La Quinta, California

La Quinta, California
Desert Luxury

Desert Luxury Realty

Thank you for visiting my blog. When you choose Mary Williams, as your real estate agent, you are working with a team of seasoned professionals who cater to your every real estate need. Buying or Selling your home does not need to be full of hassels or needless pressure. Take it easy and enjoy the luxury of the desert. I look forward to assisting you with your search or sell of your home. Contact me today!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Impact of Interest Rates on REITs

Jun 26, 2013
With the rise of interest rates due to the decelerating federal stimulus program, real estate investment trusts (REITs) have taken a pretty big hit, according to recent reports. REITs were a boon in the world of rock bottom interest rates, but their popularity has since declined considerably. With REITs, 90 percent of profits are paid as dividends to investors. When interest rates are low, REITs are an easy bet. But as soon as rates start climbing, REITs drop out of favor, owing to their sensitivity to interest rate changes.

Fluctuating Interest Rates Drive down REITs Index

At a recent industry conference in Chicago, real estate investors and analysts discussed the impact of fluctuating interest rates on REITs. Reporter Diana Olick from CNBC’s Realty Check column found that REITs were down by 8 percent as investors rushed out of the market into stocks. “REITs are highly sensitive to the interest rate environment, they’re effectively bond substitutes on the equity side. They are enormous users of capital,” said David Toti, an REIT analyst. “A change in rates impacts their cost of capital, and it impacts their ability to acquire aggressively.”

As high-yield investments, REITs become less attractive when rates rise, says Toti. But it’s important to note that investors and analysts are on a continual high alert for any sign that interest rates and yields will return to historically average numbers. So when there is a drop in the REIT index, industry analysts are quick to point towards rising interest rates. Of course, interest rates have risen slightly since May, hovering just over 4 percent.

There appears to be some new evidence that when interest rates are driven up, REITs take a hit. During the second quarter, REITs stocks suffered, with the iShares FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs Index down more than 11 percent from the index reading three months ago. One expert, however, cautioned against jumping the gun. Marty Cicco, managing director of Evercore Partners told that investors may be jumping the gun. On the question of whether or not the Federal Reserve’s fiscal policy and rising rates have influenced REIT performance, Cicco said, “I would suggest that the last two weeks have been a knee-jerk reaction, not just within the REIT sector, but the markets broadly.”

Positive Outlook for Multi-family, Student Housing, Healthcare REITs

In other words, there can still be a positive outlook for REITs, particularly in the healthcare sector. Top-tier companies who made a lot of gains during the recession still have much to gain from REITs. Other sectors that could benefit from rising rates include multifamily and student housing development. Over the past years, multifamily REITs have been eclipsed by more successful office or industrial REITs.

For today’s rising interest rates, REITs with the most cushion would include properties that typically have short-term leasing situations - such as multi-family, student housing, or healthcare.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

4th of July Fun in La Quinta and La Quinta Resort & PGA West

There will be four days of 4th of July fun at the Resort and PGA West starting July 4th and running all weekend until Sunday.

 The Great American Block Party Barbecue at La Quinta Resort & Club

La Quinta 4th of July ActivitieJuly 4th - 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm (open to the public) at the Fiesta Ballroom. Fireworks a little past 9:00 pm.

July 4th - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Fireworks Viewing Party and Mountain Dunes Burger dining at Mountain and Dunes Golf Course.

Further July 4 weekend festivities La Quinta Resort & Club will include dive-in movies, kids’ camp, pottery and canvas painting by the pool, candy Bingo, tennis clinics, stargazing, and swim lessons. 

La Quinta Chili Cook Off

July 4th - 4:30 pm at the La Quinta Park off Avenida Montezuma. Parade starts at 7:00 pm Free swimming 12:00 noon to 4:30 pm at Fritz Burns Park Pool. Fireworks at 9:00 pm at the La Quinta Park

Click here for more details!!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Know If a Reverse Mortgage Is Right for You

Desert Luxury Realty

If you’re of a particular age and short on cash, a reverse mortgage can be a godsend. But how do you know if it’s right for you? Before you start to tear your hair out, here are a few items to consider.

 What is a Reverse Mortgage? 

Reverse mortgages, officially called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), are government-sponsored products that help seniors earn a little cash off home equity. To be eligible, you must be over the age of 62.

