Habitat for Humanity Fresno County will expand its homebuilding program for low-income families to Orange Cove next year.
The nonprofit homebuilder received a $200,000 grant from Wells Fargo bank's housing foundation on Thursday to break ground on the first of 10 homes planned for the Monte Vista subdivision on Adams Avenue, north of Orange Cove.
It will be the first time Habitat has ventured out to a rural Fresno County community to build homes. Last year, the agency renovated two houses in Parlier.
"We hope to do far more than 10 houses, but this will be the kickoff for these rural communities," said Tony Miranda, Habitat's executive director.
The announcement comes as Habitat begins construction on the last of nine houses in the Little Long Cheng subdivision in southeast Fresno.
Last year at this time, Habitat received $114,000 from Wells Fargo to offset the cost of finishing the existing development at Willow and Jensen avenues.
Five of the nine houses are finished and have families living in them, Miranda said. The remaining four homes are under construction.
Next year, Habitat also plans to build three homes in the Rialto Rancho subdivision at Villa and Rialto avenues in Clovis.
Fresno State center looks at farm values
The Gazarian Real Estate Center at Fresno State is taking a break from residential real estate and will explore the value of farmland at its next symposium.
The center and the Fresno State Department of Agricultural Business will host "2013 Fresno Agricultural Valuation Symposium: Bubble or Just the Beginning?" on Jan. 23 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University Business Center Auditorium. A panel discussion will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. with experts from the university's water institute, agricultural lenders, brokers and investors.
Stanley Xavier Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Correia-Xavier Incorporated, an appraisal firm specializing in agricultural properties, will speak after the discussion.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Visit www.gazarian.info to register.
Tulare Realtors welcome new president
The Tulare County Association of Realtors welcomed its 2013 officers and directors during a luncheon Wednesday at the Visalia Convention Center.
The trade organization will be led by Mark Avedian of Avedian Properties, last year's president-elect. He takes over for Mimi Ruby, also a real estate agent for Avedian Properties, who will remain on the board as a director.
Other officers are: Chris Barbeau, president-elect; and Scott Ellis, secretary and treasurer.
Other directors are: Borna Binesh, Dena Clark, Stephanie Collins, Kathy Hagin, Chris Jolly, Eddie Mendes, Charles Mitchell, Ed Morton and Darcy Staberg.