August 27 2021

5 Best Places to Buy a New Home in California

by Erin

Santa Barbara beachfront view


Life in a new California home can be a dream come true with its abundance of sandy beaches, boardwalks, year-round sunny skies, and all the Carne Asada tacos your stomach can handle. Whether you’re looking for a place to retire, rental income, or a fresh start for those big career goals, the Sunshine State is this perfect place to call home. But with a largely populated state like California, the biggest question on your home search is where to buy. There are many factors to consider like northern or southern California, urban or suburban, snow or dessert? In this post, we’re giving you a breakdown of five great places to buy a new home in California.


Lake County


Lake County is located in northern California, just two hours northwest of San Francisco and the state capitol, Sacramento. Lake County boasts a grand population of 64,386 residents and a median home price of $341,000. It is also home to Clear Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in California. Submerge yourself in the long-established history of Lake County while visiting the Lake County Historic Courthouse Museum, the Gibson Museum, and Cultural Center, and the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum. While living in a new home in Lake County, you can partake in the wine country lifestyle touring many local vineyards like the Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill, Boatique Winery, Fults Family Vineyards, and the Mt. Konocit Winery. You can also enjoy a little antique shopping at Ratto’s Uniques and Antiques The Mall and grab a few greeting cards and specialized gifts for your loved ones at Linda’s Hallmark Shop. 




Situated conveniently in Orange County, the city of Orange is a kid-friendly community with low crime rates and access to several parks, playgrounds, youth programs, and libraries. The median home price in Orange last month was $860,000. Orange is home to several popular attractions such as the Orange County Zoo, Irvine Regional Park, and the Hilbert Museum of California Art. You can also find Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, and the Angel Stadium in nearby Anaheim. Enjoy shopping at The Outlets at Orange, an open-air outlet mall that features the AMC Orange 30 movie theater and retailers like Aeropostale, Bath & Body Works, Kay Jewelers Outlet, Nike Factory Store, Victoria’s Secret, and Tilly’s. 


Big Bear Lake


The neighborhoods in Big Bear offer condos, townhomes, vacation homes, and cabins for sale. Whether you’re looking to purchase your next new home or a vacation home, Big Bear is the perfect place for any stay. Big Bear Lake has around 5,241 residents, and the median home price averages at $391,000. The small fish-filled city of Big Bear Lake is located in Southern California and provides access to tons to do no matter your fancy.  This city thrives year-round with the perfect weather for weekend camping or wintertime skiing. Residents and visitors enjoy the Bear Mountain Ski Resort, Snow Summit Ski Resort, and boutique shops and restaurants in Big Bear Lake Village. There is also the Big Bear Alpine Zoo and Boulder Bay Park.


Palo Alto


Palo Alto, California, is an ideal city with breathtaking views and rich culture. There are currently 134 homes for sale, ranging from as little as $15,000 to $53.9 million. Wow! What a difference in the price range! The home values in Palo Alto are a bit on the pricey end, but this also makes for an excellent investment or rental properties which yield a higher return and a higher caliber for tenants. Palo Alto is considered a safe area to live in, and the weather tends to remain at around 75 degrees throughout the year. A few of the well-performing schools in Palo Alto include Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Palo Alto High School. Private and charter schools include Bowman International School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, and the International School of the Peninsula. Residents love exploring the local shops and eateries in downtown Palo Alto and visit the Computer History Museum in nearby Mountain View that takes you through the first 2,000 years of computing history. The Baylands Nature Preserve features over fifteen miles of trails perfect for a morning jog or bike ride and lots of local wildlife to keep company. 


Santa Barbara


Located on the central California coast near the Santa Ynez mountains is the gorgeous city of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara consists of thirty neighborhoods with 258 homes for sale that range between $129,000 to $62 million in price. This area is a tourist city near LA surrounded by many beaches like Arroyo Burro Beach and Summerland Beach. Top-rated schools in Santa Barbara include Cold Spring Elementary School, Peabody Charter School, La Colina Junior High School, and San Marcos Senior High School. Santa Barbara is home to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Stearns Wharf, a historic pier that offers shopping and restaurants. 

