Category Archives: Foreclosures and Bank Owned

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 – where do we stand at the beginning of the season?

Interesting results I wanted to share with you regarding Palm Springs Real Estate


Here are the statistics covering ONLY the cities of : Palm Springs Proper, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Sun City Dell Webb and La Quinta.

The numbers in the chart   are showing the sales for April 2011 compared to October 2011. The table also shows the inventory in April compared to inventory up to date.

The total number of sales are 62% lower. This is “normal” because April would reflect the sales which happened during the month of March which is the height of the season while October shows the sales that happened during September which is still our low season.

What is important is that prices did not drop more than 1%   which shows a stable market at the lower end.

On the other hand , in the high end market, the  median price dropped almost 26%  (but only 4 homes sold)

Inventory :There is  50% less inventory for condos below 200K and 14% less inventory for single family homes below 300K : so the lower end is selling fast

Percentage of distressed properties active : 30% at the lower end below 200K  and only 5% at the higher end of the market

This season has already started strong, this is still a buyers’market – money is cheap out there.

Maybe some of your friends want to buy…let us know JJ

Total Sold April

Total Sold October

Distressed Properties
Sold April

Distressed Properties Sold Oct.

Median Price Sold

MedianPrice Sold

Total Active April

Total Active


% Distressed

Condos up to











Condos 200K
and up











Single Family
up to 300K











Single Family
300K to 600K











Single Family
600K to 2M











Single Family
2M and up























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Investing in Palm Springs? While sitting on the fence here some interesting reading

Mistakes housing investors make
With traditional investments delivering low returns, some are considering buying rental housing.  However, potential investors should do their homework and avoid the following common mistakes.

Here are the SIX mistakes housing investors make. The traditional rent, investors would like to see is 1% of the sales price (an annual gross return of 12%), but after expenses it is more like 5% to 6% . Nothing wrong with that and certainly more than some other investment options.

  • Mistake number 1 : confusing a cheap deal for a good deal.

It is true that you can buy some properties in certain areas  at a ridiculously low price (generally in overbuilt deserted areas)  – it does not mean that you can rent them out. In deserted subdivisions homes not attractive to buyers can also be not attractive to renters. But Palm Springs as a resort area offers properties (condos or free standing homes) generally in  gated communities well kept and attractive.

  • Mistake number 2 : overlooking key costs such as repairs and closing costs – as well as resale costs when time comes. But in Palm Springs , many of the homes are second homes and generally sold turnkey furnished ready to go.
  • Mistake number 3: Forgetting that “time is money” – calculate the potential time of occupancy. But in Palm Springs, most of the “investment properties” rent only for the season (December thru end of April) at a price which is 2 to 3 times the price of a long term rental for the same size property. This would be equivalent to the return that long term annual rental would bring. And there are never enough of those rentals available
  • Mistake number 4: assuming that you will sit back and collect money : tenants also lose their jobs and it is hard to get them out of the property. But in Palm Springs, seasonal renters pay you in advance for the whole length of their stay and you never have to deal with late payments or no payments.
  • Mistake number 5 : underestimate repairs costs : advice : set aside 6 months of rent to cover repairs. In Palm Springs too this would have to be taken into account though your typical tenants are couples with no children, retirees coming to enjoy their winter here, eating out most of the time. Also you can always offer your cleaning team to maintain the home every two weaks and make it part of the conditions.
  • Mistake number 6 : assuming that owning a rental is the same as owning a home: tenants are more demanding than owners and you might want to contract a management company  But with seasonal rentals- a good concierge and cleaning company – your own advertising on www.VRBO’  is another option for management company.


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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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Sales taxes in Palm Springs

Good News for Palm Springs and the area

So now you can come and spend your money in Palm Springs, starting today July 1st, the sales taxes came down from 8.75 to 7.75%.

Is this our last hurrah? Traditionally the 4th of July week end is the last BIG week end for Palm Springs and officially closing the SEASON.
But we are here Alvin and Claudine will be here all summer to answer your questions and show you homes .
The summer still remains the best time for buyers in Palm Springs.

Are you coming?

Canadians Buyers in Palm Springs CA and the Heat

Summer in Palm Springs and Real Estate Facts with Canadian Buyers

That’s it Palm Springs and the Heat of the Summer giving us temperatures of at 110 on a daily basis. Not anything new to us the locals !!! But what is new this year is the that the Buyers for Real Estate , condos properties or even larger homes are not showing up this year compared to the previous couple of years.

Are the Canadians running out of money? Have we seen already the majority of potential Canadians buyers for our area?

The Canadian Looney is still at its high, the prices for homes in Palm Springs are indeed very attractive and affordable. So why am I  not seeing all of you future owners of properties in Palm Springs down here enjoying our great weather?

And what about the US buyers ? Well they are here looking at homes and buying them…

If you have a different angle to bring to the table I will be very interested in hearing it.

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The Canadians are still looking and buying Real Estate in Palm Springs

Di d you think that it was over? That less Canadians are looking at Real Estate in Palm s prings?

Looks like the numbers are even growing and more Canadians are looking at Palm Springs as an investment as well as a place to spend time in the sun during the winters.

If you are Canadian and do not know how it will work for you to buy real estate in Palm Springs California , please visit this webpage and learn more Or watch this video :

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Buying Bank Owned Real Estate in Palm Springs

This chart represents the SOLD bank owned properties (REO) since January 1st 2011 as well as the REOs available today in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and SunCity Del Webb.
Whether buying real estate in our area is for investment, personal use or both, your expectations should be set on REAL numbers and not on hearsay or the media.
The perception that banks would want to “get rid” of their inventory at any price is proven not to be true. The reality and the numbers prove otherwise. In fact, many “investors” just like you, with cash in hand to make a deal, are out there trying to make it happen. You DO have competition.
In case of multiple offers, the banks can take the highest offer or can come back asking for “best and final” without a formal counter offer with a number on it . THIS IS HOW IT WORKS, and your first shot might be your only shot.
When we find the right bank owned property, let’s write an offer not below 95% of the asking price and if it is a HOT one, a full price offer would work even better. THIS WILL GIVE US A CHANCE TO WIN.

Total REOs Sold %Price Sold versusListed Total REO Active
Condos up to
135 95.53% 98
Condos 300K
and over
5 97.09% 8
Single Family
up to 300K
201 96.60% 89
Single Family
300K to 600K
69 97% 43
Single Family
600K to 2M
15 94.45% 12
Single Family
2M and up
0 2
Total 425 96.13% 252

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Buying bank owned (foreclosures) homes in Palm Springs

The inventory of bank owned (foreclosures) represents just over 6% of the total inventory in Palm Springs and the area.


Of course these numbers only cover the cities of Palm Springs Proper, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert , Indian Wells and La Quinta which are the cities with resort communities and which will attract tenants if you are buying to invest.

So we cannot say that we are over flooded with foreclosures and that banks have difficulties getting rid of their inventory. So why do I have to argue with buyers who insist in writing offer for a lower price than the one the property is listed for. The number of buyers is higher than the number of properties in the low and median price range and we see each time that we are in a situation of multiple offers and bidding.

If we make a fast decision and we write a full price offer chances are we get in on the first attempt.


Trust your Realtor


It all comes down to the buyers coming from out of town and not familiar with our market to trust their Realtor and understand that we know better and we know what needs to be done to get a deal through.

When you chose Palm Springs to invest in Real Estate and if you are not from the area: trust your Realtor

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