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Buying – Info For Buyers

The Big Swing

With the latest influx of homebuyers, the desert’s country clubs have a younger look.

JUDD SPICERCURRENT PSL, HOME & DESIGN, REAL ESTATE

 

Todd Hewlin and Lo-Ping Yeh, new owners and members at The Reserve Club in Indian Wells look perfectly at ease seated on their broad patio as the breeze ripples the water in the infinity pool situated between the house and the 12th hole, framed by the dramatic Santa Rosa Mountains. The couple, who moved here from the Bay Area and run a tech consulting firm, reflects a growing demographic of desert residents that are more youthful and working from wherever they want.

Before the pandemic, country clubs were trying to appeal to younger buyers by renovating clubhouses, retooling tennis courts for pickleball, and introducing an extensive variety of programming to keep members engaged on and off the golf course. Now, it appears those investments are paying off.

Although Hewlin and Yeh first experienced the desert in earnest during the winter rainstorms of 2019, a return visit a year later gave them a different impression. “We found it incredible,” Yeh says. “So, we went back to Los Gatos and signed a contract to put our house on the market a week later. Then, the pandemic hit.”

When the Bay Area shelter-in-place order lifted in the summer, she and Hewlin hunted for their ideal concept in indoor-outdoor living. Another visit led them to a spec home still in construction.

reserveclubindianwellsmembership

Lo-Ping Yeh and Todd Hewlin

“When we saw the view, it was, ‘Oh my God,’” says Yeh, who was also thinking about how the residence might accommodate their home office. “A lot of people are feeling this way now — that they can live in a place like this and still work in an effective and efficient manner.”

As they moved into The Reserve in fall 2020, their new neighbors changed the couple’s idea of who exactly lives in the desert. “When we first came here, to be honest, Todd said he thought the area might be too old for us,” she says, smiling toward her husband. (Hewlin and Yeh are 55 and 57, respectively, and active in couples golf.)

vintageclubindianwellscalifornia

The Vintage Club in Indian Wells

“I was completely wrong,” Hewlin replies. “Maybe I had that perception from movies or how the area has been written about by people who don’t live here. But after getting to know people at The Reserve, I started feeling like this is the valley of Benjamin Button: People get all that Vitamin D, are active, physically fit, they eat better. People come here and get younger.”

THE PANDEMIC HAS seen golf’s natural social distancing turn days of lemon into lemonade. As city dwellers look for elbow room in the Coachella Valley, the spike in the number of golf rounds being played reflects the surge in new club memberships. Americans played approximately 60 million more rounds in 2020 than they did in 2019, a 14 percent increase, according to the National Golf Foundation and Golf Datatech. Meanwhile, the nation’s private clubs reported a 19.9 percent rise in play compared to 2019.

andalusiacountryclublaquinta

Andalusia Country Club in La Quinta

Desert residents only need to swivel their collared shirts to see new golf members flocking largely from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, and the Pacific Northwest.

As Palm Springs Life reported last fall, the first seven months of the pandemic saw single-family home sales in the Coachella Valley rise 56 percent over the same period a year earlier. Subsequently, end-of-year statistics from the California Desert Association of Realtors showed all of the valley’s nine cities with year-over-year increases in home sales.

“The Coachella Valley has become a haven to those who want to escape the cities and have a place where they can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle,” says Julie Bloom, senior vice president of operations for the Sunrise Company, which operates Toscana and Andalusia country clubs. “In addition, since travel is not as easy, people want to have a place to go that feels like a resort and where they can gather their families together.” With the spike in sales and memberships comes a rush of new residents and golfers. A Palm Springs Life survey of 13 luxury country clubs conducted early this year revealed uniform growth when comparing March 2019–January 2020 with the period a year later.

bighorngolfclubpalmdesert

Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert

In La Quinta, the 36 holes at The Hideaway Golf Club experienced a 103 percent rise in new members, with a spike from June to December 2020, fueling a record-breaking year in terms of home and membership sales. At the Tradition Golf Club, a 150 percent rise in club tours resulted in a record number of new members, and golf membership sales doubled. “Approximately 80 percent of our new member spouses are beginner golfers,” says Tesha Vann, membership director at Tradition. “Our short course is getting more use than ever, as it’s the perfect venue to learn the game.”

