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Sal’s tips to keep your Vacation Home safe!

Among the fastest ways to kill a post-vacation buzz is returning home and discovering your house is in shambles. Maybe a water pipe broke and now you’re trudging through ankle-deep sludge. Perhaps a burglar slipped inside, ransacked the place and gallivanted away with your most valued possessions. Or it could be that you forgot to clean out the fridge before leaving, and now mold has infested every nook and cranny. Just like it’s important to shop for an excellent vacation deal, it’s crucial to make sure returning from that well-earned trip isn’t a headache or disaster. Here are six easily-skipped steps to keep in mind while you’re planning that enticing itinerary.

Of Course Somebody is Home

Hiring a house or pet sitter is the best – albeit costly – method to ensure your home stays just like you left it. House sitters can vary from a trusted friend or family member, to somebody who is a professional. Typically a house sitter will take care of any pets you’re leaving behind, water plants, collect the mail and sometimes other small tasks. It’s challenging to trust somebody enough to be in your home for days on end, but their presence ensures burglars avoid your place and that your appliances and utilities don’t decide to take a vacation of their own.

Celebrate on Social Media After the Trip

Booking a vacation is exciting. It’s a break from the daily grind, and that’s often something we want to share with our friends, family and acquaintances via social media. But you should probably hold off on announcing to the whole Internet that your home is vacant and ripe for the picking. Websites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for complete strangers to gather your personal information and then find out where you live with a quick online search.

If you can’t help yourself from announcing the trip and posting photos, then do yourself a favor and greatly restrict who can see and share the information. The same plan of action holds true for automatic email responses and voicemail systems. The rule of thumb is that if you’re not comfortable with somebody being in your house when you’re not there, then don’t tell them – even indirectly – that you’re heading off on some sweet adventure. Scoundrels might seize that announcement as an open house invitation, and you might return to an open front door.

Burning the Midnight Oil

Casing a house is a common tactic for many home invaders. They spend days – sometimes even weeks – monitoring when you’re home, what rooms you’re in, what you’re doing and who you’re with. They’ll know your daily habits better than you do. The best way to thwart these folks is to make sure it genuinely looks like somebody is home. Set up an app-controlled light timer. You can even set up a timer-controlled power supply to stereos or TVs. But don’t keep the same timer settings day by day. Vary when lights come on, which rooms they pop on and for how long everything is running. Also be sure to use compact florescent light bulbs to save electricity and your energy bill.

Lock it Down, Regardless of Where You Live

It’s oddly common that in small, homely towns where “everybody knows each other” folks leave their homes and cars unlocked. If you’re involved with this mindset, then you may very well leave your door unlocked during an extended absence. And unlocked doors are the biggest “burglarize me” signals out there. More than 30 percent of home burglaries happen from an unlocked entrance. Don’t be the person who forgot to close and lock the windows or sliding glass door. Put a dowel rod behind any type of sliding entrance, and be sure to lock the deadbolt. It’s easy to prevent an easy crime.

This Needs Power, This Doesn’t

Imagine how devastating it feels to show up back home after your trip and discover a charred pile of rubble where your home once stood. Let that feeling sink in for a few moments, and then take a look around at what electronics and appliances you currently have plugged into the wall throughout your home. A power outage or surge could trip these devices and cause a fire if the device isn’t plugged into a surge protector or turned off. Now since you’re leaving certain electronics on timers to discourage home invasions, make sure what you do leave plugged in is plugged into a surge protector. You can group electronics and appliances close together to limit the number of protectors you’ll need to buy.

Otherwise, think about how much energy appliances like your refrigerator, water heater or climate control require and consume. If you don’t have plants, animals or open food, then you can pretty much turn off your climate control depending on what the outside weather is like. Set your water heater to vacation mode to reserve energy consumption. And last, either remove perishables from the fridge, turn it off and open the door to prevent mildew, or make sure the appliance is completely full of non-perishable items. If you have empty space then fill jugs of water there to insulate your fridge and lower energy consumption.

