The year 2020 set people on the move. Many saw an opportunity to impact the future from a livable, wide-open place where visionaries and innovators thrive.
Though few could have imagined it, the sudden chance to flee a city and set up shop remotely served as a potent catalyst. In a hot desert minute, urban office desks that once meant lifelines to a paycheck were swapped for abundant nature and affordable property. Hello, fabulous home office and million-dollar mountain views.
Settling into a destination that feels like a vacation was an exciting lifestyle choice many had anticipated making later — or hadn’t even considered. Weekend retreats became primary homes. Locals who had left for a job offer returned. City dwellers eager to spend more time in Greater Palm Springs came, saw, bought dream homes for a fraction of what they could actually afford, and stayed. With routines and priorities upended, our new residents adopted ones that suited them even better.
So, you’re not the only one working remotely from paradise.
This classic escape has never been more relevant for those with flexible work options. Promising every convenience for the modern #WFH lifestyle, it’s also a bargain compared to the cities and the coasts, yet accessible to both.
Homebuyers have been thrilled to see their real estate dollars stretch farther, fetching quality and style above their expectations.
The first seven months of the pandemic triggered single-family home sales in the Coachella Valley to surge 56 percent over the same period a year earlier. Each of our nine cities saw year-over-year sales increases as reported by end-of-year statistics from the California Desert Association of Realtors.
Detached homes in luxury communities with a selling price of $600,000 and up were in high demand, according to the real estate research firm Market Watch LLC, but condos were flying off the market, too. The real estate rush is real. Buyers from Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, San Diego, Orange County, and the Pacific Northwest on out to Chicago and New York took advantage of prices far lower than their hometown listings. Houses priced between $1 million and $2 million were up 62 percent by the end of 2020.
Inventory is at a premium, but sellers who initially needed time to prepare their homes are replenishing the listing pool. And renewed confidence among builders will bring energy-efficient green homes to the housing market, designed with smart technology and multiple indoor-outdoor spaces for year-round bliss. Favorable interest rates still signal a solid time to invest in a brighter future.
At the country clubs, new members pushing through the gates are couples (some with kids) in their 40s and 50s who wield a broader range of interests than members of yore. They’re buying into the club amenities — from hiking and travel groups to on-site coffee shops and marketplaces — with intention. A new 50-something member at The Reserve recently quipped to Palm Springs Life, “This is the valley of Benjamin Button: People get all that Vitamin D, are active, physically fit, they eat better. People come here and get younger.”
Over the past two years, clubs have celebrated record-breaking numbers of home sales and new golf memberships, or, at the very least, dramatic jumps in sales of both. If new members weren’t playing golf before COVID, they are now. Couples hit the links together, quite often joined by their high school- and college-age children.
Work-play balance is not only achievable in Greater Palm Springs, it’s the accepted, and expected, norm. The recent influx has brought with it original ideas and crucial skills, creating a network of educated and talented people still in their working years (but no longer suffering from burnout).
Work-play balance is not only achievable in Greater Palm Springs, it’s the accepted, and expected, norm.
All sectors are represented, as the reasons for relocation are as individual as the homebuyers. Professionals in the fields of digital media, marketing and public relations, consulting, technology, healthcare, solar power and renewable energy are calling the area home, along with entrepreneurs opening retail establishments, hotels, and restaurants.
Progress and growth are well paced, and the cities are ready for it, providing local talent from the colleges for employers and endless ways to unwind after hours. It’s a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship — one that stands to make Greater Palm Springs an even more attractive home base from which to wake up happy, get down to business, and soak up the legendary sun-drenched quality of life.
Still asking, “So, what’s in it for me?”
You’re in good company. Transplants share a cosmopolitan mindset, yet one that craves a more reasonable way to make a living. In this charming and vibrant destination, network without effort through events, organizations, even your own neighborhood. Connect at a meeting in town after a few minutes’ “commute” then reach the beach, the mountains, or the High Desert (yes, that’s surf, snow, and Joshua trees) all within a short drive.
You may never want to stray far, but the central airport offers non-stop flights whenever you need to jet. Better yet, host friends, family, and associates who find no shortage of shopping, dining, and recreation plus a few phenomenal new spa experiences on the horizon.
Newcomers of all ages and income levels can find high-quality housing with mountain views. A wealth of hospitals and healthcare centers provide peace of mind while school districts, colleges, universities are committed to the region’s success.
More space between neighbors, less traffic and fewer parking headaches, a bigger view to the clear night sky; should we go on? The real estate numbers speak for themselves. When you can work effectively from home where everyone else vacations, you’ll have a more productive day. Where the living’s easy, the labor is a breeze.
To live and work in naturally stunning Greater Palm springs is an experience like no place else. Try before you buy and work connectedly at an Airbnb or a boutique hotel to test your move to a kinder, gentler reality.
If you’re on the fence about resetting how and where you work, we’ve got a remote-friendly destination with an international airport, great healthcare, expanding education, and every wellness amenity under the sun. Those ahead of the curve have always found us. They bring their best concepts and find they have the space, the inspiration, the resources, and the support to pursue them. The desert called, and they came to their forever home.READ NEXT: Check out the 2021 issue of Vision