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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

Top 6 Summer Staging Tips

Welcome

SUMMER STAGING TIPS
Did you know that more than 50% of the desert home sales happen during the summer  months?  The desert summer real estate market is as hot as it is outside; knowing how to present your home for sale will be an important factor for you to ask and receive top dollar.

 

Top 6 Summer Staging Tips

Keep it cool as a cucumber. no one wants to walk into a hot house.  All of a sudden, they’re thinking how do I get out of here instead of looking at your home.  Now is not the time to skimp on energy bills.

Show that the grass is greener. High water costs and water conservation are hard on our summer desert landscape.  However, keeping at least the front landscape looking fresh and lush will make your home stand out as the gem. The curb appeal will lure them in.

Set the Mood. set up a refreshing beverage station for your hot and tired home buyer’s and their agents. Place a vase with fresh flowers. Have a pitcher of Ice Tea or Lemonade with lots of ice and pretty glasses set out just before your showing.

Visual Power. Use fresh flowers in as many places througout your house as you can.  Make sure your home looks fresh, cheery and refreshing as possible.

Making Scents. Aromatherapy can help make your home more alluring. Scents like Citrus,  Eucalyptus or Rosemary say summer. They add a clean refreshing scent to your home.

In the Swing. There is an intimate relationship between music and marketing.  Music can evoke an emotional response.  The awkward sound of heels on a hard floor is hardly inspiring.  Heighten the senses of your buyer with background music, it changes the ambiance and heightens the senses and mood of buyers touring a home. Music has a persuasive impact and can create an illusion of life inside your home for buyers increasing their emotional attachment. The music you play is important, pair the music style to the style of your home and the buyer’s you’re targeting.

 

Add a Hammock! 42 Home Staging Tips to Get Your Home Sold

Add a Hammock!
42 Home Staging Tips to Get Your Home Sold

When it comes to staging your home to sell, there are many subtle ways you can tell your potential home buyer,  “This is the right home for you!”, and they don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

 

 

Easy Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

  • Swap dim lights for high wattage light bulbs.
  • Keep closets, drawers and cabinets as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of space.
  • Have a dark corner or hallway?  Brighten it with a decorative mirror.
  • Make sure every switch plate and outlet cover matches and looks brand new.
  • Create a luxury spa look in the Bathrooms with elegant soap dispensers, fluffy white towels, decorative baskets, candles, plants, a white shower curtain an new bath mat.
  • Let buyers entertain the idea of….. entertaining, use chic place settings around the table, and a few wine glasses and decanter on the buffet.  Strike a balance between overly formal and too casual with an attractive runner and a few fun, decorative elements — think small floral vases or short candle holders.
  • Go gender neutral in the Master Bedroom, ditch the dainty floral pillow shams or Sports Memorabilia. The Master Bedroom should appeal to both sexes, create a sense of calm and relaxation.
  • When placing anything from accent pillows and table lamps, go for symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye.
  • Whatever amount of furniture you have in your living room, remove a few pieces to make the room feel more spacious.
  • Help buyers imagine their life in your home.  Add a hammock to the backyard to show how fun the lifestyle is in this house. Add a bunch of pink flamingos floats in the pool with beach towels and a lemonade station on the patio table near by.
  • Let a slideshow of beautiful images play on your television like a screensaver.
  • Arrange furniture in conversational groups to imply this is a space for people to come together.

Want more great tips on the best way to stage your home to sell for top dollar?  Get our free guide with all 42 tips to staging your home to sell, send me an email and I’ll send it right over!

Home Design Trends for 2018

Home Design Trends for 2018 – Each year Fixr conducts a national survey of home industry influencers in the US; those who are building, designing, manufacturing and publishing content relevant to the field, revealing single family home design and construction trends.

Gen X’ers are the most likely group to buy a single family home with Millennials representing the second largest group in the 2018 Fixr Survey. There are many reports that show Millennials are driving the current market.

Single Story Homes are Trending for 2018

 

In 2018 more home buyers are looking for single story homes with more than 2,000 sq ft with an open floor plan and they want to live in urban areas.

 

Smart home features and automation are gaining traction at an incredible rate and is the number one choice for popular home design trends going forward.

Smart HomesGreen and Energy Efficient Design is important to both Gen X and Millennials, but more so for the Millennials with Smart Thermostats, Home Automation Security, Lighting Control Systems, Smart Appliances.

Artificial intelligence and voice control systems will start showing up in homes in 2018.

 

Open Floor Plan

 

The open floor plan has been the most popular layout since 2013 and will continue to grow going forward.

 

 

 

For current homeowners, when it comes to affordable upgrades, energy efficient upgrades and style enhancements were popular.

Dimmable Lighting Sets the MoodDimmable lighting allows the homeowner to influence the mood of a room at all times of the day and night. Wireless hubs and concealed components are considered to be integral in nearly every home. 

