Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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A Review of the La Crest Tract at Woodbury - Residence Two

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 05:00 AM PDT

Residence Two
3,770 Sq Ft
4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms, Optional Garage Loft plus Home Management or Loft plus Enclosed Kitchen at Garage Storage, Optional Bedroom 5 at Upstairs Family Retreat
Starting from $1,424,500

Residence Two has a huge foyer that, quite frankly, is a big waste of space.  While it’s big enough for a sitting room, its awkward shape and location make it very difficult to actually use as one.  As you can see, they placed a piano and a chair there in the model.  If you don’t have a piano though, it’s hard to say how you would actually furnish and use this area.

Off the foyer, you will find a half bath and small coat closet.  The downstairs bedroom is also located off the foyer, with a huge window facing the street.  This bedroom has a fairly small closet and a full bathroom with one sink and a shower.  There is a nice sitting area by the window, with an archway helping to define the space.

As you walk through the foyer, you enter the dining room.  As in Residence One, there is plenty of room for a big table.  It also has a fireplace centered along one wall and, in the model, you can see built-ins along side it.  The dining room offers access to the Outdoor Living Room.

The kitchen is just beyond the dining room.  Like Residence One, it has a large island with seating for four.  The setup here is much better than in the first home, with numerous cabinets and drawers in the main kitchen, much more counter space, and a better overall layout.  There is still a second prep kitchen, though this model shows a much smaller one than in Residence One.  This one has just one counter with cabinets and is more like a butler’s pantry, as it has no appliances or sinks.  The pantry is directly across from it, making it more accessible from both the main and prep kitchens.  While the standard for the house is an enlarged garage with storage, the model shows the option with the Enclosed Kitchen.  This is located past the prep kitchen, and has a sink, fridge, stove, and plenty of cabinets and counter space. 

If you don’t opt for the enclosed kitchen, you could instead have a home management center.  Both options take away some of the garage storage, but still leave a “loft” area (meaning it is one step higher than the main garage floor) with extra storage space.  If you don’t add either feature and keep the basic garage as planned, it changes the layout of the prep kitchen and pantry.  It enlarges the prep kitchen, but unfortunately, moves the pantry behind it and farther away from the main kitchen.

The living room is at the back of the house, directly behind the kitchen and still quite open to the dining room.  As in Residence One, it’s a very big room with lots of windows.  It is a great space for entertaining.

The backyard has the Outdoor Living Room, a grassy area, and a patio with room for seating and a fountain.

Upstairs, the hallway wraps all the way around before opening up to the Family Retreat.  Again, this is a large, open and casual sitting area.  I really like the room and think it makes a great addition to the home, especially since there is only one living space downstairs.

The three upstairs bedrooms are separated from each other; they don’t share walls with each other or with the retreat.  It creates a great feeling of privacy and quiet in each room.  Both secondary rooms are a good size and have nice layouts.  The one at the front of the house has a walk-in closet.  The bath is located just outside the bedroom, with a single sink and a shower/tub combo.  The other bedroom is at the side of the house.  It has a standard closet and a spacious en-suite bathroom, also with a single sink and shower/tub combo. 

The laundry room is located between the two bedrooms.  As in the other home, it has a sink, side by side machines, and a huge linen closet.

The master suite is at the back of the house.  It has a long foyer that, like the foyer downstairs, is a complete waste of space.  It is basically an enclosed hallway leading to the bedroom, but is too narrow to use for anything.  The bedroom has windows on three sides, including a very large one overlooking the backyard.

The master bath is huge, as is the walk-in closet behind it.  There are two sinks, separated by a vanity, a good-sized shower (dubbed “oversized” by the builders) and a large bathtub.

I had an almost completely opposite opinion of Residence Two than I did of Residence One.  While Two has a much better layout for the kitchen, I think it has a lot more wasted space and doesn’t flow quite as nicely from room to room.  I do like the generous size of all rooms, closets, and bathrooms, but would not choose this model over Residence One.

A Review of the La Crest Tract at Woodbury - Residence One

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 05:00 AM PDT

Woodbury’s final neighborhood, La Cresta is now open and selling.  The Brookfield Residential homes feature three basic residences with various options for each floor plan.  All homes have a minimum of four bedrooms, including a downstairs suite, and range from 3,622 – 4,098 square feet.  La Cresta is located in the southeast corner of Woodbury, near Trabuco and Sand Canyon, adjacent to the San Marino tract.  The nearest schools are Woodbury Elementary, Jeffrey Trail Middle School, and Irvine High School.  Residents will have access to Woodbury’s 16 neighborhood parks and gardens, a neighborhood swimming pool, The Commons – a 30-acre central gathering place with athletic fields, a playground, a recreation center, and swimming pools, and easy access to the Jeffrey Open Space Trail.

All of the models have an upstairs family room – a large loft area at the top of the stairs – with the option to create an additional bedroom and bathroom instead.  Each home also has a two-car garage with additional storage space but not room to park a third car.  They also all have prep kitchens and optional enclosed kitchens (known in some neighborhoods as “wok kitchens”).  There is an outdoor living room in all of the backyards.

