The desert lifestyle isn’t right for everyone, but if it’s right for you, we can help you make the perfect real estate investment in the Palm Springs area. Don’t get left high and dry. Whether buying or selling, contact Sheri Dettman & Associates or visit YourResortHome.com.
Buying – Info For Buyers
Why Greater Palm Springs?
A small-town vibe and plenty of big-city amenities have made relocating to the Coachella Valley a “hot” thing to do.
Futurist Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock described an evolution to a transient society,” says Palm Desert resident Anna Miller, the visionary behind ValueRays Heated Computer Accessories. “It left quite an impression on me and actually molded my future.” Miller is referring to her relocation from the “rat race” of Los Angeles to the peace and tranquility of the Coachella Valley.
Inspired by Toffler, and with many thanks to advances in technology, the ingenious Miller — who has a master’s degree in business education and once worked as a Playboy Bunny in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin — has been happily self-employed and working from home in the field of ecommerce for more than two decades. In 2007, she left the hustle and bustle of L.A. and moved her home and business to the historic B Bar H Ranch outside Palm Springs. “I feel like I’m on vacation every day,” she says of her life now. “This area is a slice of heaven on earth: peaceful, tranquil, and with just the right amount of solitude to wake up every day feeling grateful and ready to take on whatever life offers. Plus, there is access to everything you need here, spiritually, physically, and intellectually.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY LANCE GERBER
SilverRock Resort in La Quinta
Owned by the City of La Quinta and Managed by Landmark Golf Management, SilverRock Resort's Arnold Palmer Classic Course is a challenging 7,239 yards sprawling over 200 acres with massive native bunkers and stunning water features. Set against the backdrop and natural beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains, SilverRock is a former home course of the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic from 2008-2011.
The City, in conjunction with SilverRock Development Company, LLC, has created a development program for SilverRock Resort. The program includes a luxury hotel with branded luxury residential, a lifestyle hotel with branded lifestyle residential, a conference and shared services facility, a mixed-use village, resort residential village, renovation of the existing Ahmanson Ranch House, construction of a permanent golf clubhouse, and associated road and utility infrastructure. This $420 million dollar project specifically encompasses:
A 140-room, 5-star quality luxury hotel and spa and a 200-room, 4-star quality lifestyle hotel;
A 71,000 square foot conference center and shared services facility shared by the luxury and lifestyle hotels;
A resort village with 150,000 square feet of resort residential units and up to 40,000 square feet of retail space with recreation areas;
35 luxury and 60 lifestyle branded residential homes that are associated with their respective hotels;
160 resort style homes for private ownership with the option for owners to offer as short-term rentals;
Renovation of the Ahmanson Ranch House facility as a public event center and to serve as an amenity to the resort; and
5,000 square feet of temperature controlled space with large outdoor patios and event lawn.
Many gated and even some non-gated developments in the Palm Springs area include an Home Owners Association or HOA. For our Canadian friends, an HOA is similar to Canadian Strata Associations. Most of the Palm Springs area golf communities and non-golf community profiles on this website include recent HOA information.
Palm Springs Area HOA Dues: What’s Included?
Home Owners’ Association dues can vary widely from community to community depending on the amenities and services that are available to property owners. HOA dues in condo communities will generally be higher than those of most single-family home communities because they include exterior building insurance (not contents), exterior building maintenance (walls, roofs and painting) and community shared amenities such as pools, spas, clubhouses, trash pickup, and, often, basic cable TV.
When comparing monthly HOA dues in the Palm Springs area you’ll want to look beyond the numbers and see what’s actually included in these dues. As an example, let’s compare two different HOA’s and what is included:
Community A ($335 Monthly HOA):
- Common area maintenance
- 24/7 Access gate control.
Community B ($520 Monthly HOA):
- Common area maintenance
- 24/7 Access gate control
- Front yard landscape and irrigation
- Exterior painting
- Side-yard pickup of trash
- Basic cable TV
On the surface $335 looks better. Add it all up though and Community B's dues - while higher - include more services and, in fact, may cost the homeowner less over time. HOA’s in other developments might include community pools and spas, clubhouses, tennis and fitness centers while others may include discounted or even full golf privileges.