At nearby Rancho La Quinta, the two-course spread saw a 30 percent increase in golf memberships, with home sales jumping 60 percent, and Andalusia Country Club had an 87 percent increase in golf memberships with a jaw-dropping 300 percent increase in home sales.

In Indian Wells, The Vintage Club experienced a 145 percent increase in home sales and a 100 percent gain in new golf memberships. Toscana Country Club gained 34 percent in home sales and its 36 holes drew a 77 percent rise in golf memberships. At The Reserve, Todd Hewlin and Lo-Ping Yeh were among 24 new golf members representing a 120 percent increase in home sales.

bighorngolfclubmembership

Mike Kirby and Sandi Marino

“The trend is more couples,” says Denise Adams, membership director at The Reserve Club. “Both the member and spouse, or significant other, play golf, as do their high school- and college-age children.”

Likewise, at Bighorn Golf Club, “We’re seeing quite a few of our current golf members’ spouses taking up the game through lessons, afternoon play as a couple, and our 9-holer group,” says Kirstin Fossey of Bighorn Properties.

In Palm Desert, the two-course Bighorn Golf Club had a 44 percent increase in new golf memberships and a 28 percent increase in home sales, while Stone Eagle Golf Club reported a 62 percent increase in memberships.

traditiongolfclublaquinta

Tradition Golf Club in La Quinta

In Rancho Mirage, the three-course spread of Mission Hills Country Club has seen an 8 percent uptick in new golf memberships and a 60 percent increase in home sales. And at Tamarisk Country Club, a 9 percent boost in golf members has contributed to a 12 percent rise in overall memberships.

“In many ways, our club has become more important in our members’ lives,” Brett Draper says of Thunderbird Country Club, where he’s general manager. During the pandemic, “activity around the club, namely golf, is up to levels we have not seen in the past 15 years.”

FOR MIKE KIRBY, the desert has always been a home away from home. Long familiar with the valley’s east end by virtue of visiting his parents at La Quinta Country Club and his siblings now in the area, Kirby always figured that, someday, he too would have a desert home.

Someday came a bit sooner than Kirby and his fiancé Sandi Marino expected.

“In the last three or four years, we’ve been thinking we should land someplace out here,” he says. “Now, working from home during COVID [has] been a catalyst for us to make the move.”

Last September, the prime-of-life couple purchased a spec house at Tradition Golf Club, the longtime West Coast base for Arnold Palmer. Kirby is an avid player, and Marino is a beginner who’s refining her game on the club’s nine-hole short course. Their home overlooks the top-handicapped hole 3 on the Palmer-designed course, carved in the bosom of the Santa Rosas. The view also includes the scene-setting stone wall and iron gate, Tradition’s original entrance, marking the end of what is now Washington Street.

Splitting time between La Quinta and Newport Beach, Kirby seamlessly runs his real estate research and analysis firm. “I can work just as well here as I can from Newport,” Kirby says. “I’m not so sure we would’ve pulled the trigger on the purchase this early, but once we had this epiphany that I could still be very effective in my job in the home office I have in our new home, we went for it.”

Marino, who mixes charity and interior design work, believes the club’s on-site marketplace for groceries and take-out and home delivery services offer comfort during the pandemic. “Tradition is low-key and genuine,” she says. “And the amenities are amazing; the club makes it easy to stay.”

Therein lies the prevailing appeal of the Coachella Valley. The weather and lifestyle sell the location, and the ability to work from anywhere seals the deal.

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHS BY TRACY NGUYEN

Bitcoin Basics in 2021

Bitcoin Basics in 2021

Bitcoin Basics for Real Estate Agents in 2021 ( + Expert Predictions)

At Sheri Dettman & Associates, we have always prided ourselves on being ahead of the curve. Bitcoin, and blockchain, although they have been around for a few years, are still something that is not yet widely understood in the Real Estate world. This article makes it easy to understand! We look forward to using blockchain tech and being your go-to agents with, as always, the latest, and best technology along with the best personal service.

February 4, 2021/Courtesy of Emile L'Eplattenier

One of the most common questions we get from real estate agents these days is when, or even if, bitcoin will finally make its way into real estate transactions.

Of course, if agents are asking us that, it means their buyers and sellers are probably asking them. So it’s only a matter of time before understanding how this technology works will be necessary for any agent who doesn’t want to get left in the dust of yet another disruptive technology for real estate.

