Posted by: socalhappenings | May 17, 2013

New Home Buyers “Help Center” now LIVE!


Buying a new home? Before you sign on with a home builder, make sure you’ve found the right match. Not all builders have the same priorities.

Find a REAL ESTATE agent specializing in new homes in the area your searching.

The first step is to identify your buying style! Which description below best describes you and your family?

You know the zip codes and you’re very aware of the real estate climate in your area. Whether it’s the commute you love, area amenities or the school district, location is your number one priority. You may even be willing to sacrifice square footage or other wish list items to be in a place you love.

Tips for the location-based buyer:

  • Find   a real estate agent specializing in your area of town. You’ll want someone      who understands regional pricing and market fluctuations. This type of   agent will know the local home builders and can point you in the right  direction.
  • Take  note of home builder signs in the areas where you want to live. Write them      down when you see them and let our team check out the builder  websites  for more information.
  • If  it’s the schools keeping you in a specific radius, be sure to call the  school district to verify which schools feed into the neighborhoods you are considering.
  • A good website to start on is you  can get a list of  the closest schools.     

You’ve either owned a home before, or you just know what you want! Whether it’s a 3-car garage, a main-floor master bedroom, or a formal dining room, you have several no-budget items on your wish list. Location and other factors may still be a priority, but floor plan is #1!

Tips for the floor plan fanatic:

  • With  your agent find out which builders offer “flex space” or the  ability to choose structural options. Though these options are usually  only available when building  from  the ground up, not all builders offer the kind of floor plan personalization you may want.
  • When  we tour model homes with you,we want to pay attention to the “little      things” that make living in the home easier. Will your king size bed and two nightstands fit in the bedroom? Can you walk around the dishwasher when it’s open? We  always  take along a measuring tape!

Not sure which questions to ask when touring models? That’s where we come in, we are there to help you.
You’ve been dreaming of a particular paint color or countertop style for years. The floor plan and location of your home are important, but for you, it’s all about creating a beautiful home that reflects your style.

Tips for the design diva:

  • Warning! There are homebuilders that don’t let you choose your finishes or only      offer a handful of design selection options. If design is a deal-breaker  for you, make sure to ask about your choices up front.
  • If  you love design, but aren’t an interior designer by profession, ask if the      builder offers complimentary professional design assistance. You don’t  want to get stuck trying to match your floors to a paint color in a dark warehouse on a 10-minute timeline.
  • Our team is there for you to help you.

You like the idea of living in a brand-new, never-been-lived-in home, but you need to move fast! Maybe someday you can see yourself building from the ground up, but right now, time is of the essence. You need a beautiful new home ASAP.

                                          These are areas my team can help you with.

                                             On a tight timeframe? Call or email us and we can help you.


                   John Hacker, or call direct at 949-275-3247


Posted by: socalhappenings | May 6, 2013

Orange County Home Less veterans Standown

In 140 Days Orange County will host its 3rd annual Stand Down for Home less veterans.
The location this year will be the Armed Forces reserve center in irvine, right next to District Shopping Center.

This will be my 3rd Stand Down.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I decided several years ago to pay back my good fortune to those I can relate to.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I see home less children with their mother and father living out of cars, coming to the Stand Down for medical and social services.

I am one of the lucky ones and I have learned to hug my children a little tighter.I have spoken to many homeless veterans and their families, I can relate.

I am one of the lucky ones.

Consider your self lucky.
John Hacker

Posted by: socalhappenings | April 15, 2013

Exclusive Galleries of Laguna Beach is EXCLUSIVE

Bravo James and Ruth-Ann Thorn,

They opened this new gallery in May in the beautiful corner gallery of Hotel Laguna.
The Laguna Beach Gallery was inspired by the simple elegance of Asian design. The rich amber wood floors, open spacing, and river rock wall at the entrance of the gallery speak to the elements of nature that inspire the artists to create and vistors to enjoy viewing the fine arts.

Located in Hotel Laguna
417 South Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Phone: 855.372.8213 or 949.715.8747
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-8pm

Exclusive Collections Gallery opened its Laguna Beach location in May 2012, Our historic beachfront location has been home to the arts for over 3 decades.

Exclusive Collections Fine Art Galleries (EC Galleries) offers an unforgettable experience for those who appreciate the beauty of fine works of art.

Everything from the artists and fine art they carry, they also host exciting line-up of special events. They focuse on achieving one purpose: to foster an extraordinary gallery environment where patrons and artists can meet, share their passion for art and build long-lasting relationships through the joy of collecting fine art.

At EC Galleries, they believe that art is a necessity in our lives and that each art collection and the pleasure enjoyed from owning fine art presents a remarkable opportunity to pass on your legacy for many generations to come.

Throughout the year, they host a spectacular line-up of gallery events featuring some of today’s most celebrated artists—from young emerging masters to established international masters. Jim and Ruth-Ann endeavor to make your art-collecting experience deeply personal by creating a venue to actually meet these fantastic artists, to learn what inspires them, and to share your own experiences derived from enjoying and collecting fine art.

EC Galleries’ themed events are marked by a special artist appearance, culinary delights, fine wine, acclaimed musicians, dance performances, and surprises along the way.

