Monday, April 29, 2013

Foreclosure Terms Defined

Foreclosed, Foreclosure, In Foreclosure, Bank Owned, REO.....


As an active Real Estate agent with a myriad of listing types I field dozens and dozens of phone calls each day from buyers and sellers. The level of confusion out there is staggering! Starting in 2007 when we began to experience a record number of mortgage defaults and with that change came a whole new vocabulary to learn. As a buyer you need to understand what type of property you are looking at.

Know Your Terminology: to try and clarify this issue I submit the following guideline to terms for the buyer on the open market. These are the commonly used terms, at least in the Southern California Market. If you know of another term in your are best check it out with a local trusted resource.

Short Sale: Seller is still in control of the property. Often still living in it. They are looking for an offer so that they can try to get the bank to accept that and release them from the balance of the loan. At any point during your attempt to purchase the property in this way it could fall into foreclosure. Your agent should stay on top of the sellers situation and watch for the filing of any default notices.

In Foreclosure: This is the period after the bank has issued the notice of default and the owner may or may not still be in the property. In California this is a 120 day process from notice of default* to foreclosed. This is the biggest limbo period. Owners may work out something with the bank, have a relative rescue them, ignore everything and let the house go to foreclosure, do a deed in lieu (basically cooperate with handing the house back to the bank to avoid foreclosure) - essentially anything.  Different rules apply depending on what type of mortgage the homeowner had.  As a buyer this is a risky time to be dealing with the owner. They are under a great deal of stress and truthfully anything can happen. In California there are also laws about purchasing any equity the owner may have if you are an investor and not buying it as a primary residence. So caution is the rule of the day.

Foreclosed: This is a home that the bank or an investor now owns. They have completed the foreclosure and they are now the legal owner. The bank typically hires a realtor to list the home and get it sold. However, you may see the home go to another investor for sale or the house may be put in an auction.

Bank owned - REO: Two terms that mean essentially the same thing. The bank or some lender (sometimes a private party) owns the property.

The fastest way to purchase a property is in this stage:  once the bank has foreclosed and they are the owner of record. It may take a little while to get it on the open market but once it is you can typically proceed with a purchase pretty quickly.

Auctions: Many people ask about buying a foreclosure on the courthouse steps. This is still done. As the final step of the foreclosure the bank schedules the auction. Lists are available online or through title companies.  I can't imagine buying a property this way unless you are very certain that the value is there and have some idea of the condition of the property. Some properties receive no bids and the bank sends their representative to the sale and they buy the property back for the amount they foreclosed on - those properties typically come back on the market with a real estate agent.

There are also several large private companies working in a bunch of loose partnerships with the banks. They will get a block of properties and schedule an auction - either on line or at a hotel ballroom or convention center. Usually, they have a preview weekend to go look at the properties and then hold the auction. Be wary of these as often times there is a "Buyer Premium" that can be any amount but typically I see them around $5,000.  If you do not know values in the neighborhoods you are buying the chance of overpaying is very high. I have personally seen properties in my market go to auction and sell for more than they had been listed for the previous month when no savvy local buyer would pay that much.

* The notice of default is the official notice to the homeowner that foreclosure proceedings have begun


To Read more on Short Sales please visit our Short Sale Page

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lease Land Neighborhoods In Palm Springs CA

Lease Land in the Coachella Valley

Once you understand the difference between Fee Land and Lease land you will still need to know which developments/neighborhoods are on lease land and which are not. This list is designed to help
you determine which is which.

To Understand the Lease Land Issues please see our Page about that in this blog.

Condos Located on Lease Land:

Caballeros Estados
Canyon Estates
Canyon Heights
Canyon Sands
Canyon South 1,2 &3
Canyon Vista Estates
Canyon West Estates
Casa Verde
Cathedral Canyon Country Club
Desert Princess
Estados South
The Fairways
Kings Point
La Palme
Palm Regency
Plaza Villas
Ramon Estados
Rio Del Sol
The Rose Garden
Saddle Rock Estates
Saddle Rock Gardens
Smoketree Racquet Club
St. Tropez Villas
Sunrise Palms
Sunshine Villas
Villa Alejo
Villa Caballeros
Village Racquet Club

Homes Located on Lease Land and In Specific Named Communities*:      

Bellamonte (Palm Springs)
Rio Del Sol (Cathedral City)
Desert Princess (Cathedral City)

*There are more homes that are located on lease land but not in a specific named development. Some of the neighborhoods that have both FEE and Lease land are  Andreas Hills, Victoria Park, Los Compadres, Canyon North, Sun Villas. For more details please call.

Some communities are undergoing lease land buy out discussions. Two recent lease land buyouts took place in

Canyon Estates (partial buyout)
Seven Lakes Country Club

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at 760-408-5300 or 760-861-5643 and as always Palm Springs' easiest and best home search is on

Friday, April 26, 2013

How To BuyYour First Home

Any Questions?
Any Questions?

Thinking about purchasing a home of your own? It may be the perfect thing for you to do! Here are the things you need to know.

How long you plan to live in the home.

If you purchase a home and get a job transfer or decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.

The length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 3% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. If prices are rising in the area you buy your home, the length of the time to cover these costs could be shortened, and the opposite is also true.

How long the home will meet your needs:

What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you'll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you'll need. For example, a two-bedroom with a small yard may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Therefore, they should consider a home with room to grow. Could you add onto the house for some extra bedrooms? Could the attic space be turned into a master suite? Spend some time thinking about what you'll need in the next few years. This will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.

Your finances, credit and home affordability:

 How Much Can I AffordIs now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Is your credit good? You may need time to clean up any credit issues on your credit report.  Generally, a couple of negatives on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates. If you have more than a couple of negatives on your report, lenders like may still provide you with a loan, but you may  have to pay a higher interest rate and/or fees.

Comfort zone: should you borrow as much as you qualify for because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow? Or should you stay under budget to be safe?  This is a decision only you can make. Are you in a position where you expect to make more money soon? Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that you stay within your comfort zone.

How to determine how much home you can afford:

Talk to a lender or two.  Find someone who you are comfortable with and does not talk over your head. A good lender should be willing to teach you the proper steps to get a loan that is right for you. Their is a general rule of thumb you can use which is: 28/36 this  means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your particular situation you could exceed these ratios but there should be a good reason why you are.

Down Payment: 


This is usually 10-20 percent of the cost of the home for a down payment and closing costs.  If you are first time buyer or buy a property that has incentives for primary home owners you may be able to pay less. Also, certain types of jobs qualify for special financing - school teachers, firefighters, police officers. Be sure to ask your lender if they have any such programs.

The ongoing costs of home ownership:

Maintenance, improvements, property taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a property where there is a monthly homeowner's association fee that is a factor as well.  When looking at homes in different communities be sure to look at all the costs not just the sales price. Your Realtor should be able to help you estimate the monthly costs for your area that are not mortgage related.


Owning your own place can be very rewarding both emotionally and financially.  Taking the correct first steps as outlined above will help you make the most of it.

See all homes for sale in the Palm Springs California area at

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stagecoach Festival 2013

The Universe of Country Music is in Indio this weekend as some of the biggest names, newest groups and industry veterans unite for an amazing weekend of Country Music. Held at the Polo Grounds in Indio CA the three day festival is sure to bring thousands to the Coachella Valley to experience the warm sunshine and great Country Music. Word is the festival is sold out this year but it is not too late to start planning to be here in 2014!

Get all the information at the Festivals site or on their social networks:


View the Photo Gallery


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prepping Your Home For Sale

Home For Sale
Preparing Your Home To Sell Properly Can Be The Best Investment You Make.

First impressions make a significant impact on a buyer's decision-making process!

Once your home goes on the market, it becomes a product for sale.  Home Styling or Staging simply allows you to highlight the best of your home (product) and de-emphasize its flaws. It's not about decorating or actually turning your home into a model but ALL  about appealing to the broadest possible range of prospective buyers. The goal is to eliminate the obstacles and to  make people feel like they could actually live there. Much of this is simply done if you just  "neutralize" the whole house.

Most of the following things you can do for little or no expense but will put a home in prime showing shape. Remember how you felt that last time you went to a store that was poorly run and the merchandise poorly displayed. You probably left without buying anything and probably vowed to never return. Don't let buyers feel that way about your home! Even if it is not the perfect fit for a particular buyer leave them with a good impression! They may know someone else ready to buy.


Clear out closets and clutter— give away or pack up toys, linens, and nick knacks anything and everything you will not be using in the next three months is a perfect candidate!  De-personalize the home by removing photos, mementos, and all worn and dated items. Is there a wall or a spot or two where some touch up paint could really help? Did you let one of the kids paint their room purple? Now is the time to go back to basic off white.  Storage boxes neatly tucked away in a garage or basement look like you mean business and help save you time when you really do move.


