RE/MAX Gateway
Mark Bolender

RE/MAX Gateway
Venice. Santa Clarita. Santa Monica. Malibu. Venice

Tag: renting versus buying

Newhall Ranch: The “Tesla” of New Home Communities

Newish looking home.

Santa Clarita style homes…


Net Zero Newhall reflects a unique commitment to make Newhall Ranch one of the most environmentally sustainable master-planned communities in the nation. It is located in the Santa Clarita Valley, where you find LA’s third-largest city, Santa Clarita.  Vast areas of open space will be protected for public use and net greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to zero.

A Slice of History

This massive, master-planned community was originally proposed in 1994, and has been working its way through the entitlement process ever since.  At that time, developers sought to break ground in 1998, according to the Los Angeles Times, but like most development plans in Southern California it has a much longer history than that.  We actually have to travel back to the late 1800s, since this land was first owned and bequeathed by Henry Mayo to his five sons, who formed Newhall Land, a land management company, incorporated on July 1, 1883.  They were also the creators of nearby Valencia during the 1960s.  McBean Parkway is named for a man who married into the Newhall family, saving the company from financial ruin, who envisioned the master planned community concept, and the family-owned company’s first master-planned community set the stage for the building of Valencia. In the 60s, the Newhall family hired a Viennese urban architect, Victor Gruen, who designed a master plan for the building of a community.  This was thought to be in response to California building the I-5 freeway through the Newhall Pass, encroaching on their urban life.  Newhall Land was subsequently acquired in 2004 by homebuilder Lennar, which subsequently filed Chapter 11 in 2008. When Lennar emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, Newhall Land became a privately owned company once again, with Lennar retained a 15-percent stake in the company.

Now back to Net Zero Newhall.  So it was proposed in 1994, and just approved in 2017.  What was going on?  Well, during the decades that the project was in planning it faced numerous legal challenges from environmental groups worried about the impact of such a large project on the local wildlife, ecosystem and air quality.  There were also numerous changes in the investors, and the path to Newhall Ranch coming to fruition over the many years was also delayed by the economic downturn and changes in California regulations.  But the project bolted ahead following the county’s certification of the latest environment analysis, claiming it meets the required re-approval by authorities at the State and County levels regarding the safety of the unarmored threespine stickleback fish and the project’s greenhouse gases. In its revised plan, the developer proposed building bridges and taking other steps to keep construction out of the river, eliminating the need to relocate any fish. It also proposed “net-zero” measures to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

A National Model for Sustainability

This 21st century suburban development, the largest in Los Angeles County, it is predicted to be the largest and most energy efficient, master planned development ever created. Poised to become the future home for 60,000 people, there is nothing like it of its kind, anywhere in the world.  Currently referred to as “Net Zero Newhall” as in “zero net greenhouse gas emissions”, the world will be watching as it works its way through the final stages of planning and approval, to become the largest net zero GHG emissions project in the nation. Los Angeles County and the State of California are leading on the issue of climate change on a global stage, and this will be the standard in how you build communities and create housing without creating additional emissions, resulting in net zero emissions of greenhouse gases in both the construction of the community, as well as the operation of it. The mission is to create a community that produces as much energy as it uses in a year, thereby becoming the new hub of clean air.

Newhall Ranch will set the new standard for sustainability through a variety of green innovations onsite and within L.A. County, as well as by funding direct emissions reduction activities locally, in California, and around the world. From green construction that encourages energy efficiency to a well defined transportation management program, Newhall Ranch aspires to be the model for living and working sustainably in California.  Five Point, the developer, seeks to reduce the community’s carbon footprint to zero by offsetting the pollution generated from construction and residential traffic.  To achieve this end, they propose a 5-measure approach.

First, through green building and design, relying on innovations in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the construction of homes, public facilities and commercial buildings, including solar panels, solar water heating, cleaner cookstoves in Africa.  All net greenhouse gas emissions from the project and its construction will be reduced or mitigated to zero.

Second, by encouraging sustainable commuting through carshare and bikeshare programs, subsidies for neighborhood electric vehicle purchases, electrifying buses, and creating thousands of jobs close to housing and shared workspaces.  Predictions forecast 60,000 permanent jobs, designed to be within walking distance of nearly 60 percent of these homes, with construction itself, adding an estimated 135,000 direct jobs, plus other jobs indirectly.

Third, they plan to preserve the natural resources, designating 10,000 acres for open space, including a High Country area larger than Griffith Park and New York’s Central Park combined.  There will be 50 miles of trails with a $13 million endowment to protect and enhance natural open space, wildlife and habitats in perpetuity.  Also proposing state-of-the art water conservation measures, they plan to have a water reclamation plant capable of recycling millions of gallons per day, for use in irrigation, along with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Fourth, they will promote the use of electric vehicles by offering electric vehicle charging stations in every home as well as 2,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Newhall Ranch commercial and community areas, with 2,000 additional offsite charging stations in strategic L.A. County locations. Within Newhall Ranch, there will be subsidies for converting public transit buses to electric buses, an electric school bus program, rideshare and transit subsidies for affordable housing residents and local employees.

Fifth, they will invest in climate action. Net Zero Newhall advances the objectives of newly enacted SB 32, and supports Governor Jerry Brown’s leadership in addressing global climate change.  In addition to these comprehensive sustainability measures within the Newhall Ranch community, the developers, FivePoint, will invest in programs that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in L.A. County, California and around the world.

Just Where will Net Zero Newhall be Found? 

Net Zero Newhall will be situated in an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County along the Santa Clara River on the westside of the idyllic Santa Clarita Valley. The boundary with Ventura County forms a portion of the westerly line, while the Six Flags Magic Mountaintheme park and Stevenson Ranch are its borders on the east, along with the City of Santa Clarita, which was formed in 1987 from four unincorporated communities (Valencia along with Saugus, Newhall, and Canyon Country).  The proposed development will break ground in the Santa Clarita Valley by next year, and stretch over 12,000 acres, building 21,500 units — a mix of houses, condos and apartments — over a span of 15 to 20 years. Ten percent of the housing will be priced below-market for low-income families.  It will also feature a commercial district, water reclamation plant, seven public schools, three fire stations, a regional park, three community parks, a golf course, and a 15-acre lake. 6,000 acres of permanent open space will be designated, and 50 miles of trails, along with a plan to create wetlands, transforming about 20 miles of tributaries and riverbank into storm drains and levees, using 20,000,000 cubic yards of excavated soil.


What We Know So Far

The Newhall Ranch megadevelopment, will be built in sections called “Villages”.  Final approval of the first two, Landmark Village and Mission Village, was reached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on July 18, 2017. Landmark Village will be the first neighborhood to be built, with 5,500 homes. Though some describe it as a quaint small-town community with porch-front homes, condos and corner stores, it is in fact, slated to be a built on 293 acres, with up to 1,444 residential units, 270 single-family homes and 1,174 condominiums. There will also be approximately 1 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space, along with an elementary school, park and other uses. Next, Mission Village will be developed on 1,262 acres and contain up to 4,055 residential units, with 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space, an elementary school, fire station, public library and more.  Approximately 8,000 acres are dedicated to open space, and a water-reclamation plant will also be built.

The combined 2.5 million square feet of commercial space will be constructed between the two Villages, and will have a “downtown style” mixed-use center.  Five additional Villages, Entrada, Legacy, Homestead and Potrero, are in various stages of the approval process.

Though approved, this project continues to spark controversy, as local real estate experts and the developer itself, questions the project’s ability to improve the area’s housing crisis, due to the housing deficit being too severe.  Those opposing the project also question the sustainability of the net zero greenhouse gas emissions, while others question whether the area had sufficient water to support the massive project.  Are you surprised to hear there is talk of an appeal? Stay tuned here for all the latest in this ongoing story.

And remember, call or text Mark Bolender, REMAX, 310-857-4956 and 661-714-0510, for all of your real estate needs, or email us, MarkBolender@RE/ and visit our websites often and

This information is provided as a public courtesy and is deemed reliable based on media, reports and publications available on the internet.

About Us

Picture of Mark Bolender

Mark Bolender

Cal BRE# 01065007

661-714-0510 mobile

Mark Bolender is one of Los Angeles county’s dynamic Realtors, and has faithfully served his residential clients for 25 years. He educated himself consistently over this time, while honing his sale’s and negotiation skills. Not only does Mark have a Broker license, he is also certified to work with residential clients (CRS), and a graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI). Mark Bolender specializes in the independent cities of Santa Monica and Santa Clarita as well as the West Los Angeles areas. Mark can be found at the corporate offices in Valencia and Stevenson Ranch, and also a boutique satellite office in Santa Monica, near the beach. You can quickly sum Mark’s personality up like this, he treats everyone the same no matter who the person is. What this means is that Mark Bolender is kind, honest and diplomatic to all, while treating everyone to his savvy negotiating and coordinating expertise. When people meet Mark, they feel at ease, sensing that he is present and mindful because he always listens. He is both charming and formidable, managing to stay positive and offer solutions at all times. For many, throughout Los Angeles, Mark remains a valuable member of their financial team, year after year. Please notes that photos in slide show that are shown in 3D are being used with permission from Shutterstock. These photos and all other artwork in this website have copyright protection. Do not download or use these or any images. Thank You!

