By Bruce Cathcart

There was always music in the Cathcart home.  When our children were very young mornings sounded like we lived in a Disney movie.  As they grew older I wish I could say we switched to Bach, Mozart and Beethoven… but the truth is more like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and for a little class and culture David Bowie and Jethro Tull.  These and many other artists’ music was played first on vinyl records, then cassettes, then CDs and ultimately back to vinyl on my what is now considered an antique sound system comprised of a AM/FM tuner, turntable and cassette or CD component.  I somehow managed to snake the speaker wires strategically throughout the house and plugged them into the then state of the art speakers that were about the size of small filing cabinets!

This brings me to the topic of this week’s article.  This holiday season I am suggesting that you consider giving your home the gift of music.  Sadly, I still have the same sound system that I just described in my home today.  And while it still works OK for my vinyl records, it really doesn’t compare to the new whole home audio systems currently available on the market today.  Did I just say does not compare?  More accurately it does compare… like a U.S. Cavalry sword from the 1880’s to a Star Wars Light Sabre!

I’ll describe some of these options in just a moment, but first let’s take a quick look at the real estate sales activity for the Coachella Valley for the month of November.  At the end of October we were only 37 sales behind last year’s total number of sales, and we were hoping that the increased pending sales in October would result in higher November closings and help us to catch up.  Here’s what happened.

According to the Desert Area MLS (as of 12/01/15) there were 700 pendings of residential properties here in the Coachella Valley in November.  There were 750 pendings in the previous month (October) showing a seasonal decrease that is usually blamed on the holidays.  Looking at the pendings from November of last year (2014) there were 732 pendings.  This is a very slight year over year increase in pendings activity for 2015 representing continued improvement in sales activity over the same time period last year.   In October there were 596 solds and in November we had 700 solds.   Would this make November the month that we would finally catch up to the same number of sales as last year?  Almost, but not quite yet!  Year to date sales for 2014 through December 1st were 7,910 compared to 7,881 for the same time period in 2015.  That’s only a 29 home difference from last year and with our increase in pending sales in November I am very optimistic that by the year’s end we will exceed the total number of sales from last year.


Our inventory of homes for sale was also back on the rise (as expected) this month with 5,168 homes available as of December 1, 2015 compared to only 4,463 as of November 1, 2015.   That follows our seasonal pattern of increasing inventory at this time of year and shows 509 MORE homes on the market today when compared to the same time last year.  This represents both a monthly increase as well as a year over year increase meaning that we have an adequate supply of houses to meet the buyer demand through the end of the year.  With interest rates staying flat and pending sales staying strong I am still confident that the end of this year’s sales numbers will exceed last year’s sales numbers and reverse the trend of a declining sales market that has plagued our Valley sales for the last two years.

If you are a “technosaur” (technology dinosaur) like me, you will be blown away with what is currently available to bring your home music system into the 21st century.  I am probably the least qualified person to review or recommend whole house audio systems and that is certainly not my intent here.  I am suggesting that if your current system still has “wires” it’s time to consider updating!  Check out Sonos smart speaker systems that can be installed in every room in your home (without wires) and individually controlled by your smart phone, tablet or home computer.  Forget your Vinyl and CDs [NEVER!], music now “streams” into your system from satellite radio, Spotify, Pandora and dozens of other sources.  Hopefully this suggestion has started you thinking about calling your local geek squad to check out some more options on how to give the gift of music to your home this year.  Happy Holidays!

Join me each month this year as we keep a close eye on our Coachella Valley real estate market.  If you have a real estate question or concerns please email me at the address below.

Bruce Cathcart is the Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty, “Your Friendly Professionals” and can be reached by email at or visit his website at