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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam(ed)

It’s hard to imagine a buffalo ranch in Scottsdale.  Just a few years ago, you could watch the buffalo grazing not too far from my Scottsdale home.  The original owners of the ranch sold the property somewhere after 2003 to a developer and a new home community was going to be built by Odyssey Homes.  The market went south and we all know what happened: The land just sat.

Until recently, that is.

If you’ve always wanted a home where the buffalo roamed, now is your chance. Camelot Homes has picked up the parcel and is in the midst of developing what will become Windrose Estates, a small gated community with a total of 21 homes in the heart of 85260.  These homes will range in size from approximately 3,000 square feet to over 4,000 square feet.  Posted prices indicate “starting in the high $400’s.”  I'd imagine it will cost a bit more than that once you select your flooring, counters, fixtures and other upgrades.

I remember a lot of talk about zoning and the city didn’t want to allow for greater density and/or smaller homes on the parcel.

According to the web site, they are in the “pre-selling” stage although the signage from the street says now being sold.  And, I’ve seen “sold” signs on certain lots.

Seeing new build start up again is refreshing.  Maybe it’s a sign the tide has turned, confidence is increasing and we’re on the upswing.

If you want to know more about Windrose Estates, visit Camelot on-line.  If you want new build in the heart of Scottsdale's desirable 85260, this is your chance as there's no other vacant land to be had.  Should you have further interest, do me a favor when you call: tell them you’re working with me! I’d sure appreciate that and would love to help you get into your new home on the range!

And, back to the song – Here’s the lyrics to “Home on the Range”.  For information regarding the song’s origin, composer, etc, click here. 

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

How often at night where the heavens are bright

With the light of the glittering stars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Then give me a land where the bright diamond sand

Flows leisurely down to the stream
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream

Oh I would not exchange my old home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play
Where the seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Black and white photo at beginning from Flickr courtesy of Marion Doss. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Digging Deep for Phoenix Area Basement Homes

They are not very prevalent in the valley, but they are there: You can find a basement home in the Phoenix area if you dig deep enough.  As of today, approximately 3% of the homes offered for sale in ARMLS include some type of basement.  My search produced a total of 20,725 active properties currently listed of which 683 of them feature a basement of some type. 

Clearly 3% isn’t a ton of homes to select from, but if you want one, it can be found.  With continual changes and upgrades to our search capabilities in ARMLS, local Realtors® can include in their buyers search criteria parameters for a basement.  These include: finished, unfinished, full, partial, and/or walk-out. 

In the Phoenix area, basement homes that came up in my search to day range for a 1,244 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in Phoenix priced at $29,900 all the way up to a 15,619 square foot home with 7 bedrooms, 13 baths in Paradise Valley that has your name all over if for a mere $15,850,000 – and literally, there is something in between at nearly all price points.
Click here to view a significant sampling of Phoenix area homes that include basements that are currently on the market.

One of my favorite communities in Scottsdale that has a handful of properties that have basement homes is Madrid along the Frank Lloyd Wright corridor in the ever-popular 85260.  I’ve written about Madrid in the past and will likely post a spotlight on the subdivision again shortly. 

I mention it because I found a wonderful bank owned property in that community today that has not only a basement, but a casita as well! A hoarder’s dream comes true (or a delight for the space deprived)!  This home features 7 beds, 5 ½ baths in 5,391 square feet and is offered at $840,000 – view the full listing here.

So dust off those Midwest dreams you suppressed to the very back of your brain – hit the Christmas in July sales and stock up! You can have that basement to store all your worldly possessions once again!

Photo from Flickr courtesy of jcestnik

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spotlight on Sandalo

On the Paradise Valley/Scottsdale border near Shea and Scottsdale roads sits the quaint townhome development of Sandalo.  Condos and townhouses continue to be a great draw for first-time home buyers, busy working urbanites and part-time residents looking to thaw their bones in the winter months and Sandalo Townhomes may be just the ticket.

Nestled in the prestigious Paradise Valley zip code of 85253, perhaps one of the priciest zips in the valley, Sandalo offers a lifestyle that’s hard to beat.  Built in 2008 by Meritage Homes, Sandalo consists of 44 units in a row-house style building each with their own private garage.  The units surround a lush courtyard and pool area for the residents to enjoy.

And, like most all Phoenix area homes, prices have come down significantly and Sandalo offers exceptional spacious and well thought out floor plans at an attractive price.  Check out the current resale inventory at Sandalo and you’ll see what I mean.  And, remember, these come with a fully enclosed 2-car garage – not a common amenity in many condominium complexes.

In terms of the floorplans, for the most part these units are 3-level dwellings with the attached 2-car garage and a sitting room/den on the ground floor.  The second level is dedicated to living space with a generously appointed kitchen, living and dining areas.  The third floor is reserved for the bedroom(s). 

The location is terrific: Sandalo is just south of Shea on
70th Street
at Cochise.  Imagine being in walking distance to some of Scottsdale’s trendiest eateries, shopping, watering holes and entertainment. Harkins Shea 14 Theatre, California Pizza Kitchen, Oreganos, La Fonda, London Gold, Landis Cyclery, Embellished Home, Choppers and so much more are mere steps from the front door.

