HOT Real Estate Market in the Desert, in Spite of High Temps and the Pandemic Scare!

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A view looking down the famed shopping boulevard El Paseo, in Palm Desert, where most shops and restaurants are open again, though often with restrictions!

Contrary to what many feared would be a cooling down in the real estate market here in the desert, and also elsewhere, the real estate market is bustling with activity! As a Realtor®, part of my daily routine is to look at the MLS every morning to see the New Listings, Under Contract Listings, Pending Listings and Closed Listings. And every morning I am amazed to see that it is a robust market in spite of the coronavirus lockdowns which have caused many people financial hardship!

In general, things usually slow down as the outdoor temperatures soar up into the triple digits, but even that has not affected the real estate sales activity! During the height of the market, generally there are about 30 plus listings in each category (New Listings, Closed Listings, etc). But now, in the heat of the summer and still under a certain level of restrictions due to the coronavirus, it’s alway at least about 40 plus listings in each category on the MLS! And it’s not surprising to see as many as 100 plus or close to it, in each category! This confirms that it is a RED HOT real estate market right here, right now in the desert!


Beautiful sunset as seen in Palm Desert!

However, properties still need to be priced right for the market in order to sell quickly. Properties priced under $400,000 and with similar comps are the ones selling the fastest. In fact, certain neighborhoods such as the La Quinta Cove, Palm Desert Country Club and many in Cathedral City are getting multiple offers and sometimes over the list price!

I currently have a listing that is frequently being shown and an offer may soon be forthcoming any day now, from what one of the agents has told me. The property I have listed on the MLS is located at 43768 Via Magellan Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211, and is located behind the gates to the resort community of Desert Breezes, which offers an enviable lifestyle with community pools and spas, tennis courts, a clubhouse, a fitness center, and all this with mountain views and plenty of shopping nearby! The list price is $329,000 for this adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1839 square foot home with a spacious side yard with mature trees including a citrus tree, an attached 2 car garage, indoor laundry room, cathedral ceilings, ceiling fans, granite counters in the kitchen, walk-in closet in the master bedroom with en suite bathroom, and more. Amazing value!

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43768 Via Magellan Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211

You will be hard-pressed to find a better value in Palm Desert which is centrally located within the Coachella Valley! It’s also close to the famous Indian Wells Tennis Gardens which hosts one of the biggest world-class tennis tournaments in the world! That’s the BNP Paribas Open, where you can watch the tennis greats such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battle it out on the tennis courts and then later enjoy delicious food and beverages at the restaurants within the complex with gorgeous mountain views.


One of the entrances to the famed Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home to the BNP Paribas Open

It seems as if we have the worst of the shutdowns due to the coronavirus scare behind us, however as I write this, no restaurants can serve food or drinks inside, and no beauty services such as hair and nail salons can operate inside either. Thankfully, many of the stores are open such as Macy’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Anthropologie, for a few examples are open for shoppers to shop inside the stores. So it still is certainly a challenging time for restauranteurs and bars and their patrons! Up in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s worse because they don’t even allow outdoor dining at all, from what I understand. Things change every day in these days of the pandemic, so I’m hoping that this too shall pass! And soon!!!

Getting back to my report on the current state of real estate, apparently we are experiencing such a strong market due to several factors:

  • Historic low interest rates…under 3%!!! Like 2.5% on a 30 year fixed-rate loan compared to 4% this time last year!
  • With the pandemic forcing many workers to work from home for the foreseeable future, they are buying homes here in the desert where it’s less congested than metropolitan areas as far as housing and traffic goes
  • Prices here in the desert are much more affordable than metropolitan areas and along the coast here in California
  • The sunny, balmy weather for 8 months of the year is considered by many to be perfectly ideal, whereas the hot summers can be escaped with day trips and weekends to the coast, and fortunately we do have AC!!!

Living in the desert, you are just a little over two hours away (depending on traffic and what part of the desert you live in) from the world renowned beaches of southern California, in places like La Jolla, Encinitas, Del Mar, San Clemente, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica and Malibu.


Surfers of all ages head in to catch waves before the sun sets in Encinitas

On the other hand, if you are in the mood for an alpine setting, you can head up the hills a mile in the sky to the alpine village of Idyllwild, for hiking, browsing through boutiques and galleries and enjoying the dining options there. Or you can hike around or just picnic at Lake Hemet which is an even shorter drive from the desert floor.


