Factors to consider when buying a home in the Coachella Valley.

When I first start working with clients interested in buying a home in the Coachella Valley (The “California Desert”), we initially discuss their requirements. During this consultation, we also focus on important considerations when buying a home here, as the Coachella Valley is a large valley with many different types of communities and activities. The perfect spot is out there for everyone looking, but we have to first define “perfect”! Having helped many clients find the home that fits their needs, I feel that the following items are essential elements to consider:

  • Lifestyle.  What activities are you interested in?
  • Location.
  • Price range.
  • Type of security in the community: Gated, Guard-gated or non-gated?
  • Golf course vs. non-golf course and why?  Do you play golf or would you just like the views?
  • What is the ideal size and where would you like that space utilized?  (Do you need a formal dining room, or would you like additional space in a great-room setup?)  Do you like large bedrooms and do you need an office?
  • Seasonal or full time home?
3rd Hole at the Citrus, La Quinta.
3rd Hole at the Citrus, La Quinta.

When discussing these 7 factors, quite a few of them run together. For example, the location that you choose will depend on the price you want to spend. If you have your heart set on being directly on a golf course, there is a price premium that comes along with that.  (Which also differs depending on your location within the golf course.)

In most cases, our clients are looking for a community that matches their lifestyle needs, which often means a home on a golf course.  A golf-course home will most likely be in a gated community (there are a very small number of exceptions) and the monthly home owners dues (HOA dues) will be an expense that should be considered. HOA dues vary drastically between each community.  In some cases, such as in PGA West, the more you pay, the more features are covered, like landscaping maintenance, exterior paint, and some insurances.  However, this is not the case for every community.  Some communities add a mandatory “social” membership to the monthly costs (Mountain View and Rancho La Quinta are examples of this). That may bring additional value to you depending on your lifestyle needs. In addition, more often than not, the HOA dues in the western half of the valley, in cities such as Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indian Wells, are higher than the dues in the newer, eastern part of the valley, like La Quinta.

There is also a wide price range in the different golf course communities within each city.  Some golf communities have many homes under $1,000,000, while others have only homes that start above $1,000,000.  When deciding on the city and community that you wish to settle in, the price is always a huge factor – and how your price point compares to the median sale price of that community. The age of the home in some of the cities can play a large role on price too. So, if you find a home with a price that seems unbelievable, it could be that the home needs a great deal of updating and improvements.

When discussing location in the Coachella Valley, most buyers will want to know which way the outside living area faces, i.e. north, south, east, or west.  The orientation of your outdoor living space affects the amount of sun you will receive as well as your views and this, too, has a huge impact on the price of the home. Each buyer has his/her own needs regarding the amount of sun they want, and these needs should be discussed in detail with your Realtor so that they can locate proper homes for you.

For more information on any of these considerations, please contact me. I would love to discuss them in much more detail with you.

In the meantime, To help you with more information regarding golf course communities, I’ve included a link to our Golf Resource Guide below which outlines the many golf courses and the price range of homes within each community, as well as the price of that community’s golf membership deposit and dues.  (It has some bonus information  like restaurant  information and nearby attractions too!)  Please let us know what you think of it!

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