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Old 09-13-2007, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
961 posts, read 2,368,822 times
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My husband and I are considering a relocation to Rancho Mirage with our 3 year old and 6 month old. Air quality is our biggest concern. We currently live in the Bay area and the air is rated A up here. The same report gave all of Riverside an F. I was hoping to get some input from the locals.

Also, the public schools are not rated very well. Marywood is supposed to be great, but it isn't afforable. We'd love some input on that as well.

Lastly, do you feel like it is a good place to raise children?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:13 PM
 
128 posts, read 744,995 times
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Air in the Coachella Valley is the cleanest in SoCal. It's windy and mountains block it from the smog coming from L.A. Don't know about the school, but I've seen some and they're in good physical shape, i.e., no tagging and clean.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Desert Southwest
263 posts, read 1,139,717 times
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If you define clean air as in little or no smog, then yes, the Coachella Valley does have it. However, if your children suffer from allergies, then you might find the air not so clean. During the windy time of year or when they are "scalping" lawns and golf courses, the pollen count can be quite high. While the desert used to be known as a place to escape such problems, that isn't true any longer.

As for schools, I can't really speak to those. I would think the schools in Palm Desert or Palm Springs would be better than say Cathedral City. I know there are some private schools but as you mentioned, they won't necessarily be cheap.

I would say that it is probably a decent place to raise children. However, it can be very boring for them as the Valley is geared more toward vacation and retirement activities for adults. It is especially challenging to find things for teenagers to do. I realize that is not a problem now but it is something to consider for the future.
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Old 09-15-2007, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Lovely peaceful NW NJ
5,161 posts, read 6,146,292 times
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Default Maps

I posted these following links to air quality maps awhile ago here.

I think [hope] they may be rather pessimistic, for example they show most Hawaiian Islands as having only moderate air quality.

California Air Quality Map

other states:
US Air Quality Gradebook - Maps
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,797,396 times
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Palm Springs is a great place to go on vacation. We go at least once a year and enjoy relaxing in the desert. I do not think it is really geared towards kids though. Are kids have fun relaxing at the pools and hiking, but it still is a senior/retirement area that is mainly about golfing. It also gets really hot out there so in the summer be ready for 100-115 degree weather everyday.
Where do you currently live in the Bay area? That could help in determining whether this is a good move for you. Is the desert the only area you are considering moving to and do you have a job opportunity there?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
961 posts, read 2,368,822 times
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We are drawn to the mid century modern houses, desert sunsets and warm nights in the pool.
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Desert Southwest
263 posts, read 1,139,717 times
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Jaynetarzana:

I too was drawn to the desert by the mid mod houses back in 1999. I couldn't afford to buy one in Los Angeles, but could in Palm Springs. My 1959 vintage, 1,200 sq. ft., custom designed, modern ranch hybrid with two car garage and pool cost me a flat $100,000. There were unaltered Alexanders, still with original fixtures, that I saw going for between $95,000 and $115,000.

Unfortunately, like many places, the Palm Springs secret was discovered about 6 years ago and those bargains are long gone. If I were to try and buy my house back today (which I can't afford to do) it would cost me at least $550,000. Maybe that price still seems a steal from someone used to Los Angeles prices, but knowing what they cost just 6 years ago, I personally couldn't justify spending that kind of money. But that's me.

I miss the Palm Springs that I used to visit when I was much younger and which I eventually moved to. The one where you could drive down Palm Canyon with ease and get from one end of the Valley to the other in 15 minutes. Or having the town to yourself in the summer, all the snowbirds and tourists just a memory. Better still was being able to see wide expanses of beautiful, open desert instead of ugly, cookie cutter developments built by people just looking to make a buck.

I lived the mid century dream from the furniture, to the cars, and right on down to the music I played on my stereo when entertaining friends and family. Unfortunately, like the Palm Springs I loved, the dream faded away. If you have the means and the opportunity to live your own mid century modern dream, then go for it. Good luck with it.

Last edited by GoodbyeCalifornia; 09-18-2007 at 02:49 AM.. Reason: correction
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 16,904 times
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Default My input

Hi, I'm an 18 year old who currently attends the Maritime academy in the bay area.
I have lived in Rancho Mirage, and attended Palm Desert High School.
I rode my bike a few miles to school every day; the air quality is good.

I didn't move to the desert until i was half way through high school, but I don't recommend it for raising children. The schools aren't great. Palm Desert is one of the best schools in the Coachella valley, and I found it to have mediocre academia and most of the students have a drug problem. It seems that with not many youth based activities, most teens turn to drug use for entertainment.

Rancho Mirage is definitely the best place to live if you can afford it. I believe there are plans to build a high school there soon. anyways.. i hope this helps.
-p.s. consider somewhere closer to the beach ; )
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,607 posts, read 38,629,579 times
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I live here and have kids who went to and presently attend schools here in the valley. The air is very clean here. Granted, they do start scalping the lawns and golf courses in October, so you will be sneezing and have watery eyes for about a month, but it's very clean here. Since we are in a valley the mountains keep all the smog out. We even have better weather, I guess the clouds can't make it over the mountains. I drive into Riverside almost every day to dance and as soon as you get past the windmills the weather turns bad. Yesterday it was 69 degrees here and sunny when I left. I get past the windmills and all of a sudden the temps drop to around 55 and it's overcast. Then I get to Riverside and it's raining.

Both my kids attended Palm Desert schools. One is an adult now and the other is in middle school. We have not had any problems with our schools. In all reality, school is what you make of it. If you want to do drugs and hang out with the wrong crowd, you can do that. If you want to strive for excellence and graduate with honors, you can do that too. Even in a private school you are going to find a bad element and drugs. My brothers and I went to private schools all our lives and guess what - there were people in our school(s) who were on drugs!

It depends on what your kids like to do that determines whether the desert is boring or not. Both my kids are involved in dance, music and mixed martial arts, so they are not bored (they're too busy!). There are skate parks here, there's an ice rink, there are places where the kids can go and do online gaming. There is a lot to do outdoors, if your kids are so inclined. In fact, it's better for them to be out doing something than to be cooped up in front of a TV set or a video gaming portal. There are a lot of families here and a lot of kids. The desert is not just for retirees, snowbirds and the elderly. Those of us who choose to live here love it and we enjoy all that the desert has to offer.

If this isn't your cup of tea, that's okay. Just don't tell other people about our area because we would prefer to keep our area pristine and free from traffic!
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
961 posts, read 2,368,822 times
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Default Desert child friendly? School info?

With more and more families moving to the desert, do any of you feel like things may start to change with regards to becoming more child friendly? Are you seeing it happen already?

We want to put an offer on a house in Rancho Mirage, but the elementary schools are less than stellar. Does anyone have input about the schools? Perhaps they aren't as bad as the scores make them out to be. Marywood looks like a GREAT school, but it is far too expensive. How difficult is it to get a district transfer?

Thanks in advance.
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