Sierra Heights is a development of beautiful homes in the southwestern part of Riverside, California in zip code 92503. It is located just off La Sierra Avenue south of the 91 freeway on McAllister Parkway. The builder is Standard Pacific. There are about 100 single family homes in Sierra Heights. It is the sister community to Sierra Estates (Lennar Homes). The homes were built between 2008 and 2011.
The home sizes range from about 3,100 sq feet to over 4700 sq ft with the minimum lot size of 15,000 sq ft - but averaging over 20,000 sq ft. There are no Mello-Roos taxes here and the tax rate for this development is about 1.2%. The HOA fees are about $155 per month.
There is a lovely community park with a playground structure, shaded picnic tables, walking trails and a sports court.
Sierra Heights is in the Riverside Unified School District.
As of the date of writing this blog post (9/17/16), the real estate activity for this neighborhood is very good. There are five houses for sale currently, with the highest priced one being listed at $714,888 (a 4753 sq ft home). Nine of homes in these two communities have sold in the last six months ranging from $575,000 for a 3300 sq ft house to $710,000 for a 3737 sq ft house.
Take a drive through this neighborhood sometime. It is really a gorgeous community. I know you'll love it!
Call or text us at 951-840-5212 if you'd like to get more information about buying or selling a Sierra Heights or Sierra Estates home.
by Don Pedersen
-- View from Canyonwind Road in Orchard View--
One of the best kept secrets in Riverside and Corona is the neighborhood of Orchard View, a community of 97 homes built between 2000 and 2002. There are four floor plans that range in size from 2765 sq ft to 4112 sq ft. This secluded development is adjacent to The Orchard (to the south) enter at La Sierra Ave and Orchard View Ln. There is also access into the neighborhood from McAllister Parkway.
This community is very unique in several aspects: first, the lots are large. They are a minimum of one-half an acre up to almost three acres. These homes are on public sewer unlike their neighbor, The Orchard, where all the homes are on septic systems. The tax rate is a low – just 1.0636% plus about $500 in annual special assessments for street lighting and sewer. There are no Mello-Roos taxes and no HOA – which are both generally found in similar neighborhoods.
The public schools include: Lake Mathews Elementary (See Rebecca’s blog about Lake Mathews Elementary - A National Blue Ribbon School), Miller Middle School, and a choice of either Arlington High School or King High School, all in the Riverside Unified School District.
The neighborhood is conveniently located by the Riverside City amenities of the Tyler Mall, Riverside Plaza, La Sierra University, and California Baptist University. Not quite as close are University of California Riverside and Riverside City College. There is quick access to the shopping centers in Corona of Corona Crossings and Dos Lagos. It is also just across the street from the new development on McAllister called Citrus Heights. Read about the community here.
We found this neighborhood when my family and I were moving from Columbus, Ohio to California in 2001. We looked at several homes in eastern Orange County, Corona, Ontario, and Rancho Cucamonga, and were frustrated even way back then at the high prices of the homes and their small home and lot sizes. Then we found Orchard View just before we were to catch a flight back to Ohio. It was everything we were looking for as far as location, lots of elbow room (large lot sizes), great floor plans and it seemed to be perfect for our family. Shortly afterward, we were in contract and moved in a few months later when the house was completed.
We lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and loved it. After all of our children moved out, we needed to downsize and moved about a mile away. But those 13 years in Orchard View were wonderful, with great neighbors and schools (our youngest son got accepted to West Point in New York (USMA) and plenty of peace and quiet.
