Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

Original Palm Springs Alexander Kitchens

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Here’s a flash back look at the original kitchens installed in the Alexander Construction Company’s homes in the Racquet Club Estates neighborhood, located in Palm Springs.  At the Paul Kaplan Group, we love these hidden gems that pop up when new listings hig the market-  We’re very lucky to see a time capsule of the original kitchen design in this latest listing in the Racquet Club.

Origi Alex Kitchen

Coutertops were Formica on the island, and tile on the sink and stove counters.  The center island consisted of lower and upper cabinets that were mounted on boomerang style metal legs.  The island could be moved, for when you needed more space in the dining area.  These islands are vary rare to find, as most of disappeared over the past 50+ years, as homeowners have remodeled their kitchens.  I don’t think dishwashers were included in the original kitchen design.



Original Alex Kitchen 2

A look back towards the kitchen from the dining area.

Original Alex stove

The original oven-  hard to fit a 21st century Turkey in one of these!


Original kitchen 2

The original range cook top and oven-  plust the original tiled counter tops-  and close up of the peg and grove cabinets below

   Orig alex range


For more information on Alexander homes and Racquet Club Estates, plus available mid-century homes, please visit our website at or call our offices at 760-459-1396.

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]


Modernism Week- Palm Springs- Tickets still available

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Are you planning to visit Palm Springs this February for Modernism Week? All of us at The Paul Kaplan Group have already purchased our tickets.  Although many of the events and tours are sold out, I looked and there are still a variety of tickets available.

What is Modernism Week?  Palm Springs Modernism Week is an exciting 11-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture and culture, Feb. 14 to the 24th. This design aesthetic originated in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and was typified by clean, simple lines which came to define desert modernism. The Palm Springs Modernism Week is filled with a variety of events including architectural tours, films, lectures, an architectural symposium, educational events, and chic, fun parties in cool mid-century modern homes that draws thousands of visitors from all over the world.

The Paul Kaplan Group is sponsoring a number of events and tours, as well as our Modernism Garage Sale on Feb.  24th.  I’ve scanned through the event lists, and of what is still available, here’s what I would suggest:

13th Annual Modernism Show Preview Reception, and show the following days.
Marrakesh Country Club Designer Showcase
Expo Tent and Prefab Showcase
Charles Phoenix Retro Slide Show
The Silver Factory Party
A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living
Royal Hawaiian Estates Home Tour
Fashion Forward: A Vintage Clothing Retrospective
Palm Springs Modern Committee Iconic Home tour – William Krisel Twin Palms
Tony Duquette – Wild Child of Hollywood Design
Mid-Century Moderns: The Homes That Define Palm Springs – 2012
Vintage Car Show
A Mad Men Evening – the Architecture and Design Council’s Annual Fundraiser
Frank Sinatra’s “Twin Palms” Estate Tour
Symposium and Tour: The Public and the Modern House – All Day
Modernism Garage Sale

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Palm Springs Modernism Week,


The Paul Kaplan Group will also have a booth at the Modernism Show, held Feb. 15-17th.  If you’d like more information on real estate, drop me an email or text, or come by our booth for more info.  You can live out your own modernism life in Palm Springs!

Which way should my house face in Palm Springs?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Clients of mine, recently re-sent me an email I sent to them, regarding helping them decide whether or not they should buy a particular mid-century house in the Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates neighborhood, back in 2009.   Having lived in this neighborhood and having sold about 100 homes over the years with The Paul Kaplan Group, I’ve learned a lot about the pros and cons of house orientation.  They thanked me again and said this email explanation did help them decide on their house- and 3 years later, they agree that what I said was true! (thank God!!) Here’s the email:

“I’ll give you my two cents about views from what I’ve learned over the years and experienced.
If you’re on the West side of the street, you do have a direct mountain view from your back yard. However, you’ll be looking at the view thru the power lines. If you’re on the East side, the front of the house has an amazing view and from the back yard tanning deck, you’re looking at the view without the wires in the way. The way this house sits, you don’t see the wires from the house when looking in the back yard, because you really don’t look up.
On this house (if it was restored to the original) the clerestories in the three bedrooms would capture the western mountain view dramatically- it almost looks like framed art. Additionally, many people have created courtyards in the front of the house to take advantage of the view and sunsets.
Regarding living here full time as you eventually plan, orientation becomes even more important. Every orientation has an advantage. I can tell you from personal experience, a West facing view in the spring & summer is not so great…the afternoon sun is so intense, you rarely ever get a chance to actually LOOK at the view because the sun is always in your eyes. Additionally, with the heat, your pool will cook, and it will be uncomfortable to lay out in the back yard. Otherwise, you can build a huge overhang (like the house on Starr) to block the sun- but then doing that, you lose the view anyway because it will be blocked.

Planning Your Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates Views

Also, in Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates, if your back yard faces West, you’ll get more wind during the windy season- with it facing East, the house will block some of that wind and make it a little more tolerable. What many people have done with an East facing back yard, is build a courtyard in the front yard and open the bedrooms in the front. There’s a huge set back from the street, so there’s plenty of room for a courtyard on this house.”

Hope this helps!!  If you have any questions about buying a home in Palm Springs, its orientation, wind, or anything else, please drop me a line or give me a call at 760-285-8559.  The Paul Kaplan Group is a local boutique real estate company, that knows Palm Springs and provides the education you need that you can’t necessarily find about a neighborhood, on the internet!  Hiring a local expert can help you make the right decision about your home purchase.

Desert Resort living in South Palm Springs

Monday, November 5th, 2012
South Palm Springs Indian Canyons Condo with Private Courtyard and Single Car Garage

Beautiful spacious condo located in the south Palm Springs Indian Canyons neighborhood. A private courtyard welcomes you to this comfortable single level townhome. The spacious kitchen includes a breakfast bar that opens up to the living/dining area, with vaulted ceiling and access to the lanai through a large sliding door. The master bedroom suite is separate from the guest suite, on opposite sides of the home, for privacy. Located steps from one of the community pools, this townhome has one of the best locations in the complex. A single car garage is included, providing amble storage. Shows like a model home! A great place to spend your winters, or for year round living!

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Riverside county sees a drop in affordable homes by 40%!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

We knew it was getting tough to find homes under $300,000 here in the Palm Springs area (which is in Riverside County), but the LA Times published a report today showing some startling statistics.

The LA Times reported that properties priced below $313,200 are increasingly scarce as investor groups crowd out first-time buyers. As foreclosures drop, some parts of the Inland Empire have only one month’s home supply. Competition for lower-priced homes in California is so hot that the number of cheaper homes available for sale has sunk more than 40% in the last year. Economists typically consider a six-month supply to be a healthy market.

Foreclosure filings fell in September to the lowest level in more than five years, according to a report by RealtyTrac released Thursday. Substantial decreases in California and some other states hard hit by the collapse of the housing bubble helped reduce filings to 180,427 last month, down 7% from August and 16% from a year earlier. The last time filings were that low was in July 2007. This is contributing to a lack of affordable inventory.

Typically- when inventory is down, prices rise- basic law of supply and demand.

Investor groups have been flooding the market with cash, beating out traditional buyers who are financing their home purchases. Its not unusual to have multiple offers on properties, bidding the price up, 10 to 15% over asking if not higher. We recently sold a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood- the asking price was $650,000. There were 7 offers and the final sales price was $800,000. Our buyer felt lucky that he won the competition!

That being said, there are still good buys out there- even with prices on the rise, they’re still significantly lower then what homes were selling for at the height of the market in 2006. Difficult lending qualifications and the current frustrating appraisal process, are keeping prices relatively steady. Coupled with historic low interest rates hovering around 3.5%, purchasing a home still remains an attractive investment, if you can get one!

For more information and to read the complete article, click here.   

