You Won’t Find These Features in Used La Mirada Homes for Sale

September 30th, 2013

La Mirada Homes For Sale

Posted on: 26 Sep 2013

Maybe you’re considering buying one of those older used La Mirada homes. The ones that are supposedly cheaper than new homes, have bigger yards and more established trees. Ignore their outdated electrical wiring, the lack of insulation, and the potential asbestos materials. Instead, consider the value that a newer home can offer with just some of the following features:

Energy-efficient tankless water heater. A typical older home has a tank of water that must be heated 24-hours a day if you want on-demand hot water. Not only is this a waste of energy and bad for the environment, it also adds to the cost of your energy bill. The tankless water heater uses up energy only when you need.

Energy-efficient tankless water heater. A typical older home has a tank of water that must be heated 24-hours a day if you want on-demand hot water. Not only is this a waste of energy and bad for the environment, it also adds to the cost of your energy bill. The tankless water heater uses up energy only when you need.

Master suites. Don’t you and your spouse long for a retreat where you can get away from the kids? Something with a soaking tub, separate shower, separate commodes and a spacious walk-in closet? These are standard on new models. Older homes will often combine the tub and shower in diminutive baths that seem stuck on to the room.

Up-to-date wiring. Our new homes have RG6 cable and CAT5 phone wiring. This means you have all the connections you need for communications and networks. You don’t have to worry about running extension cords and poking holes in an older house just so you can talk to the outside world with modern technology.

If you want to see first-hand what other amenities our new La Mirada homes for sale can offer you,contact us for a tour.

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Brandywine Community Case Study: Renaissance Plaza

September 30th, 2013

Renaissance Plaza


Renaissance Plaza is a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly development on 10 acres that has become the new downtown for the City of Stanton. Brandywine developed the master plan and designed with three integrated home types: Sienna with 39 detached single family homes; Palazzo with 106 townhomes; and Capri with 12 townhomes, seven of which feature Live/Work space on the ground floor with retail frontage.


March 2010. Built over three years, the final live-work space closed in August, 2010.

How Did We Do?

“The public-private partnership developed between the city of Stanton and Brandywine Homes has been one of the primary factors behind our community’s amazing success story in the revitalization of residential neighborhoods.”
– David Shawver, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Stanton

Key Challenge

Consolidating a patchwork of properties with a dozen different ownerships and 27 lease-holders required an extraordinary amount of planning, patience and persistence. In addition, Brandywine took a calculated risk by purchasing certain parcels before the city had control of the remaining property.


This property commanded a prime commercial location with high visibility on Beach Boulevard. Yet the area had fallen into disrepair and the retail businesses were either failing, abandoned or inappropriate for a residential neighborhood. The City of Stanton wanted to clean it up and used redevelopment funds to relocate existing tenants and eventually acquire the commercial portion of the property.


Brandywine developed and helped the city write a specific plan for Renaissance Plaza that transformed a blighted area into a cohesive and moderately priced mix of much-needed new housing. All of the residential homes have been sold and Stanton is moving forward on the commercial development side.

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Glass Cleaner that’s Always Greener

September 23rd, 2013

When it comes to cleaning your windows, are you a good guy or a lazy guy?  Good guys whip up their own, wholesome, high-performance glass cleaners from environmentally friendly, non-toxic, inexpensive kitchen ingredients.

Lazy guys go to the store and blow their money on one of a number of widely advertised, heavily marketed commercial cleaners that often contain caustic chemicals.  We won’t name names, but the go-to color for these products is a deep aqua blue, perhaps to suggest the contents come from cool alpine pools or pristine lagoons.

Here’s the other thing that separates the saints from the sinners:  Paper towels.  How many times have you seen someone waste half a roll of paper towels cleaning a few small windows?   Not good for trees, not good for landfills, not good for the bottom line.

Old newspapers, rags, squeegees or chamois are the earth-friendly choice.

Finally, consider how much cheaper it is to make your own.

A 32-ounce bottle of national brand window cleaner cost about $4 in 2011, while the active ingredients in the same amount of homemade glass cleaner cost about 12 cents, according to National Geographic’s Green Living website.

