Author Topic: Advice for couple shopping in the 525-600k price range? (Irvine/Tustin Ranch)  (Read 2486 times)

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Offline TheDoctor

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They only have minimal upgrades from what they said. We’re not sure on what upgrades we’d even want. The little samples they showed us don’t tell you much.

Earlier phases of Carissa the Plan 1 was like $610, so if it's $590 now they either aren't including non-optional upgrades, or the prices have gone down.

We also preferred Carissa to Brisa due to location which is why we bought there :)

Interesting, sounds like Brisa is coming in like $20k less on the same models as Carissa. I wonder if it's the proximity to the 241?

Brisa and Carissa were the same price for plan 1, Carissa had later move in date as the caveat, early next year they were predicting. We prefer Carissa just due to how deep in Brisa is from Irvine Blvd.

Plan 1x is out of our price range so not can’t even entertain that.

The 241 is so low traffic compared to a busy street like say Irvine or even something like Bryan in tustin. The noise at Brisa was nothing compared to some of the homes we saw in Tustin the same proximity from Bryan Ave or Newport blvd.

Offline moc

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I can fill you in on those details.

You don't actually get a choice for most of it.

Upgrades that were included that we had no say in and could not pick:
-Recessed lighting
-Electric package that included a larger transformer so you could have an electric car
-Stove and range hood, microwave in island
-Tile backslash in kitchen, master bath, and guest bath
-Kitchen counter tops
-Some kind of insulation package
-Other stuff I can't remember all the details

The non-optional upgrades totaled to $20k. So our final price of like $680k included all of that

The only upgrades you can opt in or opt out of are epoxy floors in the garage, and going with the standard tile/carpeting or upgrading to nicer flooring.


They only have minimal upgrades from what they said. We’re not sure on what upgrades we’d even want. The little samples they showed us don’t tell you much.

Earlier phases of Carissa the Plan 1 was like $610, so if it's $590 now they either aren't including non-optional upgrades, or the prices have gone down.

We also preferred Carissa to Brisa due to location which is why we bought there :)

Interesting, sounds like Brisa is coming in like $20k less on the same models as Carissa. I wonder if it's the proximity to the 241?

Brisa and Carissa were the same price for plan 1, Carissa had later move in date as the caveat, early next year they were predicting. We prefer Carissa just due to how deep in Brisa is from Irvine Blvd.

Plan 1x is out of our price range so not can’t even entertain that.

The 241 is so low traffic compared to a busy street like say Irvine or even something like Bryan in tustin. The noise at Brisa was nothing compared to some of the homes we saw in Tustin the same proximity from Bryan Ave or Newport blvd.

Offline TheDoctor

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They were mentioning we could pick the flooring/carpet set, but we didn’t ask about any other upgrades. We’ll ask more questions when we check them out again. We weren’t that serious when we went last time.

I wonder since these aren’t even starting construction if we could opt into any upgrades or if they will only come standard.

I can fill you in on those details.

You don't actually get a choice for most of it.

Upgrades that were included that we had no say in and could not pick:
-Recessed lighting
-Electric package that included a larger transformer so you could have an electric car
-Stove and range hood, microwave in island
-Tile backslash in kitchen, master bath, and guest bath
-Kitchen counter tops
-Some kind of insulation package
-Other stuff I can't remember all the details

The non-optional upgrades totaled to $20k. So our final price of like $680k included all of that

The only upgrades you can opt in or opt out of are epoxy floors in the garage, and going with the standard tile/carpeting or upgrading to nicer flooring.


They only have minimal upgrades from what they said. We’re not sure on what upgrades we’d even want. The little samples they showed us don’t tell you much.

Earlier phases of Carissa the Plan 1 was like $610, so if it's $590 now they either aren't including non-optional upgrades, or the prices have gone down.

We also preferred Carissa to Brisa due to location which is why we bought there :)

Interesting, sounds like Brisa is coming in like $20k less on the same models as Carissa. I wonder if it's the proximity to the 241?

