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Sal Puglisi’s Guide to Buying a Retirement Home

With your days of staff meetings, traffic-packed commutes and parent teacher conferences behind you, retirement is full of possibility and promises for days of relaxing by the pool and working on your golf game.  Now it’s time to find a home to fulfill those retirement dreams in. The market is crowded with homes at every price point, so how do you know which one is right for you?  But before you start searching property listing and dreaming of gourmet kitchens, you need a plan.

Set your budget for buying a retirement home

Your working years may have held the possibility of bonuses and overtime. However, many retired people need to live within a finite amount of money already in their retirement plans and savings. Setting and sticking to a monthly budget for your retirement home is critical, especially if you plan to finance. The price in the listing for your dream home might not give you sticker shock, but there are always other costs of homeownership to consider, including maintenance, insurance, home owner association fees, repairs and eventually upgrades.

Choose your community

When you bought the home you raised your family in, you probably considered its proximity to schools and the commute to work.  Location is no less important when it comes to buying a retirement home, but the qualifications are a little different.

Whether you are buying your retirement home at 55 or 75, you are probably hoping to spend the rest of your years there, happy and healthy. However, there may come a day when proximity to hospitals and doctors becomes very important. When looking at communities, carefully consider what health care facilities are nearby.

After long years working late at the office and chasing after children, retirement is the time to indulge in the hobbies and activities you enjoy most. Retirement communities are much more than collections of houses; each one offers a unique set of amenities and recreation opportunities. You’ve traded in your daily commute to work, so forget driving too far to play a round of golf or get to the fitness center. There are plenty of communities that offer all that and more. Popular facilities include tennis courts, fitness centers, clubhouses with social activities and dining, pools, hiking trails and golf courses. However you hope to fill your days, be sure to choose community that has it onsite. But, keep in mind that some communities come with additional price tags, such as golf and club memberships, so be sure to build those into the budget it they are important to you.

Consider the location within the community

Don’t assume that just because you love the community you will love every location within it. Every neighborhood, no matter the amenities offered, will have some home sites that are more suited to you and your lifestyle than others.

Our area boasts plenty of golf communities, which can make perfect retirement locales, whether you like to hit a few balls on the weekend or are serious about your game. Homes situated along the course offer beautiful views of the fairways. For some, it is living among that landscape that calls them to golf community. However, sitting on your patio, sipping your morning coffee and enjoying the view might be nice, until a stray ball plops into your latte. Not all golfers make par, so homes next to the course often have balls launched into their lawns. That makes a difference to some people, while others don’t mind.

The other downside to a home that rests along a golf course is limited privacy. With golfers playing through all day and whizzing by on carts, some homeowners become uncomfortable using their yards as they would otherwise. While some people feel right at home along the course, if you like to leave the blinds open all day and walk the dog in your PJs, it’s something to consider.

Select the size

Many people assume that, with the kids grown and it their own homes, retirement is the time to downsize. That may or may not hold true for you. While the number of bedrooms may have been a primary factor in considering previous homes, many retired people opt for more flexible spaces. It all comes down to lifestyle, so if you like to cook gourmet meals, tinker in the garage, work on hobbies or entertain and host parties, look for a home with space for the things that make you happy.

Remember, larger homes are not only more expensive upfront, they are also more costly to maintain, so look for options that are realistic on your budget.

Get started

Planning for the purchase of any home comes with plenty of questions. With home values and prices ranging widely, even between different communities in the same area, the process of finding the right fit can feel confusing. Knowledge is power and there are plenty of online tools to help you browse properties to get a feel for what is available in your price range.  A realtor, who is an expert in the local area, will be your most valuable tool in finding your perfect retirement home.

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La Quinta Real Estate Projections

La Quinta Real Estate Projections 2015

A resort city, La Quinta was noted as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. This is driven significantly by the fact that the area is home to a number of top-notch, award-winning golf courses and their highly desirable communities. Because the region also includes plenty of social, cultural and recreational opportunities for you to enjoy, 2015 is a prime time to purchase La Quinta real estate, such as a getaway home or retirement retreat.

