Archive for the ‘Financing’ Category

Canadian media covering Palm Springs architecture, real estate and Paul Kaplan Group listings

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Canadian Buyers for Palm Springs Real Estate

A group of Canadians tours Palm Springs real estate and discusses the desert lifestyle.

A group of Canadians interested in Palm Springs real estate and architecture viewed several neighborhoods and Paul Kaplan Group listings on Thursday afternoon as part of a private tour. Reporters from The Vancouver Sun were also among the attendees to research for an upcoming article series about the Palm Springs lifestyle and the Canadian attraction. Shelly Fralic, Vancouver Sun columnist, is heading the team of reporters.

Shelley Fralic, The Vancouver Sun

Shelley Fralic of The Vancouver Sun

Canadian homeowners and Palm Springs representatives pointed out all the advantages Palm Springs has to offer the part-time Canadian resident. Most members of the group were attracted to Palm Springs for Modernism Week and the goal of the tour was to show the visitors a more in-depth look at the desert lifestyle. The tour also allowed prospective Canadian buyers to talk one-on-one with other Canadians who have purchased or invested in Palm Springs properties.

BMO Bank of Montreal conducted a recent survey, and says five one in five Canadians are interested in buying property in the United States.  23% of international buyers in the US last year, were from Canada, making Canadians the largest group of foreign buyer for the past three years.

Our agents at The Paul Kaplan Group have worked with numerous Foreign National & Canadian buyers.  Our team is available to assist you with the entire process, providing the help and knowledge you need when you buy a home in Palm Springs:

  • Residential neighborhood experts–  having worked in the Palm Springs market for over a decade, we can help you find the right neighborhood that meets your specific needs. Pictures of properties on the internet may look great  but they don’t tell you anything about the neighborhood and that’s where The Paul Kaplan agents can help buyers make an  informed decision about neighborhoods for their investment dollars.
  • Help you with your financing options; providing lender counseling and pre-approvals that have experience working with Canadians
  • Refer you to information regarding property taxes and other particulars associated with owning in the US.
  • Property Management and Rental Management information and assistance

For more information on our foreign buyer representation, click here.


Buying a house after a foreclosure

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Palm Springs and Southern California, as well as the entire country, is in the process of a real estate recovery from multiple foreclosures and short sales.  At The Paul Kaplan Group, we have many clients that for various reasons, foreclosed on a property that they once owned during the recession, and asked if they would ever be able to get a mortgage again.

A very informative article published by the LA Times for anyone wondering if they’ll every be able to buy a house after foreclosing or short selling their previous residence.

From the article,

“If you lost your home during the housing recession — and have not completely soured on homeownership — your ability to qualify for another mortgage may not be as compromised as you think.

It used to be that a bankruptcy, foreclosure or other major black mark on your credit record meant you could not hope to obtain financing to buy another house for seven years. Now, for the most part, the rules say you must wait just three years. Depending on the reason you lost your house, the wait could be even shorter.

You can qualify for a mortgage as soon as 24 months after the fact if your issues were the result of “extenuating circumstances” over which you had no control.”

To read the whole article, click here. 

If you’re looking to buy a new home, we’re here to help.  We can refer you to a lender that can evaluate your credit and income, to determine if you will be able to qualify for a home.  Feel free to contact us at 760-459-1396 or email us at [email protected]


What’s happening with Palm Springs Real Estate?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Every market in Real Estate is unique-  Palm Springs is no different.  Judging by the national news, one minute you’ll read half the homes sold are foreclosures; the next article will say prices are as low as they’ve been in 10 years, and then another will say foreclosure listings are drying up.  What should you believe?

Let me clear this up for you.  Here’s what’s going on in Palm Springs as of Spring 2012-

In February of 2011, we had almost an 8 month supply of inventory-  What does that mean?  Basically, at the rate of sales, it would take about 8 months to sell off all the inventory of homes available at that time.  By comparison, in April of 2012, there’s only about a 2 month supply of homes, down over 60% from February 0f 2011.

Why do we look at these inventory numbers or care?  Well, 3-4 months of inventory is average.  Right now we have less then the average amount of homes to sell.  What that will typically indicate, is that we may start seeing prices increase.  Real estate is about supply and demand-  no supply equals greater demand equals higher prices.

