Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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A Review of the Arcadia Tract at Stonegate: Residence Three

Posted: 14 Aug 2013 05:00 AM PDT

For an overview of the Arcadia Tract and a review of Residence One, click here.  For a review of Residence Two, click here.


Residence Three

3,202 Sq Ft
4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths, Bonus Room, Optional Wine Room or Prep Kitchen at Home Management Center
Base Price from $1,262,900

The layout of Residence Three varies a bit more than the other two, but the gist of the house is the same.  Like in Residence Two, this one has a more open view from the entry and the stairs are a bit closer to the front than in the other homes.  The downstairs bath is actually tucked behind the stairs, rather than coming before them.  A hallway leading to the bath has a nice linen cabinet (shown with upgraded glass doors).  The bath has a single sink and a shower, no tub.  The cabinets, counters, and tiles are all shown without upgrades.  The downstairs bedroom has three windows (two front, one side) and the same French door closet as most of the others.

Heading toward the back of the house, I passed a closet with a huge space under the stairs (like Residence One) and the garage without extra storage (same as Residence Two).  

As in Residence Two, the great room is on the right, the kitchen is on the left and the dining room is behind the kitchen.  The loggia extends behind the great room, as it does in Residence One.  The great room is shown with the upgraded 15’ accordion door to the loggia, basically leaving one entire wall open to the outside.  The fireplace has an upgraded surround and built-in cabinets on either side.

The kitchen, again, is very similar to the other two in terms of layout.  This one has many upgrades, including a Wolf appliance package and 48” range, giving you four separate ovens (plus the microwave).  It also has upgraded Caesarstone countertop, tile backsplash and edge detail, upgraded cabinet finish and doors, Kohler single bowl stainless steel sink, and more.  The island also looks a little wider than in the other houses.

The dining room has access to the backyard and the loggia and is pretty much the same as in Residence Two.  The only key difference is a lack of windows on the side wall.  This is because Residence Three has an added room on that side.  The standard feature is a home management center that comes with built-in cabinets and desk.  The option shown in the model is a Prep Kitchen and small wine fridge.  The prep kitchen has a full size fridge, range, dishwasher, sink and several cabinets, all upgraded from the standard prep kitchen.  Additional options for this space are a combination home management center with a wine room at the back.  One option has the wine room accessible only from the home management center; the other option has it only accessible from the dining room.

The backyard is more similar to Residence One, with a very narrow area on one side and a small space behind the loggia on the other.  This one has a huge outdoor fireplace and a built-in barbecue.

Upstairs, the layout is a bit different, though the rooms are the same.  The bonus room is actually to the side of the stairs, rather than in front of them, so it has a more open loft feel.  The room is large and square, as opposed to long and rectangular.  I like how open this one is and it’s definitely my favorite of the three bonus rooms.

The master suite is at the back of the house, but is laid out differently.  When you enter the suite, the bathroom and closets are immediately to your right, rather than being at the back and accessed only through the bedroom.  The his and hers closets are more equal in size and, again, have separate doors but are connected inside.  In the bathroom, the countertop and backsplash are upgraded, as are the shower walls, floor and ceiling.  This one has an upgraded freestanding bathtub as well, which I personally don’t like as much as the standard soaking tub.

Because the bathroom is separate, the master bedroom actually only shares one wall with the rest of the house.  This gives it windows on three walls (five total windows) and brings in a lot of light.  The room is really big and basically has four full walls, so there are many choices in how to arrange the furniture.

The laundry room is across from the top of the stairs and is just like the other two.  It also has additional linen cabinets just outside it.  Beyond that is the entrance to one of the bedrooms, which is just like all the others.  Two windows face front, one to the side, and an attached bath.  The counter is actually a little bit larger than those in the first two homes.  The other bedroom has windows on three sides and the bath has the same small counter as found in the other homes.

This home is distinguished by the home management center/wine room/prep kitchen, the open bonus room, and the different layout of the master suite.

Overall, the homes in Arcadia are beautiful, well laid out, and functional, but they lack originality.  Highlights are a downstairs bedroom in each model, a private bath for all bedrooms upstairs, and a bonus room in every home.  The covered loggia is a great feature if you like to entertain or would regularly use the indoor/outdoor living feature and leave the accordion door open.  However, the downside is that the backyards on these lots are tiny and the loggias take up most of the space.  Another negative is that all homes only have two-car garages.

If you’re in the market for a luxury home and you like the Stonegate community, these houses will be a fine choice.  They aren’t exciting or different than other homes at the same price point, but they are all really nice.  There wasn’t much I disliked at all, aside from the lot size and garage.  These are by far the biggest homes in all of Stonegate.  Are they nice enough to draw you to the community, or would you opt for something at a similar price point in a neighboring community?

A Review of the Arcadia Tract at Stonegate: Residence Two

Posted: 13 Aug 2013 05:00 AM PDT

For an overview of the Arcadia Tract at Stonegate and a review of Residence One, click here

Residence Two

3,143 Sq Ft
4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths, Bonus Room, Optional Office at Bedroom 4
Base Price from $1,206,900

There are very few differences between this home and Residence One.  When you enter, you do see all the way down the hall, rather than looking right at a wall.  The downstairs bedroom is immediately to the left of the front door and has the option to be an office instead.  The only key difference would be the lack of a closet (French doors, no walk-in).  The model shows an office with an upgraded, built-in bookshelf across one wall.  The downstairs full bath (no tub) is adjacent to the room in both options.  The model has upgraded cabinets and counters but kept the original shower tile and hardware.  A small coat closet is also located off the little hallway.

As you walk toward the back of the house, you pass the stairs on your left and garage access on your right.  This garage doesn’t have an extra storage area.  The kitchen and great room are at the back of the house.  They are nearly identical to Residence One except that the kitchen is on the left and the great room on the right.  The great room has an upgraded fireplace surround and built-in media with additional flat screen outlets.  The center row of recessed lighting is also an upgrade.

The kitchen is very similar to the other model as well.  This home shows an upgraded Wolf appliance package, countertop, backsplash and edge, along with upgraded cabinet finish and door styles.  The highlight of the kitchen is the walk-in pantry, which extends (with a low ceiling) all the way under the stairs.  There isn’t a butler’s pantry.

This home has a formal dining room behind the kitchen.  It has a door to the backyard on one wall, a slider to the loggia on another, and two windows on the third, so it gets a lot of light.  The room is wide enough for a large table and has space for a buffet or china cabinet.

This home has a smaller loggia, so the backyard is a bit bigger, but is still quite small.  A patio behind the dining room makes a nice spot for a grill.  There is room for a large seating area next to the loggia.

Upstairs is also basically the same: bonus room immediately in front of you, master suite to the left at the back of the home, and two secondary bedrooms at the front.  A built-in linen cabinet midway up the stairs is a standard feature of the house.  The laundry room again has side by side machines, a deep sink, and several cabinets.  The bonus room is shown with an upgraded built-in desk and media center and recessed lighting.

The master suite is a bit larger than in the first house, but is otherwise similar.  It has a huge window on one wall and a small one on another.  The wall paneling, ceiling treatment and recessed lighting are all upgrades.  The his and hers walk-in closets are connected, but have separate doors and some division between them.  The bathroom, like in Residence One, has dual sinks divided by the soaking tub and a separate shower.  The model shows upgraded cabinets, counters and backsplash, and a jetted tub.

The two secondary bedrooms are basically the same.  One has an entry hallway with a two-door sliding closet.  The room has two windows facing the street and a third facing the side.  The private bath is exactly like those from Residence One – sink with small counter and a shower/tub combo.  The bathroom is shown without any upgrades.  The other room is identical to Bedroom 2 from the first house, except there is a large window facing the street instead of two small ones.  The bathroom is identical as well.

Highlights of this home are the huge pantry in the kitchen, the added dining room, the bigger yard, and the bigger master suite (including larger closets).

Discuss on Talk Irvine:,4212.0.html

A Review of the Arcadia Tract at Stonegate: Residence One

Posted: 12 Aug 2013 05:00 AM PDT

Last week, I reviewed Stonegate’s new Cambria tract, featuring three different models of townhomes.  This week, I visited the new Arcadia tract in Stonegate, a neighborhood of luxury homes.  Built by TRI Pointe Homes, each model includes four bedrooms (all with one downstairs), four bathrooms, a bonus room and a two-car garage.  Arcadia is at the north end of the community and will be most easily accessed from Portola and Jeffrey, once the roads all go through.  While the website lists all homes as temporarily sold out, approximately eight new residences will be available this Saturday, August 10.

A few of the standard amenities in each home are a gas fireplace in the great room; marble countertops in all bathrooms; ceramic tile in entry, kitchen, and all baths; crown molding in some rooms; choice of Thermofoil or maple stain in master bath; his and her dual vanities; Kohler oval soaking tub and separate shower; choice of Thermofoil or maple stain in kitchen; under-cabinet lighting; granite countertops with 6” splash and full splash at cooktop and a KitchenAid Architect ® Series II stainless steel appliance package that includes a 48” cooktop with griddle, 48” hood, 30” double convection oven, microwave, 4-cycle dishwasher, and a 42” refrigerator opening pre-plumbed for water and ice.  Prices range from approximately $1,181,900 for Residence One (2,909 square feet) to $1,293,900 for Residence Three (3,202 square feet).

A planned park adjacent to the community will include a Jr. Olympic Pool with Spa and Wading Pool, Tot Lot, Shade Structures and Barbecues with Picnic Tables.  The community is a short walk to Stonegate Elementary School and the community park (large playground, barbecues and shaded picnic tables, tennis, sand volleyball, and basketball courts; baseball and soccer fields).