Most Palm Springs Area HOA's Dues Are Paid Monthly
Most HOA dues are usually billed monthly. A few desert communities bill dues quarterly. HOA’s have the legal right to file a lien against a property and possibly even sell the property at auction to recover dues if the owner(s) neglect to pay their HOA dues. Property owners may wish to consider setting up an automatic payment of HOA dues through their bank or set up an automatic debit payment with their HOA.
After signing a purchase contract for a property located within an HOA, and during the escrow ‘due diligence’ period, buyers are entitled to receive a copy of the HOA CC&R’s (declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions), community rules and regulations and financials for their review. It’s always a good idea to retain a copy of these for future reference.
Palm Springs Area Condos Compared To Canadian Strata Ownership
Here in the desert a condo does not usually refer to a high-rise community as found in many Canadian Provinces. While there are a few high-rise developments here, most condo communities in the desert are actually single level or two story buildings. This is similar to Canadian Strata communities. There are a wide variety of condo types here including those with no shared walls. Condo communities usually offer a 'lock and leave' lifestyle where exterior building maintenance, insurance, landscape and more are taken care of by the condo association or as they are called here in the desert, the Home Owners Association (HOA).
<< Back to Information For Palm Springs Home Buyers
One of the smartest things you can do before beginning to look at Palm Springs area homes or luxury condos is to choose a local real estate agent to represent your best interests. And finding a local agent that has a proven track record of helping lots of buyers like you is a good place to start.
I like to think of a buyer’s agent as a part guide and part negotiator. Top local agents keep on top of the changing desert inventory and trends within our local Palm Springs area golf and country club communities–saving you both time and hassle. Later, once you’ve found your desert home, top agents will likely have the most experience of negotiating the best price and terms on your behalf.
Who You Gonna Call?
It’s very common to find and even start working with a Palm Springs area real estate agent from out of the area, or even out of the country using online resources. But what’s the best way to discover the agent that is the best match for your goals?
You can start by comparing the online information and website resources each agent that your considering offers you. Agents that offer you a lot of valuable resources are likely the agents that can make your overall buying experience smoother and more profitable. Their goal is to help you be an informed buyer. And I believe that being an informed buyer is a very good thing!
How Quickly Are Your Calls & Email Messages Returned?
Consider how quickly a prospective agent responds to your phone calls or email message. Top agents return both calls and emails promptly, and that's one of the reasons those agents are highly successful.
Some Palm Springs area real estate agents can even make real estate fun! Does the prospective agent sound boring over the phone or do they ‘smile’ while they are speaking with you? Do they seem happy to help you or do they make you feel like they’re doing you a favor?
Palm Springs area real estate is more about your family and friends lifestyle than simply real estate. And it doesn’t have to be boring or stressful. Consider that top agents won't waste your valuable time going to properties that they know don’t match your criteria.
Busy & Successful Agents Are Busy & Successful For A Reason
One of the first questions I suggest in asking any prospective Realtor (including me) is: “How many sales transactions did you complete last year, and in what price ranges and communities?” I mention this because the average Realtor completes just 12 transactions annually or one per month.
In contrast, our small team of specialists at Sheri Dettman & Associates will complete over 100 sales transactions this year ranging mostly from the $300,000’s to $5 million. If not us, you’ll want to choose an agent that is busy and successful. I choose my doctor, dentist and accountant the same way!
Working With Multiple Real Estate Agents
Some homebuyers think that the best way to find a great deal is by working with multiple real estate agents. Is it? Top agents don’t usually work with buyers playing the field, and buyers playing the field with multiple agents seldom receive the best representation (think price and terms).
Interview and check out the sales history of any agent you are considering. Then, make a smart choice; choose a busy and successful agent that will truly listen to you and represent your best interests.
Other Suggested Articles For Buyers
Palm Springs Area Open House Tips
Am I Ready To Submit An Offer On That Desert Property?
Your Buyer/Broker Agreement Explained (And How This Can Benefit You)
by Sheri Dettman, Resort Lifestyle Realtor
It’s possible to buy the right home here in the Palm Springs area but in the wrong location. The old adage of "location, location, location," is repeated three times to emphasize the importance of location. It basically means that similar or identical homes or condos can be valued differently based on their location.
Palm Springs Area Community And Amenities Equal Location
Location here in the Palm Springs area starts with the city and then the community which best matches your criteria. Top agents will work to first identify your criteria and then guide you to locations which best match your choices.
Once your real estate agent helps narrow down your overall location criteria, she/he will then help you discover the location options within each community to form your ‘short list’, One example is sunlight exposure; Year-round residents and winter residents will likely have different needs and preferences where this is concerned.
Homes Or Condos Offering Views
Homes offering views are one of the most requested location options here in the desert. And since outdoor living is so popular here, sweeping views can and will add value to an identical home or condo with limited or no views. Some buyers prefer golf course views, while others choose the mountains. And here in the desert you can actually have it both ways.
Outdoor Recreation And Things To Do
One of the great things about the Palm Springs area is that there’s something for everyone throughout the valley and in nearby areas. For those who love to walk to restaurants and shopping, proximity to city centers becomes an important requirement on their ‘short list’ of desirable locations. Most Palm Springs area activities are only a short drive away as well. In many gated golf and country club communities, great restaurants and shopping are only a short golf cart or bike ride away.
The Best Palm Springs Area Rental Locations
If you are considering renting your home you’ll want to think about what locations seasonal and long-term renters prefer. Palm Springs area golf course homes and condos always seem to top the list as do resort lifestyle communities offering nearby pools/spas, tennis, or fitness facilities. Most seasonal renters of single-family homes want a private pool. Condos and town homes in gated communities with resort amenities are also popular as rentals, both as short and long term rentals. Your realtor can also advise you about which communities have rental restrictions versus those that don’t.
Palm Springs Communities With HOA’s
Community locations with HOA’s (home owners associations) offer benefits to some buyers and drawbacks to others. HOA’s have rules and regulations. On the plus side is the fact that most HOA’s work hard at maintaining high community standards and appearances so your neighborhood doesn’t become run down or have blighted homes.
Keep in mind that there are usually HOA dues to pay and you’ll need to be aware of any HOA rules pertaining to using or modifying your property. Before buying a home or condo located within an HOA, you’ll want to read your copy of the HOA CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) that you’ll be provided with during the start of escrow after your offer is accepted on a home or condo.
Courtesy of Lawyer’s Title
When purchasing your new home, your future monthly payments will be made up of principal, interest, real property taxes, and insurance, but what is the tax for the Community Facilities District, otherwise known as a Mello-Roos District?
What is a Mello-Roos District?
Mello-Roos District is an area where a special tax is imposed on those real property owners within a Community Facilities District. The district has chosen to seek public financing through the sale of bonds for the purpose of financing certain public improvements and services, which may include streets, water, sewage and drainage, electricity, infrastructure, schools, parks and police protection for newly developing areas. The tax you pay is used by the district to make the payments of principal and interest on the bonds.
Are the assessments included within the Proposition 13 tax limits?
No. The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 severely restricted local government in its ability to finance public capital facilities and services by increasing real property taxes. The “Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982” provided local government with an additional financing tool. The Proposition 13 tax limits are on the value of the real property, while Mello-Roos taxes are equally and uniformly applied to all properties within the district.
What are my Mello-Roos taxes paying for?
Your taxes may be paying for both services and facilities. The services may be financed only to the extent of new growth, and services include: police protection; fire protection; ambulance and paramedic services; recreation program services; library services; the maintenance and lighting of parks; parkways, streets, roads, and open space; museums and cultural facilities; flood and storm protection; and services for the removal of any hazardous substances. Facilities which may be financed under the Act include: property with an estimated useful life of five years or longer; parks, recreation, parkway, and open-space facilities; elementary and secondary school sites and structures; libraries; child care facilities; construction and undergrounding of water transmission and distribution facilities; natural gas pipeline facilities; telephone lines; facilities to transmit and distribute electrical energy; cable television lines; and others.
When do I pay these taxes?
By purchasing real property in a subdivision within a Community Facilities District you can expect to be assessed a Mello-Roos tax which will typically be collected with your general property tax bill. These special tax payments are subject to the same penalties that apply to regular property taxes.
