Contact Us
  • 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
Social Media
Subscribe to Desert Area Home Finder Blog Updates
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

Barker Dam Trail: Joshua Tree National Park

Barker Dam Trail

Barker Dam, is a water-storage facility located in Joshua Tree National Park in California. The dam was constructed by early cattlemen, including CO Barker, in 1900. It was raised in 1949 by rancher William F. Keys. It is situated between Queen Valley and the Wonderland of Rocks near the Wall Street Mill. It is a gathering place for desert wildlife, including many species of birds and Desert Bighorn Sheep.

 

Barker Dam TrailVisitors can reach the Barker Dam via a short trail from a nearby parking lot and can see Native American petroglyphs a short distance to the west. There is also good bouldering on side trails near the dam. The park offers a Barker Dam Nature Hike led by a ranger.

The lowest 9 feet (2.7 m) of the dam, the original portion, was constructed of concrete surfaced with stone on the downstream side. The height of the dam was raised an additional six feet with concrete in 1949–1950. The dam has several indentations. An inscription at top reads: Big Horn Dam Built by Willis Keys, W.F. Keyes, Phyllis M. Keys, 1949–1950.

Barker Dam Trail

The start of the trail is well marked, and if you are driving in your car, there are signs around the park that will direct you to the area where the trailhead starts. There is also a large parking lot by the trailhead and this area is busier if you come on a weekend, as it is one of the most well known and family-friendly hikes in the park.

The trail itself is less than a mile and half round trip, and it is a loop so that you never see the same thing twice. As soon as you get out of your car and start the trail, you immediately enter into an area with large rocks surrounding you on both sides.

Barker Dam Trail

The trail winds around for a little bit before dropping you out in a wide open area that makes up Barker Dam. The Barker Dam itself was really cool, primarily because it was so old and was still in working condition. I also enjoyed seeing the sign right at the top of the dam that was carved in the concrete from the brothers that helped build it.

DIRECTIONS: Turn east off Park Boulevard on Barker Dam Road towards Hidden Valley Campground. The turnoff is located 9 miles south of the west entrance station and 1.6 miles north of the intersection with Keys View Road. Continue on the paved road for 2.8 miles to a large parking area.

For current park conditions
visit JTNP Website or Call 760 367-5522

Staging Your Home to Sell – Top Trends in Home Styling

Home Staging or Home Styling is about telling the story of your home.  By adding dramatic punches of color or texture, using furniture or accent pieces in unexpected ways you can bring out the personality of your home.  You can, without words, tell your potential home buyer just how fabulous it is to live here!

Here are a few design trends that can be an easy way to start your story.

Get your Juju – Hand Crafted Hats by Tribes in Cameroon.

Juju Hats Add Color and TextureJuju hats, were worn by royal dancers during Bamileke tribal ceremonies. They symbolized prosperity and were created from natural or dyed chicken and wild bird feathers.

The Juju hat creates an interesting design element and can tie a room together with a wide variety of rich colors. A Great way to add texture and pops of color to any room.

Side Table Crazy – Curate a Modern Aesthetic.End Tables Make a Great Coffee Table

 

The standard wood or glass coffee tables are making way for a new innovative approach using a variety of side tables with the same or contrasting finishes at various heights and grouped together to create a cool modern look.

 

 

 

Light or Art? – Statement Lamps Make a Big Splash in Home Design and Staging.

Lamps that make a StatementSculptural lamps add a sense of drama and sophistication. Home Buyers will be wowed when they see dramatic floor and wall lamps that blur the lines between form and function.

 


Reflections –  Make a Drama Statement with a Shimmering Pool of Color

High Gloss Paint

 

Finding exactly the right color for a room is a defining moment in the design process. Once you’ve got the color perfect, it’s time to talk about the finish. Make a Statement by Adding Drama to the room with Super High Gloss Paint that shows like a shimmering pool of color. Paint an accent wall, the ceiling, or add a high gloss accent piece to the room to make an eye catching statement.

 

 

Weaving the story about your home is the art of marketing and presentation.  The way your home is presented, both online with photos and in person is what differentiates your home from the competition.  As that online buyer makes their way to your front door to look at your home in person, they want to be wowed.

In the Desert Real Estate Market, home buyer’s are more sophisticated than ever, they’re looking for a lifestyle. In other words they’re looking for the whole package – stylish, clean, well put together, well kept and easy to maintain, they want …..
“Hotel Ready”. 

See the Before and After on a Great Lock and Leave Golf Villa in Palm Desert

If you’re thinking about selling your Desert Home, give us a call today for a consultation. Let’s talk about how Home Styling can improve what you can ask and receive for your home.

Not quite ready to talk about selling your home yet?  That’s OK, you can still Find Out What Your Home Could Sell For now at My HomeValue365.com 

Desert Real Estate Market Update

The Coachella Valley Real Estate Market is Strong. 

When we look at prices now compared to one year ago, we see that detached home prices are up 4.6% and attached home prices are up 7.3% from last year.  Eight of Nine Valley cities saw a price increase.

Detached and Attach Home Prices by City

The total number of sales have slowed a bit from last year, down about 5.3%. Detached homes were down about 4% while Attached homes, which saw a bigger price increase, has had a bigger dip in the number of sales, down about 7.6%.

Number of Home Sales for Detached and Attached

When we look at the number of sales by Price Range, we see that the majority of the sales are between $200,000 – $500,000.  The largest dip in number of sales is in the $800,000 – $1m price range, then picking up again over $1m.  However, when we compare the number of sales year over year by price bracket, we see that the largest dip in the number of sales in 2019 was below $400,000. From $500,000 and up the number of sales were at about par over last year.

Number of Sales by Price Range

Currently there are about 3,600 homes listed for sale in the Valley, about the same as this time last year. This is a seasonal market; you can see the pattern on the chart below.  We reach our lowest inventory levels in September every year and gradually increase to an annual peak in February and March.

Housing Inventory

Breaking down the inventory levels; it’s no surprise that the lowest inventory levels are in the $200,000 – $400,000 price range.  The month’s supply starts climbing over $500,000. Based on the current number of homes listed for sale divided by the number of sales each month, if no new inventory entered the market, we see there is a 6 month supply in the $500,000 – $600,000 range.  About a 7 month supply for homes priced between $700,000 – $900,000 and a 13 month supply for homes priced over $1m.

Months Supply by price range

Based on price trends, the number of sales, inventory levels and low interest rates, we can say the Coachella Valley Real Estate Market is Strong.  The trends we see suggest that we will continue to see a strong real estate market throughout 2019 and into 2020.

If you would like more detailed market information about your city, your community, or your home specifically, give us a ring – we’re on standby to help.   (760) 218 – 5752

Palm Springs Modernism Week 2019

Modernism Week

Palm Springs Modernism Week 2019 returns for another year to revel in the beautiful, simplistic Mid-Century Modern movement. Modernism Week 2019 is a 10-day celebration of all things Modern in the mecca of “MCM,” Palm Springs. This signature event happens every February, gathering tens-of-thousands of Modernism enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate the form in all its glory, from sleek architecture to iconic furniture and fashions. Over the week-plus, participants can check out a variety of home tours, the Modernism Show and Sale, lectures from prominent figures within Modernism, films on the subject, and more.

Palm Springs boasts one of the largest concentrations of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the world and is the perfect setting for Modernism Week each year. With the creative fingerprints of legendary names etched throughout the Valley, including Wexler, Neutra, Frey, and Schindler, Palm Springs has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to highly-coveted Mid-Century Modern homes and structures. Modernism Week 2019 embraces the form and celebrates its unique characteristics, and is a local event everyone should check out.

Modernism Week

The Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound will showcase a refurbished midcentury home in the Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs, with 12 leading interior designers undertaking the redesign. Tours of the home will be offered daily.

On February 15, Modernism Week will host a special dedication ceremony on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for acclaimed interior designer Arthur Elrod (1924-1974). Elrod’s former home will also be open for a home tour and evening cocktail party on Thursday, February 21.

One of Albert Frey’s most intact residential works, the Cree House in Cathedral City, has been meticulously preserved and restored to nearly its original 1955 condition. The home, never before seen by the public, will be available for daily tours during Modernism Week.

 

Positioning Your Home for HENRYs

HENRYMeet HENRY — “high earners not rich yet” — the term was first coined by Fortune Magazine and describes a niche subset of the population that represents the next generation of wealth. the most important demographic consumer segment that you’ve probably never heard of.

Today, HENRYs are largely millennial’s (and some younger members of Gen X) who earn an annual household income of more than $100,000. These top earners are well on their way to becoming tomorrow’s affluent consumer.  HENRYs are the heavy lifters in the consumer economy. If 70 percent of the U.S. GDP is consumer spending, then the HENRYs are the key driver in that figure.  They make up only about 18 percent of the total U.S. households, but account for roughly 40 percent of total spending.

Millennials life paths differ from previous generations when it comes to deciding when to get married and start a family.  Travel and Experiences are more important to them and they place a premium on both. It should come as no surprise, then, that the way in which millennial HENRYs make their buying decisions, and specifically when it comes to buying a home, also differs from generations past.

Inside the mind of the HENRYs

It’s worth noting that the American dream of home-ownership is still very much alive and well for millennial HENRYs. According our recent study, 97 percent of millennial HENRYs either own a home or plan to buy a home, while nearly three-quarters either already own or plan to own a second home.

However, HENRYs are changing the traditional definitions and attributes associated with luxury, and specifically as it relates to what a luxury home means to them. When asked what makes a brand luxury, 80 percent said superior quality.

Luxury Doesnt Necessarily Mean Expensive
Only 47 percent said a premium price.

The top indicator of a luxury home as identified by 68 percent millennial HENRY’s is finishes.  Location and amenities were ranked as the second and third most important factors in determining what makes for a luxury property, by millennial HENRYs.

Luxury Garage Luxury Home Finishes

Millennial HENRYs are willing to pay for what they want and value in a home, i.e. finishes, neighborhood, amenities, etc., but that luxury isn’t determined by price tag alone. Rather, for this demographic, luxury means a home that suits their unique preferences and needs, and beyond that, the lifestyle they want to achieve.

Whether that means living in a chalet at the base of a mountain year-round in Aspen, or a beach side bungalow on Hilton Head Island, HENRYs are precisely curating their lifestyles to reflect their unique preferences.

Luxury is more than just a property — it’s the enjoyment of life according to their unique and personal definition of luxury.

For more information about targeting the HENRYs when selling your home, give me a ring (760) 218 – 5752 or drop me a line, Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com  Our strategic marketing positions your home for this niche demographic.
Cathi Walter - DesertAreaHomeFinder.com

2019 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival

Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival

2019 Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival celebrates the date, the hallmark of the farming culture in Coachella Valley. Akin to what mid-century architecture means to the Greater Palm Springs Area’s real estate realm, the date is synonymous with the Coachella Valley. These delicious fruits are a product of the date palm, which comprises a big portion of the Southern California desert’s agricultural industry. Get a taste of the delectable date, and the Coachella Valley’s rich culture, at the 2019 Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival, taking place February 15-24 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. This event offers fun for the whole family, including nightly entertainment from renowned music artists.

What’s special about this Date Festival event isn’t just the fact that it also is the Riverside County Fair, but the entertainment includes blessing of the dates, and award-winning Arabian Nights Musical Pageant. An entertaining show that mingles contemporary humor with classic folklore, magic and mystery are at the heart of “Aladdin and the Heart of Agrabah”. And the queen of the fair– she is Queen Sheherazade and she comes with a Court.

Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival

The Nightly Musical Pageant is set to return to the 72nd Annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, right after the Salute to America at 6:00 p.m. The vocal talents, costumes and stage effects will amaze fair goers with this year’s spin of the 1,001 Arabian Nights extraordinary tale, Prince Khudadad in the Shadow of Destiny. The audience will be engaged the entire show as the cast takes fair goers back in time to the Far East.

You’ll want to come early to the pageant stage to be a part of the moving and inspirational Salute to America which will honor our country’s armed services immediately after the welcome message by the Fair Board at 6:00 p.m. nightly. Incorporating service men and women, as well as local school color guards, this musical tribute will leave you swelling with pride and thanks.

The Coachella Valley destination of Southern California known for dates, enjoys a huge attendance at the fair event. Beach and mountain dwellers grow weary of the the cold, and head for the desert to get a taste of sunshine and warm shirt sleeve weather during the finest month ever–February. Indio has over 100 days per year of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit temperatures but in February the average temperature is around 75 degrees.

Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival is held at Riverside County Fairgrounds, 82-503 Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201

February 15-24, 2019 | President’s Day Parade February 18, 2019, 9 a.m.

