Seal Beach, CA. – December 15, 2011 – Olson Homes, Southern California’s leading developer of in-town living, has created an innovative online home design studio, making design decisions “simple and fun” for today’s homeowner and homebuyer.
The Olson Style Studio, powered by Studio Chateau, offers the homebuyer immediate and easy access to pick and choose the features and options for structure, design, and other elements that are available for their new home once escrow is closed. The Studio provides an important step in envisioning and planning what the new home will look like; a user can view community information, look through a detailed catalogue of available options, and create a wish list of amenities.
Each of Olson Homes’ community sites is carefully selected for the availability of amenities and proximity to entertainment and culture. Now, Olson homeowners and homebuyers can view all of the restaurants, landmarks, and offerings in their community, complete with comprehensive descriptions.
In addition, each community has an interactive floor plan and offers a tour of the model homes, as well as an “i-postcard” feature that enables a user to send their new home or home they are wishing for directly to a friend, letting them know about the community they have just visited or are moving into. All features are easily accessible through the Olson Homes homepage, as well as the individual community sites, which also offer local news and events to continue to connect Olson homebuyers with their local communities.
“Customer satisfaction is a cornerstone value to Olson Homes, and through these online experiences we endeavor to provide our homebuyers and potential homebuyers with the easiest and most comprehensive way for them to choose the features in their house, helping to ensure it truly is their dream home,” said Steve Olson, Chairman/CEO of The Olson Company.
The Style Studio features include:
Comprehensive community information to welcome a potential homebuyer
A complete selection of home options, with detailed choices for everything within the home, from structural, electrical, plumbing and appliances, to countertops, closets, cabinets and doors.
A “Design it Yourself” feature that lets one create a placement diagram, allowing for simple “drag and drop” placement of design and options onto a floor plan.
A simple order form that offers easy access to pricing and subtotals.
A wish list for placing options to think about and review later.
The Olson Company’s numerous successful urban living developments across Southern California over the last 22 years reflect its commitment to today’s homebuyer. The Olson Company has garnered prestigious Eliant Awards for homeowner satisfaction, including a recent overall win for Mosaic Walk, which was in first place from almost 900 nationwide home communities. The Olson Company believes in “livability,” and implements a thoughtful and detail-oriented approach from concept through execution. As part of their unique approach to creating these communities, The Olson Company understands all that goes into buying a new home and provides ongoing tailored services to support the needs of its homeowners, including financial education and the exclusive Homeowner Champion Program.
There are still homes available in Olson Homes’ newest community in Covina, Citrus Walk. The Citrus Walk sales center is located at 158 Italia Street Covina, CA 91723. To learn more about Citrus Walk, the Olson Company online tools, and how you can own new now, please visit CitrusWalk.com.
About The Olson Company
Established in 1988, The Olson Company and the Olson Homes brand are nationally recognized for creating unique in-town neighborhoods in urban communities throughout California. Headquartered in Seal Beach, California, The Olson Company has successfully partnered with governmental agencies and private landowners to create innovative housing solutions designed to fulfill the lifestyle needs of today’s buyer.
Black Friday is upon us! While merchants are busy gearing up for a record Black Friday filled with sales, Olson Homes wants to spell out 10 reasons why shoppers should buy a new home instead. So here are our 10 reasons why it’s good to buy a home and skip the big box Black Friday sales.
1. Home shoppers have waited long enough. Good deals are available for the asking.
In case home shoppers may have missed this, this is the best buyer’s market we have seen on over 30 years. If home shoppers are waiting for the bottom, they may have already missed it! No one will ever catch the bottom mostly because no one knows where that is. The truth is it doesn’t really matter so much in the long haul.
2. Mortgages are cheap. Very cheap.
Home shoppers can get a 30-year loan for around 4.3%. In some cases home shoppers may find special buy down rates that get down to 3.75% What’s not to like about low interest rates? These are the lowest rates on record. As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%. That drop slashes your monthly repayment by a fifth. If inflation picks up, home shoppers won’t see these mortgage rates again in their lifetime. And if we get deflation, and rates fall further, homeowners can always refinance.
3 Home shoppers will save on taxes. Tax breaks for itemization.
Here is a plus. Home shoppers can deduct the mortgage interest from their income taxes. Try doing that on your standard holiday purchases. With a new home purchase, home shoppers can deduct their real estate taxes. And they’ll get a tax break on capital gains–if any–when they sell. Sure, home shoppers need to do the math. Homeowners only get the income tax break if they itemize their tax deductions, and many people may be better off taking the standard deduction instead. The breaks are more valuable the more people earn, and the bigger their mortgage. But savvy homeowners will find that these tax breaks mean owning costs them less, often a lot less, than renting.
