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Anyone from the greater Palm Springs area?
Old 11-26-2020, 03:05 PM   #1
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Anyone from the greater Palm Springs area?

Looking for comments, idea's or suggestions on actually living (or vacation home) in the greater Palm Springs area. We currently live in the Bay Area and we've been vacationing in the Palm Springs area once a year or so for the last few years.

For years we've thought about buying a vacation home in Tahoe but unfortunately prices have sky rocketed in the past year. Our dream $450,000. vacation home is now $600,00+ and I certainly don't have any indention of paying that kind of money.

Recently we returned from renting a single family home in La Quinta, typically we stay in Palm Springs but we thought we'd check this area out for a change. Since then we've come to the conclusion that it was worth at least checking out the possibility of buying something in this area such as in Palm Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta etc. Prices are still somewhat affordable so we've been doing our daily online real estate surfing.

One big question I have though is just how ungodly expensive is the electrical/gas bill in the hot summer season. No getting around needing A/C in 100+ degree weather but at the same time I'd hate to lay out a fortune each month for utilities. One thing I've learned so far is that different cities in this area have different power providers which all come with different price rates. For the record we'd be looking for a typical 1,500 sq ft, single family home. Condo's are also a possibility.

Thanks for any comments or experience.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:54 PM   #2
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We have close friends who live in the downtown Palm Springs area. Their condo is about 1,200 square feet and I believe their electric bill in the summer is around $300/month. But they are rarely in town during the summer. They travel around the country during the summer months because it's so hot out that you really can't be outdoors from about 10am until sunset.

Palm Springs is a great place to have a second home, but most people do not like living there in the summer so they either have a second home or they travel during those months. It's a very seasonal town. During the cooler months they have a lot of tourists in town. During the warmer months it's pretty much a ghost town. Many of the local restaurants don't even both to stay open during those months.

We looked at many homes there over the years thinking it might be a nice place to retire. But when we tried spending more than a week out there we found it to be a little too slow for us.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:02 PM   #3
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Live here in the LQ cove 6 months of the year. Guess which 6. Friends who stay year round report having had bills of $400/month AIR. Were we to stay here in summer I'd be investing in a swamp cooler for some of the months - much cheaper. But several months it's not only 120 degrees, but humid. People live through it though.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:58 AM   #4
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I was in Palm Springs a few years ago. While walking about I heard a teenage girl ask her parents, "Who are all these people with streets named after them, like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby? Where they Presidents?"

Generational knowledge is not being passed on.

I do love that airport. Especially the waiting area that is really just a big, fancy tent. It's sort of like they are thumbing their noses at Winter.

Relatives who lived in nearby Yucca Valley (which is 3000 feet higher) reported electric bills of about $150 a month, but that is with a swamp cooler. At best it kept the heat manageable, but their house was never under 80 on a Summer day.
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:27 AM   #5
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Live here in the LQ cove 6 months of the year. Guess which 6. Friends who stay year round report having had bills of $400/month AIR. Were we to stay here in summer I'd be investing in a swamp cooler for some of the months - much cheaper. But several months it's not only 120 degrees, but humid. People live through it though.
+1 on the swamp cooler. Palm Springs is in the low desert and I live about 100 miles away in the high desert at approx the 3000 foot level and we get pretty hot up here as well. I have an evaporative (swamp) cooler that's set in a window and it works great, I keep my house at a cool 68-70 degrees all summer in a 2400 square foot two story house. I get a 20% discount and my summer monthly electric bill has not been above $75 since I got it in 2013. I run it with the water during the day and then dry at night which reduces the humidity in the house. It works far better than my air conditioner due to our dry climate and when I get up at 5 am the temp in the house can be as low as 60 degrees if it's been running all night. I only turn the a/c on about 3 or 4 days in the summer when we get thunderstorms and high humidity. In a dry climate these are far superior to a/c and maintenance is so simple and cheap you do it yourself. Of course the OP should check with their realtor as to the preferred cooling method in the Palm Springs area.

https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-...amp-cooler.htm
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions. We're still in the "thinking about it" stage regarding buying something down there so time will tell as to what we do. Just wanted to get a feel for how high A/C bills might run.

Up here in Northern California with PG&E, homes with A/C can spend a fortune each month. Just trying to get a real world feel for how bad it is. Thanks
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:38 PM   #7
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Just to provide another perspective in the hot state of Florida, we average $166 per month in electricity costs and keep the AC on for 9 months a year at 77 day 75 night.
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:08 PM   #8
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Just to provide another perspective in the hot state of Florida, we average $166 per month in electricity costs and keep the AC on for 9 months a year at 77 day 75 night.
I sure hope you consider yourself lucky!! Funny how prices vary around the country. I live in the Bay Area and WITHOUT A/C and our monthly PG&E electric/natural gas bill is never as lower then $166. Many people here in Northern California with A/C pay $400. to $500. a month. Crazy!
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:11 PM   #9
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Up here in Northern California with PG&E, homes with A/C can spend a fortune each month. Just trying to get a real world feel for how bad it is. Thanks
So, you may be subject to long power cuts during fire season in both places?
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:37 PM   #10
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I hope you consider yourself lucky!! Funny how prices vary around the country. I live in the Bay Area and WITHOUT A/C and our monthly PG&E power bill is never as low as $166. Many people here in Northern California with A/C pay $400. to $500. a month. Crazy!
Yes I do, although we have some friends with higher bills, as they like to keep the house at around 70 degrees.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:11 PM   #11
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Other utilities: In LQ garbage service is part of the property taxes. Water, in the middle of the desperate La Quinta desert is $16.74/month. In soggy old Oregon, a few blocks from the Willamette river and another stream we paid $135 for water last month.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:47 PM   #12
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So, you may be subject to long power cuts during fire season in both places?
Luckily our Bay Area home isn't in a power grid that gets shut off unlike many others. I'm assuming the Palm Springs area also doesn't get shut off simply because of the lack of wildland fire danger.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:49 PM   #13
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Other utilities: In LQ garbage service is part of the property taxes. Water, in the middle of the desperate La Quinta desert is $16.74/month. In soggy old Oregon, a few blocks from the Willamette river and another stream we paid $135 for water last month.
Unreal on these different costs. We pay at least $200. in the summer and $150. in the winter for water/sewer.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:55 PM   #14
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but we're thinking about coming down to the Palm Springs area next month for a couple of weeks (most likely Palm Desert), and just wondering if much is open right now, especially restaurant-wise. Are places open for dining in, or just take out?
How about shops?
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:00 PM   #15
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but we're thinking about coming down to the Palm Springs area next month for a couple of weeks (most likely Palm Desert), and just wondering if much is open right now, especially restaurant-wise. Are places open for dining in, or just take out?
How about shops?
We just back a couple of weeks ago and most everything was open but at the time it was still warm at night so we simply ate outside like we always do anyway. Masks of course are required everywhere in public. No different than where we live.

I'm guessing the evenings are getting cooler now and with indoor dining not allowed it's just a matter of putting up with cooler evening temperatures and portable gas heaters.

I plan to go out to dinner here in Sonoma tonight and it'll be outdoors only so jackets will be needed. Something we all have to put up with for awhile I guess. If I was you I'd still go but I know everyone's different.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:33 PM   #16
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Luckily our Bay Area home isn't in a power grid that gets shut off unlike many others. I'm assuming the Palm Springs area also doesn't get shut off simply because of the lack of wildland fire danger.
Palm Springs and Palm Desert were both in the warning area yesterday. I don't know of SCE actually shut them off though, since I didn't hear any update on the news. The concern was over the transmission lines passing through forested areas around San Gorgonio in order to get to the Coachella Valley. There's a lot of wind and solar out there, but apparently the power from those farms doesn't go directly to the local cities but back onto the main grid.

The valley is subject to rolling outages during overloads as well, but they only last an hour. Any grid section that includes a hospital, fire station, police station, airport or military base is exempt from rolling outages.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:37 PM   #17
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but we're thinking about coming down to the Palm Springs area next month for a couple of weeks (most likely Palm Desert), and just wondering if much is open right now, especially restaurant-wise. Are places open for dining in, or just take out?
How about shops?
Riverside County still allows outdoor dining at the moment, and most places that are open do takeout; but lots of places are still closed. You won't go hungry, but it's definitely not the best visitor experience right now. Other SoCal cities are tightening lockdowns even further, so best to double check right before you travel and make a last minute decision.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:50 PM   #18
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Unreal on these different costs. We pay at least $200. in the summer and $150. in the winter for water/sewer.
Well we are in your ballpark on the water end. Usually 150-160 monthly, but that is for 4 people.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:41 PM   #19
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Don't live in Palm Springs but usually visit at least once a year, was there a couple weeks ago. Just an observation so may not be accurate but it seems like a very small percentage of homes in the areas I've visited have solar panels, would think it would be an ideal place for solar energy. Never seriously looked at living there but did a cursory check of some communities and the HOA fees were very high IMO, definitely something to consider. Many Canadians moving/living there, not a bad thing but may cause the prices to go up.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:52 PM   #20
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My parents had bought a vacation home in Indian Wells some years ago. They had sold the family home a couple years and rented an apartment in Orange County. After Covid with everything closed, they downsized to just the Indian Wells home but did some various traveling during the hottest months. A lot of the residents are snowbirds, but there are more full timers than when they purchased. They seem happy there, I'm sure they will be ready to travel when it gets hot again. I know they appreciate not paying year round for a second place. I think the only reason they would get a 2nd place again is if they had grandkids. Their water bill is like $10/mo because the complex uses a well rather than city water.
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