Continued Growth is Expected

The real estate market showed promising signs of growth during 2014 and this upward trend is expected to continue during 2015. In fact, projections show that sales of existing homes could increase as much as eight percent. This is partly attributed to the continued availability of prime real estate offerings in highly desirable locations that come complete with many of the most requested amenities. In addition, many home buyers in the market today believe that an increase in both housing prices and interest rates is imminent which is predicted to fuel further growth.

Housing Prices will Remain Flat

wpid-2015-real-estate

Expect to see the prices of existing homes to remain steady with only slight increases of about four to five percent over the course of 2015. This means you can continue to get significantly more house for your dollar compared to just a few short years ago. 2015 marks a fantastic year to take the leap and purchase that vacation home you have always wanted. However, it is important to not let this home buying opportunity slip past you as home prices are expected to continue to rise slowly over the course of the coming months.

Interest Rates will Climb Slowly

This year is a fabulous year to retire to Coachella Valley and find your perfect retiree home. Even though interest rates have remained low for the past few years, you can expect that trend to change — albeit slowly. The Federal Reserve Bank traditionally increases its target rate by the end of the year. This means that by mid 2015, the projected interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage will likely be about five percent. While this rate is still quite low, it is a barometer for what is to come in the coming years and ultimately makes your home buying dollars less productive. The moral of this story: close on your chosen piece of La Quinta real estate sooner rather than later during 2015, if at all possible.

Competition May Increase

According to projections, those people that fall within the same segment of the population as yourself will be the very ones who are looking hardest at La Quinta real estate during 2015. As people reach retirement age or decide that they are ready to scour the market for a vacation home, Coachella Valley looks quite attractive. With the region’s stellar climate and proximity to many cultural amenities, recreational facilities and entertainment options, you can expect to find more competition for those homes that meet your needs as the year unfolds. Putting your real estate needs in motion now helps to significantly increase the likelihood that you will be able to purchase the home of your dreams.

It’s no secret that the real estate market has taken a hit these past few years. After all, this segment of the economy was one of the impetuses behind its nosedive. Things have slowly started to turn around for the economy in general, though, and this has been largely fueled by an uptick in the housing market. In fact, 2015 looks to be a banner year in the La Quinta real estate market, brimming with opportunities that you do not want to miss.

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Voted the Best Place to Retire in the US

Voted Best Place to Retire in the US

The Coachella Valley, which consists of numerous resort style destinations such as Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, and Indio, has become one of the best places to retire in the United States. It attracts people from all over the world due to its picturesque landscape, rich culture, great restaurants, and diverse communities.It is no surprise to the valley locals why this little desert haven was voted to be the best place to retire in the US, but just in case you are unfamiliar with the area or are considering relocating, here is a rundown of some of Coachella Valley’s best features.

1. Sun, Sun, and More Sun!

The weather is one of the many reasons people move to the area. With extremely mild winters and literally just about 365 days of sun, give or take a few stormy days here and there, the Coachella Valley weather is pretty much consistent. Summers are extremely hot but it’s a dry heat that is tolerable as long as you stay indoors during the months of July to September. If you’re like many of the snow-birds (seasonal residents), you run off to Canada or other cooler regions during the worst part of the summer and return in the fall when the weather is absolutely perfect.

2. Enjoy the rich valley landscapes.

best place to retire

The beautiful landscape itself sells the area to many people. Imagine picturesque desert valleys surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains, vast green landscapes that double as lush green golf courses, and streets lined with the tallest palm trees – it doesn’t get any better (and calming) than this.

3. Play golf among its luxurious greens.

Golf is not just a sport or pastime in this desert region – it’s a way of life. With some of the most beautiful courses and prestigious clubs in the US, Coachella Valley is a golfers’ paradise. With exclusive country clubs and luxury homes built directly on the course, residents can just step right outside their doors onto the greens.For an unparalleled golfing experience like no other, do check out courses such as the Indian Wells Golf Resort, the Silver Rock Resort and the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, and the Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club in the Palm Desert.