Lake Hemet, off Hwy. 74 offers a tranquil, cooler setting for hiking and picnicking in the summer.

Other ideas for escaping the heat are to go to the coast for boating, kayaking, visiting zoos (aquariums, unfortunately are still closed), shopping and dining.


Visit with the sea lions and seabirds while kayaking in the La Jolla Cove!


It’s a treat to be able to be so close to sea lions and seabirds in La Jolla, whether walking along the bluffs or kayaking!

Meanwhile, my listing in the resort community of Desert Breezes offers many fun amenities that can be enjoyed year round! In the summer, you just need to avoid being out in the blazing sun during mid-day hours.


One of the many community pools inside the Desert Breezes community


Enjoy tennis if you like, behind the Desert Breezes clubhouse!

Inside my listing at 43768 Via Magellan Drive, you’ll find beautiful granite counters in the kitchen:


The kitchen features granite counters and new cabinets and a view to the side yard.

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With many windows, a solar tube and cathedral ceilings, it’s bright and light inside!

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The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom with a large walk-in closet

If you would like a private tour of this delightful property, at 43768 Via Magellan Drive, Palm Desert please call me to discuss the details on making that happen! Or look at the 3D tour here. Please note: The Price is now reduced to $329,000.

In the meantime, you can take a more detailed look on-line at my website and also begin viewing other properties on-line as well by clicking here:

Seize the moment and contact me now if you are interested in buying a home or selling one here in our beautiful and exciting desert cities, which include Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Indio and Indian Wells, as well as other nearby cities and towns. If you like, I can set you up on an auto-prospecting search for your dream home. Call me on my cell at 760-587-6009 and let’s talk!

In the meantime, here are some stats about our real estate market here in the desert:

Current Median Prices in Coachella Valley Cities as of June 2020 for Single-Family Residential (SFR) Homes and Attached Homes (Condos):

Palm Springs: SFR $706,0000; Condos $248,000

Cathedral City: SFR $378,750; Condos $176,250

Rancho Mirage: SFR $620,000; Condos $289,000

Palm Desert: SFR $470,000; Condos $305,000

La Quinta: SFR $603,000; Condos $327,625

Indian Wells: SFR $942,000; Condos $399,000

Indio: SFR $335,000; Condos $197,000

Prices have come up in all cities except for Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells compared to June 2019. Prices came up the most in Palm Desert, where the June 2019 median home price was $314,500 and is now $470,000! Now you can see why there is no doubt that my listing at 43768 Via Magellan Drive, Palm Desert is really priced to sell now that it is priced at $329,000 (Initially it was listed for $349,000)! The price for condos has dropped across all the desert cities, perhaps because of the lack of tourism in the recent months, where as normally was the time that a few tourists would buy a second home as in a condo in the desert.

As usual, many of our buyers come from more densely populated areas such as LA, Orange County, San Diego and even the San Francisco Bay Area. Again, it’s great prices, relaxing, less traffic, less densely populated, and wonderful weather that are among the big draws to living here. You can also consider the lively social calendar we have during season, such as Fashion Week, galleries, polo matches and much more, as well as the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, the PGA WEST golfing events and other related golf events, the music festivals such as Coachella and StageCoach, as well as activities such as biking, hiking, golf, swimming, tennis and more that add to the great mix of fun things to participate in here in our sunny desert!

Hopefully, we will be back to normal again soon! Regardless, the desert is truly a wonderful place to call home.


A partial view of the back and side yard of my listing at 43768 Via Magellan Drive, Palm Desert




Dreams Do Come True, Including Meeting Sir Paul McCartney!

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Flying towards the airport of St. Barts was exhiliarating!

I’m 66 and I have a Bucket List, like many people do. One of my dreams was to go and experience St. Barts for myself. I had read about its glittering people, yachts and beaches for years in my Vanity Fair magazines and other magazines. I had even bought a book about it and had it on my nightstand for a few years. So I made the decision, in September, 2017, to arrange a trip during the very peak of the height of the season there, which is from late December until just after New Year’s Day. I told myself I was going to go there “come hell or high water”! Nothing could stop me! “YOLO” as the saying goes!

Then Hurricane Irma raged through the Caribbean Islands, and St. Barts was ravaged by it! “Come hell or high water” indeed! At that point, I told myself that following through with my plans to go to St. Barts would be a downright philanthropic endeavor! Because after all, the people of St. Barts would be losing a lot of tourists during their usual high season, so I vowed to go just the same. To help the people of St. Barts and their economy. Truly a noble cause, right?


