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  • Cathi & Ben Walter
  • Sales & Marketing Specialist, Realtor
  • 44530 San Pablo, Suite 101
  • Palm Desert, CA 92260
  • P: (760) 218 – 5752
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  • 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

COVID and the Real Estate Market in the Coachella Valley

The Real Estate Market in the Coachella Valley and COVID

Coachella Valley Home Sales

Coachella Valley Single Family Homes. Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Thousand Palms, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Indio

A standard market update isn’t sufficient to describe the rapidly changing real estate market in the Coachella Valley due to COVID.

So with the help of Market Watch LLC, we’re watching the market using shorter term metrics that demonstrate more of the daily moves, based on a 28 day average.

 

 

 

We’re comparing Real Estate Market Metrics *March 19  – May 15, 2020 vs the same time period in 2019 and the impact COVID has had on the Coachella Valley Real Estate Market.  *(Date of Governor Newsom’s Stay at Home order)

Coachella Valley Single Family Homes
PENDING SALES –Coachella Valley Pending Homes Sales

One of many metrics we use to pick up developing market trends is Pending Home Sales.  In 2019 there was an average of 23 units going under contract everyday in the Coachella Valley.  For the first 2 weeks after the stay at home order, people and business froze – no one knew what to expect and as real estate agents, we were legally NOT able to practice Real Estate – so, it’s no surprise that as of May 15, 2020 we averaged 11 homes going under contract per day.  That’s about a 52% decline in the number of sales from one year ago.  Eventually, Governor Newsom added the practice of real estate to the list of “Essential Businesses” and since then we’ve started to see a substantial uptick in online home buyer activity.

 

Coachella Valley Home Price per Square Foot

 

 

PRICE / SQ FT – 
Interestingly for Single Family Homes,
May 1, 2019  the average price / sq ft was $244.  This year it’s $238 / sq ft.
Down just 2.4%.  Prices are showing only a small downward bias.

 

 

 

Coachella Valley Housing InventoryINVENTORY – 
Inventory is actually down from one year ago.  May 1, 2019 we had 3,636 units for sale, but inventories had been down since November 2018, (prior to COVID).  Inventories have been hovering around 3,000 units for sale since then. We’re down only about 100 units since.

 

 

Coachella Valley New ListingsNEW LISTINGS – 
No rush to sell.  Net new listings are also down, offsetting the decline in pending sales.  We generally average about 25  new listings / day, (adjusted for seasonal swings).  Currently we’re at about 20 new listings / day.

 

 

CANCELLATIONS –
In a standard market, we average about 5 cancellations / day in the Coachella Valley. Initially, right after Gov Newsom’s Stay at Home order on March 19th, there was a spike in cancellations for about 2 weeks, but we’re now back to the average.  So at this point we’re not seeing a long term affect, as buyer’s (and seller’s too) are feeling more confident.

 

 

Foreclosure SalesNOTICE OF DEFAULT LISTINGS AND SALES  – 
From March 19 – May 15, 2019 there were 4 homes that sold as foreclosure with notice of default.
2020 there are 3 homes in default listed for sale and 2 have sold.

 

 

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET – Housing Time on Market
There has been little effect to the average time on  market.
May 1, 2019 it was taking on average 76 days to sell.
May 1, 2020 is an average 78 days.

 

 

Home Price Discount

 

PRICE DISCOUNTS –
In a standard market, we average 3% discount off asking price. May 1, 2020 we were averaging 3.2% price discount from asking.

Tips How to deal with Low Ball Offers

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY –
Unlike the financial crisis of 2008 where our entire financial system was teetering on collapse with huge spikes in housing inventory, little to no lending activity, and little to no buyer activity – This is a health crisis, our financial institutions are solid and lending practices are open and operating properly and interest rates are again at near historic lows.  True, we’ve seen a decline in the number of sales, but it’s trending up as more and more states and cities open up for business.  And unlike 2008, inventories remain low and steady with prices holding.

I believe we will see a shift away from the “trendy urban lifestyle” that’s been so popular among Millennial’s.  This health scare seemed to be in epic proportions in large cities and relatively small in outlying suburban areas; shining a spotlight on the benefits of living in areas with space.  Both business and their employees have learned they really can work from home and still be productive. The natural next step will be people looking for areas where they can live and work from home but not too far from the office. Far enough away that they feel safe without sacrificing their lifestyle.  And an area with homes they can afford to buy.  The very things that make our Desert an attractive place for people of all ages to live, work and play.

Yes, we may have a bumpy road ahead short term, but people buy and sell homes everyday for a million different reasons – I do not see this lasting as a long term market problem. There’s pent up demand waiting to get back into the swing of life and doing business. I’m optimistic for the future of our Coachella Valley real estate market.

 

Coachella Valley Real Estate Market Report 2019

2019 Coachella Valley Annual Real Estate Report
and 2020 Projections  

Coachella Valley Real Estate Market Update

 

Coachella Valley Real Estate Market
Our market has become more year round with the number of sales during the summer months exceeding sales during “season” in the past two years running.

 

 

 

WHO WERE THE HOME BUYERS
Remote Owners represented 50% of our home buyers who were looking for a second home or investment property.  Nearly 68% of those Remote Owners came from other California cities, followed in numbers by Washington state. Canadian Home Buyers are making an appearance again, with 14% of the Remote Owners coming from Canada.

Coachella Valley Real Estate Drive from LA to PSHome Buyers from other metropolitan markets; especially our drive markets such as Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego see great value here in  Coachella Valley Real Estate.  Baby Boomers are cashing out from other areas, and looking for a Lifestyle in their retirement; that’s largely what’s driving home sales in the Coachella Valley.  Our sunny blue skies are pretty inviting, compared to snow and rain in other parts of the country.

See All of the Homes for Sale in the Desert HERE

WHAT WERE THE HOME BUYERS LOOKING FOR?

Coachella Valley Real Estate Home Buyers want Smaller HomesBigger is not necessarily better in the case of our home buyer demographic.  Aging Boomers want a simpler lifestyle and a home that requires less maintenance.  Great Room Living, Each Bedroom with en-suite baths, Master Suite separate from the Guest Bedrooms, No Stairs and Light and Bright inside – with the current design trends showing Sleek White Gourmet Kitchens. Outdoor Living is a Must with Covered Outdoor Seating and Outdoor Kitchen / BBQ, most home buyers want a private pool and Views.

HOME BUYERS WANT TO BE WHERE THE ACTION IS

Coachella Valley Real Estate Vision San PabloWith more and more commercial development and signature events going on here in the desert,  growth is on a fast pace and home buyers want to be where the action is. The Coachella Valley has an attractive lifestyle and home prices are a bargain comparatively speaking.

 

COACHELLA VALLEY REAL ESTATE BY THE NUMBERS
Coachella Valley Real Estate The Numbers
2019 Coachella Valley Real Estate had 9,787 sales.  That number is down about 5% from the 10,295 units that sold in 2018.  The reason is mostly due to a lack of inventory, (3.9 month supply of homes on the market), but price sensitivity is also a factor.

 

VALLEY HOUSING INVENTORY

Coachella Valley Real Estate Housing Inventory

January 1, 2020 there were 3,200 units for sale vs 3,398 units for sale January 1, 2019. The valley median price for detached homes was $425,000 up 9% in 2019.  Median prices for attached homes was also up, 2% at  $279,000.

 

 

The Luxury Home Market has seen in increase in both home value and sales.  The California Desert Association of Realtors reports in the million dollar plus market, there was a 22% increase in sales in the 4th quarter of 2019.