4. Live where the stars come out to play.

Known as the “Playground of the Stars,” famous celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Sonny Bono, and Gerald Ford put Palm Springs on the map. Now, a new crowd of young celebrities calls the desert home, with the likes of Leonardo di Caprio who just bought his own home in the area.

5. The Coachella Valley is rich in culture and arts.

The valley has always been a very popular tourist attraction, but even more so now with major music, film, and art events happening in the area. A great example of this would be the Coachella Music Festival which is a two-weekend event held every April in Indio. This festival usually showcases popular and established musical acts, as well as emerging artists who make it into the limelight. This musical event is one of the largest and the most famous music festival in the world.

6. Desert Real Estate

Should you decide to relocate to the area, there are a lot of real estate options to choose from. There is literally something for every family and budget – gated communities, country clubs, single family homes, rentals, condos, vacation homes, senior living properties, and luxury estates.

7. Community Stats

The low crime rates, excellent healthcare, and proximity to beach cities make the Coachella Valley an ideal place for seniors and retiring baby boomers to live. There is always something new to look forward to in the area due to the non-stop development of different infrastructures. The local economy is also driven by tourism, as a lot of tourists like to visit the valley for a weekend vacation.Everybody wants to live, or retire, in a peaceful yet active environment. Taking into account all the great features of the desert, there is no doubt why Coachella Valley has been Voted the Best Place to Retire in the US.

For details and listings contact: Sal Puglisi  http://salpuglisi.com/

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Sunday’s At Four

Everyone has a cook book but none like Fay Mancuso’s “Sundays at Four”. Carrying on the Italian family tradition she knew as a little girl, Fay’s family, husband Frank, children, grandchildren and their friends have all enjoyed for years the same experience she had of gathering together for great food and conversation. Fay prepares various recipes she learned from her mother and grandmother as only she can. From this tradition she was encouraged to write here cook book so it could be passed on as her legacy to her children and friends.

Here are 2 of Faye’s exquisite Italian dishes made with love…

 

Ingredients

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate

Optional

  • sugar (a sprinkling for a crunchy top)

Directions

Step 1
Place the flour and caster sugar into a bowl and create a well in the middle for the other ingredients.

Mix the eggs, vanilla extract, milk and margarine and then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Mix well until it is lump free and then break the chocolate into small pieces and add them.
Step 2
Pour the muffin mixture into a muffin tin filling each mould up to two thirds full.

Place a block of chocolate into the middle of each muffin. Then sprinkle some sugar over the top of each.
Step 3
Cook for around 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC / 390ºF / gas mark 5. After 18 minutes or so check to see if they are cooked enough.

Insert a knife into one of the muffins and if no mixture is on the knife then they are cooked!

Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate

Optional

  • sugar (a sprinkling for a crunchy top)

Directions

Step 1
Place the flour and caster sugar into a bowl and create a well in the middle for the other ingredients.

Mix the eggs, vanilla extract, milk and margarine and then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Mix well until it is lump free and then break the chocolate into small pieces and add them.
Step 2
Pour the muffin mixture into a muffin tin filling each mould up to two thirds full.

Place a block of chocolate into the middle of each muffin. Then sprinkle some sugar over the top of each.
Step 3
Cook for around 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC / 390ºF / gas mark 5. After 18 minutes or so check to see if they are cooked enough.

Insert a knife into one of the muffins and if no mixture is on the knife then they are cooked!

Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.
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Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate

Optional

  • sugar (a sprinkling for a crunchy top)

Directions

Step 1
Place the flour and caster sugar into a bowl and create a well in the middle for the other ingredients.

Mix the eggs, vanilla extract, milk and margarine and then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Mix well until it is lump free and then break the chocolate into small pieces and add them.
Step 2
Pour the muffin mixture into a muffin tin filling each mould up to two thirds full.

