Spanish Twins: The fastest way to learn Construction Spanish.

December 31st, 2012

Do you practice a second language regularly? It is commonly known that it is easier to learn a second language as a child than when you’re older, but there are times when brushing-up on language lessons might not be a bad idea, particularly when it comes to communicating for construction. Bradley Hartmann shares the fastest way to learn construction Spanish on HousingZone.com: [READ More…]


via http://www.housingzone.com/blog/spanish-twins-fastest-way-learn-construction-spanish

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Eight Reasons to Buy a Home

December 24th, 2012

You’ve probably imagined what your future home would look like — what colors you would paint the walls, what kind of plants you would grow, and what kind of furnishings you would place around the house.  If you’re considering buying a home, there are plenty of important factors to consider aside from legal and financial terms.  Do you know how buying a home can help you under the right terms? Elizabeth Weintraub shares Before You Buy a Home – Look at Eight Reasons to Buy a Home on About.com:  [ READ More… ]

 


http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/bb/buyhome.htm

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Multifamily a Natural for Brandywine Homes

December 21st, 2012

By Carrie Rossenfeld

December 21, 2012

IRVINE, CA-As GlobeSt.com reported last week, local developer Brandywine Homes is planning its first multifamily development—the first of four apartment complexes it plans to build in the coming year. GlobeSt.com spoke with Brandywine’s VP David Barisic about why the firm decided to move into the multifamily sector, its plans for future multifamily development and how the move will impact Brandywine’s single-family development business.

“The move into multifamily development is not something that we recently decided,” Barisic tells GlobeSt.com. “This has been a goal of ours for the past several years, but we have been busy in the for-sale market and had to get geared up for it. It’s a natural extension to what we do already—it’s just a different market.”

Barisic explains that the firm’s purpose is providing more-affordable housing to a population who is priced out of the market for buying one of Brandywine’s homes. “We’re just trying to expand our client base.”

Brandywine’s first multifamily development of 25 units breaks ground in January in Garden Grove, CA. Also in-the-works is a 34-unit Garden Grove property set to close in February, a 22-unit property in Buena Park, CA, that should close in January, and a 35-unit development in Vista, CA, for which the company currently owns the property.

The Vista project is in the entitlement process and should be fully approved by June. Barisic says the addition of a multifamily component shouldn’t impact the firm’s single-family development at all.

“In addition to expanding the portfolio of what we do by building multifamily, we’re also expanding our home building.”

The firm is on pace to double its production of for-sale housing in the coming year. To gain an edge, Brandywine specifically targets markets that are underserved with newer housing stock, either for-sale or for-rent—namely, infill areas rather than master-planned communities.

“If someone is looking for an apartment in an underserved market that wasn’t built 40 years ago, we’ll be the only game in town,” says Barisic. “We’re not looking at Irvine or South Orange County, but older areas of Orange and San Diego counties.”

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OC Metro “Brandywine Homes plans first multifamily development”

December 18th, 2012

New community is located near Disneyland in Garden Grove

Brandywine Homes, an Irvine-based community developer known for single-family projects, has acquired land for its first multifamily development. With plans to break ground in January, the project will be comprised of two- and three-bedroom townhomes and flats on .887 acres in Garden Grove. The construction is expected to answer the shortage of affordable houses in Orange County, where rent is at record highs in some areas.

“The demand for rental properties is huge right now; the timing is right for Brandywine to be a part of that market,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing for Brandywine. “Now that the economy is starting to improve people who have been living with their relatives or doubling up with friends are looking for their own place-and they’re hesitant to buy just yet.”
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Brandywine Homes plans first multifamily development

December 18th, 2012


New community is located near Disneyland in Garden Grove

BY JASON WHEELER
December 18, 2012

Brandywine Homes, an Irvine-based community developer known for single-family projects, has acquired land for its first multifamily development. With plans to break ground in January, the project will be comprised of two- and three-bedroom townhomes and flats on .887 acres in Garden Grove. The construction is expected to answer the shortage of affordable houses in Orange County, where rent is at record highs in some areas.

