Driving Up & Down Home Values: Spotlight on U.S. Homebuilders, California's Central Valley, Fresno, Clovis, Calif. Real Estate
Saturday, 12 August 2006
Existentialist Complaints: Living Complaints, Residential Living Complaints, Condo Complaints etc
Topic: How To Complain
You do not have to keep quiet.  Express yourself.  Do not let others trespass and take advantage of you.  Use and know your rights.  Residential nuisance is a major problem in construction areas.  Feel free to write your councilmembers and other people who will listen.  

<p><a href="http://geocities.com/openhouselead/complain/code.html">Find out how you can claim your rights</a>

Or http://geocities.com/openhouselead/complain/code.html

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 6:53 PM EDT
Sunday, 4 June 2006
High Interest Rates and Foreclosures Lead Housing Tumble: House Hunting Tips
Topic: Refinancing/Interest Rate
House Hunting Tips for first-time Home buyers
Decide where you want to live.  Pick a real estate agent.  Find a mortgage lender.  Find out how much you are qualified for.  Set your requirements.  When are you going to visit houses? How many  houses can you see? What should the houses be equipped with?  What are the amenities you are looking for?  Make sure to hunt for the right house  Narrow your choices down to a few houses and to the one you want.  Make your decision once you find the house. 

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 5 May 2006
Author and Los Angeles Times Reporter Mark Arax Defends Valley Farmland

Local Agency Formation Commision Official, Supervisor Bob Waterston, Bad-mouthed Fresno Native, Author and Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine West Writer, Mark Arax, Who Called Him Idiot

LAFCO is a powerful commission in Fresno County. When its supervisor got ticked off by the unfavorable reporting of the media, he got upset and singled out one journalist to unleash his anger on. Well, let us just say he picked the wrong guy. Author of very popular Valley and agriculture-based books, Mark Arax was not attending the meeting as a reporter. He did not have to continue to bite his tongue. He had to respond to the bad words launched at him. In his tirade, he said reporters make money by trashing Fresno County nad city of Fresno planning efforts. He stated that they do that without offering any solutions. Supervisor Bob Waterson ripped reporters during that recent LAFCO meeting.

Reporter Mark Arax was attending the meeting because he needed materials for a new book he is writing. "The Lost Valley" chapter will examine the encroachment and paving of the San Joaquin Valley's farmland by developers. In his previous books, one can tell that this famous son of the Valley clarified and took his position on various issues faced by Fresno. He wants to protect the farmland. He wants responsible development. He would not like to see what happened to Los Angeles happen to Fresno. By doing so, he may make some people mad. For sure, he wanted to be at that meeting where the LAFCO members were going to discuss the adoption of a sphere of influence adjustment for the city of Fresno. 14 square miles would be huge space. Keep in mind that a sphere of influence is an extension of future boundaries for a city.

It must be noted that Mark Arax was not the only one to be castigated. Some Bee reporters also received Mr. Wateston's lasso. "I know Mark Arax and I know some other reporters from The Bee that have written stuff, and it's amazing Mark writes for the Los Angeles Times and he lives in Fresno and so I always wonder why he stays here because it's so bad. But that's how he makes money is beating up his hometown, and that's fine...."If you don't like what's going on, why don't you tell us what to do?" D'uh, Mr. Supervisor does not know much about telecommuting and valley bureau! Mark Arax is supposed to cover the Valley.

Mark could not abide by the codes of journalism. He could not keep his mouth closed. He had to offer some clarifications. Mr. Waterston took a cheap shot at him over his opposition to the annexation of 9,000 new acres. He presented the evidence of hundreds of thousands of acres that Fresno has for infill development. He complained in his letter that much of the prime farmland would just be undeveloped. Pollution, crime and traffic would encroach on the rural lifestyle. His letter which was published by the local paper was read during the meeting. There was no doubt that the supervisor and others were addressing him.

