Hacienda's Real Estate Professionals, Combined with City Programs, Offer Great Housing Resources for Buyers, Renters

The Siena townhome development is one park housing option.

Pleasanton is a delightful town for families and, with its many wonderful amenities, growing each year. The city offers beautiful homes as well as excellent schools, a charming downtown and access to a wide variety of employment opportunities.

As the Tri-Valley grows as an employment center, many seek to make their residence here as well, simplifying their commute and adding flexibility to their schedules.

This month, Network will look at home resources. There are a number of Hacienda companies that provide real estate, title, escrow and mortgage services. The City of Pleasanton also has special programs for renters and first-time buyers.

Here's a look at the numerous housing options and choices that can help you and your family find a place in the Tri-Valley.

Home Buying

Hacienda has four well-known real estate brokers: Coldwell Banker, Prudential California Realty, Realty Experts, and The Real Estate SuperStore. All are experts on Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley.

Coldwell Banker (5980 Stoneridge Drive, 925/847-2200) offers services for buyers and sellers of residential property, area information, affiliated services with mortgage brokers and title companies, a complete national relocation department, an in-house lender for purchase or refinance, the Previews International Division for upper-end properties, and complete web site services. The company also offers concierge service that gives clients discounts and referrals to companies that provide moving, alarm systems, storage and more.

Prudential California Realty (5950 Stoneridge Drive, 925/734-5000) is a full-service firm that offers residential real estate sales, an in-house lending company, title insurance services, referrals to home warranty companies, and complete relocation services for clients nationwide. The company offers extensive Internet services for clients who prefer handling the buying or selling transaction with a real estate agent online. In addition, home buyers will soon be able to buy homeowner's insurance through their own Realtors, as part of Home Source, a new joint venture between Prudential California Realty and Tanner Companies, LLC that was featured in last month's Network.

Realty Experts' (4555 Hopyard Road, 925/730-2444) professionals can help with purchasing or selling residential property, building lots and land. They also provide relocation assistance, property management, and real estate loans. As a member of RELO, agents can assist anywhere in the United States, Canada, or internationally. Other services include selling the client's current home, and in a new city, helping the client find a new home, assisting with a cost-of-living analysis, state-to-state van discounts, mortgage assistance and temporary rental arrangements.

The Real Estate Superstore (4811 Hopyard Road, 925/734-8888) has relocation services available nationwide for buyers and sellers. At their spacious showroom, buyers and sellers can talk with agents and gather information about area homes. In addition, the SuperStore has a unique display of photos of virtually all homes currently on the market in the area along with floor plans. They have maps and aerial photographs as well as local school, demographic, and community information. An on-site mortgage company, Home Mortgage SuperStore, and full title and escrow services through Old Republic Title Company are available.

Hacienda is also home to many companies providing title insurance and escrow services: American Title (4807 Hopyard, Suite H-1, 925/416-5966); Chicago Title Company of Alameda County (4637 Chabot Drive, Suite 105, 925/416-9111); Fidelity National Title (4825 Hopyard Road, Suite F-12, 925/225-0887), New Century (4780 Chabot Drive, 925/224-8800); North American Title Company (4255 Hopyard Road, Suite 1, 925/399-3000 and 5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 116, 925/847-9570); Orange Coast Title (5960 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 204, 925/460-3959); and Placer Title Company (4811 Hopyard Road, Suite 5, 925/227-9730).

When it's time to secure that all-important home loan, Hacienda lending companies can provide a variety of packages for home-buyer's needs. In the park are Brookfield Mortgage (5960 Inglewood Drive, Suite 250, 925/463-2600); First Fidelity Funding (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 101, 925/251-1800); First Horizon Wholesale (4473 Willow Road, Suite 102, 925/463-6300); The Home Loan Group (5950 Stoneridge Drive, 927/734-5201); Home Mortgage Superstore (4811 Hopyard Road, 888/411-0700); Home Trust Mortgage Corporation (4637 Chabot Drive, Suite 106, 925/847-8800); Jacinto Mortgage Group (5674 Stoneridge Drive, 925/227-8889); Mortgage Professionals (5980 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 107, 925/227-8510); Stanford Silverado Mortgage (5674 Stoneridge Drive, 925/737-1060); and Vintage Mortgage Group (5976 West Las Positas Boulevard, Suite 110, 925/227-8900).

Live in Hacienda

Hacienda Realtors and brokers handle the sales of beautiful homes and condominiums in four Hacienda developments that are close to shopping, schools, workplaces and transportation services. The projects were all developed by Signature Properties, a firm headquartered in the park which also built Pleasanton's noted Ruby Hills community.

