A Review of the Whistler Collection at Pavilion Park – Residence 1

In continuation of our series on the Great Park’s Pavilion Park Neighborhood, I am going to introduce you to the Whistler Collection. Built by William Lyon Homes, Whistler has three models ranging from 2,336 – 2,896 square feet. With four collections smaller and five bigger, the Whistler homes are truly mid-size for the neighborhood. The homes have four or five bedrooms and 2.5 – 3.5 baths. All houses have a two-car garage and either a standard or optional main floor bedroom. Prices start at $879,990 for the smallest model and 979,990 for the biggest. There will be 83 homes in the collection, which is located on the western side of the neighborhood, about halfway between Irvine Boulevard and Portola Parkway. In a refreshing change from many of the other collections, the Whistler models are actually built on some of the smallest lots, helping to give potential buyers a true picture of what the backyard may look like. Many of the lots are even bigger than in the models. Shade structures are optional in all backyards.

Some of the standard amenities in all homes include KitchenAid® Architect II Stainless Steel Appliance Package, including a 36” gas cooktop with six burners, 30: stacked built-in convection microwave and convection oven combo, Energy Star® dishwasher, and a 36” stainless vent hood; white Thermofoil cabinets with brushed chrome knobs; granite slab countertop with square edge detail, 6” backsplash and full backsplash above cooktop; and a stainless steel double undermount sink with Moen® single handle pull-out faucet. The master bath offers spacious walk-in closets with wood shelf and pole and double mirrored wardrobe doors; white Thermofoil cabinets with brushed chrome knobs; solid surface countertops and 4” backsplash; 6 x 6” ceramic tile showers; deep fiberglass tubs; and clear glass shower enclosure with chrome frame and frameless door. The secondary bathrooms have similar features to the master bath, though either with a shower/tub combo or just a shower. The homes also have 8’ interior doors with polished chrome lever handles; structured wiring for phone, data and cable; 12” x 12” ceramic tile floor at entry, kitchen, dining, all bathrooms and laundry; Energy Star® bath fans and energy efficient dimmer switches in baths; programmable thermostats and central air; and laundry hookups including natural gas dryer connection. The external features include tankless water heaters; extra deep garages to allow for storage; Energy efficient weather stripping and insulation; and durable concrete tile and composition shingle roofs.

All Pavilion Park homes are currently slated to attend Canyon View Elementary, Jeffrey Trail Middle and Northwood High Schools, all part of IUSD. However, a new K-8 school is slated to open in the Great Park Neighborhoods in 2016 and there are also plans for a new high school in the area.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information

Approximate HOA Dues: $193 per month

Approximate Tax rate: 1.16%

Approximate Mello Roos (aka Community Facilities District tax): Plan 1 from $5,400, Plan 2 from $5,900 and Plan 3 up to $6,500 per year, subject to an increase by 2% per year

Base Prices start at $879,990 for Plan 1, $899,990 for Plan 2, and $979,990 for Plan 3.

Residence One

2,336 – 2,390 square feet

4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, Flex Room

Optional Bedroom 5 with Bath 3

Base Price: $879,990 ($377/sq ft if 2,336 square feet)

If you start touring the models from the office, Residence One is actually the last one you’ll see; however, I chose to go there first. It is the smallest of the three and is shown in the Farmhouse elevation; Cottage and Monterey are the other two elevations. Farmhouse and Monterey have a nice, covered front porch.

The entryway gives you a glimpse of the kitchen and great room at the back of the house, the flex room is open to the left, and the stairs are on the right. There is upgraded flooring throughout the home in lieu of the ceramic tile. Additional upgrades throughout include blinds and shutters, 7.25” baseboards, upgraded paint, ceiling fans and hanging light fixtures, and cased openings and window frames.

In the model, the flex room is set up as a casual dining room that is open to the great room. Buyers can choose to close off the wall between the two rooms. French sliders out to the front porch are another option. For those who want a downstairs bedroom, the flex room can be made into a bedroom with a standard closet and an en-suite bathroom with a single sink and a shower/tub combo.

To the right of the foyer, there is a large closet with extra storage under the stairs. The powder room is there as well, facing the street. It is basically shown with all of the standard features, including the pedestal sink, with only the pivot mirror as a decorator’s upgrade.

The great room and kitchen stretch across the back of the house. The great room is to the left, shown with the Western Multi-Slide Door to the backyard. The alternative is a standard sliding door and a fixed window. The room is a good size and having it open to the flex room makes it feel even bigger. It is shown with the optional built-in cabinets along one wall. None of the Whistler great rooms have fireplaces, not even as an option.

There is space for a dining area between the great room and the kitchen. The model doesn’t show one, so it was kind of hard to tell how well a large table would fit. The wall between the flex room and the opening to the foyer would be a fine spot for a china hutch.

The kitchen shows the standard appliance package (refrigerator not included) and the basic Thermofoil cabinetry with chrome knobs (glass cabinets flanking hood not included). The island, which houses the sink and dishwasher, is shown with upgraded cabinetry plus a wine chiller. The countertops and backsplash are upgraded throughout the kitchen. The island can comfortably seat three and probably has room for four stools. The warming drawer below the oven is also an upgrade. There are plenty of cabinets and drawers, plus a large pantry-height cupboard on one side. The garage entry is next to the pantry doors. I don’t really like having the garage right off the kitchen, though the model does show a small built-in drop zone in the garage.

The backyard is long and somewhat narrow, but not as small as in some of the other collections. This one is divided into three sections and is full hardscaped. The center houses a table and chairs. The left side is raised up and has a large fireplace with space for seating around it. To the right, there is a big outdoor kitchen beneath the optional shade structure. If you like to entertain, this would be a great set up, as it has additional seating at the bar area and inside the u-shaped counters. All of these features are listed as “decorator’s items.”

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms plus the laundry room. The laundry is right at the top of the stairs and is shown with the optional sink and optional upper cabinets. The linen base cabinet in the upstairs hall is included in the house.

The secondary bedrooms are similar in size and all have plenty of space for furniture. Some of them show upgraded features including can lights, ceiling fans, crown molding, and/or speakers. Bedroom 2 has a single window overlooking the backyard. It has a very large, sliding closet that takes up a full wall (mirrored doors are an upgrade). Bedroom 3 is slightly larger than the others and has a small entryway. It has a window overlooking the backyard and two looking to the side of the house. The closet is much smaller than in Bedroom 2 and has the standard doors. Bedroom 4 faces the street, with additional windows on the side wall. The closet is larger than in Bedroom 3 but smaller than Bedroom 2 and is shown with upgraded organizers.

The three bedrooms share a bathroom in the hallway. There are two sinks and, through a separate door, a shower/tub combo. It shows mostly standard features, with only the tile backsplash and tub surround as upgrades. The tub is deeper than most standard bathtubs.

The master bedroom is on the right side of the house. It has a small vestibule, shown with an optional curio (linen/display cabinets). The bedroom is big but not huge, and has space for a comfy chair in addition to standard bedroom furniture. Large windows overlook the backyard. As in the other bedrooms, the lighting, ceiling fan, speakers and crown molding are all upgrades.

The master bath has a stall shower with a seat that is part of the adjacent tub surround. As is the case in many new homes, I think the shower should be a little bigger, as it probably gets a lot more use than the tub. The counter is long, with linen storage on the left and two sinks on the right. The quartz countertop and tub surround are upgrades, as are the tile backsplash and shower tiles. The big walk-in closet has an upgraded

deluxe closet organizer.

Overall, I liked the house. There wasn’t anything particularly special about it, but I thought the rooms were all a good size and the layout works well. My only real complaint is having the garage directly off the kitchen.