Morgan's Minute - A Blog on All Things El Dorado County

Featured homes, New Home Communities, Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers, "Best Of" posts on local shops, restaurants, hikes, and events. This blog has it all!

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Jan. 18, 2022

Azure II at Folsom Ranch: A New Home Community in Folsom, CA

New Homes for Sale in Folsom, CA - Azure II by Taylor Morrison

To schedule an appointment to view the Azure II at Folsom Ranch new home community, or any other community in the Sacramento region, give us a call today. 530-503-5225. We love helping home buyers get the best deal and have their own representation on the purchase of a brand new home.

 

Contemporary, open, and full of natural light. The homes in the Azure II neighborhood by Taylor Morrison Homes really are suited for today’s busy lifestyles. With home office spaces, lofts, and bonus rooms each home is uniquely suited for it’s owners. Open concept living mixed with generous sized bedrooms is such great way to have both family time and allow for each individual to have their own space. 

Azure II is part of Folsom Ranch, the newest part of Folsom. With close proximity to Highway 50, homeowners will find the location convenient to all of Sacramento and yet, also have access to Folsom’s premium amenities like The Palladio, the Folsom Cordova School District, miles and miles of walking/biking trails, and Historic Sutter St. 

Azure II at Folsom Ranch offers five different floor plans to choose from, each with various upgrades, options and exterior elevations (exterior style). Prices begin in the high-$600,000s with the largest floor plan around $800,000 (prices as of December 2021). 

 

Here’s the list of floor plans:

COBALT 

Single Story | 1,784 square feet | 3 bedrooms | 2 baths | 2-car garage

 

INDIGO 

Two Story | 2,335 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 2-car garage

(Cobalt plan on first floor with 4th bedroom, 3rd bathroom, and game room on second story)

 

IRIS 

Two Story | 2,486 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 2-car garage

(Optional 5th bedroom in lieu of game room or loft)

 

SKYE 

Two Story | 2,768 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 2-car garage

(optional 5th bedroom in lieu of game room)

 

SAPPHIRE 

Two Story | 2,390 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 2.5-3 baths | 2-car garage

(Optional 5th bedroom in lieu of flex room)

 

I toured the Cobalt and the Skye models. These are currently the only two models they have for tour, though they have 3 other floorplans available to be viewed but would be under construction. The models give a good idea of the layouts as well as the quality of the materials used in construction. It did seem the models had quite a few upgrades compared to the base models. Overall, my impression is that the homes are well designed and open, with well thought out details including large windows, private yards, and an array of finishes to choose from in the kitchens and bathrooms. 

 

A couple other things I loved about this community:

The home prices. It's getting increasingly difficult to find any home in Folsom for under $800,000 and it's nice that these are brand new homes with today's desired square footage and a decent yard size for starting prices under $700,000.

Close proximity to the new elementary school, Mangini Ranch. Drop offs and pickups will be a breeze!

The well thought out floor plans. I see a lot of floor plans - and some are so confusing or even downright wastes of space. These homes have utilized all of the square footage for things that my home buyers tell me are important to them - generous bedroom sizes; one large greenroom encompassing the kitchen, dining and living areas; lofts and bonus spaces for working at home or to give children a space to play; and lots of storage.

No Homeowner’s Association or HOA fee. It’s rare to find a community that is unburdened by an Association and their fees. It does mean that homeowner’s will be responsible for all exterior landscaping. There are still Mello Roos added to the yearly tax bill. Per Taylor Morrison's documentation it's $345 per month that would be paid as part of your tax bill.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What schools will my children attend?

Mangini Ranch Elementary School, Folsom Middle School, and Folsom High School are the in-district schools. There are plans for a new Middle and High School in Folsom Ranch.

 

Who provides gas and electricity?

Pacific Gas & Electric   and SMUD

 

Who provides water and sewer?

Folsom Utilities

 

Who is the garbage and recycling provider?

Waste Management of Sacramento though I suspect it will change to Folsom Utilities.

 

What are my options for internet and cable?

AT&T and Comcast/Xfinity

 

What are the included features of the homes?

Distinctive Exterior Features

Eagle® tile roofing

WiFi enabled garage door opener with battery back-up and two remotes

Exterior Kichler® coach lighting

Designer-selected exterior paint for enhanced community appearance

Therma-Tru® 8ft. entry door with Schlage® satin nickel hardware

Professionally-designed front yard landscaping with weather-sensing irrigation system

WiFi enabled Ring® video doorbell

 

Dramatic Interior Features

Designer-selected Mohawk® carpet in gathering room, dining, flex, loft and all bedrooms (per plan)

Six-panel interior doors with Schlage® bright chrome hardware

Stylish cultured marble countertops in laundry and all secondary baths

Smart Home package

LED lighting throughout

Technology hubs with enhanced high-speed CA T 5E wiring and RG6 cable with 2-port outlet in owner’s bedroom & 4-port outlet in gathering room (per plan)

Rounded wall corners

Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarm and interior fire

Recessed panel Alder cabinetry with adjustable shelving and easy-to-clean interiors

12” x 12” Daltile® tile flooring at entry, kitchen, laundry and all bathrooms

31⁄4” baseboard with 21⁄4” door casing throughout

Moen® chrome fixtures in baths

Craftsman-style white handrail and baluster with square posts at stairs (per plan)

 

Elegant Owner’s Suite and Bath Features

Elegant cultured marble countertops

Convenient double sinks 

Hand-set 12”ceramic tile flooring 

Spacious walk-in closet

 

Designer Kitchen Features

GE® stainless steel appliance package including 30” free-standing gas range, microwave oven over range and multi-cycle dishwasher 

Hand-set 12”ceramic tile flooring

Stainless steel undermount Sterling® sink with Moen® hands-free kitchen faucet 

Moen® lighted garbage disposal 

One combination USB charger

Recessed Alder cabinets with 42” uppers

Granite countertops with 6” backsplash and full backsplash at range

 

Energy Efficiency Features

Alpine® Low-E windows

Rinnai® tankless water heater w/ on-demand recirculation pump

Radiant barrier roof sheathing

Insulation at all exterior walls and attic space

ENERGY STAR® dishwasher

Lennox® high-efficiency heating and air conditioning

2” x 6” exterior wall framing

Pressure balancing jump ducts to all bedrooms or habitable rooms with doors

LED low profile lighting

 

Optional Features and Upgrades

Two-tone paint options

Optional and upgraded cabinet styles and stains

A variety of flooring materials including hardwood, stone, tile and carpet

Upgraded GE® stainless steel appliances

Marble, natural stone and tile countertop options

Craftsman-style trim & door package

Designer selected front door

Square wall corners

Pantry door styles – chalkboard, frosted or clear glass

Kitchen island pendant lights (per plan)

Frameless shower enclosure at owner’s bath

Home security systems and options

Home theater systems and options

Central vacuum system and options




To schedule an appointment to view the Azure II at Folsom Ranch new home community, or any other in the Sacramento region, give me a call today. 530-503-5225. I love helping home buyers get the best deal and have their own representation on the purchase of a new home.

Morgan Larson

Broker Associate and Owner / DRE 01884981

Bliss Real Estate Team

Powered by Keller Williams Realty / DRE 01406150

Jan. 10, 2022

Old Flume Trail: 2 mile hike in Placerville to the River

Great hike to the American River

One of my favorite local hikes in El Dorado County, the Old Flume Trail (formerly known as the Red Shack Trail) is a 2 mile out-n-back that leads to a wonderful beach on the South Fork of the American River. The hike itself is shaded and surrounded by primarily pine trees and ferns. This would be great for Summer! In the Winter it was a little cold and frozen. The trail is wide and uncrowded, making this a great beginner trail. 

When you reach the river there is a long, rocky beach to explore that overlooks Racehorse Bend Rapid upstream. This could be a swimming hole at the right water level as it fronts a large eddy that won't sweep you down river easily. Of course, please have some river knowledge and be safe! Life jackets are always recommended when swimming in a river. Even without a swim it's a wonderful shoreline to explore with fantastic river and foothill views. 

This hike is a bit steep - roughly 750ft elevation gain on the mile back to the trail head. Which means it's all downhill on the way to the river. I would still consider it suitable for most hikers, including children and dogs. 

