The Perils of Pricing Your Property Too High

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If you really want to get your property sold in a timely manner and at the best price the market will bear, most Realtors©, including myself, will show you a CMA report (a Comparative Market Analysis) sometime during the Listing Presentation. It is important to look at the “comps” (comparable properties to your property) for a number of reasons. In fact, sometimes I will even drive my clients around to comps in the area, so they can that they see firsthand for themselves what the homes in their area are selling for, or at least, what their list price is. We can see how long they’ve been on the market, and track when they go into escrow and are sold.

Lenders Require Appraisals

The number one reason that sellers need to be aware of the comps is because Appraisers depend on sold comps (comps that have sold within the last 3 – 6 months for their appraisals). Many buyers need or want to use a loan in order to purchase a property. Lenders require an appraisal. The Appraiser looks at the subject house and does a detailed analysis using the comps, adjusting for various factors. Does the house have a pool or not? Has it been remodeled recently or not? What is the size of the house compared to the comps? What is the size of the lot compared to the comps? Does it have amazing views or not? Is it on a busy street or not? All these factors play into the appraisal.

It can be trickier for an appraiser in areas that are not “cookie-cutter”, where the homes are all very unique, many built in varying years, many original vs. remodeled vs. recently remodeled. Some may have 2 or 3 or 4 or even 5 bedrooms, and a varying number of bathrooms. The architectural styles vary. Views vary. The factors that can make a difference are many! One thing sellers and listing agents should request from lenders to help get a more accurate appraisal is for the appraiser to be a reputable local appraiser, who is more familiar with the market here in the desert.

What Happens When The Home Doesn’t Appraise?

Many people assume that appraisals “magically” come in at the purchase agreement price. This happened often in the heyday of booming real estate prices in the years 2000 to 2006 but then home prices started falling and they really fell after the financial crash in September, 2008. They didn’t start climbing back up until about 2012. Even since that crash, lending practices and regulations were changed dramatically. Appraisers were selected using different criteria, and gone were the days that sellers could count on their properties appraising.

Today, one still cannot assume that the appraisal will come in at the price in the Residential Purchase Agreement.

If you price your home according to sold comps, real comps, then the likelihood of the property appraising greatly increases, and there is less stress involved.

If you have priced your house with a pie-in-the-sky price, in spite of the comps the Realtor has dutifully showed you, then there is a high likelihood that your house will NOT appraise.

What happens when this unpleasant “surprise” rears its ugly head? There are a variety of possible outcomes.

In the Worse Case Scenario

The worst case scenario is that the deal will fall out of escrow if either party is unwilling to renegotiate the price. However, typically, when there is a serious seller and serious buyer involved, then the purchase price is re-negotiated.

The Best Case Scenario for Sellers

In a case where there are multiple offers, this situation can favor the seller, because the buyer may want the house so badly, that the buyer will fill the entire gap between the purchase price and the appraisal, even if it’s $100,000 or more! It can happen!

However, multiple offer situations are not often the case here in the desert, where secondary homes are common and there is a fair amount of inventory.

The Common Scenario: Try for a Win-Win

More often then not, the seller will have to come down in their price, and the buyer will have to come up in the price, in order to complete the sale. The split can be successfully negotiated in many cases with guidance from your experienced Realtors©. It is generally wise to ask for advice from your Realtor© to weigh your options carefully and successfully navigate the transaction.

The Best Case Scenario for Buyers

If the buyer is NOT in a position to come up on the price, because they have an FHA loan, and they do simply do not have the funds to cover any of the gap between the purchase agreement price and the appraisal, the seller sometimes will opt to cover the entire gap. Another reason for this, is that an FHA appraisal stays WITH the property for six months, so if another FHA buyer comes along to make an offer, if the original offer falls out of escrow, that FHA appraisal will still be in force. So if the seller is serious in selling, during that time frame, they have little choice but to come down in their price.

This is also true of a buyer who is only willing to pay the appraised price, and the seller just wants to sell quickly and agrees to sell their property at the appraised price.