Looks like the Yellow Submarine is in Gustavia Harbor!

By the way, there are many ways to write St. Barts: St. Bart’s, St. Barths, or St. Barth’s. Without the “h” is the Anglicized spelling, and with the “h” is the French way to spell it. Just in case you were curious.

I had booked my lodging through, where there is a wide variety of options, including the most popular option for many who go there, which is renting an entire house, or as they call it in St. Barts, a “villa”. They sometimes even call a condo a “villa”! As a single traveler, I opted for a penthouse condo in the Anse de Cayes neighborhood. It offered great views of the bay, with views of crashing waves and islands in the distance. It was economical by St. Barts standards! Fortunately, it was going to be totally repaired, my host told me, by the time of my arrival. I was very happy about that, because many hotels, including all the 5 star hotels and 75% of the villas were closed for repairs due to the damages from the hurricane.


The view from my balcony overlooking the bay at Anse Des Cayes

I kept a close eye on-line for any news about the Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten, where I was going to be flying into, as it was totally devastated by Irma. Fortunately, around Thanksgiving, it was repaired enough to accommodate most flights. The airport was still obviously damaged when I arrived on Dec., 28, 2017, and the process of getting from the JetBlue jet to my connecting 9-seater plane operated by Saint Barth Commuter was a wee bit of mayhem under a series of tents, yet somehow it all worked out: no lost luggage, no missed flights!

Being on my own, I got to sit next to the pilot of the small plane, and had the opportunity took some great shots of the island. I eagerly looked forward to one of the world’s most dangerous landing strips in St. Barts, where the planes fly close to cars and people as it makes its steep descent over the hill and onto the airstrip! As it turned out, I had watched so many Youtube videos of it, it seemed like second-nature!


My iconic shot of a plane about to land in St. Barts

After I landed and got my little white KIA hatchback, the most common car on St. Barts by far, I drove to my condo, following the owner’s directions. Please note, addresses are not used in most parts of St. Barts! I was advised by the owner that the driveway was “adjacent to a large cream-colored electrical box”. I had missed the blind driveway a couple times, due to the fact that the extremely steep and narrow driveway was hidden to the left of the electrical box! I had a sense of intense dread then and every single day I was in St. Barts, as I navigated the car down and up this driveway, praying I would make it in and out without getting hit or hitting anyone. I swear to God, having to go through this anxiety twice a day was the worst thing about my trip there, along with the super-cramped parking spots. Other than the precarious roads in St. Barts, and the crazy drivers, I totally enjoyed my trip to St. Barts!

No wonder there are no exotic luxury cars in St. Barts! Most of the cars in St. Barts have numerous dents and scrapes on them. Almost all the road and driveways are extremely dangerous: very narrow, sharp turns, blind turns, very steep, and no guardrails on cliffsides! Oh my!


Scary roads and drivers aside, St. Barts fulfilled my dreams of what I envisioned it would be like, from my magazine and book readings, and my favorite reality TV shows like “Real Housewives of NYC” and “Below Deck”, and on-line research.

St. Barts is well-known for being a posh celebrity haunt, having some of the biggest and baddest mega yachts, luxury shopping, sixteen amazing beaches, people partying like there’s no tomorrow, great food, wine (especially rose!), rum (spelled “rhum” there!) and amazing views everywhere you look! I made sure to at least sample a little of almost everything I wanted to in this fantastic and fabulous smorgasbord of life on St. Barts!


Almost all the people I met along the way, who are either visiting or living and working there, were friendly, out-going and relaxed, and the mood was contagious! Many people spoke French in a sing-songy cooing way.  Even the dogs are mellow in St. Barts!


Perhaps the highlight of my trip was meeting Sir Paul McCartney and talking with him! He was with his wife Nancy Shevell. I ran into him inside a small juice bar/ restaurant called Kiki e MO’s. “And I Saw Him Standing There” and “he looked at me”, and… he actually said “Hi” to me first! After recognizing who he was, and my initial shock, I had a little conversation with him about how I saw him at the Wembley Stadium performing with Wings in 1979 and how I ran up to the front of the stage and waved at him, and told him that he had looked at me! He smiled at hearing my story, and joked, saying something like “Oh, I knew you looked familiar.” Very cute!


The site of my encounter with Sir Paul McCartney!!! 

