Published October 18, 2011
Volume 19, Number 10

Housing Resources to Help Find Your Home Sweet Home  

Recognition of Pleasanton’s high quality of life went national when the city made it to Money Magazine’s 2010 list of “100 Best Places to Live” in the United States, weighing in at number 63. More recently, Pleasanton ranked number 18 out of the Top 100 California Cities in a list on the AreaVibes website, which evaluates cities across a wide variety of metrics, from cost of living and crime rates to education, employment, and housing.

Those looking for a new home in this desirable city will find a multitude of resources to help.

Hacienda Living
Hacienda boasts four attractive, contemporary residential developments, all close to shopping, schools, employment, and transportation. Signature Homes, a park-headquartered firm, developed all the for-sale Hacienda housing projects as well as Pleasanton’s acclaimed Ruby Hill community.

Signature’s first project in the park was Verona, a 140-unit complex of two- to four-bedroom townhomes at the corner of West Las Positas Blvd. and Stoneridge Drive. The other three developments--Siena, Avila, and Valencia—offer a range of two- to five-bedroom homes and two- to four-bedroom townhomes. All are located at the intersection of Hacienda Drive and Gibraltar Drive (north). Each Signature complex has a recreation area featuring a pool and cabana as well as access to Hacienda’s linear park with basketball courts and tot lots.

For those seeking a nearby rental, Hacienda also offers nearly 900 apartment units of varying sizes, with numerous amenities throughout the projects.

The 540 units at Archstone Hacienda (5700 Owens Drive, 925/398-7368, www.archstonecommunities.com) come equipped with the latest features. Each apartment has luxury appointments, including ceramic tile entries, faux granite kitchen countertops, air-conditioning, washer and dryer, walk-in closets, and built-in computer niches. Some units have a fireplace, patio, or balcony. All are just five minutes to BART. A fitness center, two pools, and two spas are among the amenities. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom units range in size from approximately 800 to 1,300 square feet.

Springhouse Apartments (5500 Springhouse Drive, 925/847-9438, www.springhousepleasanton.com) is a complex of 354 units, ranging from junior one-bedroom, one-, and two-bedroom apartments to one- and two-bedroom townhouses. All units have washers and dryers and individually controlled air-conditioning. Many of the apartments, and all of the townhouses, have fireplaces. Apartments range from 570 to 990 square feet; townhouses, from 750 to 1,015 square feet. The community includes an exercise room, a sauna, three spas, a swimming pool, and a clubhouse for residents. 

Home Buying Resources in Hacienda
Hacienda has a wealth of companies devoted to home-buying. Whether you are looking for a real estate professional to help find the ideal home or an institution to assist with the purchase and financing, these Hacienda businesses can assist.

Real Estate Firms
  • Century 21 Tower Realty (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 106, 925/416-4989, www.century21.com) offers buyers and sellers exclusive real estate brokerage services through a strong social media, online, and print media presence. Century 21 has earned the rank as the largest and most recognized brand name real estate franchise in the world.
  • Coldwell Banker (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 122, 925/847-2200, www.californiamoves.com), now in its second century, offers services for buyers and sellers of residential property, including area information, mortgage and title services, national and international relocation, the Previews International division for upper-end properties, home protection warranty service, and complete web site services, including real-time access to open home listings. A concierge service gives clients discounts and referrals to companies that provide moving, alarm systems, storage, and more.
  • J. Rockcliff Realtors (5075 Hopyard Road, Suite 110, 925/251-2500, www.rockcliff.com), specializes in buying and selling residential real estate from five offices throughout the East Bay. Its relocation department helps clients with their housing search nationwide. Rockcliff Gateway is a premier online service that distributes the newest property listings and updates of all new market activity through email. The firm recently launched a Homes For Sale mobile application for cell phones.
  • Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty (5994 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 101, 925/397-4200, www.kwtrivalley.com) is part of the Keller Williams Realty Inc. network, which encompasses over 700 offices and almost 80,000 agents across the U.S. and Canada. In March 2011 the parent company was recognized as the second-largest real estate franchise operation in the nation. Along with providing specialized residential real estate agents and commercial real estate properties, Keller Williams Tri-Valley continues to be the number one real estate office in the Tri-Valley area in volume and units sold.
  • RE/MAX Accord (5950 Stoneridge Drive, 925/847-8900, www.remaxaccord.com) assists buyers and sellers in all residential transactions, including traditional, distressed, and foreclosure properties, from nine offices throughout the East Bay. Other services include property management, commercial transactions, and mortgage origination, with the RE/MAX Collection devoted to upper end properties.  Property searches are available worldwide as part of the RE/MAX network, which has operations in 70 countries.
  • United Pacific Realty (4695 Chabot Drive, Suite 112, 925/202-2806, www.unitedpacificloans.com)
  • Windermere Real Estate (4637 Chabot Dr., Suite 108, 925/551-3040, http://pleasantonrealestate.org) offers full service real estate brokerage, specializing in serving the needs of buyers and sellers of residential property in the San Francisco Bay area. The firm’s dedicated people, technology, and network of over 300 offices excel in doing whatever it takes in securing the perfect home for clients.
Title Insurance and Escrow Services Lending Companies
  • 1st United Services Credit Union (5901 Gibraltar Drive, 925/598-4800, www.1stuscu.org)
  • Bay Equity, LLC, (4305 Hacienda Drive, Suite 500, 925/474-8388, www.bayeq.com)
  • Chase (4747 Hopyard Road, Suite 01, 925/460-9251, www.chase.com)
  • Cherry Creek Mortgage Company (4301 Hacienda Drive, Suite 120, 800/325-2062, www.cherrycreekloans.com)
  • Home Trust Mortgage Corporation (4637 Chabot Drive, Suite 106, 925/847-8800)
  • Jacinto Mortgage Group (5674 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 210, 925/227-8889, www.jacintomortgage.com)
  • Landmark Mortgage (5075 Hopyard Road, Suite 130, 925/600-2000, www.lmglending.com)
  • Mason-McDuffie Mortgage (4301 Hacienda Drive, Suite 100, 925/701-3182, www.masonmcduffiemortgage.com)
  • Patelco Credit Union (4515 Rosewood Drive, Suite 800, 800/358-8228, www.patelco.org)
  • Premier Mortgage Planning (3825 Hopyard Road, Suite 145, 925/227-0300, www.premiermtgplan.com)
  • Provident Bank Mortgage (5934 Gibraltar Drive, Suite 102, 925/621-2640, www.myprovident.com
  • SafeAmerica Credit Union (6001 Gibraltar Drive, 925/734-4111, www.safeamerica.com)
  • Union Bank of California (4747 Hopyard Road, Suite 02, 925/460-2741, www.unionbank.com)
  • United Mutual Financial and Real Estate Services (4309 Hacienda Drive, Suite 110, 925/924-0600)  
  • United Pacific Home Loans (4695 Chabot Drive, Suite 112, 925/202-2806, www.unitedpacificloans.com)
  • Vintage Mortgage Group (5976 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 110, 925/227-8900, www.vintagemortgagegroup.com)
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (5075 Hopyard Road, Suite 200, 925/251-4302, wellsfargo.com/mortgage)
Home Builders Help for Buyers, Renters
There are multiple resources for prospective home owners and renters when it comes to finding a place to live. Whether the need is informational or financial, these special assistance programs can be a critical aid.

Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center (TVHOC): The TVHOC, a non-profit collaboration involving the cities of Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, and Danville, originated in 1992 as a committee to expand regional affordable housing opportunities. Since then it has become an important regional resource whose many services include affordable rental information, down payment assistance, fair housing information/referrals, and first-time homebuyer education, as well as timely sessions on preventing mortgage delinquency, loan modification, and money and credit management education. The next seminar is a Foreclosure Recovery Workshop on November 5 at the Dublin Library from 9 a.m. to noon. A Homebuyer Pre-Purchase Education Workshop, which is an 8-Hour Certificate Course, will be offered November 19 at a location to be announced. Registration information for both workshops is available on the tvhoc.org website, or by calling 925/373-3130.

The City of Pleasanton is also involved with programs for both buyers and renters.

Pleasanton Home Ownership Assistance Program (PHAP): Since 1992, the City of Pleasanton has had a first-time buyer assistance program for affordable homes in new subdivisions, with a variety of housing types. Competition for the homes through a lottery system has generally given priority to Pleasanton residents and employees. In some cases, second mortgages have been offered by the City or through other sources to bridge the gap between a minimum down payment and the amount of the primary loan so that buyers can qualify to purchase homes. The City works closely with the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center (925/373-3130; www.tvhoc.org) to coordinate home ownership opportunities through new housing and resales.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program: Additional assistance is available through the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program. Using an MCC, income-eligible first-time home buyers have the opportunity to reduce the amount of federal income tax they owe each year they own and live in their home. The MCC assists a family in qualifying for a higher first mortgage, with no effect on monthly expenses. The MCC program is coordinated in Pleasanton by the Alameda County Housing and Community Development (HCD) office in cooperation with the City of Pleasanton. Interested applicants can contact the HCD office at 510/670-5799 or via the website at http://www.acgov.org/cda/hcd/mcc_program/.

Down Payment Assistance Program: Pleasanton has a down payment assistance loan program for low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Assistance is in the form of a low-interest (3.5%) loan, normally up to $60,000, that is amortized over 20 years; however, due to the unavailability of matching funds from the State, the maximum loan amount has been temporarily reduced to $20,000. Call the City of Pleasanton’s Housing Division (925/931-5007) or visit www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/community/housing for more information.

Below-Market Rental (BMR) Housing Opportunities: Nearly 1,000 below-market rental apartment units have been built since the mid-1980s. BMR units are available to qualifying renters in Hacienda at the Archstone complex. Additional BMR units are located throughout the city, and a new 350-unit complex was approved in 2008. For details on the BMR program, go to www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/community/housing/below-market-rental.html. Contact the leasing managers directly for information.

Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program: The nonprofit Abode Services manages this program in Livermore and Pleasanton, which provides temporary housing subsidies to participants of job training programs while they are in school. The subsidies are gradually reduced as the clients transition to full-time employment. For more information, call the Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program at 925/373-5313 or visit www.abodeservices.org/programs_tvhousingscholarship.html.

Housing Counseling and Fair Housing Programs: The City of Pleasanton contracts with ECHO Housing to provide Pleasanton residents with rental assistance programs, housing counseling, fair housing programs, tenant/landlord counseling, home equity conversion, limited rental assistance, and more. Call 925/449-7340 or visit www.echofairhousing.org for details.

City of Pleasanton Housing Division: For information on housing programs offered by the City of Pleasanton or related programs, contact Scott Erickson, Housing Specialist, at 925/931-5007, email serickson@ci.pleasanton.ca.us, or visit www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us.


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