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Blackstone Residents?


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#1 boethius

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 07:16 PM

There's a bunch of new developments by different developers in the Blackstone area that share the same club house.  Could people who live there chime in on how it is to live there?  How it may compare to some place like Parkway in Folsom?

 

They are brand new and go for around $420k+ depending on size and etc.

 

But there is like a $130 HOA (but includes club house access) and like a $200 mello roos.

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 DougP

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:24 AM

There's a bunch of new developments by different developers in the Blackstone area that share the same club house.  Could people who live there chime in on how it is to live there?  How it may compare to some place like Parkway in Folsom?

 

 

I've lived in the Blackstone community going on 6 years now after having lived in Folsom for 9.  We're on our second house in Blackstone, so have lived in two different parts of the community.

 

My take away?  Far more bang-for-the buck in terms of house-per-square-foot.  All the homes have both Solar electric systems and utilize recycled water for landscape irrigation, so the cost of living is quite reasonable.  Some builders have positioned their homes as eco-friendly.  As an example, our current home's insulation exceeds California requirements and we have nearly 100% LED lighting except for a few fixtures that are compact fluorescent.

 

There are a wide variety of home styles available varying from high-density zero-lot-line homes to neighborhoods that average ⅓ acre lots per home.  Some areas have view lots with views of the Sacramento valley or other scenery while other neighborhoods are more traditional tract-style.  

 

Personally, the peace, quiet, adjacent green space, and bang-for-buck make it no comparison for our needs.  We're much happier in Blackstone than we were in our Folsom neighborhood.

 

You mentioned the HOA fee -- which will eventually be $130/mo.  Presently it's reduced by about 30% to the $80 range since the community is not built out yet.

 

I'd be happy to answer specific questions that you might have.



#3 boethius

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 04:30 PM

 

I've lived in the Blackstone community going on 6 years now after having lived in Folsom for 9.  We're on our second house in Blackstone, so have lived in two different parts of the community.

 

My take away?  Far more bang-for-the buck in terms of house-per-square-foot.  All the homes have both Solar electric systems and utilize recycled water for landscape irrigation, so the cost of living is quite reasonable.  Some builders have positioned their homes as eco-friendly.  As an example, our current home's insulation exceeds California requirements and we have nearly 100% LED lighting except for a few fixtures that are compact fluorescent.

 

There are a wide variety of home styles available varying from high-density zero-lot-line homes to neighborhoods that average ⅓ acre lots per home.  Some areas have view lots with views of the Sacramento valley or other scenery while other neighborhoods are more traditional tract-style.  

 

Personally, the peace, quiet, adjacent green space, and bang-for-buck make it no comparison for our needs.  We're much happier in Blackstone than we were in our Folsom neighborhood.

 

You mentioned the HOA fee -- which will eventually be $130/mo.  Presently it's reduced by about 30% to the $80 range since the community is not built out yet.

 

I'd be happy to answer specific questions that you might have.

 

Thanks for your feedback.  The only things I can think of that could be a potential concern are a high mello roos and that the El Dorado school district does not serve that area.. It supposedly falls into placer county school district? 

 

What do you think of the safety and the HOA?



#4 DougP

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 10:17 AM

 


 

Thanks for your feedback.  The only things I can think of that could be a potential concern are a high mello roos and that the El Dorado school district does not serve that area.. It supposedly falls into placer county school district? 

 

What do you think of the safety and the HOA?

 

Blackstone is served by the Buckeye Union and El Dorado Union districts which are the same school districts that cover the rest of El Dorado Hills.

 

The elementary school serving Blackstone is currently William Brooks and the middle school is Camerado.  Valley View elementary inside Blackstone will open once a sufficient student body develops.

 

Unique to Blackstone, high school students may flexibly choose to attend any of El Dorado, Union Mine, or Ponderosa schools based on the student's goals.  The only school that cannot be chosen is Oak Ridge since it is currently over capacity.

 

Being a mix of both open and gated communities, I'm not aware of any specific safety or crime concerns -- in general crime is low to nonexistent.  The only crimes I'm aware of are infrequent and consist of things like a couple of cases of package theft or one instance of a car break-in.

 

The HOA itself takes a somewhat relaxed approach to rule enforcement.  In general, it will not independently act against a home owner unless other homeowners have complained.  The only routinely enforced restrictions that I've observed are regarding the parking regulations and clubhouse usage.

 

I will say having the clubhouse is a tremendous asset and it's a fantastic opportunity to be able to meet and socialize with other residents.



#5 boethius

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 02:21 AM

 

Blackstone is served by the Buckeye Union and El Dorado Union districts which are the same school districts that cover the rest of El Dorado Hills.

 

The elementary school serving Blackstone is currently William Brooks and the middle school is Camerado.  Valley View elementary inside Blackstone will open once a sufficient student body develops.

