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Oct 27

Financing Your First Home: Why You Should Get Preapproval!


When financing your first home, it can be challenging to figure out how much you can afford. You should always decide what you can spend before you start looking for homes. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect home, only to find out that you can’t afford it. For this reason, you should get pre-approved for a loan before you even look at a single house.

There are other reasons that it is smart to a have a pre-approval.

  • Having a pre-approval shows people that you are serious and want to find a home!
  • When you do find a home, you have already started the paperwork toward getting a loan.
  • If several contracts come in, sellers will go with people who are pre-approved because it is more likely that they will not have any trouble getting a loan.
  • Sometimes, you will learn things about yourself and your spending when you are trying to get pre-approved. You might realize that you need to get more money saved up or you might realize that you want a better house and are willing to spend a little more money than you originally thought.
  • There are some situations where it takes longer to get a loan together. You would know this before you look at homes.
  • If you are pre-approved, you will not have to stress out about the loan as much. Instead, you know that you are on your way to finding and buying your own home.

Especially as a first time homebuyer, you should get pre-approval before looking at homes. You will tell everyone that you are serious about buying a home. Sellers will pick your contract over others. You may also find out that you need to make a few changes before buying a home. You might be able to afford more or less than you thought. Maybe your spending is too out of control.

Contact us when you are ready to find the perfect home for you!

Oct 20

Five Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Television house hunting programs are entertaining, but they really don’t contain enough tips for first time home buyers . When you’ve saved up enough money for a down payment, zeroed in on a location, and decided on your housing needs, here are some things you really need to know.

  1. First timers ought to have been advised to get pre-approved, and not just pre-qualified. Pre-approval means a lender has collected an application fee from you and reviewed your financial situation and documents. But here’s the tip you need to know:Once you’re pre-approved, don’t buy anything on credit–no new car, no new furniture, no anything until your sale is closed. Doing so jeopardizes your loan package, which could delay closing or even terminate the loan offer altogether.
  2. Don’t fall into the trap of equating the monthly mortgage payment with a rent payment when you do your calculations. Home ownership involves much more–taxes and insurance, homeowners’ association dues, and the like.
  3. Don’t use all your available cash for the down payment. Depending on whether you’ve chosen a new or existing home, you will probably face costs that may be surprising. These include such items as window coverings, landscaping, appliance replacement (in used homes), or repairs and re-decoration.
  4. You might like the home, but check out the neighborhood. Everything may look just fine, but no one knows the scoop better than the people who live there. Talk to some of the neighbors. People tend to be proud of their neighborhoods and are happy to talk with potential new neighbors. Ask them what they like most and what they like least.
  5. If you’re buying an existing home instead of a new one, be sure to hire a qualified home inspector. The cost of an inspection will vary by the home size, room count, style, and other factors. But knowing about plumbing leaks, sub-standard wiring, furnace condition, pests, radon, and a host of other issues could reveal thousands of repair dollars you didn’t plan on.

We’ve worked hard to build and maintain a reputation for quality, sustainability, and community, and we’re used to helping first-time buyers in making their home choices. Please contact us if we can help with yours, and see our popular neighborhoods at Trumark Homes.

Oct 13

New Homes in Silver Lake, California : Modern, Eclectic Living In Los Angeles

Silver Lake is an eclectic enclave of Los Angeles recognized as a top area to live, work and play.  In 2012, Forbes named Silver Lake one of  America’s top hipster neighborhoods and today, Silver Lake is held as the standard for other up and coming neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

There is a great sense of community in Silver Lake that draws a diverse and liberal minded demographic.  It is a piece of small town America mixed with a dash of contemporary art in the heart of a sprawling city.

A plethora of locally owned businesses are all within walking or riding distance.  Artisanal eateries and bakeries are local hotspots.  Farmer’s Markets sell organic produce and locally made arts and crafts.  Bars and clubs offer nighttime entertainment featuring live music, craft beer and cocktails.  If you want to experience a little bit of everything head to Sunset Junction where the annual Sunset Boulevard Street Fair is held each August featuring live music and local food.