Needless to say, this situation generally increases the stress level for all parties involved.

Ground Hog Day or Make That Price Adjustment?

If the seller fails to lower their price to “fair market value” after a deal falls out of escrow due to a low appraisal, they may find themselves facing a Ground Hog Day kind of experience… a deja vu experience. Why not just price it right for the market and cut the stress level for yourselves?

Yes, some people do get lucky, and get that out-of-town buyer with cash to burn, and is able to make an all cash offer, who falls in love with your house and simply impulsively makes an offer that is close to or matches your pie-in-the-sky list price! In that case, you had better seek to have a quick escrow, say close escrow in 10 days, before they change their minds!

Perhaps you yourself were that out-of-towner who made that impulse buy on the property years ago, and so you think that it will happen again. It very well could happen again, but I would not count on that. It does happen, but not very often. Say it’s been sitting on the market for almost six months now, and a buyer wants to buy it for “fair market value”. The worst case scenario, is that you have enjoyed the home for several years, and if you decide to sell it for the “fair market value” price that the buyer offers, you might even have to report a loss after all the closing costs. Look at the bright side! Then you won’t have any taxes to pay! In the meantime, if you paid all cash, you will get that cash back to invest in something else that you might want to. If you are Canadian, then there is the benefit of the better exchange rate from US dollars to Canadian dollars.

Bottom Line Is…

The bottom line is that it makes more sense to price your property according to the comps, and maybe a bit higher is the market prices are drifting higher. If you price it right, you may even get a bidding war going and get over the asking price! Realtors© want to list but even more than that sell your property. Realtors© are different from “real estate agents” because being a Realtor© requires that we take an Ethnics continuing education course every two years, and we are members of the California Association of Realtors© and the National Association of Realtors©, which has strict guidelines.

You will find that most Realtors© are very risk-adverse, and want to be as honest as possible with their clients. Therefore, when you pick someone to sell your property, choose a Realtor©, who belongs to the local board of real estate, and participates in the local MLS. When a local Realtor© gives you the comps for your property from the local MLS, you can generally trust them to be telling the truth. You can always trust me to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding your property’s value, from the comps on the local MLS and then from the feedback I receive at the open houses when you list with me.

When You List With Me…

When you list with me, I will hold open houses almost every weekend until sold, and I will be hearing feedback from people who are either lookyloos, interested neighbors, agents and even serious buyers, many of whom provide valuable feedback, on the appearance of the home and the price, which I then share with my sellers. If the list price needs to be adjusted, we should know after about a month’s time of having open houses and the home being listed on the MLS. Sellers are better off when they listen to the advice of their Realtor©, as we have the knowledge and we are more than willing to share it. This is one of the ways we earn our commission: to provide sage advise based on experience in order to help facilitate a successful transaction.

I hope this article is helpful to you, and I invite you to contact me on my cell at 760-587-6009 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a listing appointment.

Wendy Campbell All Rights Reserved © October 2018

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Furniture: LEAVE IT or NOT TO LEAVE IT? That is The Question!

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In the desert, a popular resort area, many homes are secondary homes, and so sellers often do not need the furniture for their primary home or another secondary home.  That is why many sellers opt to include their furniture with the sale of their house. The furniture is worth more WITH the house, rather than if sold separately from the house.  It also helps to sell the house for best value and more quickly.

Many buyers of secondary homes will be more attracted to a home if it is tastefully furnished with lightly used furniture, and, better yet, if it is offered turn key furnished with all the kitchen utensils, etc. In other words, the motto “Just bring your toothbrush!” is very appealing idea to a buyer of a second home or even primary home. This will often give your property an advantage to sell more quickly.  So you might as well take advantage of it if this is an option for you!

If you try to sell your furniture in a yard sale, or using an on-line service like craigslist or OfferUp, even if it is very high end furniture or rare antiques, you will get likely get pennies on the dollar and it will be time-consuming as well.

