July 20 2018

Becoming Financially Prepared for Your First Home Purchase

by Kelley

How to Become Financially Prepared to Buy a Home

The home buying process is not for the faint of heart so before you press go, being financially prepared is a must. For first time buyers without proper instruction, the steps leading up to a home purchase can seem daunting and overwhelming so here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re financially ready to purchase your first home.


Is Your Credit in Good Shape?

Having good credit is one of the most important factors when buying home. Your credit score helps to determine whether you’ll qualify for a home loan and the terms of that loan including your interest rate. It’s important to ask yourself this question first because building good credit takes time so if there are issues on your credit report it’s time to start fixing them now to ensure your score will be ready when you are.


Are You Financially Prepared to Apply for a Loan?

Being financially prepared to apply for a home loan has multiple parts.

There is the matter of being financially ready to payback a home loan which requires evaluating your debt to determine your DTI (Debt to Income Ratio). Your DTI will tell lenders if you can easily afford to make payments every month depending on how much income is remaining after you have made payments on your current debt.

Next, you’ll need to determine how much you can put aside for a down payment and closing cost. The amount of your down payment has the potential to affect your interest rate and may require you to pay for PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) until you’ve paid for a certain percentage of the home. Closing cost vary on a case by case basis so it’s best to have an extra amount saved and consult with a realtor for a more detailed estimate on how much you should be planning for.


Are You Financially Secure to Maintain Your Home?

Renters are used to paying rent, renter’s insurance and utilities but there’s much more to homeownership than paying the mortgage and home insurance. Again, depending on how much you present for your down payment, you may be required to pay for PMI each month in addition to the mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, and cost of any maintenance your home may require. The days of calling the property manager or owner to fix and replace things are over because the home is completely your responsibility. New homes come with a warranty that often cover problems that arise within the warranty period but as a homeowner, it’s best to financially plan to cover unplanned home expenses by maintaining a designated savings account.

In addition to unexpected home expenses, it’s a smart move to plan for unexpected life events. Securing an emergency fund with at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses can be the difference maker in staying afloat in the event of job loss, illness, or other unplanned circumstances.


As you can see, being financially prepared to buy a home takes time but with proper research, planning and discipline, you’ll be ready for your new home purchase in no time.

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July 18 2018

Rancho Tesoro Changes Your San Diego CA, Home Scenery

by racheal

The Cabana at San Diego Master Plan Community

What could a change of scenery do for you? Often, when you need a little inspiration, changing your environment can spark your next creative endeavor. Choosing a new home in the right situation can provide you with a renewed sense of energy and excitement. When that home is surrounded by a beautiful landscape and world-class amenities, the deal gets even sweeter. Rancho Tesoro is an exceptional way to enjoy San Marcos, CA. In this master-planned community, you’ll find everything you need for your family-friendly lifestyle.

Rancho Tesoro entices and invites with its breathtaking scenery. Beautiful views of the San Elijo hillsides highlight the value of nature and Discovery Lake serves as the perfect venue for outdoor recreation. A sparkling swimming pool with relaxing cabanas will become a regular destination for every member of the family and area parks can easily be accessed thanks to walkways and trails throughout Rancho Tesoro.

Choose from four inviting new home neighborhoods that offer single-family homes ranging from 2,211 square feet to 3,565 square feet. Outdoor rooms, bonus areas, luxurious master retreats and more. Your perfect San Diego, CA home is waiting for you. Pricing starts from the high $600,000s so visit the community or join the interest list to learn more about your home at Rancho Tesoro.

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July 17 2018

Become One with the Splendor of Santa Clarita, CA with a Beautiful High Glen Home

by racheal

Master Bedroom in Santa Clarita Homes for Sale

The rustic valley of Santa Clarita in North Los Angeles County has long been appreciated for its beautiful panorama of Southern California. Colorful and lively yet quiet and mysterious; Santa Clarita, CA is a special place. Located just 30 miles north of the heart of L.A., Santa Clarita is an easy commute via the I-5 and SR14. Five Knolls is the newest and most prestigious master-planned gated community to rise from the hillside in Santa Clarita. Within, you will find Highglen, a beautifully crafted neighborhood from the acclaimed builders of Brookfield Residential.