What’s going on with the average sales price?  In Palm Springs, the average asking price for homes is about 10.6% higher then it was in February 2011.  However, the actual selling prices of homes is about 2% less then it was in February 2011.  There are a number of reasons for this, one could be the amount of actual homes being sold is down.  The average sales price in March 0f 2012 comparted to April 2012, was up 3.5%.  So my guess is because of the lower amounts of inventory, our sales prices declined slighting in April.

How long are homes staying on the market?  That hasn’t really changed since February 2011 in Palm Springs.  The average days on the market is 95.

Interest rates, its been reported, are also at an all time record low.  This is one of the factors contributing to the amount of buyers entering the market, causing more competition for homes.  Despite what some reports indicate, lenders are writing loans for purchases for those buyers with good credit and income that can be documented.  We’re seeing downpayments of 10% to 20% typically, usually higher for foreign national buyers

Overall, we are seeing a shift in the market quickly-  there are more buyers then we have homes to sell-  as a result, the majority of offers we have submitted on homes at The Paul Kaplan Group, have resulted in multiple offer situations, competing with other buyers.  At the end of May, we have 17 homes in escrow; out of those homes, 12 of them had multiple offers that we were competing with.  We have a team of experienced agents that have excellent negotiation skills, and have been successful counceling our clients on how to present the winning offers that get accepted.  So although it is challenging right now for buyers, with the proper strategy, you can buy a home!

Can you still get a “deal?”  Yes-  its doubtful you’ll get a house for less then 95% of the asking price in this market, but keep in mind that price is still probably lower then what it has been in 10 years.   What about foreclosures?  Yes, there still are some-  keep in mind a foreclosure probably has been neglected and will need a significant amount of work-  we’re not seeing anywhere near the amount of foreclosure listings that was used to see two and three years ago  Regardless, it is still a good time to buy, according to experts.

The Paul Kaplan Group is here all summer to assist our clients with either selling their homes or purchasing a new one.  Please call us for any additional information regarding today’s market.  We’re here to help buyers and sellers navigate this ever changing real estate market, and to understand the Palm Springs market, compared to the national real estate news.

Paul Kaplan



7 Reasons to Buy a Home Now

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

The bad news for the housing market sometimes seems like it will never end.  In the last round of housing data, home prices continued to drop as did the number of home sales.  Foreclosures remain a major weight dragging down everything, and then there’s the massive shadow inventory of distressed homes that will create more supple overflow as they are brought on the market.  Add up all of that, and suggesting now is a good time to buy a home is probably less popular than supporting Anthony Weiner. But along with all the bad news are in fact some compelling reasons for getting serious about buying right now. For example, home prices have come down so far in many markets it now makes the cost of buying a better financial deal than renting.

Read more:

Cash-only home sales rise in California…including Palm Springs

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Interesting post on the LA Times site today about the influx of all cash buyers in today’s Real Estate market.  This is very true in all prices ranges for the Palm Springs market-  the majority of our sales in the past year have been from all cash buyers. In particular, most of our Canadian buyers purchase only using cash.  For more info, read below:

By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times

March 1, 2011

All-cash buyers grabbed a record 30.9% share of California house and condo sales in January. In Southern California’s most expensive communities, cash deals now account for as much as two-thirds of home sales.
 See the attached link for the full story:,0,7049248.story

Canadians: financing homes in Palm Springs

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It is that time of year again, and many of our Canadian neighbors are heading down to the states to get away from the cold weather.

For those interested in purchasing a 2nd home in Palm Springs, we’ve researched the market to find sources that provide financing for foreign nationals.  One of our new resources, is RBC Bank*.

