echo Dot and Echo Show; Baldwin® Evolved smart lock; Honeywell Lyric round™ wi-fi thermostat; Leviton® Z-wave plug-in module; Lutron Caseta® wireless in-wall dimmer, Smart Bridge Pro, lamp module, and Pico remote with double stand; Ring® video doorbell pro; Samsung SmartThings® hub; and Sonos® PLAY:1 wireless speaker. Efficiency features include energy-saving LED lights; radiant barrier roof sheathing; Sherwin-Williams® two-tone low-VOC interior paint; sealed heating and cooling ducts; dual-glazed windows with high performance low-E glass; full exterior door weather stripping; tankless water heater; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; and pressure balanced valves in showers and tubs.

The kitchens have a GE stainless steel appliance package with Monogram® Professional Series 6-burner gas range cooktop, hood, refrigerator, and freezer; and Profile® single wall convection oven, microwave oven, and built-in dishwasher. They have a large farm-style sink with designer Moen® faucet; quartz countertops with 6” backsplash and full-height splash at cooktop; Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges; under and over cabinet task lighting; built-in tray rack; and roll-out shelf for trash and recycling.

The bathrooms include Piedrafina™ countertops with 6” backsplash; Moen® bath accessories in brushed nickel; frameless shower enclosure with ceramic tile surround; Fiber Care® soaking tub with tile surround and Piedrafina deck; and Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges in pre-selected colors. The master baths have top-mount double sinks. The laundry rooms have Piedrafina™ countertops with 4” backsplash; sink with Moen® pull-out faucet; and a vacancy switch.

Additional features in the Encore homes include barbecue stub; Seagull® decorator-selected coach lights; Win-Dor stackable sliders with specialty casing for indoor/outdoor living; ThermaTru® insulated fiberglass 8’ entry door; Kwikset® satin nickel door levers; 5.5” baseboards; Daltile® glazed floor tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush wall-to-wall Mohawk® carpeting; USB outlets in kitchen and bedrooms; flat-screen TV blocking with smurf tubing to hide cables; rocker light switches; telephone jack in kitchen and master bedroom; and cable outlets in all bedrooms, living room, and den/bonus room.

Schools
Encore is part of the Irvine Unified School District. The new Cadence Park School serving grades K – 8 school is scheduled to open in August 2018 with grades K – 6. It will add 7th grade in 2019 and 8th grade in 2020. Until those grades are added, middle school students will attend Beacon Park School, which will serve grades K – 8 in 2018-19. The neighborhood is served by Portola High School, which will have grades 9 – 11 in 2018-19 and will add 12th grade the following year. Seniors moving in this year will attend Northwood High School.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $215 per month at buildout for the Great Park Neighborhood Association
Basic Property Tax Rate: Approximately 1.0785%
CFD Tax: $7,752 for residences 1 and 2; $9,088 for residence 3
Current prices start at $1,197,990 for Residence 1, $1,244,990 for Residence 2, and $1,309,990 for Residence 3

Residence 1
2,826 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Third-floor bonus room
Pricing on recent models ranged from $1,197,990 – $1,239,990

Residence 1 is tall and narrow, with a front patio facing the common walkway and front-facing decks on the second and third floors. The front patio is a good size and is shown with a built-in fireplace. Upgrades found throughout the model include wall treatments, flooring, lighting fixtures, window coverings, landscaping, ceiling treatments, crown moulding, and built-in units.

The front door opens directly into the dining room, so there isn’t a place to put an entry table or bench. The dining room measures 11’ x 16’ and can comfortably seat 6 – 8 people. It has sliding doors on the left leading to a covered patio. There is a short wall at the far end that could hold a small hutch, but it doesn’t really have much space for one.

The great room is on the right. It measures 15’ x 13’ and has two windows facing the front of the house and one facing the front door. One wall shows an upgraded built-in unit with the wall-mounted TV above it. The room includes recessed lighting.

 

The kitchen is behind the great room and next to the dining room. The island has seating for four on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. The rest of the kitchen is an L-shape, with one wall holding the built-in microwave, oven, and cooktop and the other holding the refrigerator. There are two pantry-height cupboards next to the fridge. The kitchen makes good use of the space, with numerous cabinets and drawers and counter space on each side of the cooktop.

The covered patio has space for a table and chairs or other outdoor seating. There isn’t much of a yard beyond it.

A hallway behind the dining room leads to the powder room, garage, and first-floor bedroom. There is a set of base linen cabinets just outside the powder room. The bathroom has a vanity with one set of cabinets. There are additional upper and lower cabinets next to the garage door and a large closet under the stairs.

 

The first-floor bedroom is the biggest secondary room at 11’ x 12’ and has just one small window facing the side of the house. The floorplan shows an additional window facing the covered patio, so it’s possible that other elevations have this extra window. There is a bypass closet with narrow doors along one wall. The en-suite bathroom has a large vanity with one sink, two cabinets, and six drawers. The shower is a good size and includes a shampoo niche and full seat at the back.

 

On the second floor, the bathroom and secondary bedrooms are down the hall towards the back of the house. The bathroom has two sinks set into a shared vanity with two sets of cabinets and three drawers. There is a shower/tub combo through a separate door.

Bedroom 3 is on the right. It is only 10’ x 12’ so it is the smallest of the secondary bedrooms. There is one window facing the back and a smaller one on the side. The bypass closet looks small from the outside but stretches past the doors along the full length of the wall.

Bedroom 2 is 10’ x 13’ with a window facing the back of the house and a smaller one on the left side. The closet is quite small and, unlike the one in bedroom 3, it doesn’t stretch at all beyond the width of the doors.

The laundry room is next to the secondary bathroom. It has space for side-by-side machines with cabinets above them. The opposite wall has a sink with a long counter, more cabinets, and two drawers. A linen closet across from the laundry room has built-in shelving but could make better use of the space.

The master suite has a long entry hall, with the walk-in closet on one side and bathroom on the other. The closet is shown with the standard shelves and poles. The bathroom has linen cabinets just left of the doorway, shown in the model with an upgraded highboy unit. The vanity has two sinks, two cabinets, and three drawers. The shower is an average size, with a shampoo niche and full seat across the end.

The master bedroom is 15’ x 15’ with a big window facing the front and two smaller ones high up on the side wall. The third wall has a single French door leading to a deck that faces the street. The deck has space for a couple of chairs and small table.

There is a third floor with a bonus room. The room is 21’ x 20’ and has windows on three walls. The kitchenette across from the staircase is an upgrade from the standard linen cabinets; it is shown with a mini-fridge and glass upper cabinets. The model also shows an upgraded built-in unit along one wall, with cabinets in the middle and work stations on the ends. The room has sliding doors leading to a 14’ x 15’ deck that overlooks the street. It also looks directly into the deck of the house next door.

Residence 1 is just like all the other Lennar homes I have seen recently. The living area on the first floor is pretty small and the overall layout is the same as most models. The bonus room is a great addition to the home but being on the third floor makes it a little less convenient.

Residence 2
2,710 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Third-floor bonus room
Pricing on recent models ranged from $1,244,990 – $1,282,990

Residence 2 is another tall, narrow home with a similar layout to residence 1. This home has a front patio, though smaller than in residence 1. As in the first model, upgrades found throughout the home include wall treatments, flooring, lighting fixtures, window coverings, landscaping, ceiling treatments, crown moulding, and built-in units.

This house has a small entryway with space for a little table next to the front door. The stairs are just inside the door as well.

The great room is the first room on the left. It is 16’ x 10’ with windows facing the front and side of the house. The room feels cramped and doesn’t leave a lot of options for arranging the furniture.

The dining room is 18’ x 10’ and is sandwiched between the great room and the kitchen. It doesn’t have any walls so there isn’t anywhere to put a china hutch. There are sliding door leading to a covered patio on one side of the room.

The kitchen is 21’ x 10’ and directly behind the dining room. The island seats four on one side and holds the sink and dishwasher on the other. The cooktop is behind the island, set into a long counter with several cabinets and drawers. The built-in oven, microwave, and refrigerator are along another wall. There is a walk-in pantry just behind the kitchen; however, the shelving is poorly arranged and wastes a lot of space.

 

The covered patio off the dining room is quite narrow and doesn’t really have much yard beyond it. The model shows a large fountain occupying any extra space there might have been.

The doorway off the back of the kitchen leads to the garage, secondary bathroom, and bedroom 4. There are four upper and four lower cabinets by the garage, creating a great drop zone.

The secondary bathroom includes a vanity with a single sink and two cabinets. There is a shower/tub combo with a shampoo niche.

Bedroom 4 is across the hall from the bathroom. It is 11’ x 11’ and is the smallest bedroom in the house. There is one window on the side and a bypass closet.

The second floor has a long hallway with several windows facing the side of the house. The secondary bedrooms and bathroom are towards the back of the house and the master suite is at the front of the house. The laundry room is across from the stairs. It has side-by-side machines and a sink with a short counter and two lower cabinets. There are also six upper cabinets. There are also several base linen cabinets in the hallway outside the master suite, nestled between the two staircases.

The secondary bathroom has two sinks in a shared vanity with two sets of cabinets and six drawers. The shower/tub combo is through a separate door.

Bedroom 2 is 10’ x 13’ with windows facing the back and side of the house. The bypass closet is small and doesn’t extend past the doors at all.

Bedroom 3 is next to bedroom 2. At 11’ x 13’ it is the largest secondary bedroom. It has windows on three walls and a slightly larger bypass closet than in bedroom 2.

The master suite is at the front of the house. The bedroom is 16’ x 14’ and has windows on three walls. Unlike residence 1, the master bedroom in this home doesn’t have a balcony.

The master bathroom has one vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and six drawers. The bathtub and shower sit side-by-side across from the vanity. The tub deck forms a wide ledge in the shower, which also has a full seat on the other side. The walk-in closet has shelves and poles on three walls and a built-in shoe rack.

The third floor of the home is a 21’ x 17’ bonus room. It has windows on every wall, so it will get light throughout the day. There is an attic space accessed from the middle of the ceiling. The model shows an upgraded built-in unit under the TV. One wall has sliding doors leading to a 17’ x 16’ deck, which looks directly onto the deck next door.

This home has a lot of cabinet storage but lacks a hall closet on the first floor (though the pantry could serve as a closet). The bedrooms are an average size, but their closets are quite small. Overall, I don’t think this home is laid out as well as residence 1.

Residence 3
3,116 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Den
Third-floor bonus room
Pricing on recent models ranged from $1,309,990 – 1,354,990

Residence 3 has its entrance on the side of the home, so it will likely always be a corner unit. The garage is still off the shared motor court at the back. Unlike the other Encore homes, this house doesn’t have a front porch. Upgrades found throughout the home include wall treatments, flooring, lighting fixtures, window coverings, landscaping, ceiling treatments, crown moulding, and built-in units.

Inside, the home has a small entryway, with the great room on the right and the staircase on the left. There isn’t a place to put an entry table.

The great room is 14’ x 20’ and has windows on two walls, facing the front and street-side of the home. It is far more spacious than the great room in residence 2 and is still fully open to the kitchen and dining area.

 

The kitchen is 26’ x 12’ with a large island. The island has seating on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. All the appliances sit on one long wall, with the fridge, microwave, and oven toward the left and the cooktop in the middle. There is counter space on both sides of the cooktop. The other wall has additional counter space and pantry-height cupboards at the end. Overall, the kitchen has plenty of cabinets and drawers.

The dining nook is on the left side of the kitchen. It can comfortably seat about eight people. There are additional base cabinets that extend to the end of the room. Sliding doors on the left lead to the covered patio.

The patio is more spacious than in the other homes, measuring 10’ x 16’. It has an upgraded built-in barbecue and mini fridge set into a long counter. There isn’t much yard beyond the patio.

 

There is a large closet under the stairs. The hallway has additional sliding doors to the patio.

Bathroom 4 is on the left side of the hall. It has a good-sized vanity with one sink, two cabinets, and six drawers. There is a shower/tub combo.

Bedroom 4 is just outside the bathroom. It is 10’ x 12’ and has windows facing the side of the house and the motor court. There is a bypass closet, though the floorplan lists it as a walk-in closet.

The second floor has an open den at the top of the stairs. The room is 10’ x 14’ and has a window facing the side of the house. The upper and lower cabinets are included with the home.

As in the other homes, the secondary bedrooms and bathroom are at the back of the house. The bathroom is on the right side. It has a large vanity with one sink, two cabinets, and six drawers. There is a shower/tub combo with a shampoo niche.

Bedroom 2 is on the left. It is 10’ x 12’ with windows facing the back and side. The bypass closet is slightly deeper than normal but not a true walk-in. There is an en-suite bathroom with a small vanity and a shower/tub combo.

 

Bedroom 3 is much larger, measuring 15’ x 11’ and has windows on two walls. It has a standard bypass closet.

The laundry room is on the other side of the den. It has space for side-by-side machines and a short counter with a sink. There are several linen cabinets and a few drawers.

The master suite is at the front of the house. It is 16’ x 15’ and has windows on two walls. There is a small walk-in closet in a corner of the bedroom.

The master bathroom has two vanities, each with one sink, one set of cabinets, and six drawers. The freestanding tub sits between the vanities. The shower is across from the bathtub. It is a good size and has a full bench, but the bench is under the showerhead instead of at the opposite end. There is a second walk-in closet in the bathroom and it is larger than the first.

 

The third-floor bonus room is 15’ x 26’ with windows on all four walls. The model shows an upgraded built-in unit that stretches across one wall. It is mostly base cabinets and drawers but also includes a mini fridge. The deck is 10’ x 15’ and is on the side of the house, so it has more privacy than the first two residences.

The den is a great addition to this home and provides extra flexibility. I like the layout of the first floor more in this model, as the great room is more spacious.

Overall, the Encore homes are all quite similar to each other. Each has four bedrooms, including one on the first floor, and a third-story bonus room. They all have outdoor patio space but no backyard, as is the trend in many new homes in the Great Park.

Cadence Park – Adagio Collection Review

Adagio is the first collection I visited in the new Cadence Park neighborhood in the Great Park. Built by Lennar, Adagio consists of 53 detached homes with three different floorplans. The homes are on the southern side of Cadence Park, in the middle of the neighborhood. They are bordered by the new K-8 Cadence Park school on the east, the community park on the north, the Cantata collection on the west, and the Great Park itself on the south. Adagio homes range from 2,080 – 2,393 square feet with 3 – 4 bedrooms and 2.5 – 4 bathrooms. Each home has a private, 2-car garage accessed from a shared motor court.

Included Features
Adagio is built by Lennar, which is known for its “Everything’s Included” policy. What you see in the models is primarily what you get and there aren’t many options to upgrade or customize the home. However, you can make changes to things like flooring, backsplashes, and paint. The homes come standard with smart products controlled by Amazon Alexa, including Echo Dot and Echo Show; Baldwin® Evolved smart lock; Honeywell Lyric round™ wi-fi thermostat; Leviton® Z-wave plug-in module; Lutron Caseta® wireless in-wall dimmer, Smart Bridge Pro, lamp module, and Pico remote with double stand; Ring® video doorbell pro; Samsung SmartThings® hub; and Sonos® PLAY:1 wireless speaker. Efficiency features include energy-saving LED lights; radiant barrier roof sheathing; Sherwin-Williams® two-tone low-VOC interior paint; sealed heating and cooling ducts; dual-glazed windows with high performance low-E glass; full exterior door weather stripping; tankless water heater; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; and pressure balanced valves in showers and tubs.

The kitchens have a GE stainless steel appliance package Monogram® Professional Series 6-burner gas range cooktop, hood, refrigerator, and freezer; and Profile® single wall convection oven, microwave oven, and built-in dishwasher. They have a large farm-style sink with designer Moen® faucet; quartz countertops with 6” backsplash and full-height splash at cooktop; Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges; under and over cabinet task lighting; built-in tray rack; and roll-out shelf for trash and recycling.

The bathrooms include Piedrafina™ countertop with 6” backsplash; Moen® bath accessories in brushed nickel; frameless shower enclosure with ceramic tile surround; Fiber Care® soaking tub with surround and deck; and Shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges in pre-selected colors. The laundry rooms have Piedrafina™ countertops with 4” backsplash; sink with Moen® pull-out faucet; and a vacancy switch.

Additional features in the Adagio homes include  barbecue stub; Seagull® decorator-selected coach lights; Win-Dor stackable sliders with specialty casing for indoor/outdoor living; ThermaTru® insulated fiberglass 8’ entry door; Kwikset® satin nickel door levers; 5.5” baseboards; Daltile® glazed floor tile at entry, baths, and laundry; plush wall-to-wall Mohawk® carpeting; USB outlets in kitchen and bedrooms; flat-screen TV blocking with smurf tubing to hide cables; rocker light switches; telephone jack in kitchen and master bedroom; and cable outlets in all bedrooms, living room, and loft.

Schools
Adagio is part of the Irvine Unified School District. The new Cadence Park School serving grades K – 8 school is scheduled to open in August 2018 with grades K – 6. It will add 7th grade in 2019 and 8th grade in 2020. Until those grades are added, middle school students will attend Beacon Park School, which will serve grades K – 8 in the 2018-19. The neighborhood is served by Portola High School, which will have grades 9 – 11 in 2018-19 and will add 12th grade the following year. Seniors moving in this year will attend Northwood High School.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $215 per month at buildout for the Great Park Neighborhood Association
Basic Property Tax Rate: Approximately 1.0785%
CFD Tax: $6,496 for residence 1, $7,087 for residences 2 and 3
Current prices start at $1,060,000 for Residence 1, $1,130,000 for Residence 2, and $1,199,000 for Residence 3

Residence 1
2,080 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Current pricing starts at $1,060,000

Residence 1 has a covered porch facing the shared walkway in front of the homes. Though Lennar boasts the “everything’s included” policy, there are still numerous upgrades in the model, including flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items.

Inside, the home lacks a foyer. When you enter, the great room is on the left and the dining room is on the right. The great room has recessed lighting, a large window facing the front, and two smaller ones on the side. The back wall has sliding doors leading to the covered courtyard.

The dining room is a good size and can comfortably seat 8 people, with room to expand a little more if needed. One wall offers space for a buffet or china hutch. There is a big window facing the front and a smaller one on the side.

The kitchen is behind the dining room. The center island has seating on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. The longer wall has a cooktop in the middle with counter space on both sides, several upper cabinets, and numerous drawers underneath. The other wall has the built-in oven, microwave, and dishwasher. The kitchen is a good size and laid out well but isn’t situated well for good conversation with people in the great room.

The covered courtyard is a fairly small and can be accessed from both the kitchen and great room. There isn’t an option for a fireplace. The back patio is two steps higher than the courtyard and is shown with a built-in barbecue. There is plenty of space for a dining table on the patio as well.

There is a hallway behind the kitchen. The stairs are on the right and have a large closet beneath them. The first-floor bathroom is next to the stairs. It has a large vanity with a single sink, three cabinets, and four drawers. The shower has a shampoo niche but no seat. Access to the two-car garage is at the end of the hall.

Bedroom 3 is on the left side of the hall. It measures 12’ x 11’ and has a three-door closet that fills one wall. The bedroom won’t get much natural light, as it has just one small window facing the side of the home.

On the second floor, there are built-in linen cabinets at the top of the stairs. All the rooms come off one long hallway. The laundry room has another set of linen cabinets just outside it. Inside, there are side-by-side machines and a sink with plenty of counter space. There are both upper and lower cabinets.

Bedroom 2 is next to the laundry room. It has an entryway with a bathroom on one side. The vanity is small and has one sink, one set of cabinets, and a low drawer. There is a shower/tub combo. The bedroom is 11’ x 11’ and has one window facing the street and a smaller one on the side. The room includes a standard bypass closet.

 

The master suite runs along the entire left side of the house. The bedroom is 16’ x 15’ with recessed light and an upgraded fixture. Two small windows sit high on the side wall and sliding doors lead to a balcony overlooking the street. Elevation C does not have a balcony.

The master bathroom has a very long vanity with two sinks, three sets of cabinets, and eight drawers. There is ample counter space, too. The shower and bathtub sit across from the vanity. The tub deck forms a narrow ledge in the shower, which doesn’t have a separate seat. The shower is a good size and the tub has a large window above it. There is a large, walk-in closet at the back of the bathroom, shown with the standard shelves and poles.

Residence 1 is quite similar to Lennar’s other homes throughout Irvine. I like the spacious dining room and kitchen and was happy to see a large closet on the first floor. I wish there was a more formal entryway or drop zone, either by the front door or by the garage.

Residence 2
2,356 square feet
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
Loft
Current pricing starts at $1,130,000

Residence 2 is modeled in elevation C and has a small covered entry but not a true porch like we saw in residence 1. All three elevations have a deck on the second story above the front door. Upgrades in the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items.

This home has a small but designated entryway. The stairs are on the right and there is space across from the door for a table or bench.

The great room is just left of entryway. It is a spacious room, measuring by 17’ x 13’ and has recessed lights, a large window facing the street, and a small window on the side.

The dining room is directly behind the great room. It measures 10’ x 10’ but could have a larger table that stretched into the great room if desired. There is a small window on the side and a wall of sliding doors leading to the California room at the back.

An alcove on the right leads to a large coat closet beneath the stairs and a powder room. The closet has a single shelf and pole on the left side. The bathroom has a small vanity with one set of cabinets.

The kitchen is behind the dining room but offset, so it wouldn’t be easy to have a conversation with someone in the great room or dining room. The kitchen is a good size and has a lot of cabinets. The island includes the sink and dishwasher on one side and seating on the other. The longer wall of the kitchen has a cooktop in the middle and ample counter space on each side. The shorter wall has the fridge, built-in oven, and built-in microwave. One wall of the kitchen has a set of sliding doors that lead to the California room. Access to the 2-car garage is right next to the oven and microwave.

Outside, the California room is long and narrow, stretching across the full length of the kitchen. It doesn’t have an option for a fireplace but could hold a wall-mounted TV. There is a small backyard beyond the California room, modeled with a patio and some landscaping.

On the second floor, the stairs open to a 16’ x 13 loft. It has three windows facing the side of the house and recessed lighting. The model shows an upgraded, built-in desk with two workstations. There are also upper and lower built-in linen cabinets on another wall.

A hallway at the back of the loft leads to the laundry room and secondary bedrooms. The laundry room is on the left, with side-by-side machines and cabinets above them. There is a sink with very little counter space but a shelf above it and linen cabinets across from it.

Bedroom 2 is on the right side of the hall. It is the smallest room at 10’ x 12’ and has a standard bypass closet. There is a single window on the side, so it doesn’t get a lot of natural light.

Bedroom 3 is at the end of the hall. This room is much bigger and brighter, measuring 14’ x 11’ and with two windows facing the back of the house. There is a walk-in closet in the back corner, with shelves and poles on two walls and a window on the third.

The bedrooms share a secondary bathroom in the hall. The vanity only has one sink even though it has enough space for two. There are three cabinets and four drawers.  A separate door leads to the shower/tub combo.

The master suite is accessed from the other end of the loft. The entry hall has a walk-in closet on one side and the bathroom on the other. The closet is a good size and has shelves and poles on three walls. The bathroom has a vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and three drawers. It isn’t as large as in some master suites, but still has enough space for two people. The shower and tub sit across from the vanity. The tub deck forms a true seat in this shower, rather than a narrow ledge like we saw in residence 1. There is a second walk-in closet that is larger than the first.

The master bedroom is 17’ x 13’ and has a big window facing the front of the house and two smaller ones on the side. The front-facing window could have a built-in window seat or cabinets beneath it. The third wall has a single French door opening to the balcony, which is narrow but has space for a couple of chairs and a small table.

Though most new homes I’ve seen have a bedroom on the first floor, residence 2 does not. This may deter some buyers, but the model was sold out at the time of my visit, so it definitely still appeals to others. I was happy to see good storage throughout the home.

Residence 3
2,393 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Bonus room
Current pricing starts at $1,199,000

Residence 3 has more variation in the elevations than the others. In the modeled elevation A, there is a balcony above the front door, off of bedroom 2. In elevation B, the balcony is off the master bedroom. Elevation C doesn’t have a balcony at all. Throughout the model, upgrades include flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items.

When you enter residence 3, the dining room is directly in front of the front door. It measures 10’ x 15’ and has space for a table to expand into the great room or kitchen. There is one small window on the side of the house. There is space next to the front door for a narrow table or bench.

The great room is just left of the door. It is 17’ x 15’ and has windows at the front and side of the room. The third wall has sliding doors leading to the covered courtyard. The room includes recessed lights.

The kitchen is directly behind the dining room. It is similar to the other residences. The center island has seating on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. The long wall has a cooktop in the middle with ample counter and cabinet space on both sides. The shorter wall has the fridge, oven, and microwave. The last wall has a set of sliding doors leading to the courtyard.

The courtyard is shorter and wider than in residence 2 and also has space for a wall-mounted TV. The yard beyond it is shown with a patio, pool, and landscaped area. Though not large, it is one of the bigger yards I’ve seen in the last few sets of models that I’ve visited.

There is a hallway off the back of the kitchen. The stairs are on the right and have a large coat closet beneath them. Access to the 2-car garage is at the end of the hall.

Bathroom 4 is just past the stairs. It has a large vanity with one sink, three cabinets, and four drawers. There is more counter space than in most first-floor baths. The bathroom also has a shower without a seat.

Bedroom 4 is at the end of the hall on the left. It is 12’ x 11’ with just one small window on the side. The closet has three drawers and stretches the full length of the room.

There are upper and lower linen cabinets at the top of the stairs. A hallway on the right leads to bedroom 3 and the bonus room.

Bedroom 3 is the smallest room in the house at 11’ x 11’ and has small windows on two walls. As in bedroom 4, the closet has three drawers and stretches the length of the room.

Bathroom 3 is across the hall from the bedroom. It has a single sink set into a vanity with good counter space, three cabinets, and four drawers. The shower/tub combo is through a separate door.

The bonus room is at the end of the hall. It is 15’ x 12’ and, though it’s alone at the back of the house, it has just two small windows in one corner.

A hall on the other side of the stairway leads to the laundry room and the other two bedrooms. The laundry room has a sink, side-by-side machines, a second counter with base cabinets, and three sets of upper cabinets. Another set of upper and lower linen cabinets sits just outside the room.

Bedroom 2 is next to the laundry room. When you enter, the bypass closet is on the left in an entry hall. The bedroom itself is 12’ x 12’ and has a small window on the side. In this elevation, sliding doors lead to a balcony overlooking the street. The other two elevations have a single, small window facing the front instead. The bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. It includes a large vanity with one sink and a shower/tub combo.

 

The master suite is next to bedroom 2. It is 15’ x 16’ and has a big window facing front and two smaller ones on the side. Elevation B has sliding doors leading to a balcony instead of the front-facing window.

The master bathroom is similar to the other two residences. The vanity is on the right and has two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and six drawers. The tub deck forms a narrow ledge in the adjacent shower as in residence 1. There is a set of upper and lower linen cabinets next to the vanity and a walk-in closet at the far end of the room.

    

Residence 3 is the only Adagio home to include four bedroom and a bonus room. It has a first-floor bedroom and good storage throughout the home.

I was happy to see that all Adagio models have large closets on the first floor and many linen cabinets on the second. The kitchens were all laid out well and it was good to see larger vanities in some of the secondary bathrooms.

Great Park Neighborhoods – Cadence Park Overview

Cadence Park is now open in the Great Park Neighborhood. Located east of Beacon Park, this newest enclave will have 14 different home collections. The neighborhood is bordered by Irvine Blvd on the north side, Pusan on the east, Cadence on the south, and the Upper Bee park area on the west. An 8-acre park sits in the center of the Cadence Park neighborhood and the new K – 8 school is just south of it. Residents will have access to all of the Great Park Neighborhood facilities, including pools, parks, clubhouses, sports courts, and more. HOA dues will be approximately $215 per month at buildout for the Great Park Neighborhood Association. There are seven different builders in Cadence Park, with Lennar building eight of the collections and the others each building one. All of Lennar’s models are now open and selling. The other builders haven’t opened their models yet, but they do have a team on site each weekend and are actively selling.

Cadence Park is part of the Irvine Unified School District. The new K – 8 school, also named Cadence Park, is scheduled to open in August 2018 with grades K – 6. It will add 7th grade in 2019 and 8th grade in 2020. Until those grades are added, middle school students will attend Beacon Park School, which will serve grades K – 8 in the 2018-19. The neighborhood is served by Portola High School, which will have grades 9 – 11 in 2018-19 and will add 12th grade the following year. Seniors moving in this year will attend Northwood High School.

The 14 home collections range in size from 1,616 – 4,585 square feet and 2 – 5 bedrooms.

Collection Square Feet Beds Baths Builder Estimated Base Price
Deco 1,616 – 2,230 2 – 4 2.5 – 3.5 K. Hovnanian $700,000s
Chorus 1,651 – 2,408 2 – 3 2 – 2.5 Lennar Low $700,000s
Lyric 1,667 – 2,346 3 – 4 2.5 Tri Pointe Homes $800,000s – $900,000s
Muse 1,867 – 2,017 3 – 4 2.5 – 3.5 Taylor Morrison Low $700,000s
Prado 1,733 – 2,766 3 – 4 3.5 – 4 KB Home N/A
Adagio 2,080 – 2,393 3 – 4 2.5 – 4 Lennar $1.06 – $1.2 mil
Cabaletta 2330 – 2,450 3 – 4 2.5 – 3 Richmond American Homes High $800,000s
Duet 2,338 – 2,900 3 – 4 2.5 – 5.5 Pulte Homes $1,000,000s
Encore 2,826 – 3,116 4 3 – 4 Lennar $1.2 – $1.35 mil
Cantata 3,026 – 3,507 3 – 4 3.5 – 4.5 Lennar $1.37 – $1.53 mil
Marcato 2,891 – 3,575 4 4 – 4.5 Lennar $1.47 – 1.58 mil
Serenade 2,983 – 3,432 4 – 5 4 – 4.5 Lennar $1.44 – $1.56 mil
Capella 3,740 – 4,097 4 – 5 4.5 – 5.5 Lennar $1.67 – $1.78 mil
Crescendo 4,102 – 4,585 4 – 5 4 – 5 Lennar $1.85 – $1.98 mil

Resort Amenities
Cadence Park features several community buildings. The main information center is located in the Performing Arts Building, a very large room currently furnished with assorted tables and chairs, iPads, and a book exchange. There is a courtyard behind the building with more seating options.

The Studio sits on the other side of the courtyard and is currently filled with open cubbies. I expect it will become an art studio.

The Gallery building is to the right of the courtyard and is where the home builders (aside from Lennar) have their sales teams set up. A few tables and chairs are set up behind the gallery.

There is a half-basketball court behind the studio and some open areas next to it.

 

The Cadence Park pool is to the left of the Performing Arts building. It is a large pool area with a spa and a big deck. A building on the outside edge had doors labeled “catering kitchen” and “office.” There are shuffleboard courts within the gates of the pool area.

A wide lawn sits between the pool and the playground. The park is divided into a section designed for kids ages 5 – 12 and one for kids ages 2 – 5. The older kids area has a rubberized surface with hills built into it and seating around the edges. It has a main climbing structure with one slide and assorted small areas for climbing and playing.

The tot lot for younger kids has a playhouse and logs to climb on. In keeping with the music theme of Cadence Park, it also has dance chimes, babel drums, and Cajon drums.

This side of the park has sports courts, including another half basketball court, a sand volleyball court, and two tetherball poles. A series of tall mirrors form a small maze behind the tetherballs.  A sign points to a bocce court somewhere across the street.

The Cadence Park map I picked up at the info center lists an Art Walk running between the Deco and Muse home collections. The estimated completion date for the art walk is October 2020. There will be unique artwork along the paved path and an amphitheater.

Upper Bee Park runs between Cadence Park and Beacon Park. Upper Bee is a series of paved walking paths and native plantings that separates the two neighborhoods. It stretches from Irvine Boulevard south to Great Park Boulevard and is designed so you never have to cross a street. This walkway connects the Great Park Neighborhoods to the Orange County Great Park.

As I mentioned earlier, Cadence Park residents have access to all of the Great Park Neighborhood amenities, including the pools and parks located throughout Pavilion, Beacon, and Parasol Parks. The newest park, and the one receiving the most attention right now, is The Pools, an 8-acre oasis between Beacon and Parasol Parks. The area features an outdoor fitness and training area, family pool, an 8-lane junior Olympic pool with BBQs, great lawn, sand volleyball courts, a children’s activity building, clubhouse with two outdoor kitchens that can be rented for parties, a large playground, a shallow-water children’s pool, and three spas.

Over the next few months, I will visit and review the 14 home collections in Cadence Park.

Cypress Village: Travata (55+) – Palencia Collection Review

This week, I went back to the 55+ Travata community in Cypress Village to check out the Palencia collection. These two-story, single family homes are the largest in Travata, with a total of 61 homes and five different floor plans. Palencia homes range from 1,848 – 2,567 square feet, with 2 – 3 bedrooms, 2.5 – 3.5 bathrooms, and a bonus room or loft. Though each house is two stories, all day-to-day living can be done on the first floor. The second floor has either a bonus room (plan 1) or a loft and third bedroom (plans 3, 4, and 5). Every home has a two-car garage at the front of the house.

Included Features
Palencia is built by Lennar, which is known for its “Everything’s Included” policy. What you see in the models is primarily what you get and there aren’t many options to upgrade or customize the home. However, you can make changes to the flooring, kitchen backsplash, and paint. The homes come standard with smart products controlled by Amazon Alexa, including Echo Dot and Echo Show; Baldwin® Evolved smart lock; Honeywell Lyric round™ wi-fi thermostat; Leviton® Z-wave plug-in module; Lutron Caseta® wireless in-wall dimmer, Smart Bridge Pro, lamp module, and Pico remote with double stand; Ring® video doorbell pro; Samsung SmartThings® hub; and Sonos® PLAY:1 wireless speaker. Efficiency features include energy-saving LED lights; radiant barrier roof sheathing; Sherwin-Williams® two-tone low-VOC interior paint; sealed heating and cooling ducts; dual-glazed windows with high performance low-E glass; full exterior door weather stripping; tankless water heater; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; and pressure balanced valves in showers and tubs.

The kitchens have a Wolf stainless steel appliance package with a heavy-gauge professional gas cooktop with 6 dual-stacked burners; heavy duty, professional wall hood, dual convection oven, and drop-down door microwave; Sub-Zero heavy-duty stainless-steel built-in side-by-side refrigerator; ASKO® ENERGY STAR® stainless steel turbo drying dishwasher; large double-bowl sink with Moen® faucet and push button disposal; quartz countertops with 6” backsplash and full-height splash at cooktop; shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges (color preselected); under cabinet task lighting; walk-in pantry with obscure glass door (select residences); and roll-out shelf for trash and recycling.

The bathrooms include Piedrafina™ countertop with 6” backsplash; Voss® accessories in the master suite with brushed nickel finishes or Moen® accessories in brushed nickel for the secondary baths; frameless shower enclosure with ceramic tile surround; acrylic tub with surround and deck; shaker-style cabinetry with soft-close hinges in pre-selected colors; and decorative framed mirrors in the master or beveled mirrors in the secondary baths. The laundry rooms have Piedrafina™ countertops with 4” backsplash; sink with Moen® pull-out faucet; and a vacancy switch.

Additional features in the Palencia homes include  barbecue stub; Seagull® decorator-selected coach lights; ThermaTru® insulated fiberglass 8’ entry door; Kwikset® satin nickel door levers; 5.5” baseboards; Daltile® glazed floor tile at entry, baths, and laundry; plush wall-to-wall Mohawk® carpeting; USB outlets in kitchen and bedrooms; flat-screen TV blocking with smurf tubing to hide cables; rocker light switches; telephone jack in kitchen and master bedroom; and cable outlets in all bedrooms, living room, and loft.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $285 per month at buildout
Basic Property Tax Rate: Approximately 1.06%
No Mello Roos
Current pricing starts at $1,038,990for residence 1; $1,204,990 for residence 2; $1,168,990 for residence 3; and $1,235,990 for residence 4. Pricing not available for residence 5.

Residence 1
1,848 square feet
2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
Bonus room
Recent pricing ranged from $1,038,990 – $1,091,990 ($562 – $590 per square foot)

Residence 1 has a small foyer, with space for a table or bench. There is a coat closet on the right. Though Lennar boasts the “everything’s included” policy, there are still numerous upgrades in the model, including flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items.

Bathroom 2 is just off the foyer. It has a single sink with a small counter and one set of cabinets. The shower is a good size and includes a full bench.

Bedroom 2 is at the front of the house. The room has two windows facing the street and a standard bypass closet. There is space under the windows for a built-in window seat if desired.

The main hall opens to the kitchen. The pantry and additional lower cabinets are immediately on the left as you enter the room. The island can seat 3 – 4 people on one side and has the sink and dishwasher on the other side. One wall holds the refrigerator, oven, microwave, several cabinets, and has some counter space. The other wall has the cooktop, with counter space on both sides, upper cabinets, and lower drawers. Access to the garage is in the corner of the room and the stairs are on the other side of the kitchen.

   

The dining area is just behind the kitchen. It is on the smaller side, though a larger table could be brought in for special occasions. Two windows face the side of the home.

The great room is behind the dining room. It has a window facing the side of the home and sliding doors leading to the California room.

The California room includes a fireplace and has space for a large table, though the room itself is somewhat narrow. The rest of the backyard is shown with fountains and plants along the edge.

A short hall off the back corner of the great room leads to the laundry room and master suite. The laundry room has space for side-by-side machines and four upper cabinets. There are additional upper and lower cabinets just outside the room.

The master bedroom is a good size and has a full wall of windows facing the backyard. It has upgraded wall paneling and space for an armchair in the corner. The room has recessed lights.

The master bathroom has two vanities. The smaller one is nestled into a nook and has a single sink, two cabinets, three drawers, and only a short counter. The other one is in the back corner and has three additional drawers and more counter space. The bathtub has a deck that matches the counters and a window above it. The shower is at the back of the bathroom. It is about the same size as the shower in bathroom 2 and also has a full seat. The walk-in closet is oddly shaped, with extra storage beneath the stairs. The model shows upgraded, built-in organizers that leave little room to walk through the space.

 

The second story of the house is a large bonus room and powder room. The bonus room has windows on three walls, bringing in plenty of light. It includes the built in base cabinets and mini-fridge next to the staircase, but the larger built-in desk unit and shelving are upgrades. The powder room has a single sink set into a small vanity with two cabinets and very little counter space.