Then I took my serving of two scoops (“boules”) of gelato to the outside patio, and after I finished with gobbling those up, I went back inside to ask his wife if it would be “gauche” if I asked her to take a photo of me with Paul (I only had my camera, as I had left my cell phone in the safe in the condo, or I would have taken a selfie!). She shook her head negatively and said, “GAUCHE.” I really couldn’t blame her! I might be the same way if I was in her position! So, I sheepishly left and said out loud something like, “Well at least it’s in my mind now!”

To round it up, here are:

Wendy’s Top 8 Highlights, as in “8 Days A Week (I Looooove You!)”:

  1. Meeting Sir Paul McCartney, and talking with him!
  2. Seeing the fireworks blast off over the mega yachts as they honked their horns in Gustavia Harbor on New Year’s Eve!


    New Year’s Eve in Gustavia Harbor!

  3. Eating a delicious Lobster Thermidor for lunch at La Langouste Restaurant, and enjoying incredibly scrumptious profiteroles for dessert, and then lounging on the beautiful Flammands Beach afterwards while reading a book.


    A lobster is about to become lunch at La Langouste!

  4. Sitting on a lounge on the sand of St. Jean Beach at Tom’s Beach House, while being waited on by a super handsome and super nice young man named Teddy, as I watched the planes take off and land precariously close by. Glass of rose in hand and nibbling on a delicious pannini sandwich!


    Loved lounging here at Tom’s Beach House on St. Jean Beach!

  5. Swimming at Shell Beach, and afterwards resting outside on a lounge at the Shellona Restaurant, while watching the sun set as yachts floated nearby, while enjoying a glass of rose and chatting with friendly people.


    The view from my lounge on Shell Beach! Oo La La!

  6. Dancing the night away at the famous “Le Ti” restaurant and nightclub, which features burlesque acts and has a room full of costumes, many of them inspired by pirates, for partyers to don as they dance the night away! The food is delicious, too!

    Le Ti is LE HOT SPOT in St. Barts!

    Dancing of tabletops is encouraged and actually expected! On the way to the restroom, I couldn’t resist buying a fun dress at the boutique strategically located next to it!


    Me, making out like a pirate at Le Ti!

  7. Hiking down the steep path to the spectacular, secluded Colombier Beach, catching amazing views of the boats and yachts floating in the turqouoise bay on my way down to the perfect sandy beach. The best snorkeling around St. Barts is to be found here, too! Still, it doesn’t compare to places like Cozumel for snorkeling, but you don’t come to St. Barts for the snorkeling! That’s just a nice little extra bonus!
  8. Just driving around St. Barts is exhilarating (but not for the faint of heart!), seeing all the spectacular views all around and stopping for a picnic to take it all in! Just be careful on those roads!


    Me, enjoying a picnic on Pointe Milou, watching seabirds fly!

On the last day that I was there, I was upstairs in the airport’s restaurant, finishing up my last lunch on St. Barts, and my waiter said to me, “Do you want to see Paul McCartney get on his plane?” Obviously, that was a rhetorical question since I had told him that one of the highlights of my trip was talking to Paul McCartney! So I jumped up and followed him to the side windows of the room, and  he pointed to a black Mercedes SUV (the ONLY Miercedes Benz I saw the whole time I was in St. Barts), which was parked near a small airplane. We both watches as Paul’s wife Nancy stepped out of the car first, wearing an elegant wide brimmed hat, and then Paul stepped out wearing a baseball cap. They walked over to the plane and boarded it. We watched as the plane took off, and I waved goodbye to Paul and Nancy, though I doubt if they saw me. I asked my waiter how he knew that Paul was in that car, and he smiled and said, “Oh, I have my connections!”

It was a magical way to end my “Magical Mystery Tour” of St. Barts where I spent “8 Days a Week”, and “I Saw Him Standing There”!  I look forward to my next trip to St. Barts some fine day! “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da! La La! How the Life Goes On!”

Some Tips About St. Barts:

Getting there: From LAX, I took a direct flight on JetBlue which stopped at JFK, then flew into St. Maarten. Then I took a small plane (no jets or big planes fly into St. Barts) on St. Barths Commuter to St. Barts.

Staying there: Of course, there are people who do stay on yachts, but most people rent villas via or SiBarth Real Estate ( is THE biggest local company where you can find villas and condos to rent, along with concierge service if you desire. You can even buy a property through them if you want to and have the big bucks (two million US dollars minimum is what I heard)! They are super nice! As a realtor, I checked in with them to inquire about what it’s like to be a realtor there! Just dreaming!


