Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Real Estate: Granville Home of Hope winner to be announced Saturday

(Courtesy of Granville Homes. Rendering of the Mia model, this year’s Home of Hope.)

Granville Homes will announce the winner of its eighth Home of Hope giveaway on Saturday.

There’s still time to grab your $100 ticket for a chance to win a two-story, 2,216-square-foot home valued at more than $270,000. The three bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom, two-car garage is located in the Sunnyside Grove community near Fowler and Church avenues in southeast Fresno.

If you don’t win the house, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of other prizes available including a helicopter ride, a tennis membership, use of the Save Mart Center Skybox for 16 Fresno State men’s basketball games, a massage package, a television and gift cards to spend on gas or at local businesses.

Granville has built and given away a house every year to raise money for eight charities since 2006. The builder has raised more than $2.4 million.

The charities are: Community Food Bank, Poverello House, Hinds Hospice, Assistance League, Renaissance Scholars at Fresno State and the foundations for Clovis, Sanger, and Central Unified schools. To buy a ticket, call (559) 440-8388.

In November, builder De Young Properties will also hold its drawing for the seventh annual St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. The winner will be announced on Nov. 10 during a live television special on KMPH (Channel 26.1).

De Young has raised more than $5.4 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The St. Jude home is a 3,298-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the CountryCourt development at Gettysburg and Armstrong avenues in Clovis.

Banks working with furloughed federal employees to defer loan, mortgage payments

Bank of the West is giving furloughed federal employees a break on paying their loans and mortgages.

The bank, which has five offices in Fresno, is granting one month deferrals on consumer loan payments and one month forbearance on mortgage payments.

“We are committed to helping our customers succeed financially through the ups and downs of life,” said Paul Wible, head of the bank’s National Finance Group.

Bank customers with auto, recreational vehicle and boat loans, credit cards and home equity loans and lines of credit can call (800) 653-0362 to request help.

Other banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are working with customers on a case-by-case basis.

“Federal government employees and other workers whose jobs are directly impacted by the government shutdown may be eligible for forbearance programs or other mortgage payment assistance depending on their individual circumstances,” a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America customers, who are furloughed federal employees, are encouraged to contact their banks to work on a solution.

Real Estate: Fresno cheap place to operate distribution warehouse

Fresno ranks high among the top 29 lowest cost places in the western United States and Canada to operate a distribution warehouse, according to a new report released by a New Jersey-based consulting company.

In California, Fresno is the cheapest, the report said.

That distinction isn’t new. Fresno is known for its low operation costs, it’s access to the rail system and the advantage of being able to conduct one-day deliveries, said John Hans, industrial broker at Fortune Associates in Fresno.

But add a few more factors to the equation this year such as the area’s proximity to a new port expansion project in Oakland, an educated workforce at Fresno State and the school’s dedication to helping businesses with green energy and it creates an opportunity for Fresno like never before, said John Boyd, principal at The Boyd Company which wrote the report.

Boyd was in Fresno and Visalia on Tuesday to present the report to corporate planners.

The annual operating cost of a warehouse distribution company in the western U.S. ranges from a high of $20.7 million in Los Angeles to $14 million in Quincy, Wash., a new emerging city for warehouse tenants, the report said.

Fresno falls in the middle where the operating cost is about $18 million.

Boyd recognizes, however, that cost isn’t always the deal maker. The tough state business climate deters some companies from entering California. Then there’s the strict carbon emissions regulations and new competition from other cities.

Despite the challenges, the Fresno industrial market is picking up, brokers say.

“There’s more demand for industrial buildings than we’ve seen in the past, but there’s fewer buildings for sale,” Hans said.

Real Estate: McCaffrey Homes wins top honor at Gold Nugget Awards

(Photo courtesy of McCaffrey Homes. The home builder received a Gold Nugget Grand Award for architectural excellence on June 5 for this Tribeca Plan 4 design at its The Heights in Loma Vista neighborhood in Clovis.)

McCaffrey Homes won a top honor for architectural excellence at this year’s Gold Nugget awards competition in San Diego on June 5.

The Fresno and Clovis home builder won a Grand Award for its Tribeca Plan 4 design, one of four floorplans available at The Heights at Loma Vista neighborhood in Clovis.

The Tribeca plan, which has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, was honored for its high energy ratings, use of side and rear yard spaces, and its street appeal.

“The home is rich in finish materials and feels substantially larger than it is,” the judges said. “Inside, the home has great character and lives large with an open floor plan, multiple indoor/outdoor relationships and an upper floor with generous-sized bedrooms.”

The builder also received four merit awards for the designs of the following homes:

  • The Chelsea, Greenwich and Tribeca plans at The Heights on Ashlan and Locan avenues.
  • Carnelian plan at The Gallery in Loma Vista on Ashlan and DeWolf avenues.

Visit McCaffrey Homes for more information.

Real Estate: Shamshoian appointed 2013 FAR president

(Fresno Association of Realtor’s 2013 president John Shamshoian. Photo provided by FAR.)

The Fresno Association of Realtors has announced its new officers for 2013.

John Shamshoian, owner of Realty Concepts, a Fresno residential real estate company, will be the trade association’s new president in January. He takes over for Dan Hawkins, a broker and associate, also at Realty Concepts.

It’s hard to believe this is Shamshoian’s first time sitting in the hot seat. He has 34 years of real estate experience and has served two different times as a director for the association.

“I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly,” Shamshoian said.

His first goal next year is to improve the relationships between real estate agents and strengthen the association.

“We’re going to do various functions through the year to bring Realtors together and hopefully by doing that it’s going to improve they way we communicate better.”

And what does Shamshoian think the housing market will look like next year?

Mortgage interest rates are still low and while home prices have increased in the last year, they are still lower than the peak of the market in 2006, he said.

“Big times are right in front of us,” Shamshoian said.

Other officers include: Liz Kuchinski, president-elect; Joan Jolly, treasurer; and directors, John Carey Jr., Sandy Darling, Susan Davis, Lynn Heintz, Kristy Mastro, Colleen Wiginton, Jared Martin, Jim Whitlach and Dan Hawkins.

The 2013 Fresno Multiple Listing Service chairman is Bob Wiginton; Ron Shapazian, chair-elect; and committee members, Jonna Aluisi, Javier Cavazos, Annie Foreman, Anthony Gamber, Lydia Graham, Julie Salinas, Joe Sciarrone and 2012 chairman, Patrick Prince.

The association will welcome the new officers during an installation dinner Friday at Pardini’s Catering & Banquets.

Real Estate: Walmart building neighborhood grocery store in Fresno

(Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Photo courtesy of Walmart.)

Walmart is known for its supercenter expansions, but the retail giant is going small with at least one of its projects in Fresno.

The company is building its first neighborhood grocery market at Willow and Herndon avenues in Fresno. The concept is similar to Fresh & Easy and the new Dollar General Markets that have popped up in town.

“We are very excited about the new Walmart Neighborhood Market,” said Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia. “Designed for convenient grocery shopping, customers will find a full line of fresh groceries, meat and dairy products, dry goods and staples, as well as household supplies, and pharmacy services.”

The 40,000-square-foot Fresno store is expected to create about 75 new jobs, Garcia said. It is scheduled to open in summer 2013.

The retailer is also building a market in Visalia on the corner of Demaree Street and Goshen Avenue, just north of Highway 198.

Business: Trail-Gear packs more boxes for Christmas project

(Children pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child in the home of Rosana Faegre, vice-president of operations for Trail-Gear, a Fresno business. Photo provided by Faegre.)

Last week, a Fresno manufacturing business stopped production for about an hour to participate in a charity project: Operation Christmas Child.

Trail-Gear, Inc., which makes off-road auto parts, filled 200 shoe boxes with small toys and personal items to be shipped to poor children around the world. The company participated for the first time in its seven-year history. Read my story here.

Rosana Faegre, the company’s vice-president of operations, emailed me Wednesday to say the company got a bunch of phone calls and donations after the story ran.

Faegre enlisted the help of some children and their mothers to put together an additional 38 boxes that were donated to the program.

Real Estate: Granville starts another downtown project

Construction has started on a new GV Urban project in downtown Fresno.

The concrete pads are in place for 1612 Fulton, a 30-unit mixed-used development next to Biz-Werx, a business center at Fulton and Calaveras streets. The center was also built by GV Urban, a division of Granville Homes.

The new development will have 18 single-floor residential units that range from 645 to 706 square feet with an attached garage, a balcony or patio, washer and dryer hookups and stainless steel appliances.

Another 12 three-story live and work units will also be built. The first floor will have a 199-square-foot office space while the second and third floors will have a total living space of 1,297 square feet. The units will have a two-car garage and balcony.

The development is expected to be finished by next summer.

Real Estate: Tulare Realtors raise money for school scholarships

The Tulare County Association of Realtors is doing more than just selling homes or monitoring the real estate market.

The association held a bowling tournament last month to raise money for scholarships that are awarded to area high school students.

This year’s tournament was held Oct. 25 at the Visalia AMF Lanes where 37 teams and about 160 members participated. The association raised $4,657.57.

The tournament was one of several fundraising events — including a casino night, golf tournament and a picnic — that the association holds throughout the year to raise money for community organizations, said Karl Hampton, the association’s executive officer.

“Our Realtor members live, work and play in the community…the fact that their organization helps support and improve the community is very important to them,” Hampton said.

Real Estate: Fresno one of 10 turnaround real estate markets

Fresno and six other California cities are among the nation’s top 10 turnaround real estate markets in the third quarter of this year, according to an online real estate listing service.

Florida led the list last year, but the housing recovery is making its way west across the country, Realtor.com said. The website ranks cities based on improvements in unemployment rates, home price appreciation and the change in inventory.

Fresno ranks No. 9 on the list, the same spot it held during the second quarter. During the first quarter, Fresno ranked No. 56.

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