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We had occasional problems over the weekend with accessing our shopping cart on the website. If you were on line while those problems were happening, they are now fixed!

The calendar sales are off to a brisk start. Remember, we are offering a discount of $5.00 off the publisher’s price
PLUS when you buy from the website directly you are actually supporting Jeff’s ability to continue photographing beautiful men! So visit the website today… order one for yourself and maybe one or two as gifts!

http://www.jeffpalmer.com

Also, there is only one copy remaining of the special offer very unique hard-cover book. Click on the Special Offers link from the main page or the drop down menus…

While you’re on the website take a minute to look at the books, posters, and cards selections as well!

Have a great day.

Joe
for jeffpalmer.com

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It’s that time of the year again!

Time to order your 2014 Jeff Palmer Calendar for your home and for holiday gifts. (I know, I know… the holidays seem forever away! But they’ll be here before we know it!)

Once again this year we are offering a discount when you buy directly from us — save $5.00 on each calendar ordered. You pay just $19.99. Designed to better feature the beautiful and sensual black and white images by photographer Jeff Palmer, the 2014 calendar is 11 3/4 by 16 3/4– large fine art images that will take center stage in your home or office!

Also be sure to check the VERY LIMITED special offer on a 160 page hard-cover book that features a few of Jeff’s very unique images. There are just three copies of the book available… follow the link to the Special Offer page from the What’s New page at jeffpalmer.com

Also be sure to see the images of Jeff’s latest handsome model – Franceso – on the Recent Shoots page. Be careful, he could steal your heart!

Help us get the word out about the calendars… post something on your Facebook page, tell your friends, pass this email along. It all helps!

Thank you very much.

Jeff

http://www.jeffpalmer.com

Welcome to my first 2013 blog post!

I’m going to be much more attendant to the blog this year.  There is so much happening in the market right now.  It has exploded – prices are up – inventory is down.  For those who have been waiting for the bottom — it happened about 6 months ago.  If you’re interested in having a place in Palm Springs or Coachella Valley — contact me now.  Prices are still low and interest rates are at near historic lows…

Here is a recent article from our local newspaper — The Desert Sun.
Coachella Valley home sales, prices continue rise
Written by Mike Perrault The Desert Sun
Jan 05
mydesert.com
Home sales, prices up

Here’s how home sales and prices fared in November compared to November 2011 across the state:
Coachella Valley
Median price: $218,000, up 21.1 percent
Sales volume: 793, up 6.4 percent
Riverside County
Median price: $229,000, up 17.4 percent
Sales volume: 3,274, up 10.2 percent
Southern California
Median price: $321,000, up 16.7 percent
Sales volume: 19,285, up 14. 2 percent
California
Median price: $291, 000, up 19.3 percent
Sales volume: 37,481, up 14.7 percent

The Coachella Valley’s housing market continued its recovery last month with a jump in sales and a fifth straight month of double-digit, year-over-year percentage price increases, a new report shows.

The median price — half sold for more, half for less — of a home in the valley rose 21 percent to $218,000 in November, San Diego-based real estate information services firm DataQuick reported.

Nearly 800 homes sold last month, a 6.4 percent increase over November 2011.

The trend of price increases and improving sales was seen statewide. Sales rose 10.2 percent in Riverside County and 14.2 percent in Southern California, DataQuick reported.

Some 37,481 homes sold statewide last month, a 14.7 percent increase from a year ago, and California’s median price jumped 19.3 percent to $291,000 from $244,000 in November 2011.

Don Faught, president of the California Association of Realtors, said housing markets with higher priced homes performed better last month compared with lower priced areas.

“The negative impact of a lean housing supply on home sales is becoming more apparent, especially in markets with more distressed properties,” Faught said. “In lower-priced markets, home sales declined, whereas sales of mid- to higher-priced homes posted strong increases because there is greater supply.”