Villa Grace overlooks Anse Des Cayes Beach

Tipping: Like in France, tips are already included in the pay of waitstaff in St. Barts. However, if you feel like giving something a little extra, for extra good service, that is obviously appreciated!

Water: Most people, even some locals, only drink bottled water, at restaurants and even at home. However many people do drink the tap water. I often did drink the tap water and had no problem with it!

Recommended Restaurants: For nightlife, Le Ti at least once is a MUST! For breakfast and lunch, and even dinner, La Cantina is a great choice, as it’s right on the harbor, and the prices are very reasonable!


La Cantina is a great go-to place for breakfast, lunch or dinner by the harbor!

For the best lobster dinner, La Langouste is a must! 194Treat yourself to a dessert such as these totally delectable profiteroles! You’re on vacation, after all!195

For a Cheeseburger in Paradise, Le Select is a must! 030It’s what inspired Jimmy Buffet’s song of the same name! Best priced cheeseburger on the island!

For a delicious dinner on the beach, with great people-watching, Shellona Restaurant is divine!

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Make the scene at Shellona Restaurant on Shell Beach, the best place to watch the sunset!

For a casual lunch on the beach, along with great people-watching and watching the airplanes come and go close by, it’s Tom’s Beach House!

Shopping: The shopping is legendary in St. Barts! Most of the top designer brands are represented in St. Barts, along with other French brands not well known in the US, in Gustavia. There are also some great boutiques in the village of St. Jean, and some more boutiques in The La Savane Commercial Centre, which is across the street from the airport. Some good deals can be found! I got a beautiful pair of silver metallic sandals for only 20 Euros at one of the cute boutiques a few doors down from the Nikki Beach boutique near St. Jean! Amazing!

One night in Gustavia, I happened upon a fun night where there was a DJ and free exotic drinks being offered at the various shops on three levels of divine boutiques, for a lively party atmosphere. You will be delighted at the amazing array of shoes, caftans, dresses, tops and shorts (fancy pants!), cashmere shawls, lingerie, and even tee shirts and bathrobes you can choose from! As for jewelry, the most popular by far are South Sea Tahitian pearls that are strung on either leather or satin cords, in a variety of ways, for mostly necklaces.


Gustavia shops stay open late! Music, drinks, shopping, Oh My!

Best Time To Go: The height of the season is between Christmas and New Year’s Day, with New Year’s Eve being the peak party night, of course! This is the best time to go, to run into celebrities, like Paul McCartney, for instance! I met alot of people who saw Paul and his wife, including a couple who sat next to them while eating dinner at Isola Restaurant! Paul and his family go there at least once a year or more! Apparently he was ubiquitous there, when I was there! Lucky for me!!! It’s less expensive and nice and warm in the springtime, so that’s also a very popular time to go.

My Favorite Beaches: For socializing, my favorites are Shell Beach, with its Shellona Restaurant, and StJean Beach, with its Tom’s Beach House, both great spots for prime people-watching and where you can have some delectable food and a glass of whatever with your toes in the sand. There’s also great yachts-watching at Shell Beach and planes-watching at Jean Beach. For drop dead gorgeous, quiet privacy, and calm waters as well as good snorkeling opportunities, it’s Colombier Beach. Saline Beach is so beautiful but it was a little too windy the day I was there, as was Flamands Beach. For hanging out and enjoying the quiet and calm waters, I really enjoyed Governeur Beach, with the extra added bonus of seeing Russian oligarch and playboy Roman Abramovich’s gates to his compound near the entrance of the beach. He also owns the mega yacht, the “Eclipse”. Just a fun fact!


Governeur Beach is a delightful place to relax!

That about wraps it up for now, until my next fantabulous adventure! In the meantime, for me, I think my trip to St. Barts really tops the charts!!!



All photos taken by Wendy Campbell.

Copyright 2018

Saline Beach

Entering Saline Beach…Ahhhh… 





Cupcake & Wendy Celebrate New Year 2012 in Beverly Hills

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Cupcake & Me in front of $1.7 million dollar Bugatti on Rodeo Drive in front of Bijan

Beverly Hills, Dec. 31, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2011

When my friend Jane offered me her apartment to use while she was visiting relatives in New York City for New Years, I decided to take her up on that offer. Beverly Hills is one of my favorite places in the world, so why not celebrate New Years Eve and Day there?

