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, January 31, 2014

Housing Market Continues to Look Good in 2014

market graphWith a good year for the U.S. housing market behind us and 2014 to look forward to, the housing market for the coming year isn’t all roses. But, there are some clear high points for both sellers and buyers.
It’s been 7 years since the worst housing market crash in the history of the United States. As banks were bailed out and the stock market stumbled, home prices continued to fall. It was estimated that by the end of 2011, 31 percent of all U.S. homeowners were underwater in their homes. The past 3 years have seen a slow come back. Here are some things to look for in the housing market in 2014.

Increased Sales

Home sales are expected to grow by 14 percent in 2014. Mortgage rates are still historically low. With consistent increases in the prices of homes in 2013, many feel that the housing market has finally hit bottom and is now on the upswing. This may be enough for people to start thinking about getting back into the market.
In fact, data suggests that buyers are closing on properties faster now. In November 2013, homes were selling 11 percent faster than they were a year prior, according to the latest data from which tracks for-sale listings. In several cities, that rate is even higher. For instance, homes were selling 20 percent faster in New York and Miami, and 18 percent faster in Chicago and Dallas. This may be due to the limited number of homes for sale in some areas and rising mortgage rates that are causing a sense of urgency on the part of homebuyers. As mortgage rates get higher and more people feel comfortable about putting their homes on the market, sales are likely to slow. However, they will still be better than they have been in the past several years.

Rise in Homeowners with Positive Equity

The first quarter of 2012 ended with over 30 percent of homeowners owing more than their homes were worth. However, thanks to rising home prices, approximately 5 million homeowners have positive equity in their mortgages. As many as 10.8 million still have less than 20 percent in home equity, but the numbers in the real estate market and the economy at large are expected to improve in the coming year. The National Association of Realtors® forecasts that prices of existing homes will have risen 6 percent by the end of the year.
It is likely that this year will see a shift from a refinance dominated mortgage environment to one driven by purchases – for the first time in over a decade. “With the close of 2013 will also come a major transition in the housing finance industry,” said Frank Nothaft vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac. “For the first time since 2000, we’re going to see the mortgage market dominated by purchase activity as the refinance share drops below 50%. And with mortgage rates rising, we’re also going to see the home-sales gains as well as the impressive house price growth begin to moderate to more sustainable levels.”
Now is the PERFECT time to sell (or buy) your home in the Desert – Season is in full swing and there is so much going on bringing in vacationers. And you know, once they land in the Desert they’ll want to keep coming back.
Call me today to see how I will sell your home in the Desert!

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Celebration of Anita Williams “Mom’s” Life

Tribute to Mom

To My Mother “Mom”
Anita Williams
12-10-29 to 1-06-14

In her honor, I am having a “Celebration of Anita Williams “Mom’s” Life on February 20th, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. at the Private Clubhouse at PGA West.

For those who had the opportunity to meet and know “Mom”, please come and celebrate this amazing woman.

For more information click HERE!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The “L” Word is Back into Housing

L housing2According to a recent article in the REALTOR® Mag, the housing market is primarily driven by luxury home buyers who have the money to purchase luxury homes. Luxury home buyers have secure and strong incomes and large portfolios …. and they want big homes.
Back in 2007 when MacMansions were popping up all over the place, the median priced new home was 2,295 square feet. However, when the real estate market started declining, home sizes did, too. The Luxury Home sales market dropped 35.5% in 2008 alone. The median size of the Luxury home fell to 2,159 in 2009.
However, as the economy started to turn the corner, luxury homes started to get bigger in 2012 with a new peak of 2,384 square feet and the homes had 4+ bedrooms!
Currently Luxury homes have large gourmet kitchens and massive master suites.

What else is on the check-list of must haves?

  • Wine cellars
  • Home entertainment rooms | movie-theater seating
  • Security Systems
  • Home as a 2nd or Vacation/destination home (lake front, ocean front, golfing community)
The NY Times recently reported about the Luxury housing market, “Affluent buyers have been flocking to real estate, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, with applications for home loans of $625,000 to $729,000 up 56.7 percent from August 2012 to August 2013. Mortgage applications for more than $729,000 were up 41 percent.”
Now is the PERFECT time to sell (or buy) your home in the Desert – Season is in full swing and there is so much going on bringing in vacationers. And you know, once they land in the Desert they’ll want to keep coming back.
Call me today to see how I will sell your home in the Desert!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

December 2013 home price and sales report

California Association of REALTORS® Press release January 17, 2014

California home sales decline in December as rates move higher and distressed market continues to shrink

family housingLOS ANGELES (Jan. 17) – California home sales fell for the fifth straight month in December as the distressed market plays a dwindling role in the state’s housing market.  Sales for the year were down 5.9 percent from 2012 as tight housing inventory and higher home prices squeezed out would-be buyers, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.
“We typically see an uptick in distressed sales at the end of the year as lenders try to move these properties off their books,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown.  “However, the supply of foreclosures and short sales is the lowest it’s been since well before the financial crisis, greatly constraining the number of these transactions.  In addition, housing prices are improving across the board, even reaching pre-2007 levels in parts of the Bay Area. Higher prices and rising rates as the Fed slowly tapers are additional factors in the sales slowdown evidenced in the December numbers.”
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 361,890 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  Sales in December were down 6.7 percent from a revised 387,860 in November and down 18.6 percent from a revised 444,770 in December 2012.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

For 2013 as a whole, a preliminary 413,870 single-family homes closed escrow in California, down 5.9 percent from a revised 2012 figure of 439,790.

