Home Buying in Palm Springs>Question Details

Michel Brise…, Home Buyer in Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Canadian retirees looking for a 2nd winter home in the Palm Springs area, where should one concentrate on

Asked by Michel Brisebois, Vancouver, B.C. Canada Tue Apr 8, 2008

looking?
We would like to be relatively close to airport, close to shopping, restaurants, etc. Looking for 2 to 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, fee simple, gated community might be best as we can only be out of the country 6 months max. Don't mind a manufactured home and want as close to maintenace free as possible. Is there anything below 200k? Or are we dreaming?

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Hi again Michel: Since I mentioned 55+ communities in my first reply to you and you seem to have some interest in them, here is more information. Most of them also have great golf courses if you are golfers but that is not a requirement to live there.

There are 4 very nice 55+ communites in Palm Desert, Indio & La Quinta. And, every city has many condo developments with or without golf courses.

Trilogy in La Quinta is a beautiful setting with wonderful mountain views and a great regulation golf course. The Skins Game has been played on it in the past few years. They are currently offering incentives up to $80,000 off the price of a new home. As a resident of La Quinta, you can play the new Silver Rock golf course for about $45-$55. Non-residents pay around $165. New & resale homes are available.

Palm Desert has a Del Webb Sun City 55+ community that is fully built out but there are resales available and they have many amenities with their club house and loads of activities planned every day in addition to golf. Residents of Palm Desert can play on the city-owned courses of Desert Willow for $45. Regular play is $165. These 2 scenic courses are rated in the top 10 public owned courses in the United States and both are a joy to play.

Heritage Palms is next, located in Indio with a beautiful golf course. Resales available here also.

The newest golf course for 55+ is Sun City Shadow Hills which is still building new homes. They have some great incentives and over 8 models to choose from from the mid-$200,000's. This golf course community has a nice clubhouse and fitness center and another one will be added in future building. Pulte Homes is the builder and they bought Del Webb a few years back.

If you would like me to send you information on pricing andincentives, please let me know at cvoet@windermere.com

Since this is a golf course haven, there are many other developments which include golf courses and living in them, even if you are not golfers, can afford you some magnificent views of our mountains.

You also mentioned HOA fees, but don't get discouraged with those monthly dues. If you consider what
is included for the price of those dues, you may actually save money. Without the HOA dues, you would individually have to pay for the following: trash removal, basic cable, outside yard maintenane and watering, pest control, roof repair & replacement, house painting, earthquake & home insurance, 24-hour security, pool maintenance. Additionally, you need insurance on the inside of your home and for your personal belongings.

If you have plans to visit the desert, I can help you with new or resale homes in any of our communities and you have choices in any price range whether single family, condo, or manufactured homes.

Carolyn Voet, ePRO
Committed to Excellence
Windermere Real Estate
Indian Wells
760/774-6510 (cell)
http://www.carolynvoet.mywindermere.com
MailTo:cvoet@sonic.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Michel,
Like I said before, Palm Springs is Paradise! You need to make the decision that is right for you. In the meantime please let us know if you need us to email you homes for sale to help you decide where you really want to retire.
Take care,
Linda

Jeff & Linda Brandt and Associates
Windermere Real Estate
47-250 Washington St. Suite B
La Quinta, CA 92253
760-776-2471 Direct
760-564-9686 Fax
Email: RealtorsJL@aol.com
Website: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
Web Reference: http://www.realtorsjl.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Michel,
There are some great deals now as the market is so volatile . My mother is a Canadian & lives in Sun City Palm Desert a 55+ community, which also happens to be in IID. If you are not familiar with Sun City Palm Desert; there are approximately 5000 homes, 3 clubhouses, two that have restaurants, all have swimming pools including an indoor pool, there is a state of the art fitness center and over 85 different clubs to join. There is entertainment with well known performers & much more. The homeowners dues (HOA) are under $300 per month. They include basic cable with HBO, security, use of all amenities, etc. The majority of homes are easy to maintain as they do not have grass yards instead more of a desert landscape. If you plan on renting the property for a few years we can refer rental companies that you can talk to before you even purchase. This way you have an idea how much money you can recoup before retiring.

I apologize as I do not have any knowledge regarding manufactured homes. If you want a manufactured home specialist I can refer you to a agent that knows the market as well as the laws. We are residential home experts & have 18 years Desert Real Estate knowledge.

Again, I hope this information is helpful & we can be contacted at the information below.
Have a wonderful day!
Linda

Jeff & Linda Brandt and Associates
Windermere Real Estate
47-250 Washington St. Suite B
La Quinta, CA 92253
760-776-2471 Direct
760-564-9686 Fax
Email: RealtorsJL@aol.com
Website: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
Web Reference: http://www.Realtorsjl.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Michel,
You are very welcome. The property taxes in all of CA are 1.25% of the purchase price. For example if you purchase a home or condo for $200,000 your yearly taxes are $2500.00 which can be paid twice a year or they can be included (what we call impounded) in your monthly payment making the payment $208.33 a month more. If you need to speak to a American mortgage company we can send you a few names and numbers to compare the interest rates & the different programs they have to offer.

