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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

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

 

Riverside County Fair National Date Festival Indio

Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival Indio

Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival Indio

It’s a Fair and it’s a Festival featuring more than 7,000 exhibits and competitions this year at the Riverside County Fair National Date Festival in Indio.  Opening ceremonies include Blessing of the Dates and a Salute to America.  Watch Camel and Ostrich Races, Enjoy a variety of Food and Drinks, Thrilling Rides, Bright Lights and Live Music and new this year, the Robosaurus, the world’s largest Transformer.

One of the many great family events in the desert and close to Paradiso and Sonora Wells in Indio, two of the most popular gated communities in the desert featuring newer single family homes  with up to 6 bedrooms, wandering pathways, park with Jungle Gym and Swings for the kids

FAIR Special Events INDIO

Friday, February 17

Saturday, February 18

Sunday, February 19

  • Hedrick’s Camel & Ostrich Races at 11am – Grandstand Arena Indio
  • Cooking with Dates at 1:30pm – Taj Mahal
  • Monster Trucks, Junior Outlaw Sprints & Mini Dwarfs Racing at 3:00pm & 5:00pm – Grandstand Arena
  • Voz de Mando at 7:30pm – Fantasy Springs Concert Pavilion

Monday, February 20

Tuesday, February 21 thru Thursday, February 23

MID-WEEK ENTERTAINMENT AT THE MAGIC CARPET STAGE…

  • The Mighty Del Tones – February 21st at 2pm & 4:30pm – Magic Carpet Stage Indio
  • Smooth Sounds of Santana – February 22nd at 2pm & 4:30pm – Magic Carpet Stage
  • Southbound & Company “Buddy Holly Review” – February 23rd at 2pm & 4:30pm – Magic Carpet Stage
  • Hedrick’s Camel & Ostrich Races at 3:00pm – Grandstand Arena

Friday, February 24

Saturday, February 25

  • Livestock Auction at 10:00am – Livestock Pavilion
  • Hedrick’s Camel & Ostrich Races at 11am – Grandstand Arena
  • Monster Trucks, Junior Outlaw Springs & Mini Dwarfs Racing at 3pm & 5pm – Grandstand Arena
  • Dragster Test Tractor Pull Demo at 4:00pm – Grandstand Arena
  • War at 7:30pm – Fantasy Springs Concert Pavilion

Sunday, February 26

Daily Entertainment Catch great acts all over the Fair grounds!

Home Buying Tips

Whether you’re an experienced homebuyer or novice, buying a Home can be complicated, with a lot of moving parts. Every home buyer wants to know their purchase was a good investment choice.

There are Buyers Rd Sellers Lna few things you will want to think about as you start home shopping.

TAKE YOUR TIME – Make sure you take enough time to look at many homes in a variety of areas.  Think about your lifestyle and how each home fits. Look at different times of the day so you understand the rhythm of the neighborhood. Is it quiet during the day but teaming with parked cars and kids playing in the street after work hours? Is it quiet after work hours but used as a main thoroughfare for traffic during the day?

FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS – Location is one of the keys to a home’s current and future value.  Being in a good school district may not be on the top of your list for qualifications, but has been proven to be an important item to many buyers. By focusing on the proven things buyers look for, you can be assured you will be able to sell your home more easily and the value will hold and likely increase.

THINK WITH YOUR HEAD – A home is a place to live, but is also a large expense and investment.  Make sure you don’t overpay or buy a home with problems you can’t cope with later because you let your emotions lead the way.

USE YOUR IMAGINATION –  Some homes can be a great bargain because homeowners can’t look past the ugly carpet or overgrown lawn. Picture the home for what it could be, ignoring things that are easy to fix such as worn wallpaper, or paint color. You might be able to negotiate a great deal since other buyers weren’t as imaginative as you, and then use the extra money to fix up the home to the showplace you knew it could be.

KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD – Stretching to get into a house is usually a bad idea; you may be tight on money and not able to pay for repairs or worse, have a turn in your financial situation and face losing your home. Likewise, using creative financing to get into a house you can’t afford can also be the fast track to problems when the mortgage payments rise.

GET PROFESSIONAL HELP – A professional real estate agent will provide you with access to all listings for homes for sale in your area. They also use their connections in the field to keep you up-to-date on new homes coming on the market so you don’t miss a bargain. In addition, as an expert within the market, they will be able to provide guidance on whether a house is a good deal, what to offer, and whether they see any potential problems you may not have noticed.

We are the experienced choice for home buying the desert area. Our skilled screening process will match you with your perfect lifestyle property, we will identify the bargains that fit your criteria and walk you through the home buying process. Call today for your buyer consultation.

Buying a Home

Making an offer to buy a home and actually buying a home are generally two different actions, but home buyers sometimes confuse the two. In California the purchase offer, many times will not be the final negotiation due to contingencies in the contract.

Buying a Home

Buying a Home

Reality of Purchase Offers
When a home seller accepts an offer, the seller is optimistic the buyer will complete the transaction at the price agreed upon and believes there is nothing wrong with the condition of the home. The home buyer, on the other hand, is hoping the transaction will close because the home is in A-1 condition and perfect.

It’s rare that either of those expectations are in line with reality. No home is perfect and many conditions can change once a contract is accepted.

  • Buyers often submit repair requests
  • Low appraisals can threaten to blow the deal
  • Mortgages can be denied in underwriting

Hesitating to Take the Next Step in Buying a Home?
If the home you’re thinking about buying is likely to sell quickly, and if you have a “contingency or subject to clause” which allows you to perform your due diligence and cancel if you find a red flag, you should immediately make a purchase offer. Don’t sleep on it or try to get every single question answered beforehand or you may very well lose the home. Somebody else could beat you to the draw.

If you like the home, odds are several other active home buyers will, too. You’re not the only smart cookie who can spot a great buy.

And no, losing the home doesn’t mean it was “supposed to be that way.” Consider instead that you were supposed to buy it, and you messed up.

Types of Homes That Quickly Sell
In seller’s markets, almost every home sells quickly. In buyer’s market’s, the Days on Market, (DOM), will be longer. There are many inherent characteristics and qualities that determine whether homes are likely to sell fast, but these are the top two combinations:

  • Turnkey homes in high-demand neighborhoods, excellent condition and priced right.
  • Cosmetic fixers in good locations and priced below comparable sales.

If the home you want to buy falls within those two categories, you should move quickly to make an offer, provided you know you have a contingency period in the contract to perform your due diligence.

Pros to Making Immediate Offers to Purchase
The obvious reason to make an offer right away, you can block another buyer from buying it. When the seller accepts an offer from you, the seller cannot accept another, except as a back-up offer, good only if your contract is canceled by you.

If your offer is first and sole, you can negotiate on price and terms. You can make a lower  offer. If there are multiple offers, your negotiation power is minimized.

Even if other buyers are interested, they will generally move on to another property once the seller accepts an offer.

Cons to Making Immediate Offers to Purchase
If you’re unsure between two homes and go into contract on property A, property B might not be available if you should change your mind and cancel the first transaction.

Return of an earnest money deposit is not automatic. Both parties are required to sign cancellation instructions.

Buyers can incur costs that are not refundable such as appraisal, credit report and home inspection fees that are non-refundable. Generally, title policy / escrow and other closing costs are waived upon cancellation.

Given the alternative of losing the home you want, however, take advantage of lessens learned by other Buyers who have lost opportunities because they were hesitant to act with urgency — instead of learning this painful lesson yourself.

Cathi  and Ben Walter bring the skills and experience to help you navigate through the home buying process; if you’re thinking about a home purchase in the desert, call Cathi & Ben today for more information (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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