The Milan plan great room and kitchen viewed from the entry

Hanford Sentinel:

Latest almond nursery sales report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows no slowdown in plantings with 108,000 acres of almond trees planted in the Valley from June 2015 through May 2016. Of that 71 percent were new orchards with the rest replaced existing almond orchards. These latest numbers are up from last year at 96,000 acres and 67,000 acres between 2013-2014. The report also details that almond prices fell in 2015 to an average of $2.84 per pound from $4 the year before. In another report USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts that California’s 900,000 acres of bearing almond trees will produce 2.05 billion pounds of nuts this year. That’s a 7.9 percent jump from the year before. Walnut prices: Meanwhile a USDA report says walnut prices fell to 84 cents a pound in 2015 compared to $1.62 a pound the year before and $1.82 the year before that. Expansion in the walnut industry here continues as seen by construction of a new $1.2 million walnut dehydrator building by John Hamar Farms.

Decorating Your Table With Wine Glasses In Your New Tulare Home

Clear wine glasses with red roses inside of them
Wine glasses are so much more than just the things we sip from in the evenings. Sure, their long handles and wide bases are perfect for holding that delicious dinner beverage. But wine glasses can go further than you ever imagined. Next time you’re holding a dinner party, grab some extra wine glasses from your pantry and use these tips to include them in your table decorations. • First, turn the glasses upside down, then fill the bowl with almost anything. Flowers, beads, lights, and ornaments, or even a handful of tulle or lace can make an eye-catching design.

San Joaquin Valley Homes Closes On 28.75 Acres In Hanford, CA

HANFORD, Calif. – San Joaquin Valley Homes (SJV Homes) has closed on 28.75 acres at 12th Avenue and Hume Avenue in Hanford. The developer is planning on breaking ground on Chandler Park, a new neighborhood offering 115 single-family homes, in November 2016. The retail value of this development is expected to exceed $28 million. “San Joaquin Valley Homes is thrilled to provide homes for families in Hanford, a growing community with one of California’s most thriving downtowns,” said Joe Leal, co-founder for Visalia-based SJV Homes.

Top-Rated Eats You Have To Try Around Your New Visalia Home

Hamburger and french fries
When you’re asked to name California cities with great food, you’d probably mention San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego. But you don’t have to give up good eats just because you’re buying one of our Visalia new homes. The following are some food havens to try nearby, as voted by the users of TripAdvisor. Check them out and let us know what you think. The Vintage Press Providing an elegant experience among stained-glass lamps and wood paneling, The Vintage Press has been serving deliciousness downtown since 1966. Its wine list is one of the best in the world, says the Wine Spectator, while Fodor’s calls this institution “the best restaurant in the Central Valley. Go with a hearty standard like Grilled Rib Eye Steak with herb butter, something more exotic like Crispy Veal Sweetbread in port wine and jalapeño, or pistachio-crusted King Salmon. For a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into each dish, visit the monthly Recipe Club events for lunch or dinner. Chef David Vartanian demonstrates how he prepares a special dish and takes your questions as you dine on the results.

Tips For Moving With Older Adults To A San Joaquin Valley Home

Elderly couple embracing while looking at the front of their house
Many older adults embrace the changes that mark the different stages of life. This can include moving in with younger family members or downsizing to one of our convenient San Joaquin Valley homes. We’re diplomatically not assigning an age to an “older adult,” but perhaps you have one or more in your family or are part of that demographic yourself. For this segment of the population, moving can be particularly stressful, especially from an area that has been home for decades. The following are a few tips to minimize issues while upping the excitement that new digs can bring. Choices Nobody likes to lose control by being told what to do. Bring your parents into the home-buying and moving process as soon as you can, so they become willing team members. Ask their opinion on potential housing choices, what bedroom in the new homes they would prefer, or what decor to put in their new room. Ask them what it was like when they moved into their first home and whether they have any advice.

The Business Journal: "Amid Slow-But-Steady Recovery, Valley Builders Waiting To Shift Into Higher Gear"

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That seems to be the sentiment lately among Valley homebuilders as many appear hesitant to shift into a higher gear construction-wise, especially after getting burned holding neighborhoods of excess inventory less than a decade ago during the Great Recession. After the Valley’s housing market peaked in 2005 — and then was hit by the fallout caused by the financial crisis, the median sales price of residential real estate fell by nearly 50 percent. A slow, but steady recovery that took hold beginning in 2012 has re-inflated the market to some degree, but as of the beginning of Q4 2016, Valley housing prices remain about 21 percent below their pre-recession peak.