“As art collectors ourselves, we believe that a work of art that truly reflects the collector’s unique personality will provide a lifetime of pleasure. Backed with decades of experience in the fine art industry, our proprietors are considered fine art gallery experts. EC Galleries has the expertise to assist you in building a significant collection of fine art and to further a lasting and enduring legacy with value for you.”

James & Ruth-Ann Thorn,

There are many artistic venues in Laguna Beach to enjoy while visiting including the Pageant of the Masters, the Laguna Art Museum, The Sawdust Festival and much more.
Laguna Beach has been known as a bustling art community since its early beginnings in the early 1900s. Exclusive Collections is very excited to partake in the city’s rich artistic tradition.

John Hacker

Posted by: socalhappenings | April 10, 2013

We Continue to grow in Irvine


COTO DE CAZA – A Mission Viejo company plans to build estate homes on the last significant stretch of developable land in Coto de Caza.

Great Article from OC Register, enjoy the read, and let me know what you think!!!

Khalda Development owns 127 acres on the east side of the gated community, adjacent to Starr Ranch Sanctuary. The company plans to build seven mansions on 14 of those acres, dedicating the rest as open space habitat reserve.

Article Tab: Part of an old building sits off the Grand Coto Trail in Coto de Caza, the access point to a proposed 14 acre development within the 127 acre site sits off Van Gogh Way.
Part of an old building sits off the Grand Coto Trail in Coto de Caza, the access point to a proposed 14 acre development within the 127 acre site sits off Van Gogh Way.

What’s next for Coto Estates

•Khalda Development will either bring in a builder to develop all seven properties or pursue a custom-lot program, with the decision and timing based on the market.

•Homeowners will be able to enter Coto Estates through a new access road that will be cut into a slope along Van Gogh Way and two spurs for the houses, with five houses to the north and two larger properties to the south.

•All properties will feature between 20,000 and 35,000 square feet of buildable space. The homes will sit on 2- to 7-acre parcels, part of which will belong to the habitat reserve and won’t be buildable.

“It’s this little Shangri-La out there,” said Jon Petke, planning consultant for Coto Estates. “The market is still a little bit soft but these are some pretty special properties.”

Minus a handful of lots sprinkled throughout the community, Coto has been essentially built out for a decade.

Khalda has built more than 70 custom homes throughout Southern California and has owned the Coto acreage since 1994, Petke said. The company’s low-profile owners have tried to develop multiple projects on the property, thwarted each time by encumbrances stemming from endangered species, easement issues and years of political jockeying over what should happen with the land.

Then project manager Joe Blum, who helped develop other Coto neighborhoods, came along with the Coto Estates plan. Soon regulatory agencies gave the green light and the board for CZ Master homeowners association – which Coto Estates will likely join – drafted a letter of endorsement.

“They said, ‘We still can’t believe you’re giving away 113 acres as open space, but we like it,’” Petke said.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved Coto Estates in December 2011, granting Khalda permission to subdivide and rezone the property from recreational to residential.

In keeping with Coto’s history as a hunt preserve, about 5 acres on the southeast corner of the property were used as a skeet-shooting range from 1990 to 1992. The land has been vacant since that time, though shooting platforms and other less visible remnants of that past remain.

As a condition of the 2011 approval, Khalda agreed to clean up the lead and other contaminants left behind in the soil by the clay shooting targets. The process will take around two weeks, Blum said.

Despite its low density, not everyone is thrilled with the coming Coto Estates.

“I feel like I live in a national park right now,” said Lea Ann Miller, whose Atherton Drive home is a few hundred feet from the site. “I bought in a master-planned community and I bought where my home backed up to conservation easement so that it would never be developed.”

Miller was among the few residents who complained to the county and CZ Master about how the project will impact property values and use of the land as a recreational area. She said her concerns were not resolved.

“Of course when they bought their property, some broker said, ‘Nobody can build out there,” Petke said. “I think that’s because they didn’t know how to get it done.”

Khalda submitted initial building permit applications to the county in December. It plans to pull grading permits by mid-2013, Blum said.

Posted by: socalhappenings | August 14, 2011

Laguna Beach Art at its BEST

Only TWO weks left in the Laguna Beach Art festivals at the Festival of Arts and the Sawdust Festival. So sad because it has been a great thirty getaway for jean and during this summer.
As a Veteran we can get in FREE at the Sawdust and listen to some great music (3 bands) and see some great ART, talk to the artists and have dinner and enjoy the wine, under the stars.

We bought our ticket for the Pagent of the masters, and we can use the SAME tickets for their weekly special events. Bring in a picnic, and listen to great jazz. See the great ART, talk to the artists and jewelry craftsmen, and women, AND enjoy some great wine.

Laguna Beach continues to grow as Orange County’s great Art Experience.

It ends August 28th, BUT do not be distressed!
The first Thursday of the month is Laguna Beach, ART walk, now thats another great story. I will tell you about it in September.

Make it a point to join Jean and I there in September, from 5pm to around 7pm.

Have you ever seen the sunset from the Hotel Laguna?

A must see attraction for vistors and regulars, I have yet to be disappointed and have never requested a refund.

John Hacker

Posted by: socalhappenings | August 14, 2011

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