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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
  • Contact
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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

Snowbirds

Welcome to the Palm Springs Valley, where Snowbird’s from across the world come to enjoy our Casual Resort Lifestyle and of course our Great Weather.

Here’s what a few of our Canadian Friends are saying about life in the desert:

We specialize in Lifestyle Properties for the International Buyer and have a few tips to help make your home buying experience go smoothly .

Helpful Links

Great Reasons To Buy

An Incredible Opportunity!

Canadians Love the Desert!

With prices down and a strong Canadian dollar, this is the buying opportunity of a lifetime for the Canadian home buyer.

Many of our International clientele have taken advantage of this incredible opportunity – buying Lifestyle Properties they can enjoy during the cold winters back home as well as investment properties for income potential.

Why?

With an average of 350 days of Sunshine per year, over 120 Golf
Courses, Championship Tennis, World Renowned Art festivals, Fine Dining, Live Entertainment, Galleries & Shopping. Our Easy Resort Lifestyle attracts home buyers from around the world.

They come to play and relax, enjoy the Great Weather and our unique Desert Lifestyle…….what’s not to love.

Why Cathi and Ben?

As one of their most recent Canadian clients put it:“….An outstanding Real Estate experience begins with an outstanding Agent!”

  • Simplified Processes – Cathi and Ben specialize in working with Canadian buyers and sellers – they have the support team, processes & systems in place to make the buying and selling process simple, pleasant and successful.
  • Experience, Knowledge & Information –That’s what Cathi and Ben bring to their clients. Their extensive knowledge about the greater Palm Springs market area and seasoned real estate experience are just some of the reasons why their clients depend on Cathi & Ben as their Trusted Advisors.
  • Attentive to Your Unique Needs – Cathi and Ben are attentive to the unique needs and concerns of their Canadian clientele and ensure all issues are addressed thoroughly and in a timely fashion.
  • Start-To-Finish Involvement – Cathi and Ben, along with their skilled support team, are involved in every aspect of each transaction. They keep their clients up-to-date (whether they’re in the desert or back home in Canada) every step of the way.
  • Expert Property Search – Cathi and Ben are experts at connecting with you and your home wish list. They specialize in Lifestyle Properties, and work hard to find your Perfect Place in the Desert.
  • Many Satisfied Clients – Cathi and Ben’s professional skill set, coupled with their friendly, no pressure, down-to-earth nature, has earned them a long list of happy clients who are confident enough to refer their friends and family.

Useful Tips Before you Buy – Due Diligence

We’re here to answer any questions you may have about buying a home in the Desert, below is a brief overview of a few things you’ll want to consider.
* We recommend conferring with your Attorney or Tax Advisor prior to buying real estate in the U.S.

A good reading resource is the book “The Canadian Snowbird in America” written by Terry F. Ritchie and Brian D. Wruk. This book addresses practical issues and details for Canadians looking to purchase real estate in the U.S.

Financial

If you’re financing, it will be important that you get “pre-qualified” or “pre-approved” and have a “pre-approval” letter from your bank prior to looking for a property. This will help you understand the lender requirements and acquire an estimate of your payments to help determine what you can afford or wish to spend.

If you’re paying cash, you will need to obtain a “verification of funds” from your banking institution verifying funds in U.S. dollars for the amount needed to purchase the property.

Mortgage financing in the U.S. for Canadians and Foreign Nationals can be limited. Availability and rates change frequently,Cathi & Ben can recommend a few U.S. brokers who may provide financing to Canadian buyers.

Property Taxes

California property taxes are based on the purchase price of the property and are paid annually in two installments. Rates will depend upon where the property is located; a Mello Roos area may have a slightly higher rate to help support the infrastructure of the area.

Home Owner Associations – Lock & Leave

As an Absentee Owner, you may find there are benefit’sto owning in an Association. Cathi & Ben will give you an overview and help answer any questions you may have.

Home Owner’s Association, HOA fees (known as Strata Fees in Canadawill vary by property and community. Fees, in general, will correlate with the amenities offered and can range from less than $200 to over $1,000.per month. Services provided by the HOA will typically include common landscape, community pools & spas, common area maintenance such as tennis courts or clubhouses, and gate maintenance.

Property Rental Management & Special Services

Cathi & Ben can help if you decide you want to rent your home for potential income. There are many ways to approach this concept – we have a strong seasonal rental potential here in the desert, or you may want to rent your home long term. Whichever way you decide to go, Cathi & Ben have extensive knowledge on the market and can advise you.

Buying – The Initial Steps

Step # 1 – How Much To Spend?

Before you begin your home search with Cathi & Ben, you need to decide how much you want to spend. If you’re planning an “all cash” purchase like so many Canadians are doing right now, it will be a relatively simple decision for you.

If you’re going to finance the property, you’ll need to talk to your lender or ask Cathi & Ben for a referral. Your lender will help you determine the price point and provide a “pre-approval” letter so you can go house shopping with confidence.

Step #2 – Property Search

House Shopping!

When you talk to Cathi & Ben, they’ll ask you several key questions about your needs & wants, your lifestyle and of course budget. From that conversation, they will do a preliminary search for properties that meet your buying criteria.

At this point, you will be able to narrow the focus of your search, so you can preview homes which closely meet your preferences.

If you are not yet in the desert, Cathi & Ben will e-mail selected property listings to you in advance. When you arrive, Cathi & Ben will take you on a preview of your top choices, discuss market conditions & values to help you determine how much your offer should be.

Step #3 – Your Offer

Making The Offer

The seller may respond with a counter offer. If so, Cathi & Ben will review the seller’s response with you and help negotiate the best price. As skilled negotiator’s they walk you through your options to find mutual agreement.

Included with your offer, is good faith deposit monies. The local industry standard is 3% of the offered price. Upon acceptance of your offer, you will need to wire transfer the deposit monies to the chosen escrow company. Funds will need to be in U.S. dollars.

Step #4 – Offer Acceptance & Opening Escrow

With the purchase agreement now signed and terms accepted by both the buyer and seller, escrow is opened and the time-clock starts on the terms of the agreement.

Escrow serves as a neutral third party to the transaction and coordinates the working parts of the sale. As quickly as possible, you will need to tell escrow how you will hold “title” on the property. You should consult with your attorney or tax advisor regarding the best way for a Canadian or Foreign National to hold title on property in the U.S.

Cathi & Ben work closely with you, the Seller, the Sellers Agent, The Lender, Escrow, Inspectors and Title to name a few to keep your home purchase running smoothly to a successful close.

The Buying Process & Closing

Disclosures & Documents

During the buying process, there will be many disclosures, inspection reports and documents for you to review. Cathi & Ben walk you through the process and time-lines, they are a valuable resource during this process.

A few of the reports they will be reviewing with you are the home inspection, review of disclosure documents from the seller, review of disclosure documents from the Home Owner’s Association, and preliminary title report to name a few.

 

Seller Disclosures

The California real estate agreement incorporates “Seller Disclosures”, these disclosures are simple & straight-forward from the seller to the buyer and detail known facts about the property you’re considering.

Property Inspections Professional Home Inspector Is Highly Recommended.

One of the first steps is a home inspection done by a professional home inspector. You can use one that you know, or Cathi & Ben will provide a list of inspectors to choose from. The purpose is to find out all that you can about the condition of the property. The Inspection Report will list items you may want to have repaired.

HOA Documents

If you are purchasing a property in a planned unit development or common interest subdivision, you will receive a copy of the Home Owner’s Association (HOA) documents. This package will typically include the Home Owner Association Rules & Regulations, Codes Covenants and Restrictions (CC&R’s), minutes from board meetings, current or pending assessments & the financial statement.

Home Owner’s Insurance

Before close of escrow, you’ll want to have Home Owner’s Insurance in place for your new property. Cathi & Ben can assist you with referrals for Home Owners Insurance.

Release Contingencies

Once inspections are complete, you’ve reviewed the reports & disclosures and they meet your approval – it’s time to remove contingencies. The contingency, (discovery), period is generally 17 calendar days from acceptance of the offer. Once contingencies are removed escrow will proceed to close. Cathi & Ben will be working closely with you & escrow on the time-lines for discovery & contingency removal in the agreement.

Set Up Utilities

Cathi & Ben will provide a complete list of local utility service providers so you can set up the transfer into your name. You will want to have the utilities transfer on the date you’re scheduled to close. Note: the water company, CVWD will require a copy of the Grant Deed to set up new service.

Transfer Closing Funds

Two to Three Days Prior Closing, Deposit Closing Funds to Escrow In U.S. Dollars. The best method is wire transfer. Your escrow officer and Cathi & Ben will provide the wiring instructions and help coordinate the transfer of funds.

Close Escrow

Your escrow & title officer will finish the process by recording the deed with the County of Riverside Recorder’s office. The entire purchase process from offer acceptance to closing can go very quickly if paying cash. if the property is being financed, it will typically take 30 – 45 days. You do not have to be present at the time escrow closes.

Time to Celebrate!

Once we have confirmation of recording, the transaction is complete and it’s time to celebrate the purchase of your new home. You will receive closing docs from escrow and Cathi & Ben will hand you the keys to your new home along with a list of service providers for your home and referrals for local business’s to help get you started.

Cathi and Ben are here to help make your home buying experience as smooth & easy as possible. If you have questions or concerns, just ask. Their motto, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to us!”

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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