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!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cash Offers are HOT in the Desert

33% of homes purchased nationally have been with cash so far this year. #Cashoffers have been made by investors, wealthy homeowners, and international home buyers. In fact, over the last 7 years the number of cash offers have doubled. According to an online article, “Buyer and Seller Characteristics: Cash Sales” posted by, of all cash buyers:
10% were First Time Homebuyers
72% were Investors
56% were Second Homebuyers
18% were Relocation
65% were International Homebuyers
49% were Distressed homes
Cash offers are a good indicator that the more investors are willing to back the current housing market by diversifying their portfolios with real estate rather than stocks and bonds. This wouldn’t happen if investors didn’t think we were in a full housing recovery. This type of investing is contributing to the increase of home prices, which is turning around the housing market.
July was the 7th consecutive month home prices went up in the Desert. "Prices continue to rise and sales numbers to fall, mainly due to the shortage of homes for sale which fell to an inventory of 1,950 in July. That’s a 3.75 month’s supply which by tradition would make it a seller’s market," said Ann Ritchie, executive vice president of California Desert Association of REALTORS®. "Prices have softened a little from May, but that is normal in the summer here because summer traditionally is our off season."
graph 8-27-13
According to the California Association of REALTORS®, “The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home inched up 1.2 percent from June’s median price of $428,620 to $433,760 in July.  July’s price was 29.8 percent higher than the revised $334,220 recorded in July 2012, marking 17 straight months of annual price increases and the 13th consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.  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.”
A strong housing market will define our economic recovery in the Desert.
Season is just around the corner! Start early to find you home in the Desert before the competition comes into town. Call me today at 760-567-5262 and we can get started.
If you want to have a remodel, redesign, or reorganize before the Holidays; 
let me take your home from drab to FAB just in time for Season!
If you are considering selling your property, 
and you think it needs staging; I am your neighborhood professional!

How to Maximize your Whole-House Remodel

Mary Williams Interior and Redesign

Whether it's a bathroom remodel, redesign or a little home freshen - up, there are some things to keep in mind before jumping into a large project. Here are just a few ideas to get the questions started ....
Remodeling, decorating, and more ∨ From designer lounge chairs and writing desks to the perfect message board and credenza, create your dream home office. As you revamp your house, browse photos for inspiration on everything from fireplace mantels to crown molding and wainscoting.

If you are thinking about a remodel, redesign, or reorganizing; let me take your home from drab to FAB!

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

Call me at 760.567.7282!

Friday, August 23, 2013

California Housing numbers are still looking good!

Excerpt from C.A.R. Market Matters News Letter dated 8/22/13
  • Home prices continued to post strong annual gains, and home sales recorded the first annual increase in six months, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 443,520 units in July, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.
  • C.A.R. reports that sales in July were up 7 percent from a revised 414,670 in June and up 1.5 percent from a revised 436,870 in July 2012. The year-to-year sales increase was the first since December 2012, following six consecutive months of declines.
  • C.A.R.’s July 2013 resale housing report also notes that the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale held steady in July at 2.9 months, unchanged from June’s Unsold Inventory Index. The index was 3.5 months in July 2012. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

What is a toe kick drawer?

Kitchen redesigns are one of the most expensive a homeowner can do – but, it can be the most fun. I am always amazed of all the great new ideas and gadgets that seem to come out every day. I especially like the idea of a toe-kick drawer (see slide show below). All these new ideas can become overwhelming pretty quick. Each one seems better than the first and suddenly you have all these great ideas, but no way to implement them into your kitchen design. That is why you need to hire a professional to help you stay focused on the end product.

As a redesign professional, I can take implement into your kitchen design …. or I can make suggestions which may actually fit better into your whole design scheme. When done, your kitchen will work for you and not be a hodge podge of different ideas and gadgets.

 Take a look at these very clever kitchen ideas below and then call me at 760-567-8262 to see how they can fit into your kitchen redesign.

Architects, interior designers, and more ∨ Discover inspring landscaping ideas and find a top local landscape contractor or residential landscape architect to plan your garden landscape. For small bathroom ideas, browse photos of space-saving bathroom cabinetry and clever hidden mirrored medicine cabinets.

If you are thinking about a remodel, redesign, or reorganizing;let me take your home from drab to FAB!

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

Call me at 760.567.7282!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Business Etiquette for Today

Business Etiquette for TodayMany things have changed in business, from email replacing letters to social networks replacing many forms of advertising. However, in this world of change, a few things still remain the same. That includes etiquette. With today’s business world moving at the speed of light, this word often sounds antiquated. However, unlike old paint colors or fashion, manners never go out of style. Here are a few rules that are as relevant today as they were in the past.

Say Thank You
In the past, when someone had a meeting or job interview, they sent a follow-up thank you note. More and more people are forgetting that piece of etiquette in the busyness of their lives. However, it is still just as appropriate (and essential) to send a thank you note after meeting with a prospective employer or potential client.
Know People’s Names
More people are conducting business through the internet because of convenience. Even though they may never meet these people, they should still take the time to learn something about them. Whether it’s a client, customer, vendor, contractor, or employee, they need to know their names. Building relationships is even more important when working long distance.
Be Focused
In a world filled with cool and helpful technology, it’s easy to get distracted. However, when you’re involved in a conversation with someone, you need to ignore those distractions and focus on the person. Turn off your phone, and don’t look at your email. People still want to know that they’re important. This is a rule that should be followed in client meetings, staff meetings, board sessions, and any other event where you’re speaking with another person.
Remember the Handshake
Business communication has gotten much more relaxed than in years past. However, it is still a good idea to shake hands with someone at the beginning of the meeting, especially if they’re someone you’ve never met before. It’s a sign of professionalism and trustworthiness. While no one would seal a deal based solely on a handshake, it carries a certain image that you want to convey to the people you do business with.
Remember Basic Politeness
Because business interactions are not as formal as they used to be, it’s all too easy to let politeness slide. Instead, stand out from the crowd by saying “Please” and “thank you” when warranted. Also, let the other person finish their thought before you speak. Be on time for meetings and functions. It shows that you respect other people’s time. And while many things have changed, the topics of religion and politics should never be discussed in a business environment. Those are things that should only be discussed amongst your personal friends.
While many things in business change, including the method of communication, certain behaviors should stay the same. It is still important that you respect others and treat them the way you want to be treated.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Message from Dean Rathbun, Avis Lending

Dean Rathbun Avis LendingAvis Lending offers a "Lock & Look" program.

[social] Protect yourself from rising interest rates.

Lock in a rate for 60 or 90 days while you look for a home.

With our Lock & Look program, we can offer current interest rates for an extended period of time and can shop for a new home. And we don't charge upfront fees or price hits for this program. It's a win-win.
Need more time to Shop? We also offer Rate Locks up to 365 days. Call for details
Take advantage of all this program has to offer with Avis Lending.
Some restrictions may apply. All borrowers are subject to credit approval. Programs subject to change. The information provided in this flyer is for dissemination to and for the use of real estate and financial business entities only and is not an advertisement for the extension of credit to consumers.
Dean Rathbun
CA RE Broker #01154798 | NMLS #98516
Avis Lending, a dba of United American Mortgage Corporation
800.397.2345 Fax | 888.455.2847 Toll Free |

August 2013 Newsletter

Click HERE to read all of my August Newsletter!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Free Entrance into Joshua Tree National Park August 25th

August 25th is FREE Entrance Day into ANY National Park and we’re lucky enough to have the Joshua Tree National Park in our back yard.

If you haven’t walked through the 550,000 acres of Joshua Tree National Park, there are 12 self-guiding nature trails to choose from.

There’s the Arch Rock which is only a 1/2 mile look featuring geology and a nature arch or a 1/4 mile trail on Cholla Cactus Garden featuring a dense concentration of Cholla Cactus. If you’re up for the trek, there’s Skull Rock – a 1 1/2 mile look through the Jumbo Rocks Campground featuring desert washes, boulder piles and Skull Rock.

You can also enjoy mountain biking on the extensive network of dirt roads.

Rock climbing has become extremely popular on the high desert monzogranite formations. Joshua Tree has more than 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes – however, you will want to be experienced before you start climbing the rocks.