One great thing about this trail is you don't have to go too far off the beaten path to find the trailhead. It's right in Placerville! From Highway 50, take Highway 49 north approximately 3.5 miles and the trailhead and parking area will be on your righthand side across from the Red Shack. 

As a side trip, you may want to consider a trip to Hooverville Orchards which is just across Hwy 49 on Wallace Rd. They have a year round bake shop and seasonal fruit for purchase. Perfect after burning a few calories!!

I highly recommend the Old Flume Trail and if you see me out there, please stop and say hello!

 

 

Dec. 17, 2021

Revere at Silver Springs: A New Home Community in Rescue, California

New Homes for Sale in El Dorado County

To schedule an appointment to view the Revere at Silver Springs new home community, or any other community in the Sacramento region, give us a call today. 530-503-5225. We love helping home buyers get the best deal and have their own representation on the purchase of a brand new home.

 

 

Elegant, sophisticated, and modern are the first three words that come to mind when describing Revere at Silver Springs, a Blue Mountain Communities development in Rescue, California. Conveniently located yet serene with a touch of rural, the Revere neighborhood is only minutes from El Dorado Hills, Serrano, EDH Town Center, Folsom, the Palladio, and Sacramento. It really is the perfect culmination of small town life close to big city culture.

 

Revere at Silver Springs offers five different floorplans to choose from, each with various upgrades, options and exterior elevations (exterior style). Prices begin in the mid-$800,000s with the largest floorplan around $1,050,000 (prices as of December 2021). 

 

Here’s the list of floorplans:

LASSEN 

Single Story | 2,526 - 2,744 square feet | 3-4 bedrooms | Den | 2.5 baths | 3-car tandem garage

 

TRINITY 

Single Story | 2,797 square feet | 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths | Atrium | 3-car split garage

 

CASCADE 

Single Story | 3,346 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths | 3-car tandem garage

 

SONOMA 

Two Story | 2,972 - 3,116 square feet | 3-5 bedrooms | Loft | Office | 2.5-3.5 baths | 3-car tandem garage

 

SHASTA 

Two Story | 3,457 square feet | 4-6 bedrooms | Den | Loft | Bonus Room | 3.5-4.5 baths | 3-car split garage

 

We toured the Lassen (which we were told is the most popular selling floorplan) and the Shasta. These are currently the only two models they have for tour, though they have 3 other floorplans available to be viewed but would be under construction. The models give a really good sense of the quality and style of the homes and neighborhood. Overall, our impression is that the homes were spacious and open, with well thought out luxury details including large windows, high ceilings, and gorgeous finishes in the kitchens and bathrooms. 

 

A couple other things we loved about this community:

 

The large home sites. It can be difficult to find properties over 0.15 acres at any new home community throughout the Sacramento valley and it’s refreshing that Blue Mountain Communities chose to build fewer homes and preserve privacy and lot size instead of packing in the homes. Lot sizes range from 0.25 to 0.75 acres each.

 

There are only 51 single family homes being built in Reserve at Silver Springs. We love the feeling of an intimate, tight-knit neighborhood.

 

The mix of exterior styles. The names of the elevations are Farmhouse, Modern, Prairie, Agrarian, Napa, and Craftsman. We love that you can choose from a clean-lined Modern home, a more traditional Craftsman style home, or the fresh Farmhouse style home. It really adds a custom feel to the entire neighborhood.

 

No Homeowner’s Association or HOA fee. It’s rare to find a community that is unburdened by an Association and their fees. It does mean that homeowner’s will be responsible for all exterior landscaping. And though there aren’t any Mello Roos taxes either, there still are local special assessment district taxes totalling approximately $5,038 annually (at time of writing, per Blue Mountain Communities documentation).

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What schools will my children attend?

Green Valley Elementary, Pleasant Grove Middle School, and Ponderosa High School are the in-district schools. 

 

Who provides electricity?

Pacific Gas & Electric

 

Will the homes have solar?

Solar will be installed on every home and each home buyer will have the option to purchase  or lease their system. 

 

Who provides water and sewer?

El Dorado Irrigation District

 

Who is the garbage and recycling provider?

El Dorado Disposal

 

What are my options for internet and cable?

AT&T and Comcast/Xfinity

 

What are the included features of the homes?

BLUE MOUNTAIN CUSTOMER CARE PACKAGE

Builder 1-year fit and finish warranty

2-10 Homebuyer Warranty

Buyer Frame Walk

Buyer Touch-up Walk

New Homeowner Orientation

30-day Customer Care Follow-up Visit

DISTINCTIVE EXTERIORS

Designer selected exterior color schemes with
professional paint by Kelly Moore

Nest Hello video doorbell

Beautiful durable concrete tile roofs

Garage door with Lift Master opener
(WiFi with battery back up)

THOUGHTFUL INTERIORS

Stylish two-panel, 8’ interior doors

18”x18” tile and designer carpeting throughout

Convenient interior laundry rooms with electric dryer
hook ups

9 to 12 foot and volume ceilings (per plan)

5 1⁄4 inch flat stock baseboards

Chrome lever door handles

Lower cabinet in Laundry Room with E-Stone tops to
coordinate with other locations throughout the home

Ceiling fan pre-wire in Living Room and Master Bedroom

Flat screen pre-wire in Living Room and Master Bedroom

USB outlets in Kitchen (1) and Master Bedroom (2)

Wired for data and cable in Great Room, Master
Bedroom, Office, and Loft (per plan)

Professional paint by Kelly Moore

GOURMET KITCHENS

Stainless steel Moen pull-down faucet

Stylish quartz countertops with choice of three colors

Beautiful cabinets with chrome knob style hardware and
choice of two stain colors

Stainless steel single basin sink with Moen 1/2 hp disposal

Refrigerator area plumbed for ice maker

Stainless steel GE appliance package including 36”
electric cooktop with wall hood, microwave/wall oven combo, and multi-cycle dishwasher

ENERGY CONSERVATION

Dual-zone HVAC with Nest E thermostat downstairs and Honeywell thermostat upstairs

Energy efficient Premier Hybrid Electric Heat Pump water heater

Vinyl dual pane windows with low-e glass

All homes meet or exceed Title-24 energy requirements 

Moen water conserving shower heads and faucets

Water conserving Sterling toilets

All LED lighting throughout

PRIVATE MASTER SUITES

Moen chrome faucets and plumbing fixtures

Chrome shower enclosures

Full width vanity mirror

Glamorous E-Stone on vanities and master shower

SECONDARY BATHROOMS

Beautiful E-Stone vanities

Moen chrome faucets and plumbing fixtures • Full vanity width mirror

E-stone shower/tub surrounds (Bath 2)

E-Stone shower surrounds (Bath 3)

PERSONALIZING OPPORTUNITIES

Optional solar system upgrades

Designer selected paint grade color cabinet upgrades • Appliance package upgrades

Numerous electrical and plumbing fixture upgrades

Innovative security system

Lighting fixture upgrades throughout the home

Upgraded interior door and hardware options

Upgraded framed bath vanity mirror

Customizations for countertops, surrounds, and flooring that can be selected at the Design Center

 


To schedule an appointment to view the Revere at Silver Springs new home community, or any other in the Sacramento region, give me a call today. 530-503-5225. We love helping home buyers get the best deal and have their own representation on the purchase of a new home.

Morgan Larson

Broker Associate and Owner / DRE 01884981

Bliss Real Estate Team

Powered by Keller Williams Realty / DRE 01406150

Nov. 12, 2021

JUST LISTED - 2878 Camino Heights Dr, Camino

3 bedroom | 2 bath | 1517 sqft

Offered at $400,000

Fantastic single-story home in Camino Heights! Warm and welcoming with a wood burning fireplace and a deck to enjoy the 180 degree views of the foothills this home is ready for it's new owners! Great room concept is perfect for family time, parties, and easy-going living. 3 generous sized bedrooms including a master bedroom complete with ensuite and views over the backyard. Brand new roof! Direct access to the El Dorado Trail!

