OC Real Estate Hard to Afford on a Teacher’s Salary

March 31st, 2014

According to a recent article in the Orange County Register, only 9 percent of OC Real Estate is affordable on a teacher’s salary. A report from Redfin stated that, based on the 2012 median Orange County teacher’s salary of $78,100 per year, a teacher could afford to pay up to $310,000 for a home. In this price range, one could likely get a 1,027 square-foot two bedroom, two bathroom condo, the report stated.

As a general rule, the article reported, one’s mortgage should take up no more than 28 percent of his or her gross monthly income. Just 17.4 percent of the homes in California are affordable on a statewide median teacher’s salary of $69,300. And teachers aren’t the only ones struggling with affording a home in California, the article noted. 71 percent of California households earn less than $100,000 per year.

Affording a house isn’t always easy. Brandywine Homes understands that and we are striving to offer homes in varying price ranges, including affordable options for individuals and families in Orange County. We have brand new, single-family homes available for purchase in some of our communities for moderate income home buyers, as well as multi-family dwellings with units to lease.

Brandywine seeks to improve and revitalize established communities through urban infill projects. We partner with financial investors and governmental agencies to convert underutilized spaces into beautiful communities. By building within cities, we provide home owners with the chance to own a home near the place they work and close to extended families. For more information about our communities and which one you might call home, contact us.


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Demolition finished at Brandywine Homes site

March 28th, 2014

A bulldozer lifts a piece of foundation from the remains of a house across the street of the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum.

Crews wrapped up demolition of four houses Monday on 5.1 acres at Eureka Avenue and Yorba Linda Boulevard.

Brett Whitehead, president of the site’s developer, Brandywine Homes, originally expected to break ground in October but said construction on the first units of the 51-townhome community will start in three to four months because of delays.

“We have a lot of site improvements we need to get through before we can start building the units,” he said. “We should be done toward the end of 2015 unless we hit some delays.”

Construction crews have some extensive grading to do and need to install underground utilities such as storm drains, electrical, sewer and water.

Nina Bawa, owner and director of the nearby Yorba Linda Preschool, said Brandywine has been good about keeping her updated on when demolition happens so naptime isn’t disrupted. Her pupils were excited look out the window and see the bulldozers at work.

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Claremont Courier “La Puerta housing project to face first planning commission review”

March 25th, 2014

Brandywine Homes will have its first review of plans for their Forbes Avenue housing development. On Tuesday, February 4 at 7 p.m., the Claremont Planning Commission will begin a preliminary review of the residential development to be located at the former La Puerta School site, 2475 Forbes Ave. The commission will review the plans, take public comment and provide direction to the developer. No formal action will be taken at the meeting.

The meeting takes place in the council chamber, 225 W. Second St.


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Why Buy New Housing at Estates Pasadena

March 24th, 2014

It’s easy enough to explain why anyone would choose to buy a home in Pasadena. The city boasts attractions that are known world-wide from the Impressionists masterpieces at the Norton-Simon Museum to the Rose Bowl Parade. The delights of urban living are nestled next to some attractive mountains with trails that bring you close to nature. And the city has preserved much of its history from the Victorian shopfronts of downtown to the Craftsman integrity of the single-family homes.

Perhaps you’ve dreamed of owning one of the city’s vintage homes. They’re definitely attractive from the exterior with their unique architecture and seeming attention to the environment in the form of wood everywhere. But those homes also harbor unpleasant realities inside.

·         The electrical systems are hardly adequate to handle the loads posed by modern appliances, computers, and entertainment devices.

·         The houses were built before climate-control systems so you have to suffer the extreme heat of summer due to lack of air-conditioning.

·         You could refit the home to modern standards, a costly undertaking that often destroys the architectural integrity of the structure.

With new housing at Estates Pasadena, you can enjoy the best that the city has to offer while living in high-tech, energy-efficient, and environmentally sensitive homes. The homes feature the latest energy-efficient appliances and lighting, wiring for high-tech security and entertainment systems, and dual-zone central heating and air-conditioning.

