Category Archives: Foreclosures adn Bank Owned in Palm Desert

NEW LISTING! 72390 Ridgecrest Ln Palm Desert, CA 92260- $161,000

Great South Palm Desert location high up on Hwy 74 on a quiet cul de sac. This is the largest model at Sommerset with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an open floor plan. Handy for El Paseo shopping and restaurants. Perfect as a vacation home or for year-round living. Property is being sold subject to 24 CFR 206.125.

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For more information about this property and other Claudine Messika homes, click here to make an exclusive property consultation today,

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Palm Desert

City Enjoys Good Growth Rate


Palm Desert is the fastest growing city in the sprawling Coachella Valley located in the desert confines of Riverside County,California.  The city registered almost 50,000 inhabitants in the last census up from just over 40,000 in the 2000 census.  While this may seem as rapid growth to some, it pales next to the torrid pace sustained in the 80’s and 90’s.  In 1980, the population was a mere 11,000 or so.  It more than doubled to 23,000 plus by 1990 and over 35,000 by 1995.

Much of the increase has been attributed to the influx of so called snowbirds, inhabitants from colder climes such as Canada and New England states.  The city’s population expands even further every winter as tourists and temporary residents come to enjoy the sunshine and mild winter temperatures.  Ever larger percentages of the population however have come to live here year round.  The region is also attracting increasing numbers of Californians who are seeking a more tranquil lifestyle away from the state’s major urban centers.  The high value housing is an added lure.  Property here is seen as still affordable, but likely to appreciate in value.  This is due to the desirability that comes from the spectacular scenery of the region along with the abundant sunshine and cultural amenities that abound.  These include fine dining, golf courses, shopping districts, and casinos.

The city was called Palm Village back in the 1920’s when plantations of palm trees devoted to dates provided the agricultural mainstay of a region dedicated to growing crops.  These gradually began to give way to residential development starting in the 1940’s.  An area called El Paseo became an upscale shopping center.  The Palm Desert Corporation was formed in 1948 to develop the area for housing, and in 1951 the city incorporated itself as Palm Desert.


Celebrities Choosing to Live Here


Palm Desert is home to many well known names.  Bill Gates has a house here as does Rita Rudner and Jerry Weintraub.  They along with many of the residents of Palm Deser tlive here only part of the year generally in the winter months when the weather is sunny and mild.  Daytime highs are generally in the mid 70’s in January.  In July, the temperature often tops 100 degrees.

About two thirds of households own their units with the remainder renting their space.  There are about 1700 people living per square mile which is considered fairly low density.

Median household income here is just under $60,000.  This ranks Palm Desert as above the state average.  The figure is considered to be somewhat misleading because of the significant percentage of the population that is retired.  People in such circumstance often report incomes well below what their standard of living might suggest.  This is due to the fact that they have built up a substantial amount of assets over the years that are not reflected in income.

Palm Desert is home to several golf resorts which also feature spas and luxury hotels.

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Newest Housing Data Signals Improvements

The latest round of real estate data shows home-builder confidence is soaring as homes in the United States become more affordable. In California, prices and sales appear to be on the mend.

In a note back in May, Ian Sheperdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, wrote that the improvements in the housing market may be a result of credit loosening. The lack of readily available home loans has been a significant hindrance and one of the stumbling blocks to a rising market, he wrote.

Reacting to the rise in builder confidence, Sheperdson’s note further stated that the key factor is improving access to mortgage finance versus the level of rates, which have been very low for a long time. After a credit event, availability of credit is an important factor to real recovery; housing is on the cusp, he wrote.

Also in May, the National Association of Home Builders reported that its index of confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes climbed to a level of 29, the gauge’s highest reading since May 2007.

The West was the only region that saw a decline, down two points to 29. The Midwest and South were up five points each to hit 27 and 28 respectively, and the Northeast was up six points to 32.

In many housing markets, builders are reporting that sales and buyer traffic have picked back up after a pause this past April, Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the builders association, said in a news release.

It appears we have resumed the gradual upward trend in confidence that started at the beginning of this year, as excellent affordability and stabilizing prices encourage more people to pursue a new-home purchase, he stated further in the release.

A separate index produced by the National Association of Realtors indicated that homes in the United States reached a record level of affordability in the first quarter of this year. According to research, the index shows a family that earns the median annual income of just under $61,000 can afford a home costing $325,500.

And finally, home prices and sales appeared to improve in the Golden State as well, according to the California Association of Realtors. The statewide median price rose above $300,000 for the first time, and sales were at their highest level in more than two years, the group said.

A record-high housing affordability coupled with a brighter economic picture, pushed the Spring home buying season off to a strong start, LeFrancis Arnold, president of the association, said in a news release.

With interest rates declining to new record lows in recent weeks as well as a continually improving economy, we should see a steady improvement in the housing market throughout the end of the year, Arnold said further.

The California real estate group also reported that the amount of inventory on the market remained low. About four months and just under a week’s worth of homes were available for sale on the market, according to the association’s inventory index. Around six to seven months is considered a healthy market.