Finally, if you’re off on an adventure during the winter, ask a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to come by and run the facet for about 5 minutes every day or two. If your pipes are properly insulated, this should help prevent them from freezing over or breaking.

A Tidy Home is a Lived in Home

The final step that is extremely easy to skip on longer or seasonal trips is how your home looks. Sure, you have lights popping on and off at random times, but is your yard unkempt? Are mail flyers, newspapers and packages creating the next great pyramid on your doorstep? These are signals to anybody paying attention that you’re not home. Either stop packages, the newspaper and your mail from being deposited, or get somebody you trust to pick everything up for you. Plus if you’re leaving in the winter and it snows, make sure they shovel your driveway or sidewalk.

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HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

Conceptual image of a man signing a mortgage or insurance contract or the deed of sale when buying a new house or selling his existing one with a small wooden model of a house alongside
** Note: Shallow depth of field

One of the best things you can do before you begin a search for a home is to have an in depth meeting with me. You know what you want, and I know the market. Together we can come up with a plan that includes a list of needs and features you want to find. The more information you give me the more I can help you. For example, if you are looking for a golf property to live in during the winter, you have probably thought a lot about which neighborhoods you like, but what about your other lifestyle needs and activities. There are specific communities that cater to what you find important in a community and location. I can help you tremendously by narrowing down your search options to properties that will truly fit your needs.

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

Giving yourself plenty of time will also make a big difference in the search for a new home. Unless you have a specific time deadline to keep to, such as a relocation time frame, by allowing yourself the time to search for the right home, you can avoid feeling rushed to make a decision, which can lead to a hasty one you may regret. If you want to live in a specific neighborhood there may only be a couple of listings at first. If none of the properties are what you want in a home, don’t pick one just to be in the neighborhood. Wait for a while instead. With fluctuations in the housing market, new listings come available regularly, so your dream home could be just around the corner. The bottom line is don’t put yourself on an exact schedule if you don’t have to.

When you look at a lot of different houses you will see things you don’t like, especially regarding decor. It can also be difficult to recall which house had the great kitchen space but worn carpet, or the property with the great pool, and Casita but ugly exterior paint. First, keep in mind that cosmetic aspects of a home can often be readily changed. Remember to look beyond the dated furniture, or ultra-modern living room that looks like it belongs in the pages of Wired Magazine. When you go beyond what clashes with your own tastes, you can note what you can do within a home to make it yours once you have the keys. One way to easily remember the pros and cons of any home you view is by taking photos of each room whenever you view a listing.

Ultimately the right home for you will feel exactly so, just right. You may be surprised to find the house that calls to you the most is not the Spanish traditional style home you long dreamed about finding, but the newly renovated PGA West home that I showed you, which has the majority of the features you need and want in a home. Give me a call when your ready to start and keep these house hunting tips in mind and before you know it you will be asking me to submit an offer on the perfect home that is just right for you.  – Sal Puglisi

HOMES FOR SALE IN LA QUINTA http://salpuglisi.com/property-four-column/

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New Home Construction @ PGA West

Yes, New Homes are now available at PGA West. In fact, there are 2 projects currently underway. 

One project is called “Signature @ PGA West” This one is a cluster of 230 homes offering 1 and 2 story attached and some unattached homes. Ranging in size from 1471 sq ft to 3471 sq ft Models for these homes, are now open for inspection. The “Signature” homes have an onsite sales office with agents and a decorating staff to assist you. Myself, or any other agent can show you these homes and represent you in the transaction.  Price for these homes range from the low $4’s to high $9’s

Second, a cluster of new homes under construction, 39 to be exact, are all free standing unattached homes located inside the Greg Norman Residential Gate.  The models for these homes will be ready mid to late January.  These homes will be between 2600 sq ft and 3300 sq ft. They will be well appointed with pools, etc.  Price for these homes are estimated to be between $700,000 and $900,000, yet to be determined. If you wish to be kept informed on their progress, send me a message. 

Best Regards,SAL PUGLISI
California Lifestyle Realty
SalPuglisi.com
Email: spug0408@aol.com
Cell# 760-600-6006
Fax# 760-771-2133
CalDRE Lic# 01885491

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Ever wonder why some restaurants are called Bistro?