17th Annual Dr. George Car Show

Dr. George Car Show

Presented by the Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association, the Dr. George Car Show is in its 17th year and has grown to be the largest one day car show in California. With 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Desert Cancer Foundation, it included 1,000 vehicle entries and is held on the lush grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

For over twenty years, the Desert Cancer Foundation has provided financial support to patients and their families without insurance. Each dollar donated has equals to approximately $7 worth of services.

In 2018, The Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association donated  $77,000 to the non-profit Desert Cancer Foundation.

In addition to its size it is also the longest running car show in the Coachella Valley.

Dr. George Car Show

The Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association is a non-profit organization that includes over 400 members. For this event, 150 volunteers participate in facilitating the car show which includes numerous vendors, a raffle and silent auction. The event is always free and the cost of parking was $5. At the point of entry club members ask for donations from spectators.

The car show is open to all collector vehicles. In the first year there were 375 entries. Only a few years later the association had to create a cut-off at 1,000 entries after growing exponentially.

This all-volunteer project has raised over $845,000 for the Desert Cancer Foundation, which Dr. Sebastian George co-founded prior to his tragic death in 2002. PSCA Club members work year around, planning this amazing show. With the pristine setting of the Tennis Gardens, car owners line up to show their vehicles on the lush green grass. The goal for 2019 is to reach the $100,000 mark for the annual contribution. this contribution will provide approximately $1mm in care and support for cancer victims.

For more information on the 17th Annual Dr. George Charity Car Show, visit the Palm Springs Cruisin’ Association website.

The 2019 Dr. George Charity Car show will take place on February 9th with gates opening to the public from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Desert Real Estate Market Report

DESERT REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT
2018 Year in Review

As we start 2019, it’s time to take look back at how the Desert Real Estate Market performed last year and look for developing trends.

Home Prices are Up

In 2018, there were 5,836 single family home sales throughout the Coachella Valley. Those homes sold at an average of $610,300 and an average of $260. / Sq Ft.  Homes that were priced correctly for the market, sold on average in 89 days.  The highest sale price in 2018 was $12,000,000 for a home located in The Madison in La Quinta.

With those statistics, we compared 2018 sales to the previous year and found that while the number of sales were down slightly overall, (2%), Selling Prices were up 10% and the price / sq ft was up 8%. The time it took to sell was down 10% from the year prior.  The highest priced home sale in 2017 was $8,700,000. for a home located in The Vintage Country Club in Indian Wells.

When we look at the performance of each individual city; prices are up across the valley with two stand-outs – Palm Desert had a 20% price increase and La Quinta had a 15% price increase.

While prices are up, inventories remain low as compared to this time of season in years past.  Historically when the  inventory of homes for sale is low, prices tend to rise due to the pressures of supply and demand.

Interest rates also play an important role in how markets perform; rates are still low despite the fact that the Fed gave us 4 rate increases in 2018.  As rates increase, buyers can afford less house for the same mortgage payment, which ultimately puts downward pressure on home prices.

But good news, rates pulled back a bit this week. Conforming loans, (up to $484,350) for a 30 year fixed rate is still just 4.47%.

The Coachella Valley has long been viewed as a destination for the soon to retire and already retired home buyers looking for an active lifestyle, but with the increase in mobile commuting, people can work from anywhere.  We’re also seeing more young home buyers who are looking for a quality lifestyle, moving to the Desert full time.  Easy Freeway and International Airport access makes that possible.

Combine the Lifestyle that only the Coachella Valley offers along with affordable home prices – the Valley is and will continue to be a destination for both full time residents, second home buyers and

We have a strong and steady real estate market here in the Coachella Valley.

If you would like more detailed information about your neighborhood specifically, drop me a line – we just finished our  2018 “Year in Review” Market Report, I’m happy to send you a copy.

Cathi Walter
Broker Associate with Bennion Deville Homes
(760) 218-5752
Cathi@DesertAreaHomeFinder.com

 

Staging Tips – Paint Colors That Sell

Paint Colors that Sell. 

Did you know that using certain paint colors in specific rooms of your home can statistically increase the value by as much as $10,000?  Sounds incredible, but it’s been proven true. According to an exhaustive study done by Zillow, they looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country. They compared how certain paint colors impacted the sale price on average, when compared to homes with white walls.

Homes with Blue Bathrooms sell for $5,400 more than expected. Listings with cool, neutral colors sell for more money and homes with white, yellow or red wall colors can sell for less than expected.

