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Should I Sell Now?

We are often asked the question: “Is this the best time to sell?” My answer is consistent, regardless of markets. “The answer is not simple. I need to know LOTS more.”


Yes, there may be times when the market is a super-hot seller’s market. But deciding on whether to sell or not should be something that is not based purely on whether you will maximize the selling price. Here are some of the questions I ask of sellers before answering the question:

1.  Where do you plan to live if you were to sell?

2.  What is your motive to sell: is it simply to maximize your profit, or do you have other reasons?

3.  How long have you owned the home and what have you invested into the property?

4.  What are your monthly costs to own and operate this home?

5.  Do you have a mortgage? Is it a fixed rate mortgage?

6.  How does the cost of your home match your net worth and income? What percentage of your net worth does the home represent?

7.  What are the current market conditions in your specific classification and location. What are the projected longterm trends?

8.  How new/old is your renovation/condition of your home? When might it need renovation? If recently renovated, when might its added value to the consumer start to fade?

9.  Have you seen the properties your compares closest to to better understand what they are listed for, what has recently closed and what was recently signed? A COLLECTION can be helpful here.

10.  Will your home need repairs, additional maintenance, renovation, assessments, higher real estate insurance/taxes in the coming months and years? Do you have a complete accounting on estimates for cost?

11. How much time do you have?  This is a brutal question. But possibly the most important one. Too many people delay decisions forgetting how time erodes opportunity and enjoyment.  I have seen old relatives suffer difficult circumstances in their huge homes with lots of stairs waiting for a better time to sell….then suffering a fall. What was the value of the potential upside of a higher sale price compared to the QUALITY of life had they moved into a simpler single-floor home without stairs? How long do kids live with you before they are off to college? Are you willing to sacrifice your need for space for the PERFECT time to sell? If you are buying a larger home, selling in a down-market may have an upside on the BUY side. 

These are just 11 questions I ask. There are many more. No real estate evaluation should be over-simplified with generic answers based on averages. Each person’s home and circumstances are very different. No human or home is an average. A home is a substantial investment requiring serious analysis, evaluation and consideration. Yes, we need to help simplify these matters, but over-simplifying them is not in the best interests of the consumer. Balance-sheet thinking should replace transaction obsession.

The above demonstrates yet again how the services professional agents go well beyond the mere transactional duties. Substantive, non-googleable or non-do-it-yourself advisory with real fact-based insight is an invaluable service that most are very willing to pay for.

Rent-Hyper-Inflation

by Leonard Steinberg

Many parts around the US are experiencing massive surges in rent prices, well above the average rate of inflation. A new report shows that rents rose in 96% of 252 housing markets. In most parts the natural forces of free markets are at work:  when there are 10 renters for one apartment, you can be certain over-bidding will occur. 

Housing represents about 40% of CPI, so what happens in home pricing matters….lots! Nationally, average apartment rents rose 9.4% in the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same quarter in 2021. While that is high by historical standards, it is down from the more than 11% annual increases seen the previous two quarters, and there is an expectation that these increases will moderate to around 6.2% higher than 2021 for the year. Costar is projecting a 4.9% increase for 2023. If rents continue to rise at 4%, $2,500/month rent today could be $3,700/m a decade from now.

In many areas where people moved after the pandemic for a more affordable lifestyle, rents rose even more, making these areas a lot less affordable than imagined when you consider the average American spends over 30% of their income on rent. 80% of municipalities saw the average rent increase by 10% or more. Miami had the biggest increase in average rent, rising 59%. Rents are up 31%  in Tempe, Arizona, 21% in San Diego, and 30% in Austin. However, rents have also risen in areas that have always had high rents:  New York, Boston, Los Angeles. 

Why do rents rise?1.  An imbalance between supply and demand.2.  More people focused on renting rather than buying, mostly because of affordability and availability of for sale homes.3.  Rising operational and labor costs for landlords, including rising real estate taxes.4.  Because people are willing to pay the price.5.  Aging housing stock that requires massive renovation and upgrades.6.  Fear of buying/committing to a purchase.

While rent hyperinflation can be great for landlords, some downsides are: 1.  A pro-forma based on exaggerated high rental returns can run into trouble when markets turn. Already banks have started to discount the more over-exuberant expectations.2.  Those who draw capital from properties producing high returns right now could run into trouble if rents subside or vacancies emerge.3.  Governments come under greater pressure from voters to implement laws around rent control and stabilization. Penalties for vacant properties are also possible.4.  When people spend too much on rent, they don’t have money left to spend on other things and this can lead to recession.5.  When rents soar, fees come under attack…..including agent fees!