“The demand for rental properties is huge right now; the timing is right for Brandywine to be a part of that market,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing for Brandywine. “Now that the economy is starting to improve people who have been living with their relatives or doubling up with friends are looking for their own place-and they’re hesitant to buy just yet.”

Though Brandywine usually develops single-family homes and expects to double production of residences over the next two years, Brandywine President Brett Whitehead believes exploring alternative strategies to be a good business strategy.

“One thing we learned over the downturn was that diversifying can never hurt, and it would have been a lot more comfortable over the past five years if we would have had some sort of income-producing property in our portfolio,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead has noted the biggest difference between multifamily and single-family home construction is entitlements.

“There’s a different set of guidelines as far as what cities want for construction, setbacks and parking, so it’s been a little bit of a learning curve as to what cities and codes will allow us to do,” Whitehead said.

The homes will be located close to the Garden Grove Freeway, Korean Business District and Little Saigon. Residents will easily be able to access The Outlets at Orange, Westminster Mall, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, while sending their children to award winning Garden Grove Schools.

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Brandywine Homes Announces First Multifamily Development

December 17th, 2012

By Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Garden Grove, Calif.—Brandywine Homes, a residential developer based in Irvine, Calif., announced its plans for its first multifamily development, the first of four apartment communities.

“The demand for rental properties is huge right now; the timing is right for Brandywine to be a part of that market,” Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing, Brandywine, says. “Now that the economy is starting to improve people who have been living with their relatives or doubling up with friends are looking for their own place—and they’re hesitant to buy just yet.”

Brandywine will break ground on a 25-unit development in Garden Grove, Calif., featuring two- and three-bedroom townhomes and flats in January. The townhomes, which will be designed by LSA Architecture, will range in size from 900 to 1,360 square feet. The apartments will feature granite countertops and in-unit washers and dryers.

Amenities for the community will include a tot lot and a barbecue area.

Though Brandywine is venturing into the multifamily market, the company will continue primarily in the single-family arena, with plans to double its home production over the next two years.

“One thing we learned over the downturn was that diversifying can never hurt, and it would have been a lot more comfortable over the past five years if we would have had some sort of income-producing property in our portfolio,” Brett Whitehead, president, Brandywine, says.

Construction for the first apartment community is expected to be completed in late 2013.

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What kind of mortgage is right for you?

December 17th, 2012

by Scott Schang, FindMyWayHome.com

Taking out a mortgage to buy a home is the biggest financial commitment that most people will make in their lifetime.  Homebuyers entering the market today have witnessed years of fallout resulting from homebuyers and homeowners choosing the wrong mortgage, which in many cases ended in foreclosure and serious financial hardship.

Today’s homebuyer benefits from “knowing what we know now” and can rest easy that those toxic loans of the past are gone and no longer present a threat to your decision making process.

Active or honorably discharged members of the armed forces should always begin the mortgage process by researching their eligibility for the VA home loan benefit.

More information about VA eligibility can be found here – VA Home Loan Guaranty (hyperlink: http://benefits.va.gov/homeloans/ )

For all other homebuyers the choice comes down to Conventional or FHA insured home mortgage financing.

Conventional or FHA – Which is Better?

The starting point for determining your mortgage options is getting pre-approved by a lender first and foremost.  In some cases, based on your financial profile, your mortgage chooses you – or more accurately, your options are limited or available based on your complete financial which can only be assessed through the loan approval process.

There are 3 main aspects of your financial profile that most influence what mortgage options are available to you.

Credit Score

When a lender looks at the credit scores of each borrower on a loan application, the qualifying score is the middle score of the lowest scoring borrower.  The minimum credit score required by most lenders will be 640 for both FHA and Conventional.

The cost of a FHA mortgage will increase slightly for borrowers with credit scores between 640 and 680, Conventional costs are nearly 5 times that of FHA up to 740 credit scores.  FHA may be a less expensive option if your credit score is under 740

Debt to Income Ratio

Both Conventional and FHA mortgages have a maximum allowable debt to income ratio (DTI) that determines the maximum mortgage payment you can afford.  Your debt to income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income required to pay your liabilities from your credit report as well as your proposed new housing expenses including payment, taxes and insurance.  FHA will allow a debt to income ratio as high as 57% while Conventional will only allow up to 45% as a general rule.

Down Payment / Assets

It is a common misconception that if you have less than a 20% down payment that you have to use FHA financing.  Conventional financing actually requires a lower down payment than FHA with a minimum 3% down payment compared to a minimum 3.5% required by FHA.

The biggest difference between the two mortgages is that Conventional will require a minimum 5% of the borrowers own funds be in the transaction (down payment and closing costs) while FHA does not have this requirement.  Conventional also requires that you have 2 months worth of payments in reserves.  FHA does not have a reserve requirement.

There are many more factors that are considered when qualifying for a mortgage, and the only way to know exactly what you qualify for is to get pre-approved by a lender.

In most cases you will qualify for both FHA and Conventional financing and there will be costs, advantages and disadvantages to each.  Ask your lender to compare the two options side by side so that you have all the information necessary to make an educated and informed decision.

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What is a custom home?

December 10th, 2012

What is a custom home and how is it different than a “tract” or “production” home? What’s the difference in terms of cost?

Typically, a custom home is an organic process that begins with an owner and a dream.  There are many different places to start, but usually it would be with the future homeowner with a home site in mind, and an architect who begins to plan the home based on that particular buyers direction (size, bedroom count, etc.).  Somewhere along the line, a builder such as Brandywine would be contracted to come in and begin the process of permitting, specifying materials and eventually construction.

A production home, on the other hand, will be designed with a more mass market appeal and will have more typical materials and finishes.

As far as cost goes, that depends greatly on spec level and what a particular buyer is trying to achieve.

 

Are these usually new homes replacing tear downs? What percentage are homes on new lots? How many developments allow/require buyers to build their own custom homes?

There are a few areas in Orange County that offer new communities with lots for sale that are intended specifically for custom homes.  Crystal Cove in Newport Beach and Covenant Hills in Ladera Ranch are two good examples.  There are also many older communities that have seen a new wave of construction over the last several years such as Harbor View Homes area of Newport Beach.  It is not uncommon to drive down a street at Harbor View where half of the homes are the original 1970’s, 2,500 sq. ft. average homes, and the remainder are sprawling Tuscan or Cape Cod estate homes built in the 2000’s.

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Tips for Launching a New Community Today #2

December 3rd, 2012

By Dave Barisic
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Brandywine Homes

What are best practices for marketing a new community to buyers? What do you need to consider? Are new home builders still competing against foreclosures? How do you address that?

There are so many factors that we gauge whenmarketing a new community.  Who is the buyer?  That will determine in large partwhere we put our marketing $$ (e.g. with younger buyers we might focus entirelyon online media).  Regardless of this though, the key is constant communication,whether it be through mass media, e-blasts, or simple thank you cards to peoplewho stop by the office.  As for foreclosures, yes and no.  The sheer volume of theforeclosure inventory has decreased drastically in the recent months, making thatsegment less relevant for the time being.  Additionally, we offer things that mostforeclosed homes do not, such as a warranty, new appliances, and customizedoptions programs.  If a buyer is interested in those perks of buying a new home,foreclosures are not usually an obstacle.

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BRANDYWINE HOMES HAS COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION OF PHASE V IN NEW CENTURY VILLAGE

December 2nd, 2012

Phase Five of Century Village Townhomes Now Open for Sale

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Brandywine Homes, one of Southern California’s most successful infill developers, has completed construction on the fifth phase of Century Village – a 53-unit townhome community located in Garden Grove, Calif.

The eight townhomes are available for sale and are expected to go quickly, as did the earlier phases. All homes in phases one (nine townhomes), two (eight townhomes) and three (10 townhomes) have been sold and all but one home in phase four (seven townhomes) has been sold.

Currently, Brandywine Homes has sold 33 homes out of 53 at Century Village since its grand opening in January 2012.
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