Overall, residence 1 is fairly spacious. Both bedrooms have a lot of privacy and there is plenty of storage throughout the home. However, a two-bedroom home designed for people over age 55 shouldn’t cost over a million dollars.

Residence 2
2,220 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Bonus room
Recent pricing ranged from $1,204,990 – $1,214,990 ($542 – $547 per square foot)

Residence 2 is the only Palencia home where the front door is on one side of the house and the garage is on the other. The sales office replaces the garage in the model. As in residence 1, the flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items are upgrades.

The home doesn’t have a true foyer, though there is space across from the front door to put an entry console.

 

There is an office just to the left of the front door. The room is small and fully open to the foyer, without an option for doors. There is one window facing the front walkway. The model shows an upgraded, built-in shelving unit that fills one wall.

The dining room is to the right of the front door. It is much bigger than in residence 1 and can comfortably seat eight people. A recessed area offers a perfect spot for a low buffet or an upgraded, built-in unit, as seen in the model. There is a window facing the front walk.

The kitchen is adjacent to the dining room. The island is shown with an upgraded waterfall edge. It can seat 3 – 4 people on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. One wall has the refrigerator, oven, and microwave. The other wall has the cooktop with counters on both sides and several cabinets and drawers. There are pantry-height cupboards at the end of the counter.

The great room is at the back of the house. The room is a good size, with recessed lights and sliding doors on the back wall. The staircase is between the dining room and great room.

Outside, the California room doesn’t have a fireplace but is otherwise comparable to the one in residence 1. The rest of the backyard is quite narrow, shown with a large fountain in the center.

The master suite is behind the great room, with the bedroom sharing a full wall with the living area. There are linen cabinets just outside the bedroom. The room has three windows facing the backyard and two more on the side. It is an average size.

The master bathroom has split vanities, with one on each side of the doorway. Both have a single sink with ample counter space, two cabinets, and six drawers. The vanities show the standard countertop but have an upgraded backsplash. The bathtub is next to one vanity and the shower is next to the other. The tub has two windows above it and the shower has a narrow seat. The walk-in closet at the back of the bathroom is shown with upgraded, built-in organizers.

There is a hallway off the foyer. It has a small coat closet on the right. The powder room, laundry room, and garage access are also on the right. The powder room is under the stairs, so it feels a little cramped. The vanity has a bit of counter space on each side and two cabinets. The laundry room has side-by-side machines and upper cabinets on one wall. The other wall has a sink with both upper and lower cabinets.

Bedroom 2 is at the end of the hall. It has windows facing the front and side of the house. One corner has a walk-in closet and the other has access to the en-suite bathroom. The closet includes a shelf and pole on two walls. The bathroom has a single sink set into a small vanity and a good-sized shower with a full seat.

Bedroom 3 is on the second floor. This is the only Palencia home to have only a bedroom upstairs and not a bonus room or loft. However, the bedroom could be used as a bonus room if desired. It has windows on three walls, so it gets a lot of light. There is a standard bypass closet and en-suite bathroom. The bathroom has a single sink in a larger vanity, comparable to the ones in the master suite, and a shower/tub combo.

I don’t like the layout of this home as much as residence 1. The bedrooms share more walls with living spaces, so it doesn’t have as much privacy. I also don’t think the kitchen has as much storage. I did like the extra office on the first floor.

Residence 3
2,305 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Loft
Recent pricing started at $1,168,990 ($507 per square foot)

Residence 3 only has two different elevation options (all others have three or four) and only the modeled elevation has the large balcony above the garage. Throughout the home, the flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items are upgrades.

Inside, the house has a long entry hall, with two rooms coming off it on the right and the stairs on the left. There is a small coat closet off the first landing of the stairs, which is two steps above the hall. While it isn’t a lot of stairs to climb, it isn’t a convenient location for a house that it supposed to be designed for single-story living.

The first room on the right is an office, which has a wide, open doorway to the hall. There are two windows facing the street. The office is shown without any upgraded built-ins, though the room is big enough to include one if desired.

Bedroom 2 is just past the office. It has a single window facing the side of the home and a standard bypass closet. The en-suite bathroom has a single sink set into a very small vanity, with little counter space and two narrow cabinets. The shower includes a full seat.

An alcove on the left side of the hall leads to the laundry room. There are base linen cabinets just outside the room. Another closet sits across from the linen cabinets; this one is much bigger than the one at the front of the house and extends beneath the stairs.  The laundry room has side-by-side machines and an L-shaped counter with a sink. There are upper linen cabinets on two walls and three base cabinets.

There is a powder room across from the laundry room. It has a vanity with a single sink and one set of cabinets.

The hall opens to the great room. It has three large windows facing the California room and recessed lights. The model shows an upgraded, built-in media center on one wall.

The kitchen island can seat 3 – 4 people on one side and has the sink and dishwasher on the other side. The refrigerator, stove, and microwave are on one wall, as well as a short counter and a few cabinets. The longer wall has the cooktop, lower drawers, upper cabinets, and more counter space. The corner between the two walls has a walk-in pantry, shown with the standard shelving. This pantry provides a lot of extra storage.

 

The dining room is behind the kitchen. It is a smaller space than in residence 2, but bigger than in residence 1. It can probably comfortably seat 6 and doesn’t really have room to expand for a larger group. Two windows face the backyard and sliding doors lead to the California room.

A doorway in the corner of the great room leads to the master suite. The bedroom has three windows facing the backyard and two more on the side. It is an average-sized room that shares a full wall with the great room.

The master bathroom has a long vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and six drawers. The bathtub and shower sit across from the vanity, with the tub deck forming a ledge in the shower. The shower also has a full seat. The walk-in closet is shown with the standard shelving and poles.

The California room is like the one in residence 2 and does not have an option for a fireplace. The rest of the yard is just a narrow strip running the length of the house, as in the other Palencia homes.

On the second floor, the stairs open to a loft. It has two windows facing the side of the house. The built-in unit by the stairs is included and has a set of cabinets, two drawers, and a mini-fridge. There seems to be some sort of extra storage area across from it, but the small door was locked.

Bedroom 3 is also on the second floor. It is much bigger than bedroom 2. It has one window on the side of the house and a single French door leading to the large balcony. In the other elevation, there would be two windows facing the front of the house. There is a walk-in closet in one corner. The en-suite bathroom is in another corner, though it was hidden by the bedroom door and I didn’t notice it at first. It has a vanity with a single sink and two cabinets and a shower/tub combo.