The following is information provided by Christopher Wyatt, Canadian Loan Specialist: 
There are 3 main types of financing:
Purchase of a new home
-Single Family Homes, Townhouse, Condo
-3/1, 5/1 and 30 year fixed interest rate lock
-No prepayment penalty
-Loan to Value will be determined on a case by case basis
Cash-out Refinance
-Single Family Homes, Townhouse, Condo
-3/1, 5/1 and 30 year fixed interest rate lock
-No prepayment penalty
-Loan to Value will be determined on a case by case basis
Non-Recourse Mortgage Cash-out Refinance
-Single Family Homes, Townhouse and Condo
-3/1, 5/1 and 30 year fixed interest rate lock
-No prepayment penalty
-Loan to Value will be determined on a case by case basis
-Protects High Net Worth Canadian against US Estate Tax
-Monies can be reinvested in CA investment for tax benefit
Please contact Christopher directly if you could benefit from one of these programs and for greater details.
Christopher Wyatt
Canadian Lending Specialist
RBC Bank (USA)
407-244-6002 Office
775-429-7554 Fax
[email protected]

The Modern Real Estate Group is here to help you with all aspects of purchasing your home.  For more information, please visit our website.

*We do not guarantee the performance of any vendors, service or product providers.
© RBC Bank (USA) 2008. Member FDIC. ® Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. 
™ Trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license.  RBC Bank is a trade name used by RBC Bank (USA) and its branch offices operate under this trade name.  Loans are subject to credit approval.  Homeowners insurance is required on all loans and flood insurance is required if property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.  Escrows may be required.  There are closing costs associated with these products.

Canadian dollar at par with US dollar- could be good news for the Palm Springs Real Estate market

Friday, November 5th, 2010

As of today, November 4, 2010,  the Canadian dollar is over parity with the US dollar….what does that mean?  Basically, spend a Canadian Dollar and it will get you about one US dollar…this is good news for Canadians looking to invest in Palm Springs.

The following graph shows the difference between the May 2010 rates when the CD$ exchange rate was about $.93 to the Nov. 2010 rate of $.99997.

 US Dollar  Canadian Dollar May 2010 Canadian Dollar November 2010  Savings CD$
 $             1.00                  0.93 Exchnge Rate                     0.9998 Exchng Rate  
 $   100,000.00  $                   107,526.88  $                            100,020.00  $7,506.88
 $   400,000.00  $                  430,107.53  $                           400,080.02  $ 30,027.51
 $1,000,000.00  $              1,075,268.82  $                        1,000,200.04  $ 75,068.78

Buying a house in May 2010 that cost $100,000 would be CD$107,526.  If that house was bought in November,  it would only cost CD$100,000, which is basically a savings of CD$7,500.  The savings is even greater, the higher price the property:  A $400,000 house would cost over CD$30,000 less using November’s exchange rate; a $1,000,000 house would be over CD$75,000 less.  Thus- as a Canadian looking to invest here in Palm Springs, a 7 cent change in the exchange rate can make a huge difference.

Palm Springs real estate prices are about what they were in 2001;  they’ve have not only hit bottom, but are starting to rise in some neighborhoods per recent reports. With lower prices then we’ve seen in years, coupled with the strong exchange rate for Canadians, its clear to see why so many of our neighbors to the North, realize that now is the time to invest in the US real estate market.  A little piece of Sunshine is available for  bargain prices!

The Modern Real Estate Group  specializes in working with Canadian and other Foreign Buyers.  In the last few years, the majority of our clients have been Canadian citizens.  We have numerous resources available to help answer the common questions foreign buyers have when looking to purchase a home here in Palm Springs.  For more information, please visit

Canadians buying Property in Palm Springs- What is Escrow?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Escrow 101

The purchasing process varies from state to state in the US.  Buying real estate in Palm Springs,  California, will involve setting up an Escrow Account.  Many Canadian Real Estate Buyers in Palm Springs, and other areas are unfamiliar with this process.  Paul Kaplan’s MODERN REAL ESTATE GROUP is extremely experienced with dealing with Canadian buyers and other foreigners, and are here to help explain the process for purchasing homes in Palm Springs.

 Here’s a quick explanation of how it works: 

What is Escrow?

 Escrow is a process that evolved to ensure protection for all parties to

a real estate transaction. A “neutral third party” or “stakeholder” was

nominated to hold the funds until the purchaser received appropriate

assurance that the property had been transferred. An escrow may also be

created for other purchases, although it is most commonly used during the

transfer of real estate. Today the escrow is overseen by an escrow officer

employed by an independent escrow company or title company. All parties

are protected because the escrow holder will retain funds and documents

until all the instructions are fulfilled.

An escrow is created when money and/or documents are deposited

with the escrow officer. The escrow officer’s authority is strictly governed

by written instructions, mutually agreed upon by the parties involved.

The instructions direct the escrow holder to perform duties necessary to

complete the transaction. A few of the tasks which may be required are:

• Receive and deposit earnest money

• Order information for payoff of existing liens

• Calculate and/or prorate taxes, liens, interest, rents, and

insurance policies

• Make arrangements for title insurance protection for the

buyer and lender

• Prepare and/or receive documents relating to the escrow

• Request and receive funding from new lender when conditions have

been satisfied

• Arrange for recording of the conveyance documents and any other

legal instruments required to transfer title to the property pursuant to

the terms of the purchase agreement

• Close the escrow and disburse funds as agreed upon in the


• Prepare a closing statement for the parties showing disposition of funds

 Definition of “Escrow” from Black’s Law Dictionary

A writing, deed, money, stock or other property delivered by the grantor,

promissor or obligor into the hands of a third person, to be held by the

latter until the happening of a contingency or performance of a condition,

and then by him delivered to the grantee, promissee or obligee. A system

of document transfer in which a deed, bond or funds is delivered to a third

person to hold until all conditions in a contract are fulfilled.

  Fun Fact

Escrow practices evolved from English common law. The word “escrow”

is actually derived from the Middle English (12th to 15th century) word for

“scroll”, on which all of the escrow instructions and lists of properties were recorded.

This material may not be reproduced except for explicit use by registered members

The Modern Real Estate Group is here to help with your purchase in Palm Springs.  We provide individual attention, genuine knowledge, considerate and gentle guidance in all price ranges for those looking to purchase a desert home.  Please contact us for more information.

Paul Kaplan
The Modern Real Estate Group


[email protected]
Greater Palm Springs Realty

If I foreclose, how long before I can buy a house?

Friday, June 4th, 2010


Financing a home after foreclosure is possible for most homeowners.  Those who default on their mortgages due to economic hardships, such as job loss, may receive approval for another mortgage in as little as two years, while it may take more than seven years for strategic defaulters to be approved.

Lenders utilize several methods in determining whether to grant mortgages, including the amount of money borrowers have saved; employment histories; and payment history.

According to the chief economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association, lenders may be more willing to finance a mortgage for a borrower who defaulted on their mortgage as a result of factors beyond their control.
Some homeowners who strategically default—intentionally not meet their mortgage obligations although they have the financial means to do so—assume they can raise their FICO scores by paying their others bills on time.  However, most future loan underwriters will scrutinize their records very closely, and if they determine the borrower strategically defaulted on their previous mortgage, the repaired credit score will not overshadow the walkaway.

Although not impossible for strategic defaulters to finance another home purchase, it likely will be more difficult.  Lenders may ask for down payments of 30 percent or more to provide sufficient collateral to enable the bank to recoup most of its money in a foreclosure.  These borrowers also may be charged higher interest rates, even above the levels other borrowers with similar credit scores would receive.

To read the full story, please click here.

Good real estate news: Home equity is rising again

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Summarized from the Washington post….
Numerous articles have reported that homeowners are underwater and that strategic defaults are increasing.  However, a little known statistic by the Federal Reserve shows that home equity again is on the rise.
The Federal Reserve conducts substantial research on mortgage balances and home-value changes in hundreds of local markets nationwide and reports its finding quarterly.  According to the Fed’s most recent “flow of funds” survey, homeowners’ net equity increased by nearly $1 trillion compared with the recession’s lowest point between the first and third quarters of 2009.  From June 30 to Sept. 30, net equity rose by $418 billion.
According to a report by, the overall negative equity rate among U.S. homeowners remained flat in the fourth quarter at 21.4 percent.  This report, combined with other housing factors and studies, may indicate that the unprecedented reduction in home equity is shifting.
Some homeowners, especially those in areas with high foreclosure rates, are choosing to strategically default on their mortgages, even though they can afford the mortgage.  Many homeowners who choose this approach do so because they do not see an economic rationale in continuing to make their mortgage payments.  Homeowners considering this option should be aware of the negative effect it will have on their credit status.  Foreclosures can remain on credit reports for up to seven years, likely increasing the interest rates the consumer pays for credit, and making it more difficult to receive approval on a new mortgage loan.