Brisa and Carissa were the same price for plan 1, Carissa had later move in date as the caveat, early next year they were predicting. We prefer Carissa just due to how deep in Brisa is from Irvine Blvd.

Plan 1x is out of our price range so not can’t even entertain that.

The 241 is so low traffic compared to a busy street like say Irvine or even something like Bryan in tustin. The noise at Brisa was nothing compared to some of the homes we saw in Tustin the same proximity from Bryan Ave or Newport blvd.

Offline moc

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We were under contract before construction started and there was zero wiggle room to negotiate on any of this. We tried.

One other thing they may not have told you, if you are seriously talking with them or getting on the interest list. If you want to use an agent or broker who represents you they have to be present the first time you talk to the sales office. If you didn't give them information the first time you went you should be fine. If you're visiting again more seriously and you want an agent you have to have them with you or you can't use one in the sale.

They were mentioning we could pick the flooring/carpet set, but we didn’t ask about any other upgrades. We’ll ask more questions when we check them out again. We weren’t that serious when we went last time.

I wonder since these aren’t even starting construction if we could opt into any upgrades or if they will only come standard.

I can fill you in on those details.

You don't actually get a choice for most of it.

Upgrades that were included that we had no say in and could not pick:
-Recessed lighting
-Electric package that included a larger transformer so you could have an electric car
-Stove and range hood, microwave in island
-Tile backslash in kitchen, master bath, and guest bath
-Kitchen counter tops
-Some kind of insulation package
-Other stuff I can't remember all the details

The non-optional upgrades totaled to $20k. So our final price of like $680k included all of that

The only upgrades you can opt in or opt out of are epoxy floors in the garage, and going with the standard tile/carpeting or upgrading to nicer flooring.


They only have minimal upgrades from what they said. We’re not sure on what upgrades we’d even want. The little samples they showed us don’t tell you much.

Earlier phases of Carissa the Plan 1 was like $610, so if it's $590 now they either aren't including non-optional upgrades, or the prices have gone down.

We also preferred Carissa to Brisa due to location which is why we bought there :)

Interesting, sounds like Brisa is coming in like $20k less on the same models as Carissa. I wonder if it's the proximity to the 241?

Brisa and Carissa were the same price for plan 1, Carissa had later move in date as the caveat, early next year they were predicting. We prefer Carissa just due to how deep in Brisa is from Irvine Blvd.

Plan 1x is out of our price range so not can’t even entertain that.

The 241 is so low traffic compared to a busy street like say Irvine or even something like Bryan in tustin. The noise at Brisa was nothing compared to some of the homes we saw in Tustin the same proximity from Bryan Ave or Newport blvd.

Offline TheDoctor

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We filled out the form with our agent the first time.

We were under contract before construction started and there was zero wiggle room to negotiate on any of this. We tried.

One other thing they may not have told you, if you are seriously talking with them or getting on the interest list. If you want to use an agent or broker who represents you they have to be present the first time you talk to the sales office. If you didn't give them information the first time you went you should be fine. If you're visiting again more seriously and you want an agent you have to have them with you or you can't use one in the sale.

They were mentioning we could pick the flooring/carpet set, but we didn’t ask about any other upgrades. We’ll ask more questions when we check them out again. We weren’t that serious when we went last time.

I wonder since these aren’t even starting construction if we could opt into any upgrades or if they will only come standard.

I can fill you in on those details.

You don't actually get a choice for most of it.

Upgrades that were included that we had no say in and could not pick:
-Recessed lighting
-Electric package that included a larger transformer so you could have an electric car
-Stove and range hood, microwave in island
-Tile backslash in kitchen, master bath, and guest bath
-Kitchen counter tops
-Some kind of insulation package
-Other stuff I can't remember all the details

The non-optional upgrades totaled to $20k. So our final price of like $680k included all of that

The only upgrades you can opt in or opt out of are epoxy floors in the garage, and going with the standard tile/carpeting or upgrading to nicer flooring.


They only have minimal upgrades from what they said. We’re not sure on what upgrades we’d even want. The little samples they showed us don’t tell you much.

