Home Buying in Palm Springs>Question Details

RK, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Is there an easy way to tell if a home is on Indian leased or fee simple land in Palm Springs?

Asked by RK, Los Angeles, CA Thu Nov 8, 2007

Most listings don't specify what type of land the house is on. The type of land has a big impact on price so it's important to know.

Help the community by answering this question:


Good question RK. A very relevant one in the Palm Springs area. You can pick up a map at the local chamber or the city offices. A local agent may be able to answer this question too. We have a summer home in Indian Wells and asked the same question when we purchased....Very glad that we did.

The entire valley floor is laid out in a checkerboard with alternating tracts of land being leased(Native American owned) or fee. I see some here that may not understand this yet, are quick to answer which should make you a little wary if you are looking for a home in the valley. We saw many a home in the 2-3m range that were very similar in size, style features an location with seemingly no price variation when on leased or fee land. We chose a home where we also own the land.

This checkerboard pattern of Indian owned lease land is also how they allow so many casinos in the area. You must be on Indian land to operate a casino in California.

Hope this helps and provides an FYI if nothing else.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
I am a desert Realtor and I have found for me the easiest way to know if a property is on lease or fee land is the APN number. (accessors parcel number. If it begins with 000 it is lease land. I hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 3, 2008
Since leased land is unusual to the Palm Springs area it is not populated to other website like Realtor.com and Trulia, they simply don't have the field, so it goes ignored. The easiest way to check is to visit the public access to our local MLS at http://www.desertareamls.com and at the bottom of the listing it will indicate if the property is fee simple or leased at a minimum. Most will give an expiration date of the lease, a lease is complicated and needs to be well understood should you choose to purchase a home on Indian land. Should you have two identical properties side by side, Indian land properties should be 20% less expensive.
Web Reference: Http://www.MIchaelRicks.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2007
I have owned and sold in PS. The simplest thing is to get a map of the area. Indian land is color coded. Check out the Thomas Map Book for Riverside County. A handy guide when looking at RE.

I have noticed that realtors are not consistent about indicating land holdings in their listings. They also forget to list that a property is age restricted. My favorite irritation is when they list 2ba, but there are only 1.75ba. These oversights are a red flag that means that I do not want to do business with this realtor.

The interesting thing about tribal casinos is that tribal land can include what was originally non-tribal land, if it was purchased by a tribal member. That's how a casino can show up in what is seemingly non-tribal land, such as a downtown nearby. This is more commonly seen in the midwest.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2007
Hi RK:

Yes, there is a very sinple and quick way to check, just as all Realtors do. If you go to my website: http://www.PalmSpringsHomesAndEstates.com, then click on the TAB for "MLS Home Search," this is the SAME MLS site all of us Realtors use.

Once at that page, click on "Search On My Own." This brings you to the MLS. You can enter the cities and areas that interest you, be sure to select RESIDENTIAL and you can also select Attached Condo or Single Family Detached Home. Then select other Criteria like, Price, How Many Bedrooms & Baths, approximate Square Footage.

Once you have answered questions under GENERAL CRITERIA, you can then select ADDITIONAL CRITERIA which is also a Tab at the top of the page. Here you can fill out more information as well. NOW......scroll all the way to the very bottom of the page and you will see the word "LAND." Here is where you can select FEE Land, or LEASED Land.

I sincerely hopes this helps. You might always want to Bookmark this sight for future look-ups and take a look at all the other helpful information about the area. You are also welcome to call me on my toll-free number if you would prefer to discuss in more detail. I'm here to help in any way I can.

Nancy Hankin: Broker Associate
"Old Fashioned Service Using
New Fashioned Technology"
Remax Real Estate Consultants
74-199 El Paseo Suite 101
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(866) 227-2205 Toll Free
(760) 861-5118 Direct
(760) 779-8196 Fax
Access all Desert MLS Properties for Sale via my Website
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 16, 2008
Hi Rk,

If you find the home on the public access of the the desert area mls, on the bottom you should find the type of land ( fee or lease ).
As for the impact on price there are several other factors in play. How long the lease is, how much, location etc...FYI there are some areas where the lease is being renegotiated and in some cases they are trying to purchase the land from the Land owner ( i.e. Canyon Estates where i have a listing and one that just sold as of today ) The pro in this case is the lower price point.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.leonardoteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 20, 2008
Contact a local realtor to find out, you can also search on the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
Hi! I am a desert area investor AND a Realtor in NorCal.....and I have not found an easy way to tell the difference. I do find that most desert Realtors proudly boast in the listing that it is "fee" land.....and those that do not it's most likely its leased land. Heads up....not all lenders will finance a home on leased land. Good luck! Just got back from the desert earlier this week...lots of great deals!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Hi Johnathan: Gerat answer! So glad to see a consumer comes in and provide valuable answer. Although Realtors are also buyers and sellers themselves, when it comes from another consumer, it means a lot to other consumers. I never visited Palm Springs, and probably should, heard so much great things about it - quite a few of my friends from Marin moved there.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Your local title company can answer that question for you. However, it should be on the listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
No Answer......I am curious to see the answer to your Q!! The Palmies should be everywhere this time of year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2007
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