Posted: 03 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT
This week, I visited 15 Princeton in Northwood's Woodcrest neighborhood. Though the house is older without many upgrades, I was very pleasantly surprised when I toured it.
This home doesn't have HOA dues or Mello Roos.
Let's start with the location. It is right across the street from the recently renovated Silkwood Park, which now has bigger, nicer play structure. It is also only one block away from Northwood Park (aka Castle Park), which is one of Irvine's most popular park and it boasts a brand new community center. It is also a short walk from both Brywood Elementary and Sierra Vista Middle School. There are two downfalls to the location. First, it backs to Westwood, a non-residential street that can get busy during school drop off and pick up times. Second, it's also located on a corner lot at an entry point to the neighborhood, so there are probably a lot of cars driving by throughout the day. Overall though, I like the proximity to schools and parks, so it could outweigh the extra cars.
The rooms in this home were quite large, which was one of the most appealing aspects. It also has a three-car garage. This home hasn't been remodeled at all, but at only $318 per square foot, it's less expensive than many others on the market. It has also been well maintained, so a buyer could move in without doing too much work. The home does have new windows, so that is a big upgrade and helpful in blocking out noise from the street.
When you enter, there is a tile hallway leading to the back of the house. On the right is a large, carpeted living room. It has vaulted ceilings and a large window overlooking the street. The room flows directly back to the dining room, which has a built-in china hutch on one side and a window on the other. A doorway leads directly into the kitchen.
As you move down the main hallway, the tile switches to laminate flooring and the wide, straight staircase is on the left. There is a built-in bookshelf with lower cabinets on the right, with a small coat closet just beyond it. The family room and kitchen are at the back of the house.
The kitchen still has its original white, tile counter and plain brown cabinetry, as well as a tile floor. It has an older white dishwasher and trash compactor, with a newer, built-in black microwave and oven. The black, four burner stove is very oddly placed, with brick walls on each side and cabinets above and below. There isn't any counter space next to it, so there is hardly even room to place a spoon while you cook. The kitchen has a few pantry-height cupboards, plenty of space on the counter across from the appliances, and a peninsula separating it from the eating area and family room.
The flooring in the family room is original, but looks much newer. One wall has a walk-in wet bar with a small sink. The opposite wall has a fireplace with a brick hearth and brick surround extending to the ceiling. Next to the fireplace are the sliding doors that lead to the backyard. The yard has a big pool, a Jacuzzi, and a small patio area.
On the far side of the family room, a short hallway houses the washer and dryer and leads to the garage. Next to that is the downstairs bathroom. The single sink still has the original white solid surface and cabinets, but newer hardware. This bathroom has a single stall shower that has white tile and shows its age.
There is also a bedroom downstairs. Like the family room, it has wood floors and sliding door access to the backyard. It is an average size room with a standard two-door closet.
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms and a huge bonus room. The bedrooms sit on one side of the house, with the hallway overlooking the entryway downstairs. The bonus room faces the front of the house and spans the width of the three-car garage. One wall has two large windows overlooking the street, set into small alcoves that could be a nice spot for window seats. Another wall has a brick fireplace with built-in bookshelves and cabinetry surrounding it.
Both of the secondary bedrooms upstairs have walk-in closets. While both are a good size, one room, and its closet, is definitely bigger than the other. Both have windows that are set high on the wall and are fairly small.
These bedrooms share a bathroom. It has a vanity with dual sinks. Everything in this bathroom, including the hardware, is original. A door separates the vanity area from the toilet and shower/tub combo.
The master bedroom is at the end of the hall. It is a two-level room, with the lower level making a nice retreat area. It has a large window facing the backyard on the lower level and a smaller one on the upper level. There is plenty of room to place the furniture and to create a nice, relaxing space.
Double doors lead into the carpeted master bath, where everything is original. The dual vanity has the same white counters as the other two bathrooms, but with brown cabinets instead of white. There is a sunken tub with the same white tile as the other baths, but it doesn't really look very inviting. Another door leads to the toilet and stall shower, which is pretty small for a master. Finally, there is a walk-in closet. It's a good size but much smaller than the closets in new construction.
Overall, this house has a lot of good things going for it. The biggest highlights are the larger bedrooms, the huge bonus room, the master retreat, the downstairs bedroom and the three-car garage. The biggest downfalls are the lack of upgrades and remodeling, and the busier location. I think the house has a lot of potential.
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