Earlier phases of Carissa the Plan 1 was like $610, so if it's $590 now they either aren't including non-optional upgrades, or the prices have gone down.

We also preferred Carissa to Brisa due to location which is why we bought there :)

Interesting, sounds like Brisa is coming in like $20k less on the same models as Carissa. I wonder if it's the proximity to the 241?

Brisa and Carissa were the same price for plan 1, Carissa had later move in date as the caveat, early next year they were predicting. We prefer Carissa just due to how deep in Brisa is from Irvine Blvd.

Plan 1x is out of our price range so not can’t even entertain that.

The 241 is so low traffic compared to a busy street like say Irvine or even something like Bryan in tustin. The noise at Brisa was nothing compared to some of the homes we saw in Tustin the same proximity from Bryan Ave or Newport blvd.

Offline irvinehomeowner

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Have you found any decent resale in your price range?

I know many prefer new but I think resale is a better value.
Once you go 3-car garage... your junk can never go back.
3CWG: 3-Car Wide Garage
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Offline moc

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We found the resale homes we looked at in the sub 700k needed enough work or didn't have a garage that it wasn't actually a better value for us. Not sure what OP found but I would guess it's similar in the 525-600k range.

Offline TheDoctor

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Have you found any decent resale in your price range?

I know many prefer new but I think resale is a better value.

We’re sort of in the same boat as moc. The resales just haven’t been up to our standards and the ones that are are not that much less per month than a new townhouse.

There are pluses with the resales we’ve seen like a small porch/backyard, two stories instead of 3, less condensed in some neighborhoods. These almost always have had some major deterrent like 1.5 baths or only a one car garage and carport. The ones we like are basically the same cost of a new townhouse, albeit often a bit less $/sqft, but it hasn’t been a big enough discount for us to jump on any.

Offline moc

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This was exactly our experience as well. A small yard or patio did not outweigh no garage or one car garage.

Also I guess we're unusual but we actually prefer the 3 story layout because it gives a lot of privacy to the guest room. And we've lived in townhomes before with the kitchen on the second floor and I actually like it quite a lot.

Have you found any decent resale in your price range?

I know many prefer new but I think resale is a better value.

We’re sort of in the same boat as moc. The resales just haven’t been up to our standards and the ones that are are not that much less per month than a new townhouse.

There are pluses with the resales we’ve seen like a small porch/backyard, two stories instead of 3, less condensed in some neighborhoods. These almost always have had some major deterrent like 1.5 baths or only a one car garage and carport. The ones we like are basically the same cost of a new townhouse, albeit often a bit less $/sqft, but it hasn’t been a big enough discount for us to jump on any.

Online eyephone

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As a helicopter parent. I guess the medical field won’t be the direction for my little one.

Like huge debt (big time)

I thought doctors make bank?
Let me ask you this. Do you drive like a nice car? If you didn’t drive a nice car. Maybe your budget will be bigger.
I assume you don’t drive a beater.

(Just a question nothing more)

My statement to young folks out of college. Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices. like don’t eat out, buy things on sale, watch Netflix instead of going to the movies. My favorite get another job or your spouse has to work for Mo’ Money.

Since I’m on a roll. There’s nothing wrong with renting to save up money or living with family or having roommates.
Also, don’t blame people for lack of execution.


Been reasoning a fair bit on here over the past few months and thought I’d finally participate and ask for some advice.

We have been looking at houses for a few months now including new developments. The main concern for us is proximity to Tustin Ranch as that is where my parents live and we’ll need to be near them if we have a child.

We have narrowed down our needs quite a bit in the past few months, but haven’t found anything we really want that bad. Which is fine since prices and rates have been dropping a bit.

- 2 bed, 2 bath min
- preferably >1200’
- attached garage

This has eventually led us back to the new developments that we first started looking at when we started in Portola (Carissa/Brisa), Novel Park, and eventually Levity in Tustin. These are a bit above our initial price range, especially with the mello roos, but haven’t been that impressed with the resale homes were seen.