 

I like that this home has both a loft and an office, as it adds a lot of flexibility to the house. I didn’t like the coat closet being off the main floor and wish the master bedroom didn’t share a wall with the great room, but I like the layout otherwise.

Residence 4
2,425 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Loft
Recent pricing started at $1,235,990 ($509 per square foot)

Residence 4 has three elevations. Elevation B has a large balcony over the garage but elevation A and C (which is modeled) do not. Upgrades found throughout the home include the flooring, window and wall treatments, built-ins, lighting, ceiling fans, and all decorator’s items. The model shows a bench on the small, covered porch.

Like residence 3, this home has a long entry hall with the stairs running up one side. It has a bedroom on the left and, farther down, the powder room and laundry room.

 

The front bedroom is a junior master suite. It is larger than most secondary bedrooms but not as big as the true master. It has one window facing the street.

The junior master bathroom has a very long vanity with two sinks, six cabinets, and numerous drawers. Unlike the other homes, it has undermount sinks, so they are probably upgraded. It doesn’t have a bathtub but does have a shower with a full seat. The closet is smaller than in most masters, but still has shelving and poles on three walls.

The powder room is near the end of the hall on the right. It has a single sink set into a vanity with one set of cabinets. There is a hall closet across from the powder room that extends beneath the stairs. Access to the garage is next to the closet.

The laundry room is across the hall from the powder room. It has side-by-side machines and a sink but no counter space. There are upper cabinets above the machines and a shelf above the sink.

The hall opens to the dining room on the right and the kitchen on the left. The dining room can comfortably seat six but could have space for a slightly larger table if needed.  Sliding doors at the far end of the room lead to the California room.

The kitchen is similar to the one in residence 3. The island has seating on one side and the sink and dishwasher on the other. One wall has the refrigerator, oven, microwave, and a short counter. The other wall has the cooktop and more counter space. Both walls have upper and lower cabinets and the longer side also has drawers. The pantry in the back corner has upgraded built-ins.

The great room is behind the kitchen. It is similar in size to the great room in the other residences. This one has three windows facing the backyard and three more facing the California room.

The California room is bigger in this home than in the other residences and has one of the shorter walls open to the backyard, instead of a long wall as we saw in the other homes. This makes it feel more closed in and separate from the rest of the yard. There isn’t an option for a fireplace. The rest of the backyard is a little wider than in the other homes, so it has rom for a table and built-in barbecue. A separate area behind the great room has a built-in fireplace and patio.

The master bedroom is off an alcove behind the dining room. There are linen cabinets just outside the room. The bedroom has three large windows facing the backyard and two small ones on the side of the house.

The master bathroom has one vanity with two sinks, two sets of cabinets, and nine drawers. The bathtub is next to the vanity and has two windows above it. The deck forms a ledge in the adjacent shower, which also has a narrow seat across the back. This shower is larger than in the other Palencia homes. The walk-in closet is a good size as well and is shown with the standard shelves and poles.

The second floor has a large loft at the top of the stairs. The room has two windows facing the street and one more on the side. In elevation B, there is also a French door facing the front, leading to the large balcony. Unlike residences one and three, this loft does not have any built-in cabinets or a mini fridge.

Bathroom 3 is near the top of the stairs. It has a vanity with a single sink, two cabinets, and a small counter. This bathroom has a shower/tub combo.

Bedroom 3 is also on the second floor. It has two windows facing the side of the house and one more at the back. It is an average-sized room with a small bypass closet.

I like the dual master suites on the first floor of this home and think it has a really good layout. It is also nice to see a larger backyard. This home also has a more reasonable price per square foot, though the overall price tag is still quite high.

Residence 5 (not modeled)
2,567 square feet
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
Loft
Pricing not available

Residence 5 is a large home with a much longer layout on the first floor, as opposed to the other homes, which are more square-shaped. The entry is in the middle of the first floor, with the bedrooms off to the right and the living areas to the left. The foyer has one wall that could hold an entry console or bench. The staircase is on the left side of the foyer and there is a coat closet beneath it.

There is an office directly behind the foyer. It doesn’t have doors so it’s fully open to the hall but should still have some privacy since there aren’t any other rooms adjacent to it. It has two windows facing the backyard.

The powder room is across from the staircase. It has a single sink set into a small vanity.

The hall opens to the kitchen and dining room on the left. The kitchen has an island like the ones in all other Palencia homes. One wall has the refrigerator and a short counter. The other wall has the cooktop, oven, and microwave. The counters on each side of the cooktop are longer than in the other homes so it must have a lot of cabinets as well. There is a walk-in pantry in the corner.

The dining room is across from the kitchen. It has three windows facing the front of the house and looks to be bigger than in the other homes. Sliding doors lead to the California room, which is at the front of this home instead of in the backyard.

The great room is next to the kitchen. The room seems quite spacious and bright, as it has two windows facing the back, three on the side, and three facing the California room at the front.

The hallway on the right side of the foyer leads to the bedrooms, laundry room, and access to the garage. The laundry room has side-by-side machines with upper cabinets and a sink with counter space next to it. There are linen cabinets outside the laundry room. There is also a small drop zone next to the door to the garage.

Bedroom 2 is at the front of the house. The room seems to be a good size, with one window facing the front and one on the side by the front walkway. There is a bypass closet along one wall. The room has an en-suite bathroom just inside the doorway. It has a single sink and a small shower without a seat.

The master suite is in the back corner of the house. It has two windows on the side and three facing the back. It is a large room that looks like it would have space for a small sitting area.

The master bathroom has split vanities, each with one sink. One has a much longer counter than the other. The bathtub and shower are next to each other at the back of the room. The shower looks to be similar in size to the other homes and has a seat. The walk-in closet has shelving and poles along three walls.

The stairs open to a loft on the second floor. It has three windows facing the street and one on the side. This room doesn’t have a built-in unit or mini fridge.

The bathroom is across from the bedroom. It has a vanity with one sink and a fair amount of counter space on each side. There is a shower but no tub.

Bedroom 3 is behind the loft and is about the same size. It has one window on the side and three facing the backyard. There is a walk-in closet in one corner.

This home doesn’t appear to have a backyard at all. The California room is at the front of the house and there aren’t any sliding doors off the rooms along the back.

Even though both bedrooms are on the same side of the house, they don’t share walls with any other rooms or with each other, so they do have a good amount of privacy. I think the office is a great addition to this home and the loft adds more versatility.

Overall, the homes in the Palencia collection don’t differ too much from each other, with the key differences being whether it has a loft, office, or bonus room. I think the prices are too high for a home with only two or three bedrooms especially one designed only for people over age 55.