Highglen homes offer a charming street scene reminiscent of Monterey, Santa Barbara, and American Farmhouse architecture complimented with details like ceramic tiles, brick veneer, and wrought iron. Graceful 8’ entries open to reveal extravagant ceramic tile flooring and open-concept living at its best. Light infuses every room highlighting the touches that make a home special: bullnose corners and decorative woodwork throughout. Highglen’s two-story, single-family homes offer spacious 3,788- 4,235 sq. ft. floorplans with up to 6 bedrooms and up to 5.5 luxuriously designed baths. Select plans offer unique second-floor terraces or covered patios. The chef-inspired kitchen features KitchenAid® appliances and Delta® Palo faucets. The expansive granite-topped workspace is beautifully lit by high-end pendant lighting. Money-saving programmable thermostats, WaterSense® plumbing treatments, and reflexive roofing materials ease the monthly budget as would your optional solar package!


Five Knolls recreational facility offers residents exclusive use of The Club for swimming, hot-tubbing, meeting, and just having fun. Golden Valley Park has a state-of-the-art shaded playground and picnic facilities, a basketball half-court, and two dog parks. Families love the proximity to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor, the William S. Hart Museum, and hiking and exploring the Vasquez Rocks Natural Park. Five Knolls schoolchildren are served by the fine schools of the Saugus and William S. Hart School Districts.


Pricing for Highglen homes start from the mid $700,000s. To find the home of your dreams, contact a sales manager today.

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July 16 2018

Come Home to Brighton at Five Knolls in Santa Clarita, CA

by racheal

Los Angeles Homes for Sale with Mountain View

The glorious views of the Santa Clarita Valley have drawn homebuyers from across the country for the quiet area, mild winters, and close proximity to Los Angeles, CA. Situated between the I-5 and SR14 freeways, the L.A. basin is just 30 miles away making Santa Clarita a favorite among Hollywood-types. Home to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor, the William S. Hart Museum, and the beautiful Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, Santa Clarita is a wonderful place to raise a family.


The newest master-planned community in Santa Clarita is Five Knolls, named for the rustic landscape. At the top of Five Knolls, you’ll find the exclusive gated neighborhood of Brighton where the homes shine with relaxed elegance and an old-world sophistication. Presenting as a mixed street scene of Italianate, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and American farmhouse architecture, Brighton homes boast a decidedly elegant flair. Brighton’s two-story, single-family homes offer 3,116 sq. ft. to 3,470 sq. ft. of graceful living space and feature up to 6 spacious light-filled bedrooms, 2.5 to 4.5 luxurious bathrooms, private backyards with covered patios, and 3-bay garages. Extravagant ceramic tile flooring, designer finishes, and decorative woodwork all speak to the craftsmanship of the home. Stainless-steel Whirlpool® appliances and Delta® fixtures gleam next to the white thermofoil Shaker-style cabinetry in the chef’s kitchen. Money-saving features and technology are found throughout like the radiant roofing materials, programmable thermostats, and WaterSense® plumbing fixtures to name a few.


Resident’s enjoy exclusive access to the pool and spa center known as The Club. Golden Valley Park offers a shaded playground, picnic and BBQ facilities, a half-court for basketball, and two dog parks. Students attend the fine schools of Saugus Unified and William S. Hart School Districts.


Pricing for Brighton at Five Knolls starts from the low $700,000s. Take the next step and start the path to homeownership today.

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July 15 2018

July Realtor of the Month: Gary Scott

by Kelley

Gary Scott

If you’re in the market for a Southern Texas home then Home Team of America is your go to brokerage. With over 600 + agents, all with concentrated efforts in the Greater San Antonio real estate market, the Home Team makes up the largest non-franchised brokerage in the city. Among the San Antonio real estate agents that stand out is Gary Scott whose approach to success is firmly rooted in exceptional customer service. With service in areas throughout San Antonio, TX including New Braunfels and Fair Oaks Ranch, Gary and his team have helped hundreds of families find a place to call home.


As the New Homes Directory San Antonio, TX Real Estate Market Expert, Gary Scott has been reporting his insights on the market since April 2017. Gary shares that San Antonio, TX is currently one of the most popular cities to move to, second to Phoenix, AZ, and that now is the time to consider your move as the market continues to rise.


The Home Team of America partners with a variety of military-friendly agents many of which are active duty and veterans themselves. Gary Scott is a proud USAF veteran and we thank him for his service.

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July 14 2018

Your San Diego, CA Lifestyle is Waiting in Candela at Rancho Tesoro

by racheal

San Diego CA Homes with Outdoor Room

Brookfield Residential proudly presents Candela, a distinctly elegant neighborhood at Rancho Tesoro in San Marcos, CA. Ideally located to take advantage of the beautiful simplicity of nature in San Diego but with easy access to major shopping, dining and attractions. You’ll find Rancho Tesoro just south of the 78 freeway and just east of the 15 freeway in San Marcos.


