Hot Summer in the Desert, But Great Time to Buy or Sell!

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Too hot to swim by day, but great at night!

With the temperatures into the 110 degrees plus, it’s simply too hot to swim by day, but at night it is divine to float in the pool and look up at all the stars in the desert sky.

It’s also a hot time to sell and buy real estate in the desert, and there are several reasons why.

One is that only serious sellers have their properties on the market in the summer.  They have a goal and that is to SELL.  The good thing for sellers who have to sell is that during the summer months, many sellers take their properties off the market during this time, thinking that they will wait until the “snowbirds” come back during our season, which begins late October and runs until late May.  This means that for the sellers who leave their properties on the market, there will be less competition for buyers, since the inventory of homes will be lower.

As for buyers, any buyers who brave this heat have to be serious buyers!  And many of them expect to find better bargains since only serious sellers hav their homes listed, and generally at competitive market rates.  And of course, there are still many short sale and foreclosure listings on the market as well.

I can assist both serious sellers and serious buyers with achieving their real estate goals, so please call me on my cell: 760-587-6009 for a free consultation.  Serious buyers should have Proof of Funds and/or a Pre-Approval Letter from their Loan Agent, not dated more than 30 days ago, to accompany any offer to be treated as a serious offer.  Please contact me for more details. I am glad to be of assistance!

Foreclosure in Indian Wells Ultra-Luxury Gated Community: Toscana

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Gorgeous house in exclusive Indian Wells gated community: Toscana

I have pre-viewed many luxury homes in almost all the exclusive luxury golf communities throughout the desert here in the Coachella Valley, and I personally think that Toscana Country Club offers some of the best values for those seeking a premium home at a prestigious address in Indian Wells.

Per capita, Indian Wells probably has the highest number of wealthy individuals who are lucky enough to call this desert city their home, or at least home-away-from-home!
There are many prestigious gated communities in Indian Wells, however Toscana is quite new in comparison, has spectular views and feels like a paradise upon entering, and for those who love their creature comforts, their spa center is probably the best of all of them!
It is very rare to find a foreclosed home anywhere in Indian Wells, but especially in such prestigious gated golf communities such as Toscana Country Club.
The foreclosed property pictured above is one such foreclosed property, and offers 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms within 3766 square feet of luxurious living area on a spacious 11,761 square foot lot.  The kitchen offers all the top-of-the-line appliances and materials such as granite countertops with a center sink island.
It offers a spectacular view of the second fairway!
The master bedroom offes a sunken tub, dual vanities, and a glass encased shower.
Besides the fabulous golf courses,there are five tournement tennis courts, and much more.
As is typical with virtually all offers, it is required that buyers also submit Proof of Funds (dated within the previous 30 days), and pre-approval letter from a direct lender.  Other requirements for special addendum also often apply when buying a foreclosed property of any kind.
Please contact me for more details and if you would like to view homes for sale in this or any other desert community at 760-587-6009.

Choose Realtor Wendy Campbell to List Your Luxury Estate: Here’s Why!

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Equestrian estate in La Quinta, in the Vista Santa Rosa area

At a board meeting the other day in Palm Springs, one of the speakers said that he advises owners of luxury real estate to hold on to their properties to ride out this sluggish, cruel market.

 However, I noticed that my broker, who sells luxury listings like clockwork every week, and who was also on the panel, did not concur with the other broker’s opinion. That is probably because of her amazing ability and leadership position in selling luxury real estate in the Coachella Valley!  She works hard at it too. “Obsessed” is a word that some apply to her drive! Since this little article is a commercial for me and not for her, I will leave her unnamed for the time-being.  But call me and I’ll tell you who she is if you don’t know already! I feel privileged to work in the same office with her, and her team, and actually in a way, I am a part of her team and vice versa, since I sometimes do open houses for them, and also when I have questions about situations that come up in my real estate deals, I get advice from them.  So, it’s a win-win all around! 

The property in the photo above, is a listing I had, which started out listed as over $10 million! Other listing agents had the listing, but when it expired, I was persistent in persuading the owner/seller to award me with the listing.  I started out listing it for around $8.25 million.  But as the summer wore on, the price came down to $6.95 million, still a hefty price tag for most people. To make a long story short, I showed it to an agent and his clients (who coincidentally enough had refused to look at it previously with me because of the price tag, and so I showed them another property, but lost contact with them).  Since it was summer, and my client was cutting corners with the upkeep of the 9.44 acre property, I put in a good three days of personally cleaning, trimming trees and shrubs, picking up litter and overseeing the clean-up of the pool and windows to make it presentable.  So by the time the agent and his clients came to see the property, it was back in dazzling shape. I left the agent and his clients alone at the estate to savor and fall in love with the place.  And they did. We received an offer.  But for only $3 million!  I needed some armor to put on before I presented that to the seller, who I knew would be extremely unhappy with that offer.  As it turns out, he did not want to even counter it, although I convinced him to at least counter something, but it was not enough. As it turns out, since my client, the seller, had agreed to the clause  in the listing contract, that anyone I showed the property to while it was my listing, I would be able to receive a commission for the time frame (after the listing expired ) as specified in the contract. Therefore, even though the buyers’ agent negotiated a short sale after my listing officially expired, I did receive a reduced commission, when it finally sold to the buyers a few months down the road. For $3.6 million. What a deal for the buyers.  My seller was able to move on with his life and his investments on the East Coast. 

It was the largest sale of the east Coachella Valley of the year, 2010. I feel I certainly deserved that commission since I put my all into that listing, which I do for all my listings, but for luxury listings, since the stakes are higher and since it takes a special outreach to find the right buyer from the smaller pool of buyers for luxury real estate, I go far beyond that to achieve my goals on behalf of the seller that I represent. Since this property was an equestrian property, I advertised in equestrian magazines as well as luxury real estate magazines. I also hosted a Broker’s Open House, serving champagne, caviar, wine and other appetizers along with red roses, since it was around Valentine’s Day.  Brokers and realtors came and were wowed by the property. I purchased a large sign on wooden stakes that advertised the features of the property and it was placed on the main thoroughfare, next to the little road leading to the property.  I hired the people from Real Estate Showcase to come over and film me and the property for their TV show which airs every night on local TV, and is available 24/7 on-line. I made custom brochures.  I advertised in the local newspaper, the Desert Sun. 

I even actually pitched the property to several different groups of real estate investors in Dubai during my short trip there!

That was fun!

I personally networked with luxury realtors, especially those who specialized in equestrian properties, in Malibu and Rancho Santa Fe.  I put up flyers in upscale equestrian stores and stables in those areas, and here in the valley. And of course, as I mentioned above, I oversaw the intensified upkeep of the property so that it showed in the best light possible. You could say that I get “obsessed” with successfully selling my listings,and especially when I am charged with selling a luxury listing, I move into turbo-charged high gear. While it is true that there are some luxury estates that have been sold lately as foreclosed properties or short sales, the majority of them are standard sales.  As with most real estate, these luxury estates often sell at  prices that are discounted compared to what they could have sold for during the real estate bubble and before the crash of 2008, however, depending on your situation, you still might find it advantageous to sell now, at a discount, and then buy somewhere else, also at a discount.  Or take your proceeds and put them to good use in another venture, whatever that may be. You can count on me, Wendy Campbell, a full-time realtor and resident of the desert, to perform a stellar job listing, promoting and selling your luxury estate.  For those who wish to buy luxury real estate, I have a thorough knowledge of and access to all the luxury estates actively listed on the MLS.  If you want someone who can expertly guide you and assist you in acquiring a luxury estate here in the Coachella Valley, please contact me directly.

 The best way to reach me is by calling me on my cell phone: 760-587-6009.

My Trip to China with Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce 2010

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Me on the Great Wall of China

With China being in the news so much, coupled with my longtime interest in China as an intriguing destination, I could not pass up the great value offered by the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce for the trip there for only 9 days on the ground in October 2010. The PDCC sponsors many trips for great prices around the world, so if you are interested, you should definitely check in with them.
The trip to China is not for the faint of heart or mind! From the first day of our 9 day intinery, starting early in the morning, our intrepid tour guides had us constantly moving from one interesting site to another, all the while giving us a steady stream of information about what we were seeing and what life is like in China.
When our action-packed days were through, typically we would be exhausted, although one night many of us found the energy to go to a couple of bistro/bars in a very hip and popular section of Shanghai called Xintiandi, a renovated cluster of beautiful historic buildings and outdoor cafes with a European flair. 

Xintiandi by day is almost like being in Paris or Italy, and at night it's hopping with nightclubs and music

Seeing the Great Wall, and climbing up and down it, was a big highlight of the trip. It is over 4000 miles long as it snakes its way over hilltops and valleys. The stone stairs are steep and pitted, but it sure beat the monotony of the Stairmaster back at the gym!

The Great Wall of China is an awesome sight!

It was fascinating to learn about China’s traditional industries at the sites where the products are manufactured, including jade and pearl jewelry, silk, embroidery and even a green tea plantation.

Green Tea Plantation

One hilarious memory is of all of us being paired up riding in a caravan of rickety rickshaws through the backstreets of an ancient and picturesque section of Beijing, while being hotly pursued by the amiable street vendors who followed us on their bicycles hawking their wares, such as colorful shawls and scarves. After our home-made meal in a chef’s humble home, the vendors cheerfully and persistently awaited us. I finally gave in and bought some, at a great price, of course!

What a joyride we had in an ancient neighborhood of Beijing!

Shanghai was truly astounding! It is said to be the largest city in the world, and after riding on the bus by thousands and thousands of high-rise apartment buildings and condos, I believe it! It’s almost overwhelming! We did not spend as much time as I would have liked in Shanghai, so perhaps I will make a return trip someday.

Spectacular skyline of Shanghai at night!

We stayed at four and five star hotels, and all our meals were included, as well as the tours, except for we had to pay for some sidetrips and for tips to our guides.  At under $2000, what a deal! It was a trip of a lifetime!

SOLD in Palm Desert: A cute condo in Shadow Mountain Resort

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Here's a toast to getting another listing SOLD!

The real estate market is actually quite strong here in the Coachella Valley, because buyers realize that now is most definitely the time to buy with prices down 35% to 55% of their peak prices in “the day” of the heights of the real estate bubble , which was around 2005 to 2007, and even 2008, before “the crash”.  We have many “snowbirds” from colder climates who have been coming to our beautiful desert resort area during our season for years, and they know a good deal when they see one.  Rather then continuing to rent, they see the value in buying condos and houses here to not only live in but to rent out if they wish to.

Case in point, this is a very cute studio condo which my client bought for $180,000 in 2008.  She used it mostly as a rental because there is an on-side rental agency at Shadow Mountain resort, and it was frequently rented (which hampered getting it sold quicker than it did!). She wanted to sell it since she is down-sizing her real estate portfolio and lives in Northern California.

We received an all cash offer for $110,000 from a Canadian “snowbird” and decided to accept it.

In appreciation for my diligence in getting it sold, my client, who is a fine jewelry designer sent me a note and a gorgeous necklace and matching earrings (you can them in the above photo!).  The note read: “Dear Wendy, As a sign of my appreciation find the necklace and earrings I made for you. I hope you like both. Thank you for your help in selling my little place. I wish you all the best, Carmen”.

It is so nice to be appreciated! And, wow, to receive this beautiful jewelry custom-made for me, is truly a treat and heartfelt.

As with all my listings, I try to go beyond my clients’ expectations and go the extra distance to service the listing, be it to check on the property frequently and sweep and dust as necessary, follow up with all the agents and prospective buyers, hold as many open houses as possible and desired, advertise as necessary, network with other agents, and so on.  I can also organize the painting or fixing whatever, when clients are far-off.

Shadow Mountain Resort condo by the creek

Whether you are buying or selling in the Coachella Valley, which is getting more popular by the moment, please contact me to help you accomplish your real estate goals.  As a full-time resident and realtor here in our beautiful desert, I am dedicated to helping you achieve your real estate goals in the best possible way.

Whether you are interested in real estate in Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City or Palm Springs, I can professionally and expertly guide you to a successful transaction as I have many times before.

Even the summer is a good time to visit the desert. Warm summer nights are fantastic for star-gazing while you float in a warm pool!