Real Estate Information Archive


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Facts on Homestead Declaration

by Rob Zwemmer

What is a Homestead?

A homestead in California gives protection against involuntary claims against the property of an owner. If a money judgement is rendered against a homeowner in court, the person winning the judgment against the homeowner may try to collect the monetary damages by garnishing wages, bank accounts, and selling personal property to satisfy the judgment. The homestead law offers protection of a specific amount of equity depending on the classification of the homeowner. A homestead can either be automatic or declared. The State of California provides for an automatic homestead, but it may still be the best to record a declaration of homestead with the County Recorder's office.

Every homeowner has an automatic homestead exemption of at least $50,000 for their property. In California, this protection is automatic and doesn't require any signing or filing of documents. The exemption amount increases to $75,000 if at least one member of the family living in the home owns no interest in the house, as in families living with minor children. The exemption rises to $150,000 when a homeowner becomes 65 years of age or older, or becomes physically or mentally disabled. This $150,000 exemption also applies to persons 55 years of age or older if that person is single, and has a gross annual income of $15,000 or less, or married and has a combined annual income of $20,000 or less, and the sale of the property is involuntary.

To declare a homestead, a single-page document is usually filed with the County Recorder in the county where the property is situated. Declared homestead doesn't change or increase exemption amounts, but offers extra protection - it is not automatically lost when a homeowner sells. Proceeds of a sale is also protected, exempted by the homestead from creditors for 6 months after te sale - even if the home was sold voluntarily. Before such a claim can be filed against the property, a lawsuit judgment is normally required. There is usually notice ahead of time, and a homestead declaration can be filed even at the last minute.

If you want to declare a homestead declaration, you can do it yourself without using a professional service. Purchase a homestead declaration form from a legal forms supply store, or simply purchase and download online. Fill out the form including a complete legal description of the property that you can obtain from your grant deed. You will need to sign the forms and have them notarized. To file your completed form, mail or take it to the County Recorder's office and pay the recording fees set forth.

A homestead declaration doesn't protect against a forced sale of your property by a savings and loan, bank or lender holding a mortgage deed of trust on the property. It will not protect against a judgment for child support, spousal support, or in the event of an enforced valid mechanic's lien.



Inspiration for Today: Sleep, Perchance to Dream!

by Rob Zwemmer

How did you sleep last night? Hopefully, you didn't toss and turn worrying about the start of another workweek. A lot of us have trouble these days getting what our minds and bodies need most - rest. We rush around all day, do chores into the evening, don't eat as well as we should, and go to bed later than we ought to. Then we lie awake thinking about everything we did today, and everything we have to do tomorrow. We're so darned tired when we go to bed that we can't actually sleep!
It's a modern day dilemma of our fast-paced, do-more-in-less-time culture. The irony, however, is that our periods of rest and relaxation are vitally important to our success. When we sleep, we heal - and we dream. Bedtime is the time to put aside worries of today and plans of tomorrow - to take a reckoning of the day and be satisfied that you made it through.
Try to squeeze in some "downtime" before turning out the lights - some light reading or a little quiet time on the porch or patio. Anything you do to put the day's cares out of your mind will help you sleep when you finally close your eyes.
A big factor in clearing your mind? Forgiveness. It has been said that "one of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed." Whether for ourselves or others, forgiving what's happened today will greatly improve your outlook for tomorrow.
Imagine the beauty of going to bed with no anger or regret in your heart. Imagine waking up in that same state. Forgive our hectic world, forgive yourself for trying to do too much. Tonight, relax and let yourself dream.

March is Time for World-Class Events!

by Rob Zwemmer

March is an exciting time in the desert with world-class events placing us right in the global spotlight! The La Quinta Arts Festival is the #1 ranked art and craft festival of its kind in the nation. Set amidst the visually stunning La Quinta Civic Center Campus, visitors come from everywhere to exxplore and experience amazing works of art from paintings to sculpture, pottery, photography and more. The event is produced by the La Quinta Arts Foundation each year, in partnership with the City of La Quinta. The Festival raises funds for the Foundation's non-profit mission of promiting and cultivating the arts. It runs March 6 through 9 from 10am-5pm.

