Published October 20, 2009
Volume 17, Number 10

Housing Resources Help Buyers and Renters Find a Place to Call Home         

Along with other communities in the Tri-Valley, Pleasanton enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the best places to live in the Bay Area, offering the full gamut of sought-after attributes, from schools and quality of life to infrastructure and location. While finding a new home or apartment can be challenging, a multitude of resources are available to turn that quest into a productive experience.

Hacienda Living
Hacienda realtors and brokers handle the sales of beautiful homes and townhomes in four Hacienda developments that are close to shopping, schools, employers, and transportation. Signature Properties, a park-headquartered firm, developed all the for-sale Hacienda housing projects as well as Pleasanton’s noted 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 development 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) 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 designed to serve the homebuyer. Whether you are looking for a broker to help find the ideal home or an institution to assist with the purchase and financing, these Hacienda businesses can assist.

Real Estate Firms
  • Avante Real Estate (5994 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 205, 866/925-2683, www.avanterealestate.com) offers services for buyers and sellers of residential real estate, with extensive knowledge of the East Bay real estate market.
  • Coldwell Banker (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 122, 925/847-2200, www.cbnorcal.com) offers services for buyers and sellers of residential property, including area information, mortgage and title services, property management, national and international relocation, the Previews International division for upper-end properties, home protection warranty service, and complete web site services. 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. Rockcliff Gateway is a premier online service that distributes the newest property listings and updates of all new market activity through email.
  • Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty (5994 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 101, 925/397-4200, www.pleasanton.yourkwoffice.com) is part of the Keller Williams Realty Inc. network, which has grown to encompass more than 600 offices across the U.S. and Canada since its founding in 1983. In 2006 the parent company was recognized as the fourth-largest U.S. residential real estate firm in North America. Bank of America is the in-house lender in the Hacienda office.
  • New Star Realty and Investment (5980 Stoneridge Dr., Suite 106, 925/416 4989)  www.newstarrealty.com) is one of 50 branches of the largest Korean-American owned real estate company in the U.S. Its bilingual consultants serve an international clientele.
  • Prudential California Realty (5960 Stoneridge Drive, 925/734-5000, www.prurealty.com/PleasantonStoneridge) is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. The Pleasanton office, comprised of knowledgeable real estate professionals well versed in the local market, specializes in the representation of home buyers and sellers in the East Bay and Tri-Valley. Use the web site to search homes for sale and open house listings, research schools and the local community, receive Property Alerts, and find an agent. Experienced loan officers with The Home Loan Group provide assistance throughout the lending process.
Title Insurance and Escrow Services Lending Companies
  • 1st United Services Credit Union (5901 Gibraltar Drive, 925/598-4800, www.1stuscu.org)
  • Cherry Creek Mortgage Company (4301 Hacienda Drive, Suite 120, 800/325-2062, cherrycreekloans.com)
  • Ellie Mae (4155 Hopyard Road, Suite 200, 925/227-7000, www.elliemae.com)
  • Freedom Mortgage (5674 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 208, 925/316-6360)
  • 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)
  • MetLife Home Loan (4473 Willow Road, Suite 102, 925/463-6300, www.metlifehomeloans.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, 925/460-2400, www.uboc.com)
  • United Mutual Financial and Real Estate Services (4309 Hacienda Drive, Suite 110, 925/924-0600) 
  • Vintage Mortgage Group (5976 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 110, 925/227-8900, vintagemortgagegroup.com)
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (5075 Hopyard Road, Suite 200, 925/251-4302, wellsfargo.com/mortgage)
Home Builders Help for Buyers, Renters
Prospective home owners and renters will be glad to hear that there is plenty of help 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 Fall 2009 class schedule includes a Foreclosure Prevention Workshop on October 15th, at the TVHOC office, 20-A South L Street, Livermore; a Financial Fitness Class on October 21, at the Pleasanton Senior Center; and a home-study Homebuyer Class, date and times to be arranged with a TVHOC counselor. A Mini Homebuyer Fair is on tap for Saturday afternoon, November 14, at the Dublin Civic Center sponsored by Wells Fargo. For more information, call (925) 373-3930 or visit www.tvhoc.org.

Alliance for Home Ownership: Home-buying in the Tri-Valley can be intimidating to people wanting to live and work in the area, a fact that creates a challenge for local employers seeking to attract and retain qualified job candidates. To help employers, the Alliance for Home Ownership, working in partnership with Pleasanton’s Chamber of Commerce, offers Chamber members access to home-buying resources and educational programs for employees. Employers interested in taking advantage of the Chamber’s program can contact Dawn Wilson at the Pleasanton Chamber office at (925) 846-5858, ext. 203 or email dawn@pleasanton.org. For information about the Alliance for Home Ownership program, visit its website at www.allianceforhomeownership.com.

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 new Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center (925-373-3930; 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, eligible home buyers increase their ability to qualify for a mortgage loan and reduce their effective mortgage interest rate by approximately 1.5 percentage points. MCC recipients may take 15 percent of their annual mortgage interest payments as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against their federal income taxes. The home buyer adjusts federal income tax withholdings, increasing the income available to pay the mortgage. 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/mcc_program.

Down Payment Assistance Program: A new down payment assistance loan program was recently introduced for low- and moderate-income homebuyers in Pleasanton. The program provides up to $60,000 in down payment assistance for low- and moderate-income buyers. (Due to the unavailability of matching funds from the State, the maximum loan amount has been temporarily reduced to $20,000.)  Assistance is in the form of a low-interest (3.5%) loan that is partially deferred. Additional information on this program is available through the City of Pleasanton’s Housing Division (925/931-5007) and on the city’s web site at www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/community/housing.

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. Find more information on the BMR program at http://www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/community/housing/below-market-rental.html. Contact the leasing managers directly for information.

Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program: Abode Services, a nonprofit agency, coordinates this program in Livermore and Pleasanton. The program 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. Contact the Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program at (925) 373-5313 or visit http://www.abodeservices.org/programs_tvhousingscholarship.html for details.

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.

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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