Seniors most often take out a reverse mortgage to supplement social security income, make home repairs, meet unforeseen medical expenses, or for other “rainy day” events. Typically, taking out a reverse mortgage is only worthwhile if you plan on staying at home for a long time. The biggest advantage a reverse mortgage offers is the ability for seniors to remain at home for as long as possible, without the need of imposing on family members or moving to an assisted living facility.

The full requirements to apply for a reverse loan include:

  • Be 62 years or older
  • Own the home or have a low mortgage balance
  • Live at home
  • The home must be a single-family or 2-4-unit home
When a Reverse Mortgage Is Not a Good Idea

With a reverse mortgage, you receive cash every month out of your home’s equity. When a home is sold or no longer the primary residence, all the money received, interest, and loan fees associated with the reverse mortgage must be paid off. For these reasons, it’s a bad idea to get a reverse mortgage if you’re going to sell the home or move away at some point. It’s also not a good idea to take out a reverse mortgage if you have any heirs, because the debt transfers to them through your estate.

The reverse mortgage works to meet your immediate financial goals and gives you an extra boost. It should supplement your main source of income. You should not consider a reverse mortgage if you currently struggle to pay property taxes or homeowners insurance.

Modify Your Home to Fit Changing Needs

Because of medical advances and emerging services for the elderly, it is often quite conceivable that you can stay in your home as long as you want. You should be committed to staying in your home for at least five years to recoup the costs of the loan, but to get full value from your mortgage you should stay in your home for the remainder of your life.

With a reverse mortgage, there are a couple of options for your cash out. You could get an immediate lump sum, a line of credit, monthly annuity payments, or a combination of all three. With this extra money, you could finance extra help at home, either for homemaking services or daytime home healthcare. Usually, to get the loan, you must have some specific purpose for which you’ll be using the money. You could use it to renovate the bathroom, or add an extra railing for safety. Any type of home repair or renovation is a great use for a reverse mortgage.

Monday, June 17, 2013

California May home sales and price report

Press release - June 17, 2013
Bolstered by strong sales in higher-priced regions, California  median home price records largest year-to-year gain since 1980, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (June 17) – Strong sales growth in higher-priced markets and continued housing supply shortage pushed up California’s median home price in May, resulting in the largest year-over-year price gain in at least the last 33 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® (C.A.R.) reported.

“It’s encouraging to see median home prices across most parts of the state continuing to recover.  The Bay Area, in particular, has been experiencing strong price appreciation, thanks to the region’s robust economic growth, extremely low housing inventory, and an increasing demand from international buyers,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.  “San Francisco County’s median home price, for example, increased 28 percent from last May and has just surpassed its previous record high reached in May 2007.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 431,370 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in May were up 1.9 percent from a revised 423,420 in April but down 3.6 percent from a revised 447,530 in May 2012.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home rose 3.6 percent from April’s median price of $402,760 to $417,350 in May.  May’s price was up 31.9 percent from a revised $316,460 recorded in May 2012, marking 15 straight months of annual price increases and the eleventh consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.  The year-over-year price increase was the highest since at least 1980, when C.A.R. began tracking this statistic.  The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

“While home prices are increasing at levels above those observed in 2006-2007, the fundamentals of the housing market are much more solid than what we experienced a few years ago,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “More home buyers are putting down larger down payments, and many of them are opting for more stable loan products.  Additionally, historically low mortgage rates have reduced monthly mortgage payments substantially, making owning a house more affordable, even with rising home prices.”

Other key facts of C.A.R.’s May 2013 resale housing report include:
  • The available supply of homes for sale dipped in May, and was down markedly from a year ago.  The May Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes was 2.6 months, down from 2.8 months in April, and down from a revised 3.6 months in May 2012.  The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.  A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.
  • Homes sold slightly more quickly in May, with the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home decreasing to 27.1 days in May, down from 27.9 days in April and down from a revised 45.7 days for the same period a year ago.
  • Mortgage rates ticked up in May, with the 30-year fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.54 percent, up from 3.45 percent in April 2013 but was down from 3.80 percent in May 2012, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in May averaged 2.55 percent, down from 2.63 in April and down from 2.74 percent in May 2012.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Foreclosure Rates Continue To Fall

Desert Luxury Realty

The financial crisis seems almost a ghost of history now that home prices and sales are rising. Foreclosure rates, another key indicator of the Great Recession, have also plummeted in the past year, down by 25 percent, according to a new study released by Lender Processing Services (LPS).

