Listings Wanted – A Sellers Market

The Palm Springs area real estate market has heated up to the point that sellers are in the drivers seat. If you’ve ever thought, “I wouldn’t mind selling. I just want to wait till the market is a little better….”

Now is that time.


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A new video of a great rental condo in Sunrise Country Club

Shot a video today of a rental condo for a client and thought I would share it with all my followers. It’s a 2 bedroom place in Sunrise Country Club and it has great views of the golf course and mountains. What I find most interesting in this is why I shot it. The client and I had barely met last year through the website He was seeking a good deal on a place in the Palm Springs area and instead of going with my recommendation ended up in a discounted condo on the north end (windy) of Palm Springs. Before he left I reconnected with him and asked about his stay. he answered predictable with a “Allright” sort of response but wanted to revisit some of the better neighborhoods I had tried to show him before his arrival. So, instead of just a condo in a complex that didn’t even include tennis courts, had uncovered street level parking he’s going to be staying here next year.

Tell me what you think…

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Four Factors to Consider When Selling Your Palm Springs Area Home to Canadians

In the Coachella valley (Palm Springs area) we have a substantial input of capital coming into the real estate market that many places in the country doesn’t. Our fellow North Americans have a dollar on par with the U.S. that they seldom historically enjoy. Combine that with a burgeoning 45+ group of individuals who want to put a plan in place for their own retirement and you wind up with a property profile that appeals to our Canadian neighbors.

If you would like to attract these buyers here’s a few tips on how to do so:

1) Location. Canadians want to be able to offset their costs of ownership with a seasonal rental that still gives them time to enjoy the property a few weeks or more a year until they fully retire. Is your property in a golf course, tennis, or otherwise association that would make it rentable? If so, you have a good head start on attracting a buyer from Canada.

2) View. A very important factor for our seasonal northern owners is which way does your back yard face? Canadians prefer it to face South #1 and West #2. They are coming here for the sun and they want all of it they can get. While you cannot change the direction your view faces you can either maximize the use of that space so chairs, BBQ’s, etc. get the most from the sun, or realize that this is likely to be one of your weaker attractions for luring in a purchaser from the Great White North.

3) Condition. Canadians usually don’t mind a little reconditioning on a property. As a matter of fact, most of the Canadian buyers are very handy with simple to complex refurbishing of properties. They are a handy folk who can often see value beyond an unpainted wall, or a none too perfect flooring situation. Generally speaking, you are better off to leave a little bit of something for them to deal with and compensate instead with your price, which we’ll discuss next.

4) Market. Your price needs to be at the bottom of it unless there’s a real reason your home justifies a higher price. Be honest with yourself. Get your agent to walk with you through some of your competition so you can see firsthand what your competing against. Almost never – ok, let’s just say never – will a Canadian pay for the highest price. They are a thrifty people who won’t let go of their dollars easily. But they will recognize value. They also like low HOA’s, low property maintenance, or other monthly expenditures and they generally prefer desert landscaping to grass. After all, they are coming from a rain forest. They want their experience here to be different from their home.

Keep these things in mind. And if you want a real appraisal of how your home would appeal to the Canadian buyers seek the help of a professional.

Would you like the help of the #1 Real Estate agent who is tops with bringing Canadian buyers to the desert?

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Want a Perfect Place to Live? Experience Beautiful Days and Gorgeous Nights in the Palm Springs Area

It’s that beautiful time of year again here in the Coachella Valley, when the weathermen draw blue wavy lines over the rest of the country and we get the sun. Today it’s in the low 70’s, the skies are blue with only some faint clouds and the mountains are covered in snow. So if you’re somewhere foggy, rainy, and snowy and can’t even think about leaving the house to go grocery shopping without putting on your thickest coat, I’ve got a few choice words for you, “What are you waiting for? Give me a call. I might surprise you!”

I love the desert. My favorite time is in the evening when I can sit on my back porch and watch the mountains change color. It starts off as a subtle shift at first, the rugged peaks slowly becoming a darker hue of brown. The sky shifts to a crescendo of rose and the mountains farthest away from the sunset reach into Mother Nature’s box of crayons and become bluish, then royal, and finally settle into shades of purple and crimson. The Eastern sky darkens as the first star twinkles. The moon is already up, catching the last of the setting suns brightness against its white disk. I turn back to the mountains and watch the hills…

It’s that time of year when the outside calls. The temperatures have been remarkable, and not just during the evening. If you haven’t dusted off the BBQ, you better get out the hose and the wire brush, because it’s a great time to fire up the ol’ grill and have some steaks with your wine. Share the evening with those you care about most. It’s too easy to let the good times slip away. The grind of work will still be there waiting for you. I promise. But one thing you’ll never regret is the memories of enjoying a good laugh, a ribalding story retold for the 100th time, or the smiles you’ll get from the people you love.

I have a friend who loves to just sit on his patio, share a good meal and watch the golfers go by. He’s a great commentator on the do’s and don’ts of the perfect game. I never see him on the fairway though. Another friend of mine doesn’t let a day go by that she isn’t on a court, a course or a field with a ball, a club or a racket. I love’em both and am glad to share many mornings and afternoons with them. That’s what makes life here in the desert so special. The mornings are beautiful and the day just gets better and better with each passing hour. Sunsets are spectacular and the restaurants are entertaining and delicious.