Ever wonder why some restaurants are called Bistro, others Bar & Grill
and/or simply Restaurant. In Italy, Restaurants are usually called, Ristorante,
Trattoria and sometimes Osteria. In Italy, the name defines the service and
type of restaurant you are considering.

A Ristorante in Italy offers a more formal presentation. Food is served in
a very special way with table cloths, napkins and a full table setting of plates
and silverware. Usually higher priced and several courses served.

On the other hand the Trattoria, is a more casual setting and represents
an eating establishment which one would visit for a good meal at a fair
price and is perhaps a regular locals spot. No frills, good food at reasonable
prices.

 

 

Now, the Osteria, which you would not see here in America, is the oldest
form of restaurant in Italy and stems from the days of horse and carriage
travel where hungry folks would stop along the wayside at an Inn for food
and lodging. As time went on over night lodging gave way to serving local
food specialties and locally made wines. You might say it was like our pubs.

I know of one restaurant which calls itself an Osteria. It is in Salt Lake
City, Utah. I will write about it in my next blog post. It is outstanding!

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Which Retirement Community is right for you?

Not sure which Retirement Community is right for you Sal Puglisi talks about the top 9

With breathtaking landscapes and abundant activities, La Quinta is an obvious choice as a retirement destination. The area offers a selection of upscale communities, perfect for exploring the area and soaking in everything La Quinta has to offer. This article will show you the 9 best luxury retirement communities in La Quinta, CA.

Each community offers its own personality and unique set of amenities. With so many excellent choices, narrowing down the options calls for the help of a local area expert. Your friend Sal Puglisi has the scoop on each of these top retirement communities and can serve as your guide in finding the one that best suites your lifestyle.

PGA West

 

retirement community

For golf fanatics, there’s no place better than PGA West. The 20,000-acre community features six world-class golf courses for a total of 106 challenging holes. But, golf isn’t the only game in town. PGA West residents have access to a fully-equipped fitness facility and 19 tennis courts. Homes in the community feature open floors plans and elegant, resort-style living and come complete with a social membership at the exclusive PGA West Club.

Go to PGA West’s Retirement Community Website Now

Trilogy at the Polo Club

With construction beginning in just 2013, Trilogy is a brand new luxury gated community developed by Shea Homes. While Trilogy is an all-ages community, there are several neighborhood reserved for adults over the age of 55. Residents of the 800 homes will enjoy access to a 25,000 square-foot resort club, expected to be completed in 2015. Catering to an active lifestyle, the club will feature a fitness center, yoga studio, demonstration kitchen, market and an upscale restaurant and bar. Conveniently located near the best art galleries and restaurants in the area, this exclusive community is also far enough from the hustle and bustle of city traffic and congestion to provide a peaceful escape.

Go to Trilogy at the Polo Club’s Retirement Community Website Now

Rancho La Quinta

Rancho La Quinta Retirement Community

This all-ages community combines beautiful homes with ample amenities and a carefree, laid back lifestyle. Over 900 homes are sprinkled around two meticulously manicured golf courses. When residents aren’t golfing or taking in sweeping views of the Santa Rosa mountains, the Racquet Club offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and a tennis pro shop. A 23,000 square-foot clubhouse boasts several dining options ranging with spaces for everything from intimate meals to large events.

Go to Rancho La Quinta’s Retirement Community Website Now

Andalusia at Coral Mountain

Andalusia Luxury Retirement

For blending luxury living with an active lifestyle, Andalusia is the place to be. There are plenty of ways to get moving with an 18-hole golf course, nine tennis courts and a massive fitness center. Ample hiking and biking trails wind through the community to provide a unique way to experience the scenery of the Santa Rosa Mountains. A resort-style pool and spa offer a chance to relax and unwind. Andalusia takes pride in a friendly, welcoming vibe that makes residents and guests feel right at home.