What communities should we keep an eye on in our budget. We are not opposed to an older place, but would prefer to not have to deal the potential issues of a 1970s townhouse down the road.

Do you see the low end units of the new developments as worth it or should we stick to resales to avoid mello roos?

I also see a lot of talk about avoiding 3-level homes, but so far we haven’t seen many 2-levels with attached garages in the area that fit our budget. How much of a downside to resale is a 3 vs 2 level townhouse?

Offline Compressed-Village

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For a second, I thought you gonna say, just wait for the slow down. :)

As a helicopter parent. I guess the medical field won’t be the direction for my little one.

Like huge debt (big time)

I thought doctors make bank?
Let me ask you this. Do you drive like a nice car? If you didn’t drive a nice car. Maybe your budget will be bigger.
I assume you don’t drive a beater.

(Just a question nothing more)

My statement to young folks out of college. Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices. like don’t eat out, buy things on sale, watch Netflix instead of going to the movies. My favorite get another job or your spouse has to work for Mo’ Money.

Since I’m on a roll. There’s nothing wrong with renting to save up money or living with family or having roommates.
Also, don’t blame people for lack of execution.


Been reasoning a fair bit on here over the past few months and thought I’d finally participate and ask for some advice.

We have been looking at houses for a few months now including new developments. The main concern for us is proximity to Tustin Ranch as that is where my parents live and we’ll need to be near them if we have a child.

We have narrowed down our needs quite a bit in the past few months, but haven’t found anything we really want that bad. Which is fine since prices and rates have been dropping a bit.

- 2 bed, 2 bath min
- preferably >1200’
- attached garage

This has eventually led us back to the new developments that we first started looking at when we started in Portola (Carissa/Brisa), Novel Park, and eventually Levity in Tustin. These are a bit above our initial price range, especially with the mello roos, but haven’t been that impressed with the resale homes were seen.

What communities should we keep an eye on in our budget. We are not opposed to an older place, but would prefer to not have to deal the potential issues of a 1970s townhouse down the road.

Do you see the low end units of the new developments as worth it or should we stick to resales to avoid mello roos?

I also see a lot of talk about avoiding 3-level homes, but so far we haven’t seen many 2-levels with attached garages in the area that fit our budget. How much of a downside to resale is a 3 vs 2 level townhouse?

Offline momopi

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If a house doesn't rent well, it also doesn't sell well. 3 stories should be avoided if possible because it is a pretty big limiting factor on potential buyers/renters.

Not necessarily.  Renters are local for obvious reason, but buyers can be from outside area or abroad.  Investors may be willing to buy if numbers make sense, even if it's 3 stories.

This 3 level condo was put on the market at high price and sold in a week recently:
https://www.redfin.com/CA/Irvine/3602-Orangewood-92618/home/5841172
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 02:37:45 PM by momopi »

Online eyephone

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Actually I could of said that too. Because it has already happened and is still happening. Rates are like really low. But like what’s happening?

Repeal the tax code. It’s not working. It was just revealed one of the top tech company paid like zero taxes! How about the average tax payer? Indvidials like paid more in taxes during the new tax code than last year.

For a second, I thought you gonna say, just wait for the slow down. :)

As a helicopter parent. I guess the medical field won’t be the direction for my little one.

Like huge debt (big time)

I thought doctors make bank?
Let me ask you this. Do you drive like a nice car? If you didn’t drive a nice car. Maybe your budget will be bigger.
I assume you don’t drive a beater.

(Just a question nothing more)

My statement to young folks out of college. Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices. like don’t eat out, buy things on sale, watch Netflix instead of going to the movies. My favorite get another job or your spouse has to work for Mo’ Money.

Since I’m on a roll. There’s nothing wrong with renting to save up money or living with family or having roommates.
Also, don’t blame people for lack of execution.


Been reasoning a fair bit on here over the past few months and thought I’d finally participate and ask for some advice.

We have been looking at houses for a few months now including new developments. The main concern for us is proximity to Tustin Ranch as that is where my parents live and we’ll need to be near them if we have a child.