Home prices reversed a three-month decline and climbed in December.  The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home rose 3.7 percent from November’s median price of $422,210 to $438,040 in December.  December’s price was 19.7 percent higher than the revised $365,840 recorded in December 2012, marking a year and a half of double-digit annual gains and the first time in 15 months that the annual increase was below 20 percent.  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 the month-to-month price gain was higher than normal, home prices have been stabilizing in the second half of 2013, which is positive news for buyers who have been putting their home search on hold until prices leveled off,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “California’s housing market experienced strong price growth throughout the year, with the median price surging 27.5 percent for the year as a whole from $319,300 in 2012 to $407,180 in 2013.  But again, the increase in the median price can be partly attributed to the increase in sales of higher-priced properties, where tight inventory was less of a factor.”

Other key facts of C.A.R.’s December 2013 resale housing report include:

  • The available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale dropped in December to 3 months, down from November’s Unsold Inventory Index of 3.6 months. The index was 2.6 months in December 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 typical in a normal market.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home also increased to 40.2 days in December, up from 36.7 days in November and from 38.1 days in December 2012.
  • Mortgage rates rose in December, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.46 percent, up from 4.26 percent in November and up from 3.35 percent in December 2012, according to Freddie Mac.  Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in December averaged 2.56 percent, down from 2.61 in November but up from 2.54 percent in December 2012.
What does this mean if you want to buy or sell your home in the Desert area?  We’re still in season and many people are coming to the Desert from the cold reaches of cold weather areas … and they don’t want to return home. Call me today to see how you can take advantage of buying or selling in the Desert.

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**All information is from the California Association of REALTORS® for informational purposes only.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Busy Busy Week in the Desert!

humana[social]Humana Challenge

January 13th to 19th, 2014 The Humana Challenge is a partnership with the Clinton Foundation golf tournament featuring many of the top PGA Tour golfers. It is at three Coachella Golf Courses. Brian Grey is defending his title from last year.


Host Course - Arnold Palmer Private at PGA WEST Printable Course Map Jack Nicklaus Private at PGA West Printable Course Map La Quinta Country Club Printable Course Map

Click Here for the Tournament Schedule

Tournament Courses

Arnold Palmer Private at PGA WEST (Host Course)

Palmer Private Course

Jack Nicklaus Private at PGA WEST

Nicklaus Private

La Quinta Country Club

LQCC Course Map   It’s always fun to attend the Humana Challenge and a great reason to have a home in the Desert! Contact me today to see some great home in any of the PGA West courses.

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farmers marketOther FUN Things to do in La Quinta!

Certified Farmers' Market Now Open for the 2014 Season!! 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy the bounty of local growers and producers, slow food demonstrations by popular chefs, and vital education. It's all about eating well and being healthy.  On Main Street, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Live music.  Free admission and parking. For more information on the Certified Farmers' Market, go to  Sponsored by The Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Art Under the Umbrellas Starts THIS WEEKEND!

Art Under the Umbrellas LQAF

Presented by La Quinta Arts Foundation

Come to Old Town January 11, 2014 for this charming one-day event, from 10am to 4pm,  located along the closed-off streets of this charming outdoor venue reminiscent of colonial Mexico. This makes for an enjoyable day outdoors perusing artist wares, exploring Old Town shops, and dining in Old Town restaurants. Art patrons will find quality artwork, while tourists will discover treasured mementos.

Featuring over 80 artists. Live Music. Free Admission.  Free Parking. Visit the La Quinta Arts Foundation website for more details and map.

Upcoming Shows
**All above information is form the La Quinta Arts Foundation for informational purposes only. - follow them on Facebook, too!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What’s in store for interest rates in the Desert in 2014?

new year2Projections are out for interest rates for 2014 – interest rates will be going up. If they go up significantly, the real estate market will be affected. The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun outlined his housing-market forecast for 2014 at NAR’s annual conference, predicted existing home sales will remain flat at roughly 5.1 million units, prices will rise by 6% and interest rates, currently at 4.16%, will jump to 5.4% by the end of next year.
Yun also said with higher mortgage interest rates, he expects refinancings to collapse in 2014 to the lowest level in at least 15 years, and hopes purchase applications will begin to rise. “This is an incentive for banks to increase mortgage origination, especially considering the low default rates in recent years. But even with cheap mortgages for the past four years, all-cash buyers stayed high, accounting for over 30 percent of sales.”
However, with the new lending rules for Qualified Mortgages to go into effect this month, it may hinder lending even further. This may prohibit even more loan features, enforce even tighter loan limits and may require lenders to show borrower’s ability to repay – in other words, it may tighten the ability to secure a mortgage.
As we saw in 2013, the higher the mortgage rate, the fewer homes purchased. Unfortunately, the forecast is for this trend to continue, slowing the recovery. The rate on the U.S. Treasury note is also trending up for money borrowed by consumers and businesses, which may also hinder the recovery.
However, as gloomy as this sounds, NOW is a better time to purchase your home in the Desert than later. Call me at 760-567-728 today and let’s go over your buying options in the Desert – Historically, the Desert’s “Season” is one of the best times to buy & enjoy a home in La Quinta.

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