Some of the home features included in the base price are Wolf stainless steel professional appliance package; white, raised-panel European cabinetry and pull-out drawers;  expanded prep kitchen and large walk-in pantry; 12 x 12 ceramic tile in kitchen, entry, nook, butler’s pantry, powder room and master bath; solid surface matte white countertops in all baths; oversized walk-in showers and 6’ tubs in master baths; indoor laundry rooms with extensive linen storage; and tankless water heaters.  A complete list of standard features can be found on Brookfield’s website.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Base Property Tax: 1.0035%
CFD/Special Assessments: $7,005/year
Homeowners Dues: $110 per month (approximately)

Residence One

3,622 Sq Ft
4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms, Music Room/Library, Optional Home Management or Optional Enclosed Kitchen at Garage Storage, Optional Bedroom 5 at Upstairs Family Retreat
Starting from $1,358,000

Though it isn’t small by any means, this is La Cresta’s smallest model.  Just inside the entry is a “Music Room.”  It has a huge, arched window facing the street and is a perfect size – not too small but still cozy enough to feel intimate. 

Beyond the music room, a hallway takes you past an elegant stairway, a walk-in coat closet (bigger than those in residences 2 and 3), and a powder room.  The hall ends at the main living area, which consists of a formal dining room, a “grand” living room, and the kitchen.  The dining area is very large, with a built-in buffet and plenty of space for a large table.

The living room is directly beyond the dining room.  It has several large windows facing the back and side of the house to bring in a lot of light.  It is a great space for entertaining, as it is completely open to the kitchen and dining room, as well as offering easy access to the backyard. 

The kitchen, as in most new homes, is enormous.  La Cresta’s basic kitchen package has high end, Wolf stainless steel appliances, including a 48” gas range top with six burners plus griddle, high powered 1200 cfm ventilation hood, 30” electric oven with built-in microwave and Asko multi-cycle dishwasher.  The island is huge and can easily seat four, while still accommodating the sink and plenty of prep space.  The main kitchen has drawers beside the stove and in the island, but overall doesn’t have a ton of storage space.  However, the adjacent prep kitchen is lined with cabinets along the top and bottom, has two very long counters, and also has an additional sink.  Beyond that is a gigantic walk-in pantry.  While the kitchen looks gorgeous, the layout is actually quite awkward.  The pantry is buried behind the prep kitchen.  Even worse, the dishwasher is on the far side of the island from the prep kitchen, though most dishes and glassware would need to be stored in the prep area.



The model shows a garage with an extra storage area.  This area could be an enclosed kitchen, which would include a fridge, sink, stove, and plenty of additional cabinets.  Alternately, it could be a home management area with a desk and a “drop zone” for people entering the home through the garage.

Also downstairs is a bedroom that could easily function as a master suite.  The room is average size, with sliders out to the backyard.  The model includes a built-in desk/dresser along one wall.  I was shocked to turn a corner and see a huge bathroom with a vanity, dual sinks set in a very long counter, a big shower, and a generous walk-in closet.  In viewing the floor plan, I realized that this is the upgraded “deluxe bedroom suite.”  The standard bedroom has a walk-in closet (but smaller), one sink, and a shower. 

As a side note, if the home is set up with the standard bedroom, it does put the pantry in a better location relative to the rest of the kitchen.  Also, opting for the deluxe bedroom suite eliminates the extra storage area in the garage.  Even without the storage, the garage still has a few feet of additional space with room for shelving.

The backyard, as in all models, has a large outdoor living room, meaning it is covered by a solid stucco ceiling and shares at least one wall with the house, but open on two or three sides to the rest of the yard.  This one has a built-in fireplace.  The yard also has a grassy area and an additional patio deck for a peaceful seating area.  The lots in La Cresta are relatively large for Irvine, coming in around 5,000 – 7,000 square feet, so the yard is a good size even with the large homes.

Upstairs, the Family Retreat is a great living space.  It is comparable in size to the grand living room downstairs, but has a more casual feel.  It serves as a central point for the second floor, with the bedrooms all coming off of it from different sides.  Immediately at the top of the stairs is an optional work station with a built-in desk. 

The master suite is off the back of the family room and stretches the full width of the house.  The room is big and windows on two sides let in a lot of light, though the light will probably diminish some when the surrounding lots are developed.  A cutout in one wall provides space for a large dresser or would be a nice area for a built-in dresser or shelving unit.

The master bath is about as large as the room itself.  It has dual sinks set in a very long counter with numerous cupboards and drawers.  There is an oversized shower and a separate soaking tub.  The walk-in closet is very big and is accessed through the bathroom.

There are two additional bedrooms upstairs.  Both rooms are a really good size for a secondary room with plenty of options for arranging the furniture.  They easily hold a full size bed while still having space for a dresser, desk, and/or bookcase.  The one at the side of the house has a walk-in closet and big en-suite bathroom (one sink, shower/tub combo).  The other one is at the front of the house and it has a standard, sliding closet and a full bath across the hall with a single sink and shower/tub combo.

The laundry room is massive and includes a sink, several cupboards and a huge linen closet.

Aside from the kitchen, I really like the layout of the home and the way the rooms flow from one to the next.  I felt like each room was big enough so that it never felt cramped but not too big to feel warm and cozy.  I like that the bedrooms are all separated from each other and that each is big enough to furnish comfortably.  While I didn’t like the layout of the kitchen, I do like how open it is to the living and dining rooms.

Discuss on Talk Irvine: http://www.talkirvine.com/index.php/topic,4100.0.html


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