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Considerations for Canadians Buying Homes in Palm Springs, California

Canadians looking to buy homes in the Palm Springs area have the following considerations:

1) If you want maximum sunshine – which most northern visitors here do – than a South facing exposure is optimum, but if you want the best views South West is premium.

2) Short Sales may seem to have the lowest prices but they aren’t always real prices. The agents selling them know the process is going to take 3-9 months and therefore list the properties at below market prices to try and capture an offer from somebody who will hang in there. And, it might take months before the bank comes back and tells you what they’re really willing to sell the property for. or they might just deny your price and tell you to offer more, without saying what they will accept.

3) Transactions are handled by California licensed Real Estate agents, not attorneys. Once an offer is accepted, all monies are placed in an Escrow that acts as a neutral third party while paperwork, inspections and loans are processed. The Escrow company therefore tries to protect the interests of everyone to comply by state laws, although your agent is the real individual looking out for your particular interests.

4) There is no Sales Tax on homes in California, much like the VAT in Canada. In California you pay an annual sales tax of 1.25% of the purchase price and this remains in effect for the life of your ownership. This was established in the late 1970’s with a state initiative called proposition 13. Your total tax bill may sometimes come closer to @2% of your purchase price as some special districts (i.e. school districts, park districts, library districts, etc.) and city fees, or what’s called Mello Roos may influence the final total.

5) When it comes time to sell your property Canadians are required to pay a 10% tax to the U.S. government under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, FIRPTA, unless the property is being sold to someone as a primary residence for the first two years of ownership and the property is sold for less than $300,000.

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Factors to Be Aware of in the Under $100,000 Real Estate Market

The largest percentages of real estate transaction occurring right now in the Palm Springs area are deals at $100,000 or less. For this type of money a buyer can purchase a small home or condo in a nice pool and tennis community. It’s an ever more crowded panacea of buyers trying to squeeze into the near bottom of the market today.

I say the near bottom, because sometimes I’ll come across home at $50,000 or less. But these are usually very beat up: windows broken, bathrooms stinking, holes in walls, kind of places that require lots and lots of rehab. But for nearer to $100k a prospective owner can have a pretty nice place that needs little or no refurbishing.

There are two factors worth being aware of when proceeding with these transactions:

* Some buyers think there are miles and miles to negotiate on rock bottom pricing. It’s kind of like bringing a friend to the dollar store and then having them negotiate with the checker, “Will you take 60 cents?” When in reality the prices on these properties have little or no room for negotiation. The banks have both already foreclosed on them and researched their price or the seller knows they are competing with foreclosures and short sales and have set their price down at the bottom. Otherwise, if it wasn’t so low, the buyer wouldn’t have looked at it in the first place.
* There are more and more people entering the real estate market from an investment or second home stand point all the time.

When these two factors are combined it makes for a very rapidly changing market and the best deals go quickly, often with several offers against them and more often than not, over the asking price. Now I imagine a few groans out there in readership land. You’re probably saying to yourself, “But everything I hear on the news tells me that the market is still dropping!”

To that I say, ‘On a national level, this is true,’ and I’m not saying more homes aren’t coming on the market. They are. What I am saying is you are probably not the only person left in the country with money left in their bank account and the good deals go fast. Everyone wants a deal, right? And most people who still have cash were pretty smart in however they were able to hold onto it, right? So it goes to reason that all these people are looking for the very best deals when they’re finally ready to part with some of it, right?

So the best deals go fast. And to get them you have to go faster and make strong offers. Don’t be wishy washy when you see something you like. Offer them what they are asking. It’s already at the bottom of the market. Do you want to miss out on something that is probably half or 40% of what it sold for a few years ago simply because you feel you should never pay asking price in real estate? That might feed your ego, but while you’re trying to negotiate somebody else is moving into your golf course view and firing up a barbecue in their new condo. And five or ten years from now when this market has turned around, they’ll be the ones saying, “I can’t believe the deal I made on this place back when the market was down.”

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Multiple Offers From Investment Companies

I don’t know what’s wrong with the media? If they want to create a sensationalistic ether about the real estate market they should be spreading the news about the amount of investment companies and individuals that see a promising future in real estate.

The most lucrative market right now is home under $100,000. I see this in the market myself and it was recently confirmed at a meeting with RE/Max’s broker for the desert, Lorenzo Lombardelli. Homes and condos under $100k presently sell faster and in greater quantity than any other real estate.

Why? Low risk-good profit-fast profit!

If you could buy a home for $50k-$60k, put $10k or less into it and sell it in less than 3 months for $70k-$90k, would you do it? You bet, anyone would. Who wouldn’t want to realize a $10k-$30k profit every quarter? That’s 20%-30% in profit!!

The catch is: you gotta have cash or have your financing in place. And you have to be able to make a quick decision. I see time and time again, a buyer who tells me, “I hear the market is horrible and I want to steal a property.”

“Ok,” I say. “and if I show you some these great deals, when are you going to be ready to act?”

“You show me the deal and I’ll recognize it.” Right. This same buyer whines when it comes time to make an offer that it isn’t low enough, the home needs repairs, and then in their hesitation they lose it to some else who buys it, fixes it and relists it for $20grand more.

There are deals out there. I come across them every days. If you’re a buyer who can really recognize them, I would sure love to talk.



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