Adding energy efficient windows were another popular trend for homeowners.

Outdoor Living

 

Adding outdoor living spaces will be a popular addition in 2018 with more Millennials looking for indoor / outdoor living.

 

 

 

 

Home Buyers are beginning to expect both function and aesthetics, while function is the primary goal, aesthetics go a long way toward providing comfort and personal expression.

There is a delicate balancing act for home builders between homes that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye vs energy efficient homes that may feel cold or impersonal.

Most designers agree that form should always follow function and the most successful home design blends the two attributes creating a cohesive design, enhancing the homeowners experience in the space.

Get more information about what today’s home buyers are looking for before you put your home on the market.  Give me a ring, I’m happy to share my knowledge and experience to help elevate your home above the competition (760) 218 – 5752.

 

Home Staging Trends for 2018

Home Staging Trends for 2018

Staging can run from full to partial

Staged Home 2018

Home staging trends for 2018 have gone mainstream and is now widely used to make a home more attractive to potential buyers.

Most real estate professionals agree; staging can increase the sale price of a home.  But even it doesn’t increase the price, it reduces the amount of time the home sits on the market which is music to any home sellers ears.

Staging can range from Full to Partial
Small efforts like de-cluttering and partial staging can go a long way for homeowners who are still living in their homes while on the market. The challenge is to incorporate the homeowners existing furniture, blending with a few new pieces and keep with the current style and trend for the area.

A  Personal Touch
In the past, keeping things neutral was the way stagers appealed to the widest range of home buyers, now the trend is to incorporate more design style and color in the home to add a wow factor. Today’s buyer wants to see personality and what their lifestyle would look and feel like if they lived there. Personal details create an aspirational image and can help reach buyers on an emotional level.

Color
After a few years of all things gray, people are embracing beige and creamy white again with pops of color or an upscale design element to appeal to the design savvy home buyer.  Two color trends showing up in 2018 design is dark Teal and Millenial Pink.  If you’re in a first time home buyer market, these are two colors that will appeal to this demographic.

Adding pops of color using large colorful artwork and accessories is a good way to create a wow factor.

Flooring
Hard surface flooring continues to be the trend.  Stone, wood, bamboo, and wood look tile are popular trends that will continue.

Counter-tops
Quartz is the current trend for high-end and even not so high-end homes for 2018.  Granite has become the minimum standard for home buyers in all price categories.

Bling
Yes, gold tones are back. Now you’re seeing a lot more shiny metallic’s to add bling to an otherwise neutral palette.

Not all homes  need a dramatic make-over, but most will benefit from at least a thorough cleaning, de-cluttering and culling.

For more information about staging your home to sell, we have an easy guide to help. Email Cathi today for your free copy of  “It’s Showtime!”

 

 

Staging Your Home to Sell

It seems everyone is talking about staging, and everyone has an idea what it means.  Everyone also agrees staging, behind pricing, is the single most important thing you can do to get your home sold.

Even after all the talk about how important it is; as a working agent showing property to buyer’s just about everyday, I still walk into homes that show poorly with clutter, not super clean, undefined spaces, furniture impeding pathways, dark rooms and my all time favorite, toilet seats up!

We even see online marketing photos this way, which is a real disservice to the property.

Staging isn’t difficult and your home doesn’t have to be a million dollar estate to outshine the competition.

Here are Few Simple Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

 

Today’s home buyer’s are looking for Comfortable and New.  If your home is older or looking tired, enhance it with modern furniture, art and accessories.

 

Details matter, small things like decorative objects can pull a room together like an area rug, deco pillows, throws, coffee table books, a silk tree can bring it to a new level.

 

Make ordinary, extraordinary.
Any space can be transformed into an amazing space with proper furnishings, art and accessories.

 

 

Edit, Edit, Edit. When it comes to furniture, less can be more.

 

 

Bright always rules, the easiest and most cost effective way to make a space look new is to throw on a fresh coat of paint.  Stick to white or neutral colors and the same goes for lighting – bright and white toned lighting always works best.

Define spaces.  Sometimes the hardest room for a Buyer to get their head around is a Great Room with large open spaces.  Create transition spaces such as a conversation / sitting area with a couple of comfortable chairs and a table with lighting.

Rather than leaving a spare room empty, add a bed and night stands with lamps to help define the room.

Declutter. the eyes always go to the clutter first and it creates a sense of uneasiness.   This is the simplest and least expensive way to make your home feel comfortable to a buyer. Start packing now. Sell, Donate, Store off-site anything that you don’t use regularly. Clear out and organize a cluttered garage, cabinets or closets, clear counter tops.
Buyers can’t help but think there isn’t enough space for their stuff


Hotel Ready is what today’s home buyer is looking for. Super clean, well maintained and move in ready. 