Nationally, sales of previously owned homes rose 14.5 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million units, the highest level in three years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported.

A sharp decline in inventory is again beginning to give sellers some bargaining power in some markets, NAR analysts said.

DataQuick analysts said sales for all of Southern California were the highest in six years amid strong demand from investors and move-up buyers.

Higher demand, triggered largely by ultra-low mortgage rates, has coincided with the dwindling supply of homes for sale to push up prices, said John Walsh, DataQuick’s president.

“That’s not the only thing fueling these sales gains,” Walsh said. “Investor activity and cash purchases remain unusually high, and more buyers feel confident about their jobs, the economy and the likelihood housing prices have bottomed and are likely to rise. We’re also seeing more non-distressed sales, where people sell at a profit and buy another house, triggering more move-up activity.”

About 33 percent of single-family home sales in the valley were distressed properties in November, down from 57 percent the same month a year ago, according to a separate report from the California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR).

Only 18 percent of condo sales were foreclosures or short sales, down from 35 percent a year ago, CDAR reported.

Canadian commercial contractor Michael Simonot and his wife, Lynn, from Calgary, were able to snag a foreclosed Rancho Mirage home by making a bid immediately after it came onto the market.

New home purchases continue to make up just a small share of overall sales, with about 500 expected sales this year in the Coachella Valley compared to peak years such as 2004, when 5,535 new homes sold, or 2005 with 5,490 new-home sales.

Ann Ritchie, CDAR vice president in Palm Desert, said average prices have been rising for several months, and sales are continuing to outpace available inventory.

“There are ready, willing and able buyers, but they are cautious,” Ritchie said. “They are looking for well-priced properties that are updated and have been well-maintained.”

There were about 2,063 single-family homes and 877 condos listed for sale on the Desert Area Multiple Listing service, up from 1,815 single-family homes and 767 condos in October, CDAR analysts said.

But the valley’s inventory has plummeted compared to November 2010, when there were 6,259 homes for sale, or November 2007 when there were nearly 9,600 on the market, CDAR reported.

Similarly, the inventory of homes for sale nationally fell to just over 2 million in November, the lowest level since the end of 2001, NAR reported. The Realtors’ group said it would take 4.8 months to sell that supply, and that it considers a balanced market to have a 6-month supply of homes.

Jim Franklin, broker associate with Prudential California Realty in Palm Springs, said some homeowners have chosen to keep their properties off the market rather than accept lower prices than what they paid.

Area Realtors said after the housing bust, home values plummeted so much that many homeowners owe more than what their residences are worth. Others still don’t have enough equity to sell their home and make a down payment on another property.

Inland economist John Husing said about 44 percent of homes with a mortgage in the valley were “under water” in the second quarter, according to the online real estate information tracking firm Zillow.

Nationally, there are fewer first-time buyers because they face tighter credit requirements and often must compete with eager investors. A survey of 3,000 agents showed first-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of sales from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5, for instance, when it’s normally closer to 40 percent of the market.

In the valley, condo sales rose 18 percent last month, DataQuick reported, with the median price increasing 8.1 percent to $186,750. The median price for previously owned homes rose 25.6 percent last month to $226,000.

CDAR, which tracks sales differently based solely on the Desert Area Multiple Listing Service, reported the average sale price for a condo rose to $179,600 last month from $166,000 in November 2011.

CDAR reported the average sale price of a single family home (excluding foreclosures and other distressed property sales) fell to $428,600 from $440,600 the same month last year, which Ritchie described as “somewhat of an anomaly.”

Kevin Stern, president of the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors and Desert Star Real Estate, said sales continue to be robust even as some purchases get sidelined or nixed because appraisals come in below the agreed-upon price.

“That remains a challenge,” Stern said. “I had two deals in two months fall through.”

Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR’s chief economist, said sales and price increases will “remain solid” as the new year approaches, although the state’s housing sector remains dependent on Congress preserving the mortgage rate interest deduction for homeowners.

http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012312240007&nclick_check=1

 

 

For your reading enjoyment….

I’ve attached the latest articles on some real estate trends.

I’ve also researched detailed local trends and included those.

This market shows no signs of falling back. Our local market, as well as many other markets are experiencing an unusual phenomenon. First the investors came back to the market. Properties started getting multiple bids. Seeing this movement – buyers who had been waiting for the bottom to hit and those sitting on the fence – jumped in. This caused our inventory to reach lows it hasn’t seen in years. And the inventory looks like it might remain low due to what has happened during the last 4-5 years. There are many would be sellers who would like to sell their homes but will experience a considerable loss because they owe more than their home is worth. They are not in any danger of losing their home, but they want to not lose money.

So they are waiting for prices to rise.
The result is that the inventories will remain low. And with that old law of supply and demand – prices have and will continue to rise. Driven by a too many buyers for too few properties.
I know many of my clients who want to buy — need to wait for their homes to sell in order to purchase a home. That has to be frustrating. But for those of you that are sitting on the fence – I would urge you to look at the listings as I send them. The choices will probably not be as plentiful as you wish and that “perfect” property might not appear so look at the listings and see if a home can be modified or your wish list can be modified to fit your plans.I think the days of a large inventory with plenty of homes to choose from is gone. There might be a small spike as the season gears up but the number of buyers will also increase as it always does.

So look at the articles and graphs and let me know if you have any questions.

Jeff

This market requires being prepared and taking quick action.

So here is a “to do” list to allow you to be ready to make an offer

in this competitive market.

Cash Buyers

Have a Proof of Funds ready

Have a copy of a bank account or investment account current and ready.

You can black out any identifying account numbers — they just need to

see the amount and your name.

When you are making a cash offer — most sellers now require a

Proof of Funds when you submit your offer.  Bank owned properties and

Short Sales demand it.

Buyers who will get a loan

Get Pre-approved… not pre qualified.  No one accepts being pre-qualified any more.  Pre-qualified is a simple phone call to a lender where very little information is given and then the lender writes a pre-qualified letter.

  • Pre-approval is more involved and usually requires an appointment.In this step, the lending institution gathers all the information it requires to offer you a loan, and your credit report will be checked.  You’ll need to bring some items with you to document your identity and your assets:
    1. A copy of your most recent bank statements (this includes your daily checking account as well as any money market, savings or other accounts)
    2. Your most recent W-2 (or entire tax return if you’re self-employed)
    3. Proof of IRAs or retirement accounts and their current balances
    4. Ditto for any stocks or mutual funds you own outside of retirement accounts
    5. Your driver’s license
    6. The most recent month’s paystub(s) from your job
    7. An application fee (this depends on the lender)
    8. You are not committing to this lender — you can still use whomever you want.

And once again, have Proof of Funds ready

For those obtaining a loan — this will the same as for a cash buyer but you would just need to show where the downpayment is coming from.

Canadian Buyers

Establish a US bank account.

When your offer is accepted, it is much easier to deal in US currency.  With an accepted offer — you have 3 days to send Escrow earnest money (usually 3% of the purchase price).  It’s much easier to either write a check on US funds or wire it from a US bank.

You can obtain a loan.

There are now some lenders that will loan to Canadians with 30% down.  If this interests you — I can give you that info.

OK — there’s your homework!  If you have the necessary items ready — when we see a property you want to make an offer on — you will be able to get that offer in to the listing agent and considered in a very short time.  And in this market which is getting multiple offers on some properties — that’s the difference between being considered or being too late.

Hope this helps.  Get back to me with any questions.

Who was Tahquitz?

Tahquitz lends his name to many locales in the desert.  Tahquitz Way is a major street connecting the airport to downtown.  Tahquitz River Estates is the laegest of the official neighborhoods in Palm Springs and contains many spanish homes from the 30’s and 40′ along with midcentury homes from the 50’s and 60’s.

They all get their name from a shaman of the Cahuilla band of native americans that called the area, now known as Palm springs, home. Tahquitz was the first shaman created by Mukat, the creator of all things. Tahquitz had much power, and in the beginning he used his power for the good of all people. Tahquitz became the guardian spirit of all shamans and he gave them power to do good. But over time, Tahquitz began to use his power for selfish reasons. He began to use his power to harm the Cahuilla People. The people became angry and they banished Tahquitz to this canyon that now bears his name. He made his home high in the San Jacinto Mountains in a secret cave below the towering rock known today as Tahquitz Peak. It is said that his spirit still lives in this canyon. He can sometimes be seen as a large green fireball streaking across the night sky. The strange rumblings heard deep within the San Jacinto Mountains, the shaking of the ground, and the crashing of boulders are all attributed to Tahquitz as he stomps about the canyon.  Another legend says that he is the dustdevil searching for souls to bring back up into the canyon.

The Promontory is the massive rock structure above the O’Donnell golf course – it was constructed as a make-work project during the Depression to give locals a job. O’Donnell paid $2.50 a day for anyone in need, to stack stone in order to construct its massive walls.  It’s amazing rock work has stood the test of time — including several earthquakes.  A crypt was tunneled into the mountain for O’Donnell and his wife but then found out they could not be buried there because it was against the law.  When I was kid — the local churches used it for Easter Sunrise Services.  By the way – it’s for sale for $1,495,000 – give me a call if interested…

Have you heard the bad news about the real estate market? That the market is in free fall? Huge housing inventories are growing even larger? Foreclosures and Short Sales are flooding the markets? Sales are down with no end in sight? Buyers are staying out of a market that is sinking further and further into the abyss? It’s enough to make you circle the wagons and block out any thought of exploring the possibilities of buying or selling a property.
Don’t believe all you’ve heard
      The network news reports on the national and statewide trends of doom and gloom. And, unfortunately, the local news often echoes these depressing figures. But our local market here in the Coachella Valley does not reflect that at all. In fact the market statistics vary from city to city within the Coachella Valley. Each city in the Valley attracts different kinds of buyers. And it seems, for all of these groups — the local market news is good and the outlook is promising.
I’m not saying we’re out of the proverbial woods or that it’s not going to be a long slow climb out of the hole that Wall Street and investment bankers pushed us into. But it certainly isn’t as hopeless and negative as it once was. And since a significant part of any market (whether it’s stocks, commodities or real estate) is the perception of what’s happening – a negative perception keeps buyers from buying and sellers from selling. So let’s shed some light on what’s happening in here. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Local Sales Activity
      From December 2010 to December 2011, statewide sales were down by 9.5 %. Sales in Palm Springs were up 21.3 %.  The reason why we increased while the rest of the state decreased seems to be threefold. The demand for second homes for retiring baby boomers is increasing – many are resettling here. Gays and lesbians wishing for either retirement or second homes are still finding the desert attractive. Canadian buyers with cash are coming down and buying up attractively priced properties as second homes. So we are drawing people that have not been hit as hard as the rest of the population.
Inventory
      From December 2010 to December 2011 – Statewide inventory was up from 4.6 months to 4.9 months – an increase of .3 months. Palm Springs’s inventory of homes for sale was down 22%! From 6.4 months to 4 months. Again, the local market is definitely better than what is happening across the state. The properties that were being sold for bargain basement prices are gone. Buyers scooped up those properties in the years following the sharp decline of the market. Realtors are now having a more difficult time finding decent homes for buyers in the lower and middle price ranges.
Foreclosures
      The statewide average of Foreclosures for sale was down 1% for 2011. Palm Springs foreclosures were down 42.9% from last year numbers! Our local market is getting rid of its foreclosed homes while the state is adding to its supply.
Prices.
      Prices are the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. When inventories shrink down to competitive levels and Foreclosures and Short Sales are no longer forcing down the market, prices start to rise.  The market seems to be positioning itself for this last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. By comparing ourselves with the state’s Sales, Inventory and Distressed property figures, we are poised better than most areas for a recovery.

Not as bad you thought – right? It’s not a bright and shiny vision but it’s certainly not as gloomy as the national statistics tell us it is. There is solid improvement in this local market.

So when you hear the sky is falling from those “experts” – take it with a grain of salt. Every area has very different forces affecting the sales, inventories and prices. I hope you learned a little bit more about our market and forces shaping it. But most of all – I hope you always remember – all real estate is local!

 
Statistics taken from California Association of Realtors/ local Multiple Listing Service.

Have you heard the bad news about the real estate market? That the market is in free fall? Huge housing inventories are growing even larger? Foreclosures and Short Sales are flooding the markets? Sales are down with no end in sight? Buyers are staying out of a market that is sinking further and further into the abyss? It’s enough to make you circle the wagons and block out any thought of exploring the possibilities of buying or selling a property.
Don’t believe all you’ve heard
      The network news reports on the national and statewide trends of doom and gloom. And, unfortunately, the local news often echoes these depressing figures. But our local market here in the Coachella Valley does not reflect that at all. In fact the market statistics vary from city to city within the Coachella Valley. Each city in the Valley attracts different kinds of buyers. And it seems, for all of these groups — the local market news is good and the outlook is promising.
I’m not saying we’re out of the proverbial woods or that it’s not going to be a long slow climb out of the hole that Wall Street and investment bankers pushed us into. But it certainly isn’t as hopeless and negative as it once was. And since a significant part of any market (whether it’s stocks, commodities or real estate) is the perception of what’s happening – a negative perception keeps buyers from buying and sellers from selling. So let’s shed some light on what’s happening in here. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Local Sales Activity
      From December 2010 to December 2011, statewide sales were down by 9.5 %. Sales in Palm Springs were up 21.3 %.  The reason why we increased while the rest of the state decreased seems to be threefold. The demand for second homes for retiring baby boomers is increasing – many are resettling here. Gays and lesbians wishing for either retirement or second homes are still finding the desert attractive. Canadian buyers with cash are coming down and buying up attractively priced properties as second homes. So we are drawing people that have not been hit as hard as the rest of the population.
Inventory
      From December 2010 to December 2011 – Statewide inventory was up from 4.6 months to 4.9 months – an increase of .3 months. Palm Springs’s inventory of homes for sale was down 22%! From 6.4 months to 4 months. Again, the local market is definitely better than what is happening across the state. The properties that were being sold for bargain basement prices are gone. Buyers scooped up those properties in the years following the sharp decline of the market. Realtors are now having a more difficult time finding decent homes for buyers in the lower and middle price ranges.
Foreclosures
      The statewide average of Foreclosures for sale was down 1% for 2011. Palm Springs foreclosures were down 42.9% from last year numbers! Our local market is getting rid of its foreclosed homes while the state is adding to its supply.
Prices.
      Prices are the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. When inventories shrink down to competitive levels and Foreclosures and Short Sales are no longer forcing down the market, prices start to rise.  The market seems to be positioning itself for this last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. By comparing ourselves with the state’s Sales, Inventory and Distressed property figures, we are poised better than most areas for a recovery.

Not as bad you thought – right? It’s not a bright and shiny vision but it’s certainly not as gloomy as the national statistics tell us it is. There is solid improvement in this local market.

So when you hear the sky is falling from those “experts” – take it with a grain of salt. Every area has very different forces affecting the sales, inventories and prices. I hope you learned a little bit more about our market and forces shaping it. But most of all – I hope you always remember – all real estate is local!

 
Statistics taken from California Association of Realtors/ local Multiple Listing Service.

You’ve found the home you want…

It’s owned by an individual(s) and not a bank.  That’s a very good thing!

Now comes the adventure of making an offer, waiting for a response, negotiating the counter offer, signing the contract and completing the deal.  This might all sound a little daunting but your Realtor is there to explain it all to you and help you every step of the way.

The process of making an offer on a home owned by an individual(s) is  different from making an offer owned by a bank.  (we will explore Bank Offers in the next post).  The conventional offer is fairly simple and straightforward.  Timelines are clear and spelled out.  You are dealing with only one contract — the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions.  This form is used in the vast majority of cases and is approved by the California Board of Realtors.  Other forms/contracts can be used but this is the one you’ll see 99% of the time.

If you want me to send you a sample contract so you can look it over and become familiar with it — just email me at jeffpalmer@windermere.com and I’ll send you one.

So you’ve found your home.  The realtor has given you a list of houses in that area that have recently sold (called a CMA — Comparative Market Analysis) so you can determine a fair price for you and the seller.  It fits in your budget.  Now you sit down and write the contract.  You fill out the Purchase Agreement with the property information, the price you are offering to pay, the way it will be financed and a timeline on when certain things will/must be done and who will pay for what.  These include obtaining financing, performing inspections, who will pay for what regarding inspections, title, escrow fees etc.

All of this can sound very scary and impossible, but the Purchase Agreement takes them all one step at a time and your Realtor is there every step of the way to explain each item to you so you are satisfied and secure.  When you take one item at a time it becomes very possible.  If you are unsure or don’t understand something — that is one of the reasons your Realtor is there.  They know the contract — they should be able to explain it to you so you can understand it.

Remember — this has been done literally millions of time before.  You can do it also.

So you’ve filled out the contract.  Your Realtor now sends it to the the seller’s Realtor to give to the seller.  In the contract you have give the seller a deadline for responding to your offer.  If they do not respond within the time you stated — your offer is no longer valid and you can walk away if you wish.  If and when they do respond — be ready for a Counteroffer. This is the Seller’s response to all your terms — the price, who pays for what, deadlines etc.  Now you either accept the seller’s new terms or get together with your Realtor and fill out a Counteroffer form giving your new terms.  This process goes back and forth until all the terms of the Purchase agreement are agreed upon by both you and seller.

Congratulations!  You’ve completed the first major step!  The clock has now started.

Escrow is now opened.  In your Purchase Agreement you and the seller have agreed upon an Escrow company with the help of your Realtors.  This company acts as an impartial agent.  They accept your earnest money and hold it, they receive papers/forms from the seller and from you that are needed to close the deal, and when everything has been completed — they take your money and your loan and exchange it for the seller’s property.  So now the seller has their money and you have the property.

In the Purchase Agreement you have stated how long everyone has to get this deal finished.  The clock starts ticking when you get the signed contract back from the seller.  Now you must get a loan.   Remember that PreApproval Letter you got (explained in an earlier post)?   You now bring all your papers that your loan person needs to secure the loan and they start their process.  Your Realtor will work with you and the loan person to make this process go smoothly and on time.  You must also get all your inspections completed in the time you both agreed upon — your Realtor will help you with these also and keep track of the deadlines.  This process can go wonderfully smoothly, might have some bumps along away (explained and remedied by your Realtor) or fall apart.  The first two end with you in your new home.  But you also might find some hidden problems in the house and cancel the deal.  Your loan might not go thru for some reason.  If this happens — you start the process over again.  It’s very disappointing but you must always keep your goal in sight — a new home — it’s worth the work!

This all might sound like a lot of effort — it is.  Be ready to ride the roller coaster of emotions.  But your Realtor is there to smooth out the bumps and help solve the problems.  It’s so important to keep your goal of owning a home in mind, go with the flow and hope for the best.  What’s the alternative?  And no matter what emotions you’ve experienced — nothing will beat the excitement and satisfaction you feel when you open the door to your new home.  Go for it!