$775k in Northwood or Northwood Pointe – What would you do?

What a difference a Pointe makes…If you had $775,000 to spend on a home in Irvine and were debating between Northwood and Northwood Pointe, what would matter most to you? I did a quick search of homes sold in the Northwood and Northwood Pointe villages in Irvine and saw these two homes, similiar in size and price, but very different in age and features. Let's do a quick comparison.

Home 1:

17 Mount Vernon

Village of Northwood Pointe

Home Size: 2390 Sq Ft

Lot Size: 3741

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Year Built: 1999

$325/sq ft

Sold for $777,000 on 9/14/11

Home 2:

21 West Ensueno

Village of Northwood

Home Size: 2392

Lot Size: 5500

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2.5

Year Built: 1978

$324/sq ft

Sold for $775,000 on 10/20/11

Let's get the easy part out of the way first. Here's what the two homes had in common for about $775k:

  • Square footage (2390)
  • Price and price/sq ft
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 1/2 bath
  • Stainless steel appliancesric
  • Detached, no common walls
  • Middle School – Sierra Vista
  • High School – Northwood

The Differences:

  • Elementary Schools

    • Home 1 goes to Canyon View
    • Home 2 goes to Santiago Hills Elementary
    • Both belong to Irvine Unified School District

  • Home 2 is in on a cul-de-sac, Home 1 is not
  • Taxes –

    • Home 2 in Northwood does not have Mello Roos but Home 1 in Northwood Pointe does
    • 2010 Property taxes for Home 1 were $10,084 vs. $5626 fo Home 2

  • Home owners association dues

    • Home 1: $90 +$45 = $135 per month
    • Home 2: $83 per month

  • Age

    • Home 1 is almost 20 years newer than Home 2 and it shows:

Luckily Home #2 has been updated to include a more modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances:

Is it just me or does it seem like there are a whole lotta cabinets in this kitchen? Home 1 also has a lot of cabinets with stainless steel appliances but I think I like the shape of the island and setup of the the kitchen in Home 2.

  • Lot Size

    • Home 1 has a lot size of 3741 with a 2390 square foot house built upon it. Once you factor in the space used by the driveway, garage, etc., there's not a ton of yard left. But it does have some lawn in the backyard and actually a nice little outdoor barbeque/counter setup for entertaining. I could see myself gettin' all Bobby Flay out there with that.

  • Home 2 has a lot size of 5500 sqft and has considerably more space to play with. They have a pool, a spa and a grassy patch too…I could see myself gettin' all “coolest mom on the street” with that pool and the fun chandelier.

And really, the chandelier isn't enough to make me want the house. If the home didn't have a pool, I'd actually lean towards Home 2 over Home 1. The $4400 per year break that you receive as a result of having no Mello Roos is significant. Although the older home has “Newer (?) Interior Doors” and would require some updating, I would still pick it over Home 1…if it weren't for the pool. What would you do?

Discuss below or at Talk Irvine.

3 thoughts on “$775k in Northwood or Northwood Pointe – What would you do?

  1. Cubic Zirconia

    17 Mount Vernon for me. Decisive factor would be schools. Canyon view is a better school, and Northwood high is walkable from this home.

    BTW, the cabinets could look a lot better with white paint/finish on them. Too much wood right now!

  2. irvine_home_owner

    This is actually a tough comparison.

    I like the lot size (even the pool) of the NW home and the kitchen has double ovens but the newness and upstairs floorplan of the NWP home is better (upstairs laundry with sink!).

    The MR difference is huge and I like the cul-de-sac location of the NW home. The NWP home is technically on a cul-de-sac street but also almost a T home (a FengShui no-no) and it backs Yale which is a major inlet to NWP.

    I am probably leaning towards the NW home (at least the laundry is not in the garage).

  3. IrvineRealtor

    Great comparison… thank you Nilam.

    I think it would be helpful to add that the location is also (always) important. The Ensueno home backs to another home, while the Mount Vernon property backs to Yale, which bottlenecks at that area as an egress point for all of the NWP traffic that is accessing Portola Pkwy.

    Also, for clarification, the assessed value that you’ve quoted for 2010 has changed. Once the properties are sold in an arm’s-length transaction, both would be taxed based on the stepped up value (of ~$775K in this instance). Both have a base rate of ~1.03% but the difference would be that Ensueno has ~$100 in additional annual assessments, while Mount Vernon has ~$2600 in additional assessments. This $2500 annual difference is still notable, but lower than the $4400/yr you’d quoted.

    Between the two builders, I’d prefer Richmond American over Ponderosa, generally.


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