If you’re looking for a condo or townhome, prices are at an all time low – Imagine a PV address at the price you’d expect in Casper, Wyoming!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Remodeling Projects - The Doors Have It!

A terrific new report has just been released by Remodeling Magazine and looks at cost vs. value of home remodeling projects. Among the strongest leaders are with the doors, primarily the exterior front door and the garage. Curb appeal is achieved quickly when you dress the entrances. Check out the article the full article in Realty Times - Top Remodeling Projects along with a link to Remodling Magazine's complete report.

Interesting stuff! So when your sweetie approaches you about that glass and iron-clad pivot hinged door you saw at the Phoenix area home show, be careful. It just may be worth the investment!

Photo from Flickr courtesy of carywaynepeterson

Monday, July 18, 2011

MIM’s the Word!

There’s a lot of buzz going around town about MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale.  MIM is that architectural marvel at the corner of Tatum and Mayo boulevards on the Phoenix/Scottsdale edge just off the 101. 

It’s much more than just a museum, it’s a gallery, theatre, performance hall, education center and lecture classroom all wrapped into one and is capturing the hearts of Valley residents and visitors, young and old!

If you haven’t been yet, escape the heat and celebrate music as only the MIM can provide.  Looking for something to do? MIM is a “must.”

Not to be missed is the Summer Series at MIM’s Music Theatre. And, the 2011-2012 Concert Season has an amazing line up with musical diversity sure to please almost anyone.

Learn more about MIM, and the performances, events and concerts by visiting them on-line.  There site is easy-to-navigate and offers a great insight to this fabulous cultural attraction.

Get out of the house and see for yourself what all the buzz is really about!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Willo Guest House Bursts with Charm

Remember the fort you had as a kid? Maybe it was a tree or a doll house, but we’ve all loved those special little spaces where our minds would drift, our imaginations took hold and countless hours were spent in our own little make-believe world.  I often get requests from buyers looking at property that includes a guest house, and if you’re ok with old, I’ll always mention the historic districts of Phoenix.

I stumbled across a terrific guest house in the Willo historic district.  Probably not original to the home in 1940, looking at the interior architecture, it followed after the home was built, probably in the early ‘60’s.  It features one large living space, a full bath dressed with vintage tiles and a claw foot tub, and a full kitchen with a hard-to-find vintage Frigidaire Flair, a free standing oven/stove combo.  Reportedly, this is the same kind of appliance Samantha Stevens used in “Bewitched.”

As you walk into the guest cottage, your eye is immediately drawn upward to the ceiling – like an old time boat house with its soaring beamed wooden-clad ceilings.  Not only a kids dream come true, but I could only imagine the parties, games and entertaining that surely must have gone on in that charming little cottage.   The new owner could even divide the large living area to create a private bedroom – a great one bedroom rental option. 

Just don’t let any harm come to that rare Frigidaire!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scratch the Itch with Historic Phoenix Homes

You are most certainly aware by now that I have an addiction to historic homes.  Phoenix historic homes offer a terrific opportunity today for the restoration minded and real estate investor. 

I’ve always been drawn to historic properties and I yearn to be more of an involved preservationist.  The architecture, styling, arches and even the creaks I feel when walking the wooden-floored halls all strike my very soul.  The minute I walk into a character home of historic significance I can’t help but drift off in time and wonder about the lives that filled the property in decades past.

I was out previewing this morning in the Roosevelt Historic District, Willo Historic District, the FQ Story and Encanto districts and am still having a tough time coming back to reality.  There are some incredible buys on the market today – many need work although some I saw this morning that are move-in ready. 

There’s something about the neighborhoods in historic areas.  For some reason the neighbors are neighborly!  Talk about the way things used to be! I must have met a handful of neighbors today taking great pride in their neighborhoods as they were painting the wood trim or tending a garden bed.  They’d wave hello and offer a cheerful hello as I was walked from the car to the porch.  One talked about the 40 year history and the many memories she had in her family home.  One neighbor proudly boasted that he had to come “rescue” the property he now called home.  It’s this kind of respect for the past and commitment to preservation that is adding allure (and value, I might add) to these charming communities.

Investors are finding historic Phoenix quiet attractive, too  – Many of these homes feature guest houses or second floor apartments, an ideal set-up for someone looking for the ever-so-desirable “mail box” money and on-going rental income. 

Here’s a teaser as to what I saw today:

Lead photo above is in the Roosevelt Histroic district of Chelsea Place.  This century-old bungalow was built in 1911 and features 6 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths in 4328 square feet.  It is offered at $379,000.

FQ Story 1934 with 4 beds/3 baths in 1650 sf. Offered at $124,900.

FQ Story 1931 with 3 beds/2 baths in 1482 sf. Offered at $195,000. Wonderful guest house, too!

West Encanto 1941 charmer with 3 beds, 1 3/4 baths in 2100 sf. Offered at $249,000.

Willo home built in 1940 with 4 beds, 3 baths in 1785 sf.  Offered at $174,900.  Includes one of the cutest guest houses I've seen in a long time, complete with vintage ovens!

If you're hankering for a resotoration project and you have the heart and soul of a preservationist, now's a terrific time.  And, you know me, I'm always ready to take a trip back into time explore some of the historic beauties of Phoenix, so don't hesitate to call me!