VIDEO TOUR

For More Details CLICK HERE

Posted in Just Listed
Nov. 10, 2021

Just Listed - 2207 Shady Creek Rd, Folsom, CA

4 bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1613sqft

Offered at $700,000

Stunning single-story home in Empire Ranch awaits it's new owner! With the easy-care landscaping and large front porch this home has welcoming curb appeal! Step inside to the open-concept great room with vaulted ceilings and views straight through to the private backyard oasis. Special amenities include being wired with Alexa smart home capabilities and Lutron lighting. Kitchen has been freshly remodeled with Marble-look quartz counters, stylish backsplash and stainless steel appliances. The Master Retreat is private and serene, with vaulted ceilings, walk-in closet, and ensuite bathroom with oversized shower, brand new dual sinks, upgraded tile, and radiant heat floor. With a generously sized guest bathroom and 3 additional bedrooms this home is a perfect spot to grow into. Close to the STEM elementary school and all the amenities Folsom offers, yet tucked into a quiet neighborhood. Welcome home!

To View the Matterport CLICK HERE

To View Video Tour CLICK HERE

Posted in Just Listed
Oct. 14, 2021

TO-DOS FOR FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS

Are you becoming a first-time homeowner? First of all, congratulations! That is such a significant accomplishment! Yes, even just thinking about becoming a homeowner and beginning the search is something to be proud of.

The process can be overwhelming, but to get you started in organizing your search, use this first-time homeowner to-do list! That way, you’re on your way to setting yourself up for the best success:

  • Save for a downpayment. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to save 20% of a home’s price tag — check with your mortgage lender to calculate an accurate percentage.
  • Improve your credit score. This is super crucial! Avoid large purchases and pay your bills on time to ensure a good credit score.
  • Calculate what you can afford. It would be nice to purchase a home that checks off all the boxes and more, but to set yourself up for the best success, be realistic about what you can afford.
  • Choose an experienced real estate agent. Having an experienced agent by your side will making the process much smoother for you, especially as a first-time homebuyer!

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Oct. 14, 2021

Risks of Removing Contingencies

Typical real estate offers include a wide variety of standard contingencies. These can include home inspections, appraisal, and loan approval. In a fast-moving, seller’s market, one of the ways to make an offer more appealing is to remove contingencies.

Real estate contingencies are intended to protect the buyer from unforeseen issues. Once these contingencies are removed, the buyer typically has no recourse from these issues. The most important contingencies include:

  • Home Inspections – including mold, well/septic, structural, geological
  • Lending Approvals – including appraisal, title, loan rate and terms, final loan approval
  • Property Condition – this relates to the final walk-through, ensuring the property has been maintained during the escrow period

Any, or all of these items can create problems during, and even after, the closing period. Without the contingencies in place, the buyer is obligated to conclude the sale and any financial costs incurred by the seller for not doing so, including the forfeiture of their deposit.

Most of the United States is experiencing an advancing market. This means prices are rising at a steady pace. As a result, both buyers and sellers expect to settle on a sales price higher than recent, comparable sales. Buyers are desperate to have offers accepted and are willing to compromise on contingencies designed to protect them. Ensure you thoroughly review all contingencies or the waiver of them with your agent prior to making an offer.

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Oct. 14, 2021

4 Surprising Reasons to Sell Your Home in Winter

Timing is everything! Well, maybe not everything. But when you are selling a home it does matter when you put your home on the market.

The tale that’s always told is Sell In Spring. I’m here to tell you that blooming flowers and green grass aside, there are other great times of the year to put your house up for sale.

Winter is one of those times. So whether you want to move or need to move let’s take a look at the surprising reasons behind selling in Winter. And don’t miss the last reason...it’s my favorite!

1. Low Inventory = Less Competition
I’m about to debunk the myth that “Winter is not a great time to list your home for sale”, but the truth is so many people believe that it’s a bad time to sell that they choose not to put their property on the market. If they aren’t on the market and you are, that means you have less competition. Less competition is a GREAT thing!

Wouldn’t you rather be one of 5 choices instead of 25 choices? When there are fewer choices homes sell faster and get more money.

People often like to point out the fact that fewer homes sell in Winter. They aren’t wrong. But when you look at graphs showing how many homes are listed compared to how many sell, most of the time a much higher percentage of the homes listed sell in Winter vs Spring. As in, if 50 homes are listed in Winter, 45 of them will sell. But if 100 homes are listed in Spring only 75 of them will sell. So be one of the few instead of one of the many!

