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A Review of the Whistler Tract at Pavilion Park - Residence 2

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In continuation of our series on the Great Park’s Pavilion Park Neighborhood, I am going to introduce you to the Whistler Collection.  Built by William Lyon Homes, Whistler has three models ranging from 2,336 – 2,896 square feet.  With four collections smaller and five bigger, the Whistler homes are truly mid-size for the neighborhood.  The homes have four or five bedrooms and 2.5 – 3.5 baths.  All houses have a two-car garage and either a standard or optional main floor bedroom.  Prices start at $879,990 for the smallest model and 979,990 for the biggest.  There will be 83 homes in the collection, which is located on the western side of the neighborhood, about halfway between Irvine Boulevard and Portola Parkway.  In a refreshing change from many of the other collections, the Whistler models are actually built on some of the smallest lots, helping to give potential buyers a true picture of what the backyard may look like.  Many of the lots are even bigger than in the models.  Shade structures are optional in all backyards.

Some of the standard amenities in all homes include KitchenAid® Architect II Stainless Steel Appliance Package, including a 36” gas cooktop with six burners, 30: stacked built-in convection microwave and convection oven combo, Energy Star® dishwasher, and a 36” stainless vent hood;  white Thermofoil cabinets with brushed chrome knobs; granite slab countertop with square edge detail, 6” backsplash and full backsplash above cooktop; and a stainless steel double undermount sink with Moen® single handle pull-out faucet.  The master bath offers spacious walk-in closets with wood shelf and pole and double mirrored wardrobe doors; white Thermofoil cabinets with brushed chrome knobs; solid surface countertops and 4” backsplash; 6 x 6” ceramic tile showers; deep fiberglass tubs; and clear glass shower enclosure with chrome frame and frameless door.  The secondary bathrooms have similar features to the master bath, though either with a shower/tub combo or just a shower.  The homes also have 8’ interior doors with polished chrome lever handles; structured wiring for phone, data and cable; 12” x 12” ceramic tile floor at entry, kitchen, dining, all bathrooms and laundry; Energy Star® bath fans and energy efficient dimmer switches in baths; programmable thermostats and central air; and laundry hookups including natural gas dryer connection.  The external features include tankless water heaters; extra deep garages to allow for storage; Energy efficient weather stripping and insulation; and durable concrete tile and composition shingle roofs. 

All Pavilion Park homes are currently slated to attend Canyon View Elementary, Jeffrey Trail Middle and Northwood High Schools, all part of IUSD.  However, a new K-8 school is slated to open in the Great Park Neighborhoods in 2016 and there are also plans for a new high school in the area.

Basic Neighborhood Financial Information
Approximate HOA Dues: $193 per month
Approximate Tax rate: 1.16%
Approximate Mello Roos (aka Community Facilities District tax): Plan 1 from $5,400, Plan 2 from $5,900 and Plan 3 up to $6,500 per year, subject to an increase by 2% per year
Base Prices start at $879,990 for Plan 1, $899,990 for Plan 2, and $979,990 for Plan 3.

See Review of Residence 1 here

Residence Two
2,487 square feet
5 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, Flex Room
Optional Loft in Lieu of Bedroom 2
Base Price: $899,990 ($362/sq ft)

Residence Two is modeled in the Stone Colonial elevation.  The others are a Siding Colonial (identical except for wood siding instead of stone work) and Spanish, which has a small balcony off the master bedroom.  None of them have a front porch.

The foyer is similar to Residence One, with a flex room to the left, stairs to the right, and a view back to the great room straight ahead.  The flooring throughout the home is upgraded, as are the paint, baseboards, cabinet stain and pulls, blinds and shutters, ceiling fans, hanging light fixtures, and picture frame window casing.

The flex room is much less flexible than in Residence One.  It borders the kitchen, so it can only open to the foyer, not through to the great room as in the other home.  It also only has windows to the front, without an option for sliding doors, since there isn’t a porch area.  It also can’t be made into a bedroom.  The only flexibility is whether or not to have the optional cabinets, can lights, ceiling fan and special outlets included.  Obviously, the room is flexible in that it can be used for a variety of purposes, but it doesn’t have the flexible options as in Residence One.

