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.
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.
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
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.
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.
3,116 square feet
4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
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.