The last time I went house hunting was 17 years ago, when our daughter was an infant. I fell madly in lust with several lovely models in brand new communities in Valencia, just north of here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
But I worked just outside downtown Los Angeles back then, in the Wilshire district — and the traffic between there and our Sherman Oaks apartment was making me want to pull out my hair. Commuting from Santa Clarita and back each night sounded like something that would downright kill me. We lowered our expectations and focused on older homes in established communities in the San Fernando Valley, and ended up in the house we live in now.
We have some beautiful memories here, but as you would expect from a house that’s 52 years old, it needs things. Expensive things. And so my fantasies center on winning the lottery to pay for a complete renovation… while we all move into a spanking new house in another neighborhood.
I wonder if we would have settled here if Villa Metro had been built back then. For one thing, it is practically across the street from the Santa Clarita Metrolink station, so there would be no teeth-gnashing crawl along the 101 and 405 two times a day. The development has design touches that are reminiscent of Europe — and that’s no accident, according to Joan Marcus-Colvin, who oversees sales, marketing and design at builders, The New Home Company.
“We wanted the community to have a village feel,” she says.
That is one way to describe the proximity of the homes to one another, and it was interesting to learn that the land was originally slated for a 470-home condo development. The New Home Company actually reduced the number of homes to a manageable 315 — with the three different neighborhoods opening this weekend consisting of all single family, detached houses.
I was part of a blogger group invited to preview the models before they open to the public. Everywhere we turned, there were workers frantically putting in the finishing touches on the landscaping, and cleaning crews polishing counters and floors to a pristine shine. It was like being on the set for a glossy magazine shoot; Pinterest-friendly decorator porn in-real-life. And it was beautiful.
Square footage ranges from 1,081 to 1,998 and all feel remarkably roomy — even the smaller models. That can be attributed to the designers’ decision to build in high ceilings and plenty of windows for natural light, with awesome views of the nearby mountains. Throw in the lovely interior design and spacious kitchens, and you’ve got a half dozen bloggy women ooh-ing and aah-ing and wishing they could move in right now.
The landscaping is one of the ways the developers hope to turn the three Villa Metro sections into a village. None of these homes will have an expansive backyard, but all will share common green areas, a good sized recreation room that residents will be able to reserve for parties, what looks like an Olympic sized pool plus kiddie pool and spa and even space for a community garden. The final piece of the Villa Metro puzzle will be its Main Street: 22 “live-work” lofts that will line the entrance to the development, which will allow residents to live above their own light professional personal office or retail space.
Villa Metro is opening Saturday with a street festival, live music, food and prizes. If you’re in the area, the folks at The New Home Company hope you’ll stop by and see their Mediterranean inspired homes.
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