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August 23 2021

Pool mania! How has COVID-19 boosted the value of homes with this luxury feature, even in four-season climates?

by Erin

swimming pool behind brik house

COVID-19 forced many people who might have otherwise spent the summer of 2020 out at the community or country club pool to hunker down at home during their leisure hours. While it has long been known that selling a home with a pool can be a challenge, top real estate agents noticed that homes with inground backyard pools were flying off the proverbial shelves last year, and the trend seems poised to continue this year. The phenomenon was simple: with fewer other options for leisure time, having a source of relaxation, exercise, and fun in your own backyard became very attractive, even with the cost premium and the maintenance/upkeep required.


The average pool costs tens of thousands of dollars, often around $42,000, and in the past, having said pool would only boost your home’s value compared to a home without a pool by a little under $17,000. Now, in a very strong seller’s market and with pool ownership so popular, many see price hikes for their pools of about $28,000. What does this pool boom mean for your home, and any plans, you have to buy a pool or sell a home quickly this summer? 


Got a Pool Already? Cash In With a High Purchase Price


If you’ve considered moving to a home without a pool at any point, this might be the summer to do it. This is especially true if you’ve already gotten lots of valuable use out of your home inground pool since that use is valuable. As opposed to some point in the future when pools aren’t quite as en vogue, selling now could mean taking advantage of the popular premium and adding five figures to your purchase price. While not every area of the country is experiencing this pool boom the same way, even places where a pool used to be a rarely used feature are likely to do better than average this summer. 


Considering a Pool? Do It For the Experience, Not Just the ROI


While pool mania is great for people who have already footed the bill to have one installed, don’t let the dollar signs cloud your eyes too much if you haven’t yet installed a pool. The ROI this summer is certainly better, but if you intend to sell soon, adding a pool just for resale value isn’t likely to recoup your costs. 


However, if you have caught pool fever and see many years of enjoyment ahead for this luxury addition to your home, that is the time to sign up to install a pool. While a boost on the ROI of your home is certainly nice, the associated costs for upkeep with a pool mean that they rarely fully pay for themselves in purchase price alone. Focus on getting a pool only if it will bring enjoyment for your family, and then consider down the road how to best market and sell your home with a pool when you’re actually ready to move. 


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August 23 2021

Acquire a New Home in a Flagstaff Golf Community at Woody Mountain Estates

by Erin

Woody Mountain Estates Community Forest View

Woody Mountain Estates is a limited offering of luxury custom homes for sale coming soon to Flagstaff, Arizona! These spacious new construction homes are 80 miles from the Grand Canyon and are situated amid the most prominent Ponderosa Pine Forest in North America. The Woody Mountain Estates neighborhood is also adjacent to the well-appointed Flagstaff Ranch community. This new home development offers half-acre lots and desirable amenities such as miles of winding walking trails, common areas for gathering with neighbors, a gorgeous Green Belt, and an expansive golf course onsite without the gated golf fees. 


Convenience to everyday essentials, shopping, employment opportunities, and exceptional schools are never hard to find as a resident of Woody Mountain Estates. The new homes at Woody Mountain Estates are located near remarkable schools, including Knoles Elementary School, Mt. Elden Middle School, Coconino High School, and Flagstaff High School. Major local employers in Flagstaff consist of Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff United School District, and Coconino County. Woody Mountain Estates provides convenience to the Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff Birth and Women’s Center, and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Arizona. The Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is located only five miles south of Flagstaff and is serviced by American Eagle and United Express. Local grocers near Woody Mountain Estates include Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Fry’s Food and Drug, and Whole Foods Market. You can also find retail stores surrounding the Woody Mountain Estates neighborhood such as Marshalls, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Ross Dress for Less, Goodwill, Beall’s Outlet.


Life at Woody Mountain Estates provides residents with a world of great food and good times. Be sure to visit some of the best restaurants in Northern Arizona, like Fat Olives wood-fired Neapolitan style pizza with gourmet toppings. There is also cuisine like Josephine’s Modern American Bistro, Karma Sushi Bar & Grill, Tinderbox Kitchen, and Shift Kitchen & Bar, featuring American small plates and craft cocktails. Wash down all the terrific eats you come across with the perfect craft beer. As a Craft Brew City, Flagstaff offers only the best craft beer at several breweries, distillery, and meadery. Check out Dark Sky Brewing Company, Wanderlust Brewing Company, and Drinking Horn Meadery, to name a few. A few other great attractions near Woody Mountain Estates include The Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona Snowbowl, Lowell Observatory, and the Coconino National Forest.