Paint Colors that Sell: Blue Bathrooms, found in hues of powder blue or light periwinkle, sold for the highest sales premium of all colors analyzed.  Walls painted in other cool, natural tones like pale gray or oatmeal were also among the top performing listings.

Blue Bathroom

They found that some colors may actually deter buyers; the darker more style specific wall colors such as terracotta Dining Room walls sold for $2,000 less than expected.

However, a lack of color may have the biggest negative impact.  Homes with white bathrooms sold for an average of $4,000 less than similar homes.

Paint Colors that Sell: Oatmeal, pale taupe or light beige did better in the Living Room, selling for about $1,900 more than expected.

Greige Living Room Walls

Paint Colors that Sell: The exterior color that garnered the best price premium was
“Greige”, a combination of gray and beige with the front door painted in a contrast color such as dark Gray, Navy Blue or Black.

As a Home Stylist, we are here to help with the latest information on trends that we see in the real estate market.  We’ve got our eye on the market so we can help elevate your home above the competition.  For more information about how our “Home Styling” will get your home sold for top dollar, give me a ring.

Cathi Walter
Broker Associate / Home Stylist

 

The Real Estate Corner Desert Market Update

The Real Estate Corner Desert Market Update

NUMBER OF SALES
September_2018_Home_Sales_by_City

Home sales are up Valley-wide.  The total three-month sales are up 2.9%.  On a city by city basis, six cities show higher sales, with three; Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs showing the largest increase in sales.

The three cities with the largest sales declines are Indio, Indian Wells and Cathedral City.

INVENTORY OF HOMES FOR SALE

September_Inventory

While home sales are up, inventories are down.  Typically our inventories dip to to their lowest point every year toward the end of September, but this year inventories are even lower.

Low inventory acts as both a positive and negative; it’s positive for sellers and future home sellers as it tends to move home prices higher.  But, it’s also a negative in that low inventory puts the brakes on the number of sales. If interest rates continue to increase, that can put a damper on sales as the cost of borrowing money for a mortgage becomes more expensive.

MONTHS SUPPLY OF HOMES FOR SALE BY CITY

Months_of_Supply

The month’s of supply ratio is down valley-wide compared to one year ago in every city.  Most have less than 4 month supply except two; La Quinta which currently has a 4.5 month supply and Indian Wells with a 6 month supply of homes to sell.

MONTHS SUPPLY OF HOMES FOR SALE BY PRICE BRACKETS
When we look at the supply of homes by price category, we see the supply is lower across all price brackets compared to one year ago.  The biggest change is homes priced above $800,000.  Last year the higher price points were taking 7.5 months – 1 year to sell.  Now, it’s taking on average 5.3 – 8 months

Months_Supply_by_Price_Range

The tipping point when using this metric is 6 month’s.  6 months is considered a “Balanced Market”, not particularly favoring either Home Buyers or Home Sellers.  Less than 6 months, the market is tipped in the Sellers favor, otherwise known as a “Sellers Market”.  More than 6 month supply is viewed as a “Buyers Market”.

As home prices or the cost of buying a home, (rising interest rates), increase – sales will start to slow putting downward pressure on pricing.  Markets are always in a state of flux, moving from one market to another and rarely stopping at “balanced” for long.

While there is typically a lag period between market shifts, the lag time is shorter as the number of sales are increasing.  Home sellers quickly see an improving market and strive to maximize the price they can ask.  When prices increase too fast or too far ahead of sales, potential home buyer’s become reluctant to make offers, fearing they could be buying at the peak.

DISCOUNT FROM ASKING PRICE

Sale_price_discount_from_asking_price

In 2018, when negotiating a sale price with buyers; home sellers are discounting their listed price an average of 2%.  One year ago, sellers needed to discount an average 2.4% off their asking price to close a sale.

For example, this ratio means if a home is listed at $400,000 it’s selling at an average of 98% of their asking price, or $392,000. a discount of $8,000. This metric also shows a strong and improving real estate market here in the Desert.

When we look at the story each of these metrics are showing for the Desert Real Estate Market, we can see an improving but pretty balanced market.  In addition, we can see that the market has had and continues to show sustained growth. Making now the right time to be a participant in the market.

The Desert Lifestyle is unlike any other, as we head into our season now is a great time see what the Desert has to offer.  Check out these FAB Desert Homes!

 

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

Connect With Us

facebook twitter linkedin youtube yelp
Virtual Results Theme Framework