The only problem is that bitcoin is—and there’s no other way to say it—confusing. Don’t worry, though. Even people who are so-called experts in the field can have a hard time explaining it.

That’s why we put together this quick explainer on bitcoin for real estate agents and also talked to a few agents and brokers who have already taken the leap to get their take on how they think bitcoin will transform the real estate industry in 2021 and beyond.

Can My Buyers Purchase a Home With Bitcoin Yet?

Coding

Kind of. However, almost all real estate transactions using bitcoin have used a service called BitPay to convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars (USD) to transfer funds to the seller.

As far as “bitcoin-to-bitcoin” transactions go, where title changes hands and the bitcoin is never converted into USD—they still remain very rare. The sticking point is generally title companies and lawyers, both of whom are still somewhat reluctant to use the digital currency.

Douglas Elliman’s Stephan Burke and Carol Cassis sold the first property using bitcoin wallets in 2017, as well as a $6 million transaction after that, the largest fully bitcoin translation to date. Since then, they have closed more than $34 million in volume using cryptocurrency converted to cash.

However, while it has been slow going here, where bitcoin and blockchain show the most promise is for overseas transactions.

Over at the always-excellent Mansion Global, EminGun Sirer, associate professor of computer science and co-director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts at Cornell University, weighed in on why cryptocurrencies are ideal for foreign buyers:

EminGun Sirer Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts

“Cryptocurrencies enable the quick, frictionless transfer of value across the globe. This enables someone in Russia to be able to easily send bitcoins to purchase land in Belize.”

Should I Advise My Sellers to Accept Bitcoin?

In today’s market, bitcoin may not be ready for prime time, but there is one thing that is undeniable. Offering your listing for sale in bitcoin will get you instant free press. Remember the first listings that had drone videos? Imagine that times 10. Here’s Seattle Realtor, Sam Debord:

Sam Debord Seattle Realtor“I’ll sell my house for bitcoin” is the latest marketing tactic, and it’s working … at least for publicity.”

In order to accept bitcoin, you can either have the seller transfer into USD, work with a title company that will accept bitcoin, or have a lawyer write up a contract that covers all risks from bitcoin. At this point, most people will avoid actually paying in bitcoin, but the free press might be a good trade-off.

Can My Buyers Get a Loan With Bitcoin?

Yes. Startups like Unchained Capital allow people who hold bitcoin to borrow up to $1 million with no credit check and interest rates between 10% and 14%. However, these are not long-term loans; Unchained offers loan lengths ranging from three months to three years.

While not for everyone, hardcore bitcoin owners use services like this to get quick liquidity without cashing in their bitcoin portfolios. Think down payments, or maybe even bridge loans.

There Must Be a Catch … Is There Capital Gains Tax for Transferring Bitcoin to USD?

Yes. As of January 1, 2018, the federal government considers cryptocurrency as property and anyone selling (or trading bitcoin for U.S. dollars) will be hit with capital gains tax on the amount their bitcoins appreciated since they purchased or mined them.

Are Bitcoin & Blockchain the Same Thing?

No. While bitcoin is a digital currency that you can exchange for goods and services, blockchain is the underlying technology that stores bitcoin or other cryptocurrency transactions in a digital ledger.

Bitcoin

Okay, Then What Is Bitcoin Exactly?

Bitcoin is a fully digital currency created in 2009 by an anonymous person who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto online.

Like any other currency, bitcoin can be used to pay for goods and services, transfer funds, or as an investment. Currently, over 15,000 vendors accept bitcoin, from Microsoft to small businesses.

The main difference between bitcoin and say, an ACH transfer through a traditional bank is that there is no middleman in the transaction. The entire transaction from buyer to seller takes place on the Bitcoin network. Since a bitcoin transaction bypasses the different bank policies, or different regional banking laws that are part of any other transaction, transfers are much faster.

Since there is no bank or government to get in the way, bitcoin can be a great way to transfer money or make purchases overseas. Foreign buyers may find bitcoin’s speed and simplicity ideal for buying property in the United States.

Bitcoin is an example of a fiat currency; its value is not backed up by gold or other tangible assets. Instead, bitcoin relies on something called blockchain to verify transactions.

Got It. So What’s Blockchain?

Although blockchain is very complex, the best way to describe it to your clients is to compare it to ACH, the technology that lets you “wire” money from one bank to another. The main difference is that blockchain does not rely on banks to verify transactions have been completed. Instead, once a transaction is completed, it is stored in an encrypted digital ledger that is distributed among everyone on the blockchain.

This means that instead of relying on trusted institutions like banks to verify transactions, the verification is done very quickly by algorithms that check the stored transaction data on the millions of users on the blockchain.

What makes blockchain so powerful is that the ledger is stored on every single computer (node) in the system. This makes faking a transaction virtually impossible. Since the blockchain is extremely secure, it has many applications beyond verifying and storing bitcoin transactions. Everything from contracts to voting records can theoretically be stored on blockchain.

Which Technology Will Have a Bigger Impact in the Real Estate Market, Bitcoin or Blockchain?

According to most experts, blockchain will have a bigger impact on real estate than bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Here’s why: Transaction speed is not a very pressing problem for real estate transactions, but record-keeping and middlemen are. Here’s Jason Shepherd, co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group, on why he thinks blockchain technology, particularly smart contracts and other applications built on Ethereum, an alternative to bitcoin, will change the real estate market:

Jason Shepherd Atlas Real Estate Group

“It is important to separate the cryptocurrency from the underlying blockchain technology when discussing real estate disruption. The disruption in real estate will come from the blockchain technology (distributed ledger) and smart contracts like those found on the Ethereum platform.”

So What Are Smart Contracts?

Smart contracts are contracts between two parties that are verified and stored on the blockchain. Today, most smart contracts are built with the blockchain protocol behind Ethereum, another cryptocurrency.

The main benefit behind smart contracts is that there is no need for a middleman in the transaction. Everything is verified and stored on the blockchain.

In the future, blockchain can be used to store records of a transaction all the way from a blockchain-enabled MLS, to escrow, inspections, title, and sales contracts. Leases and other commercial real estate contracts could also be on the blockchain.

While smart contracts haven’t yet hit the mainstream for real estate, startups like Propy and Ubiquity.io are changing that.

To learn more about smart contracts, check out this excellent guide over on Block Geeks.

What Is This ‘Mining’ for Bitcoins I Keep Hearing About?

Man Mining

OK, from here on in, the process gets a bit more technical, and therefore much harder to explain. While it’s unlikely your buyers or sellers will grill you about this, having a basic understanding can help.

Remember how we talked about how transactions on the blockchain are verified by other users? Well, bitcoin mining is the process that verifies transactions and adds them to the public ledger.

Bitcoin “miners” are rewarded with bitcoin for using their computer’s processing power to verify transactions. Before you get too excited and start mining bitcoin out of your broker’s office, understand that in most places, the payment for mining bitcoin will probably be less than the electricity costs to run computers long enough to verify transactions.

What Advantages Do Other Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin & Ripple Have Over Bitcoin?

OK, now we’re getting a little too far into the weeds. Worse, the crypto industry changes so fast that by the time you read this, something will have inevitably changed. If you’re feeling brave, check out this cool infographic from Visual Capitalist:

Infographic Bitcoin Ethereum Comparison

How 10 Real Estate Experts Think Bitcoin Will Disrupt the Industry

So now that you have a basic understanding of bitcoin, here’s how 10 real estate industry experts see bitcoin transforming the real estate market in the coming years.

1. Jason Penner, Douglas Elliman, New York City

Jason Penner Douglas Elliman

“A brief way that I explain bitcoin is, it’s as if technology and finance had a baby. Humans survived for hundreds of thousands of years (if not longer) without money. Money is a relatively new concept to humans, and to think that the current financial system is the peak evolution of money and the storage of value is nothing short of naive. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies represent that next step in the evolution of storing and exchanging value.”

2. Jim Merrion, Coldwell Banker Realty, Colorado

Jim Merrion Coldwell Banker Realty

“The real estate industry’s appetite for using bitcoin to purchase real estate seems to be coming back in a big way in 2021! Being a Realtor who has helped a buyer purchase developable land using bitcoin converted to cash and marketed several listings willing to accept bitcoin as payment, bitcoin investors are finding me online and reaching out with plans to purchase property using these funds in 2021.

 

“Currently, I have one bitcoin investor looking to buy a 35+ acre ranch property and have spoken to several others over the past few months about how the process could successfully work for them.

 

“And Smart Contracts are starting to be seriously considered by at least one title company in Colorado now. With their inherent security and ability to prevent wire fraud, there is a lot of motivation by the transaction processing entities to find new technology solutions that reduce their risk and enhance the efficiency of the closing process.”

3. Tristan Ahumada, Realtor, Speaker & Co-founder of LabCoatAgents

Tristan Ahumada LabCoatAgents

“So far, most of the bitcoin transactions in the real estate world have had only one party dealing in cryptocurrency and the other one doing it the traditional way. The deal can still take place, but the cryptocurrency has to be turned into cash. I do envision cryptocurrency catching on more, but our society has to start using the bitcoin/blockchain technology more. I do see it becoming normalized—it’s just a matter of people getting used to it. It is just as easy as people using credit cards and Apple pay.

“For now, there are companies like BitPay and some other international banks that allow people to convert their bitcoin into cash.”

4. Jason Shepherd, Co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group

Jason Shepherd Atlas Real Estate Group

“The disruption in real estate will come from the blockchain technology (distributed ledger) and smart contracts like those found on the Ethereum platform. The escrow process will be replaced by a smart contract, using code as the intermediary to distribute earnest money. Imagine a real estate transaction where all of our inspection and due diligence information can be found in one public ledger on the blockchain—ownership, encumbrances, repair receipts, improvements, liens—all viewable and indisputable on the distributed ledger.

 

“This transparency reduces the need for title insurance and truncates the purchase timeline for a home from 30 days to a few days. Title and escrow will be the first layer of disruption, but increasing transparency will allow the public to access more information and be less reliant on real estate brokers. This won’t replace brokers, but it will warrant a repricing for what brokers can charge their clients.”

5. John Gilbert, Co-founder/Director Prime-EX

John Gilbert Prime EX

“The acceptance of cryptocurrencies into mainstream investment portfolios equals more buyers this year for major ticket items, such as houses. Many purchases are coming from people who have never purchased real estate before. This equals more sales for real estate agents who are willing to learn about cryptocurrencies, more sales for real estate agents who are willing to market to people who are invested in cryptocurrencies, and more sales for real estate agents who are willing to specialize in educating their home sellers on how to accept cryptocurrencies as payment in kind for their real estate.

 

“The cryptocurrency genie will not be put back into the bottle.”

6. Avani Desai, CEO & Co-founder of MyCryptoAlert

Avani Desai MyCryptoAlert

“Crypto will allow a homebuyer to gather funds quickly, sometimes in less than 60 seconds, and into the hands of the seller, instantaneously. All of this is done on the blockchain, so the transaction is recorded in an open distributed ledger using encryption techniques that ensure that a transaction was complete and accurate and can never be retroactively changed. I believe what brokers and agents are going to see aside from transactions being done with crypto are technology platforms that are built on the blockchain. Therefore, understanding the two most known and built on blockchains that are out there—the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain—is crucial. Agents will see everything from smart contracts executed, to title storage, to international money exchanges.”

7. Alan Lewis, Chief Investment Officer at DiversyFund

Alan Lewis DiversyFund

“We are already seeing real estate sellers finding creative ways to accept crypto from a buyer in order to expand the pool of potential purchasers. As a real estate investment platform, our online customers have prompted us to look into accepting crypto and also launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that is backed by real estate assets, which creates a perfect marriage of old and new asset classes.”

8. Sheryl Lowe, Broker Associate, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Sheryl Lowe Kuper Sotheby's International Realty

“In all of my 33 years of closing transactions, I honestly couldn’t have expected something so unique to go so smoothly. In a matter of 10 minutes, the bitcoin was changed to U.S. dollars and the deal was done!

 

“Of course, it helped to have the right team behind this—Laura Pagnozzi of Independence Title was a key player in keeping everything together.”

9. Hyun Lee, Communications & Marketing Director, Mothership Foundation

Hyun Lee Mothership Foundation

“With Ethereum, there are companies that wish to build smart contracts around existing services, including real estate. This allows for a fully digital real estate transaction. In fact, the first real estate transaction using only the Ethereum blockchain already happened. Michael Arrington, co-founder of TechCrunch, recently purchased a Kiev studio apartment for $60,000 via smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

“In this case, the smart contract allowed the sale of the property. If this template was to be copied and applied to all future sales, I would imagine real estate agents would need to pick up on using smart contracts.”