CHECK OUT THESE LUXURY RESORT PROPERTIES

Coachella Valley Luxury Country Club Sales  2019 vs 2018
COUNTRY CLUB 2018  SALES   2018 AVERAGE SALE PRICE   2019
SALES
  2019 AVERAGE
SALE PRICE
 
Andalusia 32 $ 1,439,578 27 $ 1,581,415
BIGHORN 36 $ 3,892,153 31 $ 3,688,519
Eldorado CC 4 $ 1,713,750 16 $ 2,260,250
Indian Wells  CC 45 $ 1,154,953 23 $ 1,044,192
Ironwood CC 22 $    958,364 18 $ 1,422,800
Mission Hills CC 30 $    914,666 44 $ 1,043,920
Mountain View 42 $    881,012 25 $    866,619
PGA West 121 $    890,691 111 $    964,449
Tamarisk CC 14 $ 1,090,643 12 $  1,181,742
The Citrus Club 46 $   871,464 48 $    900,020
The Hideaway 28 $ 2,434,571 44 $  2,467,545
The Madison 8 $ 6,275,000 6 $ 6,529,167
The Palms 9 $    873,333 9 $    821,555
The Reserve 11 $ 1,750,000 14 $ 2,176,607
The Quarry 2 $ 2,856,750 2 $ 2,492,500
Thunderbird  CC 7 $ 1,640,000 5 $    721,800
Toscana CC 37 $ 1,965,600 38 $ 2,171,903
Tradition GC 22 $ 2,409,431 22 $ 2,449,045
Vintage CC 11 $ 3,271,818 13 $ 3,081,154

 

National Housing MarketThe National Real Estate Outlook
Home prices increased across the country in 2019 and experts predict the National Housing Market will remain strong through 2020 in the January Forbes article: “Five Housing Market Predictions for 2020” they cite crazy rents in the luxury apartment market is driving Millennials to buy instead of rent.  More aging Baby Boomers are expected to sell their homes looking to transition into smaller homes with less maintenance.  Some estimates say as much as 27% of the housing inventory in the country could hit the market between now and 2040, easing the housing shortage.  The National Association of Home Builders report home builder confidence is at a 20 year high, paving the way for a boom in new home construction.  That combined with low mortgage rates the outlook for 2020 is strong.

CA Homes Map

California Real Estate Outlook
The median home price in California was up about 4.1% in 2019, while the number of sales were down slightly.   The California Association of Realtors forecast a similar uptick in prices through 2020. Housing affordability, (just 32% of households can afford a median priced home),  and low inventory have been an ongoing challenge in California, mortgage interest rates at near historic lows are giving home buyers more buying power.

 

 

 

2020 Tour de Palm Springs

TOUR DE PALM SPRINGS 2020

Tour de Palm Springs 2020

Get ready to ride through the Palm Springs Oasis with thousands of other bike riders pedaling for a good cause.  The 22nd Annual Tour de Palm Springs is February 7-8. This celebrated event has given both bike enthusiasts and casual riders a chance to pedal their way through Greater Palm Springs

 

 

 

Don’t have a bike?  Not to worry, Bike rentals are available.  The Tour de Palm Springs is family-friendly and a fun-filled event for both riders and spectators. Join thousands of  riders pedaling for a good cause during the Tour de Palm Springs.

Tour de Palm Springs is a CVSPIN-sponsored event with proceeds going to local nonprofit organizations throughout the Coachella Valley.

Our great weather and gorgeous mountain scenery attracts thousands of bike riders every year. Walkers and runners are invited with routes ranging from 1-mile and 3-mile option for walkers and 50-mile and 100-mile for cyclists, making this event attractive to everyone from novice to elite cyclists.

 

Tour de Palm Springs

The ride starts and finishes on North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.  Tour de Palm Springs

 

 

 

Check out these great homes for sale in Palm Springs!

 

Tour de Palm Springs

The Tour de Palm Springs is now one of the largest cycling charity events of its kind in America. Since 1998 the Tour de Palm Springs charity event has distributed nearly $4,000.000.00 to over 150 local nonprofit organizations. Every year between 6,000 to 10,000 cyclists from 46 different states including 4 countries. The Tour de Palm Springs is Nationally known and famous for many reasons and below are just a few of the reasons:

• Entertainment: Over 20 bands will be staged throughout event and along routes for our cyclists
• Finish line: Cyclists are greeted by nearly 100 cheerleaders including large marching bands
• Start line: Cyclists are sent off into the streets with a nearly 200-member marching band
• Start area: Cyclists will exit thru military, police & fire vehicles with sirens on and lights flashing
• Route support: Over 30 vehicles will be used to support cyclists on the routes including vans, buses & others

Palm Springs is the place to be for fun and entertainment! Check out some of the upcoming events for 2020 in Palm Springs.

 

 

 

Taxable vs Tax Deferred 1031 Exchange

1031 Delayed ExchangeInvestment Properties
1031 Exchange is a strategy used by real estate investors to defer capital gains taxes, and is allowed under IRS tax code 1031.

By using a 1031 exchange, an investor can defer paying capital gains taxes on an investment property when it is sold, as long as another “like-kind” property is purchased with the profit gained by the sale of the first property.

 

Traditionally, a 1031 exchange is
where1031 Exchange House Swap one property is literally
swapped for another property of like-kind. But finding someone that literally want’s your property and you want their property are pretty slim, so the delayed exchange is more common.

 

In a delayed exchange, you will need a middle-man who holds the cash for you after you sell your property.  they will use that money to buy the replacement property for you. This 3 party exchange is treated as a swap.

When you sell an investment property, even if you weren’t the one who initially purchased, you end up on the hook to pay capital gains tax.

If you’ve made some not so great investments, selling your investment can cost you more than you make.  But, if you own a rental property that’s worth significantly more today than what you purchased it for, you can make a come out ahead using this powerful strategy.  It’s an important tool for real estate investors, and has become a bulls-eye for tax reform evangelists.

However, the exchange rules require that both the purchase price and the new loan amount be the same or higher on the replacement property.

Example: An investor is selling a $500,000 single family home she’s using as an income property in the LA Area with a $400,000 loan. She wants to buy a multi-family home for income here in the Desert; the replacement property must be valued at  $500,000 or more with $400,000 or more leverage, (loan amount).

4 types of Real Estate Exchanges:

1031-Exchange-Simultaneous Swap1) Simultaneous Exchange – occurs when the replacement property and relinquished property close on the same day.  It is important to note that the exchange must occur simultaneously; any delay, even a short delay caused by wiring money to an escrow company, can result in the disqualification of the exchange and the immediate application of full taxes.

 

Three basic ways a Simultaneous Exchange can occur.

  • Swap or complete a two-party trade, whereby the two parties exchange or “swap” deeds.
  • Three-party exchange where an “accommodating party” is used to facilitate the transaction in a simultaneous fashion for the exchanger.
  • Simultaneous exchange with a qualified intermediary who structures the entire exchange.

 

2)Delayed Exchange – 1031 Delayed ExchangeThe most common type of exchange chosen by investors;  occurs when the Exchangor relinquishes the original property before acquiring the replacement property.  In this scenario, the investor has 45 days to identify the replacement property and 180 days to complete the sale of their new property.

Using this strategy, an investor has a maximum of 45 days to identify the replacement property and 180 days to complete the sale of their property. In addition to the numerous tax benefits, this extended time frame is one of the reasons the delayed exchange is so popular.

 

1031 Reverse Exchange3) Reverse Exchange – Also known as a Forward Exchange, occurs when you acquire a replacement property through an exchange accommodation titleholder before you identify the replacement property. Essentially, you buy first and pay later.  This type of exchange can be tricky because it requires all cash. Many banks won’t offer loans on reverse exchanges.  Taxpayers must also decide which of their investment properties are going to be acquired and which will be “parked.” A failure to close on the relinquished property during the established 180 day period that the acquired property is parked will result in a forfeit of the exchange.

The rules for a Reverse Exchange are similar with a couple of key differences.

  • Tax payers have 45 days to ID what property is going to be sold as “The relinquished property”
  • After the initial 45 days, taxpayers have 135 day to complete the sale of the identified property and close out the reverse 1031 exchange with the purchase of the replacement property.

 

1031-Under-Construction

 

4) Construction or Improvement Exchange
The taxpayer can use their tax-deferred dollars to enhance the replacement property while it is placed in the hands of a qualified intermediary for the remainder of the 180 day period.

It’s important to note that the taxpayer must also meet three requirements if they want to defer all of the gain (from the sale of the relinquished property) and instead use it as part of the construction or improvement exchange.

3 key requirements for a Construction or Improvement Exchange

  1. The entire exchange equity must be spent on completed improvements or as down payment by the 180th day.
  2. The taxpayer must receive “substantially the same property” that they identified by the 45th day.
  3. The replacement property must be equal or greater in value when it is deeded back to the taxpayer. The improvements must be in place before the taxpayer can take the title back from the qualified intermediary.

7 Primary 1031 Exchange Rules.
1) Like-kind Property
2) Investment or Business purposes only
3) Greater of equal value
4) Must not receive “Boot”
5) Same Tax Payer
6) 45 Day Identification  window
7) 180 Day Purchase Window

Check out this FAB Home in South Palm Desert for Great Rental Income

1031 exchange identify the houseWe hope your main take-away is; you too can end up with passive income from real estate.  But, it’s not easy for even the most seasoned real estate investor. Having the right team working for you will be important to set the stage properly.  We have a team of professionals that can help.  For more info, give us a call today – we’re happy to help.

NHL Hockey Team in Palm Springs

Agua Caliente NHL Hockey Arena in Palm Springs

New Agua Caliente Arena in Palm Springs

NHL Hockey Team in Palm Springs by the end of 2021.  The American Hockey League announced Monday, the 32nd franchise was awarded to NHL Seattle and Oak View Group. Seattle’s developmental team will play at the new Agua Caliente Arena in Palm Springs.

 

AHL’s David Andrews said “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”

Check out all the FAB homes for sale in Palm Springs around the new  Arena!

We were very fortunate the Agua Caliente Tribe jumped in and joined us as partners. We’re also fortunate we found a piece of land that’s as good as you could possibly find to build an arena.  More than 100 people crowded into a small room inside the Palm Springs Convention Center to watch the official announcement of the new NHL Hockey Team in Palm Springs. Youth hockey players wore their jerseys and sat near the front row.

“On behalf of the AHL’s Board of Governors, I am thrilled to welcome the NHL Seattle and OVG ownership teams and the city of Palm Springs as the league’s 32nd franchise,” said the AHL’s David Andrews. “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”

 

NHL Hockey Team

“We always had a bit of an eye toward Palm Springs,” Tim Leiweke said. “Even at the beginning of the project, we were looking in Palm Springs and thought: One, an amazing point of destination market place. Two, a market place that for 30 years has been trying to find a sports team. And three, from a transportation standpoint and affordability standpoint and the ability to convince players and staff that they have to move here. This is a pretty good place to ultimately build a franchise.”

Agua Caliente Arena in Palm Springs

Agua Caliente Arena in Palm Springs

The $250 million project will break ground in early 2020 and open in the fall of 2021, the same time that Seattle’s NHL Hockey Team will begin play at their new arena at Seattle Center.

 

 

 

NHL Seattle General Manager Ron Francis will lead hockey operations for both organizations. The AHL says nearly 90% of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates.

See more great things planned for the desert!

Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels

Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels

Buying or Selling a Home with SolarMore than a 12 million homeowners across the U.S. added solar systems to their homes in 2018.  As solar systems have become more efficient and less expensive, they’ve become more popular with homeowners.

 

 

If you’re Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels, there are unique benefits and challenges you will want to know about

If you’re Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels how do you determine what value the solar system adds to the sale price?  In a recent study from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, a research lab affiliated with the DOE, they found homes with solar sell for 4.1% more than homes without solar systems. The study found that home buyers are willing to pay a premium for systems that are owned.

The same is not true for leased solar systems. The home value premium only applies to homes with “host-owned” PV,(aka photo voltaic systems).  In other words, if you own your solar system vs leasing the panels from a solar company.

The study also found, just because you spend more on a larger PV system, the premium on the resale value may not scale to match the investment. Smaller systems for more modest homes return a higher margin on the investment when the home hits the real estate market.

When weighing the cost vs the benefit – the determining factor will be the ROI, how long it takes to recoup the hefty up-front investment. Through energy savings, tax credits, and the potential increase in your home’s value at time of sale.

There are many factors that influence a solar system’s true value, including the age, size, and power output of the system. No two solar systems are alike, which is why appraisers need to value each system independently.

One of the biggest gotchas of buying or selling a home with a rooftop solar system has to do with who owns the system and that depends how the system was purchased.

There are for ways to purchase solar panels:
Cash Purchase, Loan, Lease or Power Purchase Agreement. 

Buying or Selling a Home with SolarCash Purchase
Homeowners who purchase a solar system outright with cash own the system. That’s the simplest scenario in a real estate transaction. A solar system purchased outright is considered “real property,” in real estate parlance, or a fixture of the home, and can therefore be appraised as part of the home’s value.

 

Buying or Selling a Home with SolarLoan
The same applies to a system that was purchased with a loan that has since been paid in full. That system belongs to the homeowner. If, however, the homeowner is still making payments toward a loan, ownership will depend on the contract the homeowner signed with the lender. Most lenders allow the homeowner to claim ownership while they make payments. These systems can be appraised as part of the home’s value.

Other lenders may place either a lien or UCC-1 Filing (part of a legal set of rules that allow creditors to secure assets as collateral in the event of default by claiming third-party ownership) on the system. UCC-1 filings are technically not liens, but are often treated by title companies as a lien. If the system is secured with a lien or UCC-1, the lender may claim ownership of the system, which may therefore impact whether or not the system can be included in the appraised value of the home. Appraisal practices and underwriting guidelines continue to evolve as rooftop solar becomes more common, so be sure to work with your lender and title company to understand the specific guidelines in your area.

It’s also worth mentioning that sellers are on the hook to pay off any loan tied to a property prior to a sell. Solar is no different. Sellers are ultimately responsible for paying off their loan obligation as part of the sale or through other means if the buyer is not willing to take over the loan, and may want to adjust their asking price accordingly.

Buyers who are willing to take over the loan on the solar energy system will need to qualify concurrently for both a mortgage and a loan for the system, which may affect their debt-to-income ratio.

Buying or Selling a Home with SolarPower Purchase Agreement, (PPA) or Lease
Under a Power Purchase Agreement or Lease, the homeowner pays for the right to use the system for a specified period of time, but does not actually own the system. The system is owned by the solar provider, who typically places a UCC-1 Filing against the system as described above. Systems financed in this way are owned by a third party (not the homeowner) and cannot contribute to the appraised value of the property.

Sellers with a solar system obtained through a Power Purchase Agreement or lease must either transfer their systems to their new residence or “buyout” their contract. The specifics vary by solar provider, so be sure to read your contract.

Buyers looking to purchase a property with either of these types of agreements should obtain a copy of the solar contract tied to the property and decide if they are willing to take the contract. This process may add to the timeline, but may be worth the effort. Power Purchase Agreements and solar leases are a way to take advantage of the benefits of solar with little or no up-front costs. The rates are typically lower and fixed for a specified term.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

Buying or Selling a Home with Solar

Buying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels – Tips for Buyers

  • If buying a home with a solar system is high on your wish list, make sure your agent knows that.
  • Work with agents, lenders, and title companies trained or at least familiar with rooftop solar whenever possible.
  • Ask your agent or title company to check if a UCC-1 Filing (a lien) has been placed on the system. If there is, you will need to work with your agent, title company, solar provider, and the property owner to determine how you will negotiate the UCC-1 Filing as part of the deal.
  • If the system is tied to a Power Purchase Agreement or a lease, make certain you understand the risks and obligations of the contract before taking it over. You can also request the system be removed by the seller as part of the deal, assuming the seller is in a position to do so.
  • If the seller is still making payments on the loan for the solar energy system, work with your agent to decide if you will take over the loan or ask the seller to pay off the loan as part of the deal. Remember, if you intend to take over the loan, you must qualify for both the solar loan and your mortgage.
  • Ensure the appraiser accurately accounts for the value of the system. The appraisal validates the system’s value should you need to sell the property in the near future.
  • Allow extra time in your purchase contract for the closing date.  There can be a lot of moving parts when trying to completely understand the details, negotiate who will pay, etc

If you have solar installed on your Desert home and unsure how the solar impacts the value of your home for the current real estate market, give us a ring – we’re happy to help.

Buying and Selling a HomeBuying or Selling a Home with Solar Panels – Tips for Sellers

  • Work with agents, lenders, and title companies trained or at least familiar with rooftop solar whenever possible.
  • Get a jump start on the process, collect all of your system’s documentation together, along with 4 – 6 months of your most recent electric bills, and share those with your agent.
  • If you acquired your solar system through a Power Purchase Agreement, a Lease, or through a Loan; check to see if there is a UCC-1 Filing placed on the system. If there is, work with your agent,  title company, solar provider, and the buyer to determine the best way to negotiate the UCC-1 Filing as part of the deal.  Rarely, but possibly, the solar provider or finance company may be willing to provide a “subordination agreement”.  Taking 2nd position behind a 1st mortgage, if the buyer is willing to take over the contract.  This would be an exception not the rule.
  • If you’re still under contract with a Power Purchase Agreement, or Lease, or if you are still making loan payments be prepared to buy out your contract if the buyer is not willing to take ownership of the contract.  If the market is strong, you may be able to adjust your asking price to account for the added expense or search for a buyer willing to take the contract.
  • Ensure the appraiser accurately accounts for the value of the system. Remember, $0 valuations must be supported with sufficient evidence.
  • Chances are, potential buyers aren’t looking at your house just because of the solar panels and people unfamiliar with solar panels won’t know about the added value, so it’s important for you and your agent to explain this value. The appraisal can help with that, but a knowledgeable real estate agent will be an important part of this.  Be prepared to share past electric bills to demonstrate the savings you enjoy as a result of your solar energy system.

If you have solar installed on your Desert home and unsure how the solar impacts the value of your home for the current real estate market, give us a ring – we’re happy to help.

Final Thoughts
Buying a home with Solar, or installing solar on your home is generally a sound investment; If you live in your home for the duration of the warranty, you can expect a grid tie system to pay for itself 2-3 times over. With tax breaks and energy savings.

Even if you decide to move before the warranty is up, you still come out ahead. The value of the system can translate into a higher sale price when your home hits the market. That premium is typically enough to cover the cost of the hardware; which is a break even on the solar investment.

If you’re looking at purchasing a home with solar, and not sure what the price premium actually is, give us a ring we’re happy to help.

Special Function Room Trends

Special Function Room Trends
Every year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducts a series of surveys of more than 500 leading Architectural firms to uncover trends in new home design. Here are some of their conclusions from the home features study on Special Function Room Trends.