The Revolutionary Millenial Breakthrough to Affording a Home

Does it feel as though you’re never going to be able to purchase a home? Millennials have been going through a housing crisis for years — fewer than 13% of millennials have been able to purchase their own homes in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream of owning property. More and more, millennials are coming to a realization: that fractal ownership could be the way. Not only is tenants in common buying open to many individuals, but it still allows you to take advantage of many special financing programs.

Purchasing a Home as Tenants in Common

Fractional ownership is a trend that can make it possible for any individual to own a home — or, at least, part of one. Rather than renting an apartment, a couple could instead endeavor to purchase a home with another couple. This splits the cost of the home four ways, rather than two ways or even one way. Further, it still conveys all the benefits of homeownership. Homeowners will be able to modify their properties as they please, can build equity rather than paying rent, and can sell their property for profit if it accumulates value.

Fractional ownership is one of the most versatile of all affordability crisis solutions, because multiple buyers are not treated any differently from an individual buyer when procuring financing. Whether you are a single buyer or purchasing a home with five other individuals, you can still be considered an owner occupant and you can still be able to procure virtually any type of conventional or special financing.

Owners don’t have to be couples; tenants in common buying can be completed with friends and family members. Anyone who passes the mortgage financial and credit checks will be accepted. From then on, the property will usually be owned by all involved individuals — often with shares distributed based on the amount that each individual paid in for the down payment.

America has already gone through a trend of developing too large homes that can house far more than a single family. Millennials can now take advantage of this trend by joining multiple families and still getting everything they want out of their property.

The Advantages of Fractional Ownership in Financing

When you don’t have a down payment, you often have to rely upon low down payment financing programs. These programs usually require you to be an owner occupant. Fractional ownership allows for this. And not all of the individuals need to be owner occupants; as an example, a couple could sign up alongside a relative, even if the relative isn’t intending on purchasing a home. For the relative, they will still receive their equity share of the property, and can consider it a financial investment.

Financing is available right now for fractional ownership with 5% down and a max combined loan amount of $1,136,150. As long as participants have a minimum FICO score of 680, they may be able to qualify — and they must intend to use the residence as a primary residence for at least one of the borrowers. Both single family homes and condominiums can be financed through equity sharing, and financing options are available with no PMI and no prepayment penalty.

Millennials no longer need to feel as though they will never be able to purchase a home. There are many financing options available, especially if they are willing to “think outside the box” and utilize new, revolutionary tools such as fractional ownership. There are currently a multitude of loan programs available, ranging from interest only programs to 80% loans with a 10% carry back. There are even loans available with no minimum FICO requirements or minimum requirements of as low as 620.

Rent vs Buy: Why We Live in Santa Monica at all Costs

Rent vs Buy: Why We Live in Santa Monica at all Costs

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6b6 UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_630Nobody understands the motivation to choose to live in a beautiful, vibrant, and exciting beach town setting better than the residents of Santa Monica, California. The cost of living is enormous compared to national averages, and running a few Santa Monica value checks may be slightly shocking. According to the National Cost of Living Index, Santa Monica ranks well near the top of the most expensive areas with an overall cost of living rating of 211. California on the whole ranks 135 and the national average is 100. For housing, respectively, Santa Monica rates a 450, California scores an 189, and the national average is- as a comparative- 100. The average cost to rent in Santa Monica is approximately $3000.

Rent vs Buy

Nevertheless, in the face of these staggering prices, many people elect to endure the lack of affordable housing. Why? Well, that’s easy. Santa Monica is home to the beautiful Silicon Beach, offers a fast-paced lifestyle in a stunning seaside region- where so many living spaces are perched over some of the finest examples of coastal and city scenery in the country. Not only that but just behind the city, to the east, are a sweeping range of endless hills and wilderness, much of which are open to the public.

When faced with the choice of whether to rent or buy, many Santa Monicans make their choice to live in Santa Monica feasible by foregoing homeownership to remain lifetime renters. What few of these renters realize is that they may qualify to purchase high rise condos for between 5% and 10% down. Many young families who need a home instead of a condo can qualify for a loan buy a larger home outside of Santa Monica for just 3.5% down FHA, and veterans can receive a loan for 0% down.

With opportunities like these available, we think more people could choose to stay in this one of a kind California beach town.

About Us

Picture of Mark Bolender

Mark Bolender

Cal DRE# 01065007

661-714-0510661-714-0510 mobile

Mark Bolender has been a driving force for good, in the Southern California real estate scene for 30 years. His innovations in service, technology and transparency has given him a rewarding career with many clients. "Calm, cool and collected" best describes him. Detailed and caring define his character. His first hand knowledge of the housing industry, inventory, architecture, design and Southern California culture blends with his seasoned experience. He loves advocating for people and negotiating on their behalf. Mark feels strongly about assisting people in finding real estate that will enhance and enrich one's life. After all Mark says, where you live determines one's self worth, happiness and grounded-ness.


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