10. Dr. Lucas Lu, Founder/CEO, 5miles

Dr. Lucas Lu 5miles

“Fractional ownership. The high cost of home ownership in more and more markets has priced out many potential homebuyers, leaving them on the sidelines.

 

“Just as USD can be bought and sold in fractions, in a similar way the number of whole bitcoins (BTCs), for example, has a limit and can be used fractionally. This means that cryptocurrency holders can see the value of their currency rise, but also can pool their crypto resources with owners to purchase properties collectively, as investments.”

Bottom Line

No matter how much you fight it, bitcoin and the blockchain technology it runs on will revolutionize the real estate industry. Since your buyers and sellers will be curious about the potential of bitcoin for their transactions, agents need to have a basic understanding of how this technology works. This will not only allow them to represent their clients better, but also help attract and retain tech-savvy buyers and sellers, and create a buzz with marketing.

About Emile L'Eplattenier

As Managing Editor for The Close, Emile is responsible for the editorial direction of the site’s real estate content as well as curating actionable insights from top producing agents and brokerages from across the country. A licensed New York City Real Estate Agent and veteran of the marketing department at Tishman Speyer, Emile has been involved in every aspect of residential real estate from branding new developments to pre-war rentals and resales. Emile also regularly provides market insights and commentary for publications like The New York Times, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, Fox News, Yahoo, and US News & World Report. When he’s not writing or editing, Emile enjoys collecting vintage furniture and playing his guitar.

Why People Are Relocating to the Desert

Why Greater Palm Springs?
A small-town vibe and plenty of big-city amenities have made relocating to the Coachella Valley a “hot” thing to do.

Courtesy of WINSTON GIESEKE OCTOBER 15, 2019 CURRENT DIGITALVISION

Futurist Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock described an evolution to a transient society,” says Palm Desert resident Anna Miller, the visionary behind ValueRays Heated Computer Accessories. “It left quite an impression on me and actually molded my future.” Miller is referring to her relocation from the “rat race” of Los Angeles to the peace and tranquility of the Coachella Valley.

Inspired by Toffler, and with many thanks to advances in technology, the ingenious Miller — who has a master’s degree in business education and once worked as a Playboy Bunny in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin — has been happily self-employed and working from home in the field of ecommerce for more than two decades. In 2007, she left the hustle and bustle of L.A. and moved her home and business to the historic B Bar H Ranch outside Palm Springs. “I feel like I’m on vacation every day,” she says of her life now. “This area is a slice of heaven on earth: peaceful, tranquil, and with just the right amount of solitude to wake up every day feeling grateful and ready to take on whatever life offers. Plus, there is access to everything you need here, spiritually, physically, and intellectually.”

Read the rest of the article here…

PHOTOGRAPH BY LANCE GERBER

SilverRock Development Update

SilverRock Resort in La Quinta

Owned by the City of La Quinta and Managed by Landmark Golf Management, SilverRock Resort's Arnold Palmer Classic Course is a challenging 7,239 yards sprawling over 200 acres with massive native bunkers and stunning water features. Set against the backdrop and natural beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains, SilverRock is a former home course of the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic from 2008-2011.

Development Overview

The City, in conjunction with SilverRock Development Company, LLC, has created a development program for SilverRock Resort. The program includes a luxury hotel with branded luxury residential, a lifestyle hotel with branded lifestyle residential, a conference and shared services facility, a mixed-use village, resort residential village, renovation of the existing Ahmanson Ranch House, construction of a permanent golf clubhouse, and associated road and utility infrastructure.  This $420 million dollar project specifically encompasses:

  • A 140-room, 5-star quality luxury hotel and spa and a 200-room, 4-star quality lifestyle hotel;

  • A 71,000 square foot conference center and shared services facility shared by the luxury and lifestyle hotels;

  • A resort village with 150,000 square feet of resort residential units and up to 40,000 square feet of retail space with recreation areas;

  • 35 luxury and 60 lifestyle branded residential homes that are associated with their respective hotels;

  • 160 resort style homes for private ownership with the option for owners to offer as short-term rentals;

  • Renovation of the Ahmanson Ranch House facility as a public event center and to serve as an amenity to the resort; and

  • 5,000 square feet of temperature controlled space with large outdoor patios and event lawn.

