Van Daele Homes introduces another wrinkle in homebuilding with “Alterra” — Townhome-like interiors in condominium styled buildings.
It’s tough to classify this category. It’s not your typical cookie-cutter townhome or mid-rise condo complex. The closest development I can think of to this design is The Domain in Anaheim, which I felt was brilliantly-designed and seemed to have an answer to all the failed mid-rise condo projects in the area.
Alterra offers 4 floorpans and range from 1,101 square feet of living space to 1,898 square feet. Prices started at $477,990 at the time of my visit. HOA dues are expected to be $374 at build out with a special assessment of $727-$849 per year.
The Not-So-Good Features…
Overall, I believe this community offers a good buy for the location and offerings of the La Floresta community. Those looking for an alternative to the typical “cookie cutter living” would have walking access to new shopping and restaurants along with a pool center nearby.
The lowest priced design is their Residence One that features 2 to 3 bedrooms with 2-1/2 baths. For those who opt for having 3 bedrooms, it comes at the expense of a separate dining area off the kitchen. Residence One is a single level design on the 2nd floor (shown in photo above) with an available elevator option near the Master Bedroom.
What I didn’t like…
The nearby landfill.
2. Upstairs kitchen in Plan 1
3. HOA dues of $340.75 a month. Although that’s on par with nearby Blackstone homes in the Serano and Amber communities, that’s pretty steep for a home. At least they take of care of front landscaping.
Questions? Call Edwin at 714-501-2732 or fill out the form below:
For Placentia and Yorba Linda residents who were watching anxiously what would happen to the former site of the St. Jude Heritage Medical Center on Yorba Linda Blvd and Prospect, they finally got an answer when homebuilder D.R. Horton raised a banner almost a year ago advertising “New Townhomes” on the street corner.
Named after the former medical facility, “Heritage Crossings” is a community of 80 3-story townhomes that start with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bath designs with 1,176 square feet all the way up to 3 bedrooms (plus den), 3.5 baths with 1,966 square feet.
Prices at the time of my visit started at $496,990.
As a society, we’ve been trying to design housing to provide the best balance of proximity with open spaces and quiet. As a result, some far-fetched ideas never make it and some are built with lofty expectations.
At the height of the housing boom of ’04-’06, investors were literally drowning in credit lines and cash and the housing market seemed like a no-brainer for growth. Since the new generation of buyers didn’t seem to mind about shrinking backyard spaces (or no backyard at all), builders started to think even bigger.
With successful rejuvenated Downtown areas like the Gaslamp District in San Diego gaining headlines, it became easier to pitch to investors that buyers have come full circle: Suburbs are out; downtown living is in. California freeways are getting slower and slower. Couples are getting married much later in life and having less kids or no kids at all.
After all, everyone longs for living like the characters of “Friends” and “Seinfeld” where they’re only a short elevator ride away from bars, subway access and, shopping, right?
Well….sort of. There are many factors that made these mid-rise developments immediate flops. For starters, the lifestyle would not be like Seinfeld because most would still need to commute to just about everywhere. Public transportation in Southern California has always been very limited due to our love for cars and freeways. Socially, Orange County has been notorious for being “snobs” that don’t even know who lives next door. Forget about the idea of going downstairs to the local bar or hangout where “everyone knows your name.”
While the fancy marketing and amenities were enough to get crowds to the models, buyers knew the idea was a contradiction on many levels.
Going Urban 2.0
After the countless price reductions and conversions to rentals, builders were able to learn many lessons.
Brookfield’s “The Domain” community is directly across the street from The Packing District of Anaheim.
No project was impacted by the flop more than Anaheim’s “A-Town” project that was supposed to take cues from San Diego’s Petco Park.
“Gone are the grandiose ideas to change Anaheim’s skyline with 11 high-rises, an urban village of 2,681 homes and 150,000 square feet of office and retail space near Angel Stadium….
Plans now call for building 1,400 to 1,742 condominiums and apartments, along with up to 50,000 square feet of shopping and office space grouped into eight neighborhoods spanning 43.1 acres, according to a revised development application submitted Thursday to the Anaheim Planning Department.”