We have narrowed down our needs quite a bit in the past few months, but haven’t found anything we really want that bad. Which is fine since prices and rates have been dropping a bit.

- 2 bed, 2 bath min
- preferably >1200’
- attached garage

This has eventually led us back to the new developments that we first started looking at when we started in Portola (Carissa/Brisa), Novel Park, and eventually Levity in Tustin. These are a bit above our initial price range, especially with the mello roos, but haven’t been that impressed with the resale homes were seen.

What communities should we keep an eye on in our budget. We are not opposed to an older place, but would prefer to not have to deal the potential issues of a 1970s townhouse down the road.

Do you see the low end units of the new developments as worth it or should we stick to resales to avoid mello roos?

I also see a lot of talk about avoiding 3-level homes, but so far we haven’t seen many 2-levels with attached garages in the area that fit our budget. How much of a downside to resale is a 3 vs 2 level townhouse?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 02:42:01 PM by eyephone »

Online eyephone

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Really unfair. Like I said before. The small guy is getting shafted. My statement are backed by facts and numbers.

Actually I could of said that too. Because it has already happened.

Repeal the tax code. It’s not working. It was just revealed one of the top tech company paid like zero taxes! How about the average tax payer? Indvidials like paid more in taxes during the new tax code than last year.

For a second, I thought you gonna say, just wait for the slow down. :)

As a helicopter parent. I guess the medical field won’t be the direction for my little one.

Like huge debt (big time)

I thought doctors make bank?
Let me ask you this. Do you drive like a nice car? If you didn’t drive a nice car. Maybe your budget will be bigger.
I assume you don’t drive a beater.

(Just a question nothing more)

My statement to young folks out of college. Sometimes in life you have to make sacrifices. like don’t eat out, buy things on sale, watch Netflix instead of going to the movies. My favorite get another job or your spouse has to work for Mo’ Money.

Since I’m on a roll. There’s nothing wrong with renting to save up money or living with family or having roommates.
Also, don’t blame people for lack of execution.


Been reasoning a fair bit on here over the past few months and thought I’d finally participate and ask for some advice.

We have been looking at houses for a few months now including new developments. The main concern for us is proximity to Tustin Ranch as that is where my parents live and we’ll need to be near them if we have a child.

We have narrowed down our needs quite a bit in the past few months, but haven’t found anything we really want that bad. Which is fine since prices and rates have been dropping a bit.

- 2 bed, 2 bath min
- preferably >1200’
- attached garage

This has eventually led us back to the new developments that we first started looking at when we started in Portola (Carissa/Brisa), Novel Park, and eventually Levity in Tustin. These are a bit above our initial price range, especially with the mello roos, but haven’t been that impressed with the resale homes were seen.

What communities should we keep an eye on in our budget. We are not opposed to an older place, but would prefer to not have to deal the potential issues of a 1970s townhouse down the road.

Do you see the low end units of the new developments as worth it or should we stick to resales to avoid mello roos?

I also see a lot of talk about avoiding 3-level homes, but so far we haven’t seen many 2-levels with attached garages in the area that fit our budget. How much of a downside to resale is a 3 vs 2 level townhouse?

Offline irvinehomeowner

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Have you found any decent resale in your price range?

I know many prefer new but I think resale is a better value.

We’re sort of in the same boat as moc. The resales just haven’t been up to our standards and the ones that are are not that much less per month than a new townhouse.

There are pluses with the resales we’ve seen like a small porch/backyard, two stories instead of 3, less condensed in some neighborhoods. These almost always have had some major deterrent like 1.5 baths or only a one car garage and carport. The ones we like are basically the same cost of a new townhouse, albeit often a bit less $/sqft, but it hasn’t been a big enough discount for us to jump on any.

Just did a quick Redfin search and it seems like this is the case.

I thought during the slowdown you can get bargains... maybe not. :)
Once you go 3-car garage... your junk can never go back.
3CWG: 3-Car Wide Garage
FCB: Foreign Cash Buyer
I recommend:
www.irvinerealtorsite.com
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