Join the interest list today to stay abreast of the latest updates, features, and pricing related to the new homes for sale at Woody Mountain Estates.

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August 17 2021

Add a New Home at Orion at Timber Sky to Your Back-to-School List

by Erin

Father zipping daughter's backpack for school

The long hot days of summer are quickly coming to an end, and the back-to-school season is well underway as you prepare your children for a new year of academic achievement and lasting friendships. You can worry less about expensive energy costs and more about gathering school supplies this year with the energy-efficient new homes at Orion at Timber Sky. Get settled into your new Flagstaff home just in time for the start of the school year, with home designs starting in the mid $400,000’s. Once you view this community, you’ll want to start unpacking.


Orion at Timber Sky is served by nearby top-rated schools, including DeMiguel Elementary School, Mt. Elden Middle School, and Flagstaff High School. Flagstaff High School provides students with the necessary keys to a successful future with a rigorous curriculum in modern language, social science, fine arts, and more. Higher Education near Orion at Timber Sky is never far, with easy access to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff College, and Arizona State University. Students young and young at heart can study undergraduate and graduate programs, including accounting, business and marketing, nursing, journalism, and criminal justice. With a degree at any one of these fine institutions, a career in Flagstaff is available with leading employers such as Pepsi-Cola Bottling, Northern Arizona Healthcare, Nestle Purina, and Flagstaff Medical Center.


This premier master-planned community features spacious floor plan designs with three to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, a two-car garage, and 1,471 to 3,222 square feet of living space. Designs like Plan 1569 feature a one-story layout with three bedrooms and two bathrooms outfitted with green construction, a formal dining room, patio, and porch. A few of the fantastic features in these exquisite new homes for sale include landscaped front yards, paved driveways and patios, and lap and vertical LP smart siding. Prepare school lunches in the new kitchens that feature Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, recess can lighting, granite countertops, and green approved cabinets with flat panel doors. There is carpet in the bedrooms, great room, hallways, stairs, and 18” tile flooring in the dining room, entry, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.


Energy efficiency is a priority in the new construction homes at Orion at Timber Sky. Homebuilder Capstone Homes ensures that each new build is certified by the Department of Energy with the latest energy-efficient features to make your living experience one that will reduce your carbon footprint and your monthly expenses. These Zero Energy Ready Homes include Watersense plumbing fixtures including faucets, toilets, and showerheads that use around 20% less water, Low E vinyl windows that reduce cooling costs, a tankless gas water heater, and programmable thermostats that can be adjusted to your home and lifestyle schedule. 


Orion is an excellent Flagstaff neighborhood for families as it provides easy access to entertainment, shopping, recreation, and dining. You can visit the Lowell Observatory, Walnut Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and Wupatiki National Monument. Orion at Timber Sky is also outfitted with kid-friendly amenities, including parks, playgrounds, picnic space, pickleball courts, community gardens, biking paths, and connectivity to the Flagstaff Urban Trail System. 


As you check off the boxes next to the pencils and wide-ruled paper, you can cross off a new dream home on your list as well. To learn more about purchasing a new house at Orion at Timber Sky, you can contact the sales office at 888-253-6308.

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August 11 2021

Experience Rocky Terrain and Captivating Views at Flagstaff Meadows in Bellemont

by Erin

New Home Design at Flagstaff Meadows

Welcome home to Flagstaff Meadows. A new home escape encompassed by captivating year-round views of the Northern Arizona terrain. The Flagstaff Meadows neighborhood is situated in beautiful Bellemont, Arizona, also known as the “highest town on Route 66” as it sits at a whopping 7,130 feet. These new homes for sale in Bellemont include energy-efficient features and options for complete customization by home builder Capstone Homes. Flagstaff Meadows also provides community amenities such as playgrounds, parks, walking, hiking trails, and immediate access to restaurants, shopping malls, and entertainment for the family. 


Living in Flagstaff Meadows offers lots to do and see no matter the day or time. You can take a quick 18-minute drive to the nearby city of Flagstaff for a casual breakfast at The Toasted Owl Café or take advantage of a good sale at the Flagstaff Mall. If you’re interested in more of a recreational encounter, you can explore the rocky territory of hiking trails like the Red Mountain Trail or Humphreys Peak. The Lockett Meadow Campgrounds offer a mountain camping experience with views of the San Francisco Peaks, and you may even get a visit from a porcupine or two. The new homes at Flagstaff Meadows are also near conveniences like Sprouts Farmers Market, Safeway, and Fry’s Food and Drug. You can even get your coffee fix on your commute to work at Starbucks or local favorites like Campus Coffee Bean and the Woody Mountain Coffee Shop.


The Flagstaff Meadows community showcases brand new one and two-story floor plan options with remarkable characteristics both inside and out. Here, you’ll find three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, and between 1,380 to 2,862 square feet of living space. Each custom new home at Flagstaff Meadows is highlighted by features such as a landscaped front yard, concrete driveway and patios, and an 8-foot front and rear door. The interiors are outfitted with 9-foot ceilings downstairs and 8-foot ceilings upstairs, paint grade colonial baseboards, and oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel trim-hardware and light fixtures. There is carpet in the bedrooms, great room, hallways, 13-inch tile flooring in the dining room, entryway, kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. Your new kitchen will quickly become a conversation piece for all your guests. Each design is equipped with recess can lighting, granite countertops, and a Whirlpool appliance package that includes a gas range, hood, and dishwasher. 


What more can you ask for in a new home? Oh, there’s a whole lot more here at Flagstaff Meadows! These Bellemont homes start in just the mid $300,000’s. To find out more about the new homes for sale at Flagstaff Meadows, contact the sales office at 888-718-7164.

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August 10 2021

Luxury New Homes at Capstone Homes at Jasper are a Homeowner’s Dream Come True

by Erin

Capstone Homes at Jasper Backyard

Enjoy your first sip of coffee as you’re greeted by the sun on your covered porch to start your day off right. Envision waking up to a glorious morning of nature’s views while the crisp breeze of Northern Arizona air freely flows through your bedroom window. Located in Prescott Valley, the fresh new home designs at Capstone Homes at Jasper provide a fresh take on open floor plans with vast windows that frame the peaks of rocky mountains and rolling landscape that seems to go on for miles right in your backyard. The single-family home designs are highlighted by grand spacious open floor plans that provide loads of natural lighting and a clear canvas to paint memories for a lifetime.


The single-family home designs at Capstone Homes at Jasper include three to five bedrooms, two to four bathrooms, and a two or three-car garage with 2,189 to 3,760 square feet of living space. The extensive designs feature traditional, farmhouse, or modern exteriors with stacked stone or brick enhancements and even the option for a courtyard entrance to boast. The upscale bathroom amenities at Jasper emphasize just what it means to live a life of luxury. You can retreat to your own spa at home after a long day’s work or after chasing after an active toddler. Each full bathroom features granite countertops with an oval under mount china sink. There are pedestal sinks in the half-baths and elongated, standard height toilets in all of the bathrooms. The master suite features a tile shower with a clear glass enclosure and freestanding bathtub perfect for soaking. To top it all off, there are brushed nickel accessories in each commode. 


In addition to the custom build floor plans available, Capstone Homes offers designs such as Plan 2382, a single-story plan with three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a three-car garage. This plan spans to 2,382 square feet and features a courtyard, covered porch, office space, and a spacious master suite with a walk-in closet. Plan 3425 is an elaborate home design that spans up to 3,425 square feet of living space and includes a loft, “Jack and Jill” bathroom for little ones to share, and a kitchen with an island and walk-in pantry.


Along with a community center, park, swimming pool, and tennis courts, Capstone Homes at Jasper allows for easy access to attractions such as the Phippen Museum for the art of the American West and the Findlay Toyota Center, which is home to the Northern Arizona Suns NBA G-League team. Enjoy the Arizona weather while biking or hiking on the Iron King Trail, or check out the Glassford Summit Trail, where you can find the remains of the extinct Miocenera volcano. If you love the game of golf, the StoneRidge Golf Course is set on over 2,000 acres of land and includes a full-service golf shop.


Be sure to sign up for the interest list to find out how you can get your hands on a new luxury home at Capstone Homes at Jasper starting in the high $600,000’s.

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