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Open House Review: 26 Conservancy

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.

The basics:
Asking Price: $799,888
Bedrooms: 3 + loft
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 2,262
Lot Size: N/A
$/Sq Ft: $354
Days on Market: 37
Property Type: Condominium
Year Built: 2009
Community: Portola Springs, Paloma

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.

Irvine Housing Blog

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IRWD’s Leak-Fixing Tips and Contest

Posted: 26 Feb 2014 04:00 AM PST

Due to the current drought in California, IRWD is asking its customers to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20%. Since 20% of our water overuse is from outdoor watering and sprinkler over spraying, adjusting our habits in regards to these two sources is an easy way to reduce water use.

Fixing leaks is another way that can help to save water as well as reduce our water bills. The Irvine Ranch Water District in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Watersense program is sponsoring Fix a Leak Week. If you enter this contest by March 30, you will be entered in a drawing to win gift cards valued at $500, $300, or $100 from IWRD’s WaterSense partners, Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Here are the details from the IRWD website:

  1. Enter this contest only if you are an IRWD customer.
  2.  Enter the contest by March 30. Note that mailed-in entries will be accepted through April 7.
  3.  Send a photo or short video to that shows your Leak Detective skills. Include your mailing address. Some sample of the type of pictures that you might submit:
  4. If supplies are still available, IWRD will mail you an IRWD CALscape Kit.
  5. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of your CALscape Kit.

To view some videos on fixing sprinkler leaks, toilet leaks, checking your water meter and identify where a leak is coming from, click on the videos at the bottom of the IRWD webpage. Also note that IRWD offers free in-home water-use audits.

For additional information or questions:  See the IRWD website, email, or call 949-453-5322.
Additional post on IRWD and water-saving tips: Water-Saving and Bill-Reduction Tips from IRWD and  IRWD CALscape Workshops Available Soon.



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Open House Review: 4942 Persimmon

Posted: 25 Feb 2014 04:00 AM PST

University Park Remodeled Parkside Single Family Home
4942 Persimmon  $935,888
Turning off Culver onto Michelson and winding all the way back to Royce Drive provides a taste of the University Park neighborhood atmosphere. Early afternoon on Friday, there were clusters of school kids on the tree lined street with many headed to the library, and neighbors out walking. Turning onto Royce and then onto Persimmon puts you in the Parkside Deane community in a quiet area well insulated from urban traffic.

This specific two story single family home also provides a glimpse of one aspect of Irvine investing. The home was sold in August of 2013 for $755,000, upgraded throughout and listed for $945,000 in December, 2013. In January it was reduced to $935,888.  Almost everything has been redone, except the windows. New wood flooring, carpeting, remodeling of kitchen, and baths, along with designer paints and staging are all in place. The broker also emphasized it is the only detached single family home currently for sale in the area.

Significant Numbers:  This two level, single family four bedroom, 2.5 bath home has 2,289 sq. ft., at $409 a sq. ft. The lot size is 4,356 sq. ft.  HOA dues are $173. There is no Mello Roos. The home was built in 1974 and it has been on the market a little over 50 days.

Close up: Curbside, professional landscaping leads to a gated entry courtyard, and double doors open into the living room with fireplace.  The formal dining room overlooks the patio and good sized windows throughout the home capitalize on natural light and views of the landscaped patio with raised brick planters.

To the left of the entry the family room opens to the kitchen and also has garage access.  The kitchen has new espresso cabinets, quartz counters, stainless appliances and recessed lighting.

To the right of the entry, stairs lead to the home’s four bedrooms with  large master suite with enclosed balcony, raised ceilings and mirrored closet doors. Baths have quartz counters, new tiled showers and floors. There is a remodeled half bath on the main floor.

Engineered hardwood floors are used throughout the main level, with new carpeting upstairs.

More specifics:
Single family home
Bedrooms, 4
Baths, 2 and a half
Two car garage
Two parking spaces
Laundry in garage
Central furnace,  central air
Tile roof
Association pool, spa
Completely detached
Irvine Unified School District

Overall Evaluation: As a single family, detached home in a prime location in Parkside in University Park, away from traffic noise and within easy reach of parks, tennis courts and schools, this home may have strong family appeal.  Nearby there are new million dollar homes, and other homes overlooking University Park’s central park system, that offer competition.  As a remodeled two story, four bedroom home, it will be interesting to see how options and price play out.

Who will move in?  Families looking for exceptional schools like University High School, a regional park, and a well established community atmosphere near the University of California Irvine, might put this home on their list to consider.  All bedrooms are upstairs which works for children, but may not work for more mature buyers.

Recent nearby listings: 19 Queens Wreath Way, $838,000; 45 Redwood Tree Lane, $759,000
Recent nearby sales: 13 Ash Tree Lane, $849,000; 21 Aspen Tree Lane, $989,000.

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