There are 419 lots and, at any given time, about 10-20% are up for sale. And here's the thing — there are some undeveloped lots (no outdoor kitchen) that are on the market for as little as $25,000. To be sure, there's a few that are on the market for over $200,000+, but some lots that were bought and improved (pre-recession) with over $200,000 in original value can be purchased for half that. Many owners have now taken their lots and added permanent pergola structures with full outdoor kitchens, TV cabinets, fireplaces and premium drive surfacing for $75,000 to $100,000. Casitas are now allowed and are starting to appear throughout the resort. Construction costs range around $200,000 for a fully enclosed casita.
You can take a medium priced lot for $75,000, put another $75,000 of improvements on it, add in a near new diesel pusher for $200,000 and find yourself smack dab in the middle of a beautiful resort for $350,000 - and even less if you keep your improvements and motorhome modest. Granted, even this "good deal" may be out of reach for many. However, if your income and savings allows it, this is a very attractive option, especially when you compare it to patio homes built on golf course communities nearby in Indio. Compared to "sticks and bricks" communities in the valley like Sun City and Trilogy, it's an exceptional value when you consider you're living in a country club. And while a traditional home sits empty during the harsh summer months, your motorhome can be in much cooler climates, sightseeing, and visiting friends and family.
Second home real estate can be a temperamental beast. The Great Recession hammered all the homes in the Coachella Valley including the RV resorts. Prices dropped by half and while they've recovered, the annual price growth of around 4% is not governed by the wildly inflated SoCal and Bay Area prices you read about. Generally, unless you are in a high demand second home market, your modest equity gain is probably eroded by maintenance, taxes, and real estate commissions.
Compare traditional resort real estate to the RV resort model and the gap isn't as great as you might think. First of all, your cash outlay for an RV and a lot to park it on will generally be less, assuming a standard 20-25% downpayment on a sticks and bricks home. And your carrying and transaction costs will be way less with the RV resort model. Of course, on the other side of the ledger, you know that your RV (whether new or lightly used) most likely will have a steep depreciation curve. However, during the 100+ degree summers, you can enjoy your "second home" in cooler climates which, when translated into days of use, lets you get a lot more enjoyment and utilization from your coach.