Upcoming Events You Must Attend In The Central Valley

Two dogs with halloween spider hats on
Whether you’re just thinking about buying a house or are already moved in, you and your family will find a lot to do once you step outside one of our homes for sale in the Central Valley. Here are just a few of the top upcoming events near our communities: Dinuba Dog Days/Bark For Life (Oct. 22) Celebrate our four-legged friends at the Dinuba Dog Days/Bark for Life at Nebraska Park in Dinuba. The event is sponsored by the Lion’s Club and the American Cancer Society, among others. Register the family pet for only $10 and you can participate in obedience lessons, the dog parade, a raffle, and such contests as Dog/Owner Look Alike, Doggie Musical Chairs, and Best Costume. Hot dogs and a drink are included. Make sure your pooch is on a leash and wear purple to support cancer awareness. Vaccinations, micro chips, and licensing are available at extra cost.

The best Of Times For San Joaquin Valley Homes

You’re part of an active and busy family and that’s one of the reasons you bought one of our San Joaquin Valley homes. You want a home that’s designed for modern life with an easy layout, 21st-century construction, and the best technology. Your structure is just one component on getting the most out of your day. The other is when you divide the hours of your day and the seasons of your year. Here are the best times to perform your life’s chores. Grocery Shopping If you’re after the best sale products, go at the start of your grocery’s sales week. The day will vary by chain, although Wednesday is typical with the discounts lasting all week. It’s best to ask the store manager when their sale week starts. If you’re after the freshest produce, go around mid-morning when groceries typically stock perishables. The best times during the weekday to go, according to Wise Bread, is after dinner, starting at 7 PM. Most shoppers will have settled in for the night after the evening meal. If you can only shop on the weekends, go early in the morning when everyone else is asleep. The worst time to go is right after work on weekdays when harried commuters are trying to pick up ingredients for dinner.

How Fewer California Foreclosures Affect Homes For Sale In The Central Valley

There was a time in California when foreclosures were so plentiful that patient home buyers could snag big bargains when purchasing used homes for sale in the Central Valley. Many so-called home buying gurus offered seminars on how to snag such properties for little or no money down. The normally lengthy waits to own foreclosures were considerably shortened as banks tried to get rid of large inventories of distressed homes. Foreclosures Such times are long gone, according to the July 2016 National Foreclosure Report by CoreLogic, a real-estate industry tracker. In California, only 0.3 percent of all homes are in some kind of foreclosure, which represents a drop of 30.4 percent from the previous year. We’re tied for the lowest percentage with such states as Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada. The worst foreclosure rate was in New Jersey at 3.3 percent. Even then, that represents a 31.2 percent drop over a year. Nationwide, the rate runs 0.91 percent, a yearly drop of 29 percent. This number follows 57 months of consecutive annual declines. The inventory of foreclosure properties in California also went down by 30 percent. Completed foreclosures went from 26,509 to 21,343 over the year, according to the Pasadena Star-News. A completed foreclosure is when a property is bought at auction by either the lender or a third-party, such as a flipper.

Rev U Your Kids' Education At SJV Homes

Blue backpack cartoon smiling and waving
The well-being of your kids is the most important part of your life. So you moved into one of our SJV homes because it offered more space and better facilities for them. You even picked the development based on its surrounding school district. Now that fall has started, you’ve sent your little ones to school with the hope that they get a good education. Rev up their chances of academic success with these tips. Set up a study center. Laying out a place just for your kids to study in elevates their efforts to something special. A logical location would be their bedrooms but only if your children are disciplined students. Otherwise, their bedrooms contain too many distractions, such as toys and video games. You want to put the study center in an area that’s free from distraction and where you can keep an eye on them. A spare room that doubles as your office would be ideal. Another possibility is a corner of the great room where you can watch them even while you’re cooking or tending to household chores. Include the right furniture and supplies. At minimum, the study center should have an expansive desk to set out homework or projects, a straight-backed chair to encourage good posture, and a bright light that is either overhead or attached to a wall to maximize the desk surface. Include plenty of well-organized materials, such as pens, pencils, rulers, paper, rulers, and scissors, so you kids don’t waste time looking for supplies. A black board or dry erase board is helpful for jotting down ideas and notes while a bulletin board can hold calendars and notices. A computer and printer are also necessities.

Selling Your Unneeded Stuff Before Moving Into Your New Central Valley Home

Various Household Items Vector
You can’t wait to move into one of our homes for sale in the Central Valley. You’re eager to start anew in your modern home. You’ve already sold your current house and need to start packing. Do you really want to keep all the furniture, clothes, household goods and children’s toys you’ve collected along the way? You could hold countless garage sales, sell through eBay auctions, and donate the remainder to charity. But you don’t have the time and energy to go through these efforts. A more convenient option that could potentially net you more income is to hold an estate sale.


Kings County home builders have taken out permits for 259 new single-family homes so through Sept. 1. That compares to 199 permits for the same period last year, according to Construction Monitor. That is around a 30 percent increase year-over-year. Value of the single-family home permits are also up – to $59 million from $43 million. The value of all commercial projects in the county over the same period has also climbed in 2016. So far this year, commercial building projects are valued at $71 million compared to $22.6 million through the first 8 months of 2015. Home builders permit valuation ranked by top five are Lennar with 44 units, San Joaquin Valley Homes with 57 permits, Woodside Homes with 23, Blue Mountain Construction with 16 homes and Wathen Castanos with 25. Most of the new homes are being built in Hanford. John Lindt is an independent business reporter. He can be reached at

Fall Maintenance Tips From San Joaquin Valley Homes

Dry leaves in the raingutters
You’ll enjoy at least two maintenance advantages when you finally move into one of our San Joaquin Valley homes. First, our mild weather year-round means you don’t have to worry about dealing with the snow and frost that homeowners suffer in colder climes. Second, because your home is new, maintenance chores should take no time at all. But you don’t want to skip these tasks because they get you into the habit of doing them every year at this time. Regular maintenance is one of the keys to increasing the value of your house. Maintain your heating systems. Inspect your fireplaces and chimneys to make sure they’re free of creosote, which can ignite and start a fire. If you don’t know how to check out your chimney, have it inspected by a professional chimney sweep, who can also clean and perform any necessary maintenance. Keep the flue closed when not in use. Check your furnace filter and replace it, if needed. Be aware that these filters work in only one direction, so insert them properly so you don’t inhibit airflow.

Spelling Bees And Academic Decathlons In The San Joaquin Valley

Spelling bee words
Competition can be healthy for kids. It teaches them to set goals, learn skills to achieve what they want, solve problems, and keep trying until they succeed. It’s true in sports – and in academics. In Kings County, where many of our San Joaquin Valley homes are located, two of our favorite annual events are the Spelling Bee and the Academic Decathlon Spelling Bee While the popularity of texting shorthand may be endangering our collective ability to spell correctly, knowing how to spell is an important necessity for daily life. If your kids are in grades 1 to 8 and studying in public, private or home schools, they can participate in the Spelling Bee. A lot of work is needed to compete: contestants get only one chance to spell a word correctly, or they’re eliminated. (First graders do not get eliminated in the first round.)

What To Do With Mortgage Savings For SJV Homes

Field of flowers with two hands exchanging money (1)
With mortgage interest rates bottoming out, there was no place else for them to go but up. This may have prompted you lock in the rates even before you bought one of our SJV homes. However, defying all expectations, rates have continued to drop, prompted mostly by downward economic pressures, such as the exit of Great Britain from the European Union. This means you may actually be paying less for your home every month than you actually budgeted. So what do you do with the extra cash? The temptation is to take this extra money and simply spend it on more furniture, restaurant outings, or the latest toys. But opportunities for additional income are few and far between. So why not take these overages and apply them where they can make the biggest difference to your budget as in the following suggestions.

Mid-Year report On Homes For Sale In The Central Valley

A report recently released by Metrostudy on the state of the housing market in California Central Valley reveals good news. Building activity is at the highest level in eight years with annual home starts up 22 percent over the previous year and annual closings up 27 percent. • Merced County saw the highest gains in annual starts at 134 percent. • San Joaquin County is up 38 percent and Kings County is up 26 percent. • The lowest increases were in Tulare County at 17 percent and Kern County at 6 percent. Although the typical reaction for such high demand is to increase prices, many builders see their own offerings as reaching affordability limits and are thus reluctant to raise prices. The average base price for a new single-family detached home is only up 4 percent to $334,000. "San Joaquin Valley Homes Sells 500th Home, Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary"

San Joaquin Valley Homes (SJV Homes) celebrates its third anniversary in business this month, the busiest homebuilder in Tulare County is pleased to announce it has closed its 500th home. “At San Joaquin Valley Homes, we’re proud to be providing quality homes for local residents and work for local contractors,” said Joe Leal, co-founder of Visalia-based SJV Homes. “Selling our 500th home is an important milestone and a major achievement for a smaller local builder that competes against large national builders. We look forward to getting another 500 families into their new homes and closing our 1,000th home before the end of 2017.”

Backyard Features For San Joaquin Valley Homes

Pencil drawing of patio plans
Your new San Joaquin Valley home typically comes with a backyard that allows unlimited landscaping possibilities. So why do most homeowners stick with the standard grassy lawn with playground, or paved grill area as suggested by the model? The things you can do to the rear areas of your home are generally not restricted by local ordinances or neighborhood standards. Try out some of these unconventional options for adding pizzazz your backyard. Sculpture Garden This no-water and low maintenance option fills your backyard with a stone surface that has a neutral color, such as decomposed granite or pea gravel. You can then use the surface as a platform for one or two large sculptures or several smaller ones. If your taste and toward the more modern, try abstract forms in stainless steel or colored aluminum. If you prefer something more traditional, use realistic depictions of people or animals in bronze or ceramic. Add a touch of nature by framing the display area with an edging of low-growing foliage or by displaying container plants at each corner.

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