You’ll also enjoy high style and luxurious decorator touches, such as dark-stained cabinetry, over-sized soaking tubs and tile showers, granite countertops, and your choice of French, English or Cape Cod architecture.

But don’t take our word for it. Why don’t you contact us for a site visit? Then you can see for yourself why these homes are perfect for you.


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Shopping for New Homes For Sale

March 17th, 2014

Searching for Homes For Sale is one of the most exciting events in anyone’s life, as this is a big investment and a new chapter for both you and your family. Before you begin viewing open houses or you start contacting home sale agents, you will want to take it upon yourself to create a list things that you want in your new home. This will help narrow down your search to only homes that offer the amount of square footage, floor plan and the amenities that you are most interested in.

Future Proof Your Home Investment:

Buying a home can be a financial stress, as this will most likely be the most expensive purchase in your life. Ensuring you make the most out of your home investment, you may want to consider buying a newer model home.

You will feel more comfortable spending money on a home that has recently been built, as you will not have to worry about many home damages that older model homes experience, such as..

  • Exposed asbestos.
  • Plumbing damages.
  • An outdated electrical system.
  • Roof decay.
  • Foundation cracks
  • Cosmetic wear.

These damages can easily put you in a tough financial situation, as each repair will cost a decent amount of money. Rather than buy a home that is more prone to damages shortly after your purchase, you will feel more comfortable and confident when buying a newer model home.

Important Factors To Consider When Buying A Home:

Before you consider making an offer on any home, you will want to be 100% confident that you are making the right decision for you and your family, which is why you will want to consider the following:

  • Location: Location will make a tremendous difference, as you will want to be certain that the home you buy is in an up and coming community, as well as a community that has a healthy housing market.
  • School Ratings: If you have children, then it is in your best interest to provide them with an excellent education, which is why finding a community that has a great school district is important.
  • Crime Rate: You will be able to check the crime rate in each local community, so by doing so, you will be able to find a neighborhood that is safe for both you and your family.

If you are ready to begin searching for your dream home, contact us today so we can find you the home of your dreams.


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Tips for Moving into New Housing: From Going Slow to Getting Insurance

March 10th, 2014

Moving into new housing is a complicated process, and the one mistake that people make routinely is underestimating how many things they have.  You think that all your books or papers are going to fit in ten boxes, but it turns out that twenty are required.  The same goes for your clothes, toiletries, linen etc.  In general, people just fail to take into account how many things they have besides their clothes and how many boxes are going to be needed to fit those things.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind while moving:

  • Start packing a few weeks in advance. The first time around, you’ll probably get as many boxes as you think you need, but once you finish using these up, you’ll have a better idea of how many more are needed.
  • Move things out slowly, if possible. Plan to pack and move things within a month.  That way, you’ll be able to move a little bit every week, if you plan to do it yourself.  Of course, this method of moving doesn’t work if you’re going to be moving across the country.  But if you’re just acquiring a bigger, nicer home that’s an hour or two away, you can always make a couple of trips and bring the furniture over in the last one.
  • Enlist friends.  Doing this in the final phase of moving is a good idea.  You can prepare snacks or order pizza so that you all have a good time at the same time as you get work done.  It can be like an informal housewarming party on the very day you move in.
  • Get movers. You know how much stuff you have and how many friends you can enlist for helping you move.  So if you think that it’s a better idea to get professional movers, then, by all means, go for it.  Most moving companies charge by the hour.  So make sure you overestimate how much time the process will take rather than underestimating it.  Making sure that the movers have some form of insurance in case they break something valuable is also a good idea.
  • Be practical, but have fun. After all, you’re going towards something bigger and better which will make you and your family happier in the long run.  So don’t get so bogged down in the details that you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Contact us for home listings, and we’ll help you find the home of your dreams.


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Brandywine Homes Sells Seven of Nine Homes Released at Waverly Grand Opening in West Covina

March 4th, 2014

700 people visit new development, the first of its kind in decades.

