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Palm Desert

Golf home in Palm Desert surrounded by palm trees and man-made lake

Sitting at the heart of Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is one of the most vibrant cities in California. It is centrally located in Riverside County, a few miles east of Palm Springs and nestled between the cities of Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. 

The convenient, accessible location factors into making Palm Desert one of the most sought-after real estate markets in the region. In addition, the year-round sunny weather and numerous recreational activities make it a top resort city for “snowbirds,” or seasonal residents from colder regions of North America. 

Palm Desert has gone through over a century’s worth of transformation, from being the “Old MacDonald Ranch” in the days of the Wild West to the present day urban oasis with over 30 golf courses and several master-planned communities. 

Before you start your search for homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA, here’s everything you need to know about this highly coveted community


Palm Desert is a sub-tropical desert, and its surrounding landscapes – high mountain ranges and a south-sloping valley floor – give the city a warmer night-time temperature compared to other areas with similar climates. 

The hottest months of the year are June, July, and August, with temperatures reaching an average of 117-118°F. During the winter months (December to February), temperatures can drop as low as 32°F at night. Average precipitation only amounts to about 4.5 inches each year. 

The seemingly constant summer has made the city home to many festivals, golf courses, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, shopping centers, and nature parks.

Getting there

Palm Desert is conveniently located near several urban centers. It is only a half hour’s drive from Palm Springs, and roughly two hours away from San Diego and Los Angeles. A metropolitan hub in its own right, Palm Desert is near the Palm Springs International Airport,  and is home to several higher educational institutions such as College of the Desert and Milan Institute-Palm Desert. It also boasts its own world-class shopping center, The Shops at El Paseo.

The city is bisected by California State Route 111, which provides easy access to all other areas and cities in the state. Moreover, SR 11 leads to California State Route 74 or the Pines to Palms Scenic Byway, a popular scenic route over the San Jacinto Mountains. In the northern part of the city, commuters can access the I-10 to travel to the Greater Los Angeles area or all the way to Arizona.

Most errands and places in Palm Desert require a car, but the SunLine Transit Agency provides bus services around the city and throughout Coachella Valley. 


In recent years, Palm Desert has experienced a boom in both population and household income. The number of residents grew from 52,575 to 53,087 between 2019 and 2020, while the median household income rose to $64,295 in the same period, which amounts to a stunning 7.2% annual growth. 

Between May 2020 and May 2021, statewide employment rose by 8.45%. The hospitality industry is the largest economic sector in Palm Desert, followed by retail trade and healthcare. 


Palm Desert is served by the Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD), which has a 94% Cohort Graduation rate and has over 750 students who earned the Golden State Merit Seal diploma. 

The district receives an annual budget of $501 Million, which gives students access to federally-funded Head Start programs, numerous career technical education (CTE) programs, and academic programs such as advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Moreover, DSUSD promotes technology-driven learning by providing each student with a Chromebook or tablet as part of the Connect One-to-World initiative

The DSUSD schools your children can attend in Palm Desert include:

  • Palm Desert High School 
  • Palm Desert Middle School
  • La Quinta High School
  • Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School
  • George Washington Charter Elementary School
  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary
  • Jimmy Carter Elementary
  • Ronald Reagan Elementary

Some neighborhoods in the northern part of the city are served by the Palm Springs Unified School District, and students typically attend Rancho Mirage High School, Cathedral City High School, and Nellie Coffman Middle School.

Palm Desert is home to several top-quality private schools as well, including:

The best things to do in Palm Desert, CA

A man playing a Golf in a Palm Desert country club

Offering extraordinary outdoor adventures and unforgettable cultural events, the city draws a diverse range of people and lifestyles. Here are the attractions and amenities close to homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA: 

For the family

  • Civic Center Park. This 70-acre park is Palm Desert’s recreational center, which features everything from baseball fields and tennis courts to amphitheaters and skate parks. It also hosts some of the biggest annual events in the city, such as Veterans Day and Fourth of July celebrations. 
  • Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. For over 50 years, the Living Desert has served as one of the leading desert conservation areas in the region. It is home to over 450 species of animals, as well as numerous botanical gardens. You can go on tours along its nature trails or join the center’s wildlife conservation programs.
  • Palm Desert Aquatic Center. Located in the Civic Center Park, this 8-acre swimming facility is equipped with pools, slides, diving boards, and play areas for swimmers of all levels. They offer a variety of swim lessons and programs for Palm Desert residents. 

For the nature lover

  • Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. As the name suggests, the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is a rich ecosystem of palm trees, watering holes, and over 180 species of wildlife, including the endangered Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard. It is the largest nature park within the Coachella Valley Preserve and offers numerous trails for wildlife watching and nature hiking. 
  • Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument. There’s no better way to experience the beauty of the city’s desert landscape than exploring its many hiking trails in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument. The Bump and Grind Trail is one of the most popular trails in the area, offering a fun yet challenging hike through the foothills. With its scenic views of palm oases and unique rock formations, the Art Smith Trail is an out-and-back trail that’s perfect for birding and camping. If you’re looking for an easier trail, the Randall Henderson Loop Trail is great for kids and beginners.
  • Palms to Pines Scenic Byway. Palm Desert is a gateway to the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway, a 67-mile route that showcases the diversity of the landscapes in the Lower Sonoran region. From arid deserts and cacti-covered stretches to snow-capped mountains and pine and oak forests, this point-to-point driving tour covers some of the most varied ecosystems within a single area.

For the culture aficionado

  • Cabot’s Pueblo Museum. Located in nearby Desert Hot Springs, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is a Hopi-inspired pueblo built entirely by hand. Cabot Yerxa began this unique architectural feat in 1914 using only reclaimed materials found in Coachella Valley, and continued working on the property till he passed away in 1965. Today, the Pueblo  houses over 35 rooms filled with Native American art and artifacts, displays on Native American Rights, and Cabot’s own works of art and collection of travel souvenirs.
  • CODA Gallery. For over 35 years, this El Paseo landmark has displayed and supported numerous artists at varying stages of their career. Founded by Connie and David Katz, CODA has helped connect avid art collectors with one-of-a-kind paintings, sculptures, photographs, and art work. The gallery also assists architects, designers, homeowners, and business owners in finding the perfect piece to complete their home or office space. You can check out their current exhibitions here
  • McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts. The McCallum Theatre is more than just a performance venue – it’s an important pillar of Palm Desert’s artistic community. From major Broadway musicals to unique local productions, the theater has staged some of the most iconic performances and concerts in the desert region. Moreover, the McCallum Theatre has provided quality education to over 660,000 students, educators, and community members, making it one of the best institutions for performance and arts education in the area.

For the foodie

  • Local favorites. Food has a way of bringing a community together, and Palm Desert’s local culinary scene understands this perfectly. You can enjoy gorgeous views and an amazing fine dining experience with the whole family at the Pacifica Seafood Restaurant. Want something a little more casual? Grill-A-Burger is your go-to burger joint that not only serves the best hamburgers, but also ensures that every ingredient is sourced from local vendors. And if you want good old homemade food, head on over to Wilma and Frieda’s Cafe
  • Unique experiences. What’s better than ice cream on a hot summer’s day? In a city with year-round sunshine, award-winning ice cream shops like Lappert’s is a heaven sent, having gourmet ice cream, date shakes, and dole whip floats down to a science. 

    If you want to diversify your culinary experience, go artisanal at the Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market . Besides offering a wide selection of fresh produce from regional farmers, the market features various homemade products such as jams, dried herbs, honey, bagels, chocolates, bread, and more. 

For the fitness and wellness enthusiast

  • Desert Willow Golf Resort. Designed to highlight the beauty and diversity of Palm Desert’s natural landscape, the Desert Willow Golf Resort offers a public golfing experience unlike any other. It is home to two championship golf courses, a resort-like Clubhouse, the renowned Palm Desert Golf Academy, and outdoor dining and event spaces with panoramic views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
  • Get Air Sports. Looking for a thrilling yet family-friendly weekend activity? Take the kids to Palm Desert’s GET AIR Indoor Trampoline Park! It has numerous features such as obstacle courses, wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, basketball lanes, and foam pits, for a full day of active fun.
  • Venus – The Healing Arts Center. Besides owning a home in Palm Desert, one of the best investments you can make is taking care of your health. At Venus Healing Arts, you can have a bespoke holistic wellness program that incorporates science- and evidence-based nutrition plans, beauty and spa treatments, and fitness classes that are designed to meet your unique needs. 

Homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA

a home for sale in palm desert located in 35939 Palomino Way

Palm Desert homes for sale range from studios and one bedroom condos to multimillion dollar homes and estates. Over the years, property values in the city have gained tremendous appreciation, increasing approximately 183% from 2000 to 2022 or an average annual rate of 4.83%. From 2021 to 2022 alone, home prices rose by a whopping 14.3%.

Property Types

Whether you’re looking for a turnkey condominium property or an expansive vacant lot to build your own custom home, the Palm Desert real estate market offers a wide range of options to choose from. From grand estates and custom single-family homes to condos and townhomes, there is a perfect home for every homebuyer. 

Architectural styles and features

As Palm Desert, CA is a center for culture and the arts, homes for sale here come in a variety of architectural styles and influences, ranging from Mediterranean and Pueblo Revival to Contemporary and Ranch.

The most desirable homes are designed to take full advantage of the city’s constant sunshine, with such features as light-filled rooms, high ceilings, in-ground pools, and cabanas. Outdoor kitchens and dining and living spaces are also popular. Many luxury properties feature unobstructed views of the valley floor and the city lights. 

What to consider before choosing a home

If you’re in the market for homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA, one of the first things to consider is the weather. Make sure to choose the right home for the desert climate. To help you out, here are three features you need to prioritize:

HVAC system

When shopping for homes for sale in Palm Desert, make sure to check the home’s temperature control system. In July, August, and September, daytime temperatures often go above 100˚F, so it’s important to ensure that the home has an up-to-date AC system.

Consider the design and construction of the property as well. While it’s tempting to have floor-to-ceiling windows, they can let in more heat, requiring the HVAC to work harder. A better solution is strategically placed windows and ceiling fans that can help cool down the house in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.


Living in Palm Desert will open your eyes to a different kind of home landscaping. Instead of spending time, money, and water on a green and grassy lawn, work with the natural beauty of your desert environment. Incorporate drought-resistant plants such as desert sage, cacti, succulents, and hop bush. You can even play around with rock paths or cobblestone trails to add interest and color to your yard. 

Building materials

Buying a home is a big investment, so it’s crucial to choose a structure that can withstand the test of time. Avoid materials like hardwood, which absorbs heat and tends to warp and get distorted in desert climates. Go for homes built in adobe, stucco, stone, or even ICF (insulated concrete forms), which can regulate temperatures indoors and endure sudden weather changes. 

Check roof and window conditions as well. Ideally, the roof should be made of heat-resistant material like clay tiles, and windows should be treated and tinted to minimize heat and energy usage. You can even use the intense California sun to your advantage by purchasing solar panels, which can simultaneously lower your electricity bills and raise your home’s property value. 

Read more: Is it a good time to buy a house in La Quinta?

Explore homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA with The Pratt Group

Photo of The Pratt Group Real Estate team

Take that first step towards getting your dream home in the Coachella Valley by working with The Pratt Group. From commercial properties to luxury golf homes, the team specializes in a wide range of property transactions, and have the expertise, experience, and network to help you with all your real estate needs.

Led by expert Broker and Realtor Brandi Pratt, The Pratt Group has won two Icon Awards with eXp Realty and consistently ranks among the top 4% of real estate teams and agents in Coachella Valley. 

What’s their winning strategy? Staying updated and constantly learning new developments in the real estate industry. The Pratt Group believes that knowledge is power, and they utilize the expertise they have gained in giving their clients the best real estate experience. 

If you’re searching homes for sale in Palm Desert, CA – as well as other Coachella Valley areas like Palm Springs, Coachella, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, and Indio. – make the right call by contacting Brandi and The Pratt Group today! You can get in touch with them by phone , email , or through their contact page here


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