We get it. Homeownership can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. Whether you’re searching for a new home, staying put, or somewhere in between, Realm is here to help. We use reliable, unbiased data to show you not only what a property is worth today, but what it could be worth in years to come. Our free tools give you accurate renovation cost estimates and tell you how much value a project will add. Plus, our insights are customized to each property, so you get trustworthy information you can actually use. Make smart choices for your home with Realm.
Our pricing estimates use local labor & material costs. With your free Realm account, you can customize pricing based on square footage and quality of materials.
We currently cover standalone, single family homes in all 50 states, but not in every county.
Check our coverage map for more details on your county
Palm Springs rests in a valley ringed by mountains, baking in the desert sun. Approaching the city from Interstate 10, the first thing you notice are the wind turbines. Hundreds of behemoth windmills dot the ridgelines, rising into the clear blue sky as the heat shimmers up from the valley floor. Further along you spot solar arrays – vast fields of reflective panels soaking up the sunshine, storing away that natural energy to be used by thousands of air conditioning units that run non-stop through the hottest summer months. This is a city that knows how to use what it’s got.
This metropolis in the Sonoran Desert has managed to put itself on the map, becoming famous for a wide range of delights. The Cahuilla Indians were the first humans to settle in the area, drawn by the natural springs (both cold and hot) that supplied life-giving water in the desert. In the early 1900s, a spa and sanitarium was established that brought “health tourists” seeking a cure for their ailments in the combination of dry heat and hot mineral water. In 1927, the large, luxurious resort, El Mirador, opened for business, attracting movie stars and Hollywood heavy hitters. It wasn’t long before celebrities began building their own secluded retreats in the desert. With the Hollywood crowd came entrepreneurs eager to cater to the wealthy. Nightclubs, restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries lined Palm Canyon Avenue. Although gambling was not legal within the city limits, several casinos just outside of town welcomed those who were feeling lucky. Today, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians runs an ultra-modern casino on its tribal land in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.
Southern California’s first self-contained shopping mall appeared in Palm Springs in 1937. In the 1950s, college students discovered Palm Springs, which then became the destination for spring break. Toward the end of the 1970s, retirees began moving into town. Canadian “snowbirds” flocked to the desert as well, and suddenly the town that used to close July through August became a year-round community.
The local government began heavily promoting tourism, sponsoring music and film festivals, and installing the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, with gondolas that ascend 2.5 miles from the desert floor to the top of a mountain. Hiking and mountain biking trails are accessible at the top in the San Jacinto Wilderness Area, and there is a gourmet restaurant offering breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding peaks.
Golf and tennis tournaments draw huge crowds to the area, especially the Dinah Shore Classic, dubbed “The Dinah” which introduced “the largest girl party in the world” and has become synonymous with the LGBTQ community. Palm Springs welcomes the LGBTQ community with its Pride Parade each November, and in fact, roughly 10% of the city’s population consists of same-sex couples (the national average is 1%).
There is no better place on the planet to experience mid-century modern architecture than in Palm Springs. Sleek, angular, glass-and-steel futuristic flowing concepts are the hallmark of the style. The designs of architecture star Richard Neutra are on display throughout the city, as he was commissioned to create homes for many of the Hollywood elite. His use of natural light and open concept design influenced architecture throughout Southern California, giving rise to the term Desert Modern. Standard features of the Desert Modern aesthetic include wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning, an open design plan with very large windows, and swimming pools with surrounding landscaped patios.
Data analysis by Realm reveals that while most Palm Springs homes were built in 1977, Desert Modern style remains a strong influence because it works so well with the climate and the lifestyles of desert dwellers. So it’s no surprise then that Realm’s analysis showed that pools were the most popular feature in the Palm Springs housing market, appearing in 708 recent real estate listings. Patios were second most popular, with mentions in 292 recent listings, while another 228 listings highlighted landscaping and 174 mentioned HVAC work. In a concession to modern technology (and practicality in an area where the sun shines 300 days a year), 242 listings showcased solar panels as one of the home’s benefits — the third most popular feature in the Palm Springs housing market.
Living in an arid environment requires special care for home HVAC systems. It’s a good idea to have your air conditioner serviced twice a year (at the start of winter and summer). Those units get a workout combating heat and dust and they need extra TLC.
If you’ll be away from home for a long stretch of time, don’t shut off the air conditioning. Instead, keep the temperature set to 85°F. This will keep air circulating throughout the home and will help protect your home’s contents and materials (especially wood) from drying out. And be sure to maintain a pest control service. Creepy crawlies like to get out of the heat too and if there’s no barrier stopping them from entering your home, you might find yourself with unwanted guests.
What is the status of the Palm Springs real estate market?
As of August 2021, it was a seller’s market — low inventory and high demand, with multiple offers and frequent bidding wars driving up the final sales price. The pandemic actually fueled home sales in the desert, as people moved out of populous cities into the Coachella Valley. With employment norms shifting away from crowded offices to remote work, the lure of Palm Springs has been even greater. The area has always been a go-to for investing in a vacation home due to the excellent climate. And there are always visitors looking for rentals in this year-round destination. Given that low mortgage rates are expected to continue well into 2022, the current trend should hold for some time.
When is a good time to buy a home in Palm Springs?
If you are looking to purchase property in the Palm Springs area, try to schedule your viewings in either August or November. The traditional selling season is April through June — that’s when the most properties come on the market. It may seem counterintuitive to wait, but remember that when there are more properties, there’s also more competition for those same homes and prices increase. As the summer heats up the housing market slows and that could be the best time to snag a great deal. As the holiday season approaches, attention turns elsewhere and real estate sales slow again, so that is also a great time to purchase. However, if you see a property you love, don’t hesitate to put in an offer. In the current market, it won’t last.
Is it better to live in Palm Springs proper or a suburb?
The city itself caters to the tourist crowd with trendy boutiques, art galleries, upscale restaurants and nightlife. If you are looking to settle down with a family or you aren’t interested in those venues, the ‘burbs might be a better choice. Most of the time you won’t even realize what city you are in because most of the municipalities blend with one another, and unless you see the city limit sign they look pretty much the same.
Are homes expensive in Palm Springs?
As of September 2021, the median home value in Palm Springs was $591,336 — a leap of more than 30% over the prior year.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes