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  • Cathi & Ben Walter
  • Sales & Marketing Specialist, Realtor
  • 44530 San Pablo, Suite 101
  • Palm Desert, CA 92260
  • P: (760) 218 – 5752
  • F:
  • E: Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com
  • DRE# 01346930
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A Message From Cathi & Ben...

We hear similar stories repeated in different ways from our clients; At first, they look forward to stolen weekend's to golf & relax in the desert - they gradually discover they're crafting ways to spend more time here until it becomes clear, life just doesn't get any better than this."

Once that realization hit's, the process of change begins... We know what an extraordinary commodity your home is - buying or selling a home can be one of the most important decisions you will make and having the right team on your side will make the difference.

We specialize in homes throughout the Palm Springs Valley including Palm Desert Real Estate & Homes, Indian Wells Real Estate & Homes, La Quinta Real Estate & Homes, Rancho Mirage Real Estate & Homes, Palm Springs Real Estate & Homes& Indio Hills Real Estate & Homes. Whether you want to buy or sell an estate, lock & leave property with income potential, a resort property, land to build your dream home, or a property located in a country club or golf community we know the desert and are here to help. Our motto, If its important to you, it's important to us, guides us as we help our clients buy or sell a home in the desert.

Thank you for visiting DesertAreaHomeFinder.com, we hope you find our site helpful and we look forward to speaking with you it's easy, just click on the picture of a cell phone in the upper right corner of this web site and it will ring our cell phone directly.

Personal Messages

How much income you need to buy the average home in each state

Ever wonder how much income you need to buy an average home in other areas of the country?

@HowMuch.net just published a map showing How much income you need to buy the average home in each state in the U.S.

They collected average home prices for every state from Zillow and then plugged that information into a mortgage calculator to figure out monthly payments. The interest rates used varied from 4 to 5% depending on the market, a 10% down payment, and total cost of housing not exceeding more than 30% of gross income. Using this rule as the benchmark, they calculated the minimum salary required to afford the average home in each state.

The Top Three Places Where You Need the Highest Salaries to Afford the Average Home 1. Hawaii: $153,520 for a house worth $610,000 2. Washington, DC: $138,440 for a house worth $549,000 3. California: $120,120 for a house worth $499,900 Here’s a quick snapshot of housing affordability across the United States.

Home much income do you need to buy the average home in each state; Check it out!Home much income do you need to buy the average home in each state

Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival

Rancho Mirage Wine and Food FestivalRancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival
Saturday, February 17th from 12:00 – 4:00

Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited fun, wine, food and live upbeat music with over 200 incredible wines and cuisine from 15 of Rancho Mirage’s very best chefs. Award-winning wineries will be pouring their world-class wines.

The Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival is a wine connoisseurs delight. It’s about people coming together to celebrate a shared passion; their love for great wine and Chef quality food.

Come sip, swirl and savor a selection of over 200 handcrafted wines from top-tier wineries. These passionate winemakers and winery representatives will be offering practical knowledge and sharing their delicious wine.

After the Wine and Food Festival, stop by to see this stunning modern home in Rancho Mirage!

Modern in Rancho Mirage

 

Modern Makeover in Rancho Mirage
with Stunning Mountain Views.
 

Take a Tour Now!

 

Give us a call for more information about this Modern Makeover in Rancho Mirage (760) 218 – 5752
Cathi and Ben Walter

The Real Estate Corner

Market Watch Fall 2017

Market Watch

Here in The Real Estate Corner, we’re keeping an eye on the Desert Real Estate Market.

Leading Economist, Michael McDonald, is one of the principals in Market Watch, LLC. Michael along with his partners, study real estate markets, the US, and International economies and specialize in evaluating all aspects related to the real estate market including outside factors that play into how our market performs with cause and effect.

Twice a year Michael presents his report to the Top Real Estate Agents in the desert with their analysis of the local real estate market, where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

There are really two markets in the Desert; Full-time Residents who make up The Local Market vs The Second Home Market, and the Supply and Demand equation is quite different between the two.

“The health of the Valley housing market in the low, summer period, often indicates its performance in the spring.” Currently, there is a 4.4 month supply of inventory for all property types, which is down from 6.1 months supply one year ago. Indicating tight supply going into the season. There are positive sales and inventory numbers in all price brackets.

The leading measure for how much house you can buy is Median Household Income, it’s been up an average of 4.5% each of the past three years.  The inflation-adjusted household income broke above the high of 1999 and is now at all-time highs.

The past six years of the housing recovery has been driven by low-interest rates on mortgage loans; now it’s getting help from higher wages.

Since the peak of the market in 2006, the percentage of people who own a home in the valley declined from 66% to 61.5%.  As distressed homeowners who lost their homes in the downturn, move from renting back to homeownership again we will start to see an upswing in home sales over the next four years.

2006 marks the high point of the valley real estate market and 2011 marks the low point. Market Watch, LLC evaluates the market based on “Median” price as opposed to Average price, because average price is biased by a single large high-value sale, skewing the chart for the whole city. In their Median Price analysis by city we see:

La Quinta – Median Price $455,000
Up 85.7% from the low
Down 33% from the high

Indian Wells – Median Price $830,000
Up 53.7% from the low
Down 31% from the high

Palm Desert – Median Price $376,000
Up 31% from the low
Down 31% from the high

Rancho Mirage – Median Price $600,000
Up 41.8% from the low
Down 37% from the high

Palm Springs – Median Price $592,000
Up 76.7% from the low
Down 33% from the high

Indio – Median Price $305,000
Up 92.4% from the low
Down 19.8% from the high

The market continues to improve, gaining strength and momentum each quarter.  As we move into our new season, they are projecting an increase in the number of sales and if inventories remain low, we will start to see upward pricing pressure.

Home Sale Negotiations

HOME SALE NEGOTIATIONS
Home Sellers Want the Highest Price and Home Buyers Want a Deal. 

How Can They Ever Find Common Ground?

Home Sale Negotiations

THE TUG OF WAR BEGINS!

 

The foundation for any negotiation starts with the data, the black and white of it all.  Then it becomes a dance of personalities, emotions, and skill.

At the end of the day, Sellers want to sell and Buyers want to buy and both have the goal to close the deal. It’s the in between that can get a little murky along the way.

In every market, one party has the upper hand; in a Buyer’s market, there are lot’s of choices and it can be easy for the Buyer to walk away in favor of the home down the street.  In a Seller’s market, inventories are tight with limited choices, which can create multiple offers or bidding wars and the Seller can be picky about the price and terms.

Typically, in any kind of market, a truly motivated Seller is less inclined to want a lengthy negotiation, they just want to get the deal done.

TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE
NEGOTIATING YOUR NEXT REAL ESTATE DEAL

PRICE – it means different things to different parties.  The Seller wants the highest price and the Buyer wants to pay the least amount possible. They don’t want to overpay or price themselves out of a resale when it comes time for them to sell.

CLOSING COSTS – Buyers will pay the prepaid closing costs for their mortgage. Items like taxes and insurance.  The Buyer might ask for a flat amount paid by the Seller to go towards their closing costs; up to 3% of non-recurring closing costs are allowed by the lender.  In this case, if the Seller is asked to make a concession, that will typically end up in a higher sales price for the Buyer.

CLOSING DATE – Sellers may want to get out from under the monthly costs as quickly as possible to preserve their capital.  Buyers, when getting a mortgage will pre-pay the first month’s mortgage payment so they don’t have to make their 1st mortgage payment until the 2nd month, in this case, the Buyer will likely want to move in at the beginning of the month so they can skip the next month.

FINANCING CONTINGENCIES – Buyers who are getting a mortgage are competing with all cash offers, which is more appealing to any Seller knowing that there isn’t a financing contingency.  The best way for a Buyer to compete is to get complete loan approval prior to making the offer, that way they can move quickly to remove or waive the financing contingencies.

APPRAISAL CONTINGENCY – If the Buyer is getting a mortgage, the Seller can push the Buyer to waive the appraisal contingency. On a conventional mortgage, banks will lend 80% of the appraised value or the purchase price, whichever is lower. But if the house doesn’t appraise for the contract purchase price and the appraisal contingency has been waived, the Buyer must come up with the difference.  Any shortfall would have to be paid in cash by the Buyer.

HOME WARRANTY – The Home Seller will typically provide a one year home warranty that covers the mechanical’s, appliances and pool equipment.  This is a “Peace of Mine” insurance policy for the home seller in case something goes wrong.

LEASEBACK – The Seller may need a little extra time to make the move, especially if they’ve lived in the home for many years. The Buyer could offer a zero cost rent back for 30 days to entice the Seller to accept a price that they may not otherwise accept.

REPAIRS – When a home needs a lot of updating, the Buyer has a lot of room to negotiate if the home is priced on par with properties that are updated. If the Kitchen and Baths are out of date, the appliances are old and there’s popcorn on the ceilings the Buyer will make a lower offer to accommodate the repairs necessary. The Seller can price the home accordingly ahead of time and say they won’t make any repairs, in this case, there will be less room to negotiate on price.

FURNITURE – Negotiation over personal property such as the furniture has killed more than one deal, this is when emotions can get heated.  It’s best if the Seller will consider selling the furniture to make out a list of items and their prices ahead of time.  An important note here, a lender will not lend on personal furniture.  If there will be personal property transferred it must be done outside of escrow with a bill of sale.

APPLIANCES – The stove, dishwasher, built-in microwave and any other built-in appliance will be included, but a free-standing refrigerator or the Washer and Dryer don’t necessarily.  Seller many times will wait to see how the negotiation goes first before they commit.

INSPECTION CONTINGENCY – Buyer’s remorse and waiving their home inspection contingency generally go hand in hand. It’s never a good idea to waive the home inspection unless it’s a complete remodel and you re a skilled investor / contractor / remodeler.  But the Buyer can shorten the time frame for the inspection from 17 days to maybe 10 or even 7 days.

HOA ASSESSMENTS – If the home is in a homeowners association – there could potentially be special assessments in place or coming up.  The Buyer may ask the Seller to clear the assessment, paying it all.  This can be negotiated between Buyer and Seller for who pays and how much they pay toward the assessment.

Desert Golf Course Over Seeding Schedule

Headed to the Desert to play Golf?   Take a look at our 2017 Desert Golf Course Over Seeding Schedule so you don’t miss one minute of Great Golf!

Desert Golf Course Over Seeding       
If you’re unfamiliar with the Phenomenon of our Desert Golf Course Over Seeding, here are the basics of what you will see happening on our local courses over the next couple of months. Currently, our local golf courses have warm-weather Bermuda grass on the fairways and tees and almost every course in the desert has some Bermuda on their greens. 

Bermuda grass goes dormant and turns brown during the cooler winter months. So to keep the courses green and playable, they cut the Bermuda grass so short it’s mostly dirt, then they spread tons of winter rye grass seed and add lots of water. During the over seeding process and while waiting for the winter rye to take hold well enough to stand up to play, the courses close during the grow-in period, usually 3 – 4 weeks.

Here is a partial list of our Local Desert Golf Course
Over Seeding Schedules by City, then by Club

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for

 

PALM DESERT
See All Available Palm Desert Golf Course Properties HERE 
BIGHORN Golf Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - BIGHORN Golf Club

Mountain Course
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 3, 2017
Canyon Course
Closing October 9 – Reopening November 10, 2017

Classic Club Palm Desert
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Classic Club
Closing October 9 – Reopening November 11, 2017

Desert Willow Golf Resort
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Desert Willow Mountain Course
Mountain View Course 
Closing September 25 – Reopening October 26, 2017
Firecliff Course
Closing November 13 – Reopening December 25, 2017

Desert Falls Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Desert Falls Country Club
Closing October 9 – Reopening November 10, 2017

Ironwood Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Ironwood Country Club
South Course Closing October 14 – Reopening November 22, 2017
North Course Closing October 2 – Reopening November 7, 2017

Monterey Country Club
Monterey Country Club
East Nine Closing October 2 – Reopening October 28, 2017
South Nine Closing October 9 – Reopening November 11, 2017
West Nine Closing October 16 – Reopening November 18, 2017

Palm Valley Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Palm Valley Country Club
Champion Course
October 9 – Reopening November 10, 2017
Challenge Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening October 20, 2017

Stone Eagle Golf Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Stone Eagle Golf Club
Closing September 25 – Reopening November 10, 2017

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for

INDIAN WELLS

See ALL Available Indian Wells Fairway Properties Available HERE

Desert Horizons Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Desert Horizons Country Club
Closing September 24 – Reopening November 11, 2017


Eldorado Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Eldorado Country Club
Closing September 25 – Reopening November 7, 2017

Indian Wells Country Club
Desert Golf Course Overseeding - Indian Wells Country Club
Classic Course
Closing October 9 – Reopening November 10, 2017
Cove Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening October 28, 2017

Indian Wells Golf Resort 
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Indian Wells Golf Resort
Celebrity Course
Closing October 16 – Reopening November 2, 2017
Players Course
Closing September 2 – Reopening October 12, 2017

The Reserve Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - The Reserve Club
Closing  September 25 – Reopening November 10, 2017

Toscana Country Club
Golf Course Over Seeding - Toscana Country Club
South Course
Closing September 26 – Reopening November 11, 2017
North Course
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 11, 2017

The Vintage Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - The Vintage Club
Mountain Course
Closed – Reopening  November 11, 2017
Desert Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening November 11, 2017

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for

RANCHO MIRAGE
See ALL Available Rancho Mirage Golf Course Properties HERE
Mission Hills Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Mission Hills Country Club 
Arnold Palmer Course
Closing October 13 – Reopening November 10, 2017
Dinah Shore Course
Closing October 20 – Reopening November 17, 2017
Pete Dye Course
Closing November 5 – Reopening December 5, 2017

The Club at Morningside
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - The Club at Morningside
Closing October 1 – Reopening November 7, 2017

Tamarisk Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Tamarisk Country Club
Closing October 1  – Reopening November 10, 2017

Thunderbird Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Thunderbird Country Club
Closing  October 1 – Reopening November 4, 2017

The Springs Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - The Springs Country Club
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 9, 2017

Westin Mission Hills
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Westin Mission Hills Golf
Pete Dye Course
Closing September 29 – Reopening October 23, 2017
Gary Player Course
Closing October 30 – Reopening November 23, 2017

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for

BERMUDA DUNES
Bermuda Dunes Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Bermuda Dunes Country Club
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 3, 2017

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for

LA QUINTA
See ALL Available Fairway Homes in La Quinta HERE

Andalusia Country Club

Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Andalusia at Coral Mountain
Closing October 1 –  Reopening November 10, 2017

PGA West
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - PGA West

Stadium Course
Closing October 9  – Reopening November 2, 2017
Jack Nicklaus Course
Closing October 2 – Reopening October 26, 2017
Greg Norman Course
Closing October 27 – Reopening November 21, 2017
Jack Nicklaus Private Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening October 26, 2017
Arnold Palmer Private Course
Closing October 20 – Reopening November 21, 2017
Tom Weiskopf Course
Closing September 18 – Reopening October 19, 2017

The Citrus Club at La Quinta
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Citrus at la Quinta

The Citrus Course
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 2, 2017
The Mountain Course
Closing October 23 – Reopening November 2, 2017
The Dunes Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening October 19, 2017

Hideaway Golf Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - HIdeaway Golf Club
Pete Dye Course
Closing September 25 – Reopening November 11, 2017
Clive Clark Course
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 17, 2017

The Quarry at La Quinta
Desert Golf Course Over Seeing - The Quarry at La Quinta
Closing October 2 – Reopening November 10, 2017

Silver Rock Resort
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Silver Rock Resort
Closing October 9 – Reopening November 7, 2017

Tradition Golf Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Tradition Golf Club
Closing September 25 – Reopening November 11, 2017

Desert Golf Course Overseeding Schedule for
INDIO
See ALL of the Available Indio Fairway Homes HERE
Golf Club Terra Lago
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding - Golf Club Terra Lago
South Course
Closed  – Reopening October 7, 2017
North Course
Closing October 12 – Reopening November 22, 2017

Indian Palms Country Club
Desert Golf Course Over Seeding Schedule - Indian Palms Country Club
Indian Course
Closing September 5 – Reopening October 13, 2017
Mountain Course
Closing September 5 – Reopening October 13, 2017
Royal Course
Closing September 5 – Reopening October 13, 2017

Late Spring. when the temperatures rise, the rye grass dies out naturally, but the Bermuda grass which has been dormant over the winter comes back to life. With the help of our highly educated golf course superintendents here in the desert.

