101 Things To Do in Palm Springs, Lifestyle

The Best 20 Mile Bike Ride In Palm Springs- A Tour Of The Windmills

The Palm Springs Desert Area is a great place to ride your street bike year round. Out near Desert Hot Springs, there are many great rides that have all the desert feel and in some cases very little traffic plus the views are fantastic and the ride is great.  Its a very gradual climb from 820 ft up to 1702 ft and we had a slight headwind going up but the ride down was fun and FAST!.

We stopped for a few photos along the way and a short video of the panorama so enjoy the photos and video and when in Palm Springs, give us a call and I can help you plan a bike ride.  Or maybe sell you a home.  Either way, Palm Springs, CA is your winter vacation place to be.

min: 820.0 ft max: 1702.3 ft last: 1702.3 ft   total dist: 8.5 mi;

change: 88 ft total gain: 882 ft grade: 3% max grade: 3%

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101 Things To Do in Palm Springs, Lifestyle

Laying By The Pool Is Not A Winter Sport- 10 Great Things To Do In Palm Springs, Ca

Palm Springs TourismIf you think that coming to Palm Springs for a winter vacation is only about laying out by the pool, well think again. There is so much more to do which is why this area has been a vacation get-away since the 1930’s when it was discovered by the Hollywood set.  And there’s so much more than world class golf and tennis too.

So what is there to do for fun?

  1. Take A Hike: we have over 140 hiking trails in the area and they are 97% free.  The book “140 Great Hikes in and Near Palm Springs” is a book any Palm Springs resident or visitor should have on their coffee table.  It contains all the information you will need to plan a great hike suited for any hiking level.  Also, check out this article in Palm Springs Life.
  2. Ride A Bike- the desert area is flush with biking trails for on road and off-road biking.  Another great book, “Cycling The Palm Springs Region” will give you a host of information about this great resource.  And Palm Springs is only one of the desert cities that has made biking a priority in its General Plan and is working with the Coachella Vally Non-Motorized Commission to and to and improve the biking trails and paths in the city.
  3. Tour the windmills yes you can take a Windmill tour and learn a lot about these machines and see up close just how big they really are.
  4. See A Fault- The San Andreas Fault runs through the region and there are tours available that are adventures in nature.  While following this natural wonder, you will also see many of the wonderful things the desert has to offer with all its beauty.
  5. The Whitewater Trout Preserve is a great ride in a car or it’s a superb bike ride.  From Palm Springs, it’s about 18 miles to the top.  For bikers, it’s a 4.5 mile steady climb and is good for bikers who are in shape as the climb goes from 450 ft in Palm Springs to 2300 feet at the top.  Once there, you can take a walk, see the facilities, or have a picnic.
  6. Go to see The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.  This year, they are really putting on a show as they always do, always new, and the music is now from the 70’s back to the golden days of the 40’s and 50’s.  This is their 21st year and after 4000 shows, they sure do know what they’re doing!
  7. Shop Palm Canyon Drive- its cozy and varied and so interesting.  From the custom jewelry at Michael Weims to the joys of Crystal Fantasy its one helluva place to take a walk.  From the Downtown Shops and Restaurants to the Uptown Design, Arts and Restaurant District, you will find something of interest for everyone in your party.
  8. Thursday Night Village Fest and Museum Tours- ALL FREE.  Village Fest has been going on for many years with its unique vendors, organic foods and flavorful food court all to bring a smile to your face.  And the Palm Springs Museum is open free from 4-8 PM for you to tour and take in some very fine exhibits.
  9. Do I HAVE To Go Up The Palm Springs Aerial Tram?  YES!  The best thing you can do if you have never taken the ride. The ride up to the 8700 foot peak is absolutely breathtaking and once at the top of the Tram, there’s dining, spectacular viewing of the entire valley and great hiking.
  10. Do Nothing- yes, if you lay by the pool or the Jacuzzi, its a great place to relax as the mountains around you bring peace and serenity.

So there you have it!  Having fun in this winter paradise is why Palm Springs endures as a prime choice for a winter vacation.

Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

Buyers: Are you searching for your primary residence? We have a variety of Palm Springs homes for sale and have what it takes to get you settled in the neighborhood of your choice.

Selling your home? Your home selling experience will be one that is easy, friendly and professional. Our mission is to offer outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and Internet technology available. We are totally connected to the Internet and will market your home on every venue available! Results is what you expect and results is what you will get.

If you are planning to buy Palm Springs investment property, or property in the surrounding area, we have the staff partners who will help with any project or property management tasks while you are away. We have helped with the small properties all the way up to the multi-million dollar projects.

We’re not here just to sell you a home. We’re here to help you find the dream home you’ll love then make it yours!

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please fill out the online contact form or give us a call at 760-413-2871.

Buyers, Finance/Lending

How To Present A Solid Mortgage Application & What To Expect From The Process

The FICO ScoreToday we attended a Realtor’s meeting in Palm Springs, CA and learned what is happening with mortgages and underwriting in today’s lending environment.  In reality, the loan process is all about the underwriting and quality control departments.  Your loan must pass through certain stages and its closely scrutinized especially before funding which is the final step.  

Here is a summary of what we took away from that meeting.

  1. Sourcing deposits is important. Money used for your down payment must show a source.  That means it has come from an allowed source such as savings,  payroll, etc.  If it just appears in your account and they can’t trace it, it is not allowed.  This stops buyers from borrowing the down-payment thus incurring 2 loans and not being able to pay.
  2. Have income documents going back 2 years especially if self-employed.  Be ready  to explain anything unusual up front.  They look at every detail so if you think you can hide it from the underwriters, think again!
  3. Be able to explain any large deposits. Again, they look at the source of all monies.
  4. Make no major purchases just before or during the process especially a car.  Its better to wait.
  5. FICO Scores and Clean Credit.  The two links in this line to the left are articles we’ve written on the subject.  You can not get a mortgage without a good FICO score and good credit.  For help on those and to learn more, read the articles and of course, call us with any questions. 
  6. Income and self employment issues.  What you show on your tax return is what gets used as your income.  If you’ve hidden some income, it is not used for your loan qualification so keep it all above-board
  7. Advise your lender of any job changes including the fact that you are about to retire.  It really does matter
  8. If using rental income on a property you own, be ready to go back 2 years or the mortgage on that rental property will work against your approval amount.
  9. Appraised value vs repair costs. Repair costs of a property will offset the appraised value and decrease the amount you can borrow so be ready.
  10. Showing you have the required assets to close.  You will not get a loan if you can’t show you have the required closing costs up front.  For more information, ask your lender or give us a call.
  11. FHA will lend if your FICO score is under 600 but 5% down is necessary and a gifting of the  deposit is not allowed.
  12. When buying a Condo, they check the HOA solvency and must have underwriting approval.  A bank will not want to lend you money for a Condo if the HOA is in deep trouble financially or has lawsuits pending.  Ask your Realtor for information.
  13. Stated income loans are back but with proof via your bank statements.  In the past, no proof was required.
  14. Buy all furniture outside of contract.  Banks do not allow an Appraiser to up the value of a property based on the fact it’s furnished.  
  15. Pest work must be done if reported.  They will deny the loan if you decide the recommended work from the pest inspection can wait.

How to prepare a borrower for the process.

  • Be Patient!  Know that this is a 4-6 week ordeal and that you will feel like your privacy is violated when it done.  It’s just the facts of life in this new lending environment
  • Respond to your lender’s request right away.  If you delay, the loan gets delayed
  • Don’t blame us or your lender for the process or any challenges. It will be a bit tough. Guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack and unless you are borrowing from a private lender, everyone gets the same treatment.
    • One note: If the lender you have is tough to get hold of or does not return calls, I’d think twice about using that lender or officer. you want someone who will be responsive to your needs and requests just as they need you to be there 100%
  • Have more than the standard pre-approval letter. Ask for one based on Desktop Underwriting using good back-end scores and solid ratios.  What’s involved is your loan officer can run a program that will produce similar results to what an Underwriter sees.  This way, there are fewer surprises at the end of the loan underwriting process.
So the take-away here is be ready and get your financial house in order.  By working with your Realtor and loan officer together, your dream of buying a home will become reality.

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

Buyers: Are you searching for your primary residence? We have a variety of Palm Springs homes for sale and have what it takes to get you settled in the neighborhood of your choice.

Selling your home? Your home selling experience will be one that is easy, friendly and professional. Our mission is to offer outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and Internet technology available. We are totally connected to the Internet and will market your home on every venue available! Results is what you expect and results is what you will get.

