Buying Into Paradise

Palm Springs Real estate agent Andy Linsky lends insider information about purchasing a home in the Coachella valley



Chris Miller

“The kind of home you buy should be dictated by your lifestyle and how you spend your time — and where your friends are,” says real estate agent Andy Linsky, who has 20 years of experience selling homes in the Coachella Valley, including the Elrod House (where scenes from the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever were filmed) and the Darryl F. Zanuck Movie Colony estate. “Whether you’re a golfer, an art aficionado, or a foodie, a real estate agent can help you find your ideal match when it comes to home buying.” Lured to the area by the “majestic beauty of Mount San Jacinto,” Linsky says that sunshine, light, and clean air are also major selling points here in the valley. “Most buyers of desert real estate,” he adds, “recognize these qualities and can’t wait to own a piece of paradise.”

What are the differences between “down valley” and “up valley”?

Down valley often refers to the cities of the Coachella Valley east of Palm Springs proper, including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta. Although each community has wonderful attributes, these properties are often viewed as walled and gated country clubs, while Palm Springs offers unique, open neighborhoods of mostly original architecture.

What is the difference between fee land and leased land?

Fee land is an abbreviation for “fee simple,” derived from an old English term meaning you own the land. With leased land, you have a leasehold interest in the land but do not own it. The lessor in Palm Springs is more often than not a Native American tribal member (“allottee”) but can also be a developer or other landowner.

What are some things prospective buyers should consider when purchasing a condo or stand-alone home in the Coachella Valley?

Buyers of condominiums should be aware of how the development fits their needs and lifestyle, as the homeowners association has a say in minimum rental length and changes to the exterior of your unit as well as other restrictions. Buyers of stand-alone homes should always drive the neighborhood at night in addition to the daytime, as parking, noise, and other various factors may be different.

What are the benefits of buying a condo versus a stand-alone home?

While homeowners’ dues may seem high and offer little value, the opposite is true. As most condominium developments are low-density, there is more open space to be maintained and divided among the owners. Homeowners’ dues have an economy of scale that an individual homeowner may not enjoy, including garden and pool maintenance, exterior building maintenance, fire insurance, and often cable TV and earthquake insurance. But perhaps the most attractive aspect is the “lock and leave” freedom it provides over a home.

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