2. Only Serious Home Buyers Shop in Winter
Yup, that’s right. Harsh weather gets rid of the Looky-Loos! Open houses are a fair weather sport, and those that aren’t truly motivated stay home.

Serious home buyers don’t care if it’s raining or snowing - they are bound and determined to find a new place to live.

This does mean you may get fewer showings. But what does that matter if each showing means more? Also, it takes some of the hassle of always having to shuttle the kids and dogs out of the house for each showing.

3. Homes Show Well in Winter
Marketing a home for sale is all about getting the home buyers to imagine the house as their home. Nothing does this better than cozy decorations!

You don’t necessarily want to go over the top but wreaths, lights, candles, pine cones, a fire going in the fireplace, and themed welcome mats all make a house feel homier. When you have a few of these simple decor items in place it’s hard for potential home buyers to NOT imagine themselves living in the home.

Some agents may recommend going with a stark look and not decorating. Not me! I believe it amps up the good cheer AND the offers.

4. Homes That Close in April/May are Listed January-March
This is my favorite reason to sell in Winter. It’s all about the statistics! You can’t beat numbers to tell you the truth.

If you look at a graph of “Closed Transactions” and “Average Dollars Per Square Foot” for each month over the years, you’ll notice that typically the most homes sold and the highest average dollars per square foot usually land in the months of April and May.

This has translated to mean that April and May are the best times to list your home for sale. In fact, it really means that January through March are the best times to list.

Why? Because the stats are for when they Closed, not when they listed. Homes usually close 5-10 weeks after they are listed for sale. So if you listed your home for sale on February 15th, you would close right around April 1st.

What does this mean for you? Beat the rush and list somewhere between January and March to get the peak price!

Let’s Get Real
I always aim for truth and honesty so my clients can have realistic expectations when they are buying and selling homes.

Here’s the truth on whether or not to list during Winter: If you need to sell your home and make a move (or you highly desire it) then timing isn’t an issue. There will always be someone interested in purchasing a home.

What matters is being strategic about working with a great real estate agent who can guide you toward an appropriate pricing strategy, create excellent marketing, and make the home sales process easy on you.

If you are considering selling your home this Winter, give me a call and we can have a conversation about your goals and timing.

 

 

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Oct. 14, 2021

Why We Love El Dorado County: It's Fall in the Foothills

The crisp fall air has finally arrived in El Dorado County! The leaves have begun to change to the beautiful autumn colors and Apple Hill is bustling. Our fall bucket list always includes a trip to Apple Hill to pick our pumpkins, drink hot apple cider and eat our fill of apple donuts...why not add visiting incredible wineries to the trip this year?!? With almost twenty wineries in Apple Hill, you’ll need to plan your adventure to take advantage of all there is to offer. Not only are the wines amazing in Apple Hill, but the views are spectacular! Here are a few of our favorites to visit in the fall:

  • Jack Russell Brewery & Winery

  • Boa Vista Orchards Tasting Room

  • Boeger Winery

  • Starfield Vineyards

  • Lava Cap Winery

So, grab an Apple Hill wineries map from any of the tasting rooms and begin your adventure!

A friendly reminder - make sure you make reservations, tasting rooms can get busy.

Sept. 2, 2021

Just Listed - 2500 Morrene Dr, Placerville, CA 95667

Fantastic single-story ranch home close to amenities, yet has all the rural charm. 4 beds, 3 full baths, and 1984sf. Freshly painted inside and out this home features an open floor plan and tons of natural light. New luxury vinyl plank flooring is beautiful, durable and flows throughout the main living areas and bathrooms. Oversized master retreat offers 2 walk-in closets and a huge ensuite bathroom with double sinks, shower stall, and soaking tub. No lack of storage on this property - attached oversized garage, large garden shed, and 24' x 33' detached RV garage/workshop with roll up door and 30 amp service! Other amenities include laundry room, private backyard, tons of parking, new carpet in bedrooms.

CLICK HERE to watch video tour.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Posted in Just Listed