 

Unique to Blackstone, high school students may flexibly choose to attend any of El Dorado, Union Mine, or Ponderosa schools based on the student's goals.  The only school that cannot be chosen is Oak Ridge since it is currently over capacity.

 

Being a mix of both open and gated communities, I'm not aware of any specific safety or crime concerns -- in general crime is low to nonexistent.  The only crimes I'm aware of are infrequent and consist of things like a couple of cases of package theft or one instance of a car break-in.

 

The HOA itself takes a somewhat relaxed approach to rule enforcement.  In general, it will not independently act against a home owner unless other homeowners have complained.  The only routinely enforced restrictions that I've observed are regarding the parking regulations and clubhouse usage.

 

I will say having the clubhouse is a tremendous asset and it's a fantastic opportunity to be able to meet and socialize with other residents.

 

Thanks for your reply.  There are many new developments in Blackstone (still building out, some even just starting months earlier), then there are those already built out.. I'm talking about the small clusters of homes within their own mini-gated communities.  Looking at Metrolistmls.com for homes, it appears there are some "older" ones that are like no more than 10 years old or so which also  have some modest HOA fee (like $78/mo) but may not be gated yet get use of the Blackstone club house.

 

I've been looking at Lennar (Palisades) since they include everything (even finished backyard) in their pricing, but was wondering if you know if one builder down that strip is better than another?  They all appear to be building roughly 60-80 homes in little communities behind walls and gates.  They seem to mostly have very small backyards and are built rather close to each other.  Then there are homes further up the hill, by Standard Pacific, which cost like 100K+ more and are beautiful, spaced apart more from each other, and seem to have more of a yard.  I think those are out of my budget since I'm looking in the $400K range.



#6 DougP

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 08:28 AM

 

Thanks for your reply.  There are many new developments in Blackstone (still building out, some even just starting months earlier), then there are those already built out.. I'm talking about the small clusters of homes within their own mini-gated communities.  Looking at Metrolistmls.com for homes, it appears there are some "older" ones that are like no more than 10 years old or so which also  have some modest HOA fee (like $78/mo) but may not be gated yet get use of the Blackstone club house.

 

I've been looking at Lennar (Palisades) since they include everything (even finished backyard) in their pricing, but was wondering if you know if one builder down that strip is better than another?  They all appear to be building roughly 60-80 homes in little communities behind walls and gates.  They seem to mostly have very small backyards and are built rather close to each other.  Then there are homes further up the hill, by Standard Pacific, which cost like 100K+ more and are beautiful, spaced apart more from each other, and seem to have more of a yard.  I think those are out of my budget since I'm looking in the $400K range.

 

 

Our two homes have been purchased from Lennar, but we have friends who have also bought K. Hovnanian and Meritage.  Not well advertised, but in both the K.Hov and Meritage case, both families bought their new construction homes significantly below asking price.

 

Lennar has the most variety -- from the zero lot line home in Palisades to the 0.3 acre and up view lots in Summit View and The Ridge.

 

In my opinion, the best value per square foot is in the resale Lennar homes within the Shenandoah neighborhood. They're priced significantly below the new construction and if you get one that was built pre-2012, contain a significant number of upgrades that later became optional or unavailable.  In addition, all of the Lennar homes (except Palisades) come with an owned solar electric system.  (Palisades homes feature leased solar)



#7 boethius

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 10:41 PM

Do you mean your friends bought at K.Hov and Meritage new construction significantly below asking price recently or was this some years back?  and how significantly lower?

 

Also, I had thought Palisades came with owned solar.. will have to double check.

 

 

 

Our two homes have been purchased from Lennar, but we have friends who have also bought K. Hovnanian and Meritage.  Not well advertised, but in both the K.Hov and Meritage case, both families bought their new construction homes significantly below asking price.

 

 

 

Lennar has the most variety -- from the zero lot line home in Palisades to the 0.3 acre and up view lots in Summit View and The Ridge.

 

In my opinion, the best value per square foot is in the resale Lennar homes within the Shenandoah neighborhood. They're priced significantly below the new construction and if you get one that was built pre-2012, contain a significant number of upgrades that later became optional or unavailable.  In addition, all of the Lennar homes (except Palisades) come with an owned solar electric system.  (Palisades homes feature leased solar)



#8 mrbrenan

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:19 PM

I have to chime in on this one. 

 

We just moved into Blackstone from Serrano and the vibe of the entire community is much more relaxed. 

 

We lived in a village over by Silva Valley and moved in "The Estates" by K. Hovnanian about 3-4 months ago. This has been probably the best decision we have made in the last 15+ years of living in El Dorado Hills.

 

Aside from my office being across the street in the El Dorado Hills Business Parks, Blackstone has been surprisingly impressive.

 

The Pros

  • The Clubhouse
  • The Views
  • The Sunsets - WOW
  • Close to Town Center
  • 2 Minutes from the Business Parks
  • Friendly Neighborhood (At Least in the Estates... so far)
  • Rural enough to feel rural
  • HOA cheaper (Than Serrano) - I know the original question was the parkway but again this is only my 2 cents.
  • Mella Roos Cheaper (Than Serrano)

The Cons

  • The Landscaping and Front Yard Maintenance
  • Not a gated community (Again, the Estates Neighborhood)
  • The Construction Noise EVERY MORNING (June 2016) - I don't foresee is stopping anytime soon
  • The Construction Dust
  • No Large Growth - Sometimes it looks like the trees are barren
  • Bugs & Snakes - Its a new development, not too much pest control, what would you expect?

All in all, my favorite thing about where we live has to be the sunsets!!!

 

THEY ARE AMAZING!!!

 

Check out a few recent sunsets below. There have been so many amazing sunsets from blackstone that we started are own blog just for the sunsets. 

 

Take a look ElDoradoSunset.com

 

5d1e-fd59-3962-7d65.jpg

 

El_Dorado_Hills_Sunset_Blackstone_01.jpg

 

El_Dorado_Hills_Sunset_Thick_Clouds_06.jEl_Dorado_Hills_Sunset_Thick_Clouds_04.j



#9 Howdy

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 08:36 AM

If you want new construction there is not much in the area besides Blackstone. Little to nothing new in Folsom until S50 starts getting built. We almost bought in Blackstone a few months back, One of the $700k Lennar homes at the top of the hill. The two things that never set right with us was paying close to $500/month for Mello Roos and HOA. Throwing money away right there. The second was the middle and high school situation where the kids are getting bussed to either Cameron Park or Placerville. The homes we were looking at had huge lots, but you could not use them for boat or RV parking and we wanted a true 3 car garage, not a tandem. 

 

We ended up staying in Folsom and bought for $40K less. No HOA and the 1915 bond expires in 3 years. Already a pool in the backyard and nice upgrades throughout the home. Kids get to keep the same schools and friends. Blackstone might be nice for empty nesters or a new family starting out and the schools and kids are able to be built and grown over time. For us in the middle it was just not the right fit. 



#10 DougP

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:39 PM



The homes we were looking at had huge lots, but you could not use them for boat or RV parking and we wanted a true 3 car garage, not a tandem. 

 

Blackstone might be nice for empty nesters or a new family starting out and the schools and kids are able to be built and grown over time. For us in the middle it was just not the right fit. 

 

[Edited to address just a couple of points]

 

You're absolutely right, due to the sloping terrain in Blackstone, the large lots give great views but do not typically accommodate RV parking.  In fact, based on my recollection of HOA rules, RV parking isn't allowed unless it's concealed from the neighbors.  Our neighbors with RV-type vehicles rent off-site spaces to park them.

 

However, many homes have proper 3 or 4 car garages -- so it depends on which floor plan and builder you choose.   Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of tandem garages too.  There is just a lot of choices available -- in fact the one rare thing to find in Blackstone is a 2-car garage.

 

And you're also right about the empty-nesters.  I would argue about 50% of the residents (depending on neighborhood) are retired or have adult children. Mostly bay-area transplants.   But there are tons of kids in Blackstone too.  I have serious doubts about the school district's population claims vs. what I can observe.

 

That said, as mrbrenan points out, the views and sunsets are spectacular.  Every time I drive to the office and see the entire Sacramento valley in front of me, or drive home and see the hillside with oaks, cows, and rabbits hopping around, I realize we have benefits that our previous neighborhood in Folsom could never offer.



#11 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:45 AM

[Edited to address just a couple of points]
 
You're absolutely right, due to the sloping terrain in Blackstone, the large lots give great views but do not typically accommodate RV parking.  In fact, based on my recollection of HOA rules, RV parking isn't allowed unless it's concealed from the neighbors.  Our neighbors with RV-type vehicles rent off-site spaces to park them.
 
However, many homes have proper 3 or 4 car garages -- so it depends on which floor plan and builder you choose.   Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of tandem garages too.  There is just a lot of choices available -- in fact the one rare thing to find in Blackstone is a 2-car garage.
 
And you're also right about the empty-nesters.  I would argue about 50% of the residents (depending on neighborhood) are retired or have adult children. Mostly bay-area transplants.   But there are tons of kids in Blackstone too.  I have serious doubts about the school district's population claims vs. what I can observe.
 
That said, as mrbrenan points out, the views and sunsets are spectacular.  Every time I drive to the office and see the entire Sacramento valley in front of me, or drive home and see the hillside with oaks, cows, and rabbits hopping around, I realize we have benefits that our previous neighborhood in Folsom could never offer.


Enjoy the atmosphere while you can. Development and loss of natural rural habitat will be there before you know it. Although you will always have the sunsets!
Knowing the past helps deciphering the future.

#12 Steve Heard

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 03:15 PM

Great shots, mrbrenan! 


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#13 mrbrenan

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:50 PM

Thanks Steve, 

 

Yeah, there have been some epic shots from on top of the hill. 






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