In 1876, Pacific Railroad laid the tracks between Los Angeles and Yuma, Arizona. The U.S. government deeded the Agua Caliente 52,000 acres throughout the Coachella Valley (6,700 acres lay within the city of Palm Springs). The government gave the railroad a checkerboard of every square mile of land for 10 miles on either side of the railroad right-of-way. The Agua Caliente tribe got the non-Pacific Railroad owned squares.  The city of Palm Springs is built on a “checkerboard” consisting of alternating Indian and non-Indian land.

Some of the best neighborhoods in Palm Springs are on Indian land. Over 23000 residential properties are located on Indian lease land, which give the home owner the right to the property for the duration of the lease.   Most Indian leases are administrated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; a homeowner doesn’t deal with the Indian owners directly, but instead usually with the appointed property management company or Bureau of Indian Affairs office.

Mortgages are available on lease land.  Some leases do have minimal downpayment requirements and other specific conditions, however it is possible to get a loan on lease land.  Interests rates tend to be the same for Lease and Fee Simple land.  However, WE RECOMMEND GOING WITH A LOCAL LENDER THAT IS FAMILIAR WITH LEASE LAND!  (Contact us for more information on lenders that process lease loan applications.)  As a general rule of thumb, lenders on lease land often require that date of maturity of the loan is at least five years before the termination date of the land lease.

The price of the lease varies generally between $1400 and $6000 per year depending on the property.  Some lease payments are paid annually; others are divided and paid monthly.

Lease land typically consists of long term land leases that are commonly renewed well in advance of their expiration dates. However each lease is unique and should be reviewed for the specific terms affecting a particular property.  Typically, Indian Lease land properties have increased/decreased in value at the same rate as Fee Simple land (land that is not lease land).

For a map of Lease vs. Fee land in Palm Springs, please click here.

None of the above statements or third-party links can be guaranteed. Before you enter a transaction on lease land, you should read and review all contracts, leases and information about the specific lease as all leases are unique and subject to changes. We recommend you consult with your accountant, attorney, and tax advisor prior to making any real estate purchases on lease OR fee land.