La Quinta, CA Real Estate News

By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
We complained about the rain last week-- it dampened the usually sunny ☼ BOB HOPE CLASSIC ☼.  The amateurs were rained out on Wednesday, and the Celebrities skipped our course on Thursday... courses were soggy and the weather was cool, cloudy, wet and breezy... not our kind of weather at all!  But the sun finally came out  on the weekend and look at what we saw!! FOR MORE GREAT DESERT PHOTOS AND FUN  GO TO MY SITE LIVETHEDESERTLIFE.COM ! I can't believe I live here!
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
I had a challenging client several months ago-- a client who ranted and raved, who made the whole process tough-- who gave our escrow officer and our transaction coordinator fits-- And when it was all said and done my broker said-- tell him Thank you for the business, but we are done. I was conflicted about firing him-- he is a neighbor, a club member, and his friends are my friends.  I  blogged about it... and my fellow Realtors advised me to let it go.  Wait and see.  You just never know.... Now, he is back,-- with signed listing papers in hand.  I hope my Broker won't be too angry.... but I want the listing, and have learned from the past.  What would you have done? 
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
Home & Condo Sales for Coachella Valley.  As I firmly believe and keep seeing from my daily neighborhood examinations..on the street and through statistics, the Coachella Valley is seeing lots of Sales.  The following sales are MEDIAN SALES PRICES which I do not put much faith in.  However, in my local Coachella Valley area, they are closer to the truth because prices have stabilized in the lowest priced areas.  These stats are courtesy of DataQuick in La Jolla, CA., and were for Nov. of 2009.  Indio:  92201   78 homes @ $159/sf 9 condos @ $89/sfIndio:  92203    67 homes @  $200/sf    3 condos @ $93/sfLa Quinta:  92253    101 homes @ $305/sf    23 condos @ $154/sfPalm Desert: 92260  32 homes @ $283/sf 35 condos @ $ 158/sfPalm Springs:  92264  33 homes @ $431/sf    31 condos @ $203/sfRan...
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
If you have forgotten some of those New Years Resolutions-- here is a way to tone, stretch, strengthen and burn a few calories right at your desk.  This short video will motivate you to get moving while sitting still--during these winter months when most of us are putting in extra hours at the office!  Luckily, here in the desert, the weather is usually nice enough to head outside--- but if you live in a cold climate and are spending all your time indoors-- try DESKERCIZING!!     How To Deskercize on Howcast
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
New Home Sizes Down; Cents & Sensibility.  Reports from the National Home Builders Association are find that first time Buyers and our ever increasing 55+ population have different preferences for New Homes.  They want less square footage, less costly upgrades and more green amenities.  The following is from the New York Times... House Must-Haves Builders, attempting to respond to those consumer demands as well as hold the line on prices, told the NAHB surveyors that they were most likely to include these features as standard in their houses this year: Walk-in closets in the master bedroom. Laundry rooms. Insulated front doors. Great rooms. Energy-efficient windows. Linen closets. Programmable thermostats. Energy-efficient appliances and lighting. Separate shower and tub in master bathr...
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By Mary MacGregor, La Quinta Country Club Homes
(HomeSmart Professionals)
For a golf-rich area like the Coachella Valley, Sweet Spot—La Quinta Museum’s newest exhibition—is perfectly named. The museum's latest exhibit showcases 50 years of desert golf lore while celebrating master clubmaker, Mario Cesario, an artisan whose handcrafted woods have been wielded by such notable golfers as Tom Watson, Gary Player, Craig Stadler and Patty Sheehan.Considered one of the finest clubmakers and designers of the 20th century, Cesario left an indelible mark on an ancient sport.  First trying his hand as a professional golfer, Cesario soon realized his real passion lay off the greens in designing the sport's equipment. In 1958, he opened Mario’s Golf Shop in Redlands, California, and pioneered cutting-edge clubs for more than half a century.The special exhibit touches on t...
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
California home prices inch up; should buyers believe it?  Remember that California is HUGE!  Whenever I see Dataquick reports such as the one I will add here, I know my Buyers will react differently.  This would appear to be great news, right?  Yes, it is..for certain areas.  The Coachella Valley is seeing this slight uptick at certain price points, in certain cities, in certain developments..as a Buyer, do your research Know your Inventory..or hire a local Agent who does Throw out the Median reports for California..be more localized in your research. Be aggressive and sure on your offer price, and make it a clean offer Decide if you are a home buyer or an Investor, and STICK with that decision.  Buy accordingly.  (Now here come the DataQuick stats..) California home prices ticked up 1...