Brookfield Residential designers have gone above and beyond to create homes that pay homage to the history and style of San Diego without sacrificing any of the contemporary conveniences you’d expect from a modern home. Candela exteriors have a contemporary flair yet reflect the traditional beauty of Mediterranean architecture. Light, expansive open-concept living spaces are perfect for entertaining and can be augmented by exterior entertaining space within your private yard with a simple and affordable upgrade. Candela floorplans run from 2,691 – 3,565 sq. ft. and offer 4- 5 spacious bedrooms, 3- 4.5 tastefully appointed bathrooms, walk-in closets, granite countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool® appliances, and private garages that can accommodate 2-3 cars. The floor plans are flexible enough to allow for bonus spaces, personal libraries, media rooms, or whatever your imagination can dream up. The Brookfield Residential Design Studio can assist you in implementing any number of upgrades to create your own unique home; flooring, cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and many more options are available. Candela homes are priced from the high $700,000s making them extremely competitive in the San Diego new construction market.


For recreation Rancho Tesoro offers The Cabana. Here you’ll find a sparkling pool, individual cabana spaces, meeting rooms, BBQ facilities, conversation seating with firepits, a tot lot, and more. Rancho Tesoro has many green spaces throughout that can be utilized for play or picnicking. The location of Rancho Tesoro is a hiker or mountain biker’s dream with miles of trails to explore at all levels of ability. Residents can visit Discovery Lake for nature observation, catch-and-release fishing, and much more. The highly-acclaimed schools of the San Marcos School District proudly serve the children of Rancho Tesoro.


San Marcos is a beautiful and historic community with so much to offer. Come home to Candela and find the lifestyle you’ve been looking for.

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July 13 2018

Protect Your Home From the Summer Heat with Phantom Screens

by Kelley

Phantom Screens Retractable Wall Screen

As temperatures rise for the summer months, everyone is looking for cost saving and energy efficient ways to stay cool inside of the house. Of course the obvious choice is to turn on the AC but what if you had a way to stay cool without running up your electricity bill? Adding shade to your home is a great place to start and Phantom Screens offers stylish and flexible solutions for protecting the interior and outdoor lounging areas of your home.


Phantom Screens offer retractable screens for doors, multi-panel systems, outdoor spaces and windows. Since their introduction in 1992, Phantom Screens has been the leader of the custom retractable screens industry expanding their reach across the United States as well as internationally. Now offering products in thousands of stores, Phantom Screens continues to evolve, with the customer in mind, by continuing to offer cutting edge and innovative designs.


Phantom Screens shaded options allow you to bring the outside in without the direct heat of the sun. With screens for almost every type of door and window including single, double-French, in-swing, out-swing and sliding patio doors there is a screen available for every type of entry.


With the rising demand for indoor-outdoor living, outdoor rooms are all the more prevalent in modern home design, especially in the California home market. Phantom Screens motorized wall screens allow you to experience the joys of indoor-outdoor living while remaining protected from the natural elements. Manual wall screens are also available for multi-panel systems like sliding, accordion and folding glass doors.


When you’re ready to enjoy your view without a veil, Phantom screens retract out of sight and fit your décor seamlessly. With multiple colors available including wood grain finishes, matching the trim of your home is as simple as choosing your favorite option.


Added features include mesh retention, custom mounting options and professional installation. Make the most of your summer experience and find a store near you.

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July 13 2018

Plant Your Roots in Murrieta, CA with Agave at Spencer's Crossing

by racheal

Murrieta CA Home for Sale - Great Room

The new and exciting Murrieta, CA master-planned community of Spencer’s Crossing has so much to offer. The location not only affords residents a commanding view of the surrounding mountain ranges and rural fields, the community is very convenient to the 215 and 15 freeways. Brookfield Residential is proud to offer the neighborhood of Agave at Spencer’s Crossing. Named for the beautiful, strong, independent desert shrub, the Agave neighborhood presents a landscape filled with Southern California charm.


