Architecture Real Estate


Mark and Bryan Burkhart work with a powerhouse home team to build a new breed of spec home in Newport Heights

By Alexandria Abramian

The timeline was exceptional by pre-pandemic standards. Now, it’s the stuff of home building dreams. But Bryan and Mark Burkhart, founders and principals of Newport Beach-based build company Burkhart Brothers, were determined to build an exceptional spec home in record time in 2019. And they wanted to do so without cutting a single construction corner or skimping on design details. The result? A ground-up, out-of-the-box home in Newport Heights that was completed in just over ten months—from demo to final design details.

The kicker? It sold in under two hours.

Architect Mark Teale took full advantage of the property’s street position by elevating the ground floor to provide privacy while capitalizing on its five-star views.

“Scheduling is the key to getting a home completed in this amount of time,” says Bryan. “Having the products and materials is key; having multiple trades working at the same time is key; and even with all of that in place, you’re going to need a certain amount of luck in order to make this kind of timeline.”

But the speed of the sale as well as a record-breaking price went beyond sheer luck, says Bryan. Instead, the design by architect Mark Teale of Teale Architecture elevated the home beyond the sea of spec home competition in Newport Beach. “At this level, you need to take a risk on design,” says Bryan. “That’s what this level of buyer wants. They want a statement house. Mark Teale was able to cue into the taste of the prospective buyer.”

Real estate agent Drew D’Angelo concurs, “The idea was to bring beach contemporary to a new level with warmth. The mixture of textures really made the home stand out and show the area what the future would look like.”

Designer Valerie Saunders and architect Mark Teale devised a high-function culinary hub within the open plan design.

Teale successfully walked that architectural tightrope, creating a home that would stand out to a prospective buyer while not playing design diva among neighboring properties. “The front is relatively short, so we tried to not chop it up much and keep a horizontal line on each floor. This makes it a more dramatic front especially by the repetition of beams, which is a common aesthetic used in modern and traditional homes,” says Teale. “The horizontal line also visually ties the house to the neighbors rather than trying to compete with the neighbors.”

And then there’s the home’s location: Situated across the street from a park, the home is one of only five in all of Newport Heights that have that view corridor. “No home will ever be built in front of it,” says D’Angelo. “Its location, its view, its curb appeal, architecture and warm textures make this a standout.”

A spacious courtyard allows for outdoor living with privacy.

But it isn’t simply the exterior and site that make the home exceptional. From the inside, Teale and Valerie Saunders of Serendipite Designs created a one-of-a-kind residential experience that captures expansive views while preserving privacy. “Our primary goal while designing this home was to highlight the view and create a soft, transitional palate,” says Saunders, who added unexpected amenities like a “prep pantry” in the kitchen. Throughout the project, Saunders focused on using “thoughtful, quality materials so the homeowner can really enjoy the home for many years to come.”

“With Mark and Valerie we were able to create a beautiful house that is more modern traditional as opposed to modern farmhouse,” says Bryan. “It’s just not the same thing you see over and over again. And it turns out that ultimately, that’s what it takes to truly stand out in this market.”  

Bryan and Mark Burkhart relax outside the home where cedar and stone create a new version of warm contemporary. (Photo by Brett Hillyard)

Burkhart Brothers | 1382 Valencia Avenue, Suite F, Tustin | 949.375.6725 |

Teale Architecture | 2900 Bristol Street, Suite A203, Costa Mesa | 949.975.0123 |

Serendipite Designs | Stonemill Design Center, 2915 Red Hill Avenue, Suite G103, Costa Mesa | 714.617.5775 |

Drew D’Angelo | 3500 East Coast Highway, Suite 110, Corona del Mar | [email protected] | 949.244-6754

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