Another great feature of this neighborhood is the nearby hills near Lake Mathews where I run and bike. There are lots of hills - some are quite challenging, but the variety of different running and biking venues really make this area one of the most enjoyable and challenging areas to exercise in. There is great running within the neighborhood or along the nearby Gage Canal or in the nearby hills where there are several miles of non-paved trails. It is also close to the bike trails along Victoria Avenue and dirt bike trails in the back country.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this wonderful neighborhood or if you are interested in buying or selling in Orchard View. Click here to check out this AMAZING listing we have in the Orchard View - this house is gorgeous and completely turnkey.
by Don Pedersen
A strange thing happened on my morning run with Lakota, we were on our third mile in our usual 10 mile run at 4:50 a.m. on Grove Street in Victoria Grove; when just ahead of us was something large sprawled out on the sidewalk. At first, because of the low light I thought someone hit a large dog and dragged it off the road. But as I got closer I discovered it was a human body.
I learned something they do not teach you at First Aid classes, that is when you have been running for a while, your own heart rate is up and you are sweating profusely, making it difficult to check for a pulse because your own hands are pulsing. I could not see him breathing ether.
A man was walking on the other side of the street asked if everything was alright, I told him the I could not find a pulse and I am not sure if he is breathing; and I was calling 911. He didn’t reply and just continued his walk. That really surprised me.
As I was talking to the 911 dispatch operator, she was asking me for my information then finally about “what was the emergency.” I explained that I found a naked guy on the sidewalk, either dead or unconscious. She asked what his vital signs were, and it told her I could not detect a pulse or breathing. Just then my faithful dog, Lakota, started sniffing his face and nose area and he made a slight movement. So he was alive! Did I mention he was naked? Except for his underwear briefs he was naked. I corrected my statement to the 911 operator and said he is breathing but still unconscious.
What an experience calling 911, I had to go through three different dispatch operators and repeating all my information three times, while holding Lakota (who surprisingly did not want to drag him home and eat him like she does with other road kills) plus monitoring the kid all by myself while waiting for emergency personnel to show up (it took them 15 to 20 minutes to arrive after I called), Did I mention the kid was a mostly naked? Shoot, I am getting too old. One of the questions that seemed important to each operator was “What was my exact address location?” The first time the operator asked a nice lady came out to see what was going on and I asked her what the address was and she told me. Then she went back home. When the 911 operator transferred me to the Fire Department operator she gave the Fire Department all of the information he had. So what do you think the Fire Department’s first questions were??? “Sir what is your name, phone number, present location, and your emergency?” This time I had to leave the kid and go to the house to get the address. And then again when the Fire Department operator transferred me Sheriff Dispatch, they were give all the information and then the Sheriff’s Dispatch operator asked me…“Sir what is your name, phone number, present location, and your emergency?” Did I mention I hate redundancies???
Shortly before the Riverside County Sheriff Deputy showed up a white pickup pulled over with two kids who said that they knew the unconscious kid and where he lived. They tried to get him up, but I stopped them telling them we do not know the extent of his injuries and NOT to move him. The Sherriff Deputy arrived shortly after and got information from the kids in the white truck and asked one of them to go and get the unconscious kid’s parents.
Shortly after that, a fire truck came down the street with lights flashing. With the kid’s friends trying to get him up and I shooing them away each time, and the light and noise from the fire truck, finally got the kid stirring. The firemen lifted him up and set him on the side of the truck and tried to get information from him to assess his condition. An ambulance then came up and the placed him in stretcher just as his parents arrived. The dad climbed in the ambulance with his son and the mom followed them to the hospital.
Well an hour after finding the kid, he was whisked away in the ambulance and Lakota and I were off running again. Man, that little detour killed my average running time...
If you are thinking of buying a home, you may wonder about buyer’s agents and whether you should work with one or not. Buyers should definitely have their own representation – and not rely on the listing agent (who represents the seller’s best interests). You wouldn’t hire your spouse’s attorney to represent you in your divorce. The same goes for real estate. Why use the seller’s agent to negotiate your best interest? There is an inherent conflict of interest in this. The home buying process is stressful enough without worrying about who you can and cannot trust. Your buyer’s agent is your trusted advocate.
Here are a few of the many things that your buyer’s agent will do for you in helping you find and purchase a home:
1) Going over with you the active, under contract, and sold properties that meet criteria to help you get a good understanding of the market where you are looking.