In years past the over seeding process created billows of dirt and dust into the air creating a dusty, air-choking, allergy inducing haze across the entire valley, sending anyone with allergies running to the medicine cabinet for help. Today,  the process is much gentler, better for the courses and for the desert air quality.

Resorts with multiple courses will stagger the over seeding schedules to keep at least one course open while the other course is closed. By the end of November, all of the desert courses are a shimmering emerald green, just in time for the snowbirds arrival and another great golf season in the Desert!

Looking for that perfect Desert Resort Lifestyle?  We are Local Experts, specializing in the best opportunities available in Desert Fairway and Resort Properties.  Contact us directly for more details Cathi Cell: (760) 218 – 5752  or Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com

 

Rancho Mirage Observatory

It may not look like much right now, but there are lots of great things happening in Rancho Mirage!  Construction on the new $3.6 million dollar Rancho Mirage Observatory is now well underway.

Rancho Mirage Observatory

Located at the West End of the Rancho Mirage Library Parking Lot.  After years of planning, review and funding events, Seawest Enterprises is building the Rancho MIrage Observatory which will have a research-quality telescope, estimated at $275,000 with a 28-inch diameter mirror.

The 23′ diameter dome will rotate in sync with the telescope and will include a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot outside deck where people can place their own telescopes to stargaze.

The Observatory will also include a weather station that will automatically close the dome if it starts to rain.

Once completed, the observatory will be fully automated, capable of being controlled remotely.  Images from the telescope will be projected onto a large screen in the library’s community room for public programming and presentations.

Completion is estimated to be October – November.

Located nearby is this Stunning Custom Estate behind the gates at Thunderbird Terrace in Rancho Mirage.

Custom Estate Thunderbird Terrace

Call or Email Cathi today for more information (760) 218 – 5752

 

 

Kitchen and Bath Design Trends

Kitchen and Bath Design Trends…
Each year, all the major Kitchen and Bath suppliers come together for The National Kitchen and Bath Show,  the “Design and Construction Week” is the place to be and be seen for Architects, Designers and Contractors to meet and greet new suppliers, spot new Kitchen and Bath Trends and designs for the coming years.

According to KBIS, (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show), and NKBA, (National Kitchen and Bath Association) There are several developing trends you’ll want to take into consideration if you’re beginning a new remodeling project.  Here are the biggest Kitchen and Bath Design Trends they see that will carry you into 2018 and beyond.

SAY FAREWELL TO GRANITE COUNTER TOPS!
We’ve seen the transition away from granite for about 2 years now.  Quartz is now the number one trend and is here to stay for a while.  It’s durable, there are many finish choices and Quartz gives your Kitchen and Bath a fresh new look.
Quartz Kitchen Island  Quartz Counters look like Carrera Marble

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, BRASS IS BACK!
Yep, it is hard to believe.  The trend started about a year ago, we were seeing hints of Blush Blonde accents, (they were trying to ease us 50 something’s into the transition), now bold brass is everywhere you look, from furniture accents to full on Lighting, Plumbing Fixtures and more.  Chrome and satin still reign supreme….for now, but if you want to lean into the trend ahead Brass is it!

Brass is showing up everywhere including the Kitchen Faucet Brass is the Big New Trend in Kitchen and Bath Design Trends

STONE SINKS STAND THE TEST OF TIME
Carved stone sinks are where the trend is headed. Porcelain is still classic and will withstand the test of time but the new hot trends are stone. Stone Sinks for Bath Design Trend Wood and Stone for New Design Trend

BLEACHED WOOD WITH CONTRASTING FINISH CABINETS
A huge trend showing up for 2018 is bleached woods and two tone cabinets. White has come and is now on its way out.
Bleached Wood Uppers Combined with Dark Wood Lower Cabinets  Bleached Wood Cabinets are new Kitchen and Bath Design Trend

BLUE
The biggest trend in Kitchens and Baths right now is color, especially blues.  It’s showing up in everything from cabinets to appliances.
Blue is Everywhere in Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Blue Kitchen Cabinets

COLOR IS EVERYWHERE
Cabinets Faucets, Appliances, and even Sinks.

LED lighting is also a new Kitchen and Bath Design Trend Color is showing up everywhere even in your new Kitchen Faucet

WHITE SUBWAY TILE IS ON ITS WAY OUT
Finally, boring white subway tile is on its way out, Texture, color, pattern and unique design are the hottest trends for back splashes and more.

Jazzy Back Splashes, the New Kitchen and Bath Design Trend Quartz Counters and Designer Backsplash

Selling a home in the desert has unique opportunities and perhaps some challenges as well. Home Buyer’s may or may not be full time residents, this might be their weekend get away for the family or a winter respite; they may be more willing to try the newest trend as a departure from the style and design of their main home.

The main thing to remember in any remodeling project, they must blend well and look like they belong in your home. While the newest trends are exciting, incorporating them into your existing home can be a challenge so the remodel doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. The project needs to fit with the overall style of your home.  For example, if you have a Spanish Hacienda, remodeling the Kitchen to look like a sleek mid century modern may not be the best choice for re-sale. Likewise, remodeling your Kitchen to state of the art Chef’s Kitchen, while the rest of the house and bathrooms remain 1980’s vintage can thwart your best intentions if you’re looking for top dollar on resale.

Before starting a remodeling project, consult with a designer yes, but also consult with your realtor!  Everyday, we see and hear first hand what works and what doesn’t; we hear directly from our Buyers what they’re looking for and where they see value.  When you’re thinking about selling your home, often times it’s some of the smallest things that will give you the biggest return.

As one of the leading teams in the desert real estate market and staging professionals, we work with our home sellers to help bring focus to the highest value projects for the best return on investment. We are local Professionals and offer a Full Suite of Services for our clients, as we did for this client at La Casa Feliz in Thunderbird Terrace, Rancho Mirage, who did a major remodel and wanted to sell their home for top dollar.

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the desert, and want to talk about the latest Kitchen and Bath Design Trends for your home, give us a call today; (760) 218 – 5752.  We’re here with information to share and happy to help.  Get your copy of Desert Living Online, with an ongoing series of home staging articles and desert events. Drop me a line at Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com and we’ll be happy to keep you in the loop!

 

 

 

Home Buying What Lurks Behind the Fluff

Home Buying

Home Buying

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME BUYING – THE INSPECTION PROCESS
You’ve been looking at homes for what seems like forever, you finally found the right house and now it’s time to make an offer.  What’s next?  After you’ve come to an agreement between parties on price and terms, it’s time to peak behind the curtain, so to speak, to confirm the house is all you think it is. Are the systems in good working order, is it structurally sound? The California Residential Purchase Agreement contains provisions allowing various inspections of the property.  The purpose of these inspections is to educate you as to the physical condition of the home you’re buying.

While these inspections do not provide guarantees of the condition of the property, they do provide valuable information to you as a Buyer.  Your Purchase Contract may provide for a withdrawal from the contract if these reports are unsatisfactory to you, but inspections should not be considered an open door to renegotiate the purchase price.

THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT provides an overall assessment of the present condition of the property. The inspection covers items such as appliances, water heater, furnace, electrical service, plumbing, exterior siding, paint, flooring and other visible features of the property. This is a general inspection and will often call for additional inspections by specific trades, such as roof and furnace inspections. Who Pays? Typically, this inspection is paid for by the Buyer.

STRUCTURAL PEST CONTROL INSPECTION Often referred to as a “Termite Report” is conducted by a licensed inspector. In addition to actual termite damage, the Pest Report will indicate any type of wood destroying organisms that may present, including fungi (sometimes called “dry rot”), which generally results from excessive moisture.

Section I Conditions
Most Pest Reports classify conditions as Section I or Section II items. Section I conditions are those which are “active”, or currently causing damage to the property. Generally, Section I items need to be corrected before a lender will make a loan on a home.

Section II Conditions
Those which are not currently causing damage, but are likely to, if left unattended. A typical Section II item is a plumbing leak where moisture has not yet caused fungus decay.Who Pays? Your Purchase Contract will specify who is responsible for the cost of the inspection and who will make the corrections. This is a negotiable item.

PHYSICAL INSPECTION is usually done through a General Home Inspection. While Home Inspectors are not currently required to have a license in the State of CA, most are, or have been, General Contractors. The Inspection

and the resulting report provide an overall assessment of the present condition of the property. What is Inspected? The Home Inspection covers items such as exterior siding, paint, flooring, appliances, water heater, furnace, electrical service, plumbing, and other visible features of the property. This is a general inspection and will often call for additional inspections by specific trades, such as roof and furnace inspections.