As my Chihuahua puppy Cupcake and I strolled down Rodeo Drive, we  joined the small crowd of people ogling the late Bijan’s $1.7 million Bugatti parked outside his eponymous men’s clothing store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on the last day of 2011.  I have since learned that Bijon, a man of great style and remembered with a perpetual smile in all his photos, died this past year at the young age of 67 of a stroke.  But his store and car are still around and attracting fans.

Cupcake and I then headed to one of my favorite restaurants Villa Blanca, which is owned by Lisa Vanderpump of the reality TV show “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, and her husband Ken Vanderpump.

And who should come right by my table where I was sitting with Cupcake, but Ken Vanderpump himself! I greeted him and asked him how was Giggy, his and Lisa’s now famous adorable Pomeranian dog.  He good-naturedly said that’s what so-and-so (someone just a couple tables down from me) just asked him, and he added that Giggy was fine, and I introduced him to Cupcake, whom he petted briefly. I told him I’m looking forward to the next episode of the show.  I had actually bumped into him a few weeks ago while checking out their other restaurant Sur on Robertson Boulevard, and asked him about Giggy then too. I’m sure he gets asked about their beloved Giggy all the time! After he moved on to attend to his duties of the day, all of a sudden I heard some people across the street singing “Happy Birthday” to someone at Villa Blanca.  Lo and behold, there is Lisa Vanderpump dressed in a demure gray and white outfit holding none other than Giggy himself, leading the song!  I should have taken a photo at that moment but I was too mesmerized.  It was a surreal moment to witness this and especially after talking to Ken Vanderpump.  Forget about Reality TV, this was Reality!

Of course, afterwards, I was thinking it would be fun to introduce Cupcake to Giggy, but I then I thought it would be better not to.  I’m sure Lisa was very busy attending to her guests there. I have been there for dinner a few times with friends, and it is a magical place.  You feel as if you could be on the French Riviera or Cabo San Lucas (I’ve been to both), or Ibiza or St. Barths (haven’t been to those two places yet).  All airy whites, silvers, crystal, enormous bouquets of white flowers, simple yet luxuriant country style. Wonderful ambiance.  After lunch, Cupcake and I walked around Rodeo Drive and surrounding streets, people-watching and window-shopping, perhaps the best in the world. When New Year’s Eve finally arrived, I dressed up in my favorite dress, from Nanette Lepore, and my favorite evening shoes, Louboutin look-alikes by Guess, and my new necklace, a Christmas gift from a good friend, and drove down Sunset Boulevard just for fun.  Drove by all the hotspots, the House of Blues, The Roxy, The Key Room, The Comedy Store, the Chateau Marmont.  There were people out but not huge crowds. Many people, even in Los Angeles, spend New Year’s Eve at private parties, apparently, or just play it safe and stay at home.  I went back to the apartment to park my car, and walked practically across the street and thru a passageway to one of my favorite hotspots in Beverly Hills, Cafe Roma. There I met new friends and had a ball.  It was a great way to spend New Year’s Eve.

The crowd there was eclectic and having fun.  There was a DJ and people were dancing. Including me!

Everyone got into the act!

It was a wonderful ambiance, and although the music was loud, one could still carry on conversations.

The spirit was upbeat, and balloons floated around.

In general, I had a total blast, and it was a New Year’s Eve I will always remember!

After the countdown to the New Year 2012, confetti was released from the ceiling and it fluttered down on us and into our drinks.

I didn’t indulge too much in drinking martinis thankfully, so the next morning, Cupcake and I headed out to have breakfast at one of my favorite spots for breakfast in Beverly Hills, Le Pain Quotidien, which is very dog-friendly with its outdoor tables.  It’s got a great French country chic ambiance as well.  You never know who you’ll see there.  Once I saw actor Michael York buying some bread there.  It’s a very pleasant place to read the morning papers (borrowed from someone else there usually), drink some fresh squeezed orange juice, nibble on the fresh baked bread and sample one of the delicious omelets.

After re-fueling, Cupcake and I embarked on a long hike throughout the tree-lined streets of the residential section of Beverly Hills, starting with the parks.

The residential streets are lined with mostly palatial homes that are simply gorgeous.  I’d love to list one or more of them, after all, I’m a realtor with Power Brokers International, and we have an office in Beverly Hills, as well as in Palm Desert. Let’s face it, I’d love to own one of these fabulous mansions!  Cupcake would love rolling around in the grass.

