Sunday, November 29, 2009

Morning Light

Cool Light this morning in Palm Springs. It was sunny to the East but a storm cloud was coming over the mountains from the West. [caption id="attachment_94" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Storm Over Sunlit Mountain"][/caption]

First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Many articles have been written summarizing the changes and the extension of the tax credit but here it is in Black and White right from the IRS website. I thought it would be easiest just to have this list:

If you are in the market for a new home, you may still be able to claim the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Congress recently passed The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act Of 2009, extending the First-Time Homebuyer Credit and expanding who qualifies.
Here are the top 10 things the IRS wants you to know about the expanded credit and the qualifications you must meet in order to qualify for it.

1. You must buy – or enter into a binding contract to buy a principal residence – on or before April 30, 2010.
2. If you enter into a binding contract by April 30, 2010 you must close on the home on or before June 30, 2010.
3. For qualifying purchases in 2010, you will have the option of claiming the credit on either your 2009 or 2010 return.
4. A long-time resident of the same home can now qualify for a reduced credit. You can qualify for the credit if you’ve lived in the same principal residence for any five-consecutive year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the new home is purchased and the settlement date is after November 6, 2009.
5. The maximum credit for long-time residents is $6,500. However, married individuals filing separately are limited to $3,250.
6. People with higher incomes can now qualify for the credit. The new law raises the income limits for homes purchased after November 6, 2009. The full credit is available to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000, or $225,000 for joint filers.
7. The IRS will issue a December 2009 revision of Form 5405 to claim this credit. The December 2009 form must be used for homes purchased after November 6, 2009 – whether the credit is claimed for 2008 or for 2009 – and for all home purchases that are claimed on 2009 returns.
8. No credit is available if the purchase price of the home exceeds $800,000.
9. The purchaser must be at least 18 years old on the date of purchase. For a married couple, only one spouse must meet this age requirement.
10. A dependent is not eligible to claim the credit.

For more information about the expanded First-Time Home Buyer Credit, visit

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Washington Looking To Curb Foreclosures

It has been widely talked about in the Real Estate industry for weeks now that the push for the new year from Washington will be to get the banks to offer as many options as possible to borrowers to avoid foreclosures. In that light today - Saturday the 28th of 2009 it was announced that new guidelines and initiatives will be announced Monday the 30th. Keep in mind that these guidelines are limited to loans underwritten by Fannie and Freddie and other lenders participate at their discretion. See the whole document with all the guidelines by clicking this link
Examine HOuse

Thinking Remodel? Some Sources for you

[caption id="attachment_77" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Remodel"][/caption]

A remodel can do wonders for your home. It makes it more comfortable for you and can add value if you do the right things. Be sure to check with your real estate agent to see if the things you are thinking of doing are money makers in your area. Listed below are some resources you might want to check out to get some basic ideas of your options.









Re-piping Alternative:





New Life Ceilings 800-799-7540





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving day and if, by chance, you can't think of anything else to be thankful for - realize how lucky you are to be old enough to pick out your own outfits!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

S. Palm Springs Condo New Price Reduction

Biltmore Colony Bank Owned

Market Stats

For Sale

Main Features

1 Bedroom
1 Bathroom
Interior: 748 sqft
Lot: 860 sqft


900 E Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264

Michael Layton

Michael Layton

Keller Williams Realty
(760) 272-5500

Listed by: Keller Williams

Our recent listings

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See more Palm Springs, CA real estate for sale

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Canadian Buyer USA Real Estate Resource

Maple Leaf

If you are a Canadian buyer looking to buy in the USA check out this link for further information you will need.  Canadian Buyers

With years of helping your fellow citizens, we are well versed in the ins and outs of Canadian Home ownership.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dramatic Stats

As you probably recall August of 2007 was the start of the big Real Estate slowdown.  We can track the decline in sales and prices back to that point - at least here in the Desert  Communities of Palm Springs/Palm Desert.

Well things have started to turn around from a sales volume standpoint  and two years later we are seeing a big difference in the numbers.  Please see my examples below:

October 2007:

Homes Under Contract: 350
Homes On The Market: 8,129

October 2009:

Homes Under Contract: 663
Homes on the Market:  5,519

While no one is probably prepared to declare "all clear"  & no problems in housing a declining inventory with increasing sales means we are at least headed in the right direction.