If conditions warrant, the Home Inspector may recommend a Structural Engineer’s Report. Such a report would identify structural failures and detail recommended corrections. Who Pays? Typically, this inspection is paid for by the Buyer.

NATURAL HAZARD REPORT real estate seller and brokers are required to disclose if the property being sold lies within one or more state or locally mapped hazard areas. The law specifies that the six (6) required hazards be disclosed on a statutory form called the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (NHDS).
Required Risks Include:
A Special Flood Hazard Area
Dam Inundation
Very High Fire
Wildland fire
Earthquake Fault Zone
A Seismic hazard

In Addition, the following supplemental hazards are commonly reported as well:
Radon Gas exposure
Airport influence area
Megan’s Law disclosures
Military ordnance

GEOLOGICAL INSPECTION will educate you as to the soil conditions at the home you’re buying.  This inspection is not typical in our area of the CA desert but could be done if there is a red flag that is causing concern.  It would be performed by a Geotechnical Engineer and involves not only physically inspecting the property, but also researching past geological activity in the area. The primary purpose of a Geological Inspection is to determine the stability of the ground under and around the home. Who Pays? Typically the Buyer pays, but as with other inspections, this is negotiable according to the contract.

HOME WARRANTY a Home Protection Plans provide additional protection for certain systems and appliances in your new home and help both the Buyer and Seller.  It protects the Seller from unforeseen failures such as a dishwasher that quits the day after closing and claims from the Buyer they didn’t disclose. They protect the Buyer from the same, the AC that breaks-down 6 months after move-in.  For a service fee, the home warranty company will send a technician out to diagnose the problem and make necessary covered repairs.  Who Pays for the Policy?  This is a negotiated item; Buyers typically ask the Seller provide a coverage plan, they are not required to but it’s generally considered a good idea if they do.

There are many twists and turns throughout the home buying process that go beyond finding that perfect home.  It takes the skill and knowledge of experienced professionals like Cathi and Ben Walter with Bennion Deville Homes to ensure you are covered and the details are handled properly.  Home Buying in the Desert, see the best of Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Palm Springs, Indio. For more information about the home buying process and how Cathi and Ben Walter can help, call  (760) 218 – 5752  or email them today Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com

 

Staging It……

Staging Your Home To Sell is More Important Than Ever in a Difficult Market……


Top Dollar Demands Top Repair

Don’t let repairs stand between you & and the offer you want.  You can offer a repair allowance, BUT you’ll never know about the offer that didn’t happen because the repairs looked like too much work for the buyer.

If you find a buyer that’s willing to do the work, 9 times out of 10, they will over compensate with a low offer.

It will likely cost you less to do the repairs yourself than the concession you will have to make.
In general, basic maintenance expenses are a “Low Cost / High Gain” proposition.  Fixing a dripping faucet may be as easy as replacing a washer.  However, to the Buyer, that minor drip may equate to a major plumbing problem in their mind.
Buyers just won’t pay top dollar for a house with a leaky roof, malfunctioning furnace or faulty plumbing.   While these issues may have big price tags, doing the repair will keep your home in the top price range.

Some Repair Basics-

  • Replace any cracked or broken glass
  • Recaulk where needed, around tub & showers, are most common areas
  • Doors & windows should open & close easily
  • All shades, blinds, and shutters should be working
  • Patch & paint any cracks or nail holes in the walls
  • Replace any missing or cracked  tile, regrout if needed
  • If carpet cannot be cleaned satisfactorily, replace with new
  • Refinish hard flooring that shows marks or wear
  • Replace missing or tighten any loose doorknobs and cabinet pulls
  • Oil squeaky hinges.

We’re here to help, if you’re thinking about selling your home in the Desert – give us a call, we’ll be happy to review buyer preferences and current trends in the market.  See more information at DesertAreaHomeFinder.com   Cathi & Ben Walter (760) 218 – 5752

Get In Touch

  • Cathi & Ben Walter
  • REALTOR ®
  • 44530 San Pablo, Suite 101
  • Palm Desert, CA 92260
  • P: (760) 218 – 5752
  • E: Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com
  • CalBRE# 01346930

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