Place a block of chocolate into the middle of each muffin. Then sprinkle some sugar over the top of each.
Step 3
Cook for around 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC / 390ºF / gas mark 5. After 18 minutes or so check to see if they are cooked enough.

Insert a knife into one of the muffins and if no mixture is on the knife then they are cooked!

Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.
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Whole Foods Market Palm Desert Store

Whole Foods Comes to the Desert!

In case you live under a rock or have not seen the signs, long lines and other indicators, a Whole Foods Market has opened in our desert valley. True to its tagline, “America’s Healthiest Store,” Whole Foods hunts down organic foods of the finest quality to sell to consumers in store and online. They also support sustainable agriculture, which is a definite hit among eco-loving health buffs. Our very own Whole Foods Market can be found at 44-459 Town Center Way, Palm Desert, CA 92260. It is open from 7:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening, seven days a week.

What is the Big Deal?

If you have been to a Whole Foods Market before and you then you get it and there is no explanation needed; but if you haven’t then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

The store offers a wide variety of organic goods, such as meat, seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, deli meats, organic honey, and cheeses. There are even all-natural and organic beer and wine selections.

Palm Desert Store
Palm Desert Store

Aside from food items, Whole Foods Market carries body care products that contain all natural ingredients, many are paraben and sulfate free. Whole Foods Market’s interpretation of beauty products is free from chemicals that may cause more harm than good in the long run.

The Prepared Foods Departments provide an assortment of delicious goods for those who want to slip healthy eating into their busy lifestyles. Selections may include a pizza station, a sushi or seafood bar, an ethnic restaurant, a raw foods bar, a salad bar, a sandwich bar, and a lot more. All of these are prepared using the most natural and organic ingredients, devoid of preservatives, artificial flavors, and all other chemicals that may be found in most fast food.

For those who are into the juicing craze, the Palm Desert Store has a fresh juicing bar where you can have your choice of fruits and veggies juiced on the spot while you wait. They also have a great assortment of freshly juiced combinations ready to go which include, flavored waters, and fruit and vegetable juice combinations.

You can grab a coffee or tea in hot and cold variants at the in-store coffee bar and for those with a sweet tooth, the fresh pastry and gelato stations offer healthy, delicious options to fulfill your dessert desires.

Don’t think they forgot about our four legged friends. Whole Foods Market even has healthy organic options for pet owners who want only natural goodies for their pets.

In-Store Brew

Each WFM is different and offers a variety of dining options. The Palm Desert Store has a bar called the Tap-In Room. They have 24 local and national beers on tap, an awesome selection of vino, a full bar menu, daily specials and happy hour from 4pm – 6pm.

Why We Love the Whole Foods Palm Desert Store

There is more to Whole Foods than just healthy goods. The store puts emphasis on giving back to the community and preserving the environment. They support local causes passionately with projects such as food donations to shelters and food banks, and community giving days called the “5% Days.” Several times a year, Whole Foods donates 5% of their day’s sales to local educational and nonprofit organizations. Even their team members take time off to volunteer for these organizations. Some of the local charities supported by our Whole Foods Market are the Humane Society of the Desert, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Desert Aids Foundation, and the Living Desert.

As part of their goal to support sustainable farming, Whole Foods Market has a Local Producer Loan program, where they provide low-interest loans to small farmers and food artisans. Whole Foods Market’s loan program has a budget of about $25M. Aside from these loans, Whole Foods Market supports only local farmers who are concerned with animal welfare and organic farming.

Shopping at Whole Foods on a Budget

Some people refer to WFM as “Whole Paycheck Market” because let’s face it – there is a hefty price tag for all this organic whole food greatness. But there are some tips and tricks to shopping at WFM on a budget.

  • Coupons! Check the Whole Deal value guide in stores or print coupons from their website before coming to the store.  They also honor manufacturers’ coupons. 
  • Reach for the 365 Everyday Value® brand. WFM offers over 600 organic 365 Everyday Value® products at great prices.
  • Look for sale signs. There are more than 1000 items on sale at any time – Many of the items are organic, including meat, grocery products and fresh seasonal produce.
  • Subscribe to the WFM newsletter and receive the latest news and sale alerts. 
  • Look for sure deals in each issue of The Whole Deal value guide, as these are products that bring you the best quality and the best value every day.

Events at Whole Foods

To make healthy eating even more exciting, the Whole Foods Market holds weekly events and in-store tours. They even give their valued customers a chance to meet local merchants. Some of the recently concluded events in our Whole Foods Market are the Kids’ Club Kickoff Lunch, The Tap Takeover, and the Annual Pancake Breakfast. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with new events and activities that make Whole Foods an excellent hangout for the family.

The One-Eleven Shopping Center has recently been revived with the opening of Nordstrom Rack, Home Goods, and Whole Foods Palm Desert Store. More stores are expected to open in the plaza, giving desert dwellers more shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With the rush of consumers expected to come to these establishments, the owner is currently trying to address parking and crowd issues.

Whole Foods Market joins a list of other health conscious establishments in the desert such as Bristol Farms, Clarks Nutrition and Trader Joes. We welcome these stores and appreciate their efforts to help make healthy eating more convenient and accessible to valley residents.

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10 Tips from your La Quinta Realtor

Living in the desert valley we get to enjoy amazing natural vistas, a typically dry climate, and lots of sunny days. However, we also endure extreme heat, gusty winds, and soaring electricity bills which can provide some unique challenges for homeowners. We put together a list of 10 common tips, and considerations for our fellow desert dwellers. 

10 tips for desert home owners from La Quinta Realtors, PuglisiWoodard

1 – Solar panels: 

In the desert, you’ve got plenty of sun. Who wouldn’t enjoy reducing power bills with free electricity from a renewable resource? However, home solar systems can take awhile to pay for themselves, so you might consider the following before you buy:

Check online reviews at websites like solarreviews.com or diamondcertified.org to find out if your service provider has a great reputation.

If you plan to buy, understand and compare warranty details because maintenance or repairs can reduce your savings.

Get up to date information on the tax rebates, credits, and other incentives offered to home owners who install solar panels by visiting DSIRE.org.

You may also have the option to lease a home solar power system with no money down, and this gives you a way to enjoy a positive return on your investment quickly. Also, you get to let the solar power company worry about maintenance and repairs.

2 – Landscaping: 

With another unprecedented year of drought in the valley, water conservation should be an important consideration when you landscape your yard and garden. By choosing to incorporate desert landscaping features, you can reduce water consumption and your water bill. In fact, you may even benefit from the generous rebates that local water companies offer to homeowners who covert their lawns to native landscaping. The good news is that native landscaping choices can reduce your water consumption by 75 percent and maintenance bill by half.

3 – Air seal your home: 

Not only can sealing up air leaks make your house more comfortable, it can also help reduce your cooling and heating bill. Typical culprits are windows and doors. Sealing up drafts is a great do-it-yourself project that you can probably complete in a few hours with the help of this guide: Department of Energy guide to caulking and weather stripping.

4 – Earthquake preparedness: 

Most residents of this part of the country realize that it is only a matter of time before an earthquake strikes. Secure bookshelves, large appliances, fragile valuables, and big furniture with earthquake straps or other fasteners. If you already know that you have purchased a home on a fault line, you should be prepared.

5 – Don’t be afraid to DIY: 

Ninety percent of what most folks need for a successful DIY project is having the guts to get started. Worst case—you mess up and then bring in the professional. Best case—you save money, learn something new and feel a great sense of accomplishment.

6 – Know the difference between a DIY job and when to call in a professional: 

Installing shelves in the closet is a DIY project. Relocating a water heater, now that sounds like a job for a professional. If you try to make some complex repairs without the right skills, you may end up with a pretty big mess. Save time and money by knowing when to get professional assistance with home repairs and projects.

