Loving Being Back in the Desert!

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A sculpture of a heart in the median of El Paseo aptly expresses how I feel about the desert

I’ve been settling back into my desert lifestyle and as a full-time Realtor® now since I returned back to the desert from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, just before Christmas 2019, where I also worked as a Realtor®. Since I’ve been back, I found out that three other Realtor® friends who left the desert around the same time I did for other parts of the world to live, have now returned about the same time I did! One tried living in Maui, Hawaii, another in Nova Scotia, Canada, and another in Aiken, South Carolina. There’s something about the desert that just pulls at your heartstrings and draws you back! In spite of the sizzling hot summers, it still offers an incredible lifestyle that is just so upbeat and fun!

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Gorgeous homes in south Palm Desert available for purchase. Prices typically range from $500,000s and up to over a million dollars.

The real estate market here is hot, hot, hot, with lots of sales activity happening! In fact, it’s probably more of a seller’s market since there are many buyers looking for properties, in all the price ranges, even in the luxury estate market, and any single family residence under $300,000 just gets scooped up right away! For instance, a very cute home around 1400 sq ft on a very large lot in Palm Desert just a couple of blocks north of Hwy 111 off Portola, was priced at $300,000, had 75 people show up for the first open house on Saturday, and by Sunday, it was bought for $335,000 in a multiple offer situation!

While I am now prospecting for my own listings, I am holding open houses for my colleague, in Palm Springs in the Sunrise Park neighborhood, at two homes that were bought and remodeled by investors. I always have about 25 to 30 people who show up, and one of the properties went into escrow, but just fell out, so if you are reading this, you just might want to check it out and make an offer!

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Pictures just do NOT do this gorgeous property justice!

The address is 460 N Orchid Tree Lane, Palm Springs, so you can easily look up the details. It has a sleek interior with an open floor concept, mostly white with gray accents, and appeals to those looking for a mid-century home that is already done, so you can just move in and enjoy the views and the carefree Palm Springs lifestyle! It’s bike ride from downtown Palm Springs!

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The front of 460 N Orchid Tree Lane, Palm Springs, beckons you in!

The price has been reduced to $825,000, so the sellers are motivated!

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The open floor concept is embraced here, with floor to ceiling windows to take in the mountain views! Bright and white with touches of gray, this home has lots of appeal!

There is another one just down the street at 365 N Orchid Tree, Palm Springs, and the price has been reduced to $775,000. It’s got a great separation of bedrooms in this floorpan, with a huge master suite on one side and the other three bedrooms on the other side of the house, with a big bonus room as well, for what ever you desire… a game room, an office, a cabana, a den, a room for the pets… you decide! Its pool and spa are south-facing and offer a lot of privacy! The finishes are reminiscent of a Tuscan contemporary design, with tumbled travertine floors, and earth-toned wood and granite.

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The entryway to 365 N Orchid Tree Lane, Palm Springs

The mountain views are lovely from the pool area, and the yard is low maintenance.

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The pool area is south-facing for lots of sunshine!

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The gourmet kitchen is part of the open floor concept which includes the living room and dining area, great for entertaining!

When I’m not busy with real estate activities (which is rare!), one thing I enjoy a lot is visiting the art galleries, meeting the gallery owners and the artists themselves and learning about them and their art.

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Posing in front of a vibrant painting in a gallery on El Paseo

I also enjoy hiking in the many trails in the Coachella Valley and up Hwy 74, where the landscape changes dramatically. The alpine town of Idyllwild is just about an hour drive from Palm Desert and is literally about a mile in the sky! It’s a totally different environment than the desert, and the drive up offers very dramatic and ever-changing vistas.

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The dogs enjoy hiking, too! Pictured here on a hiking trail in Pinyon, above the Coachella Valley.

Window shopping along El Paseo is one of my favorite past-times, and sometimes I even indulge in buying some clothes, like I did the other day at a relatively new addition to El Paseo, Tina Stephens, which offers chic, easy to wear clothes that are perfect for traveling, one of my passions.

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The Louis Vuitton windows on El Paseo are always works of Art!

And now that I am a CTA (Certified Tourism Ambassador) of Greater Palm Springs, I attend many fun events to learn even more about the great venues and businesses that are available for both tourists and residents alike to enjoy. You can check out the lineup of events and attractions here in the Coachella Valley at www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com, or just ask me! I am more than happy to help!

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I was happy to be an attendee of a catered event at a fabulous luxury estate in Palm Springs that is available for special events. As a CTA, I can help point you in the right direction!