Most extremes don’t end well. Yes, some rental properties were under-valued in areas where new demand seems long term, but most seem very, very frothy.

Do We Play An Active Inflation Role?

What can YOU AND I do to curb rising inflation?  I hate to tell you this, but we could actually do LOTS. In an unreal world. But we live in the real world, so……

One of the key drivers of inflation is the cost of housing. In many parts of the country COVID has fueled new audiences. Housing costs, accounting for almost a third of the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, were the largest single driver of inflation in the Atlanta area and similar places in 2021. We in the real estate profession are helping facilitate rising prices …..often MASSIVE price hikes. Have you EVER said to any of your clients in a multiple bidding scenario to take the asking price instead of the offer 10% over ask because it’s their patriotic duty to keep inflation down? HAH! I wouldn’t even attempt to do so. I know the answer. Have you ever told your sellers or landlords not to raise prices when the market is rising? The reality is we live in a free market system driven by supply and demand. I have yet to meet a lottery winner who wishes to redistribute their wins to everyone who lost. I have yet to meet a seller/owner who wishes to take a lower price to help the US economy tame inflation too…..

The reality about inflation is that when demand far outstrips supply, prices rise. That excess demand is fueled by multiple factors. And thrown into the mix is some good old fashioned greed…..and why not if everyone else is doing it? Why not, if we live in a free market capitalist system? We are reaping the rewards on the rise: chances are we will also feel the pain when the markets shift. They always do. I don’t ever recall myself sympathizing with a retail store when they had to discount their products deeply because of a lack of demand……I do recall the pains of real estate markets when we had to slash prices and accept low offers…..or had no showings and no offers. Markets change and they always will. We all play a role in them, consciously and unconsciously…..

Because of COVID, many parts of the US are reeling from even higher inflation rates because those moving in from more expensive parts – accustomed to far higher housing costs and higher wages – are willing to pay much higher prices than traditional ‘local’ pricing. When housing costs rise for locals, they command higher wages. More people moving into one area fuels demand and diminishes supply. Higher wages add to inflation by triggering rising corporate pricing on the goods and services they sell to pay for this.

So next time I complain about rising prices, I will turn to the mirror and ask myself: am I truly innocent of playing a role in this “BECAUSE YOU CAN” pricing moment? No, we are not responsible for inflation but to better understand it, we are witness to its primary causes each and every day. And we are part of the process that facilitates it. Most people will sell something for a higher price – if they can – regardless of costs.
And yes, prices can and do come down…..triggering DEFLATION and discounting…..and we will be active participants in that too when/if the time comes. Free market pricing is all about supply and demand.

The Energy (R)evolution

by Leonard Steinberg

We are in the midst of a rather exciting revolution. It started decades ago when in 2006, US President George Bush – a Texan – boldly claimed: “America is addicted to Oil”. That was a startling admission. Now Texas – the US’s largest oil producer – produces about 7,352 megawatts of new wind, solar and energy storage, the most in the US. The runner-up, California, produces about 2,697 megawatts. I seriously doubt oil is going away, but it is incredible to witness how we are in the midst of a massive transition to more, cleaner (and possibly cheaper) energy.

We are experiencing a massive transformation in our cities, states, towns – and homes – as electric vehicles will shift issues around ‘filling up’, charging stations, power storage, air and noise pollution, energy use, and geopolitical risks associated with energy-related commodities. Auto executives say more than half of U.S. car sales will be EVs by 2030….that’s very soon! Imagine quiet garbage trucks and delivery vehicles in bigger cities. Quieter highways. Our entire infrastructure will need to be updated, not unlike the internet and cable TV which required similar changes decades ago. We are also seeing a rapid growth in Solar use amongst individual homeowners, buildings and corporate America that is adding massive swaths of energy producing entities to buildings and warehouses…..not just because they want cleaner air: Many are doing so for PROFIT and SAVINGS, possibly the best motivator of all.

