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Working with a Mortgage Broker

by Rob Zwemmer

Working with a Mortgage Broker

Purchasing a home or property is a major investment and the entire process requires a knowledgeable expert to help you streamline the details. It is up to you to learn all of the basics of the transaction even though you are handing off a lot of the responsibility to a mortgage broker. You will need to provide all of the information that proves you are in good standing credit-wise before approaching potential loan establishments. Not only are you required to prove your ability to repay the loan, you will also be required to present your credit history rating from three major credit bureaus. Three separate scores will be used to determine your FICO standing. If the numbers add up to a favorable total, your broker will begin the pre-approval process and issue the pre-approval certification you need for placing bids on properties. Once your pre-qualification letter is in hand, you can establish a relationship with a Real Estate professional. Your mortgage contract is something you must be certain you can live with for a period of time, so finding a real estate agent and mortgage broker who stands behind their business practices is crucial. They will support and guide you when the transaction gets underway, working together as a unified team. Your broker is required to uphold the industry standard guidelines to realize a successful real estate transaction. They can explain anything you don’t quite understand and keep you grounded as the questions and paperwork begins to filter through the process. A professional mortgage broker will not only stay apprised of your many needs as you transition through the deal, but they will keep you apprised of any industry updates that can occur fairly often. They will clarify the bottom line pricing so you can make the ultimate decision to buy. Remember, there is a big difference between the “asking price” and the “total loan amount” that you repay; an innovative broker that has your best interest at hand will identify all of the fees required. Finding the right mortgage broker may take some time, but it is worth any time invested when you join forces with a professional that makes it more of an exciting adventure.

Rob Zwemmer and Associates can offer suggestions and assist you with expert care; let’s get your transaction started!

365 Things to Do in Palm Springs

Tommy Bahama on El Paseo

Come catch island fever at Tommy Bahama in Palm Desert. This favorite stop along the El Paseo was recently remodeled with fabulous flair and contemporary elegance while retaining its faraway island style. The menu is eclectic with tropical-themed favorites and creatively handcrafted cocktails. The second-story lanai dining room is the place to be when the desert sun sets behind the mountain ranges. What will your favorites on the men be? Lunchtime offers specialties like blackened fish tacos, Cuban or Kalua pork sandwiches, a smokehouse angus burger with sides dishes to compliment from crispy plantain chips to orange Jicama slaw. Dinner offerings include a festive array of appetizers from seared scallop sliders to chicken lollipops and scrumptious Macadamia nut encrusted goat cheese. Decisions, decisions when it comes to the rustic pasta, filet mignon, jerk chicken or lemongrass encrusted ahi. That’s just to name a few. Highlighting the dessert menu is their signature pina colada cake, key lime pie, pineapple vanilla cheese, and triple chocolate cake. If you want a little something to take home, check out the shop right below the restaurant for all things Tommy Bahama from ready-to-wear fashions for men and women to home décor accessories. If you want to make a reservation, reach them at 760-836-0188.

