Saturday, June 8, 2013

Irvine Housing Blog

Irvine Housing Blog

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Open House Review: 66 Overbrook

Posted: 06 Jun 2013 05:00 AM PDT

I was surprised to see a home for sale in the brand new Santa Clara neighborhood of Stonegate, so I decided to check it out.  At 66 Overbrook, I found a brand new, never occupied, condo.

The basics:
Asking Price: $529,000
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1,305
Lot Size: 5,837 (per Redfin and realtor, but there isn’t a yard)
$/Sq Ft: $405
Days on Market: 8
Property Type: Condominium
Year Built: 2013
Community: Stonegate – Santa Clara

HOA dues are $303 per month ($110 + $193) and there are Mello Roos taxes.

Escrow on the original sale of the new home just closed last week and the property went on the market immediately.  Whoever buys this home will be getting a brand new condo, but for a lot more money than it was eight months ago as new construction.  Most of the condos in this building and the adjacent one are just closing now, so all of the new residents will move in over the next few weeks.

The condo only has two upgrades – the oven and recessed lighting – but the standard features look nice.  The kitchen has granite counters and both the kitchen and the bathrooms have white melamine cabinets.  There are stainless steel appliances, carpet throughout, and 12 foot ceilings that make the great room feel very big and open.

I entered the condo on the ground level and found doors to a small coat closet and to the two-car garage.  A staircase leads upstairs to the actual unit.

At the top of the stairs, I saw a large great room with a huge wall of windows looking out to the adjacent building and the alley of garages.  The great room is really long with plenty of space for both a living and dining area.  At the far end, there is access to a good-sized balcony that looks out to Irvine Blvd.  The balcony door and adjacent bedroom window are triple-paned to block out the noise.  While I could certainly still hear the cars, the windows significantly muffled the sound.

The kitchen is completely open to the great room, divided only by an island with bar seating.  The island is pretty wide, with narrow shelving on one end and a sink in the middle.  The back wall of the kitchen is a long counter, split in the middle by the four-burner stove and oven.  Cabinets line the wall above and below the counter.  A built-in desk at one end offers a workspace.  The kitchen has tile floors in a similar shade to the carpet so the rooms flow together nicely.

The bedrooms are on opposite ends of the condo, with the master being at the top of the stairs and the secondary room next to the balcony and facing Irvine Blvd.  The master bedroom is pretty small – about the size of a secondary room – with a big window dominating one wall.  The bathroom has dual sinks and a white-tiled shower, but no tub.  The walk-in closet is ample but not large.

The other bedroom is a little smaller and also has an attached bath.  This one has one sink and a shower/tub combo.  A two-door, sliding closet rounds out the room.

It’s a very nice condo.  My only complaints are that the master bedroom is too small and there isn’t a bathroom accessible from the great room.  Because it’s brand new, everything is obviously in perfect condition and move-in ready.  The biggest turnoff, however, is that I wouldn’t want to pay an inflated price now that the unit is built, compared to the price in the mid-400’s when it was planned construction.

Would you buy this condo, knowing you were paying more than what the new ones are selling for, to avoid the hassle of new construction?  Or, would you rather buy a unit that hasn’t been built yet, but gives you the option of customizing yourself and paying what all other new buyers pay?

Deadlines Approaching for Submissions for the Great Park Solar Decathlon

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:00 AM PDT

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams from across the nation and internationally to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. During the two weekends in October, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes and learn how energy-saving features can help save money.”—U.S Department of Energy

Since this is the first time that this event will be held outside of Washington D.C., the U.S. Department of Energy’s assignment of the Orange County Great Park as the site for the 2013 Solar Decathlon was a big coup for the Great Park team and the City of Irvine.  The exact dates and times for the Solar Decathlon are the weekends of October 3-6 and October 10-13 from 11 am to 7 pm.

This event, which will be free to the public, is currently open for submittal from potential exhibitors and speakers. Deadlines for applying as a speaker or an exhibitor are approaching fast:
• Speaker Application Deadline: June 15, 2013. Click here to apply.
• Exhibitor Space Application: July 1, 2013. Click here to apply.
Additional information about the 2013 Solar Decathlon can be found at and


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