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Real Estate News – Flood Insurance

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) released a primer on the difference between water damage covered under a homeowners policy and damage covered by flood insurance. The Institute reported 40% of homeowners think that standard homeowners insurance covers flood damage caused by heavy rain, which it does not. “Hurricane Harvey has, once again, shown that tropical storm systems are often major rain events, rather than wind-related. This brings strong motivation for everyone to consider flood insurance, even if their mortgage lender does not require it,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of Media Relations with the I.I.I. According to the I.I.I.’s May 2016 Consumer Insurance Survey, only 12% of homeowners have flood insurance nationally, the lowest number since 2010 and down from 14% in 2015. Standard homeowners and renters insurance will cover wind damage from Hurricanes. Flood coverage, however, is excluded and is available in the form of a separate policy from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a few private insurers. The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. Replacement cost coverage is available for the structure of a home but only actual cash value coverage is available for possessions. Excess flood insurance provides protection above the NFIP limits. It is available from private insurers for higher valued properties and for those living in a community that does not participate in the NFIP. Source: Builder 


California Desert Association of REALTORS July Desert Housing Report

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Typical Home Buyers Expenses

Upcoming Events Around Coachella Valley

Information provided by Peggy Sue Lane and Catherine Robinson with First American Title
VillageFest   Every Thursday
Downtown Palm Springs transforms into a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks and sweets. Add all that to the great shops, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues located along World Famous Palm Canyon Drive – and the result is one of Southern California’s most popular weekly events: VillageFest!
Time/Place: 6-10pm / Palm Canyon Drive
Contact: 760-320-3781 / www.villagefest.orgCollege of the Desert Street Fair   Every Sat. & Sun.
With merchandise and services for all ages and any budget, the Street Fair offers more than 300 merchants, artists, a farmer’s market, live entertainment, gourmet food and much more.
Time/Place: 7am-2pm / 43500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert
Contact: 760-636-7957 / http://codaastreetfair.comFree Kids Summer Film Series   Through Aug. 18
The Cathedral City Parks and Community Events Commission in partnership with the Mary Pickford Theatre presents a Free Summer Kids Film Series happening on every Friday.
Time/Place: 9:30am / 36850 Pickfair St., Cathedral City
Contact: 760-328-7100 / www.dplaceentertainment.comLa Quinta Summer Golf Tour   Through Aug. 26
The City of La Quinta would like to welcome all of this year’s participant’s to the 2017 La Quinta Summer Golf Tour! This recreational golf program is all about providing an enjoyable experience, making new friends, and providing equal opportunities to participants to be winners. Thank you to all tour players for continuing to make this City golf program a success every year!
Contact: 760-777-7014 / of Twentynine Palms Summer Movies   Aug. 3
All movies are shown on the north wall of the racquetball court in Luckie Park. Bring your lawn chairs. Concessions available. Admission is FREE thanks to our Sponsors.
Time/Place: 8:45pm / Luckie Park, Utah Trail
Contact: 760-367-3445 / www.29chamber.orgDive-In Movies at Wet ‘n’ Wild   Aug. 4
Dive in Movies are FREE with park admission every Friday. Go early, play during the day and stay late to enjoy your favorite film pool side. The movies are intended to be family-friendly, but please use discretion. Movies will start after dusk and the park will be open to 10 p.m., weather permitting.
Time/Place: 7:30-10pm / Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs: 1500 S Gene Autry Trail
Contact: 760-327-0499 / www.wetnwildpalmsprings.comSplash House   Aug. 11-13
Our official venues include The Saguaro Palm Springs, Riviera Palm Springs, and Renaissance Palm Springs. Each hotel hosts a poolside stage programmed with festival artists. Playing host to many future stars in a singularly boutique environment, attendees have always been treated to a forward thinking roster of what is next in electronic music. Shuttles run non-stop between the venues so you can hop to another pool at any time. Event is 21+.
Contact: www.splashhouse.comIdyllwild Arts presents Jazz in the Pines   Aug. 11-13
Featuring over two dozen amazing artists. Attendees can also browse the Festival Marketplace for festival t-shirts, hats, and posters, and also for jewelry, pottery, and other crafts created by the Idyllwild area’s many outstanding artists. The Marketplace also offers a broad range of food and drink options, including Cajun cooking and barbecue, ice cream and smoothies, and much more.
Time/Place: Idyllwild Arts Academy: 52500 Temecula Rd.
Contact: 951-468-7210 /

Taste of Summer Rancho Mirage   Aug. 11-20
This summer, the Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association, Chamber of Commerce and City of Rancho Mirage are teaming up to kick off an event that will cook up cool summer specials to showcase their drinks and desserts. With the purchase of a $10 Taste of Summer wristband, patrons will be able to enjoy $4 offers at participating Rancho Mirage restaurants and resorts during the promotion. Wristbands may be purchased at the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce.
Time/Place: Various locations in Rancho Mirage
Contact: 760-568-9351 /

2nd Saturdays Art Walk on Perez Road   Aug. 12
Discover special art exhibits, museum quality art as well as cultural art to brighten your soul, meet other like-minded people, and maybe get a little exercise going from art gallery to design gallery to art gallery.
Time/Place: 5-8pm / Cathedral City’s Art & Design District
Contact: 760-770-0340 /

Michael Jackson History Show   Aug. 12
A spectacular music tribute and full-scale stage production honoring the one and only King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Get the full Michael Jackson concert experience with accomplished impersonator Dantanio – electrifying in his role as Jackson – plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes and state-of-the-art production.
Time/Place: 8pm / Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage

4 Valley Chambers August Mixer   Aug. 15
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network with Four Valley Chambers with over 3,000 members combined.
Time/Place: 5-7pm / Acqua California Bistro at The River in Rancho Mirage
Contact: 760-568-9351 /

Hot is Cool: Sizzling Summer Film Series   Aug. 17
In collaboration with Palm Springs International Film Society. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Films are subject to change. Tonight’s movie is “Paris, Texas.”
Time/Place: 6pm / The Annenberg Theater & Meyerman Sculpture Garden
Contact: 760-325-4490 /

FitKid In Every Park – Fishing at the Kid’s Pond   Aug. 19
FitKid in Every Park is a free community service program through The California Parks Company to encourage young children to get outside in nature to enjoy the great outdoors. Ages 5-12. Reserve your child’s spot today! Wear appropriate clothing. Bring sunblock, snack from home & water or purchase on property.
Time/Place: 10am-12pm / Lake Hemet
Contact: 951-659-2680 /

Desert Stories XI – An Epic Spoken Word Event   Aug. 19
Featured by the L.A. Times, this popular signature event for the region sells-out every year! Hosted by Cheryl Montelle and featuring an exciting line-up of new eclectic artists, come hear more true-life experiences and a few tall tales from some of the Desert’s best storytellers—and some special guests.
Time/Place: 6-10pm / Hi-Desert Cultural Center: 61231 Hwy 62, Joshua Tree
Contact: 760-366-3777 /

Family Movie Matinee: “Trolls”   Aug. 19
Trolls features a colorful troupe of lovable characters who love to sing, dance and play. Princess Poppy is given her crown on the same day that a mysterious giant arrives, but he doesn’t want to sing or play. Poppy and Branch go on a rescue mission that takes them further away from home than they’ve ever been. It’s a journey that will challenge their courage and show their true colors.
Time/Place: 2pm / Palm Springs Public Library
Contact: 760-322-7323 /

Free Entrance Day at Joshua Tree National Park   Aug. 25
National parks are America’s Best Idea, and there are 400 available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite.
Time/Place: Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms

Yappy Hour   Aug. 25
The complementary special event celebrates the hotel’s partnership with Animal Samaritans animal shelter and the successful adoption of 86 dogs. All dogs and their owners are invited to attend, with doggie-VIP status granted to dogs who were adopted through the Adopt-a-Pet program. Human guests will enjoy a howlin’ good time with drink specials. Four-legged partygoers will enjoy haute hound cuisine from the Patio Pooch Menu.
Time/Place: 4-6pm / Westin Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage
Contact: 760-324-9400 /

Comic Con Palm Springs   Aug. 25-27
Don’t miss the definitive comic experience at Comic Con Palm Springs as we bring together all your favorite Artists, creators, celebrities, cosplayers, to one explosive annual event! Twisted Toons – Live Script Reading of Back to the Future! Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Animated Batman/ Death of Superman. Zombie Maze Room. Zombie/Saber Walk. CCPS Symphony Pop Live. Geek Fest Film Fest. Zombie Café. Sean Rich’s Weapons. Super Sonic Speed Dating. Late Night Zombie Movie.
Time/Place: Fri 2-7pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 9:30am-4:30pm / Palm Springs Convention Center
Contact: 760-359-8372 /

United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire Bowl-A-Thon   Aug. 26
All proceeds help us continue to provide six Skillbuilders after school and Summer Camp programs in Indio, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Mecca, Palm Springs and Cathedral City.
Time/Place: 10:30am-2pm / Palm Springs Lanes, Cathedral City

Stunning New Luxury Listing in Rancho Mirage, CA

Nestled in Thunderbird Heights enjoy your own private desert oasis of luxury living in this beautiful contemporary home that blends outdoor and indoor living spaces! Totally remodeled in 2011 this home offers 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths (2 en suite bedrooms create an attached casita with separate entrance) a new 60  ft swimming pool with spa, fire pit, extended rear yard space, outdoor kitchen/BBQ area, expansive covered patio w/fireplace, ceiling fans, heaters and roll down shades providing elegant yet relaxed entertaining elements. Entering the home from the circular driveway with porte-cochere you will find a large dining room to the right, living room w/marble fireplace that flows into the oversized family room featuring a sliding glass wall that recesses to open to the patio. Gourmet kitchen featuring double dishwashers, two wine coolers, four refrigerated drawers plus more. Master suite includes a private office with a separate outdoor patio and craft room. Offered at $3,350,000.

For more information or to schedule an appointment….Call me at 760-567-2332

Protecting Your Home…A few helpful ideas!

Stop, Thief!

FHFA increases conforming loan limits for first time since 2006

Provided by California Association of REALTORS®

California REALTORS® commend FHFA for raising Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 23) –  The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement to increase the 2017 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $424,100 on one-unit properties and a cap of $636,150 in high-cost areas. The previous loan limits were $417,000 and $625,500, respectively.

“C.A.R. applauds FHFA Director Mel Watt for raising the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits, which will provide stability and certainty to the housing market and give tens of thousands of California homebuyers a chance at homeownership,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “The FHFA recognizes that home prices have recovered, not just in California but also across the nation. Many higher-priced areas of the state will benefit greatly from the higher limit.”

C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) both have long advocated for making higher conforming loan limits permanent. As a result of C.A.R.’s and NAR’s efforts, cities with high median home prices have benefited from a loan limit above the national conforming loan limit.

The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or “guarantee.” Non-conforming or “jumbo loans” typically have tighter underwriting standards and carry higher mortgage interest rates than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and hampering the ability of families in California to purchase homes by making them less affordable.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

The New Hot Housing Market: Vacation Homes

Source: National Association of REALTORS®
Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, April 02, 2015

It’s a good time to have a vacation real estate niche. Vacation home sales jumped to a record high in 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. Vacation home sales climbed to an estimated 1.13 million last year, the highest since NAR began its survey in 2003.

Sales of vacation homes rose 57 percent compared to the 717,000 tally in 2013. Vacation sales in 2014 nearly doubled the combined total of the previous two years.

“Affluent households have greatly benefited from strong growth in the stock market in recent years, and the steady rise in home prices has likely given them reassurance that real estate remains an attractive long-term investments,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Furthermore, last year’s impressive increase also reflects long-term growth in the numbers of baby boomers moving closer to retirement and buying second homes to convert into their primary home in a few years.”

Vacation home sales comprised 21 percent of all transactions in 2014 – the highest market share since NAR began conducting its survey.

As vacation home sales soared, investment purchases dropped for the fourth consecutive year, the report showed. Investment home sales in 2014 fell 7.4 percent to an estimated 10.2 million in 2014 compared to 1.10 million in 2013. The market share of investment sales dropped to 19 percent in 2014 from 20 percent in 2013.

“Despite strong rental demand in many markets, investment property sales have declined four consecutive years to their lowest share since 2010 as rising home prices and fewer distressed properties coming onto the market have further reduced the number of bargains available to turn into profitable rentals,” Yun says.

Here are some additional findings from the report:

Sales prices: The median sales price of vacation and investment homes dropped last year. The median vacation home price was $150,000, an 11 percent drop from $168,700 in 2013. The median sales price of an investment home was $125,000, down 3.8 percent from a year ago when it was $130,000.

All-cash transactions: The share of vacation buyers who paid in all-cash dropped to 30 percent in 2014 compared to 38 percent in 2013. Investment buyers who paid all-cash in their transactions dropped to 41 percent in 2014 compared to 46 percent in 2013. For those buyers who did finance their purchase with a mortgage, 48 percent of vacation buyers and 41 percent of investment buyers financed less than 70 percent of the purchase price.

