Affordable living, beautiful weather, and culture galore–our love letter to Palm Springs. Here’s why you should consider moving to this stunning desert city.
As Redfin’s resident lifestyle expert, it’s my job to write and know about trends, culture, luxury and style as it relates to housing and cities.
When it comes to a place that encompasses all these things, I look straight to Palm Springs.
As a jaded New Yorker still sporting a winter coat in May (!), I cannot get enough of Palm Springs’ gorgeous sunshine-drenched desert landscape, magical mountain backdrop, year round warm weather, art deco vibes, innovative design and food, and did I mention the perfect weather?
Formerly frequented by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Palm Springs is now filled with cool creative types contributing to a thriving city with a small town, laid-back feel. When temps reach scorching summer highs, it’s an easy drive to California’s coastline.
(Editor’s note: Full disclosure, I love it so much, I’m making 100 of my East Coast friends and family travel there later this year for my wedding, so I am a bit biased).
But don’t just take my opinionated word for it. I spoke to local Redfin agent Roddy de la Garza on the myriad of reasons why this desert oasis stands out. If you’re looking for a life change or to invest in a vacation home, here are eight things you must know about Palm Springs real estate. Ready to visit? Keep reading for my go-to list of local favorite hotspots.
1. Palm Springs is a great place to live
“It’s so easy is to live here. Everything you want is nearby, and there are many great things to do. I am impressed by the quality of the arts, the rotating schedule of special events, and the efficiency of the Palm Springs airport. Palm Springs is the axis point of affordable California living and full-scale luxury amenities. Anyone doing a big city exodus should really think about how they can have a five-star lifestyle on a low cost budget. The desert has fantastic medical care, golf courses, tennis, and so much more.”
2. Palm Springs offers a desirable lifestyle
“We are seeing buyers leaving the big city, realizing they can own a great home for less than half of what it’d cost in Los Angeles or Orange County. Additionally, with many of today’s workers telecommuting, it’s easier to be away from the brick and mortar office. There are plenty of second homebuyers and investors, too. Palm Springs real estate is all about economic promise and luxury amenities.”
3. The homes are gorgeous
“Palm Springs real estate ranges from throwback art deco vintage to ultra modern. When it comes to the latter, this elegant, luxurious and bold three bedroom new construction home will take your breath away. Exquisitely planned as one of five signature homes in the elite Via Olivera development, it’s sleek and gallery inspired. Located on fee land (you own it, more on that below), there are no Home Owner Association (HOA) fees, and it has a private swimming pool, stunning views of the San Jacinto Mountains, and fully owned solar panels. Designer upgrades include La Cantina doors, Viking appliances, Quartz counters, a waterfall-style breakfast bar, and suites with private balconies.”
4. Palm Springs is diverse
“People seem to overlook the incredible diversity of Palm Springs. While it’s always been famous as a place for retirees who love first class living at a lower cost, Palm Springs has really exploded in terms of who is moving here, such as young couples and celebrities. The city is also a beacon of equality for the LGBTQ community.
Recently, I was at a local steakhouse and looked around the room. I saw our regular Canadian snowbird visitors; a large family with kids of many ages; the daughter of a famous celebrity; and a Russian DJ with about four models surrounding him. At the same time, I am there with my husband thinking, ‘This is fantastic!’”
5. Palm Springs real estate is thriving
“The Palm Springs real estate market is brisk and inventory doesn’t stay available long. I average a home sale every five days. Palm Springs is one part of the Coachella Valley, which is made up of Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Indio and La Quinta. You can find a great home in the $350,000 range in any of these cities to suit your individual lifestyle. The most popular homes are ones located on fee land (not leased); no HOA fees, owned solar panels, in-ground heated pool and spa–and of course great mountain views!”
6. There are ample opportunities to invest in a vacation home
“A vacation home is a great idea if you can afford it. However, the success of a home as a vacation rental is going to be wholly dependent on the quality of time, attention and marketing that someone has to put in to it. A good agent in the area can help make introductions to local property management companies and inform you of local ordinances.”
7. Local agents can help navigate HOA and leased land rules
“It’s important to know how to analyze HOA fees and leased land in Palm Springs real estate. It’s rare to find a property with no HOA fees and on fee land (not owned by Native American tribes). HOA fees can include benefits (maintenance, community pool, etc) that some people like, while others may find the cost restrictive. Leased land is very common. There is no judgement as to whether leased land is good or bad, and typically, you get “more house for the money” on leased land. But you must undertake the added steps of reviewing and understanding the lease itself. A good local agent can help with this, or find listings that don’t have either–a rarity!”
8. The best time to look for a home is after pancakes and avocado toast
“We hold most open house tours right after brunch on Saturday and Sunday, typically from 10am–2pm. With the Redfin app, you will be busy!”
Intrigued? Here’s where to go in between open house appointments:
- El Mirasol
- Indian Canyons
- King’s Highway and the Amigo Room
- The Tropicale
- Thursday Night Art Walk
- Sunshine Cafe
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
- Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
- Over the Rainbow Cupcakes