Around 50% of a home’s energy use is for heating and cooling. The average US home has around 40 lightbulbs…..switching from 60 Watt incandescent bulbs to 8 Watt LED’s reduces lighting energy consumption by 90%! The EPA estimates that the average homeowner can save 15% on heating and cooling costs (11% of total energy costs) by simply adding insulation in attics, crawl spaces, and basement rim joists.  A new modern combi boiler is likely to save  between 20-35% on gas usage. Ah, the combination of high and low technology can serve homeowners well!

While we currently are suffering from dramatically higher energy costs – mostly driven by Opec’s monopoly – the upside is these higher costs may be the ultimate motivator for towns, cities, states, countries, corporations and individuals to produce their own energy – preferably clean, renewable energy – to reduce the exorbitant healthcare costs (Air pollution from fossil fuels costs each American an average of $2,500 a year in extra medical bills -Reuters) and suffering (Some estimate 100,000-200,000 Americans die each year related to air pollution) associated with pollution. Not to mention the big savings most experience when creating their own clean energy. Ask Walmart that has become a power company creating a big chunk of their own energy usage. Ikea reduced its outside energy use by 57% at a Baltimore location. The rooftops of US big-box stores offer enough solar potential to power the equivalent of 8 million American homes…. Homes with (attractive) solar generation now sell for a premium in areas. Lots has to be done to make solar more attractive for homes and integrated rooftiles seem to be the best solution but they still require some refinement.

Most revolutions are a bit messy and can hurt. Governments sadly mostly don’t plan in 10 and 20 year segments, remaining more focused on election cycles. We are experiencing this pain right now. But the future is very bright. Soon we may be living in a cleaner, quieter, healthier world. Far from perfect as all energy sources have their downside too. Bravo to our Texan friends and colleagues for setting such a great example for what is possible!

We would like to get your take on this article since we found it informative so what do you think? Let us hear from you! Have a great day!

Flash Inventory

There is Inventory (less of it these days in most parts!), SHADOW Inventory (those homes and apartments that developers can sell and are for sale but are not officially listed anywhere….and whisper, private listings) …..and then there is FLASH Inventory.

FLASH Inventory is the kind of inventory that often comes to market and is snapped up so quickly it can make your head spin. Sometimes it barely makes it into the MLS systems, although most areas require this. Between the FLASH and SHADOW inventory, consumers would be wisest to work with a professional, on-top-of-it buyer’s agent who can navigate this area of the market – often the market with the greatest opportunity for buyers – efficiently and effectively. Often a buyer’s agent who is both highly competent AND liked by their peers is most effective. 

Recently, we did a sale on a property that had an accepted offer within hours. Not only did the seller like the terms and qualifications of the buyers, but they (and I) also trusted their buyer’s agent implicitly, who also did what was necessary price- and terms-wise to secure the deal, making his buyers instantly the most likable, desirable buyers who also happened to be extremely qualified with zero contingencies because their agent had already done extensive due diligence on the building and unit. He had prepared his buyers with all the comps, knowledge and insights needed to make a smart and QUICK decision, explained valuation thoroughly and factually. His buyers trusted him AND I trusted him….as did my clients. These buyers moved FAST, they were 100% prepared …AND 100% well represented. Strong, smart, professional representation matters (Price does too). AND the likability, trustworthiness and ethical strength of the agent.

In a world where often the best properties trade in a flash, having outstanding representation can make all the difference. Often buyers who enter these scenarios make points and fight battles not worth fighting. Often it is the buyers who lose arguments – or avoid these sometimes petty details – who are left winning the home. FLASH!

Cost Basis

by Leonard Steinberg

When calculating how much your home has increased in value, you have to identify its COST BASIS – meaning anything and everything that you spent to pay for the product. The IRS defines a capital improvement as a home improvement that adds market value to the home, prolongs its useful life or adapts it to new uses. Minor repairs and maintenance jobs like changing door locks, repairing a leak or fixing a broken window do not qualify as capital improvements. Capital improvements and things you can put in your COST BASIS include:

* The price you paid for the property, including settlement costs, such as: title fees, legal fees, recording fees, survey fees, and any transfer taxes or fees you paid in connection with the purchase.
* Additions: An added extra bedroom or bathroom, a deck on the back of the home, a new garage, an added porch or patio….anything that adds value to your home.* Lawn and grounds improvements: Value-adding landscaping projects, driveway or walkway construction, a new fence or retaining wall, adding a swimming pool, etc can qualify as property improvements.
* Exterior improvements: New windows, a new roof, and new siding are examples. Any and all renovation costs including ANY and ALL costs related to that renovation work.
* Insulation: This includes insulation in the attic, inside walls, under floors, or around pipes and ductwork.
* Systems: Installing a new heating or air conditioning system, new ductwork, adding a central vacuuming system, wiring improvements, installing a security system, solar, geothermal, generators, batteries, and putting in lawn irrigation are improvements.
* Plumbing: Installing a septic system, water heater, or soft water system adds value.
* Interior improvements: New appliances, kitchen renovations, new flooring/carpeting, the installation of a fireplace, etc.
* If you needed to make home improvements in order to sell your home, you can deduct those expenses as selling costs as long as they were made within 90 days of the closing.

COST BASIS  does NOT include hazard insurance premiums, moving expenses, or any mortgage-related charges (mortgage insurance, credit report fees, and appraisal costs are out) and general repairs that are essential to keep something working do not qualify. Yard maintenance, HOA fees, and real estate taxes don’t count.

Always check with your accountant when in doubt. Keeping tabs of these costs throughout the lifetime of a house is wise.

Silly Articles

This past week we’ve endured our fare share of media articles that were either incomplete, inaccurate or downright misleading. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about some academics discussing how overpaid real estate agents are and how to fix this problem…..in a publication that supposedly believes in free markets and capitalism.  It was another embarrassing moment for the WSJ which used to focus on facts and data and tell the complete story.

The writer for this article was basically making the case for any entity on the planet that would sharply reduce the excessive fees us agents charge for doing what this troupe deem as ‘quick and easy’ money. The article continued the myth that all agents everywhere earn ALL 6% commission simply by doing a little paperwork, a few showings and bingo! Jackpot!  Not one real estate brokerage or agent was consulted in this embarrassing lapse of journalistic drivel. So while I could go on and break down each and every ridiculous claim and their solutions, I’d rather focus on the more important lesson from this moment.

Here again we see how some of the fame-seeking, drinks-throwing loons on Reality-TV calculating their commissions BEFORE a showing (never mentioning splits or expenses of course….or the time and energy and work that happens well before a transaction and forever afterward) have given the world – even College Professors – the completely false/distorted impression of what we do and how we earn our fees. That’s aside from boasting about the ‘millions’ they make, the private jet lifestyle they lead, etc. The damage they have done over a decade may take a decade to undo……but only if we do something about it.

We as a profession have failed miserably in CLEARLY messaging to the consumer exactly what a PROFESSIONAL agent does to earn their fees. Everything. Not just the open house or the showings. Not just the advertising, marketing, social media management, etc. EVERYTHING. As well as all the planning and advisory work that happens BEFORE something is listed and all the work that happens AFTER the closing. We also have to message the extensive expenses we incur and the mammoth expenses of our brokerage that we participate in with our splits. What does a website, tech tools, offices, staffing, advertising, marketing teams, etc cost to build and operate? WE – not the WSJ or the crafty drivers of this narrative whose sole purpose is to replace us or minimize our income for THEIR gain – must message this. The COMPLETE picture.

So let’s get started. Today. What can you do that messages the WORK and VALUE you deliver, not just the income, glamor, etc. And yes, all of this can showcase beautiful property too. Boasting about our incomes and successes is nice but may also message that we are indeed overpaid and its all too easy. (Most of us never message how tough it was to sell a listing over 18 months…..maybe the time has come to do so!)

PLEASE contact us today and we will show you our VALUE of WORK as agents that we will bring to helping you to get your real estate needs taken care of with professionalism.

New, New, New!

There is a common theme around the globe: home buyers and renters want brand new or newly renovated homes and are willing to pay a premium for them, often a large premium. It’s almost become an obsession. I’ve always been attracted to ‘projects’, but even I’m finding these projects more cumbersome these days. Here are my TOP 10 reasons I’ve identified for the NEW craze:

1.  Time is the Last Luxury: enjoying a home immediately is more meaningful to most. Waiting for a renovation or new build is time lost. The time and effort spent on a home build/renovation project is time you can spend on your career making the money to pay for a home, or enjoy with friends and/or family.

2.  In a rising interest rates environment locking in to a rate has value.

3.  When you buy a renovation project you need cash or (difficult to obtain) additional financing to renovate. One financed lump sum is quicker/easier.

4.  With rising labor and materials costs, anticipated costs for renovation at closing are bound to rise. Most projects go over budget regardless.

