Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Federal Reserve raise their Key Interest rate ...

 The Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate (Fed Funds) from 0.25% to 0.50%. It's been a long time since this has occurred however they feel You will see that this sill start to cost you more for nearly everything you do ... Read the full story from the Associated Press ...

Friday, December 4, 2015

CVWD increases conservation programs, drought penalties

If you are like me at all, I have not been following the printed materials in my water bills recently because I switched to Desertscape. This was obviously a bad move because of several things. Check out this article from CVWD of November 10th ...

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors today committed additional money for rebate programs, adopted a ban on irrigation on certain days of the week, and increased drought penalties.
The new measures were adopted to help CVWD meet its state water conservation mandate. The state is requiring CVWD customers to reduce overall domestic water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day.

The board approved $2 million in additional conservation funding with most of it going to CVWD’s conservation rebate programs. In addition, a consultant will be hired to perform comprehensive water audits for some of the district’s largest water users, and academic consultants would be hired to perform targeted research and public education messaging to promote reduced water use.
The board approved new day-of-use restrictions for irrigation. Starting Dec. 1 and through March 31, outdoor irrigation for CVWD domestic customers will be prohibited on Mondays and Thursdays.
Drought penalties were increased for water use in tiers 3-5. The increased drought penalties will go into effect with December water use for bills produced in January. 

Under the increased drought penalties, residents who do not limit their outdoor water use to 36% below their monthly budget are subject to drought penalties structured as follows:

Water use in Tier 1:                             No Penalty
Water use in Tier 2, up to 64%            No Penalty
Water use in Tier 2, above 64%          Regular rate + $2.51/unit
Water use in Tier 3                              Regular rate + $5/unit
Water use in Tier 4                              Regular rate + $10/unit
Water use in Tier 5:                             Regular rate + $20/unit

About 76% of CVWD customers currently are meeting the drought budgets. As a result, about 5 billion gallons of water have been saved by CVWD domestic customers compared to water use in 2013.
Statewide mandatory water-use restrictions remain in effect, including prohibiting water runoff and irrigation during and 48 hours following rain. In addition, CVWD requires sprinklers to be fixed within 24 hours and leaks to be fixed as soon as possible.

CVWD continues to strongly discourage overseeding during the drought.

The state considers a month-to-month rolling average when considering a district’s conservation efforts. CVWD customers saved 21.3% in June, 40.6% in July, 26.5% in August, 16.4% less water in September, and 27.7%  less water in October. The average over the five-month period is 27%.

For conservation rebate programs, tips and additional information, visit
The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

El Nino follow up ...

While you are thinking about the possibilities, check out this Red Cross site of checklists for numerous situations, in particular:  Winter Storms, Thunderstorms, Power Outage, Earthquake and when you think you are done, check again for your littlest members of the family - Pet Safety ...

Everyone is warning us that this is an El Nino year ... Are you ready?

Don't say that nobody warned you ... We've been hearing it for weeks and a great article appeared in the LA Times about a month ago which I include for your review ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5 Pros and 5 Cons of Homeowners’ Associations

Obviously, we homeowners in Desert Pride are not involved with a Homeowner's Association. Check out this article and chime in with your thoughts - POSITIVE or NEGATIVE ???

Across the U.S., homeowners’ associations are on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly constructed homes in 2014 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent in 2009.
So, what’s the draw of homeowners’ associations? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?
“A well-run and managed HOA can be a blessing, and a poorly managed HOA can be a curse,” says Bruce Ailion, a broker at RE/MAX Town and Country in Woodstock, Ga.
Here, real estate agents and homeowners weigh in on the blessings and the curses of homeowners’ associations (HOAs).
Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.
Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks sharp, says Brad Pauly, owner and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.
“This type of oversight eliminates issues with one or two properties weighing down all property values due to an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.
Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.
An HOA usually offers community amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas and security gates, Pauly says.
Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.
HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces, according to Lyons. This includes community lawn care (but not for your own yard), community snow removal (but not for your own property) and upkeep of common areas like the pool or the fitness center.
Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.
Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company, Lyons says.
Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.
Gina Estrada, who lives in a gated HOA community in Clovis, Calif., says that if you’re elected to serve on the HOA board or are otherwise active in the association, you’ll become better acquainted with your neighbors. Heck, you might even make some new friends. “I believe we should know our surroundings, including the people in them,” Estrada says.
Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.
When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. The dues vary, but typically run in the hundreds of dollars per month.
Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.
If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. “It’s possible that an HOA could prevent certain updates on a home,” Pauly says.
Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.
If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community, Pauly says.
Con No. 4: You’ll lose some of your freedom.
When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous, Lyons says.
“You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowners’ association to change any rule you don’t agree with. But if you lose, you will have to live with it,” Lyons says.
Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.
Estrada says her HOA elected a “rogue” homeowner to the board who decided to flaunt the rules and do whatever he wanted. For instance, Estrada says, the rogue board member thought the community needed speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them installed. That move caused a neighborhood uproar. The process to take out the speed bumps and remove the rogue homeowner from the board cost several thousand dollars, including legal fees, she says.
“When there is one rogue homeowner, it can really mess things up,” Estrada says.
Problems also arise when homeowners stop attending HOA meetings, Estrada says, and it’s left to a small group of people to make decisions.
“The board of directors is made up of your neighbors. If you want to have a say in how things go, you have to serve on the board,” says Ailion.
Original posting on October 15, 2015 by John Egan

Monday, October 26, 2015

Concerts coming to old Sam's Club - LQ

I've been contacted by a number of people who were either excited by or a bit concerned about the possibility of 3 concerts to be held at the old Sam's Club site in La Quinta in April, 2016. Two of the three are scheduled for the Thursday before each CoachellaFest weekend and the third is the Thursday before Stagecoach starts ... The news first hit a few weeks ago on the news:

Can the City and Businesses use the money?
Is the City's profit going to exceed the manpower to oversee the event?
The concert would appear to be inside ... any concerns over noise?
Do the hours of the concerts concern you? (9:30 pm - 4:30 am)
What about parking, probably not a problem considering the hours or ?
Where are 10,300 people plus crew/staff going to go at 4:30 in the morning?
Will the streets be clear by regular business hours Friday morning?
It's not a big deal because they're piggybacked onto Coachella and Stagecoach?

These are just a sampling of questions/comments from these folks. Do you have any thoughts to share???

Saturday, October 3, 2015

AYSO Event and Parking in Desert Pride

I just saw this posting in Next Door Neighbor and wanted to share with everyone in Desert Pride who has not yet signed up for Next Door Neighbor (BTW, if interested - email me Here's the article ...

La Quinta has issued a special use permit to the AYSO for use of La Quinta Park (Blackhawk Way) for a Halloween Carnival on October 23, 24, and 25. There was an ad in the LQ Gem. For those who live just north of the park, as I do, I was concerned about people parking in our neighborhood and walking through the water basin to the event. There are already over 3,000 likes on their facebook page so it might be a big event.

I contacted the event manager through their facebook page @facebook/halloweencarnivalandpumpkinpatch. His name is Robert and he assured me that they would not permit those in attendance to park in the neighborhoods just north of the park if they do not live in those neighborhoods. If anyone else is concerned about this, I would encourage you to contact him via private message on the facebook event page.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Desert Pride Speeders ...

After a long time working with the City and Desert Pride homeowners, the City has placed Street Legends throughout the development. In the absence of speed bumps, which they do not install, it is hopeful that our streets will be safer ...

Monday, August 31, 2015

FHA makes big moves with PACE and partnering with DOE for financing homes with solar power financing tax assessment.
HUD Press Releases
August 24, 2015

Guidance for Use of FHA Financing on Homes with Existing PACE Liens and Flexible
Underwriting through Energy Department’s Home Energy Score

Today, FHA announced anticipated guidelines for two new initiatives that will support borrowers
seeking to make energy efficient improvements to their homes, including guidance that will allow
borrowers to use Single Family FHA financing for properties with existing Property Assessed Clean
Energy (PACE) loans that meet certain conditions. FHA also announced its new partnership with the
Department of Energy (DOE) helping borrowers using Single Family FHA’s Energy Efficient Home
(EEH) program to take advantage of energy cost savings when measured by DOE’s Home Energy

PACE Guidance
PACE programs have the potential to increase the accessibility and affordability of energy saving
measures, consequently lowering energy bills to residents and reducing the environmental footprints of participating localities.

Single Family FHA supports responsibly expanding access to clean energy financing options for
creditworthy borrowers. Single Family FHA PACE guidance has the potential to allow homeowners to benefit from energy cost savings while preserving the marketability of properties with PACE loans.
In 2009 and 2010, many states adopted legislation allowing local governments to fund home energy
improvements that are repaid by assessments levied under their tax authority. While there are many
versions, PACE programs generally allow homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements
for up to 20 years through tax assessments attached to the property. PACE allows homeowners to
benefit from the improvements immediately and spread the cost over time.

When the property is sold, the PACE loan may transfer to the next owner who is responsible for
repaying the loan. The ability to transfer the loan to the new owner allows for both the payment and the value of the retrofit to be transferred from one owner to the next.
Since in the event of default, the PACE loan as a tax assessment may have super lien status and/or take precedence over the first lien mortgage, some lenders have raised concerns. FHA is developing Single Family PACE guidance to overcome impediments in the purchase and sale of properties to which PACE loans are attached due to these concerns.

The Single Family FHA guidance will address the impact of PACE assessments on purchases,
refinances and loan modification options available to borrowers experiencing distress and will require
the subordination of PACE financing to the first lien FHA mortgage. The guidance will address the
eligible methods of subordination of existing PACE liens.

Taking into account the variety of types of residential PACE programs, FHA is developing PACE
guidance, which is also being informed by ongoing conversations with the Federal Housing Finance
Agency (FHFA), that at a minimum will include the following:

 Lien Position: Only PACE liens that preserve payment priority for first lien mortgages through
 PACE payment, structure, and term: PACE financing must be a fixed-rate, fully amortizing loan;
 Eligible Properties: PACE assessments must be attached to single family properties, as defined by
FHA, which are 1- to 4-unit dwellings, including detached, semi-detached and townhome
 Equity Requirement: PACE liens that preserve payment priority for first lien mortgages will be
eligible for financing that does not exceed FHA’s maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio;
 Record Keeping: PACE liens must be formally recorded and be identifiable to a mortgage lender
through a title search;
 Additional Consumer Protections: PACE programs must comply with applicable federal and state
consumer laws and should include disclosures to and training for homeowners participating in the

PACE programs operate at the local level and vary widely. DOE PACE “Program Design Best Practice Guidelines” recommend key program requirements for acceptable PACE programs including the following:

 PACE programs should require notification of mortgage holders of record when a PACE
assessment has been placed on the property;
 PACE programs should finance PACE projects that are cost-effective and reduce the net energy
requirements as measured by approved DOE methods.

In finalizing guidance, FHA will work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, DOE, Treasury and other industry stakeholders to advocate for strong consumer protections.
New Standards for FHA Single Family Energy Efficient Home – Incorporating DOE’s Home
Energy Score

FHA has partnered with DOE on an initiative that allows consumers to qualify for a higher loan
amount due to cost savings associated with energy efficient improvements. Under the new FHA and
DOE partnership, FHA will provide flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced costs of utilities
when those costs are established with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Score in areas where the Home Energy Score is available. DOE’s new Home Energy Score is a low cost, reliable method for estimating the energy use of a home. The score is the equivalent of an easily-understood “miles per gallon” label for homes. The score measures the energy efficiency of homes on a scale of 1–10. Homebuyers or homeowners who want to obtain an FHA-insured purchase or refinance mortgage for a single family home that receives a Home Energy Score of 6 or higher will be eligible to increase their income qualifying ratio by 2 percentage points above the standard Single Family FHA limit. This means that FHA borrowers will be able to borrow slightly more when they buy or refinance a more energy-efficient home through FHA’s EEH program.

Through this partnership, FHA is supporting efforts to provide potential homeowners with an easy
way to measure the energy efficiency of their homes and to identify the combination of investments that will help make their homes more energy efficient.

A Single Family FHA Mortgagee Letter with specific program requirements/details and an update to the Single Family Housing Handbook 4000.1 to address the guidance for both of these initiatives will be forthcoming in the next several months.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Oasis School Summer Update (8/21/15)

Oasis School Summer Update (8/21/15)

A week ago, fellow agents and I traveled out to Oasis School in Thermal to meet three of the four Fourth Grade incoming classes plus the Special Ed class.

Our office has been preparing for the trip since school let out at the start of summer when we bid a fond farewell to last years’ classes as they climbed the success ladder and prepared to graduate to Fifth Grade. That visit was an unbelievable success and I wish to take a moment and thank so many kindhearted folks in North La Quinta who found it in their hearts to search through their closets and garages for children’s books. These contributions from you, along with our own efforts, allowed us to give the nearly 100 kids a choice of three books each for summer reading. Books open the mind to a world of endless possibilities. The kids were so elated – it was amazing !!!

Back to this year, we conducted numerous events in the office to get prepared for the three Fourth Grade classes and Special Ed kids (For nearly 10 years, we have been sponsoring 3 of the 4 Fourth grade classes plus the Special Ed class). We also experienced many kindhearted agents in our office who’ve made separate donations in the interest of the kids. Our efforts provide a filled pencil box along with other supplies necessary for a successful start to the school year. The visit was a wonderful experience. It is always so rewarding to experience the enthusiasm of youth and such a pleasure to visit at the start of the year to see the new faces, find out who they are and share a little bit about ourselves with them. After all this, plus a cookie and a juice box, we bid them well and told them we’d be back to visit again. Some kids already knew and some were elated to hear that.

