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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Sierra2thesea@gmail.com
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.
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
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.)
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.
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 (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.”
Jose Sanchez and Claudia Ochoa, with their sons Rafael and Jacob, have moved into San Joaquin Valley Homes 500th home.
Visalia-based San Joaquin Valley Homes is celebrating two milestones this month — three years in business and 500 homes sold.
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.
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.
VISALIA, Calif. – As 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 sold 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 for 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 our homes in the next few years.”
Jose Sanchez is the new owner of the 500th home sold by SJV Homes. His contract closed this week on a 1,574 sq. ft., four-bedroom home in Savannah in Tulare. To recognize this special moment in the company’s history, SJV Homes presented Sanchez with a check for $500 and a $500 gift card to Lowes to buy those extra things families need when they move into their new home. Lowes also donated a barbeque grill.
As it does every four years, the summer Olympics return in August to celebrate sporting achievement from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Even if you don’t fly to South America, you can enjoy all the pageantry from the comfort of your own home. If all this excellence inspires you or your family members to participate in athletic competition, the Central Valley has plenty of options to offer. Joining a sports club may not only fuel the competitive dreams but enhances your Olympic viewing since you’ll be watching events with a trained eye.
Track and Field
With minimal equipment requirements, distance efforts ranging from sprints to marathons, and activities that include running, jumping and throwing, track and field yields the largest number of competitors at the Olympics. USA Track and Field lists over two dozen member and non-member track clubs in the Central Valley. The Kings River Track Club in Reedley is typical. The membership fee includes uniforms although separate entry fees are charged for meets. Both group and personal training are available.
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that millennials are not interested in home ownership. Eschewing the materialistic culture of the previous generation, they would rather rent apartments so that they can focus on experiences rather than add possessions.
Laying those claims to rest is the recently released “How America Views Homeownership” survey by Ipsos Public Affairs. It shows that millennials have a greater desire to own a home than other age groups. About 40 percent of those 18 to 34 definitely will or probably will buy a home in the next two years compared to 19 percent for those 35 to 54 and nine percent for those 55 and over.
The desire to own property is also stronger among Latinos at 33 percent and African-Americans at 30 percent compared to 22 percent for the general population.
The entire point about buying one of our new homes in Visalia, CA, is to foster family togetherness. You look forward to enjoying the spacious rooms and well thought out floor plan with your spouse and kids. Yet, they spend most of their time away from your residence wandering around the city with their cell phones aimed at strange properties.
Your loved ones have just been enticed by Pokémon GO, the latest in online amusements.
What is it?
Pokémon, which is short for pocket monsters, started about 20 years ago as a game on the Nintendo Game Boy system. It then evolved into a franchise that included a trading card game, TV series, comic books, movies, and merchandise. Players collect cartoon-like monsters that could become more powerful by doing battle with each other.
Construction permits for the county’s three largest agencies are on the upswing over the last six months.
Visalia and Tulare County are also reporting the best fiscal year figures in years. In Tulare, single-family home permits this year are ahead of last year, while 2016 commercial activity has already eclipsed 2015 totals and is the highest total over the last five years.
“It’s a successful period and we are moving along,” said Jeff Killion, Tulare Planning Commission chairman.
A big reason that you sprang for that extra bedroom in one of our San Joaquin Valley homes might be so that you could set up a home office. This space can be used to work on household accounts, telecommute to your employer, or run a small business. To get the best out of your new working space, follow these tips.
Get It Built for Work
If you already know what bedroom on the floor plan you want to use as a home office, we can help you maximize your workspace. Have us install low-maintenance flooring, such as wood or tile, and use easier-to-clean satin or semi-gloss paint on the walls. Eliminate fancy details and moldings in favor of something simple. When you’re in the room, you want to spend most of your time tending to business rather than cleaning.