While Ernest was on a half-work half-vacation in Palm Springs recently, he took the better part of a day to meet with his Realtor there for lunch, a tour of two million dollar homes, and took some time to learn about what was happening in the real estate market in the Coachella Valley. Ernest and Scott own properties in the valley and worked with, of course, the best of the best when they purchased a few years ago. Ernest wants you to know that Jennifer Kovalenko (contact information at the bottom of this article) is the best Realtor in the valley. She knows about every community in every town, she knows about the ins and outs of the HOA’s; even the current up and comings regarding HOA assessments and more. Jennifer talked Ernest into buying into a area in a town he was steadfast against and it has been one of their best real estate investments ever. Ernest wholeheartedly endorses Jennifer as the best realtor in the valley. And I have to say, for Ernest to say that, it is a serious recommendation.
While at lunch Ernest and Jennifer talked about what was happening in the real estate market there right now... trends, etc. In the previous article Ernest explained what was happening in the Seattle marketplace and was surprised that the same things weren’t happening in the valley. As mentioned in that article, what happens in California jumps over us and lands in the Seattle market and then trickles down to us here in the Portland Metro area. But, what was happening in Seattle three months ago was just about to hit us and the market shifted due to concerns of a recession, high gas prices, increased cost of living and then the sharp increase of interest rates. Therefore, what was happening in the Seattle real estate market will not trickle down here. Ernest will reach out to Christopher up there before the next article in three months and give you an update!
As an investor, Ernest watches the valley’s real estate market closely, just like he does here for you - his friends and clients. He has noticed in the valley that over the past four to six weeks that there have been more price reductions on listings...when previously this was not happening at all - period. He brought this up to Jennifer over their sushi. She explained that sellers have gotten greedy seeing and hearing about the red hot market over the past three years with multiple offers, limited days on the market with sale prices going multiple thousands of dollars over list and have overpriced their listings against their Realtor’s advice. Then, after the property has sat on the market for 10-14 days they have seen their error in judgement, realized they should have taken their Realtor’s advice and reduced the list price to market standards. She pointed out when the price was reduced the property(ies) Pended and Sold within market standards.
Furthermore, she said that more homes were coming on the market than in the past three or so years and that it was uncommon for this to happen at this time of the year. Jennifer said that she has discussed this with her peers and the general consensus is that the market is shifting into more usual common times. During the first quarter this year there has been about 600 to 700 homes on the market about every week but now it has increased to approximately 1,600 and before The Great Covid Shuffle (if you don’t know what that means, let me know in in a text or email and I’ll explain) there were around 3,500 to 4,000 homes on the market at this time. What everyone is concluding there in the valley that the market is shifting.
At the start of the year Ernest said that every quarter he’d go to a different market in the US and abroad to look at homes. When Ernest started this in the first quarter he went to Seattle and looked at condo’s that would be in the “first time buyer’s” price range; mid $300,000’s to mid $400,000’s. This time he wanted to see what a million or a little more in purchase price would provide a buyer. So, after lunch in the 114 degree heat Jennifer and Ernest took off to the two Country Clubs to look at homes priced at $1,100,000.00.
The first million dollar listing toured was in Mission Hills Country Club. Ernest had toured the county club earlier that morning to see if it was a place he and Scott would be interested in joining. Ernest reports that while the club was nice, it was not anywhere close to providing what the $75,000.00 initiation fee should
be. Back to the house...
Jennifer said that it was considered a 1990’s Mediterranean build. Ernest just thought it was really big, dated, every corner was bull- nosed, all the rooms were huge and the ceilings very high in all the rooms. Ernest thought that it would cost a fortune to bring to current standards, and then the furniture to furnish it would be ginormous. While it offered a beautiful pool and was in a fantastic location on the golf course, the interior of the house simply wasn’t his style. And, again, Ernest was brought back to the feelings of his buyers and totally “got” what it means when you just don’t “feel” it when shopping for a home. Jennifer said that the home was overpriced to the tune of $100,000.00 and would not suggest a full price offer.
Then Ernest followed Jennifer over to The Springs Country Club. Ernest said he was “sold” driving up the lush, beautifully landscaped guard gate house with a beautiful fountain. Then they entered the country club and all of the homes were low slung 60-70 era mid-century “ranches” Most of the homes are duplexes and there were about 8-12 in a pod with a shared pool in the middle. Pride of ownership was in abundance!!!!
The home she showed Ernest was an impressive remodel with gleaming marble floors, an office off the sequestered primary bedroom with a huge walk in closet with a wall safe. The foyer was the type and size that insisted on a medium sized round table with a huge crystal vase in the middle with a huge flower arrangement directly placed under a sparkling chandelier.... At least that is what Ernest said he would do. The living/dining room was a large rectangle with a huge fireplace in the middle of the room flanked by large sliding floor to ceiling windows looking directly out on the golf course. There was even a walk in from the family room wet bar abutting into the living/dining room that served as the divider to where the living room stopped and the dining room started. And, the community pool was directly next door. Oh! Let’s not forget the outdoor cooking area and wood burning fireplace with views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Ernest said that if he and Scott were in the market like they will be next year, this would be the home they would buy. Jennifer again said, it was overpriced by $100,000.00. She said that the monthly furnished rent during the high season could be as high as 15k a month!
For the last home, Jennifer took Ernest to the recently studs out remodeled club house. It was like walking into a five star high end luxury hotel! The entire facility was remarkable. Then he met the Membership Director who told him that 43% of the membership were LGBTQ+ and that there were a signification number of members who have moved out of the county club but kept there membership there. SOLD!! And the initiation fee was only $10-15k. Yay!!!!!
In closing, Ernest asked Jennifer if she saw any trends like he discussed when he was interviewed after his trip to Seattle, anything out of the ordinary as compared to Portland and/or anything coming down the pike. Jennifer didn’t think there was. Everything was happening in the valley is “normal”, just like Portland. Inventory is increasing slightly, prices while appreciating are not appreciating at the totally stupid rate that they have been over the past 2 years, while on a good priced home usually in the lower price ranges of $500-$600k there are multiple offers in a short amount of time going above list price but not the $150k over list price just a month to month and a half ago and the higher priced homes, if priced well, are selling at list in two to three weeks. In summary, the valley’s real estate activity is just like the greater Portland Metroplex.
If you are thinking of investing in the greater Coachella Valley please reach out to Ernest for Jennifer’s contact information. He wholeheartedly believes she is the best Realtor in the entire valley!!!!
Of course, Ernest is never too busy for you or your referrals! Even when he’s out of town, the Cooper Realty crew is busy working with all of Ernest’s residential buyer and seller clients. Please, let us know if we can help a friend, coworker, or family member, or even your neighbor—that Ernest and Cooper Realty can help!
If you are ready to start your buying or selling process
give me a call. I'm happy to answer all your questions.