If you are planning to buy Palm Springs investment property, or property in the surrounding area, we have the staff partners who will help with any project or property management tasks while you are away. We have helped with the small properties all the way up to the multi-million dollar projects.

We’re not here just to sell you a home. We’re here to help you find the dream home you’ll love then make it yours!

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please fill out the online contact form or give us a call at 760-413-2871.

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Explaining Escrow- What It’s All About and What You Need To Know

Understanding the closing escrow process...... It's a fire drill!

So how does one explain what an Escrow is and why we need it?  And how does it compare to closing procedures in other parts of the US?  Is it used in Palm Springs?

Well its simple.  Escrow is nothing more than having a neutral third-party who has the job of intermediary in a real estate transaction. Basically an Escrow officer will dot the I’s, cross the T’s and handle the money exchange (loan funding too) and recording with the County Assessor’s office.

In other parts of the country, Title Companies, Lawyers, and Notaries handle closings.  Here is Southern California, its done with an Escrow Company whose sole job is to handle only Escrow.

They duties include but are not limited to:

  • Order HOA docs
  • Order the Preliminary Title Report
  • Determine closing costs for each party and prepares the preliminary and final HUD report
  • Draw up the Escrow Instructions or in other words, they take the signed agreement between buyer and seller and put that into a new legal format used by all parties and for recording to the County.
  • Send out for signing and receive back all contractual and transaction related documents.
  • Answer buyer questions about title and vesting
  • And a good escrow company will also help ensure the deal keeps moving forward to meet the closing date.  Our partner company Sunset Escrow is good at ensuring we all get the job done on time.
Key to this process is communication and on a regular basis.  If your Escrow officer requests information or signatures, quick response is important and goes a long way to ensure a timely close.

What do I do to prepare for Escrow?

There are several pieces of information that you must to supply to your escrow officer. Often times, when a real estate broker is involved, he or she might assist you with communicating that information to the escrow officer. Other real estate brokers depend on the escrow officer and client to work directly on these items together.

The following is a brief list of items that you must provide and/or deliver to your escrow officer:

  1.  Correct spelling of your name and up-to-date contact information
  2.  Contact information for lender (and/or mortgage broker) if new financing is being obtained
  3. Mortgage loan account information (lender or loan servicer’s name, address, and account number) if you are selling or refinancing a piece of property; plus any other tax, mortgage, bond or other lien information
  4. Fire insurance policy information
  5. Title vesting choice  (Escrow can help on this but you may need to contact a legal pro or financial advisor)
  6. Copies of Trust Documents if taking title in trust or selling from a Trust
  7. Homeowner Association (HOA) and management contact information; copies of HOA documents if held by owner. Any relevant corporate, partnership or LLC documents if taking title in the name of one of those entities, or selling from one of those entities
And there's more HERE, a lot more information a consumer can learn about the details of the process.  One does not need to learn every aspect concerning Escrow and the process, but having basic knowledge is a good thing.  And have an agent that understands the process is important too.  We at Ron Jesser & Palm Springs Realtors have completed enough transactions over the years to give us a thorough understanding of how things work. We too will review the Escrow Instructions for accuracy and advise of any errors.  Its part of our job too.

Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

Buying or Selling in today’s real estate market is a challenge and a process that is easily accomplished with the help of a Palm Springs real estate agent focusing on the neighboring desert cities. You will need an expert who has lived in the area, knows the lifestyle and the unique housing market.

The market for real estate in the desert is alive and the values are exceptional especially for those who are looking for an ideal investment or a vacation/retirement property. We have many Palm Springs real estate properties available for every need, budget and amenity list.

Buyers: Are you searching for your primary residence? We have a variety of Palm Springs homes for sale and have what it takes to get you settled in the neighborhood of your choice.

Selling your home? Your home selling experience will be one that is easy, friendly and professional. Our mission is to offer outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and Internet technology available. We are totally connected to the Internet and will market your home on every venue available! Results is what you expect and results is what you will get.

If you are planning to buy Palm Springs investment property, or property in the surrounding area, we have the staff partners who will help with any project or property management tasks while you are away. We have helped with the small properties all the way up to the multi-million dollar projects.

The Associates motto: We’re not here just to sell you a home. We’re here to help you find the dream home you’ll love then make it yours!

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please fill out the online contact form or give us a call at 760-413-2871.