As far as operating expenses the electric company called Imperial Irrigation District (IID) is quite a bit lower on the average than Southern CA Edison (SCE). IID is for homes located east of Washington Street which takes in La Quinta & Indio. That wouldn't make a big difference since you would not be here much when the temperatures are over 100 degrees. Operating expenses would of course be less expensive in a smaller place. You also need to make sure to purchase a place that is on fee simple land & not leased land where you do not own the land your home or condo is situated. Therefore with leased land you would have an additional yearly payment. The majority of land in the desert is fee simple. We can make sure you stay away from any place on leased land saving you additional monthly costs. The other utility bills such as water & gas are very reasonable. Water is by far the least expensive I have seen anywhere. Keep in mind a gated community will have homeowners dues which can run a few hundred dollars per month but those can include insurance of the structure, maintenance such as exterior painting, landscaping, etc. In a private home you would have to pay for the upkeep yourself. So basically it evens out the costs.

I hope this is helpful & please feel free to contact or email us with any additional questions or concerns.
Kindest Regards,
Linda

Jeff & Linda Brandt and Associates
Windermere Real Estate
47-250 Washington St. Suite B
La Quinta, CA 92253
760-776-2471 Direct
760-564-9686 Fax
Email: RealtorsJL@aol.com
Website: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
Web Reference: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Michel: Yes, there are homes in your price range. Many of our gated communities have the low maintenance you require. None of the desert cities are more than 30 minutes away from the airport and we are loaded with shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It is definitely a buyers market with homes competitively priced to sell. Please phone or email me with information on how to correspond with you and I can begin acquainting you with what we have on the market whether it be a property for resale or one of our new home developments. If you would be interested in 55+ communities, we have those too. I look forward to hearing from you so we can start adding to your portfolio of homes available in the desert cities. It's another great day in the desert!

Carolyn Voet, ePRO
Committed to Excellence
Windermere Real Estate
Indian Wells
760/774-6510 (cell)
http://www.carolynvoet.mywindermere.com
MailTo:cvoet@sonic.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
Hi Michel,
Dreaming is very American! Welcome to Paradise! You are by no means dreaming just getting in touch with what you want to do & how much you want to spend. Now is the time to buy as it is most certainly a buyers market. What you want is out there & you can look for home directly on our website at http://www.RealtorsJL.com or we can send you homes to view. Just let us know what works best for you. We can be contacted at the numbers below or email us at RealtorsJL@aol.com. When it comes to helping a buyer we do it "With Pleasure, Not Pressure"!
Kindest Regards,
Linda

Jeff & Linda Brandt and Associates
Windermere Real Estate
47-250 Washington St. Suite B
La Quinta, CA 92253
760-776-2471 Direct
760-564-9686 Fax
Email: RealtorsJL@aol.com
Website: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
Web Reference: http://www.RealtorsJL.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2008
Thanks Carolyn for the detail answer. Quite useful, especially on the HOA fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Well we are not dead set on manufactured homes... a house, condo or townhouse would suit us just fine.

The reason I mention them is that they are in the low end of the price range, regardless of location and there are many that fit the 55+ community aspect. I have seen many in FL this winter.

However in AZ there are many regular 'stick' houses in 'active' retirement communities like you describe that are under 250k... like Sun Lakes or Robson Ranch. But I haven't seen those yet.

Looking for something as previously described, 3bd, 2bth, under 250k, preferrably under 200k, with low upkeep and operating costs. HOA fees of 300 month doesn't look too attractive, but it would depend on the situation. The rental issue is that we are not ready to retire this year, we could, just not ready right now. I am planning to buy ahead of time... as at the moment conditions are ideal, both favorable currency and market.

Just doing my homework here, trying to decide where and what to buy. I am warming up to western locations... AZ or PS. FL is far and has many negative issues, like high taxes, hurricanes, etc..

PS is closest at 2.20 hours flight time direct in season.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Thanks Jeff & Linda Brandt and Associates . Your info was very useful. Yes 'Fee Simple" is the only way to go, we are NOT interested in any lease land or pad rental.

CA taxes are high at 1.25%, but cheaper than FL at 2%. AZ and Vancouver are similar... low taxes under 1%. I am aware of HOA fees... some can be quite high as high as 500 a month or more depending on features.

Most likely a 55+ retirement community would be best for us as would not be there 6 months of the year (summer), so the property would have to be secure. We would not be looking for a mortgage, as it would be a cash sale... possible future currency issue is a concern... but we maybe interested in renting out the property until we are ready to retire, 5 to 10 years away max.

In Pompano Beach FL, manufactured homes older than 1979 cannot be insured and older than 1977 one cannot get building permits to renovate. Therefore in FL, age of the structure will be a concern over time. Any issues like than in PS?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Thanks for the answers. We are in Vancouver, and we have been comparing Pompano Beach FL, Phoenic AZ and Palm Springs CA. Been to all of them in the past few months. PS is closest and most convenient. One main concern are prop. taxes: FL most expensive at 2%; AZ .06%, what are we looking at in CA? For us, we are looking for a "second" home for the winter, so that means in retirement: two property taxes, two electric bills, two housholds to upkeep, etc. Controlling operating expenses are more of a concern than the price. We are over 55.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
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