Don’t Miss Out: Houses On Sale in Orange County and Los Angeles County

May 26th, 2014

According to a recent article in the Orange County Register, Orange County houses are selling faster than the national average. In fact, while inventory has increased slightly and the increase in prices has started slowing down, homes are still selling in Orange County and Los Angeles County faster than almost any other metropolitan area in the country.

Nationally, 55 percent of the homes that were on the market in February were still for sale in the middle of April. In Orange County, the percentage of homes listing in February that were still for sale in mid-April was 45 percent. Last year at this time, the percentage was 38 in Orange County. In Los Angeles County, 44 percent of the homes listed in February of this year were available in mid-April, compared to 40 percent at this time in 2013.

Recently, Brandywine Homes witnessed the extremely fast sale of 12 new 4 and 5 bedroom homes at Estates Pasadena. The only new single family detached homes in Pasadena, the prices at Estates Pasadena ranged from around $1.3 to $1.7 million. Brandywine Homes found quite a few foreign buyers as well as cash buyers eager to get in on the one-of-a-kind opportunity to own a brand new home in historic Pasadena. All of the homes, including a model home, sold within three weeks.

If you missed out on getting a new home at Estates Pasadena, don’t despair. Brandywine Homes has a number of other new homes in communities across Southern California. For more information about our homes, communities and the partnerships that make them work, contact us.

 

  • Share

A Five Step Guide to Buying a Home

May 19th, 2014

If you’re looking for help in understanding the process to purchase a home, look no further. With our five-step guide, you’ll be ready to buy a new home.

Step 1:  Determine Your Credit Score and How Much Home You Can Afford

First, you should check your credit report and make sure there aren’t any errors.  You are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report per year according to the law.  You may find that relatives are listed or that you still have a joint account with a family member from years ago.  Clear up any issues.  Scores range from 300 to 850 with a higher score being more desirable.  If you find your score is low you may want to take steps to improve your credit before starting the home buying process.

To get an approximate estimate of how much mortgage you can afford you can use an online mortgage calculator.  Keep in mind you will also need money for a down payment and closing costs.  If the home needs repairs or furnishings you will want to make sure you have some extra money available.  Consulting with a home loan expert may be worthwhile as they can explain all of your loan options.

Step 2: Locate The Right Lender

Get recommendations from friends and family to find options for good mortgage lenders.  Check the Better Business Bureaus as well.  You will want to choose a lender you are comfortable with because you will need them to help walk you through the home buying process and the overwhelming quantity of paperwork.  Request pre-approval so you know what amount of loan you qualify for.  This will help you narrow down your search for homes.

Step 3: Create a List of Wants and Needs and Start Searching

Determine which aspects of a home you need and which things would be nice to have but you could live without.  Consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you would like.  Do you want land or a garage?  How much space do you desire?  Are you looking for a new home or a used one?  Keep in mind that a new home will require less maintenance and will be more energy efficient than a used home.

Are you looking to live within a certain school district?  Do you have an area you want to search within that provides a reasonable commute to work?  Do you want to be close to shopping and restaurants?  Determining all of these details and how important they are to you before you start looking at houses can limit the amount of time you spend searching.

Once you have found the home you desire, make an offer.  If you are buying a used home consider requesting an inspection first.  The inspector can let you know if the air conditioner is about to fail or if the roof will need replacing shortly.  They can tell if the home is structurally sound.  However, an inspector can not guarantee that you won’t have upcoming expensive maintenance projects on your home.

Step 4: Select the Right Mortgage Options for You

Once you have found the home you want and your offer has been accepted it is time to determine the mortgage specifics.  The two main kind of mortgages are adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) or fixed rate mortgages.

Fixed rate mortgages are considered more traditional and are ideal for people planning to stay in the house for many years.  Fixed rate mortgages generally last 15-30 years and the interest rate stays the same throughout that time period no matter how much the market interest rate changes.  Fixed rates mortgages are helpful for budgeting as the payment is predictable.

ARMs have a fixed interest rate for a short period to time, 1-7 years typically, and then the interest rate adjusts as the market changes.  These mortgages tend to work best for people who will likely be moving again before the interest rate starts to fluctuate.

Your mortgage lender can provide you details about your loan options.  Be sure to understand what you are signing up for and if it is constant over the life of the loan or if it will change over time.

Step 5: Close on Your Home and Move In!

A closing date will be set and your lender will let you know what closing costs you are responsible for.  Once you have signed all of the paperwork you are able to move into your new home!  You can unpack and enjoy!

Contact Us if you are ready to start searching for a new single-family home in Southern California!

 

  • Share

3 House Decorating Tips from California New Home Builders: Themes, Comfort and Aesthetic Recreation

May 12th, 2014

So you’re buying a house from California new home builders.  The process of moving from one home to another can be a really exciting one.  If this is your first house, then you must be looking forward to the transition from an apartment to a house.  It’s going to mean a lot of space for you and your family.  If you’re leaving a smaller house and moving into a bigger one, the transition isn’t that great but can feel quite liberating after a while.  It’s always nice when there’s more than enough room for everyone so that each person can have their own space.  However, you might be wondering if you should take a different approach to decorating your new home.  Consider the following tips:

  1. Theme. A theme is something that pulls a home together.  You might have several different pieces in your home and each of them might be equally beautiful.  But if there’s nothing to pull them together, then the home seems incomplete.  Sometimes, homes develop themes spontaneously without your even realizing it.  You may have decorated your old home with a theme in mind or maybe your taste dictated the theme without your conscious knowledge.  Either way, it’s a good idea to take a look around your old home before you move and figure out what the theme is.  Then think about whether you want to continue this theme in the new home or change it altogether.  Keep your new theme in mind when buying new furniture and decorative pieces.
  2. Comfort vs. Aesthetics. You might love the idea of a Spartan, modern-looking home.  But somehow, you’ve just never been able to get comfortable on modern furniture.  Often, the ideas that people carry around with them are very different from what they really want out of a home.  Before you give in to your aesthetic tastes completely, think about what you find comfortable.  If you really love those comfy brocade couches, then why force yourself to get something you’ll hate sitting on?  Instead, do a little bit of research about styles of interior decoration and  you might find an aesthetic style you like even better than the one you thought you did.
  3. Recreate creatively. You can’t just take all the furniture from your old home and put it in your new one because it’s not going to look right.  This doesn’t mean you have to get everything new.  Just sit down and think about which pieces will fit into the new surroundings and which ones won’t.  If there are things that you really love which don’t look like they’re going to fit, think about different places you can put them.  For example, that sideboard from your old living room may be too small for your new living room.  But it might be just right for your bedroom.  So you don’t have to get rid of things if you don’t want to.  Just use them in different ways.

Contact us for more interior decorating tips when you’re moving homes.

 

  • Share

Claremont Courier “Brandywine eyes alternative housing site after Forbes deal falls flat”

May 9th, 2014

Brandywine Homes hasn’t given up on building a housing development in Claremont.

The city of Claremont is currently reviewing plans for a new, proposed residential development on a 1.86-acre site currently owned by City Blessings Church and located at 735 S. Mills Ave., abutting the 10 freeway. Brandywine’s proposed project includes 20, two-story, detached residential homes.

The city will conduct two preliminary project review meetings to provide direction. The planning commission will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, May 20, and the architectural commission will meet Wednesday, May 28. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, located at 225 W. Second St.

No formal action will be taken at either meeting, however, it is anticipated that commissioner’s comments will shape the future use, layout and design of the project, according to a city press release.

All interested persons are invited to appear and address the commissioners. The preliminary plans are on file with the Community Development Department at City Hall, 207 Harvard Ave., and is available for review between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to Senior Planner Mark Carnahan at (909) 399-5322 or send written comments to Mark Carnahan at P.O. Box 880, Claremont, CA 91711-0880.

 

  • Share

Top 3 Reasons New Housing Trumps Old Housing

May 5th, 2014

One of the first things that comes to mind when deciding to buy a new or used home is cost.  However, there is so much more beyond the initial price tag.

Modern Urban Planning

Older neighborhoods had schools and shopping centers typically built around them as the need occurred.  That included highways and municipal buildings added after the fact. A commute to school or work can be an exasperating ordeal, especially during rush hour.  The design and planning did not always take in consideration any influx in population or needs of specific groups.    Imagine your home being built to offer and take advantage of existing amenities and their locations.  Being close to freeways, schools, shopping, and parks are just a sample of what new housing has to offer.  Urban communities provide city living at it’s best without compromise. Or, if that is not something desired, properties with park borders are available.

Peace of Mind

Often buyer’s remorse surfaces shortly after finding an undesirable and costly flaw.  Unfortunately, in many older homes the faults can remain potentially hidden for years even with a home inspection. It may take years to expose what a previous homeowner may have patched up and concealed.  Whether electrical or structural, it can be quite the premium to discover these defects and fix them, adding to the overall cost of the home. With a newly built home, one can be assured that it was built to code with inspections throughout the building process.

Saved Renovation Time and Expense

Many homeowners go headfirst with the purchase of an older home believing that they can eventually remodel an outdated floor plan.  Some plans are envisioned during the first tour of the house not taking in consideration construction and material cost when the project is finally initiated. Minor renovation also adds the inconvenience of the space being unavailable, noise and mess.  Timing for the projects to be completed and inspected signifies the importance to hire a competent contractor.  New home construction does not include such annoyances.  New homes are built with modern flow and comforts once thought as luxurious. Master bedroom on suites are now the norm.  Larger kitchens, closets and bedrooms are another perk to buying a new home.

 

Consider the true costs of owning a new home versus a used home. Please  contact us if you would like any further information.

 

  • Share

All 12 Residences in Brandywine Homes’ Estates Pasadena Have Been Sold

May 1st, 2014

East Pasadena Community Offers Much-Needed Housing in Underserved Market

PASADENA, Calif. – May 1, 2014 – Brandywine Homes, a pioneer of infill development in Southern California, announced that all 12 four- and five-bedroom homes at Estates Pasadena have been sold.

“The rate of sales was incredible,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing at Brandywine Homes. “Estates Pasadena offers the only new, detached single-family homes available in all of Pasadena, and residents took note. We saw quite a few foreign buyers as well as cash buyers, and the final home—a model—sold and closed escrow in just three weeks. This was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people looking to purchase a new home in the historic city of Pasadena.”

The approximately 2,900- to 3,500-square foot homes at Sierra Madre Villa Avenue and East Sierra Madre Boulevard were built in Cape Cod, Hastings English and French Provincial styles and have gourmet kitchens, luxurious master suites, inviting front porches and family-friendly open floor plans with up to five bathrooms. The homes have authentic brick and stone exteriors and fireplaces as well as eco-friendly features including tankless water heaters, low-E glass windows and night setback automatic thermostats. Prices at Estates Pasadena ranged from approximately $1.3 to $1.7 million.

Estates Pasadena is less than a mile from the Foothill & Rosemead Shopping Center that includes Trader Joe’s, 24 Hour Fitness, restaurants and more. With access to excellent Pasadena schools, including Field Elementary, the community is less than 15 minutes from Old Pasadena, Paseo Colorado Shopping Center, Norton Simon Museum, the Santa Anita race track and more.

The new homes were designed in partnership with LCRA, an award-winning architectural firm located in Old Pasadena. TCO designed the landscape, including streetscapes and entry, and Ambrosia Interiors, an award-winning interior merchandising firm, gave the model home its comfortable, luxurious finishing touches.

 

About Brandywine Homes
Brandywine Homes is a residential homebuilder based in Irvine, Calif., that specializes in challenging infill development. Founded in 1994, the family-owned and operated company has built or developed almost 1,200 homes in 36 small- and mid-sized infill communities, revitalizing some of Southern California’s oldest and most established neighborhoods. Brandywine builds homes that respect and complement the heritage, values and architectural integrity of existing neighborhoods and the people who live there – making a positive contribution to the community. www.brandywine-homes.com

 

  • Share

Pasadena Living “All 12 Residences in Brandywine Homes’ Estates Pasadena Have Been Sold”

May 1st, 2014

East Pasadena Community Offers Much-Needed Housing in Underserved Market

Brandywine Homes, a pioneer of infill development in Southern California, announced that all 12 four- and five-bedroom homes at Estates Pasadena have been sold.

“The rate of sales was incredible,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing at Brandywine Homes. “Estates Pasadena offers the only new, detached single-family homes available in all of Pasadena, and residents took note. We saw quite a few foreign buyers as well as cash buyers, and the final home—a model—sold and closed escrow in just three weeks. This was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people looking to purchase a new home in the historic city of Pasadena.”

The approximately 2,900- to 3,500-square foot homes at Sierra Madre Villa Avenue and East Sierra Madre Boulevard were built in Cape Cod, Hastings English and French Provincial styles and have gourmet kitchens, luxurious master suites, inviting front porches and family-friendly open floor plans with up to five bathrooms. The homes have authentic brick and stone exteriors and fireplaces as well as eco-friendly features including tankless water heaters, low-E glass windows and night setback automatic thermostats. Prices at Estates Pasadena ranged from approximately $1.3 to $1.7 million.

Estates Pasadena is less than a mile from the Foothill & Rosemead Shopping Center that includes Trader Joe’s, 24 Hour Fitness, restaurants and more. With access to excellent Pasadena schools, including Field Elementary, the community is less than 15 minutes from Old Pasadena, Paseo Colorado Shopping Center, Norton Simon Museum, the Santa Anita race track and more.

The new homes were designed in partnership with LCRA, an award-winning architectural firm located in Old Pasadena. TCO designed the landscape, including streetscapes and entry, and Ambrosia Interiors, an award-winning interior merchandising firm, gave the model home its comfortable, luxurious finishing touches.

About Brandywine Homes

Brandywine Homes is a residential homebuilder based in Irvine, Calif., that specializes in challenging infill development. Founded in 1994, the family-owned and operated company has built or developed almost 1,200 homes in 36 small- and mid-sized infill communities, revitalizing some of Southern California’s oldest and most established neighborhoods. Brandywine builds homes that respect and complement the heritage, values and architectural integrity of existing neighborhoods and the people who live there – making a positive contribution to the community. www.brandywine-homes.com

 

  • Share