WEST COVINA, Calif. – March 4, 2014 – Brandywine Homes announced today that it sold seven of the nine homes released during a recent grand opening event at Waverly, a 2.3-acre gated community of 19 single-family homes in West Covina, 18 miles east of Los Angeles. The grand opening attracted 700 visitors to the new San Gabriel Valley community, which is offering the first new detached homes to be built in the area for several years.

“This was the first grand opening of detached houses in West Covina for a long time,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing at Brandywine Homes, a pioneer of infill development in Southern California. “We had 700 people come through and only 19 houses available. Demand doesn’t get much more significant than that.

Based on the grand opening’s success, Brandywine Homes has started construction on the community’s second phase, which will add eight more houses. Barisic expects those homes to be released for sale within the next month.

“We sold almost half of the homes in our inventory in the first weekend,” Barisic said. “This has certainly exceeded our expectations and the average rate of absorption for a new home community.”

Barisic had predicted the homes at Valinda and S. Glendora Avenues, the site of a former school, would be in demand because they bring a fresh look to an area that has been dominated for many years by homes that are more than 60 years old.

“There is really nothing like this in the whole San Gabriel Valley,” he said.

Designed in partnership with architect Dave Maldonado of D33 Architecture, the three- and four-bedroom homes at Waverly range from approximately 2,150 square feet to 2,400 square feet. A mix of French and Spanish design, they have stainless steel appliances, two-tone paint and great-room style floor plans. Eco-friendly features include tankless water heaters, low-E glass windows and night setback thermostats. The larger of the two plans offers a downstairs bedroom and large loft upstairs.

Common amenities include a tot lot and barbecue area. The community is close to local schools, the GO WEST bus shuttle and public parks, and it’s right down the street from the Westfield Mall.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” Barisic said. “The addition of mid-priced homes should bring in families with disposable income. So, in addition to the money being spent in the local community, the city will benefit from an increased property tax base.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ formula to determine the local impact of single-family housing in typical metro areas, adding 19 single-family homes will generate $589,000 in local income, $141,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 10 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 1,200 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.


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Three Common Mistakes People Make When Looking at Homes for Sale

March 3rd, 2014

Often, when people are looking at homes for sale, they come to believe that the practical aspect should overshadow everything else.  So, for example, if you have enough space in your home and there are many conveniences close by, such as shops and restaurants, you might think of it as the ideal place for you whether or not you actually feel comfortable in it.  Of courses, it’s very difficult to tell whether you’re going to be comfortable in a certain place, but here are a few things you should look out for:

  1. Is it large and sprawling or small and cozy? Most people think that having a bit of extra space is a good thing and it usually is.  Still, if you prefer a smaller, cozier aesthetic and feel most comfortable in rooms that make you feel warm and snug, then a sprawling home is likely to make you feel a bit lost.  Plus, don’t forget that the more space you have, the more you’ll have to clean.  There’s more maintenance to be done in a large home.  So get the home which seems like the right size and has the right feel.
  2. Can you see yourself doing the things you usually do in this home? You may love the fact that a home has a large kitchen.  Maybe you’ve always planned to start cooking more.  But think about it for a minute.  Is this one of those things that you’ve always planned but never executed?  Do you really think a large kitchen would make it more likely that you’ll start cooking more?  Or do you think it would make more sense for you to get a home with an extra bedroom that you can turn into a studio?  If you’ve been painting for a long time even without having space, chances are you’re going to continue doing so and having a larger room for it will probably make you happier.
  3. What was your gut reaction to the home? In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell argues that first impressions are the most lasting ones.  No matter how much we try to cover them up with a veneer of politeness, we always return to them sooner or later.  You can’t make yourself like someone or something.  The same is true of homes.  If, when you see a home, the first thing you think is, “Oh, isn’t it too dark in here?” or “Isn’t this view a bit depressing?” then you’re likely to return to that feeling in the long run.  So consult your gut before you buy.

Contact us for more information about house-hunting and buying a new home.


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