The Latest

Here are the St. Patrick’s Day Limerick Contest Winners!

Homeowner: Barbara Lake
We love it in Alberhill Ranch, to be sure!
Where we are making friendships, I know will endure
We play in the park,
But just until dark…
Then head home where our dinner will occur!

Homeowner: Juanita Marquez
Alberhill Ranch is a quiet community,
With beautiful surroundings and tranquility.
A community of various nationalities,
With unique and distinct personalities.
Indeed a wonderful place to reside,
A place that should be known worldwide!

Thanks to all that participated.


Buyers waiting on the fence should consider now is the perfect time considering inventory levels, historically low interest and now the looming increase to FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums mean smart buyers will keep a sizable amount of money in their pocket if they act by April 18, 2011.

For the third time in 12 months, the FHA is changing its mortgage insurance costs. Effective for all FHA case numbers assigned on, or after, April 18, 2011, annual mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) will increase 25 basis points.

The change will add $250 to an FHA-insured homeowner’s annual loan costs per $100,000 borrowed, and applies to all borrower’s equally. Current FHA borrowers are unaffected.

To understand the FHA is to understand why premiums are rising.

As an institution, the Federal Housing Administration plays a much larger role in the U.S. housing market today than it did just 5 years ago. According to its own records, the FHA’s percentage of purchase money business nationwide expanded from 4 percent in FY 2006 to 19 percent in FY 2010.

Rapid growth like this has strained the FHA’s capital and, indeed, in its official statement, the FHA alludes to this, stating that the MIP increase will “significantly strengthen” its reserves. By law, the FHA must maintain a certain minimum level of reserves.

FHA mortgage insurance varies by loan term, and by loan-to-value and, beginning April 18, 2011, the new insurance premiums are as follows:

  • 15-year loan term, loan-to-value > 90% : 0.50% per year
  • 15-year loan term, loan-to-value <= 90% : 0.25% per year
  • 30-year loan term, loan-to-value > 95% : 1.15% per year
  • 30-year loan term, loan-to-value <= 95% : 1.10% per year

To calculate your monthly mortgage insurance premium, multiply your starting loan size by your insurance premium, and divide by 12.

There is no change planned to the 1 percent upfront mortgage insurance premium charged by the FHA.


Japan Earthquake a Reminder to Californians

On March 11, 2011, in articles, by admin

The devastating earthquake that struck Japan on Friday should serve Californians that we also live in an area of the world prone to seismic activity. Castle & Cooke urges everyone to
practice earthquake preparedness, including having an earthquake kit stocked with essential items
and a plan of action that all family members are familiar with. For more information on earthquake
preparedness visit the U.S. Geological Survey website at

The devastating earthquake that struck Japan on Friday should serve as a reminder to Californians that we also live in an area of the world prone to seismic activity. Castle & Cooke urges everyone to practice earthquake preparedness, including having an earthquake kit stocked with essential item sand a plan of action that all family members are familiar with. For more information on earthquake preparedness visit the U.S. Geological Survey website at


Getting that Model Home Look

On March 4, 2011, in articles, by admin

Homeowners always wonder just how to go about getting that “model
home” look for their new home. It’s much easier than you might think, and
you don’t need to leave out prepared place settings on the dining room
table to get it! Today there are so many more options for homebuyers
looking to add some pizazz to their new space.

The first step should always be to decide what “look” you want (i.e.,
traditional, contemporary, rustic…). Next is to figure out your budget. And
finally, decide what items you need the most. Decorating a new home
means having to compromise. Making that list will help to realize what
you can buy now, what you can still use, and what you should wait for.

Decorators, designers, design books, and magazines can provide
you with ideas and opinions too numerous to count. Edith Wharton
(1862-1937), a Pulitzer Winning Author for The Age of Innocence, and
renowned design expert, said, “ The fewer colors used in a room, the
more pleasing and restful the result will be.” (The Decoration of Houses
circa 1897). Today, many would disagree with Wharton about the use of
color. Some color choices that reflect their style and
personality. Some people prefer a neutral background with color added
in accessories. Whatever the design philosophy you prefer, it doesn’t
matter. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is that you,
and your loved ones, feel comfortable with your choices.

A new home is what you choose to make it. Great home ideas can come
in many colors, and designs, and styles, and with any size budget!


Making Your New House Feel Like Home

On February 22, 2011, in articles, by admin

So, what’s the secret to making your new house feel like a home?
Simple…fill it with things that you love. Things that you typically pack up
when you are trying to sell your home, or things you’ve spotted at a store
that you couldn’t resist. It’s the valued things like family photos or that
ceramic vase your child made in kindergarten. It’s the heirloom pieces
from your grandmother, and the beautiful lamp you just found. Instant
warmth and comfort can come from simply adding curtains to stark, new
windows, and an area rug over your tile or wood flooring. It’s choosing the
paint color that perfectly compliments your sofa, and the bold, new pillows
that you’ve dreamt of for your bed. It’s all of the things that make you
say “Ah, it’s good to be home!”, after a hard day at work.

Your new home could be the perfect chance to do the things you’ve
always wanted to do, but felt nervous to try in the past. There is a
wealth of decorating books and magazines to steer you in the right
direction. Styles that flatter every taste and every budget. Part of the
fun in decorating your new house, comes in the search. There is such
satisfaction in finding just the right piece of artwork for over the fireplace,
or the most beautiful new chair. Don’t be afraid to try shopping at a store
you’ve never been too, or using that end table that you found in your
brother’s garage. Remember too, that sometimes “less is more”, and it’s
much easier to add to something, than it is to take it away.