To keep up to date visit:
http://www.laquintaca.gov/our-city/city-departments/facilities/silverrock-golf/silverrock-frequently-asked-questions


About Palm Springs Area Home Owners Associations (HOA’s)

Many gated and even some non-gated developments in the Palm Springs area include an Home Owners Association or HOA. For our Canadian friends, an HOA is similar to Canadian Strata Associations. Most of the Palm Springs area golf communities and non-golf community profiles on this website include recent HOA information.

 

Palm Springs Area HOA Dues: What’s Included?

Home Owners’ Association dues can vary widely from community to community depending on the amenities and services that are available to property owners. HOA dues in condo communities will generally be higher than those of most single-family home communities because they include exterior building insurance (not contents), exterior building maintenance (walls, roofs and painting) and community shared amenities such as pools, spas, clubhouses, trash pickup, and, often, basic cable TV.

When comparing monthly HOA dues in the Palm Springs area you’ll want to look beyond the numbers and see what’s actually included in these dues. As an example, let’s compare two different HOA’s and what is included:

Community A ($335 Monthly HOA):

  • Common area maintenance
  • 24/7 Access gate control.

Community B ($520 Monthly HOA):

  • Common area maintenance
  • 24/7 Access gate control
  • Front yard landscape and irrigation
  • Exterior painting
  • Side-yard pickup of trash
  • Basic cable TV

On the surface $335 looks better. Add it all up though and Community B's dues - while higher - include more services and, in fact, may cost the homeowner less over time. HOA’s in other developments might include community pools and spas, clubhouses, tennis and fitness centers while others may include discounted or even full golf privileges.

 

Most Palm Springs Area HOA's Dues Are Paid Monthly

Most HOA dues are usually billed monthly. A few desert communities bill dues quarterly. HOA’s have the legal right to file a lien against a property and possibly even sell the property at auction to recover dues if the owner(s) neglect to pay their HOA dues. Property owners may wish to consider setting up an automatic payment of HOA dues through their bank or set up an automatic debit payment with their HOA.

After signing a purchase contract for a property located within an HOA, and during the escrow ‘due diligence’ period, buyers are entitled to receive a copy of the HOA CC&R’s (declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions), community rules and regulations and financials for their review.  It’s always a good idea to retain a copy of these for future reference.

 

Palm Springs Area Condos Compared To Canadian Strata Ownership

Here in the desert a condo does not usually refer to a high-rise community as found in many Canadian Provinces. While there are a few high-rise developments here, most condo communities in the desert are actually single level or two story buildings. This is similar to Canadian Strata communities. There are a wide variety of condo types here including those with no shared walls. Condo communities usually offer a 'lock and leave' lifestyle where exterior building maintenance, insurance, landscape and more are taken care of by the condo association or as they are called here in the desert, the Home Owners Association (HOA).

<< Back to Information For Palm Springs Home Buyers

Tips For Choosing Your Palm Springs Area Realtor

One of the smartest things you can do before beginning to look at Palm Springs area homes or luxury condos is to choose a local real estate agent to represent your best interests. And finding a local agent that has a proven track record of helping lots of buyers like you is a good place to start.

I like to think of a buyer’s agent as a part guide and part negotiator. Top local agents keep on top of the changing desert inventory and trends within our local Palm Springs area golf and country club communities–saving you both time and hassle. Later, once you’ve found your desert home, top agents will likely have the most experience of negotiating the best price and terms on your behalf.

 

Who You Gonna Call?

It’s very common to find and even start working with a Palm Springs area real estate agent from out of the area, or even out of the country using online resources. But what’s the best way to discover the agent that is the best match for your goals?

You can start by comparing the online information and website resources each agent that your considering offers you. Agents that offer you a lot of valuable resources are likely the agents that can make your overall buying experience smoother and more profitable. Their goal is to help you be an informed buyer. And I believe that being an informed buyer is a very good thing!

 

How Quickly Are Your Calls & Email Messages Returned?

Consider how quickly a prospective agent responds to your phone calls or email message. Top agents return both calls and emails promptly, and that's one of the reasons those agents are highly successful.

