Renting vs Owning a Home in Palm Springs, CA

Checking out Palm Springs real estate and considering owning a piece of paradise? Or are you looking to dip your toes in the water and rent first before taking the plunge into homeownership? Luckily, there are plenty of attractive neighborhoods and new homes for sale in the Palm Springs area, so you’ll have options available to you when trying to find that perfect balance of affordability and space


Southern California is known for its high cost of living, and Palm Springs is no exception. Luckily, there are plenty of attractive neighborhoods in the Palm Springs area, so you’ll have options available to you when trying to find that perfect balance of affordability and space.  


General Cost of Living in Palm Springs

Like the rest of Southern California, in Palm Springs real estate is at a premium. Living in Palm Springs, you’ll find yourself paying a bit more than the national average for transportation and utilities. The real outlier when comparing the cost of living in Palm Springs to the rest of the country is housing, though you’ll find the average rent in Palm Springs somewhat more reasonable than in nearby Los Angeles or San Diego.


Cost of Renting in the Palm Springs

If you’re looking to rent a 1-bedroom apartment in Palm Springs, you can expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $1,500, a slight increase from last year. Conversely, you’d be paying around $1,900 for a space of comparable size in LA, though rents are on the decline. 


Cost of Home Ownership in Palm Springs

The median home price in Palm Springs is just shy of $500,000. Like the average rent in Palm Springs, home prices saw an increase over the past year, but at a considerably higher rate. If you’re open to looking at homes a bit farther away from all the crowded resorts of Palm Springs proper, you can get a lot of house for quite a bit less money and still wake up to a stunning SoCal sunrise every morning.


Living in Palm Springs Area Neighborhoods

The beauty of the Coachella Valley isn’t contained within Palm Springs city limits, and there are several great communities in the greater Palm Springs area worth considering. 


About 40 minutes from downtown Palm Springs, Coachella, the valley’s namesake is a rapidly growing city that offers a unique combination of urban amenities and a rural vibe. Spacious new construction homes with easy access to beautiful parkland and everyday necessities can be found for as low as $460,000. If you’re looking to rent, you’ll be looking at a much more modest average of around $1,000 for a 1-bedroom. 

While you’ll still be paying a bit more than the national average for utilities, the lower housing costs make Coachella an attractive entry point for out-of-towners considering living in Palm Springs.

Palm Desert

A bit closer than Coachella, Palm Desert is a great choice for those looking for a more suburban experience as well as easy access to the excitement of the city. While there are plenty of the hallmark attractions that the area is famous for, golf, resorts, etc., many find life in Palm Desert to be a quieter, more affordable take on living in Palm Springs.  


The cost of housing also makes a compelling argument for Palm Desert. Average home prices in PalmDesert are currently around $410,000, significantly lower than a similarly sized space in the city. This makes Palm Desert an ideal option for younger families looking to build a home with enough room to grow without having to sacrifice access to entertainment. Unfortunately for renters, rent in Palm Desert is comparable to the average rent in Palm Springs.


Rancho Mirage 

While Palm Desert the cost of homeownership has an edge over renting in Palm Desert, the opposite proves to be true in nearby Rancho Mirage. The average cost of a home in Rancho Mirage is $605,000 over six figures higher than the average going rate for real estate in Palm Springs. Rent in Rancho Mirage is a bit more reasonable, however, with an average cost of $1,250 for a decent sized one bedroom. 


Much more of a resort town than Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage is known for being the vacation destination for several U.S. presidents. Ritzier and more up-scale than its neighbor Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage’s high cost of entry might be a deal-breaker for prospective homeowners but could be an interesting adventure for renters.   


It’s no secret, it costs a pretty penny to put down roots where many would feel lucky just to be able to visit. But you shouldn’t let the cost of living in Palm Springs dissuade you from checking out nearby neighborhoods that still make it possible to enjoy the beauty of the Coachella Valley within a reasonable budget.



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Published 9.29.2021

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