Why Live in Greater Palm Springs? by Bob Celli
Photo Credit: Frank Datzer & Getty Images
It has been happening since the early 1900s, long before there were hotels, spas, golf courses — before "Mid-Century Modern" existed and tram cars soared to the top of Mt. San Jacinto mountain: People quickly fall in love with Greater Palm Springs. And as they do, that feeling spreads to others, creating a love affair for the destination that continues to grow well into the 21st century.
Many people think Palm Springs comprises the entire Coachella Valley, when, actually, it is one of nine cities; the others are Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Desert Hot Springs and Coachella. Each has distinctive attributes and ambiance, making Greater Palm Springs one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world.
It is easy to see why Greater Palm Springs is experiencing a renaissance as it heads into a new decade. The area is thriving with new hotels, spas, restaurants, casinos and clubs attracting a greater number of visitors who discover, either by vacationing in a rental home or lounging by a resort pool, that this is a great place to live. As a result, the real estate market is hot, and “season” seems to grow longer every year.
When compared to coastal Southern California, the Bay Area, and many cities across the country, Greater Palm Springs is more affordable. Visitors have noticed, and when they factor in the quality of life, they often become proud homeowners here. New residents are exceptionally diverse in age, income and lifestyle. Their reasons for buying here are even more varied.
Something for Everyone
No longer the exclusive domain and paradise for the 55-and-better set, Greater Palm Springs is seeing a growing number of Millennials and Gen X’ers settling in and making it their home. While the area will always attract retirees, its affordability is making it possible for many to stop renting elsewhere and own here. But it is not all about pricing. Those in their 30s, 40s and 50s come for the broad spectrum of attractive dining spots, nightlife and notable events, while the older set enjoys an equally full calendar of events.
The remarkably successful Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals draw tens of thousands of young music lovers to the area, and they are impressed with what they find here. Popular weekend-long Splash House parties bring in the hottest singers and disc jockeys to perform poolside at vibrant resorts. Palm Springs Pride attracts more than 100,000 people from around the globe who party at the festival, enjoy the parade and live it up at the bars and hotels.
From sports to haute couture, Greater Palm Springs has the scene to see and be seen. Each year starts off with the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which brings the biggest celebrities from across the globe—and those who dream of meeting them—into the city for a week of screenings, parties and photo-ops. The world’s top golfers come for The American Express, the La Quinta stop on the PGA Tour, and stars of the tennis world converge on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the BNP Paribas Open. Between the two events, the West Coast’s largest consumer fashion show—Fashion Week El Paseo—brings cutting-edge design to the runway in Palm Desert.
From Tiny to Palatial, It’s All Here
Looking for a low-priced condo or vacation home? Or a custom home with breathtaking views? Greater Palm Springs offers an unprecedented selection of real estate choices for every budget and lifestyle. The region is renowned for its mid-century modern architecture. Entire neighborhoods beckon those who enjoy the open and sleek modernist design. An impressive number of condo and townhome communities, many behind gates, are extremely popular with buyers seeking a low-priced second home or low-maintenance full-time residence.
Young and growing families will discover classic detached ranch homes and traditional residences that ideally match their needs. New neighborhoods are opening with several featuring a mix of detached and attached homes that welcome singles, couples and families. Tiny homes are a popular choice today, with one Palm Springs mobile home community revitalizing itself by selling off older units and replacing them with contemporary mobile designs that nod to midcentury modern architecture. Exclusive country club enclaves are a favorite choice for those seeking privacy and prestige with stunning architectural masterpieces that elevate the “good life” to dramatic new heights.
Of course, Greater Palm Springs presents some of the finest active-adult communities in the nation, with amenities including championship golf courses, high-end clubhouses, and a full calendar of events attracting scores of new buyers every year. Catering to specific lifestyles is also key in this market. Health services abound, with top hospitals, specialty clinics and at-home care providing some of the best medical and wellness services in the country.
Greater Palm Springs remains unsurpassed for its beauty, lifestyle and expansive array of real estate options. With a hot housing market, an endless array of rewards and a bright future, it is easy to see why it is capturing the hearts of so many.
About the author: Bob Celli indulges his passion for architecture and design as a writer who specializes in the home-building and real estate industries. He is a Southern California native and a full-time resident of Palm Springs.