Paul Kaplan Group - Bennion Deville Homes

Moving to Palm Springs - The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Paul Kaplan on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 at 11:58am

We've been selling homes in Palm Springs for about two decades now at The Paul Kaplan Group.  Some people are buying vacation homes, some are looking for 2nd homes and others are considering moving here full time- regardless, the same questions seem to be on the minds of everyone considering buying a home in Palm Springs-  We'll  address some of the most common questions here:

Exterior of Palm Springs home

Friends in the pool

1.  Does it get hot there?

Yes, its a desert, it gets hot.  Click here to link to average temperatures per month.


2.  What is "Lease" land?

Map of Palm Springs

The city of Palm Springs is built on a "checkerboard" consisting of alternating Indian and non-Indian land.   In 1876, Pacific Railroad laid the tracks between Los Angeles and Yuma, Arizona. The U.S. government deeded the Agua Caliente 52,000 acres throughout the Coachella Valley (6,700 acres lay within the city of Palm Springs).

The government gave the railroad a checkerboard of every square mile of land for 10 miles on either side of the railroad right-of-way. The Agua Caliente tribe got the non-Pacific Railroad owned squares.  Some of Palm Springs' most desired neighborhoods are on Indian Leased Land.

Things to consider when purchasing on leased land:

  • What is the cost of the annual lease?
  • How many years are left on the lease?
  • Does my lender provide loans on lease land?

Your knowledgeable real estate agent can help guide you on the ins and outs of lease land and answer questions.  Click here for more info.

3.  How's the wind?

Wind Turbines

Wind is just a fact of life living in the desert.  We experience wind all over the desert some part of the year, no matter where you decide to buy.   Certain months of the year are windier then others-  the windy season seems to be at the end of the summer when the temps are lowering, and also in late spring when temps are rising.  Some areas of Palm Springs can be windier then others.

If you hate wind, you probably don't want to live in a windy area. However, many people do live in the windier parts of town and don't hate it. You may not be able to read a newspaper out by your pool on a windy day; and yes, sometimes your patio furniture may get blown into the pool - and probably not a good idea to keep your umbrellas out during the wind because they can become weapons if they become airborne.   BUT  I personally have lived in a windier area for the past 7 years and overall I like it.

In the summer, when it is blazing hot, its nice to have some movement in the air.   When you get out of the pool, the wind blowing on you, actually feels comforting.  Some of the best mountain views in town can be experienced form the windiest parts of town.  Here's some more info on wind - Click Here.

4.  What about the drought?

I think after all the rain we got last year in 2017, we've seen an end of the drought for now.  As a native Californian, droughts are a fact of life-  as far back as I can remember, there has been a consistent cycle of drought conditions.  (I'm glad I installed rain gutters this year!)  For those wanting more info, Click Here.

5.  Are  there earthquakes?

Yep.  Its California.

Earthquake map of Palm Springs

      Pool party in Palm Springs

6.  I heard its dead in the summer in Palm Springs.  Is that true?

No-  not any more.  20 years ago, the saying was, "You can shoot a canon ball down Palm Canyon Drive in summer and not hit anything."  The town seemed to shut down.  It used to be those restaurants that did stay open, offered half priced discounts, in order to attract the few people that actually suffered through the summer.

Nowadays, the population has increased as we become more of a year round community.   Although the population does thin in the summer, rarely do  businesses close  for summer like they used to.  As a full timer, you will  learn to adapt your lifestyle, and do most of your outdoor activities in the early morning or after the sun goes down.

Summer evenings are amazing actually-  and that's why we have pools too.  Locals look forward to the summer months because there's less traffic, parking is easy, and you never seem to need a reservation.  But if you can get out of town in August and September, do!

7.  Is it boring living there?

Although we're small, Palm Springs is a very metropolitan city. Our motto is, "you can be as active or bored as you like in Palm Springs."  It seriously feels like there is something going on all year long in Palm Springs-  During the main season, October through April, its one event after the other-  The International Film Festival, Modernism Week, BnP Open, White Party, Biker Weekend, Coachella Music Festival, Stagecoach, Tour De Palm Springs, Splash House, Gay Pride-  honestly, as a resident, it is hard to keep up with everything that's going on.

Additionally we have a happening art scene, including one of the top small museums, in the country.  The Palm Springs Art Museum.  We're surrounded by mountains, with numerous spectacular hiking opportunities.  Oh yea, golf, tennis, horseback riding, plus lots of other activities, are available too. We're a community of volunteers with numerous events throughout the year that support local charities and organizations too.    But many of us just like the quiet and peace of hanging out in a small town, floating in our pools, and doing nothing. If by chance you DO get bored, we're only approximately 2 hours away from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County.  Plus we have an international airport in the middle of town, where its fairly easy to get to far away places.

Tour bus on a Palm Springs street

8.   Why is housing so expensive in Palm Springs?

Everything is relative-  if you're coming from Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, I think most people will find that our housing prices are reasonable.  On the whole, California tends to be a bit expensive-  lets face it, people want to live here.  But compared to other metropolitan areas in our state, our prices are on the low side.  In 2017, the median price for a single family home in Palm Springs is about $550,000;  the median price for a condo is about $220,000.  There are less expensive options out there too (and more expensive ones as well!). Check out The Paul Kaplan Group to search for homes in Palm Springs.

Palm Canyon Mobile Club

The Palm Canyon Mobile Club-  Prefab homes starting around $125,000

9.  I heard its better to buy a home in the summer months because prices are cheaper?

Nope-  not true. Real Estate activity remains active in Palm Springs throughout the year.  The slowest month of the year for real estate, historically, has been December.

During the summer months, typically those buyers willing to brave the heat, usually are serious about finding a home.  Although we may be busier during the winter season with more buyers looking for homes, we tend to get more looki-loos that are just curious and "kicking tires."

Sellers often ask, "Should we wait until fall to sell our home when more people are in town?"  We usually say, No.  The prices of homes do not tend to adjust seasonally.  

We know buyers have many more questions that we didn't answer here.  Contact The Paul Kaplan Group-  we're the local experts and happy to assist you with your real estate needs.  

Paul Kaplan logo on photo of home

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