Some Palm Springs area real estate agents can even make real estate fun! Does the prospective agent sound boring over the phone or do they ‘smile’ while they are speaking with you? Do they seem happy to help you or do they make you feel like they’re doing you a favor?

Palm Springs area real estate is more about your family and friends lifestyle than simply real estate. And it doesn’t have to be boring or stressful. Consider that top agents won't waste your valuable time going to properties that they know don’t match your criteria.

 

Busy & Successful Agents Are Busy & Successful For A Reason

One of the first questions I suggest in asking any prospective Realtor (including me) is: “How many sales transactions did you complete last year, and in what price ranges and communities?” I mention this because the average Realtor completes just 12 transactions annually or one per month.

In contrast, our small team of specialists at Sheri Dettman & Associates will complete over 100 sales transactions this year ranging mostly from the $300,000’s to $5 million. If not us, you’ll want to choose an agent that is busy and successful. I choose my doctor, dentist and accountant the same way!

 

 

Working With Multiple Real Estate Agents

Some homebuyers think that the best way to find a great deal is by working with multiple real estate agents. Is it? Top agents don’t usually work with buyers playing the field, and buyers playing the field with multiple agents seldom receive the best representation (think price and terms).

Summary

Interview and check out the sales history of any agent you are considering.  Then, make a smart choice; choose a busy and successful agent that will truly listen to you and represent your best interests.

 

Other Suggested Articles For Buyers

Palm Springs Area Open House Tips
Am I Ready To Submit An Offer On That Desert Property?
Your Buyer/Broker Agreement Explained (And How This Can Benefit You)

 

Finding The Right Palm Springs Area Location

 

by Sheri Dettman, Resort Lifestyle Realtor

It’s possible to buy the right home here in the Palm Springs area but in the wrong location. The old adage of "location, location, location," is repeated three times to emphasize the importance of location. It basically means that similar or identical homes or condos can be valued differently based on their location.

 

Palm Springs Area Community And Amenities Equal Location

Location here in the Palm Springs area starts with the city and then the community which best matches your criteria. Top agents will work to first identify your criteria and then guide you to locations which best match your choices.

Once your real estate agent helps narrow down your overall location criteria, she/he will then help you discover the location options within each community to form your ‘short list’, One example is sunlight exposure; Year-round residents and winter residents will likely have different needs and preferences where this is concerned.

 

Homes Or Condos Offering Views

Homes offering views are one of the most requested location options here in the desert. And since outdoor living is so popular here, sweeping views can and will add value to an identical home or condo with limited or no views. Some buyers prefer golf course views, while others choose the mountains. And here in the desert you can actually have it both ways.

 

Outdoor Recreation And Things To Do

One of the great things about the Palm Springs area is that there’s something for everyone throughout the valley and in nearby areas. For those who love to walk to restaurants and shopping, proximity to city centers becomes an important requirement on their ‘short list’ of desirable locations. Most Palm Springs area activities are only a short drive away as well. In many gated golf and country club communities, great restaurants and shopping are only a short golf cart or bike ride away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Palm Springs Area Rental Locations

If you are considering renting your home you’ll want to think about what locations seasonal and long-term renters prefer. Palm Springs area golf course homes and condos always seem to top the list as do resort lifestyle communities offering nearby pools/spas, tennis, or fitness facilities. Most seasonal renters of single-family homes want a private pool. Condos and town homes in gated communities with resort amenities are also popular as rentals, both as short and long term rentals. Your realtor can also advise you about which communities have rental restrictions versus those that don’t.

 

Palm Springs Communities With HOA’s

Community locations with HOA’s (home owners associations) offer benefits to some buyers and drawbacks to others. HOA’s have rules and regulations. On the plus side is the fact that most HOA’s work hard at maintaining high community standards and appearances so your neighborhood doesn’t become run down or have blighted homes.

Keep in mind that there are usually HOA dues to pay and you’ll need to be aware of any HOA rules pertaining to using or modifying your property. Before buying a home or condo located within an HOA, you’ll want to read your copy of the HOA CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) that you’ll be provided with during the start of escrow after your offer is accepted on a home or condo.

 

<< Back to Information for Palm Springs Area Home Buyers

 

Hacienda Homes At The La Quinta Resort Golf Course

 

Pga West Condos La Quinta

 

Citrus Golf Club Homes La Quinta

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