The New La Quinta Resort Master Plan

The La Quinta Resort has been working on a new Master Plan which they hope will set a path for the resort’s growth over the next 25-30 years.  The changes will happen in phases and not instantly.  The resort believes there’s a lot of value in a long term plan for its future, something they haven’t had in the past (from a development standpoint).  The Resort is still in the planning stages — they’ve been very active with the community in sharing, listening and incorporating feedback in their endeavor.  They’ve just launched a new website which describes the work in progress, which can be found here:

Property Tax Reassessment

The Riverside County tax assessor is reviewing 350,000 properties in Riverside county that were purchased January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008 to determine their eligibility for a property tax reduction provided in “Proposition 8”. The results are to be mailed out in July.

To check on your property, click here

If you have further questions you may complete our Public Inquiry form, call (951) 955-6200 or contact the county via email at

Where home prices crashed early, signs of a rebound

The New York Times

Where home prices crashed early, signs of a rebound
Hard-hit areas, such as Sacramento, Las Vegas, parts of Florida and California’s Inland Empire, appear to be among the first cities in the nation to reach the early stages of recovery, as investors and first-time buyers compete for bargain-priced foreclosures.


  • By some indications, the market could be close to a bottom.  Pending home sales – homes that are under contract, but have not yet closed – and construction spending rose in March.
  • When a market reaches bottom, foreclosures usually stop piling up and banks become more willing to issue loans, confident that the collateral backing them will not continue to decrease in value.
  • The first-time home buyer tax credits from the federal and state governments, coupled with favorable home prices and near record-low interest rates, led to an increase in home sales in March.  Sales of existing, single-family homes rose 63.8 percent in March compared with the prior year.   Monterey County reported a sales increase of 248.7 percent and the High Desert region saw sales increase 172.7 percent compared with last year, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
  • The median price for the state also increased in March, rising 2.2 percent in month-to-month comparisons.  March marked the first monthly increase since August 2007, while the statewide median price has remained in the $250,000 range for the past three months.

To read the full story, please click here

A short sale may not mean you’re home free

The Wall Street Journal

A short sale may not mean you’re home free
Some homeowners who sell their homes through short sales are finding their mortgage companies still try to collect some or all of the difference between the bank-approved short-sale price and the outstanding mortgage balance.  Some mortgage companies also are taking legal action to recover unpaid amounts after a foreclosure is completed.


  • A lender tactic gaining popularity is for the holders of mortgages or home-equity loans to require borrowers in short sales to sign a promissory note — a written promise to pay back a loan or debt.
  • HSBC Finance has implemented a one-year moratorium on the collection of deficiency balances for short sales and foreclosures that occur after April 1, due to the “current economic environment,” according to an official with the company.

  • Not all borrowers who sell their homes through a short sale or lose their homes to foreclosure will receive a deficiency claim.  Often, mortgage companies don’t try to collect unpaid amounts either because state laws prohibit or limit such actions or the cost outweighs the potential return.  California has anti-deficiency rules that prohibit lenders from pursuing borrowers after foreclosure, but California does not have anti-deficiency rules for a short sale.
  • The borrower’s situation often is the determining factor in whether the lender tries to collect the unpaid debt or not.  The borrower’s employment status, assets, whether the home was purchased as an investment, and the amount of debt owed are taken into consideration.
  • It is important that sellers are informed of the lenders requirements, read the fine print, and ask questions when selling their home via a short sale.  According to one real estate attorney who represents financially troubled homeowners, every short sale she has worked with has had a promissory note or terms giving the lender the right to collect a deficiency.  Often, the terms are buried in the sale contract, according to the attorney.

To read the full story, please click here

April 2009 Price Report

Here are the latest sales numbers for all homes sold within the city
of La Quinta as well as all Golf Course homes in La Quinta. The blue
lines represent 2008 data and the orange lines represent 2009 data.

The chart
above shows Monthly sales of homes within the city of La Quinta. When
looking at “sold” data, you have to remember that the numbers are
generated on the date that the sale is recorded with the county but
that the decision to buy was made about 45 – 60 days earlier.

Although the sales in April are still lagging behind the same period in 2008, we have noticed an improvement in consumer confidence and a slight increase in activity in the higher priced homes brought on by the improving markets on Wall Street. Economists have predicted a slow but steady improvement in the housing market as the year goes on.

We’ll all see if the economists are correct as we proceed into and through the hot months ahead.

number of homes sold in golf course communities in La Quinta has
decreased since this time last year. While the lower end of the market
has been extremely active ($400,000 and below), the upper-end (which
contains many of the golf properties in the chart above) has been
sluggish. This can be attributed to many things, such as the higher
interest rates and tougher qualifications in the jumbo-loan market, and
many 2nd home buyers have been waiting on the sidelines to re-enter the
marketplace once they feel more confident in the economy.

We have sensed
pent-up-demand building and seen increasing activity in the upper-end markets – we’ll all have to see where this summer takes us.

If buying a golf
property is something on your list, why not take advantage of the
incredible prices and seller incentives now, when sellers will work
with you, instead of in the future, when the demand starts to catch up
with the supply? Especially if you’re buying and planning to hold for 5+ years.

The bottom line…

sales in 2009 are lagging behind the same period last year as
far as the numbers and the price/value of the homes reflecting the
downward trend of the general housing market. Please remember that the
decline of the real estate market greatly accelerated in September,
2008 when our economy went into crisis and consumer confidence
disappeared. We are now, 7 months later, beginning to see increased
activity, a trend that many economists believe will continue to grow in
the next several months. With home prices as low as they are now, and
capital starting to flow back into the banking system, tremendous
opportunity exists right now for buyers in all spectrum’s of the market.

Here are some yearly sales figures for the City of La Quinta from 2002:

Year        All LQ      Golf Course
2002        1,354          259
2003        1,565          652
2004        1,931          813
2005        1,553          657
2006        1,098          491
2007           935          447
2008        1,063          416
2009 YTD    320          113