7 – Keep a home journal: 

Do you know when you changed your air conditioning filters or the batteries in your fire alarms? Keep a simple journal that reminds you of repairs, purchases, maintenance etc. You can refer back to it when needed and it will come in handy when selling the house if you can give the new owners detailed information.

8 – Have your AC cleaned and serviced every spring: 

Few routine chores will pay off more handsomely, both in comfort and in dollars saved, than a simple air-conditioner cleaning. The payoff: Summertime comfort and lower cooling bills. You’ll also prolong the life of your air conditioner, and the technician may catch small problems before they turn into large and expensive problems.

9 – Get flood and earthquake insurance: 

Why do you need flood insurance in the desert? Just ask one of the many families in La Quinta whose homes were completely flooded during recent summer storms. Flooding issues are apparent all over the valley due to the lack of proper drainage systems. Don’t even ask why you need earthquake insurance when you live on a fault line. It is unlikely that land movement or flood insurance are included in a typical homeowners policy, but you can call your agent to check.

10 – Craigslist, Utility Scams and Angie’s List: Your La Quinta Realtor says Be wary and do your research.

Craigslist: You have some furniture for sell, so you list it on Craigslist and allow strangers to contact you or even come to your home to look at the items you are selling. The problem is that homeowners are being robbed and targeted by predators that they invited into their homes with online ads and unsafe practices. List your items online, but don’t invite strangers to your residence. If possible, try to meet in a public place, If the item is too large to bring with you, consider selling the item via consignment or using an eBay listing store where they list the sell the item for you online.

Utility scams: You get a call from somebody who says he is a representative for “Southern CA Edison” stating you have until the end of day to pay your power bill or your electricity will be turned off. The person sounds legitimate and has your basic information. You are told the bill has to be paid via money wire, and you are given instructions on how to do so. The only problem is the caller is not from SCE and has no authority to turn off your power.

Homeowners are being scammed out of hundreds of dollars from these bogus calls. Utility companies do not make live calls about utility bills to demand payment via bank wires. Please be aware and report suspicious calls to the proper authorities. The FTC has more information and a place to report phone scams.

Angie’s List: Angie’s List provides a resource where you can find out what other community members like or dislike about a variety of service professionals. The next time you need to hire a good plumber, carpet cleaner, garage door repairman, or pool guy, you could sign up for Angie’s List to find reviews and recommendations. Here’s a final tip from your La Quinta Realtor, a membership for Angie’s list is only $9.99 for the entire year. Use coupon code FALL30 for 30% off which brings the fee to $6.99. That is a great deal and trust me well worth the peace of mind knowing you are using verified service providers. 

Challenges aside!

In spite of a few challenges, we enjoy the amazing natural beauty of the valley and the many health benefits of living in a desert climate. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in La Quinta or the surrounding area be sure to call on Sal Puglisi your La Quinta Realtor. Thank you for reading 10 Tips from your La Quinta Realtor.

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There is something for everyone in La Quinta CA

 

There’s something for everyone in La Quinta CA. We have beautiful desert weather, the finest golf courses anywhere, real estate values that are much more accessible than the coastal regions to our west. The architecture of the region is uniquely modern and Southwestern. You can have private seclusion or an active social community, according to your personal desires. Crowds of music lovers swarm to our world-famous Coachella Music Festival every spring, promoting our region to the world.

A new generation has discovered the Coachella Valley, with some of today’s most well known celebrities taking the lead. We have a happy balance between the empty desert to our east and the crowded sprawling urban conurbation to our west, with majestic mountains to frame the boundaries on either side. The lifestyle choices here are many and varied. As more people are exposed to the climate, lifestyle and market of the Coachella Valley, they bring the promise of a healthy and happy continuation of our way of life.