The whole world will be watching as today's top tennis pros take to the courts at our newly expanded Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the BNP Paribas Tennis Open. What an exciting experience to watch the best-of-the-best in action within this beautiful venue. It all starts on March 3 and runs through March 16.

Olive Crest: Determined to Change

by Olive Crest

Timothy: A Life Transformed.

When he came to Olive Crest, Timothy struggled with a number of negative behaviors, including poor school attendance, altercations with peers, affiliation with white supremacy groups, and substance abuse. At first defiant with authority, Timothy was resistant to participate in his program. But the Olive Crest team perservered, and gradually his tough exterior began to fall away. After a couple of months, Timothy warmed up to the team and started making notable progress. His self-esteem increased and he started conquering his battle with substance abuse. He began attending school daily, participating in the classroom setting, and openly enrolled himself in the Reserve Officers Traing Corps (ROTC). To encourage his continued growth, Timothy's Olive Crest team assisted in purchasing his ROTC uniform to further motivate him to achieve his goals.


To find out more about Olive Crest, and how you can help, log on to:




Palm Springs - One of the Friendliest!

by Rob Zwemmer

Palm Springs was recently named the 4th Friendliest Small City in the Nation!

The list was created by Movato, an online Real Estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. It compiled and examined info of 100 cities with under 50,000 in population and ranked them based on crime, charity, gift stores, etc.

Movato looked at seven measurable criteria to create the list of Friendliest Smaller Cities:

    * Violent crime rate
    * Percent of income given to charity
    * Flower & gift stores per capita
    * Card & stationery stores per capita
    * Bars per capita (Palm Springs took first in this category, one bar for every 792 residents)
    * Farmers' markets per capita
    * Religious organizations per capita
    * Facebook "Likes"

The Top Ten Friendliest Small Cities:

1.  San Luis Obispo, CA
2.  Charlottesville, VA
3.  Olympia, WA
4.  Palm Springs, CA
5.  Harrisburg, PA
6.  Littleton, CO
7.  Joplin, MO
8.  Grapevine, TX
9.  Galveston, TX
10. Coral Gables, FL

Inspiration for Today: Playing Follow the Follower?

by Rob Zwemmer

 "I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."
~ Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"

Every morning a telephone operator in a small town received a phone call in which she was asked the time of day. One day, the operator asked her mysterious caller why he called every day to ask the correct time.
His answer? "I'm responsible for blowing the town whistle every day at noon, and just want to be sure I'm right on the second when I do it." With a chuckle, the operator replied, "Here at the telephone exchange, we set our watches and clocks by the town whistle!"
Watch children in a schoolyard and you'll notice the same thing. Children watch the child they perceive to be the leader, and then mimic his or her actions. They never realize that the other child is following the lead of still another.
So how will your day play out? Have you made original choices for the day, or will you be playing follow the follower? Either way, by bedtime tonight you will have been awake for about 16 hours and involved in some activity. Why not end the day with thanks - knowing that whatever you accomplished was by choice - not chance?

Olive Crest: Cherishing Every Moment

by Olive Crest

Matthew: A Life Transformed

Matthew, 12, had consistent raging episodes, was unable to trust, and his behavior was difficult. He had little hope and talked about his future death. Matthew is a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is in sixth grade, but has the reading and comprehnsion level of a second grader. Due to Matthew's illness, his life prognosis is only several more years.

Soon after moving into the home of Stephanie Boyle, a first-time foster parent who works with people with developmental disabilities, Matthew's behavior began to change. He went from being an angry, confused child to one who could express himself openly. Stephanie put Matthew in an array of activities, such as cub scouts and baseball, to encourge and strengthen his life experiences. On December 27, 2011, Stephanie and Matthew became a forever family. When the judge asked Matthew what he thought of being adopted, he slowly raised his hand and gave a "thumbs up" response.

Matthew will now spend the rest of his short life with a mother who has given him hope, unconditional love, and a reason to go on living as best he can.

Great Economic Forecast in La Quinta

by Rob Zwemmer

Mayor Don Adolph touted the city’s economic success in the past year at the State of the City address on Thursday.

With a surplus of about $700,000 and expenditures down by $2.8 million from last fiscal year, the city is financially secure, Adolph said.

“The city is in great shape,” he said. “This year is La Quinta’s time for growth.”

Nearly 100 residents attended the event hosted by the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce at the La Quinta Resort & Club on Eisenhower Drive.

The city’s doing so well that “even mountain lions want to be a part of it,” joked John Peña, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, in response to recent sightings of mountain lions around the city.

Adolph said the city’s surplus money will be used to fund several items, including irrigation repairs at the SilverRock Resort, hiring a new community service officer, and regional and economic development.

Adolph also mentioned the city’s $41.4 million payment to Riverside County in leftover redevelopment funds late last year.

On Sept. 13, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge upheld the California Department of Finance’s order for the city to relinquish the money to the county for redistribution mostly to schools and utilities.

RDAs were eliminated in 2011.

The $41.4 million was taken out of the city’s reserves. After that, about $3 million was left in the city’s unassigned reserves.

Adolph said the city would continue building its reserves now that conditions have gotten better.

“We need to be wise about our spending for the years to come,” he said.

Adolph added that business interest within the city has gone up.

Hobby Lobby recently signed a lease on Highway 111 for construction of a new store. An In N’ Out burger stand has also proposed a new structure on Highway 111 and Simon Drive.

-As reported by The Desert Sun

Olive Crest: Meeting Individual Needs

by Olive Crest

Mario:  A Life Transformed

Deaf and affiliated with a gang, Mario was known for his short fuse when he arrived at Olive Crest. The Olive Crest team gave the 15-year-old new goals for his life and a path for getting there. Through Olive Crest's mentoring program, he was paired with a college student fluent in sign language and involved in the deaf community. He has taken Mario under his wing and helped connect him to a group of peers and events that have helped Mario feel comfortable about himself and excited about his future.

To find out more about Olive Crest, and how you might help, log on to:

Inspiration for Today: Personal Bankruptcy?

by Rob Zwemmer

 "I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing."
~ Michel de Montaigne

We spend a lot of time worrying about how others see us, how we appear and how we act. It’s a form of self-awareness, perhaps, but how much help does it offer us as we try to appraise our own value? Our personal worth lies not so much in other people’s estimation, but in how comfortable we are with ourselves.
At last year's convention of the National Association of REALTORS®, a keynote speech was given by Phil McGraw, the clinical psychologist popularly known as “Dr. Phil.” His take on this week’s quote is to think of your life as a bank account. If you keep making withdrawals without making any deposits, you’ll end up bankrupt.
Withdrawals might include things like working late hours, handling emergency situations, mental anguish over money or relationships – you get the idea. We all have a list of activities that drain our energy, whether or not they are for our good or the good of others.
Then there are deposits, like taking a vacation, spending time on a favorite hobby, a romantic evening with our spouse or partner. Surely you can think of a lot things you’d love to do, but don’t feel you’ve got that much time to devote to just yourself.
In the words of Dr. Phil, “The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself.” It’s true – how can you possibly nurture successful personal and business relationships if you aren’t happy with who you are and how you feel? Unless you put yourself first, you’ll end up physically and emotionally bankrupt – leaving you with nothing to invest in your relationships with others.
You can’t borrow from others what you need to achieve success. You’ve heard it before that it’s never too late to begin building equity – in yourself!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16