© 2016 Julie Warner. All rights reserved.



Coachella Valley Firebirds Hockey
Acrisure Arena, Palm Desert
Experience the best of AHL with the newest expansion team here in the Valley. 
See schedule for details

Acrisure Arena Live Events
Acrisure Arena, Palm Desert
Enjoy the TOP live events in the Coachella Valley!
See schedule for details

The Street Fair at College of the Desert
43500 Monterey Ave. Palm Desert
Saturdays & Sundays: 8am-Noon

Palm Springs Village Fest
Palm Canyon Drive & Belardo Rd., Palm Springs
Thursdays: 7–10pm

Art Walk 
Backstreet Art District, Palm Springs
First Wednesday of every month: 7–10pm 
Free Nights at the Palm Springs Art Museum
300 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
Thursdays: 5pm–7pm

How Adding an ADU Can Be a Profitable Move

Adding a second living space to your home and property can do more than generate rental income. You may also increase your home's total value by up to 35%. Although the official name for a separate space is Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, they're often called garage apartments, carriage houses or secondary suites.

While an ADU can be rented out, it can also serve as accommodation for an aging parent who prefers privacy. You can opt to keep it vacant for weekend guests or use it as an office, workshop, or studio. Another option: plan to exchange your main home with an adult child upon retirement while you move into the ADU. Aging in place was never so easy!

Here are some common examples of urban and suburban ADUs:
A studio apartment, aka "bedsitter", over a detached garage A suite located above a home's main floor
A converted basement with separate entrance
A 100% detached structure, such as a backyard cottage

Before you begin planning an ADU, you'll need to check your local government's website for a link to zoning codes to your area, or contact your local municipal
planning or building code office.1 

A Home EV Charger

If you're a new owner of an EV vehicle or planning to buy one after your tax refund
arrives, you may be wondering about where and when you'll charge it. While urban areas generally have plenty of public charging stations, you may want to install your own at home, especially if you're in a suburban or rural area.

Not only is it super-convenient, but you'll always be ready to go in case of an emergency. You'll always know how much it will cost, as it will appear on your home utility bill. And depending on your vehicle model, it can take several hours to fully recharge.

You have two options for home chargers:

Level 1, which is powered by a 120V outlet. Although they are slower than Level 2 chargers, they're more affordable, and you can attach most models to an existing electrical outlet. You can probably find one for $600 or less, although you may receive one of these when you buy your EV vehicle.

Level 2, which uses 240/208V power. These charge your vehicle much faster, usually at 10-20 miles per hour. However, you may need to have a special outlet installed if you're not DIY-inclined, unless the charger can be plugged directly into a 240V outlet.

Ask your city office or local jurisdiction if a permit is required for your charger. You may need to install a new 240V circuit breaker, especially for a Level 2 charger.
When installing your EV charger, you'll want to choose an area that's on the same side of the vehicle's charge port. Place the charger with 15-20 feet of the port.

Check to see if you qualify for a tax credit! The best way to do this is to visit the Department of Energy's website at energy.gov and read about Clean

Energy Tax Credits for Consumers


Chances are, you've already encountered an electric card reader at a cafe that nudges you into tipping up to 20%. Restaurant receipts and mobile

phone apps are also pressuring consumers to tip more. So what's the tipping point for gratuities these days?

While there are few hard and fast rules, 15% is still the standard. Up to 20% is becoming the norm, but this depends on your opinion of the products

and service received. For example, if a restaurant server was prompt and polite but the food was so-so, this doesn't mean you should not tip the server.

Instead, ask to speak to a manager (or choose other restaurants for future dining).

Here are the standard tip amounts as suggested by today's etiquette experts:

Restaurant staff and bartenders should be tipped 15% to 20%.
Buffet servers who refill drinks and clear dishes should be tipped $1 to $2 per diner.
Taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers should be tipped 15%, although bumping it up to 20% is suitable if the driver assisted with luggage or helped you not miss

a flight.
Restaurant delivery drivers: 20% of the total bill or $5, whichever is higher. If your order is late or the food is cold, you can reduce your tip if you

politely explain why.
Third-party delivery drivers (Uber Eats, Postmates, Door Dash) may or may not require a tip. Be sure to check the website or app when you're placing

your order.
Manicures, massages, and spa services may or may not require a tip, as this may be included in the bill. If not, tip 15% to 20% of the service's cost.
Pet groomers may be tipped anywhere from 10% to 20% of the services,

depending on your pet's behavior and relationship with your groomer.3 

Sources: 1myhome.freddiemac.com; 2realtor.com; 3kens5.com; 4attainablehome.com; 5cnbc.com; 6thespruce.com 

How to Safeguard Your Home Against Burglary & Crime
By HomeAdvisor
Though many people only worry about nighttime security, most burglaries actually occur during daylight hours when most people are at work, school, or running errands. It is important to take precautions during the day, at night, and any time you leave the house to ensure your home stays secure.
When it comes to protecting your family and your belongings, you cannot be too careful, and there are plenty of ways you can protect your home from invasion or burglary. This guide will discuss prevention steps to take both inside and outside your home, and even ways to keep your home protected while you are away on vacation. Do not let your home fall prey to a thief: make it a waste of their time and resources!

Protecting Your Home from the Outside
Walk around the exterior of your home and scout out its weaknesses. The best way to protect your home from the outside is to survey it with the eyes of a burglar. If you can easily tell that a window could be pried open, a thief will be able to come to the same conclusion.
While you are checking for vulnerable spots, take note of any expensive electronics, art, or furniture that is easily spotted through windows. You do not have to redecorate your entire home to keep expensive items out of sight, but it does not hurt to make small adjustments where you can. No need to tempt thieves any more than you must!
Keep shrubbery around entrances and walkways trimmed. The last thing you want is to make it easier for a thief to hide when attempting to break in, so eliminate their options for hiding spots. They may only need a few minutes of cover to make their entry but with no place to hide while doing it, they are less likely to even try.
Use curtains or blinds on garage windows. Chances are these areas do not need the sunlight, so put up curtains or blinds for privacy and protection. Stowing your outdoor valuables only does so much good if they’re constantly on display!
Install motion sensor lighting around your home, especially at entrances. Shine a spotlight on a potential intruder before they can even touch your doors or windows by adding extra lighting with motion detectors at entrances and especially dark corners of your home.
 Get to know your neighbors. Crime tends to be lower in tight-knit communities because neighbors are more likely to look out for each other and can easily spot a stranger. Your neighbors can be one of your best assets in home crime prevention because they offer extra eyes and an outside perspective.
  Keep fences, gates, and garage doors locked. It is worth investing in a quality padlock for each outside entrance, even if you only lock it at night. However, since most friends and family will not mind calling ahead to let you know they are visiting, it’s best
to leave them locked at all times. Never leave your garage door open if you are not in it or outside and able to keep an eye on it.

Protecting Your Home from the Inside
Keep all doors and windows closed and always locked. An open exterior window or door is an invitation for burglars to easily enter your home, so keep them shut and securely locked whether you are home or not. Do not underestimate strong window locks and update them if needed. Thieves know how to spot weak locks that would be easily forced open. Make sure exterior doors have deadbolt locks. Sliding doors should have vertical bolts and a metal or wooden rod in the track to prevent being forced open or doors being lifted off the track. Never leave your home without locking the front door, no matter how brief your trip. Even if it is pouring rain, do not forget to take the extra moment to lock up. Burglars do not take days off due to weather!
     And do not forget the door attached to the garage. It is one of the easiest targets and a likely route of entry. Do not depend on your automatic garage door for full security.
     Secure valuables in a home safe or lockbox. If it is small and not mounted, consider having your safe bolted to the floor since many burglars will simply take it with them. Give your passcode or combination only to a trusted loved one in case of emergency. Do not leave it posted anywhere in your house easily accessible to an intruder.

Do not label your personal keys or hide spares outside. If your keys are labeled and get lost or stolen you could be in big trouble, especially if your wallet with your ID and address are with them. And thieves know to look under mats and in the gravel for fake rocks to find hidden keys, so instead leave a spare with a trusted neighbor.
Consider buying a home security system. There are countless features with any security system, and some particularly valuable ones are outdoor motion detectors, sensors at exterior doors, windows, and the door attached to the garage, an outdoor alarm to alert other neighbors to an intrusion, and security cameras. Select the features that best fit your needs and be sure to go with a well-known, reputable local security system installers. Once it is installed, make it a regular habit to use it. Though it may seem inconvenient to have to arm the system every time you leave the house, many burglars are aware that the responsibility is often neglected and may not be deterred by window stickers or yard signs warning of home protection.
Do your best to learn and inform your family about the security system to cut down on false alarms. They can actually bring on expensive fines not to mention annoy your neighbors. Plus, you do not want to have a boy-who-cried-wolf effect where your neighbors eventually learn to ignore your alarm anytime it goes off!

Protecting Your Home While You are on Vacation

Double- and triple-check all doors and windows before you leave. Make sure your house is as locked-up and secure as it can be in your absence. (Do not forget the door leading to the garage!) Be sure to leave some curtains and blinds open to give the illusion that someone is around. Thieves tend to take note of a house that has clearly been closed-up.
Talk to a trusted neighbor about helping create a “lived-in” look. Have them use your outdoor trash cans and collect your mail, newspapers, and any delivered packages. Stacked up mail and newspapers along with empty trash cans can be a clear sign to anyone that you are not home and may be gone a while. If you are taking a winter getaway, ask your neighbor to park their car in your driveway and leave footprints leading up to your front door to create the illusion that someone is home. If you are taking an extended summer vacation, pay someone to cut your grass and keep the yard tidy.
Do not forget to give your spare key directly to your neighbor rather than leaving it under the mat or in a faux rock or statue. It is important to leave a key in case of emergencies, but it is also helpful to have someone check in on your home periodically to ensure no one has entered in your absence. Make sure you leave a contact number where you can be reached while you are away. And always return the favor to a neighbor in need!
Put timers on lights. Select a few rooms in your house to remain lit to reduce the chances that any thief casing the neighborhood will notice that you have been gone. Have outdoor lights, especially around entrances, set to light up every evening. A bright house welcomes friendly guests, but a dark house welcomes undesirable visitors.
Lock your garage door and disconnect the automatic opener. This is an easy, but often forgotten step to keep your home safe while away. Garage doors seem like impenetrable forces, so it is easy to overlook additional steps in securing them. But if you are going to be gone for a week and will not need the automatic lift anyway, why not disconnect it and add an easy extra layer of security?
Do not advertise your trip. It is common for people to post all about their upcoming trip on social media but avoid the urge. The more people who know your house will be empty, the more you open yourself up to the possibility of a break-in. Similarly, do not leave a message on your landline answering machine that you are out of town.
Fill out an out-of-town form with the Association for periods of being gone 3 days or more so Community Patrol can check around your home at least once a week.
Home invasion and burglary may never truly be eliminated from society, but their threats should not cause you to live your life in fear. Take these simple measures to secure your home and reduce the chances that a crook will even look at it twice!