The new data from LPS mirrors what others have been saying about foreclosures. The National Association of Realtors recently reported that the number of distressed sales is down by 3 percent from last month. Lower rates of foreclosure and short sales can be attributed to the overall improving housing market, including record low mortgage rates and new government-sponsored refinancing programs. The Making Home Affordable initiative helps underwater homeowners refinance mortgages at lower interest rates to avoid foreclosure.

The LPS report also found that the number of homeowners in delinquency - loans that are 30 days or more past due - has fallen drastically since July 2008. At a rate of 6.5 percent, more than 9 percent less than year-prior levels, delinquency is down across the U.S. The five states with the lowest rate of overdue loans are Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, according to the LPS. However, there are still more than 3 million properties underwater. The states hardest hit in the crisis - New York, Nevada, and Florida - still have the highest rates of delinquency.

Foreclosures strongly impacted the duration of the housing crisis, forcing many homeowners to move in with parents or rent. Gains in home prices before last year were limited due to the amount of shadow inventory in the market. Jann Swanson of Mortgage News Daily reports that shadow inventory of foreclosures is up from last year as a result of the National Mortgage Settlement. “U.S. foreclosure inventory has increased by about 12 percent since May 2012 when it hit a five-year low of 1.3 million properties,” writes Swanson. “Today, that inventory stands at about 1.5 million and is up 9 percent from the first quarter of 2012.”

While foreclosure inventory is up, the rate of new foreclosures is in decline. In fact, inventory is down from its 2010 peak by nearly 1 million. Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac explains how the National Mortgage Settlement relieves pressure from foreclosures. “The settlement provided some closure regarding accepted foreclosure processing practices, and as a result lenders have been reviving more of these delinquent loans and pushing them into foreclosure over the past 12 months, particularly in states where a lengthy court process has resulted in a bigger backlog of non-performing loans still in snooze mode,” Blomquist said.

Distressed sales of foreclosed homes or short sales bring down the market value of property. However, as the rate of foreclosures continues to decline, housing prices will soon reflect market value.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Can't find the color you're looking for? There's an App for that!!

Don't Paint Yourself into a CornerI recently posted on Mary Williams Interior Redesign “How to Pick Your Paint Colors”….

Well, there’s an app for that –

Behr Paint has introduced ColorSmart by Behr™ Mobile which is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The mobile site mirrors the online site to find just the right color for your room. You will be able to photo-match to any Behr color, preview colors, save colors and room images and paint a room – now all on your phone! FUN!! Benjamin Moore has Color Capture for iPhone & Android. See a color? Snap it and Benjamin Moore will find that color in their color charts. Save them to favorites and show to your paint dealer when you’re ready to have that room painted!! Sherwin Williams has ColorSnap for the iPhone. This app will also match any color in a photo you took on your iPhone. You can even email your newly found color matches to your favorite room redesigner!! Valspar also has an app which will help you choose the color and how much paint you’d need. However, you’re painters certainly will figure that out for you.

If you are thinking about a remodel, redesign, or reorganizing; then I am your redesign professional!

If you are considering selling your property, and you think it needs staging; I am your neighborhood professional!

Call me at 760.567.7282!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are Pocket listings in your best interest in the Desert?

June 4, 2013 By Mary Williams 

Last month I wrote about pocket listings in La Quinta and surrounding communities. Since then, there has been quite a bit of conversations since it is quite controversial.

Robert Bailey, 2013 chair of MLSlistings Inc. in California recently attending the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, said, “Clearly they’re not ‘off the market,’ nor are they in your pocket. They’re not on the MLS.”

According to the Bailey’s report, pocket listings increase 12% in 2011 to 15% in 2012 and up to 26% in the first quarter of 2013! Almost one fourth of all the listings in California are not shown on the MLS.
However, as I posted earlier, there are pros and cons about keeping your home off the MLS. You need to know all your options BEFORE your home is listed and I can give you that information.

Call 760-567-7282 and let’s discuss what your options are and what I can do for you.