7 Real Estate Tips for Buying a Golf Course Home in Rancho Mirage

Dec 13, 2021 Cathy Muldoon

Looking at golf course homes for sale in Rancho Mirage is exciting, but it can also be daunting if you are unfamiliar with country clubs in the Coachella Valley or have a limited amount of time to visit homes for sale. Homebuyers who understand the latest Rancho Mirage real estate trends and club rules can pick out the best golf course homes for sale with ease.

Read on for 7 tips that will prepare you to find a golf course home in Rancho Mirage at a country club that perfectly suits your needs.   

Begin your search for country club homes by considering the following:

  • Types of Club Memberships available
  • Location of property
  • Club financial history
  • Club amenities
  • Real Estate trends
  • Understanding the purchasing process

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1. Understand Country Club Membership Trends.

Not all Rancho Mirage country clubs have the same types of membership. Most will offer resident memberships, non-resident memberships, social memberships and golf memberships. However, fees, privileges and other details will vary at each club. Furthermore, some private country clubs are invite-only, some clubs have golf courses shared with the public or resort guests, and some have social activities exclusively for residents. 

Ask yourself these questions before joining or visiting any club:  

  • Is the golf course semi-public or exclusively private?
  • What special benefits come with homeownership?
  • What are initiation fees for each membership type (resident, social, golf)?
  • Is golf membership a requirement for residency?
  • What are the fees for golf carts, licenses, and storage?
  • What is the membership resignation and transfer policy?
  • Is there a reserve contribution?

These questions will help you begin to explore the many differences between private country clubs, resort clubs, gated communities with public courses, and country clubs with separate HOA dues. The best realtors will compile all of this information for you and make sure that you are only touring country clubs that meet your needs.


2. Know the best time of year to look at golf course homes for sale in Rancho Mirage.

The best time to look at homes for sale in Rancho Mirage is during high season, which is generally when you’ll get the full experience from a country club visit. In the greater Palm Springs area, high season typically runs from November to May. Houses on a golf course will have different noise and privacy levels during this season, so it’s important to look at houses for sale during this time of year. Another benefit of visiting during high season – you’ll get to see what living in Rancho Mirage is like in full swing.

3. Learn the “best” locations on a golf course to call home.

At any country club, houses for sale on the golf course will present a number of factors to consider. The best option will ultimately come down to the right location for you.

Houses on the greenbelt, and which are not directly on the golf course, will generally offer the most privacy. Homes on the golf course, however, will typically provide the best views. People who enjoy being close to the action might prefer locations near a tee box or near the putting greens.  

Another big consideration with country club homes for sale in Rancho Mirage is the desert sun. Do you want a home facing South – towards the sun? Or, a home facing West, to enjoy the beautiful evening sunsets.

Having a home where the leisure side faces south is generally the most desired because it offers sun throughout the day, without direct morning or afternoon sun.

Full-time residents may prefer a north-facing home, with less intense sun in the summer months.


4. Understand the Purchasing Process.

It is a good idea to become familiar with the purchasing process and the purchase agreement before you find your dream home. It will save you time and it will be a less stressful process if you are familiar with the paperwork ahead of time. Have your real estate agent provide you with a sample contract and review the different points of negotiation ahead of time. If you are getting a loan, make sure you have picked a lender in advance and are pre-qualified before writing an offer.  

Contingencies are special conditions that must be met for a home sale to go through. Common contingencies for country club homes include:

  • Inspection or Due Diligence Contingency: This gives the buyer the right to have time to have the home inspected within a specified time period.  

  • Financing Contingency: This refers to a clause that the offer is contingent on the buyer being able to secure financing for the house. There will be a set period of time with the type of loan, down payment amount, interest rate and other details about the financing.  

  • Home Sale Contingency: This means that the transaction is contingent upon the successful sale and closing of another property.

Before buying a country club home, be sure to ask about membership resignation policies. Some clubs require advanced notice of up to 6 months or more before terminating a membership. Add this to your list of questions to ask a country club before joining. 

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5. Learn Real Estate Trends in Rancho Mirage.

With a year-round outdoorsy lifestyle and a close proximity to city amenities, country clubs all across Coachella Valley are in high demand. Single-home sales went up 56% in Coachella Valley during the first seven months of the pandemic in 2020. The median price of a detached (standalone) home for sale in Coachella Valley reached $585,000 in September of 2021 – up from $375,000 in 2020 which, in and of itself, was a 23% median increase over $305,000 in 2019.     

Strong upward trajectories can be found in recent Rancho Mirage real estate trends. In September 2021, a detached (standalone) home for sale in Rancho Mirage reached $910,000 – a 28% increase from $712,500 in 2020. With a lower population and fewer country club homes for sale than other Coachella Valley cities, Rancho Mirage real estate value is projected to increase by 15% over the next 10 years

What does this mean? You need to be able to move quickly once you find a home because other buyers are looking at your favorite house for sale – and Rancho Mirage country club homes typically are not on the market very long. In a hot market like the one we are experiencing, a seller may have multiple offers to consider. Understanding how to make a competitive offer, will help you stand out from other buyers. 


6. Assess Country Club Financials.

Even though real estate trends in Rancho Mirage are favorable, it is still crucial to assess the financial health of a country club to make sure their golf course homes are worth the investment. Looking at their reserve funds will tell you how carefully a country club is planning for future expansions.

Country clubs usually have public financial statements online that document the funding of capital improvements and other financial details. Ideally, records should show enough funds in a club’s contribution reserves to cover large projects. If a country club has recently charged its members for a capital improvement, it could signify a lack of reserve funds. 


7. Move Fast. Move Smart.

An experienced Coachella Valley real estate agent will listen to your needs and research the best country club homes in Rancho Mirage for you, combing through financial statements, membership policies, golf course characteristics, waiting lists, and other cost-related figures and fees. In the meantime, consider getting started on your own with our Membership Discovery Guide for The Springs and other Rancho Mirage country clubs. With much of the same information a real estate agent will be providing, you'll be ahead of the discussion.




Get Your Membership Discovery Guide

Choosing the right club is a big decision. That's why The Springs created a new kind of membership guide to help your search.