New construction is starting to rev up a little in the Carlsbad area. As a Carlsbad real estate agent I like to keep current on the inventory and how the new construction projects compare to resale. The first project I paid a visit to was SolTerra which is in the community of La Costa Greens. The site is located east of El Camino Real and North of Poinsettia Ln off of Camino Vida Roble. As of this post they have sold out of phase one homes, have one home left in phase two, and are completing phase three in September of 2010. The builder for SolTerra is ColRich, a San Diego based builder that has a total of 3 projects in the Villages of La Costa. SolTerra is the least expensive of their projects, and it looks like price points start in the high $500k’s. One of the first questions I ask when visiting new construction is: what are the home owner association fees and Mello Roos. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mello-Roos, please comment on this blog and I’d be happy to give an explanation. These fees are critical factors in making a new construction purchase because they cut into your purchasing power as a home buyer and are fees that may have little or no tax benefit. For this property the HOA dues are $261 monthly and the Mello-Roos and property taxes come to around 1.3-1.4% of the purchase price. HOA fees can change, so it is a good idea to expect them to fluctuate and eventually escalate over time.
My initial impression of the homes: they looked like detached townhomes– with little distance between your home and the neighbors. They have a relatively small footprint and lot sizes vary from 3,500 sq ft with an average lot size of around 4,100 sq ft. So bottom line is these are a cross between a detached townhome and a detached home with some of the benefits and disadvantages of both.
The first model I looked at was Plan 1A. This plan is a 3BR/3.5 Bath, approximately 1,989 sq ft, with three levels. I was surprised with the efficient use of space and the modern floorplan. After my 2nd flight of stairs I realized what made this floorplan and the SolTerra concept unique: The 3rd floor was the 3rd bedroom or an optional loft. It was a perfect setup for those of that work from home and typically use a 3rd bedroom for a home office or work area. If you can tolerate the two flights of stairs this could be a great option for you. This floorplan and the other two floorplans have 3 elevations or exterior designs: Spanish A, Tuscan B, or Monterey Ranch C. Prices on the list as of this blog for this floorplan started at $594,990.
Plan 2CR had a similar feel to 1A–although it felt more spacious with a larger master bath, and a laundry room instead of a laundry closet. This floorplan is around 2.105 sq ft and includes a spacious loft on the 3rd level, that can be split to include an optional 4th bedroom.
Plan 3BX is the largest of the floorplans and doesn’t have a third floor. It seems more like a modern, conventional detached home with less of the townhome feel. Plan 3BX is around 2,196 sq ft, and has 4BR’s/3BA’s. One of the great features is a 4th bedroom on the entry level.
SolTerra is part of the La Costa Greens subdivision and so with the HOA fees you also receive full access to the Presidio, their private club with a well equipped clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and hiking trails nearby.