Distressed properties: Forty-five percent of vacation homes and 44 percent of investment homes purchased last year were distressed properties – either a foreclosure or short sale.

Vacation buyer profile: The average vacation home buyer last year had a median household income of $94,380 – higher than in 2013 when the median income was $85,600. Vacation home buyers also tended to buy a property that was a median distance of 200 miles away, and plan to own their property for a median of six years. Forty percent of vacation buyers bought a home in a beach area, 19 percent purchased in the country, and 17 percent purchased a vacation home in the mountains.

Investment buyer profile: The average investment home buyer in 2014 had a median household income of $87,680 – less than $111,400 in 2013. The median distance of the investment property was 24 miles from their primary residence. Investment buyers purchased property for a variety of reasons, including for rental income (37 percent), because of low prices and the buyer found a good deal (17 percent) and for potential price appreciation (15 percent). Investment buyers plan to hold onto the property for a median of five years. The South was the the most popular choice for investment properties. The majority of investment buyers (37 percent) purchased a property in the South last year, followed by 26 percent in the West, 20 percent in the Midwest, and 17 percent in the Northeast.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Isn’t it time you thought about purchasing your next home?

Fannie Mae Offers Closing Cost Aid to First Time Home buyers

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced a new program that allows first-time home buyers of its properties to receive up to 3 percent of the purchase price in closing cost assistance. On a $150,000 priced home, for example, buyers could receive up to $4,500 in closing cost savings.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath Ready Buyer Program requires eligible buyers to complete an online home buyer education course as well as purchase a HomePath property – the branding that Fannie Mae uses for the foreclosed properties it owns.
“Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process,” says Jay Ryan, vice president of REO Sales at Fannie Mae. “We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time home buyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of home ownership.”
The education course buyers are required to take covers the responsibilities of owning a home and the home buying process. The course includes nine, 30-minute sessions and is offered exclusively online.

To be eligible for the program, buyers must:
• Complete the online HomePath Ready Buyer training course on and receive the Certificate of Completion.
• Must be a first-time homebuyer (who has not owned a property in the past three years) and who has plans to reside in the property as the primary residence. Auction, pool and investor sales are not eligible.
• Make their request for closing cost assistance at the initial offer, submitted on or after April 14, 2015.

Visit the Fannie Mae website for additional information about the HomePath Ready Buyer Program.
Source: “Fannie Mae Launches HomePath Ready Buyer Education Program for First-Time Home Buyers,” Fannie Mae (April 14, 2015)

Lenders Forecast Rosy Spring for Mortgages

Fannie Mae survey shows improved economy, loosening credit standards fueling optimism

Mortgage lenders expect increased demand and profit margins as we head into spring, according to Fannie Mae’s first-quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

According to the survey, released today, an improved economy and relaxed credit standards are fueling optimism among lenders as the first quarter comes to an end.

After gradually trending down throughout 2014, lenders’ purchase mortgage demand expectations for all types of loans (GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible and government loans) increased this quarter across institution sizes and types (mortgage banks, depository institutions and credit unions), although there might be seasonal influences, the survey found.

For GSE-eligible purchase loans, 71 percent of lenders surveyed said they expect purchase mortgage demand to rise in the next three months, compared with 59 percent reported during the same quarter last year. Additionally, 41 percent of lenders reported increased profit margin expectations, up from 21 percent during the same quarter in 2014.

Results also showed that the credit tightening observed last year has continued to trend down gradually moving into 2015. Across all loan types, lenders said credit is easing, and mortgage banks were more likely than depository institutions to agree with this sentiment.

Senior mortgage executives indicated they are more optimistic about the overall economy, but more pessimistic about consumers’ ability to get a mortgage today.

“The first-quarter results mirror a similar trend among American households,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “These results are consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment and increasing consumer confidence should support a modest housing expansion in 2015, after an uneven and disappointing year for housing activity in 2014.”
An improving economy, strengthening employment and increasing consumer confidence should support a modest housing expansion in 2015.” – Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae

Lenders’ profit margin outlook has improved significantly from last year, particularly for larger lenders.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 4 and Feb. 16 by Fannie Mae and Penn Schoen Berland.

Article provided by Amy Swinderman with Select Mortgage in Inman News