Stars and Festivals Lead The Coachella Valley New Wave

The stars of television and film have always been in the forefront of California real estate. Hollywood discovered Palm Springs decades ago and big names have always led the growth. In the 1950s stars such as Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Liberace and Kirk Douglas made their homes in Palm Springs, to name a few. Now a new generation, led by Leonardo DiCaprio, who recently purchased Dinah Shore’s home, are taking up residence, as the grand estates and mansions of the region become available.We have seen growth in the luxury end of the market. Homes over $700,000 are selling more rapidly than the lower price ranges. These are still reasonable prices for the Southwest and visitors are discovering our lifestyle as well as Mid Century Modern architecture, and Southwestern aesthetic values.  The communities surrounding La Quinta particularly represents the region’s halcyon lifestyle.

 

La Quinta CA

Photo courtesy of PuglisiWoodard

 

The Coachella Music Festival brings in a new generation of visitors and spreads the name of our region across the globe. For what will now be two consecutive weekends in April, a huge crowd will descend on the Empire Club each spring. This is right outside of La Quinta, in the neighboring city of Indio. With potentially 100,000 people each weekend attending the event.
The Festival continues to be a huge success and a powerful promotion tool to a new generation of home buyers and visitors to the region. The festival continues to become more popular each year and it has a disproportionate impact on the brand name of the region, as well as our economy.The two weekends each had the same lineup of bands in 2014. If that becomes the norm then you can expect separate sets of tourist and visitors, who are unfamiliar with the area, wandering around each weekend. The festival is held right next door to La Quinta, and yet the great thing about our communities is that you can withdraw into them until the fuss is over. Or, if you choose, you can join in, without having to worry about accommodation and travel, at a time when the region is at its most beautiful and scenic. The Festival brings fun and excitement if you want it but it’s not that difficult to avoid if you don’t.

Boom Fears Do Not Mean Boom Prices

The Coachella festival helps our economy and brings in many new visitors, who might not otherwise come here. It serves to promote our real estate market to a new and affluent generation. It never hurts to have that kind of blessing these days! In the last decade, the real estate market across the United States has been nothing if not dramatic. The Coachella Valley region and La Quinta have been immune to all of this in some ways and typical in others. Prices went up and then they went down and now they are returning to historic norms. The difference is that, allowing for the wonderful lifestyle we enjoy, home prices are still much more reasonable than the more crowded and hectic parts of California.The last few years have seen prices that are below the regional historic trend. Even though property values have risen recently, prices are still very reasonable and in the normal range. They have a long way to go before they get back up to the high point of the boom. The most rapid growth in sales have been in the luxury end of the market. Don’t let that put you off, it is still very affordable! You get much more for your money than out on the coast.Although there has been a recovery in the financial markets, the jobs market has yet to come back to previous levels. With the trend toward global outsourcing it is unlikely to do so any time soon. But that is part of a bigger, long-term global trend, not a symptom of a regional or national boom-and-bust cycle. The other possible concern is from China, not toward our jobs but the possible collapse of their real estate market and the banking system that supports it. The way that markets and economies are entangled these days, such a collapse could have a negative impact here at home.

It Is Always The Right Time Somewhere

We have so much here in La Quinta and the Coachella Valley that is good. We have the climate, the lifestyle and the culture. The return of the stars helped to fuel the growth in 2013 but there is plenty of room to expand further. We also have affordability in all price ranges and much to attract new residents. Our communities provide connection and seclusion in equal portions, according to what you may choose. When is the right time to buy or sell real estate in La Quinta and The Coachella Valley? It all comes down to when you decide it is the right time for you and your family.

La Qunita CA

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Real Estate Closing Costs

 

Real Estate Closing Costs

Whether you are buying or selling, first time buyer or seasoned real estate veteran, closing costs are some of the most complex and confusing aspects of real estate transactions.

The Closing Costs Basics

The simple fact of real estate is that there are many minor costs associated with buying or selling a home. Some of them can be surprising or confusing. If you are thinking about trying a sale-by-owner there are some factors to consider that might give you pause for thought. Saving that broker’s commission could actually be very expensive if you misjudge the price or fail to account for some obscure part of the cost.