For more market stats and Real Estate informationplease visit my website at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moving Resource

Moving Resource:

Thinking about a move? Want to ask some questions but not really ready to call a mover?  Don't go it alone!

There is an online resource you can checkout for some basic moving information. Go to there is a PDF of the booklet that movers need to give you once you hire them. It has some basic moving "disclosures" that will probably help you as you plan your move. Good luck!

As always if I can help you don't hesitate to give me a call. 760-408-5300. Be sure to ask me the ONE secret about moving that you must know before scheduling your next move!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Homeowners Insurance Buying Tips

Insurance has, like most industries, undergone big changes in the past decade.  At times it seems too confusing to keep up with.  Understanding your type of coverage is very important.

[caption id="attachment_41" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Homes"]Littel yellow houses[/caption]

It is always tempting to take the lowest price offered for something that appears to be the same. This could be a big mistake when it comes to your homeowners insurance.  Be sure you understand your coverage when shopping rates.

There are essentially three levels of coverage:

  • Actual cash value - This value covers the house plus the value of your belongings after deducting depreciation (i.e., how much the items are currently worth, not how much you paid for them).

  • Replacement cost - This is the actual cash value without the deduction for depreciation, so you would be able to repair or rebuild your home up to the original value.

  • Guaranteed (or extended) replacement cost - The most comprehensive, this inflation-buffer pays for whatever it costs to repair or build your home - even if it's more than your policy limit! Certain insurers offer extended replacement, meaning it offers more coverage than you purchased, but there is a ceiling; typically, it is 20-25% higher than the limit.

Also don't forget that the value of the land is rarely included in insurance policies. You have to have special insurance if for some reason you think that you might sustain a loss to the actual land your property sits on. If this is a reality for you the insurance rates will probably be very high. One example is flood insurance which has increased quite a bit in the last ten years.

Be sure you are asking the right questions and comparing apples to apples when shopping for insurance rates. If you need a good agent in the Palm Springs Area please feel free to contact me

Canyon Estates Remodeled

Canyon Estates Beauty

Market Stats

For Sale

Main Features

2 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Interior: 1967 sqft
Lot: 3,049 sqft


2456 S Madrona Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264

Michael Layton

Michael Layton

Keller Williams Realty
(760) 272-5500

Listed by: Keller Williams

Our recent listings

Subscribe to our listing feed

See more Palm Springs, CA real estate for sale

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Holiday Traditions In The Desert

2 traditions you won't want to miss in the Desert:

Festival Of Lights Parade - Palm Springs.  In 2009 this will be held on December 5th.  It runs down Palm Canyon drive between Tamarisk and Ramon.  Dozens and dozens  of vehicles will be festooned with the decorations of the season and many many lights. Santa usually makes his first Palm Springs appearance on this night as well. Be on Palm Canyon as soon as it starts to get dark. Free admission - just dress warm and prepare to have lots of fun!

In Palm Desert at the Living Desert - Wild Lights returns for both Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas Holidays.  November 25-28, 2009 and December 18,  2009 January 2, 2010. There is a small admission fee but it is well worth seeing the grounds of the Park light up with hundreds of thousands of lights. Get some exercise, enjoy the season and see the Desert in a whole new way! Nightly from 6pm  - 9pm.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Property Tax Deadline Looms

All Riverside County CA owners of real property, have a property tax bill due no later than December 10, 2009. Technically it is due on the 1st of November but since that has already passed you can breathe a sigh of relief that there is a grace period.

The mailing address for the Treasurers' office is:

Treasurer- Tax CollectorPO Box 12005Riverside, CA 92592

If you are in Palm Desert  you can stop by: 

38686 El Cerrito Rd Palm Desert CA 92211

(Across the street from the entrance to Sun City Palm Desert)

and pay in person M-F from 8am to 4:30pm.


On the web you can get more information at:

The next installment due will be February 1, 2010 with a grace period until April 10, 2010.

Got Filters?


I don't know about you but the older I get it is the little things in life like ...replacing water filters, picking up the laundry from the cleaners or changing the batteries in my smoke detector that really trip me up.

I found a great site where you can handle the filters in your life. Order them easily over the web and not have to think about it anymore. Be sure to check out


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