Snowbirds Flocking to Palm Springs

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Ruth Ryon | November 13, 2008 9:44 PM ET

(LOS ANGELES, CA ) -- Snowbirds - people who come to California to get out of the winter snow where they live - are starting to flock to Palm Springs, and that means home sales in the desert may be starting to rise despite the crises in the economy and in housing.

"Sales are up 65% over what they were a year ago at this time," said Scott Palermo of Prudential California Realty, Palm Springs. Palermo shares the Palm Springs listings with Jim Sanak, of the same realty firm.

Listings include the main and guest houses of a compound owned by Alexandra Sheldon, the widow of best-selling author Sidney Sheldon, who died in 2007 at age 89.

The compound is for sale at close to $4.3 million, but the guest house, at $2.3 million, and the main house, at just under $2 million, can be purchased separately.

There is also a Spanish modern estate nearby that is owned by Alexandra Sheldon, and it is known as "Running Water." That home has five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 5,700 square feet, and it is priced at close to $3 million.

Why is it called "Running Water"? It is surrounded by a private desert park with ponds, streams, walking trails and a place for entertaining. Alexandra Sheldon created the gardens. The house was built in 1948 but was rebuilt in 1991. It also has a gym with a fireplace and a pool with a spa and a waterfall feature.

All of the Sheldon properties mentioned here are in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs. During the town's earlier years, many of Hollywood's greatest writers, actors, directors and producers had homes in the area.

Sidney Sheldon, an Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of the TV sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie," wrote all 18 of his best-selling novels in the main residence of his compound in Palm Springs. Palermo describes the main residence as "Mr. Sheldon's favorite house."

It was designed by Arthur Elrod and is contemporary in style with seven bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms in 7,370 square feet. The guest house has six bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms in 7,100 square feet. The compound has two pools, a two-bedroom casita and a pool house.

The Sheldons owned many houses in various locations. Some of their Palm Springs homes had unobstructed views of the San Jacinto Mountains. The Elrod home is on slightly more than an acre.

As last summer approached, most of the Sheldons' houses were temporarily taken off the market due to the hot climate. It's not unusual during the summer for temperatures to top 100-degrees F.

Because of that, most properties listed for awhile before or during the summer are reduced in price when they come back on the market. Prices quoted here reflect these reductions.

Maloof Family Members Place 3 Los Angeles Homes on the Market

(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Three members of the Maloof family - owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and a liquor distributorship in New Mexico, have listed their Los Angeles-area homes for sale, according to the L.A. Times, but the families have long had homes in other communities, and so they haven't been without a place to live.

Among the new listings are the Beverly Hills home of Phillip Maloof at $16,995,000 and the Brentwood home of Joe Maloof, Phillip's brother, at slightly more than $4.9 million. Joe Maloof is president of Maloof Cos. He and Phillip are sons of Colleen, who listed her Beverly Hills home in May. It is on the market at close to $11 million.

The Maloof family is the force behind the NBA's Sacramento Kings, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and a liquor distributorship in New Mexico.

Other well known names in the family are Gavin Maloof, who operates the sports and entertainment franchises; George Maloof, who heads the hotel and gaming industries, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, who handles promotion and fashion design, and Phil, a former New Mexico state senator. There is also a company called Maloof Motion Pictures, which is developing the Leonard Wise novel "The Big Blazarro" into a film starring Pierce Brosnan.

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