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
Admit it-- our phone is our lifeline.... to our clients, our office, other Agents, our families, and our friends.  We leave phone messages and play phone tag all day, everyday.  Here are some tips to help you leave a short, effective message and help you get the answer you are looking for!     How To Avoid Sounding Stupid in a Voicemail on Howcast For more great How-To videos go to LivetheDesertLife.com !
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
La Quinta Country Club still loved by Bob Hope Classic golfers ! LA QUINTA — Although the sun wasn’t shining at La Quinta Country Club on Wednesday, players sounded like they were in golfing paradise.“I remember my first year out here in ‘07, I was going, ‘Man, I could play here every day,’” George McNeill said. It didn’t hurt that McNeill shot the lowest round of the day at the course — a 7-under 65 — but fellow pros echoed his praise. They are pleased that the course has rejoined the rotation at the Bob Hope Classic after a one-year absence. “I’ve always liked this golf course,” McNeill said. “It’s always in just absolutely perfect shape.” The course wasn’t used last year primarily because a new clubhouse was being constructed. It opened last fall. But it’s the course’s historic charm...
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By Mary MacGregor, La Quinta Country Club Homes
(HomeSmart Professionals)
La Quinta honored its own last week in the 8th annual Pillars of the Community awards at City Hall, celebrating residents who make a difference in their community.Linda Williams, a friend and Windermere Real Estate colleague, was among five honored by La Quinta for their significant contributions to the city’s quality of life during a special ceremony January 15. Although she moved to the Cove area of La Quinta from Chicago a scant six years ago, Williams quickly found her niche in a variety of civic activities. After serving as secretary of the La Quinta Historical Society, she donned the mantle of president in 2008. Williams plays an integral role in mounting permanent and revolving exhibits at the city’s beautiful new museum while continually prospecting for donations of artifacts an...
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The Bob Hope Classis in usually sunny La Quinta, California is cancelled today due to persistant rain since yesterday at 3 PM and still raining hard. This is so strange for La Quinta where the sun shines nearly everyday and warm sunshine is the name of the game. Now in La Quinta there are flooded roads, 60 degrees temps, leaky roofs, and water flowing on streets, sidewalks, patios, yards, fairways, and as far as you can see. La Quinta is in an area where people barely have umbrellas muchles raincoats. How long will it take for the larges underground aquifer in the world to absorb all this water? Stay tuned for updates. I will keep you posted.We needed the water in La Quinta - just not today or even this week.
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
We saw Arnold Palmer here today at LaQuinta Country Club-- but he was'nt playing-- he was following his Grandson, Sam Saunders!  Sam is playing in the Bob Hope Classic this year and his proud Grandpa is behind the ropes watching! Here is a shot of him warming up! We had a few sprinkles today, but it was still great fun to be out watching the pros and walking around this great course.  More Bob Hope Classic updates coming soon!     See livethedesertlife.com for great desert info!
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  The Lori Bowers Group is hosting a  charity event for K.A.S. E. (Keeping Animals Safe Everyday) The event is scheduled for Monday March 22 at Mountain View Country Club  in La Quinta, Ca from  6-9 PM. Cost is $35 per person and includes a buffet dinner. Drink tickets will be sold seperatly.  We will also  have a silent auction, live music and a night of fun for a great cause.  K.A.S.E. (Keeping Animals Safe Everyday) is a 501 C (3) organization that is dedicated to improving the welfare of injured, lost, abondoned and otherwise homeless animals. For tickets, more information or to make a donation please contact The Lori Bowers Group 78065 Main St Suite 107 La Quinta, Ca 92253 760-777-8788
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
Working with so many Sellers struggling with the issue of whether to Short Sale or Foreclose, the loan modification option always comes up.  I advise my Sellers to investigate what their Lender is offering in their Loan Modification vehicle.  If the Lenders agree to reset your mortgage based on current market value and forgive the difference, it would work!  Usually, I have found it to be something like this article... Lenders in need have reacted unfavorably to homeowners in need. They have shown less courtesy and willingness to mediate than is warranted in these trying financial times considering the homeowner's option to strategically default. A homeowner contacting his lender often waits on hold for a long time to speak with someone who cannot help him. In the rare event the homeown...
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
Golf Course Communities are really struggling..and the Coachella Valley has approximately 120 courses!  What does this mean for us?  Some courses will shut down.  Permanently perhaps, but temporarily for sure.  Members may end up owning the courses and maintaining them with their own monies. When the courses are resurrected, perhaps they will convert to "green" courses and tear out unnecessary grass and high water useage foliage and install drip water systems and desertscape. Buying on Golf Courses:  Check out the HOA reserves and the financials of maintaing the course..look back several years!  Do your homework! Prices for golf course properties have dropped significantly..even on the secure courses such as PGA West in La Quinta. Read this article from the new York Times... http://tiny...
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By Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
(California Lifestyle Realty)
I am an ACTIVERAIN believer... I meant it!  I invite and and I shout the praises of the ACTIVERAIN experience.  To me it is theraputic, and inspiring and a chance to share and learn. Then today... breakthrough!  I was contacted by a complete stranger who found my blog via GOOGLE, and connected with my story.  It was not my blogs that got her... IT WAS MY BIO!  (so go write one!)  She found common ground in my background, (golf), my location, (La Quinta), where I met my husband (The Nest), and his hometown, (Pasadena)-- alot of random connections resulted in an e-mail, and a call for help in selling her property.  She gave me her story and also her home phone number....I will call her in the morning.  THANK YOU ACTIVERAIN-- FOR GIVING ME A FORUM... AND a way for me to connect with future...
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By Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.
(Charlemagne International Properties)
Perhaps bigger is not better.  Today a builder decided to downsize and trim the fat from homes he hopes to build in 2010.  Gone is the lavish pool, but it's still an option.  Gone is the three stall barn, but it is still an option.  He's offering a bare bones house with a smorgasbord of luxurious options.  The consumer is in the driver's seat.  Empowering the consumer is a smart move in this agent's opinion. Luxury is in the details not the square footage.  If I asked ten prospective buyers to define luxury I'm sure ten different answers would be received.  If having your horse on your two-acre ranchette is luxury to you, so be it.  If having an over-sized lap pool for your daily workout is high on your luxury list, so be it. Perhaps guest quarters or a home theater is your indulgence o...
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By Larry Hansen
(Calif Desert Realty)
If you are following the housing market, you may be interested in knowing that sales activity here in La Quinta is starting to pick up some steam, particularly as people start returning to the valley after the holiday season to escape the rest of the winter months.   Many new and returning snowbirds are or have been "renting" for the season, and are now beginning to start looking at buying opportunities. Unlike last year at this time, there is less uncertainly in wondering when home prices will finally "hit bottom". Buyers are now feeling that prices for the most part, have reached a point where the risk of further price erosion has diminished. Or to state this another way, that the potential for upside price appreciation is beginning to outweigh the risk of further downside price erosi...
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A new real estate brokerage, Calif Desert Realty, recently opened in La Quinta CA, serving La Quinta and surrounding areas. Calif Desert Realty, founded by broker / owner, Larry Hansen, is a small boutique brokerage dedicated to "raising the bar" in providing a higher level of ethics and professionalism to its real estate clients. Prior to opening Calif Desert Realty, Larry enjoyed a successful career as a CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick, and later on as a CFO during which he was involved extensively in mergers and acquisitions resulting in growing company revenues from $50 million to $1.4 billion. After retiring early at age 55, Larry grew restless and decided to become a real estate broker and after spending several years at various real estate firms, decided to start his own brokerage. "M...
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By Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!
(HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578)
The "Median Price" is a big, fat ZERO for usefulness!  It drives me nuts when I see article after article, online and print, stating "the median price in the Inland Empire went up", or "the median price in the Inland Empire went down.."  Who cares???  What does that statement MEAN?  I like this common sense article from First Tuesday...The median price report gives an acutely misleading picture of price changes for any one property or tier of property values. Median price is a statistical point which fails to work in the analysis of any one price-tier of properties, much less an individual property. To determine how real estate will actually behave in the future, you cannot compare the price of a low-tier property with that of a high-tier property; it's just common sense.  The best way ...
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