Overnight stays are extremely enjoyable at Joshua Tree National Park. There are 9 campgrounds and backpack camping is also permitted.

You will want to plan your visit to Joshua Tree National Park – each season in the desert brings out different things to see. You will want to start at the Visitor Center to make sure you don’t miss anything. There are also Ranger guided activities which can help you when your first set out to see what Joshua Tree has to see.

Joshua Tree Visitor Center
Open All Year; 8 am to 5 pm
Located one block south of Hwy 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway) at 6554 Park Boulevard, Joshua Tree, CA 92252.

Also, you will want to make sure you bring plenty of water. The Park Rangers strongly suggest at lease one gallon of water per person just for drinking and if you’re going to be energetic, you’ll want a lot more than that.

The Desert is a wonderful place to live and have such great natural wonders so close.
  View Larger Map

Monday, August 5, 2013

Riverside County Reinstated Prop. 90 Property Tax Incentives

Pebble Beach Views La Quinta CA

Last month the Riverside County supervisors voted unanimously to reinstate the Prop. 90 property tax incentives for homeowners who are 55 years old and older.

According to the Desert Sun, “If they (home buyers who are 55+ years old) buy a home here, the revived rule allows them to transfer their old home’s assessed value to their new residence, a move that saves them on property taxes.” The incentive should lure retirees into the area, but would actually add more dollars into the communities and county with the money they spend as the become more a part of the area.

Supervisor Jeff Stone commented that Prop. 90 would boost home sales, thus increasing property taxes and support employment in Riverside County.

The Riverside County Property Tax Portal details what is the requirements of Prop. 60 in Riverside County, “The provisions of Revenue and Taxation Code Section 69.5 (Proposition 60) allow taxpayers at least 55 years of age to purchase a new residence of equal or lesser value than their former residence in Riverside County and transfer the assessed value (not taxes) of their former residence to the new residence.” Prop. 90 goes one step further and allows the transfer between COUNTIES.

You may also contact the Riverside Assessor by clicking here.

Not sure if you qualify or how to do it? No worries! I’m here to help!! Contact me today and I will show you how you can buy or sell your home in the Desert!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Now is the time to hunt for bargains!

Desert Luxury Realty
You don’t have to have anyone going back to school to take advantage of some of the best deals of the season. If your home office is in need of some items, it’s best to pick it up now. You’ll find great deals at any of our local big box and office supply stores for paper, notebooks, pens, and lunch boxes (which are fabric and lined making them great totes for taking your favorite dish to a luncheon). Also, back pack and computer case prices are slashed right now. These make very handy carry-ons which you can just sling over your shoulder as your run through the airports.

Dorm décor – now don’t laugh. If you’re going to spruce up your home to sell, it’s a great way to add a lot of color for not a lot of money – rugs, lamps, towels and sheets. Even little knick knacks will add to any décor.

Laptops. Back to school laptops at disposable prices. You may think the prices may be better around the Holidays, but if you’re need a laptop or two, you may want to check them out now.
computer bagAlso, luggage is a good thing to purchase now. Earlier in the spring/summer stores were stocking up on luggage, and now that the traveling time of year is all but over, stores want to get rid of these to make room for Halloween/Christmas items.

Totes and storage boxes. Think college students . Stores are brimming with great deals on storage totes – often in bright colors to match their dorm décor. If you’re looking at organizing, now is the time to stock up on totes and boxes.

Would you believe 55” 3D HDTV’s are the lowest price of the season since November of LAST year??? May want to check it out – football season starts in September!


Tablets – laptops, yes, tablets no. You may want to wait until after the new releases are out in September.
Smartphones – wait until the new ones come out and then wait a little longer for them to work the bugs out of them.

32” TV’s – wait until September when stores generally reduce prices lower then than on Black Friday.
Do you know what IS a great thing to purchase right now in the Desert – homes. Even though the price of homes in the Desert and California real estate market, they will continue to increase. Buying now, even if it’s a bit higher than a few months ago, is actually better than buying in a few months when home prices and interest rates could be even higher.

If you can stand the heat, now is a great time to look for a home in the Desert – there are a lot of great homes listed on the MLS and as pocket listings. Call me today at 760-567-7282 and let’s get started!