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Artist in Residence: Turtle Rock Glen Townhome

Posted: 08 May 2012 05:00 AM PDT

Start with a prime location, then pick a skilled artist to interpret the setting.  That was my take on Sunday’s open house at 3 Whitewater #2 ($510,000).  From the outside, this townhome blends right into the natural hillside surroundings in a secluded area of Turtle Rock, just minutes from the University of California Irvine.

But as you step inside, be prepared to be intrigued.  The home is meticulous and the added detail in art is extensive.   The open loft floor plan lends itself to the strategic placement of art and the owner, who has lived here 17 years, has obviously enjoyed the space and made the most of his surroundings.

The den has become his studio, and his three dimensional art work  has been used to advantage throughout the home. Most of the effects are from the artist’s perspective, and the results are dramatic. 

It was definitely my cup of tea, but you have to see it to make your call.

Farrow and Ball organic paint has been used with hand done sealed floors.  Plants, fabrics, individual pieces of art, special door treatments, musical instruments, and dividers all make the most of the high ceilings, art lights, clerestory windows, and added special lighting.

Natural Assets and Updates:  This place has “good bones,” no matter what your artistic leanings.  A very appealing floor plan, desirable end location, and an inviting natural setting set the tone.

  • The home was built in 1977 and has 1,648 square feet with views from the windows, patio and  two balconies. The upstairs has a large den/studio/second bedroom with patio and a master bedroom with a sitting area, balcony, updated bathroom, and two walk-in closets.


  • The kitchen has been remodeled with new appliances, white cabinets, tiled floors, counters and recessed lights. The formal dining room has an art treatment floor and  hill views that  open to a private yard.  The living room has high ceilings, fireplace with an upgraded mantel, and patio access.  There are art lights everywhere.

  • Hardware has been replaced throughout. The two car attached garage has a new epoxy flooring. There is a newer water heater and plumbing, newer air conditioning and a new roof in 2011.

Detractions:  The wood stairs are creaky.  The overall space is a little tight.  This is made less apparent by all of the open light and outside views.  But I still found myself wishing for a little more patio space, another bedroom.

Location: The community is prime Turtle Rock with 142 detached homes, 198 condominiums and townhouses.   There are walking, biking, hiking trails, pool, tennis courts, and the investment enhancing overall halo effect of Turtle Rock.  The  seclusion achieved in a gated community exists here, with the bonus of easily reached urban connections like South Coast Plaza, and the Irvine Spectrum, award winning  schools, and a thriving academic community nearby.  Association dues are $498.  There is no Mello Roos Tax.

Recent Sales Comparisons Nearby in Turtle Rock: 

  • Across the way off the central courtyard, 6 Whitewater is listed as sale pending at $528,000  with backup offers accepted.  Three bedroom, 2.4 bath, 1961 sq. feet.  HOA dues $495. Split level with city lights and hill views.
  • Listed as just sold May 1, 34 White Water, 32 Cool Brk,  $640,000 - 3 bedrooms, 2.75 baths, 2077 sq. feet.  HOA: $500.  Hill, tree top views.

What seals the deal? Who belongs here?   This could be a welcome retreat for active people who treasure their solitude, outdoor time, and natural surroundings.  For an individual or couple who travel frequently, it would be very workable.  They could just lock the door and go.  Writers, artists, and professionals who need a home office, could tailor the space to fit.


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