Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Open House Review: 14 Walnut Creek

Posted: 13 Dec 2012 04:00 AM PST

This week, I visited a property with an interesting layout in Northpark.  For those who know the different floor plans, this one is a Saratoga Modified Plan One.

The basics:
Asking Price: $995,000
Bedrooms: 3 + bonus room
Bathrooms: 2 full + 2 half
Square Footage: 2,700
Lot Size: 5,288
$/Sq Ft: $369
Days on Market: 7 
Property Type: Single Family Residence
Year Built: 2000
Community: Northpark Square

HOA dues are $110 per month and there are Mello Roos taxes.

The front of the home is very attractive, with newly planted flowers and well-groomed grass, plus a small front patio.  The entryway has high ceilings, a large walk-in closet (including some built in shelving and plenty of under-the-stairs storage), and an alcove that would make a great landing zone for mail, keys, etc. 

To the left of the entry, there is a room that would make a nice formal living room, office, or playroom.  It has a large, arched doorway but lacks an actual door, so it couldn’t really be used as a downstairs bedroom.  While the rest of the downstairs has wood floors, the front room is carpeted.

The downstairs half bath is just past the front room.  It is surprisingly large, despite only having a toilet and pedestal sink.

The rest of the downstairs is one large great room, housing the kitchen, family room, and eating area.  The kitchen has darker granite, creating a nice contrast to the white cabinets and appliances.  A large island has room for a few barstools and there is a hanging pot rack above it.  The only pantry space is closer to the dining/desk area, so it isn’t terribly convenient.

The dining area is pretty small and, to be honest, I didn’t even realize that’s what it was.  I left the house thinking “where do you eat?” and only later realized that it was on the other side of the island.  This area also has a small, built-in desk.

On the other side of the room is the living area.  It’s pretty small and doesn’t offer a lot of options in arranging it.  A spot on one wall is designed for a TV and there is a fireplace in the corner.  What I did like is that, if you are entertaining, people can easily flow from the kitchen, to the family room, to the dining room.  It is truly one large space without any dividers.

The backyard is pretty big, with both a patio and a large grassy area.  The grass is in good condition and there is plenty of space to play or to entertain.

The most interesting design feature of the house is at the back, behind the great room.  A back staircase leads up to a large bonus room.  Equipped with two ceiling fans, numerous windows, and wooden floors, this is a gorgeous room with many possibilities.  It has a two-door sliding closet and a half bath that could be converted to a full bath if desired.  Oddly enough, the bathroom also connects to the master bath.  This doorway could be taken out and replaced with drywall, to create a fully separate back room.  With an added shower, it would make a very private guest suite.  It would also work well as a home office or a playroom for the kids.

The rest of the upstairs features the master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, and a laundry room.  The master is pretty standard; a good-sized room, a large bathroom with a separate tub and shower and two sinks  There is a large walk-in closet with many built-ins.

The other two bedrooms are a good size, with plenty of room to arrange the furniture.  They have standard closets and big windows that let in a lot of light.  They share a jack and jill bathroom with two sinks and a shower/tub combo.  The shower lacks doors or a curtain rod, so the buyer would have to install one or the other.  A laundry room (no sink) completes the second floor of the house.

Overall, the house is in good condition and the layout provides a lot of versatility.  I can envision a family moving in and making this their home for many years to come.

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