The Agave neighborhood is a delightful throwback to the traditional American and Spanish architecture favored in old California. Beautiful, neat one- and two-story, single-family homes with ample garage space and private yards are so very welcoming. Once inside the 8’ entry with lighted keypad, you’ll find the interiors to be completely contemporary. The open-concept living arrangement boasts a wide-open great room anchored by a glorious granite-topped workspace suitable for homework, casual dining, or entertaining. Beautiful European thermofoil cabinetry, Whirlpool® appliances and Delta® fixtures highlight the efficient, clean lines of the kitchen. Expansive master bedrooms offer elegant ensuites equipped with luxurious soaking tubs, frameless walk-in glass showers, and beautiful Delta® Collins faucets. Flexible floor plans offer 2,818 sq. ft. to 3,410 sq. ft., 4-5 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms. Garages can accommodate up to 3 cars with storage space to spare and Agave homes come with a covered back patio already installed and ready to be enjoyed.


Spencer’s Crossing children attend the highly-acclaimed schools of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District with an emphasis on STEM education and arts programs. Amenities include sparkling pools, picnic facilities, sports fields and courts, playgrounds, dog parks, and a uniquely terraced green space for enjoying the day.


Agave homes at Spencer’s Crossing are as timeless, sturdy, and elegant as the desert panorama. Priced competitively from the high $400,000s, contact a sales representative today for your Agave home.

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July 12 2018

Experience the Luxury You Deserve with Jewel at Playa Vista

by racheal

Great Room in Los Angeles Residence for Sale

Playa Vista offers the ultimate in luxurious living with incredible contemporary housing at the epicenter of the Los Angeles, CA high-tech world. Juxtaposed against a backdrop of industry leading office buildings, elegant dining, world-class entertainment, vibrant shopping, and living life to the fullest lies the splendor of Jewel.


Jewel’s three-story villas feature clean, modern lines and glamourous feature, including personal elevators, infinity fireplaces, and balconies on every floor. Flexible floorplans offer approximately 4,200 sq. ft. - 4,500 sq. ft. of sophisticated living with glorious master suites, sumptuous bathrooms, and elegant dining spaces. Jewel homes are pre-plumbed for outdoor kitchen upgrades and feature private, secure 2-car garages with a designated guest space.


Community is paramount at Playa Vista with amenities and activities galore. Families enjoy 29 neighborhood parks, beach access, the educational riparian corridor, and the Bellona Freshwater Marsh. The Resort fitness center, and The Centerpointe Club keep active families entertained, healthy, and connected. Playa Vista school children receive a STEM education and can get around easily and safely by themselves via shuttle bus service. There’s an ongoing calendar of events and classes for all ages lead by fun, friendly staff.


For inquiries about Jewel at Playa Vista, contact Kris Zacuto or Justin Huchel.

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July 11 2018

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Call Juniper at Spencer's Crossing Home

by racheal

Modern Kitchen in Murrieta Homes for Sale

The up-and-coming city of Murrieta, CA hosts the master-planned community of Spencer’s Crossing. This stellar example of modern new-home building and amenities has one particular neighborhood that stands out above the rest just like the stately tree it is named for: Juniper, by Brookfield Residential. Located just north of Temecula for easy access to the 215 and 15 freeways Juniper offers residents breathtaking mountain views, beautiful contemporary single-family detached homes with private yards, excellent schools, and an array of recreational amenities.


The Juniper neighborhood displays a California street scene of Spanish, Italian, and Craftsman inspired architecture. These beautiful homes are offered with one- and two-story designs and feature open-concept living. Floor plans run from 3,212 sq. ft. to 4,091 sq. ft. allowing for plenty of room to stretch out and relax or host a crowd. Flexible designs accommodate up to 7 bedrooms and 5.5 luxurious bathrooms. Entertainment-ready kitchens are equipped with oversized granite-topped work spaces, beautifully finished backsplashes, stainless steel Whirlpool® appliances, and Hamilton-style thermofoil cabinetry. Master bathrooms offer plenty of cultured marble counterspace, an elegant elongated toilet, a frameless glass walk-in shower, and a sumptuous soaking tub. Garages fit 3-4 cars and some layouts can be equipped with roll-up rear-facing doors that allow access to the yard.


Spencer’s Crossing families enjoy many wonderful community pools, parks, sport courts, picnic facilities, hiking trails and two dog parks. When summer comes to an end the children of Spencer’s Crossing receive a competitive educational experience at one of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District campuses.


Juniper homes at Spencer’s Crossing offer everything the modern California family is looking for in style, comfort, and amenities. Easy, affordable upgrades can make your Juniper home truly individual and unique. Priced from the mid $400,000s, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

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