Go to Andalusia at Coral Mountain’s Retirement Community Website Now

The Citrus Club

The Citrus Club Luxury Retirement

This charming community combines old-world architecture with modern amenities. Located at the prestigious La Quinta Resort, residents have the added benefit of preferred pricing on spa, salon and food services and may take advantage of the fitness facilities and pools at the resort. There’s no shortage of activities, thanks to 23 tennis counts at the resort, an 18-hole golf course, two lap pools plus an additional 42 pools at the resort, and a full fitness center offering classes ranging from Zumba to power walking.

Go to The Citrus Club’s Retirement Community Website Now

The Hideaway

The Hideaway - Luxury Retirement Community

With just 446 residences, The Hideaway is a quaint community perfect for indulging in upscale ambiance and luxury living. The Hideaway Club features a full-service salon and spa, a resort-style pool complete with cabanas, a wine cellar, tennis courts and a dining room with stunning views of the mountains. Fitness lovers will enjoy the modern facility with personal trainers as well as cardio, Pilates and yoga classes.

Go to The Hideaway’s Retirement Community Website Now

Tradition

Tradition Luxury Retirement Properties

This 450-acre mountainside community places golf front and center. Sprinkled around an 18-hold course, homes in the exclusive Traditions community feature Spanish Revival and Mediterranean architecture wrapped in understated elegance. Homeowners enjoy a social membership at the grand Tradition Golf Club, perfect for indulging in fine dining and taking advantage of the 9-hole short course and the up-to-date fitness center.

Go to Tradition’s Retirement Community Website Now

Mountain View

Lush surroundings and superb amenities mean that Mountain View Country Club is not to be missed. Spanish-style homes feature sweeping views of the community’s lakes, golf course as well as the Santa Rosa Mountains. Golfers flock to the 18-hole course designed by none other than Arnold Palmer. The community also offers an upscale spa, fitness center and a clubhouse with fine and casual dining. With so many at your fingertip, you’ll scarcely need to leave the gates, but Old Town La Quinta, with its shops and restaurants, is just around the corner.

Go to Mountain View’s Retirement Community Website Now

The Palms

This small community is big on luxury and landscape. With over 1,000 mesquite trees and 2,000 date palms, the scenery is some of the lushest the desert has to offer. Just over 100 homes are scattered around the perimeter of an 18-hole golf course so that everyone has an outstanding view of the greens as well as the mountains. A private dog park with a bubbling fountain means that furry friends also have a place to play.

Go to The Palms’ Retirement Community Website Now

Learn More About Luxury Retirement Communities in La Quinta, CA

With abundant choices in luxury retirement communities, each featuring exquisite settings, ample recreation activities and luxury amenities, there is something to make every retirement dream a reality. The Sal Puglisi has the knowledge to help you identify the luxury retirement community that suits your taste and lifestyle.

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Sal knows where to dine in La Quinta 

Where to Dine in La Quinta - La Brasserie Bistro and Bar

Where to dine in La Quinta 

Whether you are considering a new home in the La Quinta area, or you have lived here for years, finding a great place to grab a bite to eat is always fun. As long time residents of the desert, we have had the chance to try out many restaurants in the area. Here are our favorites.

Sal’s Top Picks

•         La Brasserie Bistro, 78-477 Highway 111, La Quinta. (760) 771-4400

•         If you are looking for the perfect French bistro, this is it. Light, simple dishes are beautifully presented to make this restaurant a delight. Enjoy bistro-style seating indoors or consider sitting outside in the courtyard. Start with appetizers or salads in the $9 to $14 range–I recommend the Steamed Mussels Mariniere and Duck Confit Tacos. Entrees start at $25 and wine by the glass starts at $8.

•         Cunard’s Sandbar, 78120 Calle Tampico, La Quinta. (760) 564-3660

When you want to go where everybody knows your name, Cunard’s is where you want to be. The food is simple and consistently delicious every day. The menu includes Italian dishes, beef choices, and a few fish plates. I recommend the Charred Roasted Anaheim Chile stuffed with four cheeses, especially as part of Happy Hour.

Have you had the chance to stop in to any of these locations? Do you have any favorites that you think should have made it to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Bon Apetit!

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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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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.