We’re seasoned Realtors at The Paul Kaplan Group–  we’ve been through this real estate cycle before-  if you’re interested in purchasing a home in the Palm Springs area, we’ll be happy to help, and advise you on the best competitive tactics to use to be the winning bidder for your home purchases.

Home prices on the rise!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

As we ease out of the great recession, Real Estate is having a come back here in Palm Springs and across the country.  Open any newspaper these days, and you’ll see a report about housing prices starting to increase.  Per the following, prices nationally are up 2.7%.  As the general public gains more confidence with the economy, more people are seeking out real estate to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates, in Palm Springs, and many other cities across the US.  See below for the latest study:

Home rise for third consecutive month in May

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 2 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2012 compared with May 2011, according to CoreLogic’s May Home Price Index report.  On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, also increased 1.8 percent in May 2012 compared with April 2012. The May 2012 figures mark the third consecutive increase in home prices nationwide on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased 2.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2012 compared with May 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, the CoreLogic HPI indicates home prices increased 2.3 percent in May 2012 compared with April 2012, the fourth month-over-month increase in a row. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

More info

If now is the time for you to purchase a home in Palm Springs either as a primary residence, vacation home or rental property, give us a call a The Paul Kaplan Group.  We’ll be happy to discuss our current market conditions and assist you with makig a smart real estate investment in Palm Springs.  760-285-8559

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



Palm Springs updated mid-century home just listed.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The Paul Kaplan Group is excited to be listing another classic example of Palm Springs Mid-Century Real Estate.  Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of the historic Palm Springs’ Racquet Club Road Estates neighborhood, this mid-century home is one of the best  examples of the forward-thinking design of the architecture team, Palmer and Krisel. The original design has been brought back to life from years of neglect and poor remodeling choices;  It is elegantly simple: a “butterfly” sloping roof thin plane, with tongue-and-groove ceilings resting gently on beams and posts, the purest modernist expression of form and function. Twelve-foot wide sliding glass retractable doors allow the free flowing open plan to continue outdoors, featuring an oversized yard, sparkling pool, lounging area, accented by a gas fire pit. The addition of clerestory windows, seen in the original 1959 blueprints but never originally built, open up the living room to capture views of the majestic San Jacinto mountain that guard over the Palm Springs valley. Inside, natural materials express themselves including concrete floors, wood paneling accents, as well as heavy timbered ceiling beams. Recent renovations include custom natural wood cabinets in the kitchen, quartz-style countertops and stainless appliances, baths upgraded with designer tile, and sleek modern fixtures and fittings.

A thorough renovation, took the home down the the studs, and then restored from the inside out.  New systems, including plumbing, electrical, heating and airconditiong, bring 21st century comforts to this classic Palm Springs mid-century home.    Offered at $549,000.  Click here for more information.

Real Estate- Good signs of a recovery

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The following article was posted on the National Association of Realtor’s website.  This article echos whats going on in Real Estate in Palm Springs as well-  sales have been robust this past year-  we’ve suddenly entered into a period of extremely low inventory.  Although we have not seen prices start to sky-rocket in Palm Springs, we are seeing multiple offers that are starting to drive prices North.  Maybe the balance is shifting a little-  regardless, hopefully its a good sign of economic recovery and a balance of the real estate markets in Palm Springs, as well as the entire United States.

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2012) – Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8 percent above March 2011 when it was 89.9.  The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing.  “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years.  The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said.

 “The housing market has clearly turned the corner.  Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun said.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.8 percent to 78.2 in March but is 21.1 percent above March 2011.  In the Midwest the index declined 0.9 percent to 93.3 but is 16.9 percent higher than a year ago.  Pending home sales in the South rose 5.9 percent to an index of 114.1 in March and are 10.6 percent above March 2011.  In the West the index increased 8.7 percent in March to 108.0 and is 9.0 percent above a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales.  In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

NOTE:  Existing-home sales for April will be reported May 22, the next Pending Home Sales Index will be released May 30 and first quarter metro area home prices will be released May 9; release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Information about NAR is available at News releases are posted in the website’s “News and Commentary” tab.  Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab of