Indian Land Leased Specialist - Palm Springs Real Estate Expertise

Indian land leases found in Palm Springs real estate listings may be a source of confusion and misinformation for buyers when searching among Palm Springs desert homes. To understand why a prospective homebuyer would need an Indian land leased specialist, one must delve into the history of the city.

Palm Springs, BC (Before Celebrities)

Gorgeous natural sceneryThe Cahuilla Indians first lived in the Palm Springs area about 2000 years ago. In 1876, the government deeded 640-acre alternating sections to the Southern Pacific Railroad as an incentive for linking Los Angeles with the rest of the country. The non-railroad sections were reserved for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a tribe of smaller bands of the original Cahuillas.

The Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, comprised of 32,000 acres, extends into the city limits of Palm Springs. With 6,700 acres of partitioned squares, the biggest landowners of Palm Springs real estate are the Agua Caliente tribe.

Palm Springs, AD (After Dwight)

Initially, the Agua Caliente tribe could not sell or lease their land thus rendering it practically useless compared to adjacent non-Indian fee land. Beginning in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Equalization Law that allowed the tribe to profit from the sale and lease of their reservation property.

After the enactment of the Equalization Law, a profusion of real estate development flourished in Palm Springs. The post-war, mid-century modern era brought an influx of tourists, and the advent of air conditioning made staying in Palm Springs a year-round option.

Lease Land vs. Fee Land

Desert plant lifePalm Springs desert homes on leased Agua Caliente tribe land give the buyer ownership of the home but not the land. Leased land belonging to the Agua Caliente is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the benefit of the tribe. The maximum lease term for leased land of the Agua Caliente is 99 years. In contrast, when buyers purchase a home built on fee land, they own both the land and building.

Advantages of Lease Land Purchase

Purchasing a home on leased land could possibly:

‒ Lower home price since the land is not included in the purchase.

‒ Lower property tax since only the home is assessed.

‒ Allow purchaser to afford a better neighborhood.

Disadvantages of Lease Land Purchase

The downside of purchasing a home on leased land can include:

‒ Difficulty obtaining a mortgage loan.

‒ Losing the right to occupy the property if the lease is not renewed or “runs to zero.”

‒ Increased cost of the lease by the owner at the time of renewal.

‒ Additional documentation requirements which may delay process.

Indian Land Leased SpecialistIt is difficult to distinguish between Palm Springs homes that sit on lease land from those on fee land. The advantages and disadvantages listed above may not apply in every transaction. This is why homebuyers need an experienced Indian land leased specialist like Joan Ross.

With the “My Home Tracker” homebuyers can create a personalized account to access current market reportsneighborhood reports, and browse through updated listings of Palm Springs homes.

With a wealth of experience, Joan is ready to provide comprehensive information and access resources to meet clients' objectives.


Joan Ross


333 N Palm Canyon DrSte 102Palm SpringsCA92262
Business:(760) 272-6179
Fax:(760) 320-4267
CA DRE License #:01084585

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