For outdoor pursuits, the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs offer recreational diversion.  Take a stroll through the hillside homes and marvel at the juxtaposition of classic and modern avant garde architecture.

With so much on offer, it is easy to see why Silver Lake is so popular and continues to grow.  Silver Lake’s skyscraper-proximity and relaxed mentality continues to attract artists, bohemians and fashionable families.

New homes in Silver Lake, CA, such as Trumark’s SL7, offer modern single family living in the heart of this eclectic and exciting neighborhood.  Green living and individuality are the hallmarks of this Trumark development.  With ample space and no HOA, you have the freedom to create a home as unique as the city of Silver Lake itself.

Contact us and we will show you why so many people love calling Silver Lake home.

Oct 06

Builder and Developer: “Neighborhood Renewal in Eclectic L.A. Enclave”

Nimble and focused, Trumark Homes and Trumark Urban together have raised more than $340 million of equity since 2009, and have a combined pipeline exceeding 5,600 units in core infill areas of California, representing more than $3.8 billion in future revenue. The company’s focus as a new-generation builder is on core infill locations in significantly undersupplied housing markets. SL70, Trumark’s new 70-home development on a previously vacant corner bordering the Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods in Los Angeles, is a perfect example of how Trumark’s thoughtful housing developments can spark neighborhood renewal.

SL70 1The community, which opened this summer, is located on 2.34 acres on Glendale Boulevard just south of the 2 Freeway in a chic, up-and-coming but underserved area of Silver Lake/Echo Park. It’s within a convenient commute to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood and close to schools, public transportation, shopping and recreation. Griffith Park and Dodgers Stadium are nearby, and Silver Lake Reservoir is within walking distance. A thriving neighborhood subculture includes vintage and locally designed clothing stores, food trucks and kitschy establishments such as Cha Cha Lounge, and other great restaurants and bars. The area is prime for continued rehabilitation and growth in both residential housing and a resurgence of retail, restaurants and entertainment.

“We chose to build this project because it represents everything Trumark stands for as a new generation builder,” said Michael Maples, principal and co-founder of Trumark Homes. “The lack of new inventory, the limited development sites and the over-abundance of old fixer-uppers will make these new homes in this fantastic community very attractive. Not only is the property in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable and creative neighborhoods, but it is close to employment hubs and other popular areas.”

SL70 3In SL70, Maples and his team immediately spotted an opportunity to build a well-planned, design-centric development that would appeal to Gen X and Gen Y adults who want to invest in a modern home in an urban neighborhood without a ridiculous price tag.


“The neighborhood’s proximity to Hollywood, downtown and Studio City make SL70 a natural fit for professionals of all types who want to live close in, but not too close,” said Mark Higgins, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Trumark Homes. “This demographic already makes up a large portion of homeowners and residents in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park neighborhoods, and they’re showing strong interest in our offering.”

Trumark was careful to reflect the existing neighborhood’s culture while striving to create a vibrant community on an otherwise stagnant, vacant parcel of land. SL70 is attracting residents who will re-energize local business and retail while shaping the emerging neighborhood. During the development phase, Trumark met with and filmed local neighbors and businesses, which are featured on the SL70website – “It was most important to pay attention to our demographic and psychographic,” Higgins said. “Integrating within the community is important to Trumark.

SL70 2Trumark carefully analyzed and considered the Silver Lake/Echo Park buyer profile when creating SL70’sexteriors and interior living spaces. “The unique urban design of these homes fits seamlessly with our buyers’ busy lifestyles with low-maintenance living that takes full advantage of entertaining space overlooking the downtown skyline and surrounding hillside views,” Maples said.

SL70 is located on the site of the former Selig Polyscope Studio, which opened in 1909 as Los Angeles’ first permanent movie-making facility and was eventually surrounded by a string of other silent-film studios on Glendale Boulevard. Trumark is honoring Selig Polyscope with a mural created by internationally acclaimed muralists Cyrcle and streets with names such as Silent Era Drive, Polyscope Place and Tom Mix Road.