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Canadians Have Financial Advantages Buying in Palm Springs

Rates Make This a Good Time for Canadians to Buy in Palm Springs


The Canadian dollar is currently enjoying the most favorable exchange rate versus the U.S. dollar in decades.  Add to that the fact thatU.S.real estate prices have fallen from 30 to 50% over the last several years, and the result is that there has likely never been a better time to buy in Palm Springs then right now.

The Palm Springs area is acknowledged as one of the most attractive regions in which to make a purchase.  The locale is internationally renowned as a resort destination.  The dramatic setting beneath the majestic San Jacinto Mountains appears picture perfect, especially in winter when the snow capped peaks provide a striking contrast to the golf course studded desert flatlands.  There are Indian Casinos inside the city, and Las Vegasis an easy drive away.

Surveys show that a fifth of all Canadians are considering purchasing property in the U.S.  They already comprise about a quarter of the international buyers of U.S.real estate.  Such transactions have become so common that most major financial institutions are familiar with the process and able to offer assistance.


Process Less Complicated and Time Consuming


Experts now view the procedures for Canadians buying in Palm Springs as no more difficult than it would be in their home provinces.  When problems do arise, they tend to involve differences in the income tax codes between the two countries rather than anything about the purchase of the property itself.  For this reason, it is suggested that buyers consult with Canadian financial advisors regarding income taxes before making a purchase.  They will be able to walk clients through the legal fine points that U.S.advisors may be unaware of.

Tax planning should be part of the purchase strategy.  Often times, buyers make a purchase without considering the tax implications until it is time to file their returns.  It is also important to keep abreast of changes in the tax codes from year to year.


Many Selections Available Now


Because of the so called housing crises, there are many choice properties to select from in the Palm Springs area.  These extend into neighboring locales such asPalm Desert, La Quinta, and Cathedral City.  Each community has its enthusiasts, but all enjoy the same spectacular scenery and warm winter weather.  These are just two of the region’s positive attributes.  Others that add to the enjoyment would be: vibrant night life, an acclaimed community of artists, attractive shopping districts, and numerous golf courses.

Realtors can provide listings of properties in foreclosure or available for short sales.  There are often terrific bargains to be had in such distressed properties.  Local Palm Springsrealtors will also be knowledgeable about property taxes and options for financing.

Many Canadians buy property in Palm Springs for investment purposes or as second homes.  The many attractions to be found here help add to value and protect from downturns.  They also make it easy to rent out places bought.

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Real Estate Market Update for Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage,Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta

Hello I am sending you the monthly Real Estate update for Palm Springs and the Desert Cities we cover including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert , Indian Well, La Quinta and Sun City only. You can access the charts back to February 2011, month by month by going to
The numbers for this month are confirming the fact that our market is changing and the trend is towards a SELLERS’ MARKET. Inventory is shrinking and some buyers are still out there looking for the Deal that they should have made 6 months ago! and sitting on the fence waiting for…WHAT? …Look at the numbers.

Results for March 2012

Total homes sold : 645 month over month a 25% increase

Total homes in “pending” (under contract) : 514

Median price for condos : $255,600 more than 5% increase month over month

Median price for single family : $399,825

Total Bank Owned (REO’s) sold in March 2012: 124 a 37% increase.

Total Short Sales sold in March2012: 62

Total Bank Owned (REO’s) active in April 2012: 123, a 13% month over month decrease. Less REOs on the market.

Total Short Sales active in April 2012:186, a 5% month over month decrease

Total Inventory for the cities we cover : 3040 a 8% decrease compared to March. The inventory for short sales + REOs is just about 10% of the total inventory, compared to the 16% average during the past year.



Cities MedianPrice
condos sold

Sold REOs Active REOs
Palm Springs 149,000 127.48
79 337,500 178.90 100
24 43
RanchoMirage 239,000 139.42 21 450,000
190.00 42 63
12 21
Palm Desert 210,000 139.83
288,450 158.13 76
45 35
Indian Wells 430,000
183.25 9 710,000 272.93 40 49 8
La Quinta 250,000
181.07 143
35 19
Sun City 272,000 143.90
30 30 0

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What is going on with the Foreclosures market in Palm Springs and the Desert Cities

Alvin Fuchs was quoted in the Desert Sun last week for his comments on the topic of foreclosures and prices in Palm Springs Real estate market.

What’s it worth?

Alvin Fuchs, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Mirage, said just because a property is a foreclosure doesn’t mean it’s a hot deal.

Buyers should work with Realtors to compare other homes in the area and more accurately determine the home’s value

Some banks are looking to recoup the value of a defaulted mortgage, so buyers could end up paying more than the property is worth.

That’s particularly true now that inventories of foreclosed homes — particularly those priced at less than $200,000 — have plummeted in many valley communities.

Of 3,585 homes listed last week on the Desert Area Multiple Listing Service in five cities — Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage — only 187 were low-end, bank-owned properties, Fuchs said.

In some instances, the dearth of foreclosed homes has resulted in aggressive, multiple bidding by competing buyers.