So, putting on his citizen's hat, Mark Arax responded, "I feel I can now address a few things here. This body was created to protect farmland, stop sprawl and not go into areas prematurely. There hasn't been a single word about farmland preservation from any of you here today." Mr. Waterston asked Mark to quiet down. He was not willing to listen to his viewpoints. He was not willing to give Mark an apology, "If you want an apology, you can apologize for beating us up in the paper. I am in charge, you're not." There came the time when Mark had to put him in his place or remind him of his position, "Then act like a chairman, not an idiot."

The chairman did apologize to Mark Arax who was not covering the meeting as a reporter. He is a resident, an author and a native with interests in seeing the Valley grow responsibly. Mr. Waterston still stuck to his guns, "He is beating us up inside and out," He said. "When the L.A Times stories come out about Fresno they go across the country and Fortune 500 companies see them. Company executives are left with an unfavorable impression of Fresno.

The city officials must know that all eyes are branched on them. All the more reasons to lead with transparency!

Find large lots in the foothills from Granville's Rolling Hills/Ventana Hills Development

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 10:00 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006 11:13 AM EDT
Sunday, 26 March 2006
The Central Valley is a Construction Zone: From Fresno-Clovis, Kerman, Madera, Modesto, Los Banos to Bakersfield
Topic: Encroachment/Development

Before Fashion Fair, there was Manchester Mall. Then the RiverPark Shopping Center came on the Fresno-Clovis shopping scene. Well, there was the Fig Garden Village as the most exquisite place to spend money. It has the hip hangout shops and upscale boutiques. RiverPark has it all: Movie theaters, booksstores, mega stores inviting mega shopping and eateries. With the influx of a large population searching for a better return on their dollar and fleeing the pricey real estate of the Bay area and Orange County, there are people with enough disposable income to shop. So more businesses get created to meet the increasing needs of willing consumers. The major national retailers started to pay attention to the Fresno-Clovis shopping trends. It has been reported that the RiverPark Shopping Center makes so much money that most business owners want to locate their business there. The G or Gottschalks has already built its tribute to the shopping power of the Valley. The G is located right there. As soon as one shopping center is completed, new projects are announced. There is always something going on around here.

Here is a list of homebuilders who are trying to keep up with the high demand for residential and commercial real estate in the Valley. Where can you find the best homes and office spaces in the Valley?

Developed by Wathen-Castanos.com, Town & Country is described as the perfect combination of elegant living, beauty and the simple convenience of open space- inside and out. The reputed local homebuilder presents Town & Country as an ideal place for families craving spacious living in a luxurious home. This would be perfect for the Bay Area residents and Los Angeles homeowners who want to have a great residential living space. For $400,00, you can expect to have five single and two-story homes, up to seven bedrooms, five baths, three-care garage, oversided bonus or game rooms. The company wants to combine elegance and flexibility. This is not all folks, if you ca not afford the above homes, Wathen-Castanos has about 7 plans priced from $259,900 to 326,900 that you can choose from. You can find this new development at The European Grove. It is baptized as "Affordable Luxury in the New Fig Garden." Here is how Wathen-Castanos presents the new project at The European Grove. "Experience an Old-world feel... at the European Grove." If you are a first-time homeowner, you can check the company. If you are looking forward to downsizing to a smaller home, then the European Grove is perfect for you. Now, wait until you read about the location of the European Grove. It is located near schools, upscale shopping centers, quaint restaurants and a movie theater. This type of description only invites to grab the phone and call. You can visit one of the company's models from 11 am to 5 pm.

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 3:58 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006 4:11 PM EST
Inventory Control: Everybody Wants to Cash in on their House Values in the Valley
Topic: Refinancing/Interest Rate

The investors from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Orange County have already invested their money in the hot real estate market that the Central Valley of California has ever known. For the past few years, house values have only gone up. Homeowners have benefitted from their home equity. A lot of them took money out to invest in their house and other businesses. Now that we are facing a cooling down of the market, many of these investors who were seeking better shores to make their money work for them are seeking to unload their inventories. No wonder that this seller's market has quickly changed to hot buyers' market. Shopnowshopping Million$$$Homes: The amount of homes for sale has increased in the past few months. So the more homes for sale there are, the lower the price of a home will go.