5.  Consumers want the least aggravation: older systems require more time, effort and money to service, maintain and replace.

6.  New homes are usually much more energy efficient.

7.  New/renovated homes have been adjusted to today’s lifestyle needs.

8.  When you buy one apartment in a 50-unit building by a top architect/interior designer there is economy of scale:  you would pay MUCH more for that quality of design for a single home project.

9. Decorating and furnishing is the fun part. Sorting through a complex permitting and approvals process is not nearly as much fun.

10. Seeing exactly what you’re going to get is much easier than imagining what could be.

I am sure that there are many more reasons to add. What ones would you add?

The BEST Restaurants in Palm Springs

by Brant Cox – original article

Every decent city in America has their escape place. New York has the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore, and Chicago has, well, Wisconsin. And Los Angeles? We get Palm Springs. Only the best escape destination in the entire country. When you have a town that was created solely on the idea of sitting by the pool and getting as hammered as f*cking possible, there’s little to complain about.

Where should you be eating in between all those mojitos and dancing at Coachella though? Between the classic old haunts where Marilyn Monroe used got her freak on, to the new, modern spots popping up all over downtown, Palm Springs is a culinary destination to be reckoned with. Here’s our updated guide on exactly how to navigate it.

Breakfast / Brunch

King’s Highway

701 E. Palm Canyon Dr

It’s not often you eat brunch in an abandoned Denny’s and want your friends to see it on Instagram. Located inside America’s hipster safe house (Ace Hotel), King’s Highway is the all-day cafe for everyone who just can’t with the pool anymore. Don’t be fooled though. With a recently overhauled menu of things people like to eat before noon, King’s Highway has sneakily become one of the best breakfasts in town and has a not-cheesy retro atmosphere going for it, too.

Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe

73575 El Paseo

Wilma and Frieda’s is out in Palm Desert, but wherever you find yourself after a long night of Mai Tais, this is a brunch must. Open only from 8am-3pm, Wilma and Frieda’s is next to a Saks Fifth Avenue in a high-end shopping plaza, but don’t let that fool you – this place is all about comfort. Think short rib eggs benedict and a blackberry vanilla custard French toast. And with everything hovering under $15, it’s really affordable too.

Photo: Wilma and Frieda’s / Facebook

Norma’s

4200 E Palm Canyon Dr.

Norma’s might not have the best brunch in Palm Springs, but it definitely has one of the best patios to eat it on. Technically serving as the all-day cafe at Parker Palm Springs, Norma’s at 12:30pm on a Saturday is an all-out scene — the kind of scene you came to Palm Springs to experience. Rich old women drinking chardonnay before lunch, stressed-out bridal parties guzzling mimosas, and you and your friends going to town on taco salads and Bloody Marys before hitting the pool for the next 72 hours.

Cheeky’s

622 N Palm Canyon Dr

If you hear someone shout “brunch!” in Palm Springs, it probably means they’re on their way to Cheeky’s. Open only until 2pm each day, this cafe has become the absolute go-to morning dining destination in Palm Springs. Just be warned: the line gets ridiculous. But for those who tough it out, a fantastic rotating menu of all the breakfast foods your hungover stomach wants awaits. Two words: bacon flight.

Chi Chi

415 S Belardo Rd

When the Viceroy Palm Springs became the Avalon Hotel, it not only gave us a fantastic new place to stay, but also a great new poolside restaurant to go along with it. It’s a calm, tranquil setting, and the Latin-tinged brunch menu is a perfect complement.

Photo: Jakob Layman

The Purple Palm

572 N Indian Canyon Dr.

In the heart of Palm Springs sits the fantastic Colony Palms Hotel. And at the heart of the Colony Palms sits Purple Palm – the immaculate all-day poolside restaurant straight from your desert dreams. The weekend brunch goes from 8am-3pm, ideal for all your hazy Coachella mornings, and there’s a special sunset menu from 3-6pm for when you just need a breather from the mayhem. The American-ish menu is very solid and the ambience can’t be beat.

Lunch

The Real Italian Deli

100 S Sunrise Way

The Real Italian Deli is one of those places everybody wishes they had around the corner from their apartment. The small, order-at-the-counter spot is located in a run-down stripmall a few miles outside of downtown Palm Springs, but despite its lackluster surroundings, it’s home to some of our favorite sandwiches in town. You’re going to want the Parma sandwich (prosciutto and mozzarella) on a housemade torpedo roll with a side of their fantastic mac salad. Bonus: There’s a grocery component here too if you’re in the mood to cook up an Italian feast tonight at the vacation rental.

Photo: The Real Italian Deli / Facebook

Draughtsman

1501 N Palm Canyon Dr.

Most day-drinking scenarios in Palm Springs revolve around strongly poured cocktails by the pool, but Draughtsman is here to change that (or at least give you more options). The massive bar/restaurant on the north side of town has a solid craft beer list, good bar food (get the burger), and is the kind of place you come for a quick bite to eat and end up staying for several hours. Why? That side patio with all the games you could ever want. There’s cornhole, hook and ring, foosball, and life-size Connect Four.

Photo: Draughtsman / Facebook

Sherman’s Deli and Bakery

401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way

One can come to expect certain things from Palm Springs. Plenty of pool time, lots of golf, and drunk old people at stop lights asking you if you know their grandson. But an NYC-style kosher deli in the heart of the city? Not particularly. And yet, there’s Sherman’s, a Palm Springs institution, dishing out immensely respectable versions of all the old classics. It might be 114 degrees out, but sometimes a hot pastrami on rye is simply what needs to happen.

The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge

1330 E Palm Canyon Dr.

Located in one of the most underrated little hotels in Palm Springs, The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge has expanded its menu to include a lunch situation that’s open to the public (dinner is not) and has quickly become one of our favorites in town. The ham and mustard melt has no business being as good as it is, and the smoked salmon spread is all you need as the temperature hits triple digits. This is the casual, hidden lunch oasis you can’t find anywhere else in Palm Springs.

Photo: Barn Kitchen / Facebook

Frankinbun

540 S Indian Canyon Dr.

Frankinbun is a small joint on the south end of downtown Palm Springs serving hot dogs like you’ve never had before – on French baguettes. But if you’re not feeling one of their traditional dogs, we recommend going for the currywurst, chicken and waffles on a stick, or something they call the tornado potato. This is your power move when brunch got a little too drunk and you need some further sustenance to get through your Saturday.

Trio

707 N. Palm Canyon Dr.

Lunch is often the forgotten meal in Palm Springs and Trio is hell-bent on changing that. How? Well, for starters, an eight-hour happy hour isn’t too shabby. And if that doesn’t suit your needs, you can go for the $19 three-course prix fixe menu. Ultimately, Trio nails the casual walk-up vibe you want for lunch and is also big enough for your whole crew to find a seat.

Ruben and Ozzy’s Oyster Bar

241 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way

Not everything has to be a big deal in this town, and in the case of Ruben and Ozzy’s, they made a business out of providing an alternative. You come to Ruben and Ozzy’s because the midday sun is taking zero prisoners and you need a beer and some oysters. This is a glorified dive bar with a great patio to get your buzz on for cheap. And with $4 alcoholic oyster shooters, danger is near.

Dinner

Counter Reformation

4200 E Palm Canyon Dr.

Counter Reformation is one of the newest spots in all of Palm Springs, but it’s already operating on a higher level than just about everyone else. Hidden in a corner of the massive Parker Palm Springs, this is a wine bar that happens to have some of the best food in town. The place is small (it’s one long bar with counter seats), but the vibe is fun and cool. You’re going to want the cheese plate, the beef charcuterie, and the hen of the woods. Also, lots and lots of wine. More places like this please, Palm Springs.

Copley’s

621 N. Palm Canyon Dr

As far as Palm Springs is concerned, Copley’s still might be considered a relative newcomer. And yet, this decade-old restaurant is easily one of the best restaurants in town. Located in the courtyard of the former Cary Grant estate, the almost entirely outdoor space (with ridiculous mountain views) is that essential Palm Springs setting you came all the way out here looking for. Not to mention, the food is pretty good too. If you’re looking for that quintessential Palm Springs date night, this is it.

Workshop

800 N Palm Canyon Dr

Farm-to-table (desert-to-table?) menus have quickly become the norm in Palm Springs dining culture, but Workshop’s still stands far above the rest – making it one of the most popular dinner spots in town. You probably didn’t think you’d come to Palm Springs and eat octopus carpaccio or duck leg confit, but here you are and you’re going to love it. The restaurant is also located inside a ridiculous all-concrete, chapel-like space that puts even some of LA’s great spaces to shame.