If you sell your furniture using a consignment store, they will only select some items that they are interested in selling in their store, and they will take a consignment fee of at least 38% of whatever they sell it for. This can be a good option if you have a lot of high-end furniture in good condition. They can come and pick it up if there are enough items.

Items that you can’t sell easily or quickly or are of insignificant value, you can always donate to a local thrift store like the Angel View Thrift Stores for charity throughout the valley, who can pick up your items and give you a form to complete which you can use as a tax deduction.

Items that you want to keep, you obviously have the option to arrange that a reputable moving company pick them up and move them to wherever you want.

Some people think that a realtor just wants to make more commission by including the furniture with the sale of the home, however, considering the furniture is generally worth $5000 to $20,000, that is very negligible, and not the goal of the realtor. The goal of a realtor is not just to list your home, but to get it SOLD at the best price the market will bear in a timely manner.

Sometimes buyers don’t want any items or they want just a few items, and in that case it actually is an inconvenience for many sellers to arrange to remove the items.

Bottom line is, the goal is to sell the property at the best price that the market will bear and in a timely manner. If a buyer makes a good offer on the home and wants the furniture to be included with the sale of the home, then it is advisable to agree to that. If they are using a lending institution, then it will be stated on a separate Addendum that the furniture is sold at zero value with the sale of the home, because lenders do not lend on furniture.

Every situation is different however the above is a guideline for standard practice here in the desert. Unless you have a special attachment to your furniture and can use it elsewhere, it generally has more value if sold with the house. If you have any questions about this, please let me know! I can be reached at 1-760-587-6009 or you may e-mail me at wendysdesert@gmail.com.

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© All rights reserved by Wendy Campbell 2018

 

 

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.

 

Laguna De La Paz: A stunning setting in La Quinta

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I’m very excited about my new listing in the highly desirable community of Laguna De La Paz, a gated community of condos and detached single family homes surrounding a 7 acre lake framed by gorgeous, rugged mountains of La Quinta. Centrally located in La Quinta, around the corner are many great stores, restaurants and a new state-of-the-art movie theatre! The prices range from the low $200,000s to the mid-$400,000s, with the HOA monthly dues of $550 (at this time, Feb. 7, 2016) covering basically everything, including common area landscaping, 24/7 24 hour guarded gate, the lake, the roof and exterior painting, 15 community pools and 16 community spas, 5 tennis courts, clubhouse, fitness center, sauna, bocce courts, catch and release fishing, walking trail and more!

There is never an excuse for “nothing to do”!

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It’s also very dog-friendly! You’ll see many people getting exercise on the walking trail along the lake with their canine buddies!

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My listing is located at 48121 Vista Cielo, and is a spacious 1980 sq. ft. sunny 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom detached single family residence on a large 6534 sq ft lot which offers enough space to build your own private pool, if you want to! There is a built-in BBQ in the wrap-around patio. It has plantation shutters throughout, a stacked stone fireplace, recessed lighting, a huge walk-in closet in the master bedroom and a split floor plan. It also has a laundryroom and an attached two-car garage. There is a privacy wall all around, and it offers a safe place to let your children and/or furry family play outside. The listing price is only $308,000! This is a great value for so much house and so much amenities!

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Also nearby is the popular Old Town La Quinta which hosts art festivals, farmers’ markets with live music, and there are many tempting restaurants and fashionable boutiques.

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If you are looking to place golf, with your La Quinta residence ID card, you can get special rates at the prestigious SilverRock Golf Course. There are over 120 golf courses throughout the Coachella Valley, and many of them are public. This is a golf mecca so you have many choices for where to play around here!

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If you want to watch polo matches, there are two polo clubs just down the road in Indio, the Empire Polo Club and the Eldorado Polo Club. The Empire Polo grounds are where the world famous Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals happen.

Laguna De La Paz, in La Quinta, offers the best of the desert lifestyle! It’s a very friendly community and is very conveniently located. Please contact me for more information at 760-587-6009 or you may e-mail me. Happy Trails!

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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).

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