As I travel all over the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, I see for sale signs springing up in poor as well as rich neighborhoods, from Van Ness, Herndon Ave. to Clovis, Kings Canyon, Sanger, Fowler, Kingsburg, Reedley, Modesto and Bakersfield. What is clear is that investors and homeowners are racing against the clock. They want to get top prices for their homes. They do not want to see the ultimate selling price of their homes gets smaller than the buying price. Then, that would be a clear bust. They are dreaming about the boom of yesterday. They are not willing to cut down the selling price. Those who get wise enough to consider asking for less are seeing some interest. The market is such that all the buyers decide to wait out until the selling price of homes gets really low. Buyers are now in control again.

Here are a few ways that some Fresno-Clovis homes are marketed to attract buyers. A lot of these homes focus on their signs of distinction and luxury. Some times, even the names of the builder are used. There is some cache of excellence and great architecture hidden in adding the names.

"A fabulous home in the heart of Old Fig Garden and charming Wilson Ave. Beautiful hardwood floors, a burst of color and contemporary lighting compliment the loving space. Plantation shutters throughout, dramatic fireplace in the Living Room, plus a lovely formal Dr. A bright remodeled kitchen with the classic corner window and cozy breakfast nook, along with 5-burner gas stove and quality stainless steel appliances. The 4th bedroom is used as an office, has built-in wardrobe and storeage. Remodeled master suite with jetted tub, marble carrara floor, designer Kohler sink, glass black studded shower and walk-in closet. Approximately 16,650 s.f. of land with a long driveway that leads to a spacious 2-car garage. Quaint brick walkways, pations, BBQ and lush landscaping. The asking price is $675,000."

Real estate agents and brokers are a little uneasy about the sea of change. Spring is supposed to unleash consumers searching for new homes. Well, they are out, but they have too many homes to look at. The market appears ready for a flood. There is a rush to unload, a rush to get out on top. Homeowners are willing to relocate to more rural areas or other states with a lower living standard. They want to dwell on their money. More listings of home of luxury are noted:

"A lovely home on the San Joaquin Country Club, located off the 6th fairway. Fabulous pool and rock waterfall surrounded by Bomanite decking and patio area. Beautiful double front doors with leaded glass windows and wood floors int he entry and kitchen. Huge living room/dining room combo with beamed ceilings, fireplace, pass-thru service window to the kitchen and slider door to the pool and patio area. This kitchen is filled with built-in cabinets, ample storage, appliance nook, desk and pass-thru bar to the patio. The breakfast area has a full bar with sink, adobe fireplace in the FR, a wonderful casual area with spectacular views of the pool, patio and country club greens. The floor plan includes a 4th bedroom, making the third bedroom double, with 2 closets, lots of built-ins, a great game room, office, library, the possibilities are endless. The master suite has a handsome gas fireplace with/entertainment center, a setting area and access to the patio area. The bath includes dual sinks, vanity, spa tub and stall shower. Approximately 2886 s.f. with 2-car garage and extra paved parking. Asking price: $950,000."

Somehow, there is money to be made in marketing luxurious homes. London Properties, Ltd. appears to have done a good job of marketing these homes. Many potential buyers flushed with cash from the sales of their Bay Area or Silicon Valley assets seek builders of homes of excellence in the Valley. Some of the names that come to mind are: McMillin, Gary McDonalds, Cambridge Homes, Wathen-Castanos, Granville homes, Lyles Diversified, Joaquin Valley properties, Beazer Homes, de Young homes and the McCaffrey Group, Wilson Homes, KB Home, Centex Homes, DR Horton Homebuilder, generation Homes etc.

Visit The Million $$$ Real Estate Pixel Links Network and Fresno-Clovis Homebuilders' Open House Links

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 2:40 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006 4:33 PM EST

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