Photo: Workshop / Facebook

Rooster And The Pig

356 S. Indian Canyon Dr

Taking a page out of the LA dining handbook, Rooster And The Pig proves some of the best food in town can be found in weird strip malls. This is modern Vietnamese food and despite being open for a few years now, there’s still nothing else like it in Palm Springs. The space is small and modern, but with an atmosphere that makes you feel welcome the second you walk in. If you’re looking a good dinner in PS that doesn’t involve the usual long waits and big slabs of steak, make moves to Rooster And The Pig.

Photo: Rooster and The Pig / Facebook

Johannes

196 S Indian Canyon Dr.

An Austrian-fusion restaurant might be the last place you’d choose to go to in Palm Springs, but this 15-year-old institution has other plans. The atmosphere inside this homey restaurant is quiet and casual, with fantastic service, good wine, and a schnitzel that had us at hello. If you’re looking to avoid that overcrowded tourist scene, you should go here.

Photo: Johannes / Facebook

Truss & Twine

800 N Palm Canyon Dr.

For as much fun as it is to look at all the furniture stores you can’t afford, the north end of Palm Canyon can get a little sleepy when it comes to nightlife. But Truss and Twine is here to change that. The all-concrete bar certainly has the industrial look on lock, but if you’re looking for some snacks and a well-made cocktail before a night on the town, this is your spot. The waitstaff is friendly, there’s a daily happy hour from 4pm – 6pm, and they have these prosciutto-wrapped pretzel things that are downright addictive.

Photo: Audra Ma

SO.PA

1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr.

The L’Horizon resort underwent a massive overhaul and came out looking like its old 1950′s glamorous self. And with it came SO.PA, the beautiful all-day, all-outdoors restaurant with a heavy Middle Eastern lean. Think crispy California squid with spicy yogurt, Alaskan trout with lentils, and a housemade hummus we’d buy tubs of. Your date night in the desert is set.

Photo: SO.PA / Facebook

Felipe’s

Edit 400 S El Cielo Rd. Ste A

Solid Mexican food in Palm Springs is not always easy to come by. Which is why you need to know about Felipe’s. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this family-run cafe is serving familiar Mexican classics better than anybody in Palm Springs. The tiny spot is out by the airport, perfect if you’re flying in for Coachella or aren’t in the mood to deal with the downtown crowds. The Hawaiian torta is a must.

Photo: Felipe’s / Facebook

Birba

622 N. Palm Canyon Dr

Right next door to Cheeky’s (with the same address) is Birba. Home to hands down the best pizza in Palm Springs, Birba is also the perfect casual big group jumping-off point before a night out in Palm Canyon. With bar, lounge, and table seating, you can make Birba into whatever you damn please. Expect a lively (but not sceney) courtyard atmosphere and a lot of white pizza in your mouth.

Photo: Birba / Facebook

Melvyn’s

200 W. Ramon Rd.

Not so much a throwback as a perfectly-preserved relic, Melvyn’s was a favorite of Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack. Stay on the staff’s good side (not an easy task), and they’ll treat you to some carefully-practiced banter as they prepare their famous Steak Diane (pan-fried beefsteak with pan juices served tableside). Put away your iPhone, tuck in your shirt young man, and enjoy a classic dinner from a different era.

The Tropicale

330 E. Amado Rd

With an old-school Miami supper club vibe, The Tropicale is a grown-up, kitschy oasis and perhaps your best spot to finally pull off that flowered button-down you got in Nassau. This is certainly a fine dining experience (and a great one at that), but with a fantastic cocktail list and an even better back patio, the recipe is right for things to get weird. The Tropicale is down to party.

Spencer’s

701 W. Baristo Rd\

Pressed up against the base of Mount San Jacinto Mountain in The Palm Springs Tennis Club, Spencer’s is an icon and one of the all-time great restaurants in the city. Come for a wine-soaked power lunch on the patio with your interior decorator or bring the parents along for dinner to get a glimpse of how the upper crust really do it. You don’t come to Spencer’s to skimp, and that means the Black Angus Petit Filet is your order.

Well, we’re not usually the type to forward links to our friends and clients….but we felt this was really useful info which you will hopefully get to enjoy in person sometime soon.  The link below lists the best restaurants here in the Palm Springs area.  I think we both are going to start going down the list of these and give them a try.

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

by The KCM Crew

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If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.