Fixed Rate Mortgages - Adjustable Rate Mortgages Explained

by Rob Zwemmer

Fixed Rate Mortgages -- Adjustable Rate Mortgages Explained

Home loan options are varied, so it is a bit challenging when it comes down to deciding which one is right for you. The most popular type of home loan is the 30-year fixed rate mortgage when the interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. A fixed rate also keeps monthly mortgage payments remaining the same for the life of the loan. Monthly escrow payments that cover Real Estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance can fluctuate causing monthly payments to increase. Credit unions, banks and other mortgage lenders implement private mortgage insurance (PMI) when a buyer puts less than 20 percent down when buying a home. These buyers are placed in a category as higher risk mortgagees with a higher probability of defaulting on a loan. Another fixed mortgage that has become quite popular over the last few years is the 15-year fixed rate mortgage enabling borrower’s to pay off their mortgage in half the time than the more common 30-year loan. Another benefit to securing a 15-year mortgage is the lower interest rates received than those with the 30-year loan. Paying a lower interest rate for 15 years than a higher interest rate for 30 years will save tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. One caveat, a 15-year loan means higher monthly mortgage payments then with the 30-year loan. So, if you can afford the higher payments, the 15-year loan may be the right one for you. Most banks and credit unions allow borrowers to sign up for bi-weekly mortgage payments which also save money. The biggest difference with an adjustable home loan versus a fixed home loan is the adjustable loans have a fixed interest rate for just a certain period of time. Since the interest rate can change on an adjustable loan after the fixed period, monthly mortgage payments will increase. During the bubble many people did not understand their adjustable loans would cause mortgage payments to increase in the future. Numerous foreclosures resulted because newly adjusted monthly payments could not be met. Take the time to do your homework and understand the marked differences between fixed and adjustable mortgages so you can decide the right way to go.

Buying a New Home

by Rob Zwemmer

Buying the New Home

The home buying process requires numerous actions and decisions on your part. It can be a bit daunting and stressful process, but you always have to remember the outcome … the rewarding life goal you have attained. Whether you have been through the home buying process before or it is a first-time experience, you need to take the time to sit down and get the pertinent answers to all of your questions and concerns. You need to express to your realtor what you envision in your future home and ask all the right questions so you can make an informed decision when the time comes. By getting the answers on the front-end of the experience, you will know when you find the right purchase to decide on, or if you need to expand the search for something more suitable. Ask what repairs the home might need. Many purchase a home and discover problems after the fact. A good appraiser will discover hidden issues that you can’t see just by walking through, but even an experienced appraiser can miss something important. Be sure you do not get into something that is more work and expense than the home is worth. This is a huge investment and you don’t want to start off by spending a fortune on repair costs. Also ask if the location of the home will work for you. Don’t be the person that moves into a new house and discovers all of their desired destinations like schools, the workplace, favorite stores and services are far away. Think about your daily lifestyle and imagine how it will be building a life in the home. Will you be able to accept the fact you may have a longer commute to work now, or your best friend is miles away. Most importantly, ask yourself if the price of the home and your monthly mortgage payments are within your comfort zone and assess if you can handle the payments even if there’s a job loss or a long-term disability. When you become a homeowner it is very important to maintain a budget. You do not want to be barely sliding by with what you can afford because there are closing costs and fees to remember and money for any repairs and the move itself. These questions and tips can help home buyers when selecting the perfect home. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you find a desirable property with all of the attributes you have always wanted. Stay calm, realistic and ask all the right questions… avoid rash decisions that you have to live with.

Rob Zwemmer and Associates is a full-service Real Estate team of professionals that can guide you through the exciting process of buying a home.

365 Things to Do In Palm Springs

 

Palm Desert Aquatic Center

They call it the coolest attraction in Palm Desert… quite literally! The new Aquatic Center is a must destination for the whole family this summer season. Owned by the City of Palm Desert and operated by the Family YMCA of the Desert, the pools are sparkling and ready for fun with classes and programs available for swimmers of all ages. The Center is located on the northeast corner of Civic Center Park, so it’s a handy location if you want to picnic at the park and then head over for a swim. There are three pools available year-round. The 50-meter by 25-yard Olympic-sized competition pool provides the swimmer with both long and short course options so you can practice laps or train for competition events. It’s equipped with one- and three-meter diving boards. The 25-yard recreation pool is shallow and features two waterslides and a wade-in entry. The splash playground pool is designed expressly for the younger set. The near eight-acre facility is available for birthday parties, corporate gatherings, swimming competitions and other special events. Admission is $4 for Palm Desert adults and $6 for non-resident adults. Seniors over 60 and children 6 to 12 years of age is $3 for residents; $4.50 for non residents. Small children 2 to 5 years get in for $2.50 for residents; $3.75 for non residents. Annual and three-month passes are also available. Call them at 760-565-7467 for more info.

