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Flex is the word at Oakwood Shores
Gated lakefront community offers plenty of floor plan options for homes
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A kitchen in an Oakwood Shores home. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Oakwood Shores 2.0 isn't simply an upgrade of the initial gated lakefront community that took major nosedive during the collapse of the housing bubble.

The neighborhood being showcased at the end of this month with a grand opening has exterior designs that mesh almost seamlessly with the handful of homes that Beck Properties built before the bubble burst and banks foreclosed on the community.

Other than that, Oakwood Shore homes being offered today through Lafferty Homes boast the functionality, versatility, and sleek beauty of an i-Pad. That's not to say what Beck offered and built wasn't breathtaking when you stepped inside the front door. It was. But what Beck offered was grand in an old school way and it had prices to match.

And just with the newest generations of gizmos such as i-Phones what Lafferty Homes has come up with for interior options is light years beyond the bulk of what was being sold just six years ago.

Rick Lafferty calls it "flex" floor plans but it goes beyond that. Many builders before offered choices such as either having a great room or a bedroom on the second floor and things such as converting a tandem three-car garage into a three car garage and pushing walls out to create a den, bedroom, or an extended great room.

Lafferty takes the concept of "flex" floor plans to the next level to allow the buyer to get as close to semi-custom as you can get without altering the basic envelope of a home.

It's much like an i-Phone where apps seem to be endless. And - just like with i-Phone apps - Lafferty is constantly looking for ways to add options.

On one model that has a base of 3,628 square feet, he has decided to add additional options for an area that is now a towering space above the great room that allows a great sense of openness from the open hallway on the second floor that takes full advantage of transoms above tall great room windows to give a view of the water.

His new flex option includes extending the master bedroom suite over part or all of the great room. But that's not it. The buyer can design it so a balcony off the master bedroom suite extension - or the original suite wall line - overlooks the great room below.

Another model offers several variations for a space that can be either a vast playroom/loft or part of a Jack-and-Jill bedroom set up.

One option that is available in several models allows a second master suite on the ground floor that is designed as a "generational" option complete with mini-kitchen and living area suitable for the owners' parents or even a yo-yo adult child who has graduated from college. The option provides separate access to front courtyards as well s a door between the suit and the main house.

While flex options have been taken to the next level, the basic designs and the concept of lakefront living has a lot of appeal.

All of the available models have been designed with three things in mind: lifestyle, grand views of the water eve with second floor model, and creating a space with such scale that it is even more spacious than it really is. In other words, if the home is actually 2,800 square feet it feels like it is 3,800 square feet.

There are also design elements that make the front courtyard and patios essentially outdoor rooms. One model offers a walled front courtyard complete with a fireplace. Back yard option allow for covered patios that - thanks to the bank of large windows overlooking the lake and options such as glass French doors - bring the outdoors inside and vice versa. The ability to add freestanding fireplace in the backyard as well as the dock option turns space that normally gets cemented over or simply left in grass that usually gets little use is inviting as an outdoor room.

Other touches that are attention grabbers include balconies off secondary bedrooms facing the street on the second floor, a second-floor covered patio on one model, and a plan that places the laundry room under the staircase.

There is also a clubhouse with swimming pool for community use.

And if the options see to overwhelming to envision, the sales pavilion has an interactive screen that allows you to switch things out with the ease of using an i-Phone or an i-Pad.

Oakwood Shores is arguably one of the best situated manmade lakefront communities in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It has freeway access close by via the Airport Way and 120 Bypass interchange. It is also close to shopping as well as the Big League Dreams sports complex with its replica baseball fields and indoor soccer facility.

The 480-lot neighborhood is not just easy on the eye but on the pocketbook as well.

Base prices with the original Oakwood Shores project ranged from $644,990 to $764,990. Oakwood Shores 2.0 base priced range from $313,900 to $390,000.

Given the construction on Woodward Avenue, the easiest way currently to reach Oakwood Shores is to take West Yosemite Avenue to McKinley Avenue and turn south. Take McKinley to the T-intersection with Woodward Avenue and turn right. That will take you to the gated entrance of Oakwood Shores.