Bushy-tailed squirrels dashed about doing their business in the grass and in the luxurient leafy trees. This house looks comfy, eh? There were some teardowns, here and there, but I expect they won’t last long.  Most of the homes along the residential boulevards were beautifully kept mansions.  Some were reminiscent of homes in New England or in the Hamptons, while others were more Italian or French-inspired.

Many of the homes have gated driveways, and some with security cameras, and high walls of brick and mortar or of manicured bushes, but others are surprisingly “open”, as in no wall, no gates, just out in the open in plain view.

There are many beautiful parks around Beverly Hills for everyone to enjoy, whether walking, jogging or strolling with the dog.

With Cupcake, I’m never alone!

After our long stroll, Cupcake and I refuel at the Beverly Hills Deli, where they were kind to bring a little bowl of water for Cupcake. Then, for desert we headed to my favorite cupcake bakery Crumbs, on Santa Monica Boulevard.

On the way back to the apartment, we met a Chihuahua that was even smaller than Cupcake.  His name was Mario and he is a teacup Chihuahua who is seven years old!  His owners had just bought him the sweater he is wearing in the photo at the Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Drive, which is where this photo was taken.

Soon, it was time for Cupcake and me to head back to the desert, although I was tempted to take him to the beach since it was so downright HOT!

Before we left, I indulged Cupcake in one of his favorite things to do in Beverly Hills: rolling around with delight in the green grass!

Cupcake LOVES to roll around in the cool, green grass of Beverly Hills

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.

Where the City Meets the Beach: Marina Del Rey


Houses on the Grand Canal of Marina Del Rey

I received an e-mail flyer about an exciting Broker’s Open House in a $1.695 mil condo in Marina Del Rey the other day, so I decided to go check it out.  It was going to be filmed for a show on HGTV, which added another layer of excitement to the adventure.

When I pulled up, I saw that they had a valet service for the brokers! We don’t see that very often, if ever, out here in the desert for Broker Open Houses!

The outside of the building was bland, the stairs leading to the hallway to the door of the condo, likewise unimpressive.  But once inside, one was transported to a Balinese fantasy with designer finishes on three floors, and lush greenery outside the balconies.  The only problem is that the other condos in this older building had not been similarly updated and jazzed up, but maybe they will follow suit eventually.

The TV camera crew was there filming the scene of realtors exploring the condo, or chatting in the kitchen area, and the realtor who was hosting the open house was the image of a young Hollywood star.

Even though I was not a “local” realtor, everyone was very friendly and talkative.

I spoke with someone who owns a fabulous, fully furnished Mediterranean three story home, with a rooftop deck, on the Grand Canal  which was across the street from the condo where the open house was. He and his wife are leasing it, asking for $12,500 month, and so if anyone reading this is interested, please contact me, because I can arrange a tour of it if you are seriously interested in leasing a property in this prestigious area, just 4 minutes away from the beach.  Many celebrities and dignataries have leased this home long-term, so it is a wonderful opportunity.

Not only is it so close to the beach, but to the south, there is the largest man-made marina with many fine restaurants, but to the north, it is bordered by Venice Beach and is an eclectic, established neighborhood with many cafes, restaurants and boutiques.  The hip Abbot Kinney Road, lined with boutiques and eateries, is a short stroll away.

An attendee at the open house gave me a hot tip, that just around the corner was another party at a brand new condominium called Lattitude 33, comprised of three mid-rise buildings.  Is mid-rise a word? Well, they aren’t quite high rise. These modern condominiums seemd to me to be a good value, starting in the low $800s.

Entering the courtyard of Latitude 33 for the party

The party was great for people-watching and swelled in size as the night went on.

Great people watching!

There was a silent auction of surfboards that were painted upon by artists, starting off at $400, all to benefit the charity “Heal the Bay”.

The sunset from the second story exposed hallway was spectacular!

Marina Del Rey Sunset

The band that played was very talented and I hope to see them at the Emmy’s someday winning an award.  The name of the band is Makepeace Brothers, and the two lead singers and guitar players are actually THE Makepeace brothers, that is their real name. And some of the songs they sang were about peace and love.

At about 9:30 pm, things wound down and it was time to hit the road, back to my beloved desert.

Keep in mind, if you or anyone you know is looking for a fabulous house to rent in this fabulous area, please contact me for more information.