Los Angeles VS Palm Springs: The Cost of Living Moving From Los Angeles California to Palm Springs California

Los Angeles VS Palm Springs: The Cost of Living Moving From Los Angeles California to Palm Springs California

If you're considering relocating from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, you may be wondering about the differences between these two Southern California cities. One major factor to consider is the cost of living. While Los Angeles can be quite expensive, Palm Springs offers a lower cost of living without sacrificing quality of life. In this article, we'll explore some of the key differences between the two cities, including population, median income, median home cost, and more. By the end, you'll have a better sense of why moving to the Coachella Valley could be an excellent choice for your quality of life and your wallet.
 

Top 6 Most Common Questions About Relocating to Palm Springs

Let’s start with the most common questions people have about relocating to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
 

1. Is Palm Springs a Safe Place to Live?

Yes, Palm Springs is a refreshingly safe city to live in. The city has a low crime rate, and the police department is extremely active in ensuring the safety of residents and visitors – especially on behalf of our vibrant LGBT+ community.
 

2. What is the LGBTQIA+ Community Like in Palm Springs?

With over 30% of its population identifying as LGBTQIA+, Palm Springs is a city that celebrates diversity and equality. In fact, Palm Springs has one of the highest per capita populations of LGBTQIA+ residents in the United States. The city is home to many LGBTQIA+ events, such as the annual Palm Springs Pride Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The LGBTQIA+ community in Palm Springs has a strong presence and is deeply integrated into the city's culture, making it a welcoming and safe space for all.
 

3. What is the Job Market Like in Palm Springs?

While the job market in Palm Springs is limited, there are lots of job opportunities in various industries, such as healthcare, hospitality, and tourism. Additionally, many people choose to work remotely, which makes it easier to live in Palm Springs while still working for a company in a city like Los Angeles – and all for a lower cost of living.
 

4. Is Palm Springs an Expensive Place to Live?

According to Best Places 2023 Compare Cities Overview, the overall cost of living in Palm Springs is a 24.1% savings compared to Los Angeles. The COL (Cost of Living) index scores are presented in relation to the national average of 100. In this case, Los Angeles scores a 176.2 while Palm Springs scores a 133.8 – both weighing in at higher than the national average. The median home cost in Palm Springs is $542,200 while the median home cost in Los Angeles is $883,400. So overall, Los Angeles is 31.7% more expensive than Palm Springs.
 

5. How Bad is the Heat in Palm Springs?

While we have seen some 115-125 degree summer days here in Palm Springs, there’s plenty of indoor air conditioning and outdoor misting happening everywhere you turn. Summers are also a great opportunity for full time locals to travel to cooler destinations. For example, the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is typically a refreshing 20 degrees cooler on those scorching low desert days. It’s only a quick 10 minute ride up the world’s largest rotating tram car to Mountain Station (an elevation of 8,516 feet!) and it features some of the most stunning views of the Coachella Valley there are.
 

6. How Secure is the Water Supply in Palm Springs?

The Sperling Drought Index score for Palm Springs is 126.5 and 127.3 for Los Angeles – making them both some of the riskiest cities for extreme drought. That said, the water supply in Palm Springs is much better off than you might think. According to local News KESQ, Coachella Valley’s water supply is dramatically better off than most other areas of California right now. In short, our water supply is in a below-ground aquifer that acts like a big water tank that’s constantly being refilled. Experts say our local water supplies are as plentiful and well-managed as they have been for decades.
 

Palm Springs VS. Los Angeles: Cost of Living Comparisons

Population

Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States with over 3.9 million people, while Palm Springs has a more modest population of close to 50,000 people. If you're looking for a slower pace of life and a closer-knit community, Palm Springs might be the perfect fit for you. That said, the Coachella Valley is home to about 460,000 permanent residents, and it's still growing rapidly.
 

LGBTQIA+ Community

While neighborhoods like West Hollywood (Weho) in Los Angeles are safe havens for the LGBTQIA+ community, Palm Springs has a long history of welcoming and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. The city has been a popular destination for the LGBTQIA+ community for decades and is home to a number of LGBTQIA+-owned businesses, events, and organizations as well. In fact, Palm Springs has one of the highest percentages of same-sex couples in the country. For those looking for a more welcoming and inclusive community, Palm Springs is an exceptional choice.
 

Median Income

The median household income in Los Angeles is around $70,000 per year, while in Palm Springs it's around $50,000 per year. While the cost of living in Palm Springs is lower than in Los Angeles, it's important to keep in mind that salaries may also be lower in the area.
 

Median Home Cost

The median home cost in Los Angeles is around $800,000, while in Palm Springs it's around $550,000. This means you can get more bang for your buck when it comes to purchasing a home in Palm Springs, even in a sellers market.
 

Median Age

Los Angeles has a median age of around 35 years old, while Palm Springs has a median age of around 55 years old. This means that Palm Springs might be a better fit for retirees or those looking for a quieter and more community-enriched lifestyle.
 

Food & Groceries National Average

The cost of food and groceries is slightly higher in Los Angeles than the national average, while in Palm Springs it's slightly lower. Being a tourist destination for many, there’s a thriving restaurant scene throughout Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley offering a bounty of fabulous local options to choose from.
 

Housing National Average

The cost of housing in Palm Springs is slightly lower than the national average, while in Los Angeles it's much higher (about 40% higher). This means that you can get more for your money in Palm Springs when it comes to purchasing a home or a condo.
 

Utilities National Average

The cost of utilities is slightly higher in Palm Springs than the national average, while in Los Angeles it's slightly lower. However, it's important to keep in mind that air conditioning costs can be higher in Palm Springs during the summer months due to the hot desert climate (and the rest of the year is paradise)!
 

Transportation National Average

The cost of transportation is slightly higher in Los Angeles than the national average, while in Palm Springs it's slightly lower. However, Palm Springs is a smaller city with less public transportation options than Los Angeles, so owning a car may be necessary if you’re not living downtown. Palm Springs is also an extremely bike-friendly area, so if you don’t own a car, a bicycle can sustain you year-round here in the low desert.
 

Health National Average

Palm Springs has a higher overall health score than Los Angeles, according to the County Health Rankings. This may be due in part to the outdoor recreational opportunities available in Palm Springs, such as hiking, biking, golfing, and pickleball of course!
 

Comfort Index Score

Palm Springs has a higher comfort index score than Los Angeles, according to Sperling's Best Places. This may be due in part to the lower humidity and higher elevation of Palm Springs, but I would argue that it’s also largely due to the unique quality of life one can only experience here in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
 

Elevation

Palm Springs is located at an elevation of around 500 feet above sea level, while Los Angeles is at an elevation of around 285 feet above sea level. This means that outside of the signature warm summer nights here in the desert, Palm Springs can often have a slightly cooler climate in the evenings throughout the year than Los Angeles.
 

Average High Temperature in July

The average high temperature in July in Los Angeles is around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, while in Palm Springs it's around 107 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that Palm Springs is significantly hotter than Los Angeles in the summer months. It’s been known to get as high as 120 degrees on certain occasions. Palm Springs locals love to travel during these months, or at least take full advantage of their swimming pools!
 

Average Low Temperature in January

The average low temperature in January in Los Angeles is around 48 degrees Fahrenheit, while in Palm Springs it's around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While both cities experience mild winters compared to other parts of the country, Palm Springs may be slightly cooler during the winter months. And while the San Jacinto mountains offer stunning views year-round, the snow-capped mountain tops are a rare sight to see throughout January and February!
 

Air Quality

It's worth noting that the air quality in Los Angeles can be a concern for many people, especially those with respiratory issues. The city has a well-documented problem with smog and pollution, which can lead to a number of health problems over time. On the other hand, Palm Springs has a reputation for having cleaner air due to its desert location and lower levels of industrial activity. This can be a major selling point for those who are concerned about the impact of air pollution on their health and well-being.
 

Water Quality

The water quality in both Los Angeles and Palm Springs is generally considered to be good. Palm Springs is more likely to experience drought conditions due to its desert location. However, it's important to note that the city has implemented impressive long-term water conservation measures to help mitigate the effects of drought.
 

Overall

Overall, while both Los Angeles and Palm Springs have their own unique qualities, Palm Springs offers a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle with a lower cost of living and a thriving cultural scene. The city is also a playground of outdoor recreational opportunities, has a higher overall health score, and a more comfortable climate. If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a slower pace of life, Palm Springs may be the perfect place for you to call home.
 
What Other Questions Do You Have?
 
Consider an experienced and knowledgeable local real estate agent (like me) to help you make sense of things.
 
If you’re ready to buy and or sell yourself, I look forward to assisting you. I promise to give you a much more targeted answer than Google or the news will ever be able to.
 
Please feel free to give me a call, text, email me – or let’s schedule a Zoom meeting.
 
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
 
Your Palm Springs Insider,
Glen Nadeau
 
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PS- Are you a part of the LGBTQ+ community and looking to relocate to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley? Check out our FREE “Palm Springs Enthusiasts LGBTQ+ Relocation Guide” and find out why Palm Springs is such an oasis of Pride and inclusivity – brought to you by The Palm Springs Guys and Glen Nadeau Real Estate 🏳️‍🌈

*We cannot guarantee any of the above statements or third-party links. Before you enter any transaction, you should read and review all contracts, leases, and information as they are unique and subject to changes. We recommend you consult with your accountant, attorney, tax advisor, and local real estate professionals prior to any real estate transactions.

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