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, February 28, 2014

LA QUINTA ARTS FESTIVAL - The #1 Fine Art Festival in the Nation!

Art Under the Umbrellas

Experience the #1 Fine Art Festival in the Nation!!

Press release from the La Quinta Arts Festival - La Quinta, CA  -January 9, 2014
A designation not previously achieved by any other show, La Quinta Arts Festival has earned the #1 in the nation ranking for both Fine Art Festival and Fine Craft Festival.
La Quinta Arts Festival has been named the #1 Fine Art Show and #1 Fine Craft Show in the country  for 2014 by the prestigious Art Fair SourceBook, the definitive guide to the best juried arts and craft fairs in the nation.
“We could not be more proud to once again find ourselves at the top – hosting as Premier Sponsor the #1 Fine Art Festival AND the #1 Fine Craft Festival in the United States,” La Quinta Mayor Don Adolph stated. “It means so much to be recognized by the artists themselves as the foremost destination and showcase for both fine art and fine crafts in the nation.”
The 2014 La Quinta Arts Festival is scheduled for March 6-9 at the La Quinta Civic Center Campus.  This year’s Festival will feature 234 contemporary artists from 36 states; plus Israel, Nicaragua and Canada are also represented; 51 are new artists to the Festival, exhibiting in the Coachella Valley for the first time.
The La Quinta Arts Festival claimed the most recent year’s premier rating and distinction over competing fine arts and fine craft festivals in major markets including Chicago, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Washington DC and others.  Art Fair SourceBook announced the top ranking for La Quinta after comparing total sales information and ratings from participating artists from all shows across the country, confirming La Quinta Arts Festival prevailed for the second year running.
The annual fine art and fine craft festival rankings, now in their 20th year, recognize festivals that outsell their peers and deliver exceptional quality of experience in unparalleled settings. This year’s best festivals ranking highlights the top 10 festivals in both fine art and fine crafts out of thousands of events held nationwide for singular performance and quality.
“We are grateful and honored to again be recognized for the outstanding work of our staff and volunteers on behalf of the artists and patrons who look to La Quinta Arts Festival each year to deliver the best of the best,” said Christi Salamone, executive director of La Quinta Arts Festival and its organizer La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF). “Our goal is to offer each artist and each patron a unique experience, showcasing the highest quality and diversity of fine art and fine crafts in an unmatched, beautiful desert setting.”
The Best Fine Art Festival and Best Fine Crafts Festival ranking highlights festivals that sell the most art and crafts and offer the highest quality experience. This is the second year in a row the La Quinta Arts Festival outperformed all peers to achieve the #1 ranking for art sales in the nation.   Adding the top ranking for fine craft festivals this year doubles the distinction.
“We have never had a festival achieve the #1 ranking in both fine art and fine crafts so this is a special honor for La Quinta Arts Festival,” Greg Lawler, Editor and Publisher of  Art Fair SourceBook,, stated.  “Top sales numbers, along with the quality of the experience earns La Quinta a well-deserved repeat at the top and another number one national destination ranking — and all in THE most beautiful setting for an art fair anywhere!” 
La Quinta has been among the best destinations for fine art for more than three decades. The ranking is determined by the average sales of each artist. During the 2013 event, La Quinta Arts Festival set new event records for art sales, exceeding $2.8 million, and increased daily attendance over the previous year. The success of the Festival has also generated more than $1.1 million over the years to support college scholarships for students pursuing degrees in the arts.
“By all measures, 2013 was another outstanding year for La Quinta Arts Festival,” said LQAF Executive Director Christi Salamone.  “The diversity, quality and expertise of our artists consistently deliver a first class show that generates higher average sales per artists than any other show in the country.”
Audiences for the La Quinta show range from the sophisticated buyer and collector to the casual local art buyer and tourists who come knowing the juried La Quinta show is fresh, constantly evolving and features the finest artists.  Unlike most other fine art festivals, La Quinta seeks highly qualified experts with specific knowledge of the nine individual art mediums under consideration; forty-five judges in total participate, contrasted with the standard five to ten judges for other shows.
In advance of the scheduled March Festival, the La Quinta Arts Foundation continues to offer the popular ‘Art Under the Umbrellas’ shows throughout January and February in Old Town La Quinta.  For more information about Art Under the Umbrellas, La Quinta Arts Festival and its #1 national ranking or La Quinta Arts Foundation, please visit , or contact Christi Salamone, Executive Director, at 760-564-1244 ext. 111

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Would you leave $46,000 on the Table?

use a realtor
  • For 42% of home buyersthe first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties and 14% of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search rose slightly to 92%.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker – and increase from only 69% in 2001.
  • 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • 2/3 of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was 9% - of that 40% knew the buyer prior to home purchase.
  • Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 97% of the listing price, and 47% reported they reduced the asking price at least once.
  • 36%  of sellers offered incentives to attract buyers, most often assistance with home warranty policies and closing costs.
  • 39%  of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home.
  • 85% of sellers reported that their home was listed or advertised on the multiple listing (MLS) website.
  • Among recent sellers who used an agent, 84 % reported they would definitely (65%) or probably (19%) use that real estate agent again or recommend to others.
  • The primary reason that sellers choose to sell their home without the assistance of a real estate agent to a buyer they did not know was that they did not want to pay a fee or commission (46%).
  • Approximately 1/3 of FSBO sellers took no action to market their home, and 64% did not offer any incentives to attract buyers.
  • The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 among agent-assisted home sales! That’s leaving $46,000 ON THE TABLE!!!
It not only makes sense to use a REALTOR®, it makes cents. There still is time this season to sell your home in the Desert! Many buyers taking refuge from their cold northern homes are seeing this as their permanent winter destinationCall me today to find out you can take advantage of today’s real estate market!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tax Benefits for Home Owners

tax pic[social]Owning a house can come with a lot of work. It can also have some benefits, such as being able to hang whatever you want on the walls; paint the kitchen black if that’s what your heart desires; or even get crazy and get a cat without having to pay a huge security deposit. However, the break that you get on your taxes is very alluring, too. Here are a few things to look forward to the first time you file taxes after purchasing your home.

Mortgage Interest

One of the largest tax breaks that homeowners with a mortgage can take is the interest that is paid on the mortgage each year; unless your loan is over $1 million, at which point the IRS will cap your deductible interest.
You also get a tax break on interest from a home equity loan, or if you pulled money out via refinancing. The interest from either of those loans may be tax deductible if it falls within IRS guidelines. Equity debts of $100,000 or less can generally be deducted, but the amount that is still remaining on your first mortgage can affect how much you can claim.
You can also deduct mortgage interest on a second home, even if that “home” is a boat or RV; as long as it has cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities and you spend at least 14 days during the year in it. You can also rent out your second home and still get the full deduction, as long as you spend at least 10 percent of the number of days you rented it or 14 days, whichever is longer. So if you rent out your second home for 180 days, you will need to stay in the home for at least 18 days.


If you paid extra when you closed on your mortgage to get a lower interest rate, then you paid points, and it is tax deductible. However, when and how you get to claim the tax break varies.
The IRS will allow you to take a tax break on points in the year you paid them if, among other things, the loan is to purchase or build your main home; if it’s an established business practice in your area to pay points; and if the points are within the usual range. Points on a refinanced loan are also eligible for a tax break, but the deduction must be taken over the life of the loan.
Make sure your loan meets all the qualification requirements so that you can deduct points all at once. If the refinance frees up cash that you invest back into the house in improvements, then you can take the deduction in the year you paid the points. This rule also applies to home equity loans or lines of credit, as long as the money is used for work on the house used to secure the loan. If the loan is used for something else, the deduction is spread out over the life of the loan.
As with any tax advice, be sure to have a chat with a tax professional before making any decisions.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Art Under the Umbrellas Salutes Presidents' Day THIS Saturday at Old Town La Quinta

Art Under the Umbrellas LQAFFebruary 15, 2014, 10am to 4pmFree Admission & Free Parking

LQAF will present its next Art Under the Umbrellas show on Saturday, February 15th (Presidents’ Day Weekend) at beautiful Old Town La Quinta located in the Village of La Quinta.
Over 80 Southern California artists will exhibit their original art works in every fine art and fine craft medium. Lively musical entertainment by the effervescent Steve Madaio & Friends will fill the streets as shoppers explore the artist booths and visit Old Town’s trendy boutique shops and restaurants.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Do you really need 20% down on a Jumbo Loan in the Desert?

80396 Pebble_HR_107Earlier, I posted Jumbo Rates were good – well now they are EVEN BETTER!! According to CNN Money, for the 1st time in 20 years Jumbo Loan rates are at or BELOW conventional mortgage rates!!

To qualify for a Jumbo Loan, you will need at least a 740 credit score (or higher) and at least 20% down – no strike that!! Many mortgage companies have LOWERED their down payment rates to 15%!!

You will need to contact your lender to see exactly what Jumbo Rates are at this time, because they do fluctuate – but now rates for Jumbos are going down.

It's always a good time to buy your home in the Desert!! Call me today!!!