Saturday, February 19, 2011

BNP Paribas Open March 7-20, 2011

World Class Tennis in Indian Wells California.  For nearly two weeks in March the Tennis Gardens in Indian Wells, CA will play host to some of the biggest names in the world of  Tennis.  The BNP Paribas Open  is the largest combined ATP and WTA in the World. With constant media coverage from across the globe this truly is an international event that can't be missed.

In the United States coverage of the event will air on ABC, ESPN and the Tennis Channel.  Players schedules to appear includes Roger Federer, Rafael  Nadal, Caroline Wozniack & Vera Zvonareva  amoung dozens & dozens  of others.  Use the link above to purchase tickets and see schedules, daily tickets start at $45 each.    The Indian Wells Tennis Garden is situated on Washington Street at Miles Avenue. Just south of Fred Waring Drive.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Is the Government Looking to End Secured Mortgages?

According to a new policy paper the Obama Administration submitted to the Treasury Department just last week the answer may be yes.  Looking to privatize this and relieve the government - ie: taxpayer liability for mortgages gone bad.

Government back loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have long been a staple of the US real estate market and have helped many a homeowner get their first home.  To be sure the two were also closely tied to some of the worst abuses in the mortgage melt down of the last 5 years.

No matter which side of the issue you are on this is a BIG change in business as usual in the government back loan business.  Read the entire document outlining the administrations proposals.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Should You Fight the Bank To Keep Your House Part II

In the first part we covered the basics of how you should decide if you are capable of keeping your home and what the first steps are. Here we cover what happens next:

So you have gathered all your paperwork and are ready to send it in. Typically you have to fax all this stuff in with your account number written on every page.  You usually have to update the things like bank statements and pay stubs as you get new ones.

Don’t be surprised but the first answer is usually – NO! (If the bank says yes please read  section 4)

3) After The Bank Says NO: Don’t let this deter you.  Ask for the specific reasons in writing.  Ask for supervisors to explain what your options are. Ask what the review process is and tell them you want to be reconsidered. Unless they can tell you specifically that you do not qualify based on your income I would not accept no from this level at the bank.  I would keep pushing until they refuse to consider your paperwork anymore. Sometimes they will cite the type of loan you got originally. Ask for this in writing so you can show it anyone else you may seek help from. You should assume that you will have to push and you will have to raise the stakes.  Don’t lose your cool but be persistent in letting them know you want a solution.

If you get that final “no we won’t look at your file or try to help you any more” answer you should then try to get outside help. There is a non-profit organization that will help you with this process.  Go to their website and see how the system works. Basically they negotiate with the banks to try and get you modified loans and reduced payments and interest rates.  Since you will have all the paperwork together you can start  their system right away.  Again, this is not loads of fun but it can be done –I personally know multiple people who have received help, with great success,  from NACA.  You could start with NACA and skip trying to do it yourself but I do not think you should.  As the banks customer you should trying asking for help from them directly first.  Document your efforts – keep a small notebook with dates and times of calls made, faxes sent, answer received.

Lastly, if the Bank won’t help, if NACA says they can’t help you you can try two other routes.  One is called a forensic Audit of your loan.  There are firms out there who do this for about $3,000 – many are attorneys.  They will examine your original loan for inconsistencies and help you go back against the bank to reset the terms based on faulty original paperwork.  This is a very aggressive approach and you must be careful to avoid scam artists.  Check out anyone you are thinking of hiring with the Better business Bureau and the Attorney Generals office in your state. The other option is an attorney.  There are many attorneys now specializing in debt reduction –debt relief and bankruptcy.  These would be a good place to start.  Find one who will help you try to negotiate with the bank and any other creditor you may have to try and keep you in your home.

4) The Bank Said Yes! Hopefully you will get to a yes long before you consider a forensic audit or a attorney.   So if the bank says yes read their terms very carefully.  There are basically two types of yes answers.  One is a temporary reduction of payment and/or interest rate that sets your monthly payment at a rate you can afford.  The total amount of principal that you are not paying is often wrapped to the end of the loan – in other words you are not getting out of paying any amount due you are just putting it off. This is often called forbearance.  A better version of this is a permanent reduction of interest rate (if your problem iis that your rate is too high) The second type, and less common one is the mortgage modification or principal reduction where your note is lowered by a cancellation of some of the debt.  They are reducing the total amount due on the loan.

Staying in your home is well worth the effort you will have to make for most people. Don't be discouraged and don't fall for scam artists who say they will do all the work for you.  No matter which route you take you will have to gather organize and prepare all the paperwork listed above that will be used to make the decision about your mortgage payments.

The programs available to help you and the banks willingness to help change constantly so keep asking questions.  I believe that we are in a 10-15 month window of time where these programs and options are at their peak.  After this window passes I think we will start back towards a market where many of these options for you as a homeowner will be phased out and no longer available.  The time to act is now before they start disappearing.

If you know you cannot afford your home now or in the near future a short sale may be the answer for you.  You can read more about short sales at

Should You Fight The Bank To Keep Your House?


If you are at risk of losing your home in a foreclosure you may think there is nothing you can do and that it is too late. Not so.  The tables have turned and the  programs to help you and the regulatory pressures on the banks to make sure they have exhausted every effort to help you keep your home are pretty strong. This first part of a two part entry will help give you some basic guidelines of how you might be able to save your home.

As the foreclosure crisis continues to unfold across America we are learning that everyone is not foreclosed on for the same reason.  Homeowners who can simply not make their payment are the easiest story to understand.  Be it a medical situation, a job loss or other debts that just grew too large.  This is the classic story of people losing their homes. They can’t pay and there is no hope or circumstance on the immediate horizon that will change that picture.

However, in the realities of today’s market there are situations that are not so cut and dried.

How about the person who is still working and capable of making a payment – but got bad advice about withholding payments to get a loan modification?  How about the person who had just a temporary job loss and is now back to work earning comparable pay? How about the lady who was pushed into a loan she could not afford or understand due to a language barrier and an unscrupulous loan officer?

Two important things to know before you read any further:

  • Understand you have to set aside any anger, shame or irrational thoughts about the reduced value of your home or the situation that got you to this point.  None of that will get you anywhere and in fact might cause you to make bad decisions.

  • Every state has a "foreclosure time line" in other words how many days will it be from your missed payment to foreclosure action being started. Be sure you know what this is. Know where you are in the process at all times.

1) KNOW YOUR BUDGET! Your first step, and the key to this whole process,  is to figure out your budget and expenses.  What can you truly spend per month on your home? Don’t forget taxes and insurance as you figure this out. Typically it should total no more than 28-30% of your total take home pay.  Know this number by HEART – no guessing allowed. Because to win this fight with a bank you are going to have to have real numbers that can be substantiated – and you are going to have to know them well.

2) YOUR FIRST CALL: to the bank will be to request a mortgage modification.  This is not easy – the bank wants endless paperwork – but you do not need to pay anyone to do this for you. It is not rocket science it is not very much fun - but even if you pay someone else to help you you still have to do this!  Usually the list consists of the last two Tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, mortgage coupons (yes they want copies of their own mortgage coupons!) sometimes home owners associations statements and property tax bills. Then they want an itemized household budget.  Be careful with this one. You want to tell the truth and you don’t want to forget anything.  The cats’ medicine or the once a year tree-trimming bill  just make sure it is all in there. Then there needs to be a well written – 3 paragraphs or so letter – explaining why you are behind on the mortgage and why you think that you can now make a modified payment.

PART II:  What to do when the bank says no, what to expect and what to watch out for - coming up in part two

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your own Private Resort

Price Reduced on this incredible Desert Retreat.  From Solar saltwater pool, to massive outdoor entertaining areas, to upgrades galore. 4 Bedrooms 3 Baths covered patio.

You can live in style in the Desert now.

See all the Details on 38300 Dorn Cathedral City Cove

See Other Homes for Sale in Cathedral City Cove

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3 Bedroom Bungalow Canyon Sands


3 Bed 2.5 Baths South Palm Springs.  Two private patios and a double attached garage.

See more information on 2567 S Gene Autry Trail #c Palm Springs CA 92264

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tenth Annual Discovery Home Tour

The Children's Discovery Museum of Rancho Mirage hosts their annual Tour of Homes with proceeds benefiting the museum and its' programs.

Tickets for the Self guided tour are just $55. a guided bus tour is offered for $95. This is one of the major fund-raisers for the Museum each year. See homes from Mid Century to Modern during this fun events.

Contact the Museum at 760-321-0602 ext 122 for more information or click the Mascot to go the their website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Are Foreclosures Really Dropping Off?

In the exuberance to proclaim the economy "healed" "recovered" "rebounding" or "looking up" some in the media are not revealing the whole story when it comes to Foreclosures. Stories can always be told two ways.  For example if this month 40 house sold and last month only 20 had sold it could be truthfully reported that HOME SALES Doubled!  The reality behind that may be that 40 is the average and 20 was just a terrible month.

When it comes to foreclosures the reporting that they are down is not totally untrue.  Realty Trac (a real estate data company) reported that January 2011 Foreclosures where down 17% over January 2010.   Sounds good, you might think that we are seeing major improvement. The other part of that data is that this is still a 1% increase in foreclosures over December 2010 nation wide and locally it is 3%.  That is up not down.

So to dig a little deeper it is important to note what is happening behind the scenes.  That is that the banks are mired in additional government restrictions and internal policy changes that they have implemented in light of some high profile problems.  In other words, many of the foreclosures are simply being stalled and pushed back on the calendar.  Policies from the administration are causing banks to give more consideration to modifying loans and making sure everything is in order before they actually do foreclose.  Also, because home prices are not rebounding the number of homeowner who are upside down in their homes remains high.  The longer that this remains the case the more problematic it becomes.  Peoples lives changes, homes need to be sold, people have to move, downsize or up-size their living situations.  Underwater homes can't be sold except in a short sale situation.

Are things improving? Yes, there are some signs that things are getting a little better.  There is reason to hope.  Even the slowdown in foreclosure actions is a good thing in its own way.  In a fragile economy, the last thing we want to do is put someone out of their home who could, with a little help, hold on to it.  At the same time we don't want to get too exuberant over statistics that are not fully understood or explained in context.  See the whole story at CNN money.

Search for Foreclosed properties in the Palm Springs CA area

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Riverside County Fair held in Indio Feb 18-17 2011

The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is  February 18 – 27, 2011 in Indio! 

Admission remains unchanged this year (Adults $8) and there are a couple of opportunities to get an even better deal!

Opening Friday, February 18, 2011, admission will be free from 10am to 3pm. This will mark the third year the Fair has given back to the community by creating this opportunity for their attendees.  A special "thank you" to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the Fair's Presenting Sponsor, for creating "Fantasy $5 Friday" which will be February 25, 2011.

The Fair features many attractions and events with fantastic food, great exhibits, many carnival rides and headliner  entertainment (included in the admission price) the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is ten days of fun.

Headlining Entertainment Offered This Year:

Latin recording artist, Luz Rios , Third Eye Blind , American Idol  Kellie Pickler and  Switchfoot all presented by Fantasy Springs Casino.

Get all the Information on the Riverside County Fair

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament Returns Feb 24th 2011

The 24th - 27th of February  2011 is the 22nd annual Frank Sinatra Golf Tournament. This year it is again being held at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio.  Their beautiful Eagle Falls course is the site of the Golf tournament while the hotel and its fine dining establishments  in addition to the conference center is the site of the parties, auctions, banquets and fashion show.  The tournament supports the Barbara Sinatra Childrens Center at Eisenhower hospital  and other charities.

 Use the link above to find out more information and how you can get tickets for this great event.

Celebrity golfers this year include:

  • Pat Boone

  • John Callahan

  • Robert Costanzo

  • Tom Dreesen

  • Patrick Evans

  • Dennis Farina

  • Vince Ferragamo

  • Steve Garvey

  • Robert Hays

  • Beverly Johnson

  • Tommy Kramer

  • Gino LaMont

  • Ed Marinaro

  • Peter Marshall

  • Ron Perlman

  • Frankie Randall

  • Tim Reid

  • Christopher Rich

  • Joe Sirola

  • Elke Sommer

  • Kevin Sorbo

  • Barry W illiams

 Just another reason to come to the Desert!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cycling Event This Weekend In Palm Springs

Have some fun, get some exercise and help raise money for great causes.  Now in its 13th year the Tour de Palm Springs  has grown to over 7,500 riders. The event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for non profit groups. It has become the largest ride of its kind in the Western United States. Watch a fun video of Last years event.

The registration fees start at $10 and the rides you can participate in are from 5 to 100 miles in length.  Riders of any skill level are encouraged to join.  Friday the 11th from noon to 8pm is registration and the ride is Saturday mooring at 9am.

In 2010 CVSPIN and Tour de Palm Springs gave away more than $170,000 to local charities.

It all starts at the Spa Resort Casino, the major sponser of the event,  February 11th in downtown Palm Springs

See properties for sale in Palm Springs California

Bike Shops in the Desert:

Palm Springs Cyclery

Bike Rentals:

Bike Palm Springs

Bike Clubs:

Desert Bicycle Club



Friday, February 4, 2011

Palm Springs Modernism Week Feb 17-27, 2011

      Palm Springs, easily one of the best preserved Mid Century destinations in the country, once again hosts    Modernism Week. With a slate of events that would exhaust you if you tried to take them all in - any interest no matter how esoteric is bound to be addressed in this convention of Modernism. See a Video about this event.

In addition to the wildly popular home tours, which this year will take place every day!, there will be lectures, bus tours, Travel Trailer exhibits, vintage auto exhibit, Fashion from the 50's and 60's with modernist style, tours of Frank Sinatras Twin Palms Estate and an exhibit at the museum.

Palm Springs cool really comes to life during this exciting week.  You won't want to miss a thing so stop by the Modernism event site  and get the scoop.

Search Palm Springs Modern Homes


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