Avoid Identity Theft during a Move

by Rob Zwemmer

Avoid Identity Theft during a Move


The busy season is here for the Real Estate market with people more motivated to move.
The kids are out of school and summer vacation times can be devoted to relocating. Unfortunately, it also becomes a season of increased identity theft. The risk of someone stealing your identity during a move is a result of personally identifiable information being transferred from one home to the next. Personal documents bearing sensitive information can be easily overlooked and discarded without being shredded. Keep your personal information safe and avoid scammers by following a few simple tips. First submit a change of address immediately before you begin your move. Keep an eye out for your confirmation from the post office to ensure your change has been received and will be implemented with all of the proper information. You can expect mail to arrive at your new address within 7 to 10 days after filing. Remember to always shred personal documents, never discard bank statements and other paperwork that can end up in the wrong hands and used against you. Keep an eye on your financial statements and conduct a daily review of your bank and credit cart statement activity. Do your homework before hiring a moving company. Ask for recommendations from trusted friends and secure a reputable company you can trust to handle your possessions. Check the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and possess a US Department of Transportation number. Keep your important documents with you during the move including wills, passports, stock certificates, etc. Be on site to supervise the move; your presence may lessen the potential for theft to occur. Several months following your move, it may be a good idea to check your credit report to ensure no suspicious activity has taken place. Make sure you are receiving all of your mail, and your creditors have implemented the change of address. Moving is an adventure, signaling a new upcoming chapter in your life, so stay safe by keeping your eyes and ears open and paying close attention to all the details.

Rob Zwemmer and Associates is here to guide and advise you after your sale or purchase, and when the moving process begins.

Safety at Home

by Rob Zwemmer

Safety at Home

We live in a challenging age, so it’s more important than ever to apply common sense approaches to maintaining a safe home life that averts any potential for crime. Simple actions can prevent problems and keep you from being targeted by thieves. Be sure to dispose of packaging carefully when you make a major purchase such as a flat screen TV, high-end sound system, or any other attractive product. Placing packaging boxes in front of your home for garbage pick-up sends up a big red flag for roving burglars. It’s a good idea to break down and cut up the boxes, tape or wrap them to hide the printing so it appears to be just a recyclable bundle of cardboard. Inform just one or two trusted neighbors or friends when you are going to be out of town so they can drive by to check on your property, pick-up mail or newspapers, and contact you in case of an emergency. Never discuss online when you are leaving on vacation; refrain from postings in a blog or on Facebook or Twitter any information that becomes a virtual advertisement that you are away from home. Use automatic timers to activate lamps or a radio at certain times of the night to give the illusion that someone is around. Always keep your garage door completely closed, even on hot summer days. Keeping it cracked open by a few inches can help thieves gain access into your property. The most simple of all safety precautions is double checking that you’ve locked every door and window when you leave. Deadbolt locks are the best to use for optimal security. Make home safety your first priority every day.

365 Things to Do in Palm Springs - La Quinta Museum

by Rob Zwemmer

365 Things to Do in Palm Springs

La Quinta Museum

History, exhibits and historic treasures are on display daily at the fascinating La Quinta Museum. You can explore and tour through traveling exhibits and artifacts that trace the rich history of La Quinta.  Until September 8, you will want to check out the “Ladies of Lincoln’s Era” exhibit displaying biographical photographs and objects pertaining to 13 courageous and pioneering women. Represented are Rose Greenhow, a spy for the Confederate Army; Sarah Emma Edmonds Union, an army spy that disguised herself as a man; and Mary Todd Lincoln along with her personal seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley, who had been a slave, purchased her freedom and followed Mrs. Lincoln all the way to the White House. A lock of Mrs. Lincoln’s hair is among the artifacts on display. You’ll discover the heroic feats of Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, both born into slavery and spoke for women's and slave rights. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, the founder of Godey's Ladies' Book magazine, influenced fashion and cooking at that time. Women of the medical sector are also featured, including Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. The museum has reserved certain days for special events. On Wednesdays in June, young people from 6- to 8-years can discover the various animals that cohabited in the desert during the days of the early explorers. Stories, crafts and activities are planned during the sessions from 1-3pm. The Pioneers Exhibit continues through August. Visitors can experience early pioneer life in California with artifacts, dioramas and hands-on activities. Learn the unique language of Morse Code and send messages back and forth to your friends with a working telegraph system set-up in a mock telegraph office. You will want to plan a visit and learn more about the”Gem of the Desert” and how past events help shape this beautiful area of the Valley. Call (760) 777-7170 for more info on these and many other exhibits and activities offered for Free at the La Quinta Museum.