 

Special Function Room Trends Outdoor Living SpaceOutdoor Living Space
According to the AIA recent Home Trends Survey, the most popular special room isn’t a room inside the house, but rather outside.  Outdoor Living Space is the most requested Special Function Room Trends. Since the average lot size is much bigger than the home’s footprint, the Outdoor Space can offer a great opportunity for Outdoor Living. In the past three years of the survey, the respondents said Outdoor Living Space was gaining popularity faster than any other feature.

Mud RoomSpecial Function Room Trends Mud Room
With the rise in popularity of Outdoor Living Spaces, it seems natural a Mudroom would be the next feature increasing in popularity. When spending all this time outside;  a room in where you can remove dirty clothes and shoes becomes a valuable space. The Mudroom serves as more than a place to remove muddy shoes, it also serves as a place to store the kids backpacks, hang coats, dog leashes, or store gardening tools. A Mudroom is a great way to help keep the house clean and free from clutter. Fortunately, Mudrooms don’t have to take up a lot of space, they can combine with other spaces like the Laundry Room.

Special Function Room Trends Home Office

Home Office
The third most common Special Function Space is the Home Office. While the Home Office has been a popular request for decades, more and more people are working from home and the demands to be constantly connected creates the necessity for a dedicated space.  The Home Office is a must have for many home buyers.

 

 

 

Pet RoomsSpecial Function Room Trends Pet Room
A new and emerging Special Function Room Trend is a  Pet Room.  More clients are asking to include Pet Rooms or Interior Kennels. Pooch-friendly technology including music, a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall, Bed, Web Cam with Audio, Pet Door with Access to outdoors, built in storage for toys, and area for food and water bowls.

 

 

 

 

In-Law SuiteSpecial Function Room Trends In law suite
An In-Law Suite also grew in number of requests. A separate Bedroom with Sitting Area, en-suite Bath and Coffee Bar / Kitchenette have grown in popularity.

 

 

 

 

Main Floor Master BedroomSpecial Function Room Trends Main floor Master
More people are choosing to age in place and having a Main floor Master Bedroom is essential to being able to stay in your home. The main floor Master has become one of the top requested Special Features home buyers are ask for.

 

 

 

Special Function Room Trends Man Cave She ShedShe Shed / Man Cave
A dedicated space to escape and enjoy a special hobby is a fun addition and can add a Wow Factor for home buyers. Something as simple as converting a spare bedroom can work.  

 

 

If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, and want to make sure you’re adding value that matters most to home buyers, think about incorporating some of the top requested Special Function Rooms into your remodel plan.

 

 

 

Agua Caliente Plans New Sports Arena

Agua-Caliente Arena

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians plans to build a 10,000-seat arena in the heart of Palm Springs for ice hockey and live entertainment.

The new facility will be north of the tribe’s downtown casino and two blocks from the desert city’s main drag. The arena project will be developed on the tribal property north of the Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, generally between Amado Road on the south, Alejo Road on the north, Calle Encilia on the west, and Calle El Segundo on the east.

Agua-Caliente Arena

Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said in a phone interview that the partnership was more than a year in the works and came about because Oak View Group was looking for a home for the expansion team. The Coachella Valley’s large number of winter residents from Canada made it a natural fit.

Tim Leiweke, CEO and co-founder of Oak View Group, said the projected cost of the arena, training center and hockey team is $250 million. Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said the arena will be privately funded, exclusively by the tribe and Oak View Group.

Live Nation Entertainment also has signed on as a strategic partner with the project and will “supply the new arena with its large stable of top touring artists and premium live events,” according to a news release.

Grubbe said he doesn’t have details on what the arena would look like yet, and not to expect renderings any time soon. He did say that the arena would be state of the art and would fit in with the overall look of downtown Palm Springs.

Groundbreaking and construction is scheduled to begin in February 2020, according to the tribe. The arena is expected to open by fall 2021 in time for the hockey season.

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

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

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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