Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

May you get all the treats you deserve!


 

[caption id="attachment_1571" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Halloween Wishes"][/caption]

Thursday, October 27, 2011

StageCoach Festival Tickets On Sale Today

April 27-29th 2012 will be the sixth anniversary of the Country music festival in Indio. New in 2012 will be the additional day of music on Friday.  The first time the two day festival has been expanded.

BUY TICKETS


April will be chock full of Music since the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival  will now span two big weekends in a row just before Stagecoach.

Major acts from the world of country Music including Brad paisley, Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Rogers and many more will fill the Empire Polo Club grounds to capcity.

[caption id="attachment_1541" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Post for 2012 Stagecoach Music Festival"][/caption]

Personal Service and The Right Questions To Ask?

Are You Asking The Right Questions?


In our self-service world where we pump our own gas, check ourselves out at the grocery store and fix our own drinks at fast food places it is easy to forget the importance and the “why” of personal service.  Service delivered by a professional in their field is enhanced when you understand Personal Service and the Right Questions to ask.

The analogy I often use with people who want to do it themselves is an oil change. I am a reasonably intelligent guy. There is probably a good book published that could tell me exactly how to change the oil in my car, step by step.  But the reality is I don’t want to change the oil in my car. I don’t know how long it would take, I don’t know what tools I will need, I wouldn’t know what to do with the oil once I changed it an on and on. If anything did not seem right I would not have a frame of reference to know if it was typical or not typical. More importantly I would not have anyone to ask, whose opinion I trusted.  I would rather go to the oil change place and pay the fee and have them do it right in about 30 minutes.

So to people who want to sell their home on their own or shop for a home on their own I say “go for it”. It is not rocket science. The information is all out there. If you want to put it all together and understand it and how it applies to you I am sure that can be done.  That is not said tongue in cheek or with sarcasm . I have worked with buyers and sellers who were very devoted to the process and although they worked with me, their grasp of the issues was excellent. However, these people were  the exceptional few  and something tells me that they can probably change their own oil!

To the rest of the world, those of us not up for a do it yourself oil change, I suggest that the value of a professional is to help you ask the right questions.  Providing the framework to structure the questions and the issues you should be asking about.

In the troubled Real Estate market that we are in today knowing the right questions to ask is vital.  Almost everyone I personally encounter has a unique set of issues. There is far too much at risk to rely on hunches or a best guess.   Look for the professional who will help you, educate you, frame the issues for you and lead you to ask the questions.

If the professional you have chosen can't do that for you that is a strong clue that they may not fully understand the issues themselves. When  confronted with a person who simply wants to sell you something that is your first sign that it is time to move on to someone else.

Searching out the professional whose valuable guidance and personal service helps me ask the right questions is the only thing that works for me.

Do You Know The Right Questions To Ask?

Are You Asking The Right Questions?


In our self-service world where we pump our own gas, check ourselves out at the grocery store and fix our own drinks at fast food places it is easy to forget the importance and the “why” of personal service.  Service delivered by a professional in their field.

The analogy I often use with people who want to do it themselves is an oil change. I am a reasonably intelligent guy. There is probably a good book published that could tell me exactly how to change the oil in my car, step by step.  But the reality is I don’t want to change the oil in my car. I don’t know how long it would take, I don’t know what tools I will need, I wouldn’t know what to do with the oil once I changed it an on and on. If anything did not seem right I would not have a frame of reference to know if it was typical or not typical. More importantly I would not have anyone to ask, whose opinion I trusted.  I would rather go to the oil change place and pay the fee and have them do it right in about 30 minutes.

So to people who want to sell their home on their own or shop for a home on their own I say “go for it”. It is not rocket science. The information is all out there. If you want to put it all together and understand it and how it applies to you I am sure that can be done.  That is not said tongue in cheek or with sarcasm . I have worked with buyers and sellers who were very devoted to the process and although they worked with me, their grasp of the issues was excellent. However, these people were  the exceptional few  and something tells me that they can probably change their own oil!

To the rest of the world, those of us not up for a do it yourself oil change, I suggest that the value of a professional is to help you ask the right questions.  Providing the framework to structure the questions and the issues you should be asking about.

In the troubled Real Estate market that we are in today knowing the right questions to ask is vital.  Almost everyone I personally encounter has a unique set of issues. There is far too much at risk to rely on hunches or a best guess.   Look for the professional who will help you, educate you, frame the issues for you and lead you to ask the questions. 

If the professional you have chosen can't do that for you that is a strong clue that they may not fully understand the issues themselves. When  confronted with a person who simply wants to sell you something that is your first sign that it is time to move on to someone else.

Searching out the professional whose valuable guidance helps me ask the right questions is the only thing that works for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why Helping Underwater Mortgage Holders Is Big Deal

RELIEF FOR SOME:

This week the administration came up with a new plan.  Their intention is to help people who are currently living with a mortgage on a home that is worth less than the face value of the loan, get a lower payment. For those who don't follow home lending very closely, the problem right now is that if you owe say $150,000 on your home and it is only worth $120,000 then you are shut out of refinancing to take advantage of the historic low interest rates.

Right away I started hearing negative comments that this would "help as few as 250,000 homeowners" but certainly no" more than 1 million."  That this just was "not enough" and would "never help the economy to the extent that it needs to be helped."  And on and on and on.

First I would like to say ....come on people,  just stop it! The negativity is not helping and since when is helping up to  1,000,000 people stay in their homes NOT a good idea? I bet it is going to feel like a real good idea to those people. I bet the banks will appreciate having up to 1,000,000 loans no longer at risk of default. Most of all I think we should note that there are several very fair parts of this proposal.  First, homeowners have to be current on their mortgage. No one can say that bad behavior is being rewarded. Secondly, no one is getting any principle reduction it is just a rate reduction. The program will simply help get around some rules about loan to value ratios that where set in place in different economic times.

Personally I think the administration should be given some credit for coming up with a proposal that is pretty positive. It is not a giveaway - it will not be another program to throw money at. It is an adjustment of terms that will create a relief valve for hundreds of thousands of homeowners in a troubled economy. Sure there is more to do but this is a pretty reasonable step in the right direction.

THE DIRTY TRUTH:

As a full time Real Estate agent I can tell you very clearly what I see. It is very easy to paint one big picture of struggling homeowners as either deadbeats who won't pay their bills or unfortunate scenarios of health issues and job losses. But there is a big middle ground full of people that do not fall into either category. Every week I sit with people who are on the edge. They see homes just like theirs selling for $100,000 less than they paid. They have huge financial pressures on them.  They are struggling with pay cuts, layoffs, increased work loads and rising health care costs. It may not seem "responsible" but I have to tell you these people are seriously contemplating walking from their mortgages.

Sure they can make the mortgage this month and perhaps next month but they are on edge. There is a temptation to go that route. They feel so close to the breaking point they are actively considering it ..they are thinking "it wouldn't be so bad to have to rent for awhile" These people are your friends and neighbors. The receptionist at the insurance office, the retail store clerk, the cable TV installer, the retired couple next door who sees their nest egg dwindling much faster than they ever imagined it would. We can insist that what they are thinking about doing is not right - not fair - but IT IS REALITY.

THE REALLY BIG DEAL:

This is why the current proposal is such a big deal. By preventing the "on edge" section of the population avoid this choice there is a much larger ripple effect. Preventative rather than reactive. By putting several hundreds dollars a month back into household budgets, with a policy change not a giveaway, we are taking a step towards housing market stability that is much bigger than people may realize.

Rancho Mirage Neighborhood Clean Up

Tomorrow is the last day to call for an appointment for pick up of your extra

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="112" caption="Palm Trees and Sunshine in The Coachella Valley"][/caption]

trash - electronic items - furniture  and larger items that are not generally accepted in a normal pickup.

Be sure to call  760-340-2113 or email customerservice@burrtecdesert.com to set your appointment.

DROP OFF SITES OPEN ON October 29 -2011


If the curbside by appointment does not work for you there will be drop off sites.  One is at the Rancho Mirage Public Library.  There are two other sites just for greenwaste and wood drop off  one at the SW end of Magnesia Falls Drive and the other at the East end of  Cypress lane.

Best of all you can dispose of all these items free of charge.

Please note: Burrtec and the City of Rancho Mirage cannot accept hazardous waste at these sites.  You will need to call 760-324-2374 to schedule a free pick up or take them to the Saturday only collection center in Palm Springs.  Located at 1100 Vella Road the center is open Saturdays only from 9am to 2pm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

College Of The Desert West Valley Campus

If you have taken a ride out toward I-10 on Indian Avenue lately, you have no doubtly seen the activity taking place near Tramview Rd.  It is the very beginning stages of the West Valley Campus of the College of the Desert.

This ambitious project, that began with a voter approved Bond measure back in 2004, will surely transform the north end of Palm Springs for years to come.  Not just the intial jobs - estimated at 200 to 250 - but, once open, the ongoing employment opportunities.  More importantly the concept and plan for the school involves heavy use of the emerging green technologies.  The campus itself is designed to generate all of its own power from day one. 

With help from Southern California Edison the school will open with a solar plant already in place. Design elements have been put in place to use the wind and sun to maximum advantage while still having a very user friendly campus. Artists renderings on the site are very exciting, be sure to check those out.

