What are the best houses to invest in?

Does location matter?

Location is key.

What are the best houses to invest in?  Who’s got the right answer?  I feel that after all the years of experience and watching the success that my clients have realized, I can share a little bit of knowledge on this one.  To start, you should know that if you “hope and pray” that you will make a good real estate investment then you’re playing Russian Roulette, real estate style.    Also, there are different philosophies of investment depending on if you occupy or are a landlord of the premises.  In the end though location is key. Remember this forever.  Going a further, it is the land underneath the structure that is very important when you want to invest.  The structure itself usually depreciates.  A home in less desirable location may not go up no matter what you do and how much you spend on it unless the demand for housing is very high.  If that’s the case then you have to judge when to buy and when to sell because no real estate cycle last forever.  So remember that the best location is usually more desired and is less prone to suffer in a down market.  A smaller home in a great location might well sell faster and for more than a larger home in a less desirable location.  On the other hand, if you are the landlord, location might be less important.  Strong rent roll and tenant occupancy rates are a bigger consideration.  I have seen investors do incredibly well being landlords if they tend to and maintain their properties. So, what are to the best houses to invest in?  Location as stated before is key.  Material facts about a community, the market, its trends and where the market is in its cycle all have to do with a successful investment.  I like to share this information with my clients so they can make good decisions when buying or selling properties.  I would also caution you to beware of little things that add up when owning a home.  For instance high maintenance to the interior and exterior of the home and the grounds around it can be so expensive that the costs match the homes appreciation value.  You must also remember that property taxes also deplete the bottom line of your investment.  So in the end, get me or another qualified agent to help you find a property that works for you.  Below are some of the considerations I look at when helping my clients find a good property. The following is intended to guide you along the right path so you can invest successfully.  This is a guide of a few things to research, although there are more.  If you want real help, then call me…

  • Location
  • Supply and Demand
  • Historical and Material Facts about the area
  • Trends
  • Demographics
  • Zoning in and around the subject property
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Schools
  • Renovation costs
  • Maintenance
  • Lending Rates


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*The Pros and Cons of Swimming Pools

Buy the best dealsSwimming Pools Provide the Best Kind of Exercise

Yes, but what about the other stuff and what do swimming pools cost?

Let’s consider the facts about swimming. There are few things you can do that are better for you than swimming.  As an exercise, the benefits you get are hard to argue with. Swimming is good for your heart.  It builds better muscle tone and is a great calorie burner.  Swimming promotes better flexibility and is friendly on your skeletal system. Swimming  is a resistance exercise.  It helps produce endorphin’s which are “feel good” chemicals.  So why don’t we all swim?  I don’t know…

Now, let’s talk about swimming pools from a real estate point of view.  Generally, the kids (or grand kids) love them.  If they are maintained, swimming pools usually look pretty good and make a home more attractive.  They are a great heat breaker.  They make good theater socially and especially for parties.   As stated above, they are perfect for exercise.  So what’s the downside of having a swimming pool?  Well, there are a few.  To start with, they often become like the other exercise machines in the house… unused.  They require continual maintenance.  They are expensive to heat, to maintain and to repair when parts and electronics wear out.  Swimming pools can also have leaks. When that happens you have water waste, water expense and renovation costs that can be punitive. So before my clients buy a house that has a swimming pool, we get a thorough professional inspection on it.  If there are issues, we get repair estimates to know what we are dealing with.  If you don’t do this then I would suggest that you reconsider buying the home. If you don’t intend to use your swimming pool and you are building a home then I would consider to just plumb and wire for future installation.  If you intend to build a pool, I would suggest using really reliable equipment installed by a seasoned and reputable company with guarantees. Most swimming pools do not need to be very deep (less water and heating costs) and rectilinear swimming pools tend to be better for swimming laps.  It is good that you consider the pros and cons of a swimming pool before you have one.  The link below expounds on the many great benefits of swimming.  Have a look.   :-)


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*What is a Luxury Home? Do You Know?

Defining What A Luxury Home Is

A luxury home is easy for most to see but difficult for many to put into words.

