As this issue goes to press, a new housing report aired on NPR indicating that home prices had inched up about three-tenths of a point, continuing a slow but steady trend that may signal market stabilization.
However, it’s important to note that sales remain flat, and foreclosures will continue as long as people lose their jobs and struggle to find new ones.
Therein lies the opportunity for folks with cold cash looking to upgrade or (dare we say) invest.
In this issue, our personal finance columnist, Ellen Paris, asks whether it’s the right time for you to buy a vacation house. “More U.S. buyers are going outside the United States for that second or third dream home,” she reports in “Luxury in Another Land” (page 20). “Value coupled with a luxury lifestyle in a posh community — whether in Mexico, Italy, the Caribbean, or Central America — is becoming more popular, especially with today’s attractive pricing.”
Paris also wrote “What Your Money Buys Now” (page 58), a desert-centric look at what you can buy in a variety of price ranges. In her research, Paris found that the desert is a gold mine for reasonably priced luxury houses with world-class amenities.
A few years ago, we considered our houses our best investments. Today, experts encourage us to think of them as shelter and little more. However, if you’re responsible and realistic, you could find yourself in an affordable house that feels like a resort property. And, if you prevent your house from owning you, the property will be a fine asset.
For adventurous, forward-thinking home buyers, our article “Bionic Houses” (page 68) not only reveals the future of home construction, but also suggests the future is now.
Our annual real estate issue isn’t all business, as writer Robert Julian demonstrates in “A Star Turn” (page 62). The feature introduces Joseph Ambrose, the interior designer to the stars, who turned his talents on his own house in Palm Springs’ Old Las Palmas neighborhood. Take an exclusive look inside the house — and enjoy some juicy gossip about the celebrities who have made Ambrose a star.
And be sure to see our wrap-up of the fifth annual Fashion Week El Paseo, a Palm Springs Life event, on page 22.