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Pros and Cons: What It's Like Living in Palm Springs
Real Estate

Pros and Cons: What It's Like Living in Palm Springs

We know it’s a sunny and beautiful place for a vacation, but what would it be like living in Palm Springs? Here are the pros and cons.


5 min read

January 20, 2022

Palm Springs receives nothing but praise as a getaway destination. But how different would the picture be if you were thinking of living in Palm Springs? Well, while that largely depends on your personal preferences and priorities, a list of pros and cons can definitely give you a clearer perspective. Before you hop on Zillow and start packing your bags, here are all the basic benefits and drawbacks of living in Palm Springs you should know.

Pros of Living in Palm Springs

The desert resort city of Palm Springs is the axis point of affordable California living and full-scale luxury amenities.

The Lifestyle is Very Laid-Back 

Shorts, sunglasses, and sandals is the non-official uniform or “California look” of the Palm Springs lifestyle. With warm temperatures, low humidity, and major permanent vacation energy, living in Palm Springs is as easy-going and carefree as it can get. If you’ve ever spent time in the city then you’ve most definitely realized that even industries that are considered fairly formal in other cities such as banking tend to welcome a more casual vibe in Palm Springs.

You’ll Never Get Bored

Very few cities around the world can boast the number of exciting activities Palm Springs offers in such a small vicinity. In fact, no matter what your hobbies are, you’ll find a place to practice them while living in Palm Springs! The best golf courses, hiking trails, museums, camping spots, stargazing destinations, shopping places, and even animal conservation organizations are found in this charming desert town. If you’re looking to pick up a new interest, you might as well do it after you start living in Palm Springs.

The best time to visit Palm Springs is between January and April when the weather is the most hospitable.

The Weather is Sunny Year-Round

You’ll be greeted by the sun shining in the clear sky almost (if not every) day you wake up in Palm Springs. With an average of 350 or more days of sunshine per year, Palm Springs successfully avoids June Gloom that looms over SoCal’s coastal towns. The summer months do get excruciatingly hot, but that’s a different side of living in Palm Springs that we’ll discuss later on.

Palm Springs is Very Diverse and Inclusive

Residents of Palm Springs have a reputation for being open and welcoming. With a very supportive attitude toward the LGBTQIA+ community and people from many different ethnic, racial, and spiritual backgrounds, Palm Springs doesn’t discriminate against anyone. One might even say that this desert town is a place where even liberals and conservatives tolerate each other more than anywhere else. You’ll find this fact to be true the moment you start living in Palm Springs—it’s definitely one of our favorite things about this town.

Palm Springs has the largest concentration of preserved mid-century modern architecture in the world.

The Architecture is Beautiful

Palm Springs’ reputation as an architectural paradise precedes it. So, the chances that you'll live in a Palm Springs neighborhood with very eye-pleasing houses are very high. While real estate prices in Palm Springs are not among the state’s most affordable by any means, you’ll definitely get more for your money while living in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a Biker’s Paradise

If you love biking, you’ll love living in Palm Springs. There’s far less traffic, so biking is much safer here, and there are many paths for you to explore. While you won’t be able to travel long distances under the blazing sun during the summers, you’ll definitely get a kick out of pedaling down the wide and empty streets whenever you feel like it. If we were to give you one suggestion, it would be to bike in the morning or late afternoon so you won’t bake like a cake outside.

Cons of Living in Palm Springs

Palm Springs' economy relies on tourism, and local government is largely supported by related retail sales taxes and the TOT.

There is Not Much Diversity when it comes to Job Opportunities 

Do you plan on working in the hospitality industry? If yes, then you’ll have plenty of job opportunities to explore while living in Palm Springs. Since tourism is the primary economic driver in this resort town, many branches of customer-facing serving industries are developed. But unfortunately, there are very few major industries available. You’ll find few opportunities in the tech and manufacturing sectors, and quite the demand for healthcare workers (because of the large retired community), but that’s about it.

The Cost of Living is Very High

Palm Springs’ cost of living is definitely better than some of the average cost of living in California’s other cities, but it’s much higher than the national average. Transportation, rental prices, utilities, and recreational costs push the Palm Springs, CA cost of living index a fair bit upwards. But there’s a silver lining. Surprisingly, the housing market trends in Palm Springs show that the prices are far less here than the state average. Even though you’ll be looking at houses priced at $400–500,000, you’ll realize that you’ll be getting a bargain compared to other major SoCal cities like Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Summers are extremely hot in Palm Springs, with daytime temperatures consistently surpassing 110 degrees.

You Will Experience Extremely hot Summers

While it’s awesome to wake up and see the sun every day, you’ll like it a little less when living in Palm Springs in the summer. The low desert climate means that summers in Palm Springs will be scorching hot. So, be prepared to survive solely in air-conditioned rooms, or plan to work remotely from another nearby city so you’re not drained by the brutally hot temperatures.

You Will Need a Vehicle To Get Around

This isn’t the kind of place where you can walk across town when you need to be somewhere, especially if you’ll be living in Palm Springs in the summer. Not only do you need to have a vehicle to get to places, but you’ll also need a preferably indoor place to keep it so that the interior doesn’t become an oven under the scorching hot sun. 

Since Palm Springs is a retirement and winter snowbird destination, the city's population triples between November and March.

Most Residents Have Moved to Palm Springs for Retirement

The population of this otherwise approximately 40,000 resident town triples during the winter months when many families head out to their second homes for the warmer temperatures. However, during the rest of the year, Palm Springs’ retirement community dominates the majority of its population. So, if you’re someone on the brink of retirement looking for the best cities to retire in the U.S., you’ll have a blast. However, if you’re a single young professional looking to hang out with new friends every other weekend, you might have a hard time finding people your age with the same interests and might need to look into the other options for the best cities for singles in the area.

The Water Quality is Not the Best in Palm Springs

Unfortunately, you can’t just drink a glass of water straight from the tap while living in Palm Springs. The water in this desert town is very corrosive due to high mineral content. Since water’s being pulled from reservoirs deep under the ground, you’ll need to purchase a water softener for your home in order to keep pipes, appliances, and anything else that receives constant water exposure intact.

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