The Key to a Great Neighborhood

by Rob Zwemmer

The Key to a Great Neighborhood

Having a good neighbor begins with being a good neighbor yourself. With our busy schedules, and with social time being spent more and more on the Internet, we sometimes forget about interacting with the people that live around us; the people that comprise and share our community. You may know their names, their children’s names and where they work; you may know them just by a quick nod or wave each day; or maybe they are just strangers that never make eye contact. The people that form our neighborhoods have the potential to become one of the most important social networks we have. Consider investing the time to get to know the folks next door and across the street and develop a rapport of friendship and a reliable support system. We have all heard the horror stories about people feuding with their neighbors because music was too loud or an overgrown tree was encroaching on their property. It’s important to keep a friendly demeanor when addressing your neighbors, even if it’s 1 a.m. and they are keeping you up with an all-night party. By establishing a neighborly rapport it’s easier to resolve differences when they arise.  Communicating with those around us enhances our lifestyles and builds a culture of mutual respect and promotes “watching out for one another”. One of the best forms of maintaining a safe neighborhood is a group of close-knit neighbors. Offer to pick-up the mail and newspapers when someone’s on vacation, omitting any potential for burglary or malicious mischief. Networking with your neighbors can be invaluable. You may need recommendations and references for reliable services, and they might just happen to have the best pool technician or housekeeper in town. For families with kids, it is particularly important; knowing the other parents in the community helps you to better train your children in understanding “stranger danger” and who they can trust if help is ever needed. Block parties are also a great way to get acquainted and build relationships that lead to a harmonious coexistence. Have good neighbors by being a good neighbor.


Rob Zwemmer and Associates have listings in wonderful communities throughout the valley. Call us and let’s find you the perfect place to call home.

365 Things to Do in Palm Springs - The Classic Club

by Rob Zwemmer

365 Things to Do in Palm Springs

The Classic Club

It’s always a superior golfing, dining and lifestyle experience at The Classic Club. Located in Rancho Mirage, the championship Arnold Palmer-designed course was nationally recognized as one of America’s Best Courses, and among the 10 Best Desert Courses by prestigious golf publications. It is the perfect place to entertain in style with private facilities for banquets and receptions, casually elegant al fresco dining by picturesque waterfalls and lakes at their 3-story, 63,000 sq. ft. Tuscan village-inspired clubhouse. Their Bellatrix restaurant features a warm and gracious Mediterranean-inspired décor, and a luncheon and dinner menu of delicacies. A full-service golf shop offers the latest in apparel from Nike to Callaway, in styles for men, women and kids. The Classic Club offers complete indoor or outdoor packages from 10-400 making the clubhouse and golf course a preferred destination for valley residents and desert visitors alike. The course was a host site of the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (now the Humana Challenge). The Classic Club is part of 18 Troon Golf managed properties certified by Audubon International. The certification is awarded to the course for maintaining a high degree of environmental quality; a high degree of wildlife and habitat management, water conservation and water quality, etc. Golf services include a practice putting green, two-sided state-of-the-art teeing ground, chipping greens and practice bunker. Lesson rates are competitive with instruction available 7 days a week by PGA affiliated instructors. Call for more information: 760.601.3600

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

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