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, April 30, 2014

Is this Your Vacation Home or Retirement Home in the Desert?

golfIt’s not a secret that once you vacation in La Quinta, you’ll want to find ways to come back often or eventually live here. So, if you purchase a home here, is it a vacation home or eventually a place to retire?

Is there a difference?

According to the National Association of REALTORS® latest market figures, vacation home sales were 29.7% higher in 2013 over 2012. Right now, 13% of all home sales are vacation homes. The median vacation home price increased 12.5% over 2012 to $168,700. Seasonal demands drive home prices – it is good to analyze home values over an entire year.

A short time vacationing is different than the day to day living.

Check out the extended expenses of living in an area. The ability to afford a vacation may be drastically different than actually residing there.
Does the area have the amenities and health care for the golden years? Is the health care have easy access and affordable? Are there healthy activities available? Are there senior centers close by?
One way to find out what an area actually offers is to step away from the “tourist” area and look at neighborhoods and what they offer. What is the traffic like year ‘round / access to stores and entertainment? What is going on off-season? Sometimes places have resident-only fees instead of vacation rates. Local city offices may be able to direct you in the right direction.

Financing a vacation home is different than financing a primary residence. Last year 38% vacation home buyers paid cash.

A lot goes into making this decision and you need answers you can depend on.

Contact me today.

I can make your home buying process easier with details about the housing market in La Quinta and surround Desert area, vacationing and/or living in the Desert.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

April is Fair Housing Month

fair housingApril is National Fair Housing Month, however, Fair Housing is extremely important and something we need to think about every day. We make sure everyone is treated fairly! This may be a long post, but very important …. It contains who is protected, what is protected and where you can go to complain if you feel your rights were not protected. At the end is our REALTOR® Fair Housing Oath confirming what we believe in as members of the REALTOR® Association. HUD No. 14-028 Shantae Goodloe (202) 708-0685 FOR RELEASE April, 2014


WASHINGTON - Each April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark law passed shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status. This year's Fair Housing Month theme is "Fair Housing is Your Right: Use It!" Throughout the month, HUD will cast a spotlight on the persistent problem that exists in this country, as individuals and families continue to face both blatant and subtle forms of housing discrimination. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan launched this year's commemoration at an event featuring the new film *"A Matter of Place," which documents three personal stories of housing discrimination in New York City. Underwritten by a grant provided under HUD's Fair Housing Initiative Program, the film profiles three examples of housing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and source of income and features commentary from legal experts, civil rights advocates and fair housing testers.

"This month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do; every grant we make; every building we build; and every community we work with," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "And we will go to the mat in order to ensure the right of every American to fair housing. Although the times have changed - our commitment to this work remains as strong as ever. It is at the core of our mission."

"Fair Housing Month is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on just how far we've come to make our housing more equitable and how far we still have to go to end housing discrimination," said HUD Acting FHEO Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene. "Fair housing is about giving people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and whenever this opportunity is denied, not only do families lose, our entire nation loses." Each year, HUD and communities and organizations across the country recognize Fair Housing Month by hosting an array of activities that enhance the public's awareness of their fair housing rights and promote the nation's commitment to end housing discrimination. In addition to the legal protections provided under the Fair Housing Act prohibiting housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status, approximately 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties across the nation also prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. In 2012, HUD published new regulations to ensure that the Department's core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia, as well as several counties and municipalities protect persons against housing discrimination based on their source of income. **

What Are Protected Rights?

(from the National Fair The federal Fair Housing Act protects your right to rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowners insurance free from discrimination based on:
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • National Origin
  • Disability (mental and physical)
  • Familial Status (presence of children under 18 in the home)

What is Housing Discrimination?

(from the National Fair How do you know if you have been the victim of illegal housing discrimination? Housing discrimination comes in many forms and is often subtle. Some signs of possible discrimination include:
  • A refusal to sell, rent, or show available housing
  • Requiring different terms and conditions for identical dwellings, i.e. charging higher rent, security deposit for different tenants
  • Being told that the dwelling isn’t right for you or your family
  • Being told that housing isn’t available in an apartment with a “For Rent” sign
  • Housing advertisements that say “no kids” or “adults only”
  • A refusal to make a reasonable accommodation or allow a modification to make the dwelling accessible for a person with a disability
  • Harassment or intimidation
  • Offering non‐standard and unfavorable terms in the purchase of a home or property insurance
  • Terms of availability that change between a phone contact and an in‐person visit
  • Being steered to racially segregated neighborhoods during your home search
  • Excessive or inappropriate questioning upon requesting information about a dwelling

Unintentional Housing Discrimination

Fair Housing and Lending

Discrimination in mortgage lending is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity actively enforces those provisions of the law. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to engage in the following practices based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):
  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

Click HERE to find out HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT for Housing or Finance Discrimination.

REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration

realtorAs members of the National Association of REALTORS®, WE agree to:

  • Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community.
  • Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded;, expanding my client's and customer's opportunities to see, buy, or lease property.
  • Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information.
  • Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®.
  • Refuse to tolerate non-compliance.
  • Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences.
  • Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
  • Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.
**HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.

*“A Matter of Place”

A MATTER OF PLACE from Fred Freiberg on Vimeo.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

California Lifestyle Realty - #1 in the Desert!

California Lifestyle Realty Its all in the Numbers - California Lifestyle Realty

No other La Quinta real estate office has the walk through traffic that California Lifestyle Realty does:

  • 35,000 PGA WEST™ resort golfers pass our on-site Tournament Clubhouse annually

  • 155,000 La Quinta Resort & Club® guests pass our on-site Lifestyle Gallery annually

  • 45,000 resort golfers pass our Mountain / Dunes on-site office

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

La Quinta Area’s Drug Take Back Day is April 26th

Drug take backA recent article in the REALTOR® Magazine about the number of prescriptions stolen during Open Houses got me thinking about a safety issue when you have your home listed – your family’s medications.
Though I screen every potential buyer I take through your La Quinta area home and walk with them every step I take, there still are Open Houses and other showings of your home. As careful as I and other agents are, precautions are still needed.
Prescription drug thieves actually target open houses and many times travel in pairs. One of them acts as a decoy and the other travels around the house scouring to find prescription drugs. Generally they are on the lookout for controlled substances like anti-anxiety drugs, drugs for ADHD/ADD, pain killers & muscle relaxers and other psychiatric drugs.
Just to be on the safe side - Before a showing or open house, remove all medications and prescription drugs from the bathroom or other places you store them. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommends taking your medications with you.

If you have unused or outdated prescriptions, April 26th is the National Drug Take Back Day.

On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the agencies listed below and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your pills for disposal to the addresses listed below. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons (over 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.  When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
POC: LT. JIM ARMSTRONG, 951-755-1705
**Above information is from the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Diversion Control

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vacation Home Sales SURGE in 2013!

According to a recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS®, vacation home sales increased a lot in 2013.
Vacation home sales                           +29.7% (13% of all transactions)
Investment home sales                      -8.5%
Owner-occupied homes                   +13.1%
pool sideAccording to the report“NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expected an improvement in the vacation home market. ‘Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property. However, vacation-home sales are still about one-third below the peak activity seen in 2006.”’
All-cash purchases remained pretty common in the vacation home market with 38% of vacation home buyers paying cash.
The survey went on to report, “The typical vacation-home buyer was 43 years old, had a median household income of $85,600 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 180 miles from his or her primary residence; 46 percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles and 34 percent were more than 500 miles. Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 6 years, down from 10 years in 2012.”
  • 8 out of 10 vacation home buyers said now was a good time to purchase a vacation home
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.0 million vacation homes exist in the United States.

So what does this mean for you?

NOW really is STILL a great time to buy your vacation/ home in the Desert.
Whether you are looking for a vacation home or investment, give me a call. I will help you find the right property for your needs!!

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Financing Trends in California

california home financing trendsCalifornia Association of REALTORS®

From the National Association of REALTORS® PROFILE OF HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS 2013

Home Purchase Financing

  • 80% of home buyers financed their recent home purchase. Among those who financed their home purchase, buyers typically financed 90%.
  • The share of first-time buyers who financed their home purchase was 95% compared to 86% of repeat buyers.
  • More than 50% of home buyers reported they have made some sacrifices such as reducing spending on luxury items, entertainment or clothing.
  • 24% of buyers reported the mortgage application and approval process was somewhat more difficult than expected and 16% reported it was much more difficult than expected.
  • 12% of buyers overall cited saving for a downpayment was difficult. 43 % of buyers reported student loans, 38 % reported credit card debt, and 31% car loans as the reason for the difficulty.

Jumbo Loans are another Financing Option in the Desert Area

  • Lenders are eager to comply with the Luxury Homebuyers when it comes to underwriting Jumbo loans. According to Inman News, Jumbo loan rates and terms have relaxed over the last 12 months to the point, they are very competitive to the interest rates for conventional loans. Lenders seem to be more confident about home prices.
Even though we’re getting late in the Season, NOW is still a great time to purchase in the Desert and there are great homes on the market right NOW! Contact me today!!

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