After reading the article, most of the blame was placed on the housing market. I have a feeling the builders are in denial or just don’t get it.
Most Real Estate professionals will agree that home designs changed drastically from 1985 to 1990. Shake roofs, popcorn ceilings, wood siding, and single-paned aluminum windows gave way to their counterparts: spanish tiled roofs, flat textured ceilings, stucco exteriors, and vinyl double paned windows.
Toward the end of the 1990’s, wet bars were removed, tiled countertops gave way to bull-nosed granite tops, and sharp corners of walls were replaced by rounded corners.
Fast forward to 2014: Home builders and remodelers are taking styling cues from elements that usually went into high-rise condos. Here are a few examples:
If you’re ever short on ideas, look no further than the model homes in your area. The home builders pay top dollar to some of the best interior decorators in the industry. Take plenty of photos.
As expected, home builder Standard Pacific’s marketing efforts drew large crowds to the their grand opening on May 17th. Even temperatures in the 90s didn’t stop homebuyers from taking a peak while eating the complimentary snacks.
My expectations of Avignon were thoughts of simply larger designs of Standard Pacific’s Montserrat community. Those were quickly exceeded when walking to their plan 3, which was first on their model tour.
Designs are more immersive with arched entryways, grand entrances, and ground level master bedrooms available on some floor plans. Even to a Real Estate agent, it’s tough to distinguish standard features beyond the breathtaking decor that seems to have increased over the prior communities. Of course, none of those decorations and landscaping will come with the homes with exception of the very-expensive models which will be sold in the last phase.
Avignon will release their first phase of homes on May 24th. Buyers will be required to sign up on a first-come, first-serve priority list.
Unlike Coral Ridge and Montserrat, unobstructed city lights view lots aren’t available due to the location of the community. It will be interesting how the international buyers (mostly Chinese) respond. Many I’ve spoke to have a “view or nothing” mentality. However, the far-superior designs might give buyers enough to compensate for the lack of a view.
A few years ago, I got excited about Anaheim going through a transformation that would bring shopping and nightlife to neglected areas outside of the Disneyland Resort. There was promise of a downtown area “similar to the Gaslamp District” next to Angel Stadium. However, it seems all of the plans for the infamous “Platinum Triangle” have been put on hold indefinitely until builders and city officials decide what exactly will be built.
Meanwhile, the downtown area near Anaheim Blvd and Broadway is something that has transformed into a thriving promenade with little fanfare. Mid-rise modern apartments have been built next to chic-styled restaurants and Anaheim’s Civic Center.
“The Domain” by Brookfield Residential is the 2nd mid-rise property to be built in the area after Harbor Street Lofts were constructed in 2010.
Unlike the recent “urban flops” that were constructed (i.e. – Stadium Lofts on Katella and Harbor Street Lofts) where drastic price reductions were needed, the Domain seems poised to be a hit as the Real Estate market has improved and the location actually has several establishments worth visiting several times a week such as Farmer’s Market on Center Street, Umami Burger, and Anaheim Brewery. HOA dues are pretty reasonable for a mid-rise at $243 per month.
Brookfield also seems to have learned from the shortcomings of nearby complexes in order to cater to groups beyond just “20 somethings.” Unlike the Stadium Lofts, The Domain features select residences with direct access garages.
Home designs are as small as 1 bedroom, 1 bath with 897 square feet and can be large as 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with 1,644 square feet with an attached 2-car garage.
Here’s more good news: There will be a significant number of “Plan B” residences (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,103 sq ft) classified as “affordable” units where downpayment assistance will be available. The program is also available toward other designs as long as funding remains. There has been $6M set aside for the program.
Similar to nearby Colony Park, buyers with lower household incomes are eligible to use Anaheim’s Housing Program to assist them in obtaining homeownership. The program offers up to $125,000 in downpayment assistance.
Here are some of the requirements of the program:
– Income limits are based on household size. For example, a household of 2 cannot earn more than $83,700 (using the moderate income table).
– Buyers cannot own more than $92,000 in cash assets.
– All persons in household must provide proof of permanent US residency.
– Applicants must complete HUD’s Certified Homebuyer Education Program.
Call me at 714-501-2732 for more information or use the form in the “Contact Edwin” link above.