4. This time it’s personal! That new home is a design showcase.
Get in early enough on a new home and home shoppers can have the kitchen and bathrooms they really want. Homeowners can upgrade to their hearts content. They can get the flooring, window treatments, and upgraded appliances they have dreamed about. New home ownership also allows homeowners to add these items to their monthly mortgage payments at a cost that adds only a bit more to their monthly mortgage payments. Black Friday shoppers should try this instead of maxing out their credit cards at 22% interest rates. Consider that fact when in the check out line that this purchase won’t will be paid back for many years to come. Hmmm, maybe buying a new home instead does make more sense?
5. Home shoppers get a better home. Much Better!
Renting a place gives people a place to rest their heads and a space to park their belongings, but generally speaking, if they want the best home in the best neighborhood, most people are better off buying a new home. Plus new homeowners get that great new home smell!
6. It offers some inflation protection.
Black Fridays come and go but studies by Professor Karl “Chip” Case (of Case-Shiller), and others, suggest that over the long-term housing has tended to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points a year. That’s valuable inflation insurance, especially if raising a young family and thinking about the next 30 or 40 years. The rule of thumb is if anyone that plans on living in a place for 5 years or more, they may be better off buying than renting. If someone is planning on moving every few years they may want to re-think that strategy and lock-in home ownership while it is still affordable and within reach.
7. It’s risk capital. That is comfort now, equity later.
No, a home isn’t the stock market and no one should view it as the way to get rich. Thats what got people into the mess we see on the news. But current indicators suggest that the economy may surprise us all and start booming, sooner or later real estate prices will head up again, too. Long after the Black Friday sale items are forgotten in the back of a closet, your new home will have gained equity. One lesson from the last few years is that stocks are incredibly hard for most normal people to own in large quantities–for practical as well as psychological reasons. Equity in a home is another way of linking part of a portfolio to the long-term growth of the economy–if it happens–and still managing to sleep at night.
8. It’s forced savings. Pay yourself first!
Suppose one can rent an apartment for $2,000 month instead of buying one for $2,400 a month, renting may make sense. But will people save that $400 for their future? A lot of people won’t. People have to do the math, but need to remember that part of a mortgage payment that goes to principal repayment isn’t a cost. Homeowners are just paying themselves by building equity. As a forced monthly saving, it’s a good discipline.
9. There is a lot to choose from. 4 New home communities to be exact!
Olson Homes may be biased, but when it comes to home affordability, home shoppers should consider one of our great new Southern California new home communities. From the mid $200s Olson Homes has the final phase of Willow Walk in Compton visit WillowWalkHomes.com, from the high $200s Olson Homes has 2 communities; Rio Walk in Montebello visit RioWalkHomes.com, and nearly sold out Heritage Walk in Fullerton visit HeritageWalkHomes.com, and in Garden Grove from the low $300s there is Mosaic Walk visit MosaicWalk.com. Any of these communities offer great locations and great value for new home shoppers.
10. Sooner or later, the market will clear. Be there when it does.
Demand and supply will meet. The population is forecast to grow by more than 100 million people over the next 40 years. That means maybe 40 million new households looking for homes. Meanwhile, today’s home shoppers will be so happy they bought a new home now, and be able to brag about how smart they were way back when people without vision let this once in a lifetime home ownership opportunity pass them by.
So there it is! 10 great reasons not to shop on Black Friday and buy a new home instead.
Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal explains why owning a home is a good thing. We thought we would share it with you. Please feel free to share it too!
The following article is from The Wall Street Journal, by Brett Arends | September 16, 2010
Sure, maybe there’s more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare “Owning a home may no longer make economic sense,” it’s time to say: Enough is enough. This is what “capitulation” looks like. Everyone has given up.
After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. “Home Sweet Home,” declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: “Will your house make your rich?”
But it’s not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it’s good to buy a home.
1. You can get a good deal. Especially if you play hardball. This is a buyer’s market. Most of the other buyers have now vanished, as the tax credits on purchases have just expired. We’re four to five years into the biggest housing bust in modern history. And prices have come down a long way– about 30% from their peak, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 big cities. Yes, it’s mixed. New York is only down 20%. Arizona has halved. Will prices fall further? Sure, they could. You’ll never catch the bottom. It doesn’t really matter so much in the long haul.
Where is fair value? Fund manager Jeremy Grantham at GMO, who predicted the bust with remarkable accuracy, said two years ago that home prices needed to fall another 17% to reach fair value in relation to household incomes. Case-Shiller since then: Down 18%.
2. Mortgages are cheap. You can get a 30-year loan for around 4.3%. What’s not to like? These are the lowest rates on record. As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%. That drop slashes your monthly repayment by a fifth. If inflation picks up, you won’t see these mortgage rates again in your lifetime. And if we get deflation, and rates fall further, you can refi.
3. You’ll save on taxes. You can deduct the mortgage interest from your income taxes. You can deduct your real estate taxes. And you’ll get a tax break on capital gains–if any–when you sell. Sure, you’ll need to do your math. You’ll only get the income tax break if you itemize your deductions, and many people may be better off taking the standard deduction instead. The breaks are more valuable the more you earn, and the bigger your mortgage. But many people will find that these tax breaks mean owning costs them less, often a lot less, than renting.