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Estimated Property Taxes: approximately 1.45%
Homeowners Dues: approximately $120 per month

Sales Brochure

Residence One
2,909 Sq Ft
4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Bonus Room, Storage Area in Garage
Base Price from $1,181,900

I like the exterior a lot on this model, as the front has a longer walkway and a small porch.  However, inside the home, the first thing you see is a wall, rather than an open view of the interior.  To the right is the downstairs bed and bath; the rest of the home is to the left.

The downstairs bedroom could have a private entrance off the front portico, but isn’t modeled with one.  It has a big window facing the street and plenty of space.  The closet has paneled, French-style doors, but isn’t a walk-in.  The crown molding and recessed lighting are upgrades.

The adjacent (not attached) bathroom has a single sink and a shower (no tub).  The model shows upgraded counters, backsplash, shower walls and floor, brushed nickel shower enclosure, glazed cabinets and knob.

Moving toward the back of the house, you’ll pass the stairs and then the coat closet.  The closet is huge, extending all the way under and around the back side of the stairs.  The hall then opens up to the great room and kitchen that span the back of the house.

The great room is to the left.  Huge windows cover most of the back wall and there are two smaller windows on the side wall.  A 42” gas fireplace comes standard with the house and includes a log set and remote control with painted “manly” precast concrete fireplace surround.  The model shows an upgrade to a “stone world finish, Milano color” and added built-in bookcases on both sides.  The crown molding and recessed lighting are standard; the ceiling beams are upgrades.  A multi-media outlet comes standard on the side wall, as does a flat screen outlet over the fireplace, giving you flexibility in how to set up the room.

There is space for a large dining table between the great room and the kitchen.  Unlike the other two models, this home lacks a formal dining room.  The kitchen cabinets and counter extend through the dining area.  The model shows the optional 15’ glass accordion door leading out to the loggia to create an indoor/outdoor living experience.  The loggia has an optional fireplace and is shown with an upgraded flat-screen TV outlet.  The loggia dominates the yard and leaves room for little else.  There is a built in BBQ directly behind it and a narrow patio area – including a fountain in the model – off to the other side.  The space is attractive, but very small.

The kitchen reminds me of pretty much every new house I have seen lately.  A large center island dominates the room and offers seating for four.  The sink and dishwasher are also in the island.  The model shows the standard appliance package and adds a built-in refrigerator, warming drawer and upgraded counters, backsplash, and cabinet finish.  In addition to the ample space in the kitchen, there is a butler’s pantry (shown with upgraded wine fridge and cabinet finish/door styles) and a walk-in pantry between the kitchen and the garage.

While all the homes in Arcadia have a two-car garage, Residence One is the only model to have a small extra storage area in one corner.

Upstairs, the house has a bonus room and three additional bedrooms.  The top of the stairs has a hallway area, with rooms leading off in three directions.  Straight ahead and open to the hall is the bonus room, with a big window looking out to the side and a full wall of upgraded, built-in bookcase cabinetry.

To the left of the stairs are the laundry room and master suite.  The laundry room has side by side machines, a deep sink, and many cabinets for linen storage.  Aside from the doorknob and the actual washer and dryer, the room is shown without any upgrades.

The master suite has a small entryway to separate it a bit from the hallway.  It opens to a good-sized room with a full wall of windows facing the backyard and two smaller ones on the side wall.  Linen cabinets plus separate his and hers closets offer plenty of space.  The master bath is past the closet and has separate sinks with a large soaking tub between them.  The separate shower is large and includes a seat.  The bathroom’s many upgrades include cabinet finish, countertops, backsplash, shower walls and floor, tub deck and apron, extended shower wall height to ceiling and shower enclosure.  The model also includes the optional vanity/cabinet at the far end of the bathroom.

The other two bedrooms upstairs are at the front of the house.  One bedroom (listed as Bedroom 3) has more style than any of the other secondary bedrooms across all models.  It also seems a little larger, but that might just be due to the setup (I don’t have numbers for actual square footage).  It has two windows facing the street and is shown with a full wall of built-in desk and cabinets beneath them.  An open doorway leads back to the closet and bathroom.  This closet has sliding doors, whereas most of the other secondary bedrooms have French-style doors.  The en-suite bathroom has a single sink with very little counter space and a shower/tub combo.

The other bedroom is pretty standard and is similar to most of the other secondary bedrooms.  It has two small, high windows overlooking the street and another, slightly larger window facing the side.  Like the room downstairs, the closet has French-style doors but isn’t a walk-in. The attached bathroom is laid out just like in the other bedroom.

Residence One is a beautiful home with large rooms and a very functional layout.  It’s very similar to other new Irvine homes in this price range and didn’t have anything to really make it stand out from the rest.  I used to walk into new homes and be “wowed” by the gourmet kitchens and fancy bathrooms, but now they all kind of blend together and I know what to expect before I even open the door.  The downstairs bedroom will appeal to many buyers, though the two-car garage may deter others.

Discuss on Talk Irvine:,4211.0.html


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