 

 

If you’re thinking about selling your Desert home and not sure where to start, give us a call.  We’re happy to help Cathi and Ben Walter (760) 218 – 5752

Staging Your Home in 2018

Staged Living RoomStaging your home to sell in 2018  – Home Staging has become the industry standard.  Today, Home Buyers are looking for “Hotel Ready”.  We have ample evidence proving that staged homes are on the market less time and will sell at a higher price than a home that has not been staged. A properly staged home also helps your potential buyer visualize the home as their own.

Here are 5 Simple Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

1.) Stellar photography is essential. However, even amazing photography can only go so far without excellent staging.

2.) Light it Up – Lighting is everything and a great low-cost solution that will reap rewards for you. Now is not the time for energy efficient light bulbs, put high wattage bulbs in your lamps and overhead lights and turn them on for showings.

3.) Float your furniture – by pulling your furniture away from the wall, and floating it in the room you actually make the room look larger and help the buyer navigate the space. Use the homes traffic pattern to help guide you. Furniture should never be a distraction but enhance the flow of the room and the house.

4.) Fresh Flowers are a Universal Crowd Pleaser – They add vibrancy, beauty, and aroma to any room.  Bouquets can be used as centerpieces in the kitchen or dining table, and smaller arrangements can be placed on side tables. Even a few small stems in a mason jar can offer a welcoming touch.

5.) Sell the lifestyle – You aren’t selling a home, you are selling the lifestyle. It’s all about the feeling a potential buyer gets when they walk through the door.  You want them to feel at home by showing them what the life in the home looks like.

That means creating moments they can connect to — without it feeling contrived. A cozy reading nook in a living room or a collection of glass jars on a tray in the master bath creates a sense of both luxury and comfort.

5.) Use elegant white linens – Create a spa-like atmosphere in the Master with White Bed Linens. A clean, white, lofty cotton duvet cover and white pillows add a pleasant hotel look. In the bathroom, thick white towels and shower curtains can transform a frumpy bathroom to a luxury spa look.

Staging is about creating an online photo presentation that brings buyers offline and through the front door. Today, the “drive-by” is first done online and the way your home is presented online is a key element in the marketing of your home.

Yes, it does take more than 5 quick tips to create the perfect staged home, but it’s a great start to help you reach your goals.

If you would like more information about how professional marketing and staging will get your home sold faster for more, give us a call, we’re here to help.
(760) 218 – 5752

Cathi and Ben Walter

Staging Tips Incorporating New Design Trends

New Design style, color, and patterns are a great way to keep your home looking fresh and current and also adds appeal to potential home buyers when you’re selling your home.  When staging your home to sell, here are a couple of staging tips incorporating new design trends.
Staging tips incorporating new design trends

Color Thread – A new color can feel like it belongs if you repeat the color in different ways throughout a room and carry it through the house, like a thread of color weaving its way through each room in small but impactful ways.

Example, start with a bold area rug in the Great Room that introduces your new color palette. Add throw pillows, a pot with a live plant, a few accessories and maybe a piece of art that also have your new colors.

Color Thread

As you go through the house, find at least 3 areas in each room to bring your new colors in, subtle ways. It could be as simple as a few books on a shelf with your colors, a throw across the bed. Towels in the bathroom with bath soaps. Have a recipe book on the Kitchen counter open to a delicious looking recipe with your colors, a bowl of all the same fruit in your colors.

Painting or wallpapering a feature wall in the Great Room, or Master Bedroom with an element of your new color palette can add a wow factor to any room.

Match your decor to your home’s style and price range. It goes back to knowing who your buyer is, and creating the right lifestyle.  For example, you wouldn’t want to use fussy traditional furniture in a desert contemporary home.  If your home is high-end, then your accessories and furniture should also look high-end.

 

Out with the old and in with the new

2018 Home Design Trends –
What to Ditch and What to Look for

OUT – Chevron Patterns and Gray
Out of style Chevron Pattern
Time to ditch the Chevron pattern that we’ve seen everywhere from wallpaper to lampshades. Muted gray and white is on the way out, making way for color.

 

IN – Color 
2018 Color trend yellowWarm rich color is making its way onto walls, moldings, and furniture in a big way.  Peacock Blues and Greens, Burnt Orange, and even pops of “Gen Z Yellow”

2018 Color Trend

OUT – White Kitchens and Large Range Hoods 
Oversized Range Hood

All white Kitchens are still popular, however, black, two tone cabinets, and wood tone cabinets are the trend for 2018 with Quartz counters.

 

 

IN – Warm Woods and Integrated Range Hoods
2018 Integrated Range Hood

 

 

 

 

 

OUT – White on White Everything
White on White
Monochromatic white on white interiors are giving way to more realistic lifestyles that include kids and dogs.  Look for rich warm colors to show up in 2018.


