How Credit Scores Affect Mortgage Rates in OC Real Estate

February 29th, 2016

If you’re not rich enough to pay the full cash price for OC real estate, then you’re going to need a mortgage. If a business is going to lend you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 30 years, it makes sense that they’ll base their terms on your ability to pay. That factor, which comes from your credit report, is boiled down into a three-digit number called the “credit score.”


Your credit score is the “most influential determinant of your mortgage rate,” according to Bankrate. That number can range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is superb. For mortgage purposes, however, the important range starts at 620, below which obtaining a mortgage is impossible, and ends at 740, which grants the best mortgage interest rate.

Consider a $400,000 fixed-rate mortgage in Orange County with 20 percent down and no points. Read More >

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OC Register: “Is the dining room back? Home builders in Irvine are offering a special space for family dinners”

February 22nd, 2016

OC Register logo

Feb. 22, 2016


The dining room, an architectural victim of the Great Recession, may be back.

When homebuilders gained the nerve to start building anew after the housing bubble burst, brash home designs gained quick popularity. Developers rolled out models in lower- to mid-price ranges that were missing several new-home standards, most notably the formal dining room. This winter, however, several noteworthy new-home communities are offering homes with a more obvious dining area.

Why the apparent yo-yo for the formal dining area?

For starters, industry research revealed for too many years that many buyers lost interest in certain “traditional” parts of a home. Dining rooms and living rooms no longer met changing lifestyles and household budget pressures. Read More >

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Go Mediterranean with Southern California New Home Builders

February 22nd, 2016

Depending on the month and year, drought parches the ground or El Niño brings plenty of rain. But over the long term, the climate and landscape in Southern California follows a consistent and predictable pattern. Taking advantage of this when you landscape your backyard is not only environmentally responsible but yields benefits such as lower water bills and gardens that are easier to maintain. 

Mediterranean Climate

Drive your car through the wilder stretches of Carbon Canyon Road in Orange County or hike among the natural trails of Griffith Park in Los Angeles and it becomes apparent what the native environment consists of. It’s not the temperate and rain-blessed greenery of England, where our gardening heritage originates. Neither is it the dry desert of the Southwest United States.

Without the copious amounts of artificially pumped in and increasingly expensive water, our native landscape reverts to the Mediterranean. This ecosystem consists of grasses, chaparral shrubs, and evergreens that easily survive hot summers and cleansing forest fires to drink up the winter rains.  Read More >

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Los Angeles County Homes for Sale: Everything’s Up in the San Gabriel Valley

February 15th, 2016

Brandywine Homes - Lotus Court Rendering

Brandywine Homes – Lotus Court in Monrovia

It’s a given that our Los Angeles County homes for sale will have the space and amenities that you’re looking for. But a beautiful home may not be enough reason to move to a new city, particularly if you live near the place where you and your family are currently employed. You want to be sure that the economy in the area you want to move to is strong.

The good news is that the economy in the San Gabriel Valley is excellent with employment and home prices in Arcadia and Monrovia are looking very good. This is according to the 2015 San Gabriel Forecast and Regional Overview put out by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. 


Although jobs in the valley are down by 2.8 percent from the pre-recession peak of 2008, they are up by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014. The number of positions is also forecast to increase to 676,334 in 2016 from 665,840 in 2015. Read More >

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For Valentine’s Day, Get Romantic at Home

February 8th, 2016

We all know the drill for Valentine’s Day. You both get dressed up, make reservations at a fancy restaurant, have a nice dinner, and go see a movie or take a walk at the park or beach. It’s date night, only more expensive and with bigger crowds. And unless you book far enough in advance, you won’t be able to get into your favorite restaurant. 

Why not do something different this year by spending Valentine’s Day in your new Brandywine home? You won’t find a more private and intimate venue. And your encounter becomes all the more memorable because of its originality. Here are a few suggestions, some of which can be combined.  Read More >

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February 2nd, 2016

Brandywine Homes

Developer Plans to Close 216 Homes, Acquire More Properties for Build-Out in 2016  

IRVINE, Calif. – February 1, 2016 – Brandywine Homes, a pioneer of infill development in Southern California, sold 40 homes, opened three new communities and broke ground on 11 additional communities in Southern California in 2015. The homebuilder, who recently ranked number 17 on the Orange County Business Journal’s Homebuilder List based on home sales in 2014, aims to close about 216 homes throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties in 2016.

“2015 was a transition year for us with 40 closings, but it was a banner year for acquisitions and our pipeline has grown significantly,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing at Brandywine Homes. “We are continuing to look for and acquire land for build-out in 2017 and beyond.” Read More >

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Make Your New Home Kid Safe

February 1st, 2016

You are excited about buying a new home for your family. You will make many wonderful memories and share fun times. As you are getting ready to make the purchase and move in focus on whether the new home is kid safe. This will help you minimize the number of memories that involve trips to the hospital and maximize those that are of the family enjoying time together. 


In 2014 over 2 million Americans called poison control. Children under the age of 6 are especially at risk. Therefore, it is important to keep all chemicals out of sight and out of reach.

If possible, make sure all cleaning products are in a locked cabinet that young children cannot open. It is also recommended they be kept up high so if the cabinet is left open they can’t reach them.  Ideally the chemicals for the entire household would be stored in one place instead of throughout the house. And don’t forget about dangers in the garage such as coolant, oil and gas. Again, keeping them out of reach and out of sight is best.  Read More >

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