It’s always been the “little things” that make your house a home, so relax
and enjoy decorating your new place!


Cupid’s little helpers were out enjoying the Valentine spirit at Castle & Cooke’s community of Alberhill Ranch on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

The community children and parents came out to celebrate Valentine’s Day and express the artists of our community at the Valentine making event held at the Sales Center sponsored by Castle & Cooke. All the makings for a beautiful Valentine are including the talented children of the Alberhill Ranch neighborhood. The parents and children enjoyed the warm Saturday weather with their neighbors.

Angie White and Katherine McLain were on hand to assist the artists on this fun filled day. Glue, scissors, hearts and smiles were enjoyed by all. Each child also enjoyed a special goody bag filled with Valentine fun. The evidence of this new community tradition is now on display at the Alberhill Ranch sales center.

Many of the guests from outside the community were so excited to see how engaging the Valentine event was that they went on tours to see the homes available, along with the private pools, parks and greenbelt areas inside of this unique Lake Elsinore neighborhood.
Drop by our sales center at 4113 Pearl Street in the scenic community of Lake Elsinore and look at what the talented young artists from Alberhill Ranch created. Visit us online at and see what life is like living in a Castle & Cooke Community.


Time Magazine

Enough about doom and gloom and the newly coined phrase “home rentership” versus “home ownership!” Home ownership was never meant to be an instant ATM for endless cash. People buy homes to make memories. People buy homes as part of the American dream. And with current low prices and interest rates at historic lows the time to buy is now. Enjoy this interesting piece courtesy of the Wall Street Journal and Brett Arends who does a great job putting all of this in perspective and clarifying his “10 Reasons to Buy a Home.”

Read the article here.


California Ranked 3rd Best U.S. Home Market

On January 3, 2011, in articles, by admin

Jonathan Lansner of the Orange County Register reported California had the nation’s third-best housing market in September, according to Core Logic report.

Tops on the list for year-over-year price gains for all transactions-distressed sales, included – was New York (up 2.67 percent) then North Dakota (a 1.73 percent gain). After California came Nebraska (+.78 percent), and Virginia (+.77 percent).

With median home prices seeming to have finally begun to stabilize in 2010 in many markets across the nation and lackluster sales volume year over year means buyers are going to be greeted with the lowest purchase prices, higher inventory levels, low interest rate, plus special down payment assistance and new home builder incentives. So in California there has never been a time to take advantage of the market, while enjoying the economical and environmental benefits of owning a new home.

Don’t be caught sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right time – as it is right now. Start looking to the future of a new neighborhood, home and helping the economy rebound by purchasing a new home and creating a new vision for your future.

Look to communities and homes that are located in premiere areas, offer the latest and greatest energy create a sense of neighborhood. Invest in your future by purchasing at what will most likely be the best buyers market in the history of the U.S. Housing market.

Contact a Alberhill Ranch sales associate at 951-579-4497 to start your search today.


Four Outstanding Opportunities to Buy Now!

On December 20, 2010, in articles, by admin

Four Outstanding Opportunities o Buy Now!

Now that the tax credits for first-time and repeat home buyers have expired,* many people are wondering if this is a good time to buy a home.
The answer is easy: Yes. It’s a very good time to purchase a home. The recession is in retreat, and even though housing is on the mend, it’s still a buyer’s market. Moreover, Congress has made it clear that the home buyer tax credits are gone for good and will not be renewed.
Even without the tax credits, there are many opportunities in today’s market including affordable prices, low mortgage rates and great new homes. But market conditions can change, and these opportunities may not be around for long, so home buyers shouldn’t wait.
Great Selection
An excellent selection of homes on the market makes today a very good time to buy. A plentiful inventory
provides a great choice of homes, and many builders have brand new homes that are “move-in ready.”
Additionally, many owners of exist- ing homes who postponed trading up or downsizing due to market conditions are now ready to sell. And as employment improves, the number of relocations will increase, bringing more homes into the market.
Attractive Pricing
If there’s a silver lining to the recession and the housing downturn, it’s that homes in many markets are more affordable. Prices in some areas have moderated significantly, especially in major markets where they increased the most during the housing boom that occurred in most of the country.
Low Interest Rates
Like inventory and pricing, mortgage interest rates are still at very favor- able levels, but rates are sensitive to market forces and can change quickly. There’s no indication that rates will suddenly surge upward, but even a slight rate increase can push monthly payments to the point that a buyer might miss out on their first choice for a new home.
Prospective home buyers also should be aware that lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having financing in place before shopping for a new home. Buyers also may find that some home builders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.
Greener and Better
With energy costs near the top of consumer concerns, it’s good to know that new homes can be more energy efficient than ever. Innovative materials
and construction techniques mean that today’s new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. Not only can they be more afford- able to operate, new homes also are significantly more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Designed With Buyers in Mind Designed to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles, new homes feature open floor plans, flexible spaces, improved safety features, low-maintenance materials and other ameni- ties that make them more appealing than ever before.
And in many areas, prospective home buyers who wish to live in age-qualified communities for those 55 and older will find a large selection of homes tailored to the evolving lifestyles of the baby boom generation.
Tagged with: