Orchard Hills: Lago Collection Review

I recently visited the Lago collection in The Reserve at Orchard Hills. Built by Pacific Homes, there will be 132 detached condos with two different floor plans. Homes range from 2,227 – 2,388 square feet and sit on lots of approximately 2,800 square feet. Both models have four bedrooms (including one downstairs), three bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Neither has a loft, den, or other extra space.

Included Features
Verdi homes come standard with ceramic tile at entry, kitchen, baths, and laundry; plush carpet throughout living areas; single-panel interior doors with Baldwin® satin nickel hardware; coffered ceiling at master bedroom; pre-wired with media plate consisting of RG-6 and 1 CAT-5 line at great room, master bedroom, and secondary bedrooms; CAT-5 line for phone at master bedroom and dual CAT-5 line for phone/data at kitchen; inside laundry room with utility sink and Kohler® faucet; landscaped walkways and common areas; decorative front entry doors with dark bronze Baldwin hardware; fire-resistant concrete tile roofs; Wi-Fi thermostat; and Lutron home automation system. The gourmet kitchens include KitchenAid® stainless steel appliance package with a cooktop, oven/microwave combination, dishwasher, and hood; cabinetry in white satin Thermofoil finish with concealed and soft close hinges, soft close drawer guides, adjustable shelves, and under-cabinet lighting; granite slab counters with 6” backsplash and full splash at cooktop; stainless steel double basin sink with Kohler faucet; and refrigerator space pre-plumbed for ice maker. The master suites include Kohler Hytec tub with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround, separate shower with 6” x 6” ceramic tile surround and clear glass enclosure; and dual under mount Kohler sinks with cultured marble countertops and backsplash with Kohler polished chrome faucets. Finally, the energy-efficient features that come with the home are dual-glazed, vinyl windows with low-e glass; whole house fan; high-efficiency air conditioning and 92% a.f.u.e. gas furnace; tankless water heater; and energy-efficient lighting.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $299 at buildout for Reserve at Orchard Hills Community Association
Base Property Tax: 1.05% of sales price
AD Tax: $1,750 per year
CFD Tax: $1,700 per year
Other Taxes: $171 per year
Overall Effective Tax Rate: Approximately 1.4%
Prices start at $1,127,595 for Residence 1 and $1,167,118 for Residence 2

Students living in Lago will attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District.  Children in grades K – 6 will attend Canyon View Elementary School. Students in grades 7 – 8 will attend Sierra Vista Middle School. Students in grades 9 – 12 will attend Northwood High School.

Residence 1
2,227 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,127,595 – 1,149,595


Residence 1 is modeled in the Tuscan elevation, with Santa Barbara, Early California, and Formal Spanish options also available. The front door is on one side of the house and the garage is on another, off a shared motor court. Both the Tuscan and Formal Spanish elevations have small balconies above the front door. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, solid core doors, additional outlets, and audio/video systems.

When you enter the home, there is a small hallway that could hold a narrow bench or table, but no larger pieces of furniture. The dining room is straight ahead, with the stairs just off to one side and a small coat closet on the right.

The dining room comfortably shows a table for six. It could hold a longer table easily, and the space could be expanded into the great room to accommodate a larger table. The dining room, along with the great room, shows upgraded crown molding.

The great room is left of the dining room. It is a spacious room that comes standard with panoramic doors opening to the backyard. The screen on the door is an upgrade.

The kitchen is open to the great room. It has a small window facing the front walkway. Although the room is somewhat small, it is laid out well and has good storage. The island can comfortably seat three people and includes all drawers in lieu of the standard cabinets. The waterfall sides and natural stone “corteccia” countertop are upgrades, as are the pendant lights above it. The u-shaped kitchen has the fridge and walk-in pantry on one side; the microwave, oven, sink and dishwasher on another; and the cooktop on the third. The cabinets are upgraded to “IP White” 380 recessed panel doors with stain nickel knobs. Additional upgrades include the crown molding, pental quartz “Alpine” at perimeter countertops, full-height tile backsplash; reverse osmosis system, and the pental quartz “Alpine” countertop in the pantry.


The backyard is extremely narrow, with only about 8 – 10 feet between the house and the back wall. The model shows it mostly hardscaped, with a strip of plants around the edge.

The first-floor bedroom and bathroom are on the other side of the entry from the living areas. The bathroom has a vanity with a set of cabinets, two drawers, and a good amount of counter space. The cabinets, knobs, and countertop are upgraded to match the kitchen. The backsplash is also upgraded. The shower is shown with upgraded tile; there is an option for a shower/tub combo instead.

The bedroom has two narrow windows facing the motor court and two facing the front walk. One wall has a standard bi-pass closet, shown with the standard doors, shelf, and chrome pole. The recessed lights and wainscot paneling are upgrades.

The landing of the stairway has six base cabinets, shown with upgraded doors and knobs. The countertop is upgraded to Caesarstone quartz “ocean foam” in lieu of the standard wood top.

Bedroom 3 is at the top of the stairs. It is the largest secondary room, with a recessed area on one wall offering a good space for a desk or dresser. The bi-pass closet has the standard doors but upgraded organizers inside. The recessed and pendant lights are upgrades as well. Windows face the motor court and side of the home.

The secondary bath is next to bedroom 3. It has two sinks set into a shared vanity, each with its own set of cabinets and a shared set of three drawers. The cabinets and knobs are upgraded to match the kitchen, while the countertop matches the stairway linen cabinets. The framed mirror is also upgraded. The shower/tub combo is through another door and has a shower-only option. The model shows upgraded tile and a ¼” clear glass enclosure.

Bedroom 2 is on the other side of the bathroom. It is also a good-sized room, with two windows facing the motor court and two more facing the front walk. The bi-pass closet is shown the standard doors and shelves but upgraded casing around the doors. The recessed lights, ceiling fan and pre-wire, and wall paneling are all upgrades.

The laundry room is outside bedroom 2. It has space for side-by-side machines and a utility sink. There are cabinets below the sink and above the machines. The cabinets, knobs, and countertop are all upgraded.

The master suite spans the back of the house. The bedroom in this elevation has the Juliet balcony above the front door (as does the Formal Spanish elevation); the other two homes have windows in lieu of the doors. The recessed lights, crown molding, and cased opening between the bedroom and bathroom are upgrades. The walk-in closet is off the bedroom and is shown with the standard shelves and chrome poles. There is an option for a door between the bedroom and bathroom.

The master bathroom has two vanities, each with one sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. They are upgraded to include cabinets and knobs that match the rest of the house, pental quartz “Calacatta” countertops and backsplash, and framed mirrors. The bathtub sits between them and has upgraded cabinet face panels and a deck that matches the counters. The shower is across from the far vanity. It is somewhat small, with a corner seat and upgraded tile.


This home has a good layout, though it doesn’t have much closet space outside the bedrooms. The second-floor bedrooms are spacious. The yard is tiny, but given the condo designation, that is to be expected.

Residence 2
2,388 square feet
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Phase one pricing ranged from $1,167,118 – $1,193,118

Residence 2 is modeled in the Santa Barbara elevation, with Early California, Formal Spanish, and Tuscan elevations also available. The front door is next to the garage, facing the motor court. The Santa Barbara and Tuscan elevations have small balconies above the front window. Upgrades found throughout the model include flooring, window and wall treatments, Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches, optional round Wi-Fi thermostat, solid core doors, additional outlets, and audio/video systems.

Inside, the front hall is longer than in residence 1, and is just wide enough for a narrow table or bench. A doorway on the left leads to the first-floor bedroom and bathroom. Direct access to the two-car garage is on the right. There is a coat closet just outside the bedroom.


Bedroom 4 has two windows facing the front of the house and one on the side. It has a walk-in closet, but only one side has a shelf and pole. The cased opening between the entry and bedroom is an upgrade, as are the recessed lights, ceiling fan, and pre-wire.

The bathroom has a vanity with a single sink, one set of cabinets, and two drawers. The Kohler “Vox” rectangle vessel sink is an upgrade. The pental quartz “Sahara” countertop, 6” backsplash, and framed mirror are also upgrades. The cabinets actually show the standard Thermofoil Shaker doors and satin nickel knobs. The shower is through a separate door. It has a corner seat and is shown with the standard door, but the tile is upgraded throughout. There is an option for a shower/tub combo.

The main hall opens to the great room, with the staircase on the left. The great room is big, with two windows on the side and panoramic doors (standard) across the back wall. It models the included recessed lights, pre-wire for optional motorized window treatments at the panoramic doors, TV and data outlet, flat screen pre-wire, and duplex floor outlet.

The dining room is at the back of the house. It is also shown without upgrades (besides the floor and window treatments), so the recessed lights, panoramic doors, and pre-wire for motorized window treatments are included. The dining room is not as open to the great room as in residence one, so the size of the table is more limited.

The kitchen is next to the dining room and is bigger than in residence one. The island can seat up to four people and holds the sink and dishwasher. The Kohler single basin vault apron front sink, Kohler purist vibrant stainless steel faucet, and pendant lights (plus pre-wire) are upgrades. A long counter on one wall holds the stove and oven (upgraded from the standard cooktop) while the shorter wall has the microwave, oven, and fridge. There are numerous cabinets and drawers. The upgraded KitchenAid appliance package includes a 36” commercial-style range and hood, dishwasher, warming drawer, and single-door refrigerator. The clear glass doors next to the hood, natural stone “Perla” countertop, and full tile backsplash are upgrades as well. The walk-in pantry has a full organizer system and extensive storage beneath the stairs.


The backyard is wider than in residence one, shown mostly hardscaped with garden boxes on the edges. A narrow strip of yard runs behind the dining room as well.

On the second floor, the master bedroom is directly across from the staircase. The large bedroom has three windows facing the back of the home and two on the side. The wood beams are upgraded though the coffered ceiling is standard. The recessed lights are also upgrades. There is a walk-in closet off the bedroom with an upgraded organizer system. This is the smaller of two closets in the suite.

The master bathroom has two sinks set into a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three shared drawers. There are upgraded Kohler “Vox” rectangle vessel sinks and a pental quartz “Sahara” countertop with 6” backsplash. The bathtub is across from the vanity. It has an upgraded deck and face to match the countertop and an upgraded ogee drop edge detail. The deck forms a narrow ledge in the adjacent shower, which has upgraded tile throughout and an upgraded 3/8” frameless, clear glass enclosure.  The Kohler HydroRail shower column is an upgrade as well and deletes the standard soap niche. The second walk-in closet is bigger than the one in the bedroom and has an upgraded organizer system.

A hallway on the right side of the stairs leads to the secondary bathroom, laundry room, and two bedrooms. There are four base and four upper linen cabinets in the hall near the top of the stairs. The countertop is upgraded.

The secondary bathroom has two sinks in a shared vanity, with two sets of cabinets and three shared drawers. The pental quartz “Nuage” countertops and 6” backsplash are upgrades. The shower replaces the standard shower/tub combo. It has an upgraded tile surround and floor, with a 3/8” frameless clear glass enclosure and Kohler HydroRail shower column. There is a tiny corner seat.

The laundry room has space for side-by-side machines with upper cabinets. The sink has lower cabinets and shows the included countertop, cabinets, knobs, sink, and faucet.

Bedroom 2 is at the front of the house, with two windows facing the motor court and two more on the side. The room is a good size and has a walk-in closet. The only upgrade in the room is the recessed lighting.

Bedroom 3 is larger than bedroom 2. It has a Juliet balcony facing the motor court (in two elevations only) and one small window on the side. There is a standard bi-pass closet, shown without upgrades. The recessed lights are upgraded.

This home has better storage than residence one. I like the bigger kitchen, though there is less flexibility in the dining room. I also prefer the layout of the backyard in this home.

Overall, the Lago collection fits the same mold as the other new homes. There aren’t any interesting variations to the layouts and the choices for cabinetry and countertops are similar. They are generously sized condos situated on small lots.