Financing Your First Home: Why You Should Get Preapproval!

October 27, 2014

 

When financing your first home, it can be challenging to figure out how much you can afford. You should always decide what you can spend before you start looking for homes. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect home, only to find out that you can’t afford it. For this reason, you should get pre-approved for a loan before you even look at a single house.

There are other reasons that it is smart to a have a pre-approval.

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Five Tips for First Time Home Buyers

October 20, 2014

Television house hunting programs are entertaining, but they really don’t contain enough tips for first time home buyers . When you’ve saved up enough money for a down payment, zeroed in on a location, and decided on your housing needs, here are some things you really need to know.

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New Homes in Silver Lake, California : Modern, Eclectic Living In Los Angeles

October 13, 2014

Silver Lake is an eclectic enclave of Los Angeles recognized as a top area to live, work and play.  In 2012, Forbes named Silver Lake one of  America’s top hipster neighborhoods and today, Silver Lake is held as the standard for other up and coming neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

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Find a New Home in Southern California with Modern Spaces

October 6, 2014

With new hip, urban infill projects happening, it’s possible to find a new home in Southern California that has modern spaces and highly-coveted outdoor living spaces. Blurring the lines between the indoors and the outdoors is one of the trademarks of modern living. Instead of having a yard to maintain, it’s exciting to embrace vertical urban living with balconies, porches and even rooftop terraces.

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Builder and Developer: “Neighborhood Renewal in Eclectic L.A. Enclave”

Nimble and focused, Trumark Homes and Trumark Urban together have raised more than $340 million of equity since 2009, and have a combined pipeline exceeding 5,600 units in core infill areas of California, representing more than $3.8 billion in future revenue. The company’s focus as a new-generation builder is on core infill locations in significantly undersupplied housing markets. SL70, Trumark’s new 70-home development on a previously vacant corner bordering the Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods in Los Angeles, is a perfect example of how Trumark’s thoughtful housing developments can spark neighborhood renewal.

SL70-1

The community, which opened this summer, is located on 2.34 acres on Glendale Boulevard just south of the 2 Freeway in a chic, up-and-coming but underserved area of Silver Lake/Echo Park. It’s within a convenient commute to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood and close to schools, public transportation, shopping and recreation. Griffith Park and Dodgers Stadium are nearby, and Silver Lake Reservoir is within walking distance. A thriving neighborhood subculture includes vintage and locally designed clothing stores, food trucks and kitschy establishments such as Cha Cha Lounge, and other great restaurants and bars. The area is prime for continued rehabilitation and growth in both residential housing and a resurgence of retail, restaurants and entertainment.

“We chose to build this project because it represents everything Trumark stands for as a new generation builder,” said Michael Maples, principal and co-founder of Trumark Homes. “The lack of new inventory, the limited development sites and the over-abundance of old fixer-uppers will make these new homes in this fantastic community very attractive. Not only is the property in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable and creative neighborhoods, but it is close to employment hubs and other popular areas.”

SL70-3

In SL70, Maples and his team immediately spotted an opportunity to build a well-planned, design-centric development that would appeal to Gen X and Gen Y adults who want to invest in a modern home in an urban neighborhood without a ridiculous price tag.

 

“The neighborhood’s proximity to Hollywood, downtown and Studio City make SL70 a natural fit for professionals of all types who want to live close in, but not too close,” said Mark Higgins, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Trumark Homes. “This demographic already makes up a large portion of homeowners and residents in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park neighborhoods, and they’re showing strong interest in our offering.”

Trumark was careful to reflect the existing neighborhood’s culture while striving to create a vibrant community on an otherwise stagnant, vacant parcel of land. SL70 is attracting residents who will re-energize local business and retail while shaping the emerging neighborhood. During the development phase, Trumark met with and filmed local neighbors and businesses, which are featured on the SL70website – SL70.com. “It was most important to pay attention to our demographic and psychographic,” Higgins said. “Integrating within the community is important to Trumark.

SL70-2

Trumark carefully analyzed and considered the Silver Lake/Echo Park buyer profile when creating SL70’sexteriors and interior living spaces. “The unique urban design of these homes fits seamlessly with our buyers’ busy lifestyles with low-maintenance living that takes full advantage of entertaining space overlooking the downtown skyline and surrounding hillside views,” Maples said.

SL70 is located on the site of the former Selig Polyscope Studio, which opened in 1909 as Los Angeles’ first permanent movie-making facility and was eventually surrounded by a string of other silent-film studios on Glendale Boulevard. Trumark is honoring Selig Polyscope with a mural created by internationally acclaimed muralists Cyrcle and streets with names such as Silent Era Drive, Polyscope Place and Tom Mix Road.

