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Aug 27

Four Ways Homebuyers Can Protect Their Credit

It doesn’t take much.

A few late payments to the mortgage company. A forgotten gas card bill and, suddenly, your once stellar credit rating is wallowing in the mud.

In today’s faltering economy, where jobless claims are up and home values are down, such scenarios are all too common as a growing number of consumers fall behind on their debt obligations.

Indeed, the number of personal bankruptcy filings hit 822,590 in 2007, up 38 percent over the 598,000 filed in 2006, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Dana Dratch of Fox Business News shares four tips on how to improve your credit score.

Aug 23

Little House in the Valley

The Registry

Aug 20

Meet the Trumark Team!

Arden Hearing is our Senior Vice President of Land Acquisition based out of our Northern California office in Danville. Here he is at Squaw Valley in Tahoe with his five-year-old daughter Sienna on her first blue run!

We asked Arden a few off-beat questions, hoping to find out something about him that we didn’t already know… and he didn’t disappoint!

For example, did you know that he really wants to be a rock-star architect? That he keeps a parenting book right next to “Skin in the Game” on his nightstand? And that his favorite guilty pleasure is bottomless taqueria chips?

To find out more, read on…

Fantasy career: “Starchitect” (i.e. rock-star architect that flies around visiting sites and sketching amazing buildings whilst others work on CAD all day.)

Favorite ethnic cuisine: Mexican & Thai

Most exotic travel experience: I once spent 6 months or so cruising around S. America and SE Asia. Many portions of my trip come to mind, but one stands out when I was the “furthest away”. At one point, I made some local friends in Bolivia and was invited to a rodeo/fiesta in the middle of the Amazon Basin. We were already hundreds of miles from any major airport etc, but for a dirt landing strip. Without any real planning we took off through the jungle in an old truck. I will always remember the moment when we passed an anaconda in the (dirt) road…just another day in Bolivia. I had to be the only English-speaking guy for hundreds of miles. It was a long night; which included celebratory gunshots and sleeping on the floor of a barn. In many of my travels, even those that took me off the beaten path, real authenticity always proved illusive. On that particular side-trip, I felt privileged to be experiencing authentic local culture.

Starbucks/Coffee order: “Small” iced double espresso w/ Soy (I refuse to use the trademarked sizing scheme of “tall” etc.)

A perfect day in would be: A day at the beach in Tahoe

What you like most about your work: Two main things come to mind
Every day is different in RE Development. We get to become acquainted with fields far and wide. It’s like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood out there. Some days you have to be well versed in riparian habitat…or propane tank blast zones…or the physics of wind…or the impact of current monetary policy on rental housing.
Most importantly, as property developers we are uniquely privileged to make a lasting impact on our world through our daily efforts to shape the built environment. We create places where people, our children, live, learn, work and play. It is an honor and a huge responsibility to be a steward of the property we transition to higher and better uses.

Favorite weekend activity: Going to brunch with my two daughters (ages 5 & 2); followed by a walk to the park.

What inspires you? Spending time in New York…and travel in general.

Most productive time of day: Early morning

Your first job: Lifeguard

A business tool you can’t live without: Google Earth

Next travel destination: Kauai, Hawaii

What’s next for you: More deals

A bad habit: Multi-tasking

What book is on your nightstand now? I try to keep a balance, and always have a few open. Right now it’s; 1) Skin in the Game (RE/Finance) 2) Search Inside Yourself (Business/Life Balance), 3) Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child (Parenting).

First thing you do when you get to the office: Read (i.e. skim) the papers: WSJ + NY Times + SF Chronicle.

Last thing you do before you leave your office: Dial the number of my strategically scheduled phone meeting for the drive home.

Your favorite guilty pleasure: Bottomless taqueria chips

Aug 10

Sales Brisk at New Silicon Valley Townhome Development

More than 65 percent sold at Capitol Station Community; Only 11 Homes Remaining

Capitol Station park rendering

SAN JOSE, Calif– August 10, 2012 – Capital Station, LLC has sold 23 of 34 townhomes at its recently opened Capitol Station development thanks to high demand, attractive pricing, convenient location and a good partnership with area real estate brokers.

“We’ve had overwhelming interest because of the obvious shortage of new housing in the Silicon Valley area,” said Mark Higgins, vice president of sales and marketing for Capital Station, LLC. “Buyers are looking for homes that are available immediately and the Capitol Station community fills that need.”

Capital StationThe Mediterranean-style townhomes, located in the City of San Jose at the northeast corner of North Capitol Avenue and Grandview Drive, offer a variety of floor plans and range in size from 1,316 square feet (2 bedrooms/2.5 baths) to 1,809 square feet (3 bedrooms plus bonus room/3 baths).   All units are covered by a home warranty, which includes major systems (electric, plumbing and heating/cooling) and the home’s structure.

Higgins has relied on Capitol Station’s sales representative, Teri Leffel, to spread the word to the local broker community about Capitol Station and has kept advertising to a minimum.
“Our homes are unique in that they’re nearly ready to occupy, come with a full warranty and are an excellent value and easy to show and sell,” he said. “In the end, we felt confident there was enough demand to share with other builders in the Berryessa and North Capitol area.”

Priced from $405,990 to $529,990, the townhomes are a great housing opportunity for young executives and couples.  Higgins expects Capitol Station to be sold and closed out by September/October of this year.

Aug 06

Leadership Technique #2: Life in a Cubicle

Michael Maples, Principal & CEO of Trumark Homes, shares some of his favorite leadership techniques.

We started the homebuilding company in the offices of our land company, thus all the homebuilding executives had to work in cubicles until the first deal was funded. Having one of the owners (and we own several office buildings) work out of a cubicle while we subleased out the window offices sent a strong message to the staff that this was a start-up company in a difficult time and we were in this together as a team.

Our first project was Wyeth Cove, a partially complete community of 39 homes in Upland, Calif. We broke ground in September 2009 and by February 2010 we held the grand opening of our first new home community.

You can take a look at how it turned out by clicking here.