To the right of the foyer, there is a storage closet under the stairs, though not as large as in Residence One due to a straight staircase.  A short hallway leads to a full bath with a single sink and a shower.  The cabinet stain, counter and shower tile are all upgrades.

The downstairs bedroom is adjacent to the bathroom.  It faces the street and has a large closet that takes up most of one wall.  There is a large bed in the model, which makes the room feel smaller, but it’s actually pretty similar to all of the other secondary bedrooms.  The upgrade list doesn’t show anything for this bedroom.

The great room, dining area, and kitchen stretch across the back of the house.  The dining area is in the center, directly off the foyer.  As is common in many new homes, the space would work well as either a formal or casual area. 

The kitchen is to the left.  It has a large, rectangular island that has numerous cabinets but no sink or appliances in it.  One side has seating and there is an option for a wine fridge.  The kitchen forms a u-shape around the island.  One wall has the refrigerator, pantry and oven.  Another has the cooktop (the model shows an oven here as well) and numerous cabinets and drawers.  The wall along the back of the house has the dishwasher and sink.  It has ample cabinet space and plenty of counter space, especially around the cooktop.  The model shows almost everything upgraded, including all appliances, a warming drawer and wine chiller, cabinetry (stain, interior, accents), granite color, full height tile backsplash, pendant lights, single bowl sink, and professional pull-down faucet.  The door to the garage is directly off the kitchen in this model, too.

The great room is pretty similar to the other one as well.  There are optional built-in cabinets on one wall.  The door to the backyard can be the Western multi-slide (shown) or the standard slider and fixed window.  The floor plan lists the Western door as “optional,” but the upgrade sheet lists it as included, so it’s hard to say which door option actually comes with the house.

The backyard is similar to the last, shown with the optional shade structure over a highly upgraded outdoor kitchen.  This one doesn’t show a fireplace, but it does have a fountain.

The second floor is also similar to Residence One.  There are three secondary bedrooms with a shared bath, laundry, and a master suite.  The laundry room has a walk-in linen area with shelves but does not have an option for a sink.  The shared bathroom has two sinks with a door separating them from the toilet and shower/tub area.  The cabinets, counters, tile and shower enclosure are all upgrades.

Bedroom 2 is at the top of the stairs and can be an optional loft instead of a room.  In the bedroom, there is a two-door standard closet on one wall and a window overlooking the backyard.  In the loft option, the closet is taken out and the entire front wall is gone so the room is completely open to the hallway.

Bedroom 3 is pretty much identical in size to Bedroom 2 and also looks out to the backyard.  The closet is the same as well.  The two rooms are side by side and have no noticeable differences other than the placement of the closet.  Again, the can lights, mirrored doors, speakers and crown molding are all upgrades.

Bedroom 4 is at the front of the house and is bigger than the other two.  The closet is a little bigger and there is an alcove next to it that could fit a bookshelf or small desk.  It has windows looking to the street and the side of the house.

The master bedroom also faces the front of the house, with windows on one side as well.  In the Spanish elevation, the front windows would be replaced with French doors leading out to the small balcony.

The master bath is highly upgraded in a similar style to the kitchen.  The cabinets, counters, backsplash, tile, tub deck and mirrors are all upgraded.  There are two sinks with a linen storage area between them.  The tub and shower are separated, so the shower is a lot bigger than the one in Residence One.  The closet is long and narrow, shown only with the included door, shelves and poles.

There are a lot of similarities between Residences One and Two.  The biggest difference is that Residence Two has a flex room and a downstairs bedroom, rather than one or the other.  The other main difference is the optional loft in lieu of Bedroom 2.  Otherwise, the rooms are all similar in size and style.  Residence Two has a bigger kitchen, occupying most of three walls, while the counters and cabinets in Residence One’s kitchen are mostly on only two walls.  I would give the edge to Residence Two because of the bigger kitchen and extra room downstairs, but overall the houses are not that different.


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