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Curbed Comparisons: What $250K buys in the Southern California desert

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From Palm Springs to Pioneertown

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various neighborhoods. This week, we’re going a bit further afield, taking a look at five homes in the deserts of Southern California—all within $10,000 of today’s price point: $250,000.

Pool and spa
Living room
Balcony Via Mike Johnson, The Paul Kaplan Group

We’ll start in Palm Springs, where you’ll find this two-bedroom condo with some nice views and a host of amenities. The unit has 1,198 square feet of living space, with elevated ceilings and glass sliding doors that lead out to a long private balcony. The complex boasts a pair of swimming pools, a hot tub, neatly landscaped grounds, and two tennis courts. Asking price is $255,000, with HOA dues of $415 per month.

Ranch gate
Living room
Horse arena Via Mark Mihalik, The Glen Realty

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path? This horse ranch at the northern end of the Old West-inspired community of Pioneertown may do the trick. At just 800 square feet in size, the one-bedroom home itself is rather small, but it sits on more than two acres of land. The property includes horse stalls, pens, hitching posts, and an arena. There’s also an outdoor shower and, most importantly, a water well. Asking price is $259,000.

Living room

Built in 1962, this modern-style co-op in Palm Desert has been updated with plenty of contemporary features, including a thoroughly renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The unit has two bedrooms and two bathrooms spread across 1,100 square feet of living space. Both bedrooms lead out to private patios with space for outdoor seating. Building amenities include a pool and storage. Asking price is $259,000—but you’ll have to pay in cash. HOA dues are $465 per month.

Front of house
Bedrooms with beamed ceiling
Swimming pool

Here’s a classic ranch house in Indio, complete with a backyard swimming pool. Measuring in at 1,878 square feet, it’s got three bedrooms and two bathrooms (still outfitted with 1950s-era pink tile). Interior features include beamed ceilings, wood-paneled walls, and a large brick fireplace in the living room. Sitting on a 9,583-square-foot lot with a solar electric system already set up, it’s asking $249,800.

Living room
Bedroom with twin beds
Back patio

If it’s golf course living you’re looking for, how about this roomy two-bedroom in Rancho Mirage? Located at the swanky Mission Hills Country Club, it’s got 1,535 square feet of living space, with beamed and vaulted ceilings, walls of glass, and fireplaces in the master bedroom and living room. It’s also got multiple patios and comes with access to a long list of amenities, including a swimming pool, fitness center, and tennis courts. Asking price is $244,000.


Which desert home around $250,000 would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Palm Springs
    (214 votes)
  • 10%
    (150 votes)
  • 11%
    Palm Desert
    (167 votes)
  • 15%
    (224 votes)
  • 46%
    Rancho Mirage
    (655 votes)
1410 votes total Vote Now