In developing the property, Trumark teamed up with long-term equity partner The Resmark Companies to bring to life the City of Los Angeles’ Small Lot Ordinance, established in 2005, which allows for the subdivision of underutilized land in multifamily and commercial areas into fee-simple homes. Intended to encourage infill development and a smart-growth alternative to traditional suburban-style single-family subdivisions, the ordinance allows homes to have smaller lot areas with compact building footprints and reduced yard setbacks, street frontages, passageways between buildings and open space.

This greater flexibility in lot sizes allowed Trumark to keep SL70 homes affordable, with prices starting in the high $500,000s. (The median home price in Los Angeles is currently $590,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index.)

JZMK Partners designed the contemporary three-story detached homes, which range in size from 1,219 to 1,469 square feet and have two or three bedrooms, two and a half baths, large rooftop terraces on most floorplans, open living rooms with 10-foot ceilings, contemporary staircases, and oversized windows that create a grand feeling not typically found in homes of this size. Gourmet kitchens feature premium appliances, quartz countertops and contemporary European cabinetry, and bathrooms have cultured marble countertops and chrome finish faucets. All homes are pre-wired with Category 5 wiring.

Building sustainably is important to Trumark, and that commitment is reflected in SL70’s construction. The well-insulated homes have energy-saving tankless water heaters and aluminum-framed windows with low-E glass. All homes are pre-wired for future solar installations, and two-car garages include conduits for electric vehicle charging.

Unique undulation in building facades and bright pops of color make the exteriors stand out, and Trumark’s design team furnished model interiors with out-of-the-box furnishings (including vintage and original pieces from local artists) that are unlike anything potential residents would find in a model home. “The individuality of each home is clear from the moment you walk in the door,” Higgins said.

Trumark Homes is a division of The Trumark Group of Companies, a diversified real estate developer and builder with expertise in land acquisition, homebuilding, community design, entitlements and office R&D and retail development. SL70 has been an important project as the company continues to learn and hone its skills as a nimble, high-density builder.

“This development has inspired Trumark to create something new and fresh in a highly demanding market,” Maples said. “SL70 showcases our ability to dive into a niche market and create a community that is uniquely designed for the target buyer.”

Oct 06

Find a New Home in Southern California with Modern Spaces

With new hip, urban infill projects happening, it’s possible to find a new home in Southern California that has modern spaces and highly-coveted outdoor living spaces. Blurring the lines between the indoors and the outdoors is one of the trademarks of modern living. Instead of having a yard to maintain, it’s exciting to embrace vertical urban living with balconies, porches and even rooftop terraces.

According to a recent article by Architizer, some of the contemporary trends that are redefining architecture include explicit geometry such as an array of square openings placed throughout the residence. Windows that allow light to stream into the home is one of the modernist features that homeowners love. When trying to find a new home in Southern California with modern flair, have a checklist of features and amenities.

  • A modern kitchen

In your house hunt to find a new home, you should not be shy about having high standards, especially when it comes to the hub of the home. A gourmet kitchen can be a culinary retreat. Experts say people are using their kitchens not only as a place to cook, but a place to gather, study, work and socialize. Look for premium kitchen appliances in stainless steel. Contemporary European cabinetry pairs well with Quartz countertops and a decorative backsplash. According to a recent article by HGTV, Quartz countertops are exploding in popularity in the U.S after trending in Europe for the past decade.

  • Open, spacious space

Modern homes are known for being open and airy with plenty of access to the outdoor. In addition to terraces and balconies, you can find a new home with oversized windows and 10-foot ceilings. Having something as unique as a roof terrace may help you build equity in your home since it’s an in-demand feature. According toone article by the New York Times, people will pay more to have private outdoor space in an urban area. Outdoor spaces are rare in an urban area, which is why it’s important to find a home that has it all.

Trumark Homes is a new home builder with progressive urban infill projects in Milpitas, San Jose and Silver Lake California. If you are looking for modern spaces, you may be interested in SL 70, a new home community in Silver Lake which features roof terraces. For more information about how we can help you find a new home that is eclectic, electric and exciting, please contact us.