Posted: 27 Feb 2014 04:00 AM PST
For the third (and final) week in a row, I’m going to review a model on Conservancy in Portola Springs. This one is #26, across the street from 31 and 33 that I profiled earlier this month. Unlike the others, which are detached condos, 26 Conservancy is a true condo with shared walls on one side.
HOA dues are $329 ($195 + $134) per month and there are Mello Roos.
Quickly comparing this to the other homes across the street, the biggest differences are the shared walls vs. detached condos and the number of bedrooms (three in this home, four in the others). It’s about 300-400 square feet smaller and $7-23 more per square foot. It hasn’t been on the market nearly as long, though at 37 days it certainly isn’t getting snapped up as quickly as many other Irvine homes.
The front gate leads into a courtyard with a fountain and a fire pit with bench seating on one side. The attractive stonework, along with the fountain and fire pit, gives a nice backyard feel to the home, when condos generally don’t have any outdoor space.
The front door opens up directly into the living room. Large, neutral tiles cover the floor throughout the downstairs. Two cutout areas, one much larger than the other, line one wall and could easily accommodate built-in units. Two windows face the street and another looks into the courtyard. The room is simple but adequate.
The living room flows directly into the dining room. It has another cut out on the same wall that makes a good spot for a china hutch or a built-in. Another window faces the courtyard. Because the dining room is so open when you first walk in, it doesn’t feel as formal as a more private room, but a large chandelier and fireplace do help provide a more elegant atmosphere.
A large arched doorway leads into the kitchen. It is bigger than the kitchens in many other condos I have seen. A center island has seating and can probably accommodate three chairs. The granite counters coordinate nicely with the neutral floors and the dark cabinets offer a nice contrast. On the right side, a long counter houses the sink and dishwasher in the middle and the microwave and oven on one end. A small built-in desk sits at the other end, beneath a window that faces the courtyard. The wall at the back has a six-burner stove and a few cabinets. The refrigerator sits on the left wall. The full-tile backsplash has a brick-like look. All the appliances are stainless steel. A door leads outside to a small backyard area, which connects to the side courtyard. The yard has space for a barbecue but isn’t big enough for anything else.
Just off the kitchen, a small alcove houses a couple of pantry height cupboards, a coat closet and access to the attached, two-car garage. There is also a half bath with a pedestal sink.
The staircase is in the back corner of the dining room. The top opens up to a loft that, like the rest of the rooms upstairs, has walnut hardwood floors. The loft has windows facing the side of the house and a French door leading to a small balcony that looks to the street. A big cut out area in one corner could easily have built-ins, but also makes a good spot for a desk or toy storage.
A hallway off the loft leads to the master bedroom, which faces the front of the house. The room is a good size and has two windows on one wall, plus windows in the hallway. It has recessed lighting, but no other notable features. An arched doorway leads to the master bath. The first part of the room has two sinks set into a fairly small counter. A second arched doorway leads to the shower and bathtub. The shower is somewhat small and done in plain white tile. The bathtub is a simple oval with a surround that matches the vanity. The closet is smaller than in many masters but still a good size for a condo. It has a single shelf and hanging bar in each wall.
Back in the main hallway, there is a laundry room across from the loft. It has side by side machines on one wall and a small sink on the opposite wall, plus a few cabinets.
There are two additional bedrooms down the hall. The first one is a good size – it has a big bed and large dresser, but still has plenty of floor space. Two windows face the side of the house. A two-door, standard closet takes up most of another wall. A door at the back of the room leads to a Jack and Jill bathroom.
The bathroom has a single sink centered on a long counter. A doorway separates the vanity from the shower/tub combo, which is done in basic white tile. There is travertine flooring throughout the bathroom.
Another door connects the bathroom to the last bedroom. This room is also pretty big and has plenty of floor space. A single window looks to the back of the home. Like the other bedroom, it has a two-door, standard closet.
This is a nice home that doesn’t really feel like a condo. The rooms are spacious and nicely upgraded. Like the other homes on this street, I question why so many houses or for sale and staying on the market for longer than in other neighborhoods.
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