IMG_1011Let’s start with the basics: a luxury home is not defined by size or architectural style.  That is just a buyer preference. Homes are sometimes handed the luxury status by location but beware on that one because the interior and exterior finishes in the home might require a complete renovation to really become luxury.  If a home is simply large but has cheap or average finishes, it just won’t be considered luxury.   Wood, stone, glass, steel and quality fabrics that blend themselves together are required to create luxury.  Realtor’s and buyers most often do not believe that homes with low ceilings are luxury.  Conversely high ceilings would never in themselves be a reason to define a home as luxurious. You can definitely turn what should be a luxury home into a non-luxury home simply by choosing the wrong blend of finishes, the wrong accoutrements, by neglect or with unsitely clutter and unneeded “stuff”.

A luxury home is perceived to be luxury by its viewer.  Generally the moment you see a luxury home, you know it.  Even if it is not the architectural style you prefer, you can appreciate it.  Whether modern or traditional, luxury homes should be built solidly and have good infrastructure.  A luxury home should have views that intrigue whether natural or man made.  An appealing neighborhood, a home on a great piece of land or a “big views” property sure help. Inside, it must have scale, balance and flow with relation to its size.   If it doesn’t, it’s probably not luxury.  (A quick study on Phi, the golden ratio would help you to understand the importance of scale)… It is important that the materials, surfaces and finishes support each other.  The windows should allow sufficient light and views for you to enjoy the day from within.  A luxury home should give you all that you need.  It should also be a level or two above even upscale homes.  Luxury homes don’t have to be in the most coveted location but again, location is and always will be important.  It should for resale value, have a presence.  It should also be unique, best described as having personality.  I repeat that luxury homes don’t need to be large.  Many feel that natural materials aid significantly in obtaining luxury status.  In the end, there are no exact specifications  that dictate what a luxury home should contain.  That would be wrong.  As technology advances, there are constantly new and interesting materials created every year that deserve to be incorporated into the luxury category.  Technology is also affording more and more of us to experience new levels of luxury, and that is a very good thing!  Call me and I’ll show you incredible homes that define luxury.  Connect with Rick on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Rick Ortega has been involved in luxury real estate and design related services most of his life.  Many of the projects he has worked on have been published.  See a luxury home below or go to Rick’s search box on his home page and find some luxury homes for yourself.   ;-)

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*Rick’s Featured Community of the Week, Andalusia

Andalusia Homes For Sale, Golf Course Properties in La Quinta

Andalusia Real Estate, Rick Ortega

Andalusia Homes For SaleAndalusia a beautiful pristine golf course Real Estate development located in La Quinta.  To view the most recent Andalusia homes for sale view the available properties below complete with photo galleries, virtual tours, property address and listing description.  If you are interested in viewing any of these golf course properties located in Andalusia please contact me directly via email or phone.  970-948-9595, rick@rickortega.com

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*To Renovate or Not to Renovate, That is the Question.

When you renovate you enter a world within a world.

The V.1 version of reasons to renovate.  More V’s to come!

renovateBoy do I like to renovate!  It’s so much fun to take something that most often was never done right and transform it into a work of art. The renovate forum of the day deals with the theory of why do it at all?  It starts with vision…some people are better able to envision the possibilities of renovation than they are imagining a house that hasn’t been built.  Sometimes it’s just easier to see what something can become when most of it is already there.  Next, the location of an existing home to renovate can oft times be better than where a new home might be built.  Other reasons include:  Permits are often easier and much less expensive to acquire…Many times a home won’t sell in the condition it’s in, so it can be purchased at a significant discount…To renovate is often faster than to build from scratch…The list goes on, but suffice it to say, unless you mess things up, you often get what you want if you renovate correctly.  We’ll cover other considerations in future renovation posts.

From renovation comes transformation.  Some even receive Rick’s WOW Award, what is the meaning of the WOW Award?  Click here to see for yourself.  Connect with Rick on Facebook or LinkedIn, or write a comment, the comment tab is on the top left of this post.    ;-)

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*What it Takes to Have Privacy

DSC_0731Rick’s Sure Fire Way to Have Privacy

What Edward Snowden taught us that we already knew about privacy.

Privacy is tough to keep these days.  Basically, if you want privacy then don’t:  make phone calls, send emails, tweet, use any type of social media, use credit cards, bank, require health care, buy cars, go to school or do much of anything else.  The point is that we live in a different world now, than we did not so many years ago.  The privacy we used to enjoy for better or for worse is gone forever.  Digital information stores what we do in our lives, on a constant basis.  So it’s time we redefine our privacy. Let’s start by realizing that governments and businesses around the world have access to and share/sell  information about us.  They know what we have done, what we are doing now and finally, they predict what we are likely to do in the future.  We have also lost some of our privacy because we now have to protect ourselves from ourselves.  An example is that we are now body scanned at the airport to discourage the bad from trying to do bad things to us.  A long list of examples could go on, but not at this writing.  Recent polls show that the public is in favor of giving up some of its privacy to gain safety.