How long does the tax stay in effect?
The tax will stay in effect until the principal and interest on the bonds, along with any reasonable administrative costs incurred in collecting the special tax, are prepaid, permanently satisfied, and canceled in accordance with law or until the special tax ceases to be levied and a notice of cessation of special tax is recorded in accordance with law.
What is the basis for the tax?
Most special taxes levied on properties within these districts have been structured on the basis of density of development, square footage of construction, or flat acreage charges. The Act, however, allows for considerable flexibility in the method of apportionment of taxes, and the local agencies may have established an entirely different method of levying the special tax against property in the district in question.
How much will the Mello-Roos payment be?
The amount of tax may vary from year-to-year, but may not exceed the maximum amount specified when the district was created. In the case of the purchase of a new house within a subdivision, the maximum amount of the tax will be specified in the public report. The “Resolution of Formation” establishing the district must specify the rate, method of apportionment, and manner of collection of the special tax in sufficient detail to allow each landowner or resident within the proposed district to estimate the maximum amount that he or she will have to pay.
How is the special tax reflected on the real property records?
The special tax is a lien on your property, essentially like a regular tax lien. The lien is recorded as a “Notice of Special Tax Lien” which is a continuing lien to secure each levy of the special tax.
How are Mello-Roos taxes affected when the property is sold?
The Mello-Roos tax is assessed against the land, but is not based upon the value of the property, therefore, the possible increased value of the property does not affect the amount of the tax when property is sold. The amount of the tax may not exceed the original maximum amount provided in the Resolution of Formation. Any delinquent payments must be satisfied before the sale of the real property since the unpaid amounts are a lien against the property.
Courtesy of Haley Kieser
The scenic city of Palm Springs is located in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. This gorgeous little city is known for glamorous hotels, resorts, spas and natural hot springs thereby making Palm Springs the perfect destination for tourists and potential residents alike. The city is noted for examples of mid-century modern architecture giving the town a feeling of old-world glamour.
- Outdoor Recreation
One of the many perks of settling down in Palm Springs is the vast opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you or someone you love is an avid golfer, Palm Springs will without a doubt become near and dear to their heart. If you have not tried the sport, it would be wise to give it a shot after relocating. Golfing would be an excellent hobby to learn given that Palm Springs has been given the high praise of being colloquially known as the “Golf Capital of the World,” and it truly does live up to its nickname. Palm Springs and the surrounding area is home to over 20 lush golf courses, most notably the world-renowned Arnold Palmer Classic Course at SilverRock Resort and the PGA WEST Golf Club & Resort to name a few.
The Palm Springs area offers majestic views of the Santa Rosa Mountains that are downright breathtaking. The mountains can be viewed from the golf course and enjoyed both up close and afar. Hiking trails are found throughout the mountains. It should be heeded that visitors to the mountains should strictly follow their map, and be sure to head back when half of your water is depleted as the mountains are situated in the middle of a dessert. The good news is that due to the climate of the southern Californian Sonoran Desert, both the hiking trails and the golf courses can be enjoyed year-round.
- Beautiful Weather
Palm Springs is a desert city - the weather gets hot. The best time of the year to enjoy the southern Californian weather would be between January and April when the weather is most hospitable. During the summer months, temperatures will regularly reach triple digits.
Palm Springs is the perfect location for those who like the heat. Moving to Palm Springs not only means embracing the heat, but embracing the wind farms. Wind farms are a fact of life in the desert and are churned all year long. The windy season in Palm Springs is generally the end of the summer leading into fall. On top of clean energy sources, the added breeze will be a nice touch as the summer heat ratchets up.
- Rich History
Many notable American figures have visited Palm Springs, including Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Ronald Reagan. In its early years, Palm Springs attracted more visitors than potential property owners. Following World War II, there was a boom of development. At first, visitors flocked to Palm Springs to enjoy the natural bathhouses and hotels cropping up within the quiet desert town. Soon the quaint town would attract the attention of philanthropists, moguls, and starlets who would eventually settle in the area. It is likely they settled after watching the glittering town be advertised on the silver screen.
The desert was routinely selected as a choice spot for filming silent films and would grow to become an oasis for Hollywood stars outside of film sets. Today, Palm Springs still maintains a sense of old-world glamour wrapped in plenty of modern entertainment options. In fact, one of Palm Springs quintessential historical landmarks, including Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s Sunnylands Estate. Since 2012, the 200-acre estate and historic residence operates as a place of hospitality for international leaders to convene to “promote world peace and facilitate international agreement.” Tours are available for small groups but require a ticket booked in advance.
- Minimal Traffic
An added bonus that will be felt at every turn, is that there is virtually no traffic in Palm Springs. No more days of sitting in traffic for 2-hours for a commute that should, in theory, should take only 20 minutes. City dwellers throughout the country understand the plague of heavy, bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic. Moving to Palm Springs means making traffic a woe of the past. A drive to the grocery store will be just that, without the need for planning added time to consider for traffic and delays. Even during the busiest times of the year, traffic will always be minimal. The average commute time is about 22 minutes, which is lower than the national average.
- Affordable Living
Compared to huge metropolitan areas like San Francisco or New York, the smaller city of Palm Springs can offer a much cheaper alternative for housing prices without any void of things to do. Although California tends to be expensive as a whole, the Palm Springs area tends to be comparatively cheaper. The median price for a single-family home in Palm Springs is about $300,000, which is subject to change year over year. With the added pocket change, this allows for greater flexibility for leisure around the town and the ability to enjoy the city’s boutiques and fine dining nestled along Palm Canyon Drive.
For Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers
Watch this one minute video on how to keep your home healthy and maintained during the summer months in the desert.
A new hotel development that marries homes, condos and conventional hotel rooms is planned for Indian Wells.
Developers announced a proposal to build roughly 300 units – in the form of multi-bedroom villas as well as hotel rooms – in a project aimed at attracting multi-generational travelers who are looking for the space and privacy offered by a short-term rental with the careful standards seen in hotels.
The project, located near the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, is also planning the development of 60 to 80 condos, which can be managed by the hotel as vacation rentals.
“When we look at the way people are traveling, when we look at the evolution of the travel space, when we look at the rise of multi-generational travel, we think we’re on the cusp of another change in hospitality,” Phil Bates, a partner with TMC Group, a real estate development firm from Irvine, told residents in Indian Wells on Tuesday.
RELATED HOTEL DEVELOPMENT COVERAGE: Montage breaks ground on luxury resort in La Quinta
An architect's rendering of a new development planned for the corner of Highway 111 and Miles Avenue in Indian Wells. The project would build roughly 300 hotel rooms, along with condos and villas. (Photo: Submitted photo: TMC Group)
TMC Group officials, along with representatives from Fogelson Group, a Chicago-based real estate development firm, held a community meeting Tuesday at the Indian Wells Golf Resort to unveil the plans for the development proposed for the corner of Highway 111 and Miles Avenue near the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The project would occupy about 10 acres.
The development team anticipates construction beginning early next year, with completion in 2019 or 2020.
The hotel building with its 300 rooms could be up to 85 feet tall, and is proposed for the back of the site away from Highway 111. Its height was of a concern to some of the roughly 100 residents attending the forum Tuesday.
“I have a problem with 85 feet,” remarked Andy Elchuck, who lives nearby.
When asked about views of Eisenhower Mountain and other areas, Bates said, “some will be compromised.”
Development plans for the site go back more than a decade when the Fogelson Group proposed building 129 residences and villas. The Fogelson Group is headed by Jerry Fogelson, well-known for his local philanthropy and generous contributions to the Palm Springs Art Museum. He also serves on the board for the Desert Town Hall speaker series.
The property's future was put into question again in 2014 when Phoenix developer Denny Ryerson was unable to finalize an agreement with YAM Capital that would have provided the money he needed to buy out Fogelson and meet critical deadlines connected to his proposed condo development in Indian Wells.
The project announcement comes as officials in La Quinta broke ground Monday at SilverRock, marking the start of development on a luxury resort that brings the Montage brand to the Coachella Valley. The project includes two luxury hotels which are scheduled to open simultaneously in October 2019.
Skip Descant is The Desert Sun’s tourism reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @TDSskip