There is just so much to do here during our high season in particular (November to April), that is basically impossible to be bored! There is always something fun going on. On Friday nights during high season, it’s fun to go to El Paseo to see all kinds of exotic and antique cars cruise down the boulevard, and then afterwards go to dinner at one of the many fine eating establishments to choose from.

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You’ll see classic beach wagons, “Woodies”, Rolls Royces, brand new Lamborghinis, muscle cars, low-riders, VW busses, Ford Model Ts, and much more on Cruise Night on El Paseo!

Fashion Week is coming up soon, and all the events that pop up around it. Then there’s the Food & Wine Festival. You get the idea! Never a dull moment during season! The polo matches are held very weekend at the El Dorado Polo Club and the Empire Polo Club from January to the end of March. In April there are the famous music festivals Coachella Music and Arts Festival simply known as “Coachella” and then Stagecoach, although these have been postponed til October this year amidst the coronavirus scares.

There are over 120 golf courses here in the desert, many of them open to the public. There are public and private tennis courts as well throughout the desert. Of course, the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament happens here every March and draws people from around the world to see the top stars of tennis battle it out on the courts, amicably of course! Golf tournaments are also a draw here, and PGA WEST is located in La Quinta, offering several golf courses and a wide variety of homes to buy, ranging from condos and townhouses to multi-million dollars estates.

Some people can take the heat of summer here! Are you one of them? If not, there are many places just an hour or two or three away, to escape it. Right in Palm Springs, there is the Aerial Tramway, which offers hiking in an alpine atmosphere overlooking the hot desert below.

The indoor/outdoor living here draws “snowbirds” and people from all over the world to bask in the sunshine. Some people choose to make it their home as well, whether it’s their primary home or a secondary home. Are you thinking about buying a home here? I can help! Just a phone call away at 1-760-587-6009 or e-mail me at wendysdesert@gmail.com for more information or to answer any question you may have.

PS Here is a link to a recent article about fun things to do in Greater Palm Springs from Forbes Magazine!

 

 

From California to South Carolina and Back to California! For good! Yay!!!

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A gorgeous sunset on Mitchelville Beach on the north end of Hilton Head Island

LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE

Sometimes one feels the need for a new adventure! So last year in Feb. 2019, I drove cross country with my two cats and dog to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to buy a cute little condo not far from the beach! I figured, hey, check it out! The prices for real estate and gas are much less than here in California, and I thought that I’d love to live near the beach for a change. Yes, I had heard of the hurricanes and alligators there, but…well, I decided I’d check it out, just the same.

I had also planned on getting my real estate license there, as well as keep the one I have in California, and so I accomplished that goal with not a lot of hassle.

Boy, oh boy, what a culture shock I felt after immersing myself in life in Hilton Head Island!

I had thought I might possibly stay in South Carolina for maybe even the rest of my life, but as the months went by, I sorely missed home sweet home: California!! In spite of all its problems, like some of the high living expenses such as housing and gas, the wacky politics, the homelessness problems, the sanctuary cities, frequent devastating fires and occasional earthquakes!

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It’s definitely a “Buyer Beware” kind of state in South Carolina when it comes to buying real estate! Buyers in California are much more protected!

REAL ESTATE PRACTICES IN SOUTH CAROLINA VS. IN CALIFORNIA REALLY DIFFER

First of all, the way they do real estate there is completely different than the way we do it here in California!

It’s very much a “Buyer Beware” kind of a state, where once an Offer is accepted, basically, you bought it! No easy way to back out, like here in California, where the contingency period is 17 days, and you don’t even have to give a reason for backing out, and you don’t lose any money whatsoever if you do.

Over in South Carolina, there are only a few pages of real estate documents you need to close a deal, whereas here in California, the stack often reaches 2 inches high or more! In South Carolina, buyers sometimes do not receive any disclosures other than one Seller Disclosure, IF they are lucky! Many times sellers do not bother to provide one, and a deal cannot be voided if none is provided. In California, buyers receive a Seller Property Questionnaire, a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure (with even more details and disclosures from the seller), and the Natural Hazards Disclosure. In South Carolina, home owners association documents are not current and you may not receive full documents until AFTER you close escrow. In California, HOA-related documents are provided usually within 10 days of acceptance of the offer.

While there are many more documents that California realtors must process in order to complete a real estate transaction, I think it’s worth it, because it truly protects the buyer, which is only right, since the buyer is often making the biggest financial decision of his/her life! In the end, I think it benefits everyone. It makes for fewer surprises, and let’s face it, when it comes to buying a home, no one wants surprises! Here in California, it’s best for sellers to “disclose, disclose, disclose” to avoid problems down the road.

In California, we use escrow companies that are very customer service oriented to handle the closing of the real estate transaction. The escrow company can be selected by the buyer or the seller, but both must agree on using the same one. Usually the seller is the one who selects the escrow company, however, occasionally it is the buyer who does. On the other hand, in South Carolina, they use attorneys. I found that to be very inefficient because it added an extra layer to the process. Having just one escrow company to deal with is far more efficient and saves time. The lawyers I encounter did not seem at all customer service oriented, and were often unaccessible. Generally, there is no need for a lawyer when it comes to closing a deal in California, and all the various disclosures that are mandatory help keep everything above board and on track.

As for real estate documents, in California, they are all standardized CAR (California Association of Realtors) forms. On the other hand, in South Carolina, they have a variety of options and ways to write up their contracts, which makes the process more confusing. They don’t typically include expiration dates which makes things seem so open-ended. In California, the documents are much more concise and detailed in the language. Again, I believe this takes out the guesswork and, even if there are more pages to a document, such as an offer to purchase, I believe it’s actually a much more efficient and clear, transparent way to practice real estate, that benefits all involved, especially the buyer.

I could continue on with this topic, but I think you get the idea! They really do things differently in South Carolina than in California with regards to real estate, and I am much more comfortable with the California way!

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Unfortunately due to the sediment from surrounding rivers, lagoons, and marshland, the water is so murky you can’t see your feet! Scary when there are stinging jellyfish, stingrays and sharks lurking in the water!

DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE CLARITY OF THE OCEAN WATER DETRACTED FROM THE ENJOYMENT OF THE BEACHES FOR ME

While I love the long, sandy beaches of Hilton Head Island, I was very surprised that the water is very murky due to the sediment of nearby rivers and marshes. You can’t see your feet even in a few inches of water! This is particularly troublesome if you, like me, are afraid of being stung, either by stinging jellyfish or stingrays, or bitten by sharks! I found that very disappointing because one of my favorite things to do is to snorkel and look at fish underwater, which is not possible there. Oops! I guess I should’ve researched that! Also, during the summer months in particular, there are a lot of biting bugs, such as “no see ums” (gnats so little that you can’t see them). So you had better have your bug spray handy at all times!

On the bright side, sometimes I almost felt like I was in St. Bart’s on the beach, because of the airplanes flying low over the beach on Mitchelville Beach, an incredibly beautiful and natural beach. I spent many an idyllic afternoon reading and studying on that beach, with Cupcake in tow. Dogs area allowed to roam freely on the beaches except during peak hours during the summer. I never tired of the gorgeous sunsets from the beaches and restaurants such as my favorites Skull Creek Boathouse, on the north end of the island, and The Ocean Club, at Sea Pines at the south end of the island, and Poseidon, in the middle of them.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS LACKING IN MANY PLACES IN SOUTH CAROLINA

I love to shop at Ralph’s Grocery Store in the desert, for example, but its counterpart Kroger’s is another story altogether! While the great selection and competitive prices are there, the customer service was completely lacking! The cashiers and “baggers” would rather chat and ignore you than bag your groceries. Many of them were very unfriendly and they definitely were not trained to provide good customer service and a pleasant customer service experience! So I am so happy to be back where excellent customer service is commonplace everywhere! California seems to be a happier place in general than South Carolina to me. Maybe it’s just me!

By the way, apparently South Carolina is a so-called “Right To Work” state, where there is no mandatory minimum wage, and so many people get much less wages than people in California for the same kind of job. I heard many of the restaurant food-servers only make $2.50/hr and must rely almost completely on tips to make any money! Due to this fact, the service when tips were involved was almost always great. However, in general, workers did not seem to provide very good customer service resulting in a bad customer experience. This even included real estate attorneys, in addition to cashiers and baggers at grocery stores and moving company employees! The concepts of customer service and customer satisfaction seem to be lost on many, although there were definitely notable exceptions.

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Beachfront properties on Hilton Head Island do cost over a million dollars, however, beachfront properties like these will likely cost five times or more along the California coast!

 

HOME PRICES AND GAS PRICES ARE UNSURPRISINGLY LOW IN SOUTH CAROLINA

I do miss only paying about $2.24 a gallon at the gas pumps, that’s for sure! And home prices are much less in South Carolina (and most places!) than in California. I hope that somehow we Californians can find a way to pressure our politicians to not tax the gas so much. It seems like the gas prices are unnecessarily exorbitant! There’s not pollution in many states I drove through, in spite of their low gas prices!

Home values are great in South Carolina, and it is a fast-growing state. Towns like Bluffton, for instance, are rapidly expanding in population and amenities!

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This was one heck of an alligator, looking almost like a statue. But it wasn’t.

WHERE EVER THERE IS WATER, THERE ARE ALLIGATORS IN HILTON HEAD ISLAND!

I knew that there were alligators in Hilton Head Island, but I didn’t know they are everywhere there is water! And there is a lot of water in Hilton Head Island: a zillion lagoons, creeks, rivers, marshes… occasionally alligators can even be found in the surf at the beach! I almost ran over a 9-footer about to cross the street at night! Apparently alligators are mostly nocturnal and like to jump from lagoon to lagoon and socialize during the mating season! About 6 months before I moved there, a lady named Cassandra Klein was attacked while walking her dog near one of the ubiquitous lagoons, and sadly, she did not survive, while her dog, whom she valiantly tried to protect from the gator, did survive unharmed. While I was there, a woman was walking her dog at night and tripped on an alligator in her side yard, and was attacked by the creature on her wrist and calf, but she survived, fortunately!

I am so glad that me and my little doggie Cupcake (and my cats!) survived South Carolina’s alligators (and hurricanes) for sure!

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Me and my furry family were holed up in a Comfort Suites hotel room in Columbia, glued to the TV watching the news about  Hurricane Dorian, praying it would pass by Hilton Head Island leaving it unscathed. The lump to the left is my cat Mr. T hiding under the covers.

HURRICANES ARE PSYCHOLOGICAL TERRORS

Everyone was forced to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Dorian. It was terrifying to have to constantly watch the news and see the way the hurricane devastated the Bahamas! Hoping it wouldn’t do the same to Hilton Head Island!

So I packed up the furry family and we spent the night at a Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel in the state capital Columbia, which was full of evacuees. It really wasn’t fun because I was too worried about what might happen. It was exhausting!

Fortunately, word came early the next day that Hilton Head Island was spared, and a neighbor told me by phone there wasn’t any damage. So we rolled home and were relieved to see just a lot of branches and pinecones littering the ground. Whew! That was a close one!

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A winsome statue is one of many along El Paseo, “the Rodeo Drive of the desert!”

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! CALIFORNIA IS TRULY MY HOME!

It’s a well known fact, that sometimes you just don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. And, as the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. This was certainly the case with me, and fortunately California is still here, and I am so glad to be back here, for sure!

I will cherish the great times and beautiful vistas that I witnessed in and around low-key Hilton Head Island, glamorously charming Charleston and entirely enchanting Savannah, and learning about the rich history.

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One of the magnificent historic homes along the Battery in Charleston, this is the Roper House!

I love the historical buildings and architecture, especially the Greek Revival, surrounded by majestic live oak trees festooned with hanging Spanish Moss.

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The historic district in Savannah has around 24 park squares and surrounded by gorgeous historic homes, including this one, which is now The Old Pink House Restaurant, a very popular place, and deservedly so!

I truly enjoyed Southern Cuisine, such as Shrimp and Grits, She Crab Soup, local fish cooked in a variety of ways, the myriad varieties of oysters, fried green tomatoes, and the libations were great too, such as the many local beers and the Dark And Stormy cocktail, so popular with sailors, made of Gosling Dark Rum and Gosling Ginger Beer.

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I truly enjoyed this masterpiece at The Old Pink House Restaurant! Soft-shelled crab and rice deluxe! The service and ambiance was fantastic here!

Of course, the local wines there don’t compare to California wines!

BOTTOM LINE IS…

I’m so grateful I had the very interesting experience of living in the Deep South, which has always fascinated me, and yet, to be able to come back to my beloved California! I rolled back into the desert on December, 22, 2019, just in time for Christmas and ready to begin a brand new year.

It’s so great to be back, reunited with friends and my favorite places here. And to see the mountains again! They don’t call South Carolina the Low Country for nothing!

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Hiking with the dogs up at Idyllwild!

I’m happy to be back at my favorite restaurants and discovering the new ones that opened while I was away, hiking the mountains, strolling the world-famous El Paseo of Palm Desert, and all the fun events we have here during our high season!

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Enjoyed a spectacular property in Palm Springs while sampling appetizers and wine at a chamber of commerce mixer.

This truly is a great country, so full of beauty, variety and great people. Here’s hoping 2020 will be one of the best years ever for us all!

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A beautiful view of Mount Jacinto from Rancho Mirage, CA

Written Feb. 4, 2020 by Wendy Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PGA WEST in La Quinta offers a fabulous golfing lifestyle!

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Imagine living in a luxury home in a world class golfing community with views like these! You can at PGA WEST, located in La Quinta, CA, whether you choose to buy a condo or a detached single family residence! They all offer amazing views. The prices range from the low $200,000s for condos to over $3 mil for luxury estates.