2) Map out the best/most efficient route to viewing the houses for sale that best meet your criteria and setting up the appointments to see those houses.
3) Go over the home buying process with you and make sure that you understand the steps and have good, reliable information to help you make informed decision throughout the process.
4) Talk you out of buying homes you like but that are likely to be difficult resales. Your buyer’s agent has been through hundreds if not thousands of houses with hundreds of buyers, so he/she will know more about this than you do.
5) Help walk you through the offer forms. It is important to understand the specifics of your offer. Your buyer’s agent will help you here.
6) Help you to analyze the price and value of the house you want to make an offer on and help with developing a negotiating strategy to help your offer be in a competitive position with terms beneficial to you.
7) Recommend inspector and types of inspections and tests that you should have done.
8) Assist in interpreting inspection results and negotiating inspection issues, possibly even making the decision as to whether this house is worth moving forward on and compiling a list of items that you request the seller to repair/correct prior to close of escrow.
9) Assist in reading documents like HOA finances and title report, and make sure you get all the right documents.
10) Ensure that the seller provides the required and necessary disclosures and push for additional information and documents called for.
11) Assist in coordinating communications between the escrow company, the lender and title company as well as the seller and buyer so that everything is done properly and in a timely fashion to help ensure a smooth and on-time closing.
12) Help you through the closing process and closing documents.
The key is that buyer agents work to negotiate the best terms and price for the buyer. Remember, the buyer’s agent’s services are free to the buyer. The seller pays their commission. Why would you not have your own buyer’s agent representing your best interests and helping you through the many steps of buying a home? The real estate agents at Pedersen Real Estate work with buyers in Riverside, Corona, and throughout the Inland Empire. Helping you buy your dream home is what we are all about.
Vicki Pedersen, Pedersen Real Estate, is an Accredited Buyers Agent. Call or text me at 951-840-5212. We're here to protect and serve our buyers.
by Rebecca Nelson | May 23, 2016
Nestled in the foothills near Lake Mathews in Riverside CA lies the quiet, close-knit community of Victoria Grove. Among the many amenities this stunning Riverside, California community boasts, Lake Mathews Elementary may be its crown jewel.
Since its beginning, Lake Mathews Elementary has always held a place of pride in the hearts of those in and around the community of Victoria Grove. In 2015, Lake Mathews Elementary proved its value when it was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School recipient.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence. Since 1982, more than 7,500 of schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award, about 800 in California. This may not seem significant but the numbers represent only about 6% of the total schools in California and nationally.
Lake Mathews Elementary joined three other schools in the Riverside Unified School District when it received this prestigious award. The administration, teachers, and staff work together to provide a top-notch learning atmosphere and a safe place for all children. Of course, this type of recognition would be impossible without gifted and hardworking students along with continued support from parents and volunteers. As a current Victoria Grove resident with three children that have attended Lake Mathews and as a regular substitute teacher at the school, I have had many opportunities to see this award winner in action. It has been an honor to work closely with
so many wonderful educators.
The National Blue Ribbon School flag flies overhead the beautiful campus of Lake Mathews Elementary, a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. It has been a year of celebration for the school and nearby communities and another great reason to take a closer look at Victoria Grove in Riverside, California.
There is a brand new development by Lennar just opening up in Riverside California. These beautiful new homes for sale are located off of La Sierra - east of McAlllister Parkway in the hills. There will be three communities within this development: Orchard, Hill Crest - which are both currently being built and Harvest which will come out in the future. There will be eight "pocket" parks in the community, including a water play park and nearby scenic trails perfect for hiking or biking.
There are six model homes to explore - three for Orchard and three for Hill Crest. The smallest homes are a single story that is approximately 2413 sq ft and is priced from $562,890 with the largest home being approximately 4644 sq ft and priced from $740,490. When completely built out, there will be 343 homes in Citrus Heights.
