New Home Review — Corzano at Black Mountain​​​​​​​

This weekend I toured Corzano at Black Mountain Ranch. Like Castello, which I reviewed last week, this is a new development by Cal Atlantic Homes (formerly Standard Pacific) on the north face of Black Mountain just south of Carmel Valley Road and south of the master planned 4S Ranch and Del Sur communities. The development features three floor plans on 26 lots (I expect more lots to be added later, but the land sale to Cal Atlantic has not yet happened). Lots range in size from 7,000 to 12,000sf (beware if you look at the models, they were built on Corzano lots which are larger, your yard will will be significantly smaller than modeled).

The floor plans range from 2,724 to 2,924sf with 2-car garages. All plans are two story models. Pricing starts in the high 800,000’s and the Mello-Roos is $5,295 – $5,850/yr.

ModelBedsBathsSFGarage
Strada (1)432,724 – 2,7752 Car
Casciano (2)432,8062 Car
Siena (3)4-542,9242 Car

General Impressions

Once again, I think Cal Atlantic (Standard Pacific) has nailed the specs on these homes. A 2,700-2900sf home in this area should have 4-5 bedrooms with a bedroom downstairs, which these all do. Like Castello (and Toscana which I will review next week), they all have the California Room off of the interior Great Room. This is a great concept that takes advantage of the San Diego weather to extend your indoor living outside.

I do have the same problem with Corzano that I had with Castello: While nailing the important specs for the house, the models seem very formulistic and there is not much separation between the models, specifically plans 2 and 3. Plan 1 has a side entry, which has the affect of the house being wider rather than deeper (from the front door). Overall, the plans seemed like the younger sibling of the larger Castello – the same house just scaled down. If you break all the houses into 4 section, they are all laid out the following way:

  • Downstairs Front – Garage, bedroom, bathroom and either an office or dining room.
  • Downstairs Rear – Great Room, kitchen and breakfast nook (called dining room in the smaller models).
  • Upstairs Front – Secondary bedrooms and loft.
  • Upstairs Rear – Master bed and bath


Now, just because the homes are very similar isn’t a serious strike against them. They are all selling very well and Cal Atlantic makes a great home (I own one). It’s just that when walking through them I get the feeling I would looking at an Irish family portrait – they all have red hair, pale skin and freckles, they just come in different sizes. I feel like a company this distinguished could have been a little more creative.

Plan 1 (Strada) features the front door on the side of the home rather than the front. In the model, the stairs are immediately to your right upon entry and the downstairs bed and bath are in the same direction. To the left, you enter the great room and look out to the California room. The kitchen is around the corner looking over the great room. A dining room is directly adjacent to the kitchen, but it is really more of a large breakfast nook. Upstairs you have 3 bedrooms, a small loft and the laundry room.

Plan 2 (Casciano) has the typical entry at the front of the home. The downstairs bedroom is at the front of the home and the dining room is the first main living area you enter. The dining room opens up to the California room and to have access to the California room from the great room requires an option. This plan feels a little awkward downstairs as the great room space seems smaller and the dining room larger. Also, opening up your exterior living space from the dining room rather than the great room is a little awkward. I think they could have played with the stair location (it’s right before the kitchen) and garage access to the house to create a more functional space. Upstairs is identical in spec to plan 1 with 3 beds, 2 baths, a loft and the laundry room.

Plan 3 (Siena) is similar to plan 2 but the downstairs bedroom is a bit smaller and an office is added. The orientation of the main living area is a little odd with the island facing the California room and the great room and dining room making one long room. It’s not a bad use of space, but I would have turned the island 45 degrees so that the person working in the kitchen was more part of the great room – but, these homes are selling like crazy, so they knew what they were doing.

To date, Corzano has released 16 of their 26 homes and have sold 14. There is a significant priority list, so be sure to get on it if you want a chance at a later release. I anticipate that Cal Atlantic will continue Corzano with a future land purchase, so getting on the list now may help you later.

Pros

  • Downstairs bedrooms
  • California rooms
  • Lofts
  • Large downstairs living space (great rooms)
  • Poway Schools (located directly across Carmel Valley Rd from Oak Valley Middle School)

Cons

  • Not in Del Sur or 4S Ranch
  • Elementary school is Willow Grove (despite being closer to Stone Ranch in 4S)
  • Mello-Roos ($5,295 – $5,850/yr)
  • Location leaves the homes open to road noise from Carmel Valley Rd. Also requires children crossing a busy street to get to the middle school.
  • Walk-ability for kids is low due to presence of Carmel Valley Rd.

Overall, these are very nice homes (my nit-picking aside). The sales rep is John Koshinsky ((858) 391-6937) and he is very knowledgeable about the area. When he asked my opinion, I told him my major concern beyond the similarity of the homes and potential road noise was the lack of walk-ability. Unlike the adjacent Del Sur and 4S Ranch which have parks, shopping, trails and schools, this community does not and the presence of Carmel Valley Rd provides separation from the same (especially for young children). John responded that the buyers they are attracting are looking for something a little more prestigious than 4S or Del Sur and want to be separate from them. While I don’t see this as the majority of the home buyers out there, the fact that these 3 developments will have at most 300 homes while 4S and Del Sur combined have over 7,000 indicates that even if this view is in the minority, there are enough buyers for these homes that they will hold their value well.

If you would like to arrange a private tour, please give us a text or call (858-688-0189). If you register with me on your first visit, I will provide you a discount on the sale of your home or help with some of your options.