Pictured above are the spectacular views from a single family detached home located in the PGA Weiskopf gated community (there are 7 communities to choose from inside PGA West!) and is currently listed for $1,695,000. This fabulous home offers 4817 sq ft of luxury living with all the finest finishes and appliances, and is being offered decorator furnished!

If you prefer a condo, please consider my latest listing at 79772 Olympia Fields in the Palmer Private community, which also has million dollar views. Offered turnkey furnished for only $257,000! It’s a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1492 sq ft townhouse with 2 master bedrooms upstairs with en suite bathrooms. One bedroom faces the lake views which you can enjoy from your private balcony, and offers a walk-in closet. The other bedroom is on the other side of the house. The lake views with the Santa Rosa Mountains to the right are stunning! Here is a photo of the million dollar views from the south-facing patio and balcony:

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These are the MILLION DOLLAR VIEWS from the townhouse at 79773 Olympia Fields listed at only $257,000!

This delightful townhouse is tastefully furnished and has many upgrades including slab granite counters in the kitchen and bar area in the living room, plantation shutters throughout, ceiling fans, and more. It offers a detached two car garage, off the courtyard next to the kitchen. It boasts a fireplace in the living room for cold winter nights. There is also a guest bathroom and a closet with a new washer and dryer on the first level. There are several pools with spas nearby to choose from to enjoy.  HOA dues include all landscaping, exterior paint, roof, cable, trash, insurance including earthquake insurance, 24-hour guarded gate.

This desirable property makes a great weekend getaway, or long-term second home during our season, or a year-round primary home, and/or an excellent rental income property.

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Desirable south-facing patio and balcony, faces the lake, gets plenty of sunshine.

Here are some photos of the nicely decorated interior, offered turnkey furnished:

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Living room area, with the kitchen in the background, tastefully furnished.

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Kitchen with gorgeous slab granite counters, and a sunny eating area, and a courtyard patio behind it.

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Master bedroom facing the lake views!

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Master bathroom, with dual sinks, soaking bathtub and shower, and a walk-in closet.

The entire Coachella Valley is a golf mecca, and here at PGA WEST, you are in a highly concentrated golf course area as there are 6 courses to choose from! Three are private (Palmer, Nicklaus, Weiskopf), however three are semi-private (Nicklaus Tournament, Stadium, Norman). There are 3 clubhouses, several restaurants in PGA West, and there is the affiliate connection to the La Quinta Resort and Spa, as well as The Citrus, with additional restaurants for members. Being a resident here is offering you a KEY TO THE DESERT LIFESTYLE and a KEY TO THE BEST OF LA QUINTA in particular! Whatever you are interested in whether social or golfing or fitness activities, it’s here for you to enjoy! The list is long: golf, swimming, tennis (your choice of grass, hardcore, or clay courts), pickleball, racquet ball, fitness, yoga… you get the picture! For more information on membership, please call 760-564-7111. Here is a link to discover more about the PGA West lifestyle: http://www.pgawest.com/custom/flipbook/PGAWESTBook/index.html

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Golfers enjoy the Weiskopf Private course on a sunny December afternoon.

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The PGA West Private Clubhouse beckons in the afternoon sun.

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There are amazing lake, fairway and mountain views throughout PGA WEST!

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A Spanish style home in PGA WEST Norman currently listed for $1,295,000.

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The infinity pool at this home overlooks the 2nd hole in the Weiskopf Private course, offered for $3,750,000. With 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, office, it’s 7,927 sq ft on a 28,314 sq ft lot.

To summarize, there is so much to explore in PGA WEST that you need a guide to help you in your search for your perfect place in the sun, whether it’s your primary home, a secondary home, and/or an income property. There are no rental restrictions at this time at the residences of PGA WEST, and so many residents take advantage of this to rent their properties out for premium prices during special events or during the season when they are not using their properties. During our season, there are a myriad of world class events here in the desert which attracts national and international sun seekers! These events included golf and tennis tournaments, polo and other equestrian events such as HITS, music festivals such as Coachella, StageCoach, Desert Trip, fashion events, car-racing events and more! Even in the summer, people come in to brave the high temps!

If you would like more information, please contact me, Wendy Campbell, your desert realtor, at 760-587-6009. You may also be interested in checking out my website: www.WendysDesertRealEstate.com for more general information about desert real estate.

 

Behind the gates of Mira Vista in Rancho Mirage: Spectacular Views!

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Behind the gates of the prestigious golf community of Mira Vista in Rancho Mirage are spectacular views of mountains, lakes, streams, trees, the golf course and greenery. The luxury homes were built by the renowned Toll Brothers, around 2001 to 2003, and range in size from around 2331 square feet to around 4372 square feet. Contemporary Tuscan seem to describe the style of architecture. Elegance and tranquility describe the spacious, sun-filled interiors.

Featured Property:
21 Calle Del Norte, Rancho Mirage

In a word: Beautiful!

In a word: Beautiful!

This elegant 3 bedroom / 4 bathroom, 3422 square foot property offers great views of the lake behind it surrounded by mature trees and flowers, as well as some of the Westin Mission Hills golf course, which is far enough away to allow privacy. It boasts its own salt-water heated pool and spa with beautiful lake views.

A sparkling salt-water pool and spa with pebbletec finish

A sparkling salt-water pool and spa with pebbletec finish

Tranquil lake views

Tranquil lake views

There is ample sunlight streaming through the variety of windows, walls of glass and clerestory windows, allowing for the views of the beautiful surroundings to be fully enjoyed. The interior is classic European with crown molding, baseboards and wainscoting, painted in creams, whites and golds.  Each bedroom has en suite bathrooms and their own entries to a private patio. The master bedroom has two large walk-in closets, a spacious bathroom with doorless shower and a jet tub and plenty of counter space and dual sinks.

Spacious master with 2 walk-in closets

Spacious master with 2 walk-in closets

There is a large living room area, with a wet bar, and also a formal dining area that is adjacent to the kitchen which features a big opening so plates can be passed over the counter and the chef can converse with dinner guests while in the kitchen. Granite counter tops and a granite-topped island with a stovetop with a ventilator fan panel that rises up or down with a push of a button. A laundryroom is between the kitchen and the garage, which is two car and has an immaculate epoxy floor.

Great kitchen for cooking!

Great kitchen for cooking!

All stainless steel appliances are included. The two built-in convection overs are perfect for creating multiple dishes. There is a breakfast nook that has views of one of the courtyards. This home is an entertainer’s delight, with plenty of room for guests to relax and enjoy the views and a beverage from the wet bar.

Great for entertaining!

Great for entertaining!

Plenty of room for guests

Plenty of room for guests

This tasteful and refined home is not offered furnished, however many furnishings are negotiable outside of escrow. The list price for this home is an amazing deal: $699,900, which is the lowest price per square foot in Mira Vista at only $204 per sq. ft. The HOA dues are low: $305/month which includes all common area landscaping, a guarded gate, tennis courts, a community pool, spa and clubhouse and more.

Tennis courts at Mira Vista beckon!

Tennis courts at Mira Vista beckon!

The sellers have moved out and are ready to travel the world. This is an amazing opportunity for someone who wants a spacious home in the coveted community of Mira Vista in Rancho Mirage, a desert city with the nick name of “Home to Presidents” since so many presidents have lived here, including President Eisenhower, and Gerald Ford, who have streets named after them. President Obama has visited this city on numerous occasions to relax and play golf. Golfing is available at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Course and the Mission Hills Country Club.

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Course weaves its way around Mira Vista

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Course weaves its way around the Mira Vista community, yet there is plenty of privacy

Not far from this choice property is The River, which has a huge movie theatre, boutiques and stores such as Forever 21, and many popular restaurants including PF Chang’s, Fleming’s and The Cheesecake Factory.

Call me, Wendy Campbell, a realtor with Power Brokers International, for a private showing or to find out when an open house will be happening, at 760-587-6009. This is a must see!

Deep Canyon Tennis Club in Palm Desert: Location, Location, Location!

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If you love tennis, pickle-ball and shopping, the condos at Deep Canyon Tennis Club might just be the perfect spot for your desert getaway, or live here year-round. Close by are also hiking trails and churches which also feature musical concerts throughout the year. Located just up the hill from the world-famous El Paseo with its world-class shopping, restaurants and art galleries, it’s hard to find a better location!

There are 350 condo units in this desirable gated community with a 24/7 guarded gate, and offers 12 tennis courts, 1 pickle-ball court, 12 swimming pools and 4 spas, along with a clubhouse for its residents to enjoy. As of this writing the HOA dues are $514 per month and cover basically everything!

There are beautiful mountain views and lush, mature trees which together create a true paradise!

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Check out my listing at 72765 Jack Kramer Ln in this delightful community! It offers 2 Bedrooms PLUS an Office and 2 Bathrooms, and is offered turnkey furnished for $250,000. Painted in pleasing desert colors, there is alot of natural light due to the solar tube and the skylight. The large private patio area offers a mature citrus tree with plenty of fruit to pick for your pleasure. There is a carport for two cars, and a washer and dryer inside a closet in the condo itself.

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This desirable unit has no one above nor below and is a ground unit. There are other units in this complex that do have some one above or below them. If you would like to schedule a private showing, please contact me at 760-587-6009.

Condos at Desert Falls Country Club Offer The Desert Lifestyle

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Condos in the Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert offer the best of “the desert lifestyle”, including a carefree life-style since the HOA takes care of everything including all landscaping, 24 hour guarded gate, exterior maintenance, cable TV, 25 community pools and spas, 9 tennis courts (lit up at night), and a 3 floor state-of-the-art fitness center. The prices for these condos are very reasonable, too, starting in the low $200,000s. No wonder this is one of the most popular country clubs in the desert!  For golf enthusiasts, membership is available at the 18-hole championship Ronald Fream-designed Scottish course within the gates of Desert Falls Country Club,  listed as one of the top 10 courses by the SCPGA, and has earned a four-star rating from the “Golf Digest” list of “Best Places to Play”. There are often special golf membership deals available so check in with Golf Membership Director Dan McMahan at 760-423-1283 for the latest details!

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I am proud to present my new listing for a beautifully remodeled, ground-level two bedroom, two full bathroom condo overlooking the 6th tee and with fabulous views of the golf course and mountains.  This 1360 square foot condo offers a nice patio with overhang on the north side where you can enjoy the panoramic views.

 

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Here is a view of the condo and its patio, which is the lower left unit in this photo. There are four units per building.

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From the front, in this following photo, you can see its two car garage which has a newer garage door. The front door is behind the stairs which go up to the unit above.

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The address is 673 Vista Lago Circle N and it’s located on a quiet cul-de-sac, and surrounded by towering palm trees and colorful flowers and shrubbery.

The living room is bright and airy and has a dining area which is separated from the kitchen by an all granite counter area. There are plantation shutters throughout for a nice tropical ambiance. The 50 inch, wall-mounted, flat screen TV is to be included with the sale of this delightful condo.

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All furniture and appliances are to be included in the sale of the condo. The kitchen has all granite counter-tops, newer cabinetry, newer and all-matching GE appliances including the washer and dryer in its own room.

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Besides the dining area in the living room, there is a breakfast nook surrounded by windows in the kitchen.

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Here is a better view of the dining area in the living room.

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There are two bedrooms, and the master bedroom has its own bathroom en suite and plenty of closet space.

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The other bedroom has sliding mirror closet doors, and the bathroom is in the hallway.

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As previously mentioned, the GE washer and dryer are included in its own room.

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While there is newer wall-to-wall carpet in the bedrooms, the rest of the floors are clad in 20 inch travertine-like ceramic tiles and set diagonally in the kitchen which opens up the space.

Be sure to talk to the Clubhouse for a tour and to learn about special membership deals (760-340-5646 ext. 225).

This highly desirable condo is offered for sale at $259,000 (reduced from $270,000), which is a great value for all the above-mentioned features.

Nearby are many shopping centers, restaurants, the McCallum Theatre for world-class cultural events and the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens for world-class tennis tournaments, and sometimes other events such as jazz concerts. This condo makes the perfect desert getaway as a second home or even as a year-round residence, which is becoming more and more common due to this area’s growing appeal and amenities. It also makes sense as an investment property since it is very easy to rent during our season which runs from October to the end of May and even into June.

Please stop by at an Open House or call agent Wendy Campbell to arrange a private showing (760-587-6009).

Duran Duran & the Coachella Music Festival 2011

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Duran Duran ROCKS Coachella!

I wasn’t planning necessarily on attending the Coachella Music Festival 2011, especially since tickets for it sold out the day they went on sale.  However, since one of my favorite groups of all time, Duran Duran, was playing, I did not rule out the possibility of trying to get in to see them SOMEHOW or another.

I was lucky enough to attend a private party held by the Radio Station Mix 100.5 at a local hotel for Duran Duran. I’ll say LUCKY! I got some great photos of the band members up close, AND I actually got a photo taken of me in between Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon along with John Taylor and Roger Taylor, and three other Duran Duran fans, which I am looking forward to seeing on the radio’s website.

In the meantime, I shot this photo of lead singer and frontman Simon Le Bon as he entered the room to the stage where they would answer questions from the audience which had been pre-written on cards.

Simon Le Bon, lead singer and frontman for Duran Duran

The band members sat on the stage and answered the questions with typical dry English humor as well as a sense of warmth and gratitude.  Roger Taylor, the drummer, especially expressed his appreciation of Duran Duran’s invitation to the Coachella Music Festival, saying it was a highlight of his career with Duran Duran.

Duran Duran was one of the hottest rock and roll bands in the 1980s, and they were early pioneers in stylish music videos for their songs which aired on MTV. They were glam rockers with catchy tunes that were rock-based and dance-inspiring. Their luxurious lifestyles that included yachts, private jets, models, partying in style in all the hotspots, also caught the imagination. Their hit “View to a Kill” was featured in one of my favorite James Bond movies by the same title.

Since the 80s, they have periodically staged “comebacks” and now they have a new album called “All You Need Is Now”.  I have the CD and have listened to it several times since I received it yesterday at the private party and it is great! They have returned to their roots– the catchy, rock-dance-pop sound that made them hugely popular in the first place. I highly recommend it!

Here is a group shot I took of the guys on stage, as they amused the adoring audience.

Simon Le Bon smiles at me! 🙂

One of the fun questions that was posed to them was, “What did you spend money on as soon as you hit it big financially?”  John Taylor said” a car”; Nick Rhodes said “art”; Roger Taylor said “a Mercedes”, and Simon Le Bon said he spent it “on a long string of beautiful women”, which cracked everyone up. 

From left: John Taylor, bass guitarist; Nick Rhodes, keyboard player; Simon Le Bon, lead singer & frontman; Roger Taylor, drummer

 
After the interview, all the fans there were invited to get up on stage in groups of four to get up on stage with the four members of Duran Duran that were there, and have our photos taken.  What a blast! Here is a photo taken that day of me and Nick Rhodes (my Favorite!).  As you can see, I was tickled pink to be so close to Nick and immortalized in this photo! (Note: I did crop the group photo to show just me and Nick, for fun!)
 
So, after that fabulous experience, I was more determined than ever to see Duran Duran at the Coachella Music Festival, especially since it is 15 minutes away from my home AND especially since I missed Woodstock in 1969! 
 
This year’s festival sold out in one day! And so I was going to have to get creative to attend.
 
I drove over to near the restricted area and parked at a friend’s house.  And trekked over to where many attendees were streaming out, figuring my best bet was to buy a wristband (absolutely necessary for attending! no ifs, ands or buts, as I found out!) from someone leaving.  After all it was the last night, a Sunday, and I figured many would be leaving to drive back to LA so they could get a good night’s sleep before working on the next day.
 
I met about three people who had luck doing just that in my efforts to flag people down to sell me their wristband.  Some paid $80, one paid, $38.  I ended up paying $20! All I had on me was $25 anyway. So, SUCCESS!  Getting the wristband was the main hurdle.  But then there was the seemingly endless, dusty trek to get to the gates into the festival.  Literally, I walked MILES to get there! In high-heeled platforms, which was ridiculous, of course, to wear in the first place to such an event.
 
I heard Duran Duran hit the stage. I was anxious to get in! Finally I got in, but wait! At first the chip in my wristband failed! OH NO!  But then– YAY! On came the Green Light when the guards scanned it again.  OH my God.  All this high tech stuff is freaky.
 
So I limped and sprinted across the fields toward the sounds from the stage where Duran Duran was playing, and there they were and there I was. GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

John Taylor with Roger Taylor on the Big Screen

They sounded great, and looked great. The crowd was enthusiastic and many sang along with the band, showing that Duran Duran has fans from all age groups.

 

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They had a great light show as well, especially during their James Bond hit “View to a Kill”.  Simon Le Bon is a top frontman, elegant, with an exuberant personality and understated charisma.
 

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After Duran Duran played, I stuck around for a while, listened to a song by the following band the Strokes, but decided to then check out some of the art.

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After a while the melange of sounds and glowing lights and rambling people made me feel like I was inside of a giant video arcade.  I was more an observer at this festival than a participant.  After all, this is the Woodstock of this generation, not mine, but I was happy to observe and be a participant even at a limited level.  It was great people-watching and a beautiful evening under the full moon and bright stars on a warm desert night.

I loved the wild and creative spirit, but it was highly organized, much more so than Woodstock was, obviously!

Fortunately, on the way out, a nice young couple on a golf cart took mercy upon me and gave me a hair-raising ride across fields, down dirt roads and through the crowds to one of the main roads that was closed off.  They dropped me off, and I discovered I still had at least a half mile to walk down the corner where my indulging husband would be able to pick me up.

He took forever, because in his words, “it was like a police state” getting through detours and checkpoints, to find me.

All in all, it was an unforgettable experience, and alot of fun, in spite of my aching feet which are only now recovering.

I am grateful that I was able to have this experience, and I am glad to be able to share it with you!

The Coachella Music Festival helps to put this wonderful desert on the map, including for people who are looking to buy real estate.  This is a beautiful spot on our planet earth, and it is very reasonably priced, especially at this time.  As more and more people discover this area, more people will want to call the desert their home, at least for part of the year.  As a full-time realtor, I can help you find your piece of paradise here!

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