Thursday, August 2, 2012

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Open House Review: 71 Festivo

Posted: 02 Aug 2012 05:00 AM PDT

I ventured out to a new neighborhood again today and toured a house in Westpark.  While Westpark itself is about 15-20 years old, it was the first time I had been inside a home there.  I visited 71 Festivo, a corner lot directly across the street from Plaza Vista School, a K-8 facility.

The basics:
Asking Price: $975,000
Bedrooms: 4 + office (listed as 5 bedrooms)
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,616
Lot Size: 5,116
$/Sq Ft: $373
Property Type: Single Family Home
Year Built: 1995 (per redfin) 1997 (per realtor)
Community: Westpark

HOA dues are $47 per month and Mello Roos taxes are about $3,200 per year (expected to end in 11 years).

Let me start by talking about the asking price.  It has been on the market for about three months and was recently lowered from $999,800 to $975,000.  While there were several offers at the original asking price, the owners didn’t feel any were high enough.  The price has since been lowered, but is still much higher per square foot than many comparable homes in Irvine.  The house was remodeled beautifully about a year ago, but I don’t know that it warrants the price.

When I entered the home, I was greeted by an attractive spiral staircase with iron railings and wood accents.  I also saw the living room/dining room combo, which has lots of tall windows, making great use of the vaulted ceilings.  The floors downstairs are all tile, which isn’t really my style, but is something I see a lot. 

To the left of the entryway is an office.  While the listings call it a fifth bedroom, it lacks both a closet and a door.  It is a nice room though and is a perfect space for an office or playroom.  Also, while there is a full bath downstairs (with very nice tile work), it isn’t adjacent to the room, as bathrooms usually are when the room is intended to be a bedroom.  There is a laundry room next to the bathroom; both are off the family room.

The family room is one of the biggest I’ve seen, with enough space to actually divide it into two separate living areas if you desired.  The way it’s set up now, the couches seem awfully far from the TV.  Rather, they are situated across the room in front of the fireplace in a cozier setting.  There is also a cutout space in the wall for a small display area.

The kitchen has been fully remodeled with granite countertops, stainless steel Kitchenaid appliances, and espresso-colored cabinets.  There is a five burner stove and plenty of storage.  There is an eating area between the kitchen and family room with room for a six person table.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms.  The master is at the top of the stairs and is quite large.  While it doesn’t have a retreat, it does have room for a comfy chair.  It also has slightly elevated ceilings, making it feel even bigger.  The master bath has a separate tub and nice-sized shower, as well as separate sinks, one of which has an attached vanity area.  The bathroom has two large windows and a smaller window in the shower, so it’s very bright.  There is a walk-in closet as well.

On the other side of the stairs, there is a full bathroom with two sinks and a tub/shower combo, plus three bedrooms all clustered together.  I generally prefer a little more space between the rooms so there aren’t noise issues and so many shared walls.  All three bedrooms have standard closets with two sliding doors and high quality beige carpet (the master has the same carpet).  Each room is a good size, not huge but certainly not too small, with plenty of room to arrange the furniture.

I thought the home was beautiful.  It is in wonderful condition and doesn’t need much, if any, work done to it.  It has a nice backyard with a patio and large grassy area, as well as a big front yard since it is on the corner.  My concern is with the price, since it doesn’t sound like the owners are willing to consider offers much lower than the asking price.  There are plenty of other 4-5 bedroom houses in Irvine with similar upgrades for a much lower price.  While I liked the house a lot, I wouldn’t make an offer on it at this price.


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