It’s critical to get a good home inspector because, in most cases, “the bank has no clue what happened to that house,” Fuchs said.

Realtors and home inspectors said one of the first steps buyers should take when assessing a distressed property is to simply trust their instincts. If a house exterior looks bad, it’s probably worse than they think.

Before making an offer, buyers should do a thorough title search to uncover past problems that could become future obstacles, Franklin said.

Buyers must determine whether the effects of a poorly maintained home has resulted in structural rather than mere cosmetic problems.

Not only should buyers ask how long a house has been empty, but how long standard repair and maintenance have been on hold, Realtors said.

Distressed properties in the desert that have stood vacant for months or years with utilities shut off can deteriorate fast in triple-digit heat, even having mold problems that warrant expensive repairs.

As many as 20-30 percent of foreclosed properties nationwide are vandalized or cannibalized by frustrated homeowners, said Bill Jacques, president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Although many buyers pay inspectors to determine what needs to be fixed, banks are usually reluctant to pay for the repairs.

“But basically, you get a home inspection so when you take the property over you know what you’re going to have to fix.”

When buyers are seriously looking at foreclosures they should  also be “open minded” to other options such as individual sellers. Many of them have dramatically reduced prices and are ready to negotiate.

Taxes and liens

A foreclosure typically wipes out the prior owner’s private debt, but there can also be public debt against a property, such as real estate tax or income tax, Franklin said.

Buyers should work with Realtors and the escrow company to research the land lease, property taxes, mechanics’ liens or lawsuits.

Although most liens are cleared at a foreclosure auction, some liens survive and carry over to new owners.

On tribal land, buyers should watch for illegal land transfers in which the landowner takes out a second mortgage and never reports it to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Prospective buyers should also be on the lookout for separate ownership “transfer fees” that can be as much as $4,500 in some valley country clubs.

In short sales, buyers should be sure to review the terms approved by lenders and not be afraid to say “no” later in the process.

Buyers engaged in short sales should be patient and brace themselves for what could be a long process, Fuchs said.

One of his clients spent eight months waiting for a short sale to go through, only to have the bank then foreclose on the property.

It just make sense to work closely with your Realtor who will guide you.



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Canadians buying Real Estate in California

Warning for Canadian Buying real estate  in the US

Canadian media are creating a panic wave among the people  in Canada who are thinking of investing in real estate in the US. Mainly talking about the “risks” and “pitfalls” for tax issues and really scaring off everybody.

These articles are great and of great use but the way they are written and presented  is “scaring” potential buyers away.
As a Realtor in Palm Springs California (sunny and warm during the winters) , a snow birds destination, I have sold tens of properties to Canadians since the turn of the economy.
Everything I am reading in this article bring nothing new to my table, I always recommend to my clients to consult a cross border accountant before they buy.
But this is not meant “against Canadians” as it appears to be in everything I have read lately in the Canadian media. This is the way real estate is taxed and legislated in the US for US residents and citizens as well.
This why the buyers should carefully chose a Realtor who is not just a “door opener” for them but a knowledgeable professional who will walk them through and guide them.
Buying real estate in Palm Springs today (because it is a resort area) still remains an excellent investment for now as well as the years to come as long as you do it the “right way”.

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Palm Springs Real Estate Market – what we hear and what is really happening?

Real Estate in Palm Springs ? Is that all what people want to talk about?


I am OK to talk about real estate and especially real estate in Palm Springs , all day long, because this is what I do and I know my stuff. But I believe that real estate is in fact what people use to talk about their fears.

Labor Day is one of the strongest week end here in Palm Springs as far as visitors in town. This is our “kick off week end” getting closer to our season.
We are prepared for the thousands of people hitting the area and what else? but take at least 1/2 to visit open houses and go back home and tell everybody else what they have seen and learned.
Yes I like that kind of publicity- this is the real world and they will be reported what kind of homes they have seen and the prices they were on market for.
SO I am ready holding open house tomorrow and ready to educate anyone who is ready to listen about the real estate market in Palm Springs.


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Short sales properties or Bank Owned properties in Palm Springs and the Desert Cities?

Are we going to see more Short Sales or more Bank Owned in the near future or the future as a whole in Palm Springs?
As Realtor in Palm Springs, last time I looked and counted (end of July) I found out that less than 17% of our inventory is Short Sales and REO’s (Bank Owned) combined.
The Realtors handling REOs accounts are experiencing a significant drop in the number of properties that are given to them to sell.
On the other hand, The National Association of Realtors is telling us very clearly (I mean this is an insider TIP) that yes the reason why the number of REOs is dropping is because the banks are “trying to get Short Sales thru” faster and more successfully.
So the whole industry is now shifting from Bank Owned to Short Sales. So be it .
But I have my doubts and I did investigate with “real insiders” and my belief is that we WILL SEE more Bank Owned properties hit the market but the low end of the market (prices under 250K) are going away and this is the second wave with the homes priced over the 300K up to 800K.
I have my eyes on this specific subject and will keep sharing any information I can get with you.



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