Kitchen Countertop Materials for New Housing

November 24th, 2014

 

The Orchards - Brandywine Kitchen

One of the advantages of buying a new home is the chance to select materials for everything from floors to cabinets. If you’re still trying to decide what to use for your kitchen countertops, here are the pros and cons of some popular choices.

·         Granite. Arguably, the most popular material for countertops today, this natural stone features several patterns and colors. Be prepared to pay extra for rarer colors like a natural blue. The hard material resists scratches and heat. But it typically requires resealing, as often as yearly, to repel liquids and staining.

·         Wood. Warm and showing a variety of grains and colors, wood countertops can range from the traditional oak and maple to more modern teak and bamboo. It adds a traditional touch, particular in the butcher block variety, and is a renewable resource. However, the surface is porous and absorbs germs and stains unless sealed properly. It can also be scratched and dented and needs consistent treatment to prevent water damage. Wood countertops typically need refinishing every decade or so.

·         Quartz. Manufactured from crushed quartz and colored with pigment, this material can mimic the appearance stone or look totally unique. Because it’s not porous, quartz resists staining and does not harbor germs or bacteria. It feels softer but is just as durable as granite and does not crack or chip. It’s the lowest maintenance of the three choices mentioned here because it does not require resealing.

New housing will typically have samples of the materials in the decorating center so you can see and feel your choices first-hand before making a decision. If you want more information on kitchen countertops, please contact us.

 

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Brandywine Sells All 41 Homes at the Orchards, a New Gated Community in La Mirada

November 21st, 2014


Yahoo Finance_edited-1

Homebuyers Snap Up Affordable Single-Family Homes in Underserved Area

 LA MIRADA, CA– Nov 21, 2014 – Brandywine Homes announced that it has sold all single-family homes at The Orchards, a 41-home community on the site of the former Alondra Center on Alondra Blvd. east of Escalona Road in La Mirada, Calif., in just nine months.

“The Orchards development has been a big success, primarily because it’s a community of affordable, single-family detached homes in an area where those are very hard to find,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing for Brandywine. “La Mirada is a great, family-oriented city that hasn’t seen any new housing in a very long time. Combine that with a dedicated sales staff and a construction team that is second to none, and we had a winning combination.”

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Brandywine Sells All 41 Homes at the Orchards, a New Gated Community in La Mirada

November 20th, 2014

Brandywine

 

Homebuyers Snap Up Affordable Single-Family Homes in Underserved Area

LA MIRADA, CA– Nov 20, 2014 – Brandywine Homes announced that it has sold all single-family homes at The Orchards, a 41-home community on the site of the former Alondra Center on Alondra Blvd. east of Escalona Road in La Mirada, Calif., in just nine months.

“The Orchards development has been a big success, primarily because it’s a community of affordable, single-family detached homes in an area where those are very hard to find,” saidDave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing for Brandywine. “La Mirada is a great, family-oriented city that hasn’t seen any new housing in a very long time. Combine that with a dedicated sales staff and a construction team that is second to none, and we had a winning combination.”

Buyers quickly snapped up the two-story Craftsman-style homes, which went on sale in February. The majority of homes were priced from the $500,000s to $600,000s, while six smaller homes deemed affordable for purchase by moderate-income buyers started in the low $300,000s. The homes have stainless steel appliances, oversized soaking tubs and green features including energy-efficient tankless water heaters, low-E dual-glazed windows and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

La Mirada, named one of CNN Money Magazine‘s “Best Places to Live,” is known for the popular La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts and is home to a water park called The Splash. The community offers state-of-the-art public facilities, unparalleled safety services and many recreational and cultural opportunities.

The Orchards is located on a former strip mall site that was demolished in 2008. Brandywine Homes purchased the site in 2009 in an effort to revitalize the area though a development deal with the city of La Mirada.

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ formula to determine the local impact of single-family housing in typical metro areas, adding 41 single-family homes will generate $8.6 million in local income, $902,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 133 local jobs.

About Brandywine
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 1,500 homes in 45 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.

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Prices of Orange County Homes Up 6.4 Percent in a Year

November 17th, 2014

According to an article in the Orange County Register, the prices of Orange County homes were 6.4 percent higher in September of 2014, as compared to September 2013. However, a month-to-month comparison shows them down from August. Here are the details:

  • * September’s median home price was $585,000, $5,000 less than the median price of homes in August.
  • * In September 2013, the price of homes was at $550,000. Earlier this year, the median price briefly reached the $600,000 mark.
  • * 2,980 homes, condos and townhomes were sold in September. This represents an increase of 64 units over 2013, but 34 less than August’s total.
  • * According to the article, the market generally slows at summer’s end, once school has started.
  • * The median price for all homes in the Southern California region in September was $413,000. This represents an increase of more than 8 percent from the same time last year.
  • * September was the first time in more than two years that none of the counties in the six-county region has seen double-digit year-over-year price gains.
  • * The 2.2 percent increase in homes that sold was the first increase for Orange County this year.
  • * The number of homes for sale in Orange County has fallen since its summertime peak of 8,084. As of October, there were 7,400 homes on the market.
  • * There is currently about three months worth of inventory on the market. However, the market is shifting and that amount could increase to four months worth by year’s end.

Now is the time to buy a home, while the prices are low and there’s plenty available. We can help. To find out more about our Southern California communities and the new homes we have available, contact us.

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5 Reasons Why Orange County is Best For New Home Buyers

November 10th, 2014

Orange County has a reputation for its sunny beaches, sprawling shopping malls, and multiple theme park attractions. But this beautiful county isn’t just great for visitors—OC real estate is a premier destination for first-time home buyers. From its luxurious amenities to its endless opportunity, here are five reasons why new home buyers should consider an Orange County home.

1. Comfort

Southern California is known for having mild year-round temperatures, but Orange County has the best weather of all the nearby regions. Tucked between beautiful beaches and rolling hills, temperatures in Orange County don’t reach the uncomfortable highs that are often seen in the valley. You’ll enjoy cool, foggy coastal mornings followed by sunny and blue afternoons. Orange County also boasts better air quality than its major metropolitan neighbor, meaning you’ll breathe fresh and easy every day. With this type of environment, a new home in Orange County will ensure you’re always comfortable.

2. Proximity

Orange County is within close proximity to many major business and cultural hubs. With Los Angeles to the north, San Diego to the south, and Las Vegas just four hours east, you’ll be at the center of it all. Whether it’s a business meeting or a weekend getaway, living in Orange County makes it easy to get where you need to go in Southern California. With each generation of homeowners becoming increasingly mobile, it’s important for new home buyers to choose a location that offers them flexibility and mobility.

3. Amenities

Orange County offers a vibrant and eclectic mix of art, culture, shopping, and more. Discover independent coffee shops, like Portola Coffee Lab (located near famous shopping destination South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa) and Kean Coffee (located in the heart of Tustin); explore local breweries like The Bruery (located in Orange); and treat yourself to some of OC’s finest boutiques at one of our many shopping malls, such as Fashion Island (located in Newport Beach). There are endless possibilities when it comes to exploring what Orange County has to offer.

4. Recreation

From gorgeous beaches to equestrian trails, Orange County has every option for rest and relaxation. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm make for great day trips, but you can also try the OC Zoo (located in Irvine Park) for an educational experience if you don’t feel like braving the crowds. Adults might enjoy hiking in Orange County’s foothills or taking a weekend getaway to Catalina Island.

5. Opportunity

Orange County is gaining a reputation as the Silicon Valley of Southern California. Major tech companies, such Blizzard, Gateway, Toshiba, and Vizio, are based out of Irvine alone. Orange County also boasts the lowest unemployment rate in California, meaning opportunities for jobs are better in the OC than anywhere else in the state. When it comes to opportunity, Orange County is in the lead.

Choosing a location for your new home can be a difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be. Orange County offers everything a new home buyer needs to be confident with their choice. Contact us today and let us welcome you home to Orange County.

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Don’t Buy A House Full of Problems! Look For These 7 Signs of Trouble When Looking At Homes For Sale

November 3rd, 2014

Some Homes For Sale could have serious underlying problems that the homeowner is trying to unload onto an unsuspecting first-time buyer, or someone easily fooled. Don’t let that happen to you when you are searching for your dream home. Look for these 7 warning signs that may indicate a serious problem and would be costly to fix for the new homeowner.

  1. Basement Has A Musty Smell- This could indicate a mold problem which could potentially cost thousands of dollars to remedy, especially if the mold is toxic. This is something to discuss with the current owners to find out if the basement has been treated for mold.
  2. House Sits Too Close To A School- Most people wouldn’t mind living near a school, but not next door or across the street from one. Living too close to a school means a heck of a lot of traffic everyday. This can mean a big problem if you are caught up in it going or coming home from work everyday
  3. Curling Shingles On the Rooftop-  Pay attention to the very top of the roof where the two angles meet. This is where the roof gets the most exposure to the elements and curling shingles could mean a new roof is needed in the near future. That could run you in the tens of thousands of dollars to replace. An expense a new homeowner certainly could do without.
  4. Cracks or Wide Gaps Below the Exterior Doors- This could indicate a shifting foundation and considerable structural issues that could take you to the cleaners if it could be fixed at all.
  5. Wet Spots In the Yard When It Hasn’t Been Raining-  If you are in a dry climate, look for an overabundance of green grass around the house, especially if the house is empty and the water is turned off. That will suggest some major plumbing leaks, or drainage problems. Dampness around the base of the house can create mold and a weakened foundation meaning costly structural damage.
  6. Tiny Hairline Cracks On the Ceilings and Walls- This too could mean serious structural damage to the foundation.
  7. Air Fresheners In Every Room- Too many air fresheners or scented candles could mean a cover-up of bad odors  in the flooring or sub-flooring such as pet urine which is almost impossible to get rid of. Where there is a concentration of pet urine means the flooring will have to be replaced.

When you are in the market to purchase your dream home, don’t allow it to end up a nightmare that will cost you much more than a good night’s sleep. Go slow, and be observant. Pay attention to the little things. Don’t go house-hunting when you are tired or after a stressful day. Look at homes for sale in the morning when you are refreshed and alert to these 7 signs of trouble, and finding the home of your dreams. We would love for you to contact us here at Brandywine Homes to assist you with your quest to find just the right home for you. By purchasing a new home, you wouldn’t have to worry about buying someone else’s problems, and it could be designed exactly however you want with custom floor plans, and everything brand new without any worry. We have been known to make dream homes come true!

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