Thursday, May 10, 2012

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Open House Review: 35 Bella Rosa

Posted: 10 May 2012 05:00 AM PDT

Today I visited a home in the Bella Rosa community of Northpark Square. This gated community is quiet and nicely maintained.  The realtor described the home as “perfect for empty nesters,” so I went into it with that in mind.  Here’s what I found…

The basics:
Asking Price: $979,800
Bedrooms: 3 (plus office and den)
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 2,600
Lot Size: 4,831
$/Sq Ft: $377
Property Type: SFR
Year Built: 2003
Community: Northpark, Bella Rosa

There are two sets of HOA dues, for a total of $217 per month, plus Mello Roos.

Downstairs, I found the rooms to be mostly light and bright, with pretty hardwood floors and lots of windows.  The den at the front of the house is perfect for a home office, as it is somewhat secluded from the rest of the rooms.  Moving down the hall, I passed a formal living room and dining room.  I then came to what appeared to be a second dining room, but is actually the breakfast nook, set across from the kitchen in an alcove large enough to be its own room.  The kitchen is large, but lacks many of the features that are common in newer homes.  It doesn’t have an island and the appliances are white, rather than stainless steel.  On the plus side, it does have a double oven, a pantry, and lots of cabinet space.  The kitchen opens to a large family room with a full wall of built-ins and several big windows.

As with all of the homes in the Bella Rosa tract, the master bedroom is downstairs.  This is why the home is considered ideal for empty nesters.  Pros: The room is large, with a nice-sized bathroom and closet, but not as outrageously huge as the masters in many other new homes.  There is very little wasted space.  Cons: the bedroom is right next to the family room, so noise would be a factor if one person is still up watching TV when the other goes to sleep.  It also didn’t feel as bright as the other rooms downstairs.

Moving upstairs, there are two average-sized bedrooms and a top-of-the-stairs den/office area with a built-in desk.  The rooms share a full bathroom.  If you are an empty nester, the upstairs suite is the perfect place for your children and grandchildren when they visit.  The setup will also work for a family where the children still live at home, assuming the parents are comfortable sleeping on a separate floor. 


This home has both a courtyard and a backyard.  Both are paved, with no grass. As with the home I toured last week, I would rather have had one large backyard than two smaller outdoor spaces.  The courtyard was empty, proving that there is little use for it.

After viewing the entire home and considering it both for a family and for empty nesters, I can honestly say that I don’t know think it’s the ideal setup for either one.  For a family, I prefer the master bedroom to be on the same level as all or most other bedrooms, and to have a large backyard with a grassy area.  For empty nesters, it seems too big and too expensive, unless they have very frequent overnight visitors.  If I was going to buy a 2600 square foot house, I would rather get one just across Culver from Northpark Square in Northwood.  The same size house comes with a bigger yard, lower HOA dues, no Mello Roos, Irvine schools, and a lower price tag.


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