The only issue with making your own glass cleaner is deciding which formula works best on your type of glass and grime.  So experiment with some of the recipes below.  When you get one that works, write it down and keep it handy in your recipe box, or write it on the spray bottle.

From the Environmental Protection Agency:

GLASS CLEANER: Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1quart warm water, or equal parts warm water and white vinegar. Stubborn glass streaks may call for undiluted white vinegar.  Another version: combines 1/2 cup white vinegar and 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 gallon warm water.

From blogger Debra Proctor, who writes that she’s run across four different formulas, all of which have their own avid fans:

GLASS CLEANER RECIPE 1: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.  Use the same as commercial window cleaner.  Some think this is the best homemade glass cleaner because it’s sudsy; others hate the suds.

GLASS CLEANER RECIPE 2: Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 cup water and 1 cup rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.

GLASS CLEANER RECIPE 3:  Mix 1 tablespoon ammonia, 1 cup water and 1 cup rubbing alcohol. This recipe uses ammonia instead of vinegar. Those who don’t like the smell of vinegar may like this recipe better.

GLASS CLEANER RECIPE 4:  Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup ammonia and 1 tablespoon cornstarch and pour into a 32-ounce spray bottle. Finish filling the bottle with water. Shake before using.

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How to Move Into Your New Home

September 16th, 2013

Moving to new housing that you just bought can be an exciting but tiring experience. It can also be highly stressful if you just rush right into it. Slow down, especially if you have a family in tow, and make the transition as smooth as possible by using the following tips.

Start with a plan. When you’re still packing at your old house, label each box with its contents and the name of the room it goes into. Attach a room label to every piece of furniture as well. When you get to your new home but before the movers arrive, label each room with a letter-sized sheet of paper or bigger. When the movers finally arrive, they will know exactly where to take each item that they unload.

Make sure the utilities at your new home come no later than the day you arrive. You’ll need to contact the service providers such as the electrical, water, and cable companies. Don’t forget to have the utilities turned off at your old place after the day you leave. Inform the Postal Service at your old place where to forward mail.

Unpack in this order at your new home. Start with the bathrooms and then unpack the children’s rooms so your kids have a place to be that’s out of the way of the movers and adults. Set up your own bedroom, including makeup and clothes, so you have a safe space to retreat to when the rest of the house is still disorganized. Finally, work on the kitchen, which can take awhile to unpack because of the number of things it contains. Just remember you can eat at restaurants or fast food outlets before your kitchen is set up.

If you need more tips on dealing with a new house, or need help in buying one to begin with, please contact us.


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Common Mistakes When Looking for Homes for Sale

September 9th, 2013

With the housing market finally picking up, you’ve finally decided to buy one of those homes for sale that you keep seeing advertised. But before you jump into the biggest investment you’ll make in your life, follow a few tips so you don’t drown in unfamiliar waters.

Find out how much house you can afford. Don’t fall in love with the house of your dreams only to discover that there’s no way you can buy it. Visit a banker or mortgage broker before you start the house hunt so he can figure out what type of house will fit your financing. Then you can spend all of your time looking at models that are totally within your price range.

Budget for all the costs of owning a home. One advantage of owning a new home instead of an old one is that you don’t have to spend any money making repairs. However, that doesn’t mean that all you spend per month is the mortgage. You need to account for property taxes, insurances, utilities, and homeowner association dues that may have been folded into your previous monthly rental fee. You must also set aside money for maintenance if you want your home to stay as good as new.

Focusing on the details. Model homes contain decorative touches that are meant to impress potential buyers but may not be part of the final price. Don’t fall in love with a home because it has the right paint, wallpaper, and furniture, because this won’t be in the house you buy. Instead, look for total square footage, the flow of rooms, and how your family can make use of any rooms and amenities. You can always define your own details after you move in.

If you want to get your househunt started, contact us first so we can discuss the options available to you.


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Today’s Interest Rates Make Now a Great Time to Buy Pasadena Houses For Sale

September 2nd, 2013

After years of falling sales, house prices are now on their way up. In addition, interest rates are still near historic lows. Both factors make now an excellent time to buy one of our new Pasadena houses for sale. You typically have two major ways of financing your purchase with a mortgage. The following examples assume a $500,000 loan with 20 percent down and no points. They also require an excellent credit score of 740 or greater. Your actual figures will vary.

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