The HOA fee is currently $150 per month and that is anticipated to go down to $105 once the community is all built. There are mello roos and the tax rate is approximately 1.9%. Lot sizes vary from the minimum size in Orchard of 8,000 sq ft, about 10,000 sq ft for Harvest and a minimum of about 12,000 sq ft in Hill Crest.
The models are gorgeous, of course. Lennar builds beautiful homes. I really liked how there were "WOW" signs throughout the models on the standard features. The two large models have terrific mother-in-law suites with their own private entries. We were really impressed with these.
This is going to be a terrific community. The location in the hills off McAllister creates a very unique neighborhood with lots of great views. acres and acres of preserved land where no homes will be built.
13160 Cordial Circle
Citrus Heights is located across McAllister Parkway from other developments - The Orchard and Orchard View.
Riverwalk Vista is a beautiful gated community on La Sierra and Indiana Ave in Riverside, California. There are three communities within Riverwalk Vista; Topazridge, Paseo and Fallbrook. This community is in a convenient location – close to SR 91, schools, shopping, the Galleria at Tyler, Castle Park, and the Metrolink station. It has a recreation center, lots of greenbelts and winding walking paths, neighborhood parks and tot playgrounds and more. The resort-style pool with a grand waterfall is the perfect place to relax and refresh. There is also a shallow kiddie pool.
Two of the three communities are still building new homes, Paseo and Fallbrook - builder is Richmond America. The homes in Fallbrook are approximately 1,800 to 2,100 sq. ft. Paseo has homes that range from about 2,150 to 2,650 sq. ft. with 3-5 bedrooms. These new homes include some great features, like granite kitchen and master bath countertops and stainless-steel appliances, tank less water heaters and more. Topazridge – a TRI Pointe Homes community was completed a few years ago. Its homes range from 2,567 to 3,773 sq. ft.
When completed there will be approximately 340 homes. Paseo just released their last phase of homes. As of March 2016, there are only about 20 homes left, including the models. Fallbrook has approximately 60 homes left to be sold or built.
I spoke with Nathia Thomas, a sales associate with Richmond American Homes. She proudly reported that Richmond is focused on quality with their homes. They also have a terrific design center and take a lot of time with each buyer – a minimum of two appointments at the design center – averaging two to four hours for each appointment. She said that Richmond American really stands by their homes.
We recently sold a house in Riverwalk Vista. It was a beautiful home with a lot of attention to detail and quality. Riverwalk Vista is one of our favorite communities in Riverside. Stop by sometime and check out their models. Or call us (951-840-5212 voice or text) if you'd like to receive all the listings of existing homes for sale in this wonderful community.
Paseo and Fallbrook at Riverwalk Vista
3294 Ledgewood Circle
Riverside, CA 92503
For more information on Riverwalk Vista, click here.
The federal reserve recently raised interest rates, and if you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), it may be a good time to consider refinancing your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether your should refinance, so here are a few of the main considerations.
How long does your introductory rate last? Most ARMs have a fixed rate for the beginning of the mortgage. This is an introductory period (usually 3-10 years) when your rate will remain constant before it can be adjusted. If you have several years left in your introductory period, you can monitor interest rates for a while before making a decision. But if the intro rate is ending soon, it’s a great time to explore refinancing at a fixed rate.
How long are you staying? If you plan to sell your home soon—especially if you’re still on a fixed introductory rate—there’s not much motivation to refinance. But if you’ll be at your home indefinitely, you should consider your refinancing options. You could eliminate the stress of not knowing what your future mortgage rate and payments will be.
What’s your loan balance? The change in your mortgage payment will of course be determined in part by your remaining balance. If you owe $100,000-$200,000, a new interest rate may not greatly affect your monthly payment. On the other hand, if you owe $500,000, a change in interest rate could lead to a much higher paymen
The previous items are just a few of the factors that should go into a decision about refinancing. Changes in income and your current credit score should also be considered, so be sure to weigh your options and make an educated decision.