IN – Warm Color

2018 Dining Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUT – Farmhouse Style
Outdated Farm house look

 

The Farmhouse look has been in style for about 4 years.  2018 Style trends are moving toward minimal design.

 

 


IN – Warm and Minimal

2018 Interior Design Trend

Southwest Arts Festival

2018 Southwest Art FestivalDon’t miss the 32nd annual Southwest Arts Festival in Indio, hosted at the Empire Polo Grounds. This year’s festival will feature interactive art displays and live music, with pottery, glass and fine art painting. Enjoy the art surrounded by the natural beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains with a variety of food and beverage options as you casually stroll the grounds.  This is an internationally recognized cultural event featuring traditional, contemporary and abstract fine works of art by nearly 250 acclaimed artists from around the world.

After enjoying the Southwest Arts Festival, stop by to see this great home in Estacio! 

Estacio

You just found the Luxury Lifestyle you’ve been looking for in the sought after Gated Community of Estacio with low HOA’s. Welcome to Via Carisma! This exceptional home features over 2,300 Sq Ft with 4 Bedrooms including separate Guest House. Invite your Friends & Family, this home is designed for Entertaining with a free flow from inside to outdoor living with Lush Landscape & Spool with jets & Baja Tanning Shelf. This is a Great Room Floor-plan with Volume Ceilings, Architectural Detail, Fireplace & Chef’s Kitchen with Gas Cook-top, Dual Ovens, Breakfast Nook & Opens to Living & Dining. There are 3 bedrooms in the main house including a Luxury Master Suite that opens to the Backyard with Spool for an Evening Dip, plus large Guest House. Unique to this home is a new 5 Ton Lennox Signature AC system with computer controlled Variable speed. Enjoy an easy Lifestyle here, close to World Class Golf & Tennis, Hiking, Old Town La Quinta and El Paseo for Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment.
For Open House Dates and Times call us directly at (760) 218 – 5752 or email Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com

Over-Improving Your Home for the Neighborhood

Thinking about doing some home improvements and worried you might be over-improving your home?

Over-Improving your Home

Upgrading and improving should definitely be taken into consideration when thinking about selling your home. But pulling out all the stops in your home renovation may not be the best choice.

When you sell, you won’t get 100% return on your remodeling investment, it can increase the value of the property and help your home sell faster, but it will rarely give you a dollar for dollar return.

It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure your renovations don’t put your home’s value any higher than 10% of the average cost of homes in your neighborhood.

Here are few tips to help you decide the best remodeling projects.

1.) How long do you plan on staying in your home?

In it for the Long Haul, Over-improving can be OK, if you plan on staying for many years. Improve to suit your own needs while, or because, you want to live in your home for many years… go for it and enjoy.  Think of it in terms of getting value through enjoyment.

Short-timers, unless you purchased well below market, it’s best to limit your remodeling investment to smaller projects.  Big improvements don’t necessarily yield big returns. Look at improvements through the lens of resale.

2.) Location? Do you own a $500,000 home in a $500,000 neighborhood?  Doing a ton of renovations, then trying to sell for $800,000 would be an unrealistic strategy – you will over-improved and priced yourself out of your own neighborhood.  Buyers get scared, they don’t want to buy the most expensive house on the street. If your renovation puts you at or above the highest price in the neighborhood, you’ll have a hard time at resale.

The opposite is true also, If your home is the shabbiest on a street of nicer homes, in this case, you do want to keep up with the Joneses.

Depending on your neighborhood and what buyers are looking for, you may need to do less – or potentially more – than you think.

3.) What market are you in? The first place to start when determining how much you should upgrade your house is the real estate market. Is it a Sellers Market or Buyers Market?

If there are a lot of nice homes for sale in your neighborhood and they’re not selling, it’s very likely a Buyer’s Market – which means home buyers have lots of homes to choose from. The homes with the nicest updates, lowest prices in better neighborhoods will go first.  In a Buyer’s Market, you’ll likely need to do more to your home in order for it stand out and appeal to more buyers.

If you notice homes are selling quickly, then it’s likely a seller’s market. There aren’t as many homes for buyers to choose from so sellers can potentially get above asking with multiple offers.  In this case, you can get away with doing fewer upgrades.

Knowing what market you’re in is an important factor when determining how much you need to upgrade your home.

4.) What does the neighborhood look like?

Are you in an older neighborhood?  Doing renovations that make your home out of sync for the neighborhood, such as adding sleek contemporary renovations when the other homes are more traditional can make your home stand out the wrong way and can work against you

5.) What is the standard for the neighborhood?

If all of the homes in your neighborhood have updated Kitchen and Bathrooms and your home still has tile counters and aging appliances, both potential home Buyer’s and Appraisers will discount the value of your home based on what the standard is for the neighborhood.  Look at what finishes the other homes have and try to emulate them as best you can while staying within your budget.

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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