A privacy debate for the future asks at what point will our 4th Amendment rights be violated.  I expect it will be heated.  Privacy is defined as “being apart from observation” and “freedom from unauthorized intrusion”.  It appears, that we may need an amendment to the definition because the digital world with all its good and bad has forever changed the privacy we once knew and understood…Connect with Rick on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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*2013 U.S. Open Golf Championship at Merion ?

How Hard Are The Golf Courses That Host The U.S. Open?

Taking a look at past U.S. Open scores to anticipate this years results.

How difficult is it to go low in the U.S. Open?  Last year’s U. S. Open Champion Web Simpson was the best player in the world for the week, but he wasn’t able to shoot even par.  Tiger Woods was 8 over and most of the field played worse, including a score of  23 over par.    Then consider the 2 day scores of the other half of the field.  They IMG_4340 (2)didn’t even make the cut when the course was supposedly playing easier…The best two day score of players that missed the cut was 9 over par, the worst was 28 over par.  This is golf’s elite shooting these scores!  What’s the reason? The USGA will this year at Merion Golf Club as it has every year for the past several decades, fully challenge these U.S. Open contestants.   Here’s how.  The fairways will be very narrow and difficult to hit off the tee.  The thick rough can be miserable to hit out of, adding extra pressure to keep the tee ball in the fairway.  Hitting approach shots to the greens is an event to behold.  Most all of the greens at Merion are small, firm and fast which means that players need to hit a high shot with backspin on their approach shots.  If they don’t they’re not likely to stay on the green. Because of the thick rough the players won’t get much height or backspin off their shot.  To make it yet more difficult, the hole locations will be placed on some of the more unfriendly parts of the greens.  Are you starting to get the picture?

When on the green there are new issues to deal with, specifically reading the break and putting on the fastest undulating greens imaginable.  Most of us have never experienced putting on greens like these.  Lightly tap a downhill putt and go way past the hole if you miss.  Most of these great putters will oft times be forced to putt defensively, which is not in their usual mindset.  This is the USGA‘s way of testing all aspects of a players shot making abilities under difficult setup conditions.  Add to this a players’ mental condition, nerves, course management challenges and you have the U.S. Open.  This golf championship will showcase the best of the best taking on golf challenges that we can’t imagine. My prediction is that the short course and heavy rains will help tame this course and yield lower scores this year.  :)

By Rick Ortega


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*La Quinta’s Award Winning Community Palmilla

Discover Palmilla In La Quinta  The Award Winning Community

Palmilla, this non golf course community in La Quinta has prominence.

Palmilla La Quinta Real EstatePalmilla is a small luxury home community in La Quinta that has only 159 homes.  The guard gated community is about 72 acres in size that includes 8 acres of lakes.  It is one of the most beautiful communities in the California desert and most of the homes  have great lake views.  Palmilla has received awards such as “Best in Living”, “Best Single Family Detached Community in America” and for landscaping, “Best Design” by the American Institute of Landscape Architects.  All Palmilla homes have high ceilings and lots of glass.  Even the artist designed entry gates are unique.  The residents enjoy immediate access next door to The Citrus Country Club and the Pete Dye designed golf course.  They have a private gate that can only be accessed by Palmilla Residents.  In all there are 18 golf courses within 3 miles of Palmilla along with tennis and Polo.  Groceries, a pharmacy, restaurants and services are little more than a block away.  Major shopping and commerce is only about two miles away.  This is one of Rick Ortega’s favorite La Quinta Real Estate communities and is one of the featured non-golf communities our website in the Palmilla community page.

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*La Quinta Luxury Homes For Sale

La Quinta Golf  Course Homes For Sale

La Quinta Real Estate

La Quinta Golf CourseDo you wish to own a beautiful La Quinta golf course home in the California desert?  Our website specializes in providing up to date  golf course home information.  Our listings provide complete photo galleries, virtual tours, property address and listing descriptions.  To search all available homes in desert area homes for sale, use our exclusive map search system to view properties available for sale.

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