You can almost hear the homes in Castellina screaming, “Hey, we’re different!”
A distinct theme among newer communities in Palm Beach County is obvious after you visit a few of them — let’s just say that the Mediterranean look is not very hard to find.
In Castellina — builder DiVosta, a division of Pulte Group — has veered off and gone with the “stone” look. Most of the homes include at least a splash of a stone veneer, and many have façades that are two-thirds or entirely “stone.”
With the building-boom insanity just a memory in South Florida — and new homes no longer sprouting up like flowers in a springtime garden — Castellina is about as new as you can get. Here a home that’s been occupied for six months, there a home still having its shingles applied, and over there an empty lot waiting for a new house to lay claim to it.
The community, just west of State Road 441 and south of Forest Hill Boulevard, is scheduled to include 260 homes when it’s finished. And 150 of them have been sold since it opened last year, said Erika Edwards, marketing manager for Pulte Group’s South Florida division.
The twist in the look of the homes came after feedback in the marketplace, she said.
“A lot of what you see around South Florida is that Mediterranean style,” she said. “Some the recent feedback we’d been receiving is that, ‘We want to see something a little different.’”
Thus, the “stone” look was chosen. Pulte calls it “Euro country” — the style also includes a healthy portion of gabled roofs and colors that lean toward the earthy.
The homes in Castellina range from two bedrooms to four and from $275,000 to $473,000, not including upgrades, which include outdoor kitchens, fire pits and pools.
The community also includes manned security, a clubhouse with a community pool, lounge and party areas. There are also two bocce ball courts and two tennis courts, a picnic pavilion and a walking trail.
The homeowner association fee is $251 a month, and includes landscape maintenance.
The community is served by Panther Run Elementary School, Polo Park Middle, and Wellington High — all A-rated.
Part of what is fueling the buyer interest in Castellina is Equestrian Village, an $80 million horse complex planned a mile due west of Castellina at South Shore Boulevard and Pierson Road, said Glenn Gurvitch, a Realtor with My Area Realty, which is located near the community.
“That’s what’s selling the place out,” Gurvitch said. “There are a lot of seasonal people coming in just for the equestrian (lifestyle).”
The DiVosta label is helping as well, Gurvitch said.
“Their name, plus the lack of new construction, is definitely driving that community,” he said.
Barry Bienen, a resident who recently moved in, said he needed to move from his home in Royal Palm Beach to a home that was only one story, for health reasons. He said he loves Castellina, although he harbors some worry about the equestrian village, wondering whether it’s the right fit for the area.
Nonetheless, he likes the location of the community, since it’s close to so much, including the Wellington mall a five-minute drive away.
“It’s all residential,” he said. “It’s not that congested.”
BY THE NUMBERS
The real estate market at Castellina
Total number of homes
110 remaining to be sold by the builder; 1 for sale independently
Homes listed for sale
Median home sales price over the past year (independent of builder sales)