Published October 15, 2013
Volume 21, Number 10

Resources Abound for Tri-Valley Home Buyers, Renters   

With a sunny climate, beautiful homes, strong business community, and a variety of cultural amenities, Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley are attractive locations for potential residents, whether they are looking to rent or buy. Fortunately, even though establishing a new home can be a daunting task, there are a number of resources to call upon in your search.

Hacienda Homes
Between homes, townhomes, and apartments, about 1,500 different housing options exist within Hacienda itself, and there are more on the way. As part of a mixed-use, transit-oriented development close to BART, noted builder BRE Properties is constructing 251 apartments at 4410 Hacienda Drive and another 255 units at 4777 Hacienda Drive. A 168-unit complex, St. Anton Hacienda, is slated for 5729 W. Las Positas Boulevard, and The Residences at California Center, a sustainably designed apartment community consisting of 305 units paired with 7,500 square feet of retail, is scheduled for construction at Owens and Rosewood drives.

Among Hacienda’s existing housing, you will find four separate projects from Signature Properties, a firm headquartered in the park that also developed 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 W. Las Positas Boulevard 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.

The 540 units at Archstone Hacienda (5700 Owens Drive, (925) 398-7368, www.equityapartments.com) come equipped with a long list of features. Each apartment has luxury appointments including ceramic tile entries, high ceilings, built-in computer desks, air-conditioning, washer and dryer, and walk-in closets. 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 one-bedroom junior suites to two-bedroom townhouses, all providing the comfort and amenities of home. All units have washers and dryers and 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. Nestled in a park-like setting, the complex offers a pool, three spas, and a newly-renovated onsite fitness center. 

Home Buying Resources in Hacienda
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
  • Better Homes and Gardens (4733 Chabot Drive, Suite 100, (925) 463-9500, www.bhghome.com/pleasanton) consists of a group of real estate professionals who specialize in residential sales. Their experience allows them to quickly and accurately assess the true value of a property—a benefit to buyers and sellers. Access the company’s web site to search homes for sale, research schools and the local community, learn housing trends, sign up to receive Property Alerts, find an agent, and more.
  • 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. Services are available in both English and Korean.
  • Coldwell Banker (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 122, (925) 847-2200, www.californiamoves.com) combines talented sales associates with an exclusive marketing system to meet or exceed clients’ expectations. The company’s advertising and public relations campaigns are designed to create a strategic marketing plan for both buyers and sellers, providing an advantage over traditional techniques.
  • J. Rockcliff Realtors (5075 Hopyard Road, Suite 110, (925) 251-2500, www.rockcliff.com) specializes in buying and selling residential real estate from offices in Pleasanton, Danville, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek. The firm’s Relocation Department provides home buying or selling assistance on a global basis and, as members of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, handles many corporate relocation moves. J. Rockcliff Realtors enjoys the distinction of being included in “Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.”
  • Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty (5994 W. Las Positas Boulevard, Suite 101, (925) 397-4200, www.kwtrivalley.com) is part of the Keller Williams Realty Inc. network, the largest real estate franchisee company in North America with over 700 offices and 90,000 associates around the world. The company has made a significant investment in technology in recent years, resulting in both mobile apps for consumers and “eEdge,” a single platform which allows agents to create custom marketing and sales material, manage their listings and web site, and facilitate online completion of transactions with an online portal for clients. 
  • Legacy Real Estate (4637 Chabot Drive, Suite 115, (925) 621-1200, www.legacyrealestateassociates.com) has offices in Pleasanton, Fremont, Livermore, and San Jose to meet the needs of homebuyers and sellers. Founded in 1971 by Bill Aboumrad, the company is now headed by Bill Aboumrad, Jr., who is continuing his father’s traditions and ethics, including a creative approach to problem solving and a genuine desire to be kind and gracious. This philosophy allows Legacy Real Estate to leverage its experience and local market knowledge in residential real estate for a significant impact in the community.
  • Realty World – Acclaim (4695 Chabot Drive, Suite 200, (925) 558-2754, www.rwacclaim.com) is headed by broker/owner Michael Valentine, a bilingual (English and Korean) professional with expertise in conventional transactions as well as short sales and bank-owned properties. His office is part of the Realty World network which numbers over 200 offices and 1,000 agents in Northern California and Nevada.
  • 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 eight offices throughout the East Bay. The firm’s approach utilizes market knowledge to price homes correctly, negotiating for the best deal, and managing details like inspections, appraisals, and other details. Property searches are available worldwide as part of the RE/MAX network, which has operations in more than 85 countries.
  • Windermere Select Properties (4637 Chabot Drive, Suite 108, (925) 551-3040, pleasanton.withwre.com) 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 and 7,000 agents excel in doing whatever it takes in securing the perfect home for clients. In 2012, Windermere closed over 65,000 transactions for more than $20 billion in sales volume.
Title Insurance and Escrow Services Lending Companies 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 is a home buyer education center working regionally to promote affordable homeownership and rental opportunities in the Tri-Valley region. HUD approved, the organization operates as a non-profit collaboration involving the cities of Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, and Danville. The TVHOC offers a broad array of educational resources on topics that include budgeting, understanding credit, below market rate home ownership opportunities, foreclosure prevention, and more. One-on-one counseling is also offered to potential home buyers as well as to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. As of September, the TVHOC also began offering free services for mortgage applicants to the FHA’s “Back to Work” program, which allows people who have experienced a home foreclosure or short sale due to a significant loss of household income or unemployment to qualify for an FHA loan in an accelerated rate of time.  Potential first-time home buyers may also be interested in the TVHOC’s class, “Budgeting, Borrowing, Buying, and Beyond: Pre-Purchase Education,” which will be taught at Las Positas College on November 16. For more information, access tvhoc.org or call (925) 373-3130.

Beyond their contribution to the TVHOC, 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. Information on current opportunities for the purchase of below-market rate homes is available through the TVHOC or the City of Pleasanton Housing Division, (925) 931-5007.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program: Additional assistance is available through the 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 www.acgov.org/cda/hcd/mcc_program/.

Below-Market Rental (BMR) Housing Opportunities: Over 800 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, with additional units slated for the new units mentioned under Hacienda Homes above. Additional BMR units are located throughout the city. For details on the BMR program, go to www.cityofpleasantonca.gov/community/housing/below-market-rental.html. Contact the leasing managers directly for information.

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, up to $20,000, that is amortized over 20 years. Call the City of Pleasanton’s Housing Division at (925) 931-5007 or visit www.cityofpleasantonca.gov/community/housing for more information.

Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program: The nonprofit Abode Services manages this program, which provides temporary housing subsidies to participants of job training programs while they are in school. For more information, call the Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program at (925) 373-5313 or visit www.abodeservices.org/programs_tvhousingscholarship.html.

ECHO Housing, a Bay Area nonprofit agency, provides a Rental Assistance Program which can help with move-in costs or helps residents with delinquent rent due to a temporary financial setback. 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, including home rehabilitation loans and grants, exterior paint grants, and more, contact Scott Erickson at (925) 931-5007, email serickson@cityofpleasantonca.gov, or visit www.cityofpleasantonca.gov.

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