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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

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.

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!

 

10 Staging Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs!

10 Staging Tips to Avoid at All Costs!
Stuffed Living Room

Home Staging Design can make or break a potential sale.  Whether you’re using what you have or starting from scratch, there are some common design mistakes you’ll want to avoid.  Here are a few tips to help you make your home look great for the marketing photos and make your potential buyers say WOW!

  • Wall Hugger – It may seem like the logical and maybe even the only way to arrange furniture in the room, (especially if you’re working in a small room), but the opposite is actually true, you can harness the flow of a room by centering your pieces, pull them closer to each other instead of crowding your furniture against a wall. You will be amazed how the room takes on a different feel.
  • Collection Spread – we’ve heard it before – when selling your home, declutter, and yes that is true. BUT, the truth is we all collect; whether it’s frogs, figurines or forks from the 4th Century AD, and you likely want to have them on display. There is a right way and wrong way to display your collections.  First, if you have a lot of items in your collection, trim it down to just a few of your favorites and pack the rest, (you are moving right?).  Next, instead of spreading the pieces throughout the room or worse the house, bring them together – the key is small groupings.  Arrangements look deliberate and let your pieces speak for themselves.  Well laid out arrangements can enhance the staging of your home if you do it right, and let you enjoy your favorite collections while avoiding that cluttered look.
  • The Fickle Eye – you’ve lived in your home for years, over those years you’ve probably bought or inherited furniture and incorporated it into your home. Maybe it doesn’t quite match or it’s a little too big for the room or worse, you didn’t have room but still used it since it only partially blocks the walkway.  Now, years later you don’t notice it any more, you walk around it every day without a thought.  Our eyes can be fickle, they have a way of tricking us.  Now that you’re selling your home, it’s time to put on your “Buyer Eyes” and take a good hard look around your house. Are there extra or oversized pieces of furniture that force someone to alter the natural path as they walk through the house?   The old saying, “less is more” is absolutely true when staging your home to sell.  Don’t set up an obstacle course path with furniture and don’t cram the room full of small décor objects. Make the decisions now whether to store, sell, donate or pitch.
  • Dark in Small – Yes dark furniture can make a room feel warm, but they also make a small room feel smaller. If you have a small living room, opt for a lighter color palette.
  • Rug Rules – Area rugs are the best way to anchor a room or a setting and they can tie a room together. But used incorrectly, it can also leave your space looking disjointed and cluttered.  This is especially true in the living room, your rug should ground all of the seating elements around it.  Make sure when looking for the perfect rug, you buy one that is big enough to achieve this affect.  If possible, have all legs on the rug with a little rug showing behind the pieces of furniture, creating a frame around the setting.   If your living room furniture setting is 6’ x 8’ you should be looking at an 8’ x 10’ rug.  Plopping a 5 x 7 in the middle will make the room feel disconnected.  Not sure? Get my Rules of the Rug ebook to help bring your rooms together with area rugs.
  • Scale – Even designers can get it wrong sometimes; scale is one of the most important, (and sometimes the most difficult) elements of a well put together room. If you have a massive 10’ sectional in the room and put a small 5’ x 7’ area rug in the center or use a small coffee table, it just feels wrong.  Maybe you have a large Dining Room space and put a small table in the room, or vice versa you’ve got a small breakfast nook and put a large heavy wood table in the space.  Scale is important, think about it when you’re placing furniture or accessorizing a room.
  • Balance – Without balance in a room, it can make you feel uncomfortable and even anxious. Balance is as much about emotion as it is about good design and balance gives us a feeling of stability and wellness.  Creating a harmonious space depends on a few things; the furniture and the décor placement. Color and texture and the scale of the furnishings and décor.  Think about a seesaw, if one side of the room is heavy and weighed down, the room will feel off balance.  Example, if one wall has a tall wall unit and wall décor, make sure you balance that wall with something bold on the opposite side of the room.  If you have a heavy sofa on one side, balance it with a pair of chairs opposite the sofa or other foundational piece of furniture.
  • Matchy – A sure sign of an amateur decorator is where everything including the art matches perfectly.  It’s not about perfection, it’s about ambiance.  Example, balance a bold color with a large pattern that blends but doesn’t match exactly.  Or balance a bright warm color with a textured cool color.  Or choose colors that are the same hue but varies in intensity.  Homes look professional and well put together when new elements are mixed with old; smooth is contrasted with rough, polished is contrasted with nubby.
  • Boring – If you have a boring “beige” room, pick a great color and think about threading a needle, you’ll want to run that thread throughout the room and the house in a variety of different ways with pieces that pick up on that color or color palette.
  • Level – Rooms with furniture all the same height are boring. Create interest with changes in elevations through the room.  Put tall pieces next to short pieces.  If you have a low back sofa, add something like a tall armoire or bookshelf. The reverse is also true with small décor, use the 3:1 ratio.  Example, if you have 3 vases of varying heights grouped together, balance them with a single larger décor object on the opposite side of the shelf or mantel. It will make an eye-catching design statement.

These are called common mistakes for a reason and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  You may not know where to start or the most important detail to focus on. If you would like more information about staging your desert home to sell, give us a call, we’re here to help.

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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