Our efforts towards enriching their Holidays’ experience started when we arrived back home from this visit … arms chock full of Thank You cards plus our hearts melting from a barrage of their thankful smiles.

We never would've believed that we could get so much from giving ... Each experience is very rewarding!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thinking about removing your lawn?

Recently I started a project of my own and I want to share some information I learned in the process and after I got started ...

Rebates for conversation from lawns to desertscape are available from IID and some other water districts, as their funds may be available. IID requires an application to be completed online and you must have a sketch of the project available to upload. Response to your application can be anywhere from 3-6 weeks ... 

AND ... 

a new rebate is now available at: . This became available August 12th and must be applied for online as well. This rebate is up to $2.00/ft maximum (The IID rebate is $1.00/ft) and this rebate is not on top of any other rebate and solely covers the differences between any other rebate and the $2.00/ft maximum. 

Unfortunately, I started my project before 8/12/15 and so I am not eligible for anything over the IID rebate but I wasn't aware of it when I started so nothing really lost ... only savings in my future ...

No mowing

No edging
No weeding
No fertilizing
No scalping
No watering

I don't think any of us will ever get away from dealing with the ants but I still believe I am on the plus side ...

In addition, both entities offer toilet replacement rebates ...

Friday, August 14, 2015

City and IID need your help Today !!!

Tustin Larson, City of La Quinta AGENCY
Hello Residents - IID has asked the City to pass on the following news release:
The Imperial Irrigation District is requesting a reduction in energy usage today during the critical hours of 1-7 p.m. as hotter temperatures drive energy demand.
“If energy usage is not reduced, IID may be forced to institute rolling brownouts this afternoon,” said Marion Champion, IID spokeswoman. “Our system was at peak capacity yesterday and with hotter temperatures in the forecast today we are asking all of our electrical customers to conserve.”
IID’s electrical grid sustained significant damage during a severe summer storm last week, and while the district has restored power to the area, it is important that the energy system is not overtaxed. IID asks customers to shift energy-intensive tasks – like laundry and dishwashing – to off-peak hours and conserve energy throughout the day. This will alleviate pressure on the system and help maintain reliability.
On Aug. 6, a severe summer storm damaged IID’s electrical system in the eastern Coachella Valley making more than 100 transmission and distribution poles inoperable and leaving hundreds of customers in the Mecca/Thermal area without power for as long as three days. Crews worked around the clock to construct temporary infrastructure and bring the power back on. Final repairs may take as much as one or two months.
The following suggestions can help reduce summer energy use:
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
Develop a routine that allows you to avoid the use of major energy-consuming appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Remember to have your air conditioner serviced annually and change filters monthly. Seal any leaks in your cooling ducts, install weather stripping around doors, and make sure your fireplace damper is closed so cool air doesn’t escape
Use floor and ceiling fans or an evaporative cooler to help keep your home cool.
Use awnings, solar screens, or trees to keep ultraviolet rays from hitting windows.
Close windows and doors when the cooling system is running.
For more conservation tips, please visit
Aug 14 in General to City of La Quinta

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July 2015


4th-Of-July-Image5 5


I look forward to exceeding your expectations in fulfilling your Real Estate needs.

Warm regards,

Roger A. Sullivan, Realtor

CalBRE# 01236680

direct: 1(760) 610-3245

office: 1(760) 564-9685

efax:   1(760) 459-2038

Windermere Real Estate

47250 Washington St. Suite B

La Quinta, CA 92253

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt 2015

Everybody seemed to have a wonderful time including the volunteers ... Happy Easter 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Speed Limits signs, Speed Bumps or Street Legends - And the winner is ...

Based upon the submission of preferences for the three options of discussion to help keep our streets in Desert Pride a little safer for us all, the winner is .................STREET LEGENDS !!!

As a result of interfacing with the City of La Quinta and patience while some research was completed, etc ... It has been determined that the Speed Legends will meet the needs and/or wishes of the majority of those responding. As street re-surfacing is not scheduled in our development until next year, the street legend painting project will be commenced after the resurfacing project has been completed ...

In the interim, we can all continue to work together to monitor drivers in the neighborhood whether residents, visitors or vendors. A friendly reminder that this is a residential district with lots of kids and pets should be well received ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

IID rate increase takes effect this month ...

In November 2014, IID’s Board of Directors held public rate hearings to consider a proposed retail rate increase to its electric rate schedules. The overall average rate increase of 7.4 percent in retail electric rates to be effective January 2015 was approved by the board. It will cost the average family a little of $10.00 per month ... Read the full story here ...