If you are negotiating with a party who has much more experience in real estate you can never be sure of their intentions; it is essential that you have a professional on your side. You don’t want to have to come up with thousands of Dollars in additional costs at the last minute or find yourself renegotiating terms under extreme pressure, without professional support and advice.

Either A Buyer Or A Seller Be

As a seller, you should receive an estimate of proceeds as part of the listing agreement. As a buyer, you can expect to receive an estimate of your closing costs at the time that your agent writes the offer. The fees and costs that have to be covered during the closing of real estate transactions fall into three broad categories:

  • Legal fees
  • Financial fees
  • Buyer/seller adjustments

In California the transfer of real estate assets is handled by disinterested third party entities that hold all of the elements of the transaction until everything is in place. In residential real estate, buyer and seller are usually required to bring some amount of cash to the close of escrow.  When all of the necessary conditions have been met, the escrow is closed and funds are sent to every party that is meant to receive them. 

The Breakdown For Closing Costs

The Legal Fees

The necessity of closing costs is justified by the safety and certainty of transfer that they provide to both sides. An owner’s title insurance policy, purchased by the seller, makes sure that there is no delayed crisis that results from a cloud on the title. If the buyer is financing they are required to purchase an ALTA insurance policy with their home loan provider as the beneficiary.

The seller usually pays for the escrow service, all of the documentation to put the transaction together and notary fees. The buyer will have to pay an escrow fee also, along with notary fees and fees for the recording of all deeds that they take on to finance the purchase.

The payment of transfer taxes and commissions are paid at closing. Basically everything that is to be paid by agreement has to be paid in by both parties before closing and all of these funds are distributed in the final act of closing. There is some flexibility in agreeing who pays what. That means that the parties can agree to pay whichever parts of the closing costs it takes to make the sale happen, as long as there is agreement and the escrow company receives clear instructions.

Financial Fees

For sellers, there will be appraisal fees, beneficiary statements, and any loan interest remainder will become due at closing. They can be taken from the proceeds of sale along with any home loan prepayment penalties that are in the terms of the seller’s loan.

For buyers, many of the fees revolve around the creation of new home loans: Fees for appraisal, assumption fees if the buyer is assuming the seller’s loan, fire insurance premium and a mortgage insurance premium for new FHA loans. Financing also means there will be loan origination fees, inspection fees, and appraisal and notary fees for the buyer too. If the Veterans Administration is providing financing, the seller will be responsible for the pest inspection fees; otherwise the buyer usually pays for it.

An Aligned Transfer Through Adjustments 

In homeownership and real estate investment, there are periodic payment impounds of some sort, held all year round. For example, property taxes and insurance policies must be paid up to a year in advance. When the time comes to close, they usually have an overpaid balance. The buyer becomes responsible and reimburses the amount for the excess period to the seller. All financial liability and responsibility is stated and paid outright at the time of closing. The seller should be able to walk away without any further burden or expense.

The Plan Comes Together

There is an old saying that everything is negotiable. That is true but it is a little unconventional in residential real estate. The majority of transactions in real estate follow tried and true patterns. These are protocols that have been very successful in bringing buyers and sellers together over the years. However, sometimes it helps to get a little creative in the terms to make a great deal happen.

When you are dealing with maverick counter-parties, who want to do things differently, you need to make sure that you have the right professionals supporting you, advising you and doing the hard work of your negotiation. That is the only way to ensure that you receive a fair deal.

The transfer of high-end real estate can be extremely daunting and intimidating. It gets easier with experience but it must be done correctly every time. On a scale of complexity it is certainly more difficult to organize than eighteen holes of golf but generally easier than the average wedding. Like a wedding, it makes all of the difference if you have professional support and help to see that it goes without a hitch.  The cost of closing in the buying and selling of real estate is a fact of life in La Quinta, Coachella Valley, and across the nation. Make sure you have the professional advice that will keep all of the costs aligned with your best interests.