Posted: 17 Jul 2013 05:00 AM PDT
Residence Three is the biggest home La Cresta has to offer. At over 4,000 square feet, it has five or six bedrooms and, depending on your options, as many as five kitchens! Yes, five! More on that later.
This home has a more reasonably sized foyer than in Residence Two and looks nicer upon entry. Immediately off to one side is the downstairs bedroom suite. Larger than in the other two homes, this one truly has the option of being a completely separate residence. The bedroom itself is a nice size and an attractive archway leads to a second living space. The standard home has it as a sitting area, but buyers can opt to include a kitchenette, as seen in the model. It has a small fridge, microwave, sink, and storage, as well as space for a table and chairs. Opting for the kitchenette also gives this room its own private entrance from outside, including a small porch area. The en-suite bathroom has a single sink and a shower. There is a walk-in closet, but its curved walls limit its versatility.
Before opening fully to the dining and living rooms, the foyer extends a bit further and offers space for a small table and chairs, a piano, or a buffet. It’s a bit of an odd space, but definitely more usable than its Residence Two counterpart. There is also a powder room and a small closet off the foyer near the stairs.
The dining room has a fireplace and, like the others, is quite large. It differs from the other two homes in that it lacks a window. It flows directly into the living room which, like Residence Two, has a good layout and many windows. This is the only model in which neither the living nor dining room has access to the backyard. There is also more separation from the kitchen.
The kitchen, like the other homes, has a huge island with seating for at least four. It’s more similar to Residence Two, in that it has the majority of its storage in the main kitchen. Oddly, the oven and microwave are located in the prep kitchen, about as far from the main kitchen as they could be. The pantry is located past the prep kitchen and is nowhere near the main kitchen at all.
The home comes standard with a drop zone that includes space for a built-in desk. This is through a doorway between the prep kitchen and the pantry. If you keep the standard model, it would be directly off the garage storage. However, if you opt to include an Enclosed Kitchen in your home, it is past the drop zone and adjacent to the garage. To paint a picture, if you cooked your food in the Enclosed Kitchen, you would have to walk through the drop zone, back through the prep kitchen, around to the main kitchen, then through the living room before reaching your dining room table. It’s a good thing the Enclosed Kitchen has its own fridge, because you’d have to walk almost as far to get to the fridge in the main kitchen.
The main kitchen opens up to the Outdoor Living Room. In the model, they show it with a complete outdoor kitchen, including a sink, stove, grill, hood and wine fridge. Even with the kitchen, you can easily fit a table for eight. This model didn’t really have any grass in the back but does have a second patio area. The lot size seems comparable to the other homes, but because the house is bigger, the yard definitely feels smaller. It’s also not landscaped as nicely as the other two models.
Upstairs, the Family Retreat is a lot smaller and more enclosed than in the other two homes. It doesn’t fully open up to the stairs or hallway, and it has fewer and smaller windows. The space isn’t nearly as nice as in Residences One and Two.
This is the only model that comes standard with four bedrooms upstairs. While none of the secondary bedrooms actually share walls (a bathroom or closet helps divide each), they are grouped more closely together than in the other models. The one at the front of the house has an en-suite bathroom (single sink, shower/tub combo), a walk-in closet, and is bigger than the other two. It’s kind of divided into two sections and also has French doors leading to a small balcony.
The other two bedrooms also have walk-in closets, but share a bathroom with access only from the hall. The bathroom only has one sink and has a shower/tub combo. Of the two rooms, one is definitely larger than the other, though neither is small. They both face the side of the house and have windows on only one wall. Every other bedroom in every model has windows on at least two walls.
The laundry room in this home is different than in the others. Instead of a linen closet, this one has a craft area with a long counter and seating, plus options for cabinets. It still has a lot of storage, but all enclosed in cupboards. Also, the sink is farther away from the washing machine, which is not ideal.
The master suite occupies the entire back of the house. From the doorway, the bedroom is to the left and the bathroom and closet are to the right. The bedroom is spacious and bright. The bathroom is bigger than in the other two homes. There are two sinks, but no vanity, and a large soaking tub. The shower is very large and the space also includes a small dressing area. A hallway leading to the oversized closet has an option for a big, built-in dresser.
Sometimes bigger isn’t better. Residence Three has some flaws, most noticeably the layout of the three primary kitchens (main, prep and enclosed) and their locations in relation to the pantry and dining room. The layout of the second floor is the worst of the three, with closer rooms offering less privacy, a smaller family room, and bedrooms with fewer windows. On the plus side, the separate residence downstairs is a nice feature and I liked the upstairs bedroom at the front of the house.
While overall these houses are all very nice, I would have a hard time choosing between the three models, as each one has key things wrong with it. Residence One has issues with the main kitchen, in the lack of cabinets or storage of any kind. Otherwise though, this is my favorite of the plans. I like the music room up front and the layout of the upstairs the best. Residence Two has the best kitchen but the most wasted space, in the downstairs foyer and the foyer in the master bedroom. Residence Three also has a poorly laid out kitchen, plus the smallest upstairs family retreat.
I have seen a lot of comparisons with Lambert Ranch, as these homes are similar in size and price point. Both communities have their pros and cons and there is some debate over which will hold better resale value. I definitely felt more of a “wow” factor in Lambert Ranch. While there are many nice features in each of La Cresta’s three homes, if I was spending $1.5 million on a house, I don’t think La Cresta is the community for me.
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