4. It’ll be yours. You can have the kitchen and bathrooms you want. You can move the walls, build an extension–zoning permitted–or paint everything bright orange. Few landlords are so indulgent; for renters, these types of changes are often impossible. You’ll feel better about your own place if you own it than if you rent. Many years ago, when I was working for a political campaign in England, I toured a working-class northern town. Mrs. Thatcher had just begun selling off public housing to the tenants. “You can tell the ones that have been bought,” said my local guide. “They’ve painted the front door. It’s the first thing people do when they buy.” It was a small sign that said something big.
5. You’ll get a better home. In many parts of the country it can be really hard to find a good rental. All the best places are sold as condos. Money talks. Once again, this is a case by case issue: In Miami right now there are so many vacant luxury condos that owners will rent them out for a fraction of the cost of owning. But few places are so favored. Generally speaking, if you want the best home in the best neighborhood, you’re better off buying.
6. It offers some inflation protection. No, it’s not perfect. But studies by Professor Karl “Chip” Case (of Case-Shiller), and others, suggest that over the long-term housing has tended to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points a year. That’s valuable inflation insurance, especially if you’re young and raising a family and thinking about the next 30 or 40 years. In the recent past, inflation-protected government bonds, or TIPS, offered an easier form of inflation insurance. But yields there have plummeted of late. That also makes homeownership look a little better by contrast.
7. It’s risk capital. No, your home isn’t the stock market and you shouldn’t view it as the way to get rich. But if the economy does surprise us all and start booming, sooner or later real estate prices will head up again, too. One lesson from the last few years is that stocks are incredibly hard for most normal people to own in large quantities–for practical as well as psychological reasons. Equity in a home is another way of linking part of your portfolio to the long-term growth of the economy–if it happens–and still managing to sleep at night.
8. It’s forced savings. If you can rent an apartment for $2,000 month instead of buying one for $2,400 a month, renting may make sense. But will you save that $400 for your future? A lot of people won’t. Most, I dare say. Once again, you have to do your math, but the part of your mortgage payment that goes to principal repayment isn’t a cost. You’re just paying yourself by building equity. As a forced monthly saving, it’s a good discipline.
9. There is a lot to choose from. There is a glut of homes in most of the country. The National Association of Realtors puts the current inventory at around 4 million homes. That’s below last year’s peak, but well above typical levels, and enough for about a year’s worth of sales. More keeping coming onto the market, too, as the banks slowly unload their inventory of unsold properties. That means great choice, as well as great prices.
10. Sooner or later, the market will clear. Demand and supply will meet. The population is forecast to grow by more than 100 million people over the next 40 years. That means maybe 40 million new households looking for homes. Meanwhile, this housing glut will work itself out. Many of the homes will be bought. But many more will simply be destroyed–either deliberately, or by inaction. This is already happening. Even two years ago, when I toured the housing slumping western Florida, I saw bankrupt condo developments that were fast becoming derelict. And, finally, a lot of the “glut” simply won’t matter: It’s concentrated in a few areas, like Florida and Nevada. Unless you live there, the glut won’t have any long-term impact on housing supply in your town.
Great tax news for first time homebuyers at Heritage Walk.
Both Governor Schwarzenegger and the State Legislature have taken a critical step in reinvigorating the state’s economy by passing and signing AB 183, a bill which will provide a $10,000 tax credit to home buyers. With the housing industry making up some 11% of the state’s overall Gross Domestic Product, an increasing number of economists and policy-makers agree; the recovery of the housing sector is essential to the recovery of the state’s economy. Slumping new home production has been steadily killing jobs for the past two years.
The home buyer tax credit will go into effect May 1, and will provide $200 million in tax credits for both new home buyers and first-time buyers of existing homes. Buyers can claim up to $10,000 or 5 percent of the home price (depending upon which is less), for the purchase of a new home. Buyers must reside in their home for a minimum of two years and there is no income requirement. Even though the program is set to expire at the end of the year, buyers can’t wait too long, last year’s tax credit was extremely popular and funding was already dried up by mid-summer. Several Orange County builders experienced substantially higher new home sales as soon as the previous tax credit went into effect last year.
Kristine Thalman, CEO of the Building Industry Association of Orange County comments, “The reality is new construction creates jobs – up to 3 new jobs for every single home built. Renewing the homebuyer tax credit is a critical step in creating jobs and generating positive economic activity for the state. Since new construction generates approximately $16,000 in state tax revenues alone, the new tax credit would more than pay for itself. The companies that are directly and indirectly affected by the housing industry reach across nearly every sector of our state’s economy. It’s not just home builders that will benefit; its trade contractors, professional services, news publications (ads), local small businesses, not to mention the considerable tax benefit to both the state and local governments. We applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for taking decisive action in extending the tax credit program and putting people back to work. This truly is a win-win situation for the state and the economy as a whole.”