Go out to the curb and walk back into your home. Look for things that are not up to par.  Does the bush under the window need a trim?  Is the doorknob loose? Does it need to be polished? Focus most on the most visible and popular areas of the home first—the entry, kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and family room or den.


Use plants in colorful pots or some baskets and dried arrangements  to fill in empty spaces,  Set the dining room table with attractive linens, dishes, and stemware,  look at  home and garden catalogs for little details on primping up the home. Arrange just a few books on the book shelf, try angling some pieces of furniture slightly and make sure  furniture is about 4 inches to 6 inches from the wall.  Just don't lose sight of the fact that you are going for the generic, neutral look and .....Less is so much More!

When you are serious about selling you must:

1-Trim trees, prune shrubs, and make sure the lawn is mowed and watered regularly.
2-Hire a professional service to clean the home, including the carpets and the windows.
3-Use as much natural light as possible. Leave lamps on in dark rooms or corners.
4-Make  all functional repairs—fix dripping faucets, sticking doors, and broken fence rails.

Increase your Net Increase your Net

Even if you do nothing else the 4 things listed above will make you money.  Time and again I have seen buyers fall in love with a property that actually did not exactly match their needs. SO why did they love it and buy it?  Because it was clean light and bright and appeared well cared for. Huge pluses for any buyer!

Selling your home is like selling any product. You want to maximize the appeal of that product. You can spend a lot of money but you do not have to. However, you CAN and WILL maximize your profit  if you follow the four MUST do's listed above.


The PSAGENT team is happy to provide any home seller, in our area,  with our complimentary 26 point home value inspection. We will walk thru your property, prepare a written report of our suggestions to prepare your home for sale and leave it with you. No pressure no obligation.  We are happy to help. Take the guess work out of your sale.

Call us at 760-408-5300 or email us at to schedule your appointment today.

Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, Desert Hot Springs  are our service areas.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rancho Mirage Homes For Sale


Beautiful Rancho Mirage, (population16,000) - often called the playground of Presidents,  is nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa foothills, 11 miles southeast of Palm Springs at the geographic heart of the Coachella Valley, the city of Rancho Mirage is not a figment of anyone’s imagination. However, it is well known as a world-class desert destination with award-winning resorts. Vibrant cultural activities, varied recreational opportunities and excellent schools complete its international appeal. The largest private school in the valley (Marywood/Palm Valley) is located in Rancho Mirage and the city is served by the Palm Springs and Desert Sands Unified School Districts. Just select any category of home below to start searching or the Perfect Rancho Mirage property for you:

Search Homes For Sale In Rancho Mirage

Search Condos For Sale In Rancho Mirage

Search Land For Sale In Rancho Mirage

Search Million Dollar Homes In Rancho Mirage


The bulk of Rancho MIrage residential real estate is located in gated complexes many of which feature stunning golf courses and even a few lake front communties. As such it is a leader in luxury residential and commercial real estate developments; a carefully planned city with lush multi-million dollar estates, beautifully landscaped streets and an unparalleled quality of life surrounded by the natural beauty of the Coachella Valley. Famous residents of the city have included Desi Arnez  & Lucille Ball (an honorary Mayor!), Carol Channing, Frank Sinatra, Walter Annenberg, Jayne Wyman, Kaye Ballard & the Marx Brothers.

Rancho Mirage is also known as “The Playground of Presidents,” because many U.S. Presidents, from Eisenhower to George W. Bush, have visited and/or had homes here. The Fords maintained a winter home here as well. Rancho Mirage is renowned for fine dining, year-round sunshine, professional services, financial institutions and spas. World class resorts such as The Rancho Las Palmas and The Westin Mission Hills bring vistiors from across the world to enjoy the delights that Rancho Mirage can offer.

Residents have access to always expanding, five-star healthcare services at the Eisenhower Medical Center and the Betty Ford Center. The city has played host to The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the premier golf tournament in the area, in the past and Mission Hills Country Club is the permanent home of the Kraft Nabisco  LPGA Championship golf tournament.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flying Into Palm Springs

Palm Springs has many wonderful features but one of the best is the ease of coming and going with our convenient local airport, Palm Springs International Airport. With year round direct flights to Dallas - San Francisco and Los Angeles and with seasonal service to Canada, Chicago and The Pacific Northwest it is easy to get anywhere from Palm Springs. That is if you really want to leave!


Palm Springs Airport Website get schedules, parking info and other travel tips. The Airport in Palm Springs is located at3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs, CA 92262


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