[caption id="attachment_1577" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Artists Concept Of West Valley COD Campus"][/caption]

The campus is to be built out in several phases but the first one will open in 2014.  There are 119 acres on the site. The economic boost to the Palm Springs area will be very welcome but the hidden benefits of this great community resource may be the biggest pay off.  Attracting talented professionals and a younger demographic to the Palm Springs area could make our great, diverse community even more dynamic and appealing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rancho Mirage Speakers Series

This series sponosored by the City of Rancho Mirage features an  exciting array of nationally and internationally known figures.  Next year is no exception and offers a real opportunity to hear first rate speakers right here in the Coachella Valley.

Tickets can now be purchased for the Speakers series January thru March of 2012.

This year the speakers scheduled are:

Jean Michael Cousteau  - Enviromentalist -January 25

Valerie Plame Wilson - Former CIA Spy - February  29

Frank Abagnale - subect of film "Catch Me If You Can" -March 21

Tickets start at $40  Reserve on Line at www.RanchoMirageCA.gov

Location:

The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences
39000 Bob Hope Drive Rancho Mirage CA

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Month In Real Estate October 2011

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmkm_tN7Zq0&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Canadian Citizens- US Loans For You Available Again!

Good news for Canadian buyers of US real estate. Our good friends at Pacific Premier bank are once again able to offer home loans for 2nd home purchases in the USA.

Download the flyer

The details of this offer are as follows:

5 year fixed at 4.65% with no points to be paid. Adjustable yearly after that.
There is also a 7 year fixed option at 4.875% with no points to paid.

Downpayment requirements:

35% down payment for Single family homes
45% down payment for Condos

For more information please call Leah Verigan at Pacific Premier Bank
760-969-4557 or  LVerigan@ppbi.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buyers Guide To Purchasing a Short Sale

As the real estate market continues to adapt to changes in lending, federal and state regulations and the demands of the market - you as a buyer can often be left confused. Why are your offers not being accepted?  Why does the house get advertised at a price lower than the bank will accept? Why are you not even allowed to bid on certain homes?Here I will try to cover the highlights and the main things you need to know. For more in-depth information feel free to contact my through my website at PSagent.com  or the email link on this blog.

 FAQ’s: 

 1)     The house was listed for $145,000 now my agent tells me I have to pay $152,000.  Why?

Answer: In a short sale there are many factors that determine price. Very few homes are offered at a price that has been preapproved by the bank.  Mostly it is the experience of the realtor who listed the home and their knowledge of the market that determines the asking price.

When placing offers on short sale homes the best idea is to decide on a price RANGE you are willing to pay for that home.  There are many factors and many players in a short sale.  You will most likely make yourself crazy if you agonize over every dollar and what it is called. Decide on an acceptable range for a home and be happy if the bank approves a price in your range. Regardless of what the costs are called if the end number is one that you think makes the house worth it then you have a good deal.

 2)     There is a perfect home in my neighborhood that has come on the market at a dream price but my agent tells me I am not eligible to offer on it. This doesn’t seem fair. 

 Answer:  Part of the fallout from the foreclosure crisis is to blame.  Cities, counties, the federal government and even banks are looking at ways to get families in homes.  The local communities do not want vacant homes creating blight, the government wants to help banks and consumers by filling vacant properties with stable home owners who are keeping the property up and paying the bank for a mortgage.

The combination of all these concerns has led to programs of all types, nationwide, that are all different.  The main goal of all of them is neighborhood stabilization.  Some of the ways they do this is to select certain homes in a neighborhood that will be slated for sale to private homeowners rather than investors or second home owners.  Many times these homes are sold with special incentives for first time homebuyers or income qualified participants.

If your agent is telling you that you can’t qualify for a property, that is in your price range, it is most likely for one of these reasons.

3)     It seems like my offers never get accepted, even when I offer the full price.  I am approved by a lender and feel like I am doing everything right. What is wrong with my offers?

Answer: The first part of this answer really has more to do with the big picture of your marketplace.  Ask your agent to analyze the price range you are buying in. It is possible that while the overall market activity is sluggish that your price range is quite active.  Typically, when this is true, that means you are competing against investors and all cash buyers. It is hard for a seller to look at an all cash 30 day close offer and be objective about your finance offer.  The cash offer looks like money in the bank. Your offer looks iffy.

Secondly, work with your agent to develop a strategy for getting a house in your price range without having to go head to head with cash buyers.  Some examples of these things can be a personal letter to the seller about why you like their home, contacting agents whose properties have been “in escrow” for more than 70 days.  There may be a problem and you could be the savior by putting in an offer just as the one they had is falling apart.  In general – think out of the box.

 

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