a) I have recently taken my clients to both Taylor Morrison and Standard Pacific. I personally liked them both but my client preferred Standard Pacific because of the back yard. She also told me that she had not heard too much about Taylor Morrison, but Standard Pacific was a familiar name to her and that is why she wanted to go with a builder she had heard of. Taylor Morrison is also quite a reputable builder, but I am sure you will be doing your due diligence to make sure they don't have complaints against them. They currently have Residence 5 (2,939 sq ft) at $755K and Residence 6 (2,685 sq ft) at $720K. It will be a gated community. They are temporarily sold out of Residence 1, 2 and 3. They may have more of those later. As far as Standard Pacific, they had The Pietra home site 52, The Leone home site 36, The Grande home site 44 available the last time I was there.
b) Backyard- It really depends on every individual. Some people don't have time to maintain a big back yard but feel that some area for a bar-be-cue and a small group of friends to hang out area is what is enough for them. So Standard Pacific makes sense since the backyard is not too big and just enough for a small gathering. Taylor Morrison side yard is not something to "write home about."
But I really like the layout of the Taylor Morrison homes compared to Castello by Standard Pacific. The staircase in the middle of the bedrooms is a divider something my client did not like since she has a baby and going around the staircase at night when the baby wakes up was not good for her.
C) I think the fact that Taylor Morrison homes have only a side yard is reason for their homes to be a little lesser in price per sq ft.
You should make sure you take an agent with you when you go to see new homes. Your agent can negotiate with the builder for price, terms and options. I also provide the buyers with an analysis of how much the homes in the last few phases have sold for and how much the resale homes in the neighborhood are selling for so you can make an informed decision.
I have registered several clients recently with all the builders in Dublin and believe me, there are many developments coming up in Dublin. My clients have also registered with Standard Pacific, DR Horton and KB homes in Dublin.
So if you are still checking out other builders, make sure you do not go in on your own. The builder will pay the buyer's agent commission so it will not cost you anything to get an agent. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose .