Which development or area you should start looking in depends on the features you are looking for in a vacation home and the amenities offered within the community. Do you want it in a gated community? Golf course and/or tennis courts? Fitness facility in the community? Views? Upgraded interior or is an older "original" interior OK; i.e., do you want the interior "done" or are you willing to make upgrades to suit your preferences?
Regardless of your answers to these questions, now is a wonderful time to buy. I am basing my answer on the number of buyers that have recently jumped in the market to drive resales up over 100% compared to prior year sales. The prices have finally hit the point that buyers see a good opportunity. This will ultimately result in lower inventory and a stabilization of the real estate market. It is important that you have good information about the community in which you want to buy. Some sellers are still pricing their homes at unrealistically high prices. Be certain to work with an agent who will provide you with current data. Each community in the desert is different. For example, in some residential communities in north Indio prices have dropped by 60%. In some gated communities in Palm Desert or Rancho Mirage prices have dropped by 30%. Painting the whole desert with one broad brush is inaccurate.
One community in North Indio that is offering a good combination of location (across from the Terra Lago golf course), nice interiors (built in 2005 w/granite, stainless appl, etc.), and price (sales prices are 60% of what these homes originally sold for) is Desert Collection.
I'll be glad to help you navigate other communities. Feel free to call or email.