In developing the property, Trumark teamed up with long-term equity partner The Resmark Companies to bring to life the City of Los Angeles’ Small Lot Ordinance, established in 2005, which allows for the subdivision of underutilized land in multifamily and commercial areas into fee-simple homes. Intended to encourage infill development and a smart-growth alternative to traditional suburban-style single-family subdivisions, the ordinance allows homes to have smaller lot areas with compact building footprints and reduced yard setbacks, street frontages, passageways between buildings and open space.

This greater flexibility in lot sizes allowed Trumark to keep SL70 homes affordable, with prices starting in the high $500,000s. (The median home price in Los Angeles is currently $590,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index.)

JZMK Partners designed the contemporary three-story detached homes, which range in size from 1,219 to 1,469 square feet and have two or three bedrooms, two and a half baths, large rooftop terraces on most floorplans, open living rooms with 10-foot ceilings, contemporary staircases, and oversized windows that create a grand feeling not typically found in homes of this size. Gourmet kitchens feature premium appliances, quartz countertops and contemporary European cabinetry, and bathrooms have cultured marble countertops and chrome finish faucets. All homes are pre-wired with Category 5 wiring.

Building sustainably is important to Trumark, and that commitment is reflected in SL70’s construction. The well-insulated homes have energy-saving tankless water heaters and aluminum-framed windows with low-E glass. All homes are pre-wired for future solar installations, and two-car garages include conduits for electric vehicle charging.

Unique undulation in building facades and bright pops of color make the exteriors stand out, and Trumark’s design team furnished model interiors with out-of-the-box furnishings (including vintage and original pieces from local artists) that are unlike anything potential residents would find in a model home. “The individuality of each home is clear from the moment you walk in the door,” Higgins said.

Trumark Homes is a division of The Trumark Group of Companies, a diversified real estate developer and builder with expertise in land acquisition, homebuilding, community design, entitlements and office R&D and retail development. SL70 has been an important project as the company continues to learn and hone its skills as a nimble, high-density builder.

“This development has inspired Trumark to create something new and fresh in a highly demanding market,” Maples said. “SL70 showcases our ability to dive into a niche market and create a community that is uniquely designed for the target buyer.”

Contra Costa Times: “Residential projects could transform Newark’s landscape”

October 3, 2014

 

By Julian J. Ramos 

From a few acres to a couple hundred acres, proposed residential projects are seeking to transform Newark.

At ultimate buildout over 20 to 30 years, projects under construction and those in the planning pipeline could swell the city’s population to 60,000 from 45,000, Newark Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall said.

During the latest recession, city leaders took the opportunity to look at planning for the city, Grindall said. The process of laying out the groundwork included updates to the municipal general plan, housing element and creation of specific plans.

“We’re seeing the fruits of our labor coming to fruition,” he said.

Residential construction is “much more active” than it was five to 10 years ago, according to Grindall. The city added no new subdivisions in that time period and home construction was only a few units at a time.

“It’s very much hotter than it has been,” Grindall said.

At the moment there are 1,000 units in construction with 1,000 moving through the planning process, he added.

Key to the city’s future is the Dumbarton Transit-Oriented Development, a proposed new neighborhood calling for 2,100 homes, retail and businesses in western Newark. It is to be located next to a proposed commuter rail station near the corner of Willow Street and Enterprise Drive.

A specific plan, which is the ordinance regulating the project, for the site envisions a pedestrian friendly town where walking and biking have replaced autos for access to shopping and recreation. Toxic cleanup of the site is needed before any development.

Development of the 223 acres includes housing, shops, parks and open space, including a bayside trail, and opportunities for employment.

Under the proposal, higher density residential development, such as condominiums, would be located within a quarter-mile radius of the transit station, medium residential development, such as townhomes, to be located slightly farther, and single-family residences are to be located farthest from the station.

Blocks are to be generally short and pedestrian-oriented to offer walkers several different ways to walk through the neighborhood.

Primary traffic circulation would be on a network of streets, mostly one lane in each direction with bike lanes and parking on both sides of the roadway.

There would be landscaped medians. Traffic control through the use of single-lane roundabouts to slow traffic with efficient circulation of cars, bikes and pedestrians.

Near the transit station at the Willow Street and Enterprise Drive, retail stores and shops are to be centered. Higher density housing would be next to the retail area and the transit station.

Included are neighborhood parks inside the residential areas and a larger community park.

The Dumbarton TOD Specific Plan is in the vicinity of the Union Pacific Railroad corridor, which is also in the future Dumbarton Rail Corridor.

According to city officials, the Dumbarton TOD Specific Plan has “the potential to provide retail opportunities to existing and future residents; to reduce green house gas emissions, to help in meeting state regional and state housing requirements; to increase transit ridership; and to improve recreational facilities and linkages.”

The project and amenities are to be developed by private development at no cost to the city and revenues are expected to be equal or greater than the cost of providing services, they said.

Preliminary work is underway in the Dumbarton TOD on the 553-residential unit Torian project, a 42.22-acre site on the west side of Willow Street at the end of Central Avenue.

Also planned in the TOD are 88 townhomes, 74 senior apartments and a grocery store at Willow Street and Enterprise Drive. It is known as the SHH site.

A Trumark Homes project proposal in the specific plan area calls for 244 residential units on about 25 acres. In May, Trumark broke ground on a 164-unit residential project on nearly 12 acres — the first new development in Newark in more than a decade.

A mix of single- and multi-family homes, there will be 84 three-story detached single-family homes, an average of 2,200 square feet, and 80 two- and three-story attached townhomes with six floor plans from 1,573 square feet to 2,379 square feet.

A former RV storage parking lot is at Timber Street and Cedar Boulevard.

Other projects include:

GATEWAY STATION WEST

Southwest of Highway 84 and Thornton Avenue, the 54.5-acre site is bounded by Hickory Street to the east and solar salt production basins on the west. There is vacant industrial land on the north and vacant underdeveloped land on the south. Enterprise Drive, formerly Wells Avenue, ends near the northeast corner of the property.

A former FMC Corp. facility is to the north along with an existing Union Pacific Railroad corridor, to the east is a former Ashland Chemical Co. and Torian facility, to the south is the Plummer Creek Wetland Mitigation Bank, and to the west are the Cargill bittern ponds.

The project site is located in a former industrial area with open space and residential uses in the vicinity. Proposed are 669 single- and multi-family residential units on 41 acres.

NEWARK PRIMA

Up to 282 residential units are proposed at the northwest corner of Mowry Avenue and Interstate 880. The 19.43-acre site includes a vacant Mervyns store, a Motel 6, a commercial parking lot and a vacant parcel.

Proposed are 147 attached townhouses, 93 attached condominium units and 42 detached dwellings.

The detached dwellings would range from 1,618 square feet to 2,317 square feet in a mix of two to three stories with attached garages.

Proposed townhomes would be three stories ranging from 1,232 square feet to 2,135 square feet with a two-car garage. Condominium buildings would be four stories ranging from 1,296 square feet to 1,630 square feet with a two-car tandem garage.

Newark City Council members are expected to consider the project in October.

RUSCHIN DRIVE

The 10.1-acre site at 36120 Ruschin Drive, on the former Ruschin School site, is surrounded by single-family residential uses along Sandalwood Street to the north, McDonald Avenue to the west, Fernwood Drive to the east and Ruschin Drive to the south.

Plans include demolition of the former elementary school and the construction of 85 single-family homes ranging from 1,793 square feet to 2,322 square feet. Density is 8.4 units per acre. Floor plans include three or four bedrooms with a two-car garage.

Construction could begin in March 2015.

BIRCH STREET

Located at 38517 Birch St. on the west side of I-880, north of Mowry Avenue, the 2-acre property is developed with a church, associated church buildings, a paved parking lot and landscaping.

On the west side of Birch Street north of Moores Avenue, the site is surrounded by a mix of detached and attached residences on all sides.

Plans include demolition of the church and other structures to build up to 15 detached two-story homes ranging from 1,900 square feet to 2,500 square feet with an attached two-car garage.

CEDAR TOWNHOMES

Located on the west side of I-880, north of Stevenson Boulevard, the vacant 4.3-acre site is at the northeast corner of Cedar Boulevard and Mowry School Road. Site addresses are 39850 and 39888 Cedar Blvd.

A previously proposed mixed-use project on the site, “The Atrium” had plans for two multi-story buildings totaling 70,190 square feet of building area. Approved by the Newark City Council in 2007, the project was not built and the proposed Cedar Townhomes development is its replacement.

The project calls for 85 attached townhome-style condominium dwellings with three- and four-story buildings with five floor plans. Floor plans begin at 1,486 square feet and go up to 2,114 square feet. All have two-car garages, either tandem or side by side.

 

Stools As Mini Coffee Table

October 2, 2014

If you happen to have a little vignette of furniture in a small area of your home, try these garden stools instead of a coffee table! The stools are the perfect size to compliment a small sofa and won’t be overcrowded like a coffee table. Plus you can move them around and closer to you while lounging for easy placement of your beverage. Let these stools be your mini version of a coffee table!

Trumark Homes Offering Unique, Contemporary Single-Family Homes at SL70, a New Development in Silver Lake/Echo Park

October 1, 2014

Top California Homebuilder Leads Movement Toward Design-Centric Living With 70 New Homes on a Former Vacant Lot and Site of L.A.’s First Movie Studio

(businesspress24) – LOS ANGELES, CA – 10/01/14, a new-generation homebuilder, is now selling homes at , a new neighborhood of 70 three-story single-family homes on a previously vacant corner bordering the Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods. Located on Glendale Boulevard just south of the 2 Freeway, SL70 brings design-centric housing to an up-and-coming neighborhood starved for contemporary living spaces.

“This project represents everything Trumark stands for as a new-generation builder,” said , principal and CEO of Trumark Homes. “The lack of new inventory, the limited development sites and the over-abundance of fixer-uppers will make these new homes in this fantastic community very attractive. Not only is the property in one of LA”s most desirable and creative neighborhoods, but it is close to employment hubs and other popular areas.”

SL70 is within a convenient commute to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood and close to schools, public transportation, shopping and recreation. Griffith Park and Dodger Stadium are nearby, and Silver Lake Reservoir is within walking distance. A thriving neighborhood subculture includes vintage and locally designed clothing stores, food trucks and kitschy establishments such as Cha Cha Lounge, and other great restaurants and bars. The area is prime for continued rehabilitation and growth in both residential housing and a resurgence of retail, restaurants and entertainment.

Designed to appeal to professionals who already make up a large portion of homeowners and residents in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park neighborhoods, SL70 reflects the neighborhood”s culture while creating a vibrant community. During the development phase, Trumark met with and filmed local neighbors and businesses, which are featured on the SL70 website.

“The unique urban design of these homes fits seamlessly with our buyers” busy lifestyles with low-maintenance living that takes full advantage of entertaining space overlooking the downtown skyline and surrounding hillside views,” said Mark Higgins, senior vice president for Trumark Homes.

In developing the property, Trumark teamed up with long-term equity partner to bring to life the City of Los Angeles” Small Lot Ordinance, established in 2005 to encourage infill development and a smart-growth alternative to traditional suburban-style single-family subdivisions. The ordinance allows for subdivision of underutilized land in multifamily and commercial areas into fee-simple homes with smaller lot areas, compact building footprints and reduced yard setbacks. This allowed Trumark to keep SL70 homes affordable, with prices starting in the low $600,000s.

designed the contemporary homes, which range in size from 1,219 to 1,469 square-feet and have two or three bedrooms, two and a half baths, large rooftop terraces (on most floorplans), open living rooms with 10-foot ceilings, contemporary staircases, and oversized windows. Gourmet kitchens feature premium appliances, quartz countertops and contemporary European cabinetry, and bathrooms have cultured marble countertops and chrome finish faucets. All homes are pre-wired with Category 5 wiring. The well-insulated homes have energy-saving tankless water heaters and aluminum-framed windows with low-E glass and are pre-wired for future solar installations. Two-car garages include conduits for electric vehicle charging.

Unique undulation in building facades and bright pops of color make the exteriors stand out, and Trumark”s design team furnished model interiors with out-of-the-box furnishings including vintage and original pieces from local artists and consignment stores.

SL70 is located on the site of the former Selig Polyscope Studio, which opened in 1909 as Los Angeles” first permanent movie-making facility and was eventually surrounded by a string of other silent-film studios on Glendale Boulevard. Trumark is honoring Selig Polyscope with a mural created by internationally acclaimed muralists highlighting some of the films and stars from the studio and establishing streets with names such as Silent Era Drive, Polyscope Place and Tom Mix Road.

According to in typical metro areas, adding 70 single-family homes will generate an estimated $14.7 million in local income, $1.5 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 227 local jobs.

The is a diversified real estate developer and builder with expertise in land acquisition, homebuilding, community design, entitlements and office, R&D and retail development. Trumark has raised more than $340 million of equity and funded 24 deals since the depth of the recession in 2009.

is a new generation homebuilder that is nimble, focused and unburdened by broken projects of the past. Its pipeline exceeds 4,400 lots in core in-fill areas of California, representing more than $2.8 billion in future revenue.

develops condos in core urban neighborhoods close to jobs, transit and local businesses. Founded in San Francisco in 2011, the new division has expanded into Los Angeles and now has 10 high-density condominium communities in process with plans in the works for more than 1,200 units for a total projected revenue in excess of $750 million.

, which builds, leases and sells commercial buildings, has entitled or developed approximately two million square feet of office, R&D, retail and hotel properties in the northern portion of the Golden State.

Founded in 1995, Resmark is a leading national private equity firm focused on real estate and powered by core foundational discipline and focus. A fully integrated real estate investment group, The Resmark Companies” divisions — Resmark Land and Housing, Resmark Apartment Living and Resmark Impact Ventures — finance, acquire, develop and manage real estate in the Western United States, including California, Washington and Arizona, as well as in other select major metropolitan markets nationwide. To date, Resmark has participated in over 170 projects encompassing more than 27,000 single-family and multifamily residential units. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Resmark also maintains corporate offices in San Diego and Chevy Chase, Maryland.