Signature's first project in the park was Verona, a 140-unit complex of two to four bedroom townhomes located at the corner of West Las Positas and Stoneridge Drive. Three additional home developments include two to five bedroom homes along with two-to-four bedroom town homes. They are Siena, single-family homes located at the corner of Hacienda Drive and Gibraltar Drive North; and Avila and Valencia, single-family homes located at the corner of Hacienda Drive and Gibraltar Drive North.

Each Signature development has a recreation area featuring a pool and cabana as well as access to a linear park with basketball courts and tot lots.

Hacienda Rental Housing

For those seeking a nearby rental, Hacienda also offers nearly 900 apartment units.

The 540 units of Archstone Hacienda (5700 Owens Drive, 925/398-7368) offer the latest features. Each apartment has luxury appointments, including ceramic tile entries, faux granite kitchen countertops, a GE Hotpoint appliance package, washer and dryer, walk-in closets, and built-in computer niches. A fitness center, two pools, and two spas are also among the apartments' amenities. The complex consists of one, two, and three bedroom units ranging in size from 795 to 1,313 square feet.

Springhouse Apartments (354 units, 5500 Springhouse Drive, 925/847-9438) features junior one bedroom and one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as one- and two-bedroom townhouses. Each unit has a washer and dryer and individually controlled central heating and air conditioning. Many of the apartments and all of the townhouses have fireplaces. Sizes range from 570 to 990 square feet for the apartments and 750 to 1015 square feet for the town-houses. Other amenities include an exercise room, a sauna, three spas, a swimming pool, and clubhouse for resident use.

Help for Buyers

There are several resources available for first-time buyers as well as other qualifying buyers, sponsored both by governmental and non-profit agencies. They include:

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.

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 two percentage points.

MCC recipients may take 20 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 (HC) office in cooperation with the City of Pleasanton. Interested applicants can contact the HCD office at (510) 670-5246.

Community Assisted Shared Appreciation (CASA) loan program - The Community Assisted Shared Appreciation (CASA) loan program, designed by Northbay Ecumenical Housing, places a priority on providing home ownership opportunities for families currently working or living in Pleasanton. The program provides a way for the homeowner to share the future appreciation of the property with the City and the participating bank.

CASA offers second mortgage loans up to $30,000 to assist buyers in bridging the gap between a minimum down payment and the maximum amount of the primary mortgage the buyer can afford. These special loans are made available with funds provided by the City through its housing fund, and by Tracy Federal Bank. The program is targeted at families earning no more than $65,700 for a household of four people.

Tracy Federal Bank takes phone inquiries, provides program information and begins the loan application process. For information contact the bank directly at (800) 948-7229.

CaHLIF Home Loan Program - The California Housing Loan Insurance Fund (CaHLIF) program provides 97 percent financing with a three percent down payment to eligible buyers. The program, a collaboration by the City of Pleasanton, the California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) and participating local lenders, provides an opportunity for home ownership to those that might otherwise be forced to continue to rent due to lack of funds for a down payment or past credit problems.

There is an income-level qualification based on household size. CaHLIF is primarily for families living or working in Pleasanton. Participating lenders are Norwest Mortgage, North American Mortgage Company, Countrywide Mortgage, and GMAC Mortgage Corporation. For information call Norwest Mortgage, (925) 416-5600; or North American Mortgage Company, (800) 696-3317.

Lease-Purchase Program - This program allows buyers to build equity while paying rent. The City has introduced a lease-purchase program through the East Bay Delta Housing Finance Agency. Buyers will lease their home for a three-year period during which they will gradually pay the down payment and closing costs. The lease will convert to a mortgage with 27 years left at the end of the lease period. No cash down payment is required and the closing costs are limited to one percent of the purchase price. The expanded income-to-debt ratios allow buyers to pay up to 45 percent of income for housing and debt. See information at www.eastbaydeltahousing.com .

Below-Market Rental (BMR) Housing Opportunities - Approximately 750 below-market rental apartment units have been built under Pleasanton's Growth Management Program since the mid-1980s. BMR units are available to qualifying renters in Hacienda at the Archstone complex as well as at Springhouse Apartments. Additional BMR units are throughout the city. Contact the leasing managers directly for information.

Other Housing Programs, Info

Tri-Valley Housing Scholarship Program - Allied Housing, 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 City of Pleasanton at the number below for details.

Housing Counseling and Fair Housing Programs - The City of Pleasanton contracts with ECHO Housing to provide Pleasanton residents with housing counseling, fair housing programs, tenant/landlord counseling, home equity conversion, and more. Call (925) 449-7340.

City of Pleasanton Housing Department - For complete housing information about any City of Pleasanton or related programs, call Scott Erickson, housing specialist, at (925) 931-5007, or visit www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us .

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