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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scottsdale Adds World Class Medical School to its CV

Arizona continues its climb in providing unsurpassed medical care with the latest announcement by Mayo Clinic.  Teaming up with Arizona State University, the duo plans to develop a $266 million medical school branch in Scottsdale at the Mayo Clinic campus off of
E. Shea Blvd
132nd Street

The facility to be named the Mayo Medical School-Arizona campus could begin teaching med students by 2014.  This has got to be a positive thrust for real estate in the 85260 and 85259 zips.

Check out the article in AZ Central for complete details. 

Graphic from Flickr courtesy of Vectorportal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Distressed Luxury at the Arizona Biltmore

I blogged last week about a gargantuan bank-owned Paradise Valley home with exquisite details inside and out.  His and hers everything.  And a garage to handle your 21 automobiles.  It might surprise you to know, REO’s in the luxury segment are not that uncommon.  Bank owned properties are becoming more and more prevalent in the ultra-luxury residential market.

Last week’s home was priced at $15,995,000 – that’s about $640 a square foot.  Probably well under the builder cost considering the details and amenities.  If you thought that was a bargain, wait ‘til you see this mind-boggler REO gem: 

Just off of Camelback Road sits the venerable Arizona Biltmore Resort.  A destination that has long been a haven to the rich and famous – both seasonal residents with second homes and those that call their Biltmore estate a primary residence.  Visitors would arrive – and still do – from around the world to this sprawling resort to thaw, relax and bask in the desert sun since the 1930’s. 

The meandering drive leading to the hotel can take your breath away.  It is lined with truly sterling properties with manicured lawns, impeccably trimmed privet, flowering perennials and rich canterra doorways to welcome their visitors.  One such home is now being offered as a bank owned REO – 41 E. Biltmore Estates.

Situated on the Biltmore course, this custom estate sits on over an acre with stellar views from every direction.  Built in 2002, the 17,800 square foot home features nine bedrooms for when the hotel is sold out, 11 baths, wine room, library, entertaining spaces galore, four-car garage and flawless rear grounds.  Meticulous attention to the details abound, amazing fixtures, state of the art features, and imported facets. 

Truly a great buy for the value minded, priced at $6,950,000, 41 E. Biltmore Estates is being offered for a mere $390 a square foot.  Builder’s cost on this desert jewel is likely to be more than double that. 

Entry at 41 E. Biltmore Estates
My kind of kitchen.
Master Bedroom
With 9 beds, guess you need this double sized laundry room!

Now, I’d say that’s a five-star residence!

Photos courtesy of ARMLS.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scottsdale Earns Ribbon for Best US City

In a new report by, Scottsdale enters the show ring once again as one of America’s best!  The judges adorned our fare town with the pristine white ribbon, awarding Scottsdale as the 4th of the best US city. 

The site studied 100 of the nation’s largest cities and looked at a number of factors including, quality of life, low unemployment, recreational attributes and schools.  In fact Scottsdale out performed all other cities except for one – Irvine, CA – for its quality of education.  The trophy for the best city went to Raliegh, NC.

The top five winners are:

Raliegh, NC
Arlington, VA
Honolulu, HI
Scottsdale, AZ
Irvine, CA

Find out what most of us already know and read the full story and learn more about Scottsdale being the fourth best US city.

Photo from Flickr courtesy of Shorts and Long | The Both And

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buyer Beware

We’ve all put the lipstick on the proverbial pig and hoped for the best, but when it comes to real estate, as a buyer, we may want to rethink how we go about selecting the perfect home.  The pig is still a pig!  After all, we’re buying more than underwear here.  What is one of the biggest investments we make in our lifetime, that warm and fuzzy feeling we get when we drive up to the front and take a quick walk around the may not be the best way to buy a home.

Ever since HGTV has captured our attention, we’ve seen what a bit of spit and polish, usually in the way of paint, flooring and staging can do to enhance a homes appeal. Have you stopped to think about what may be covered up by all that nice new paint and shiny floor?  I stumbled across a great article I have to share that caused me to raise an eyebrow and may shed some light on how you go about purchasing your next home.

Many of us are drawn to the d├ęcor and cosmetics and tend to overlook other elements.  A word to the wise, you may not want to discount that house with the pink paint and shag carpet – those are easy fixes if you can see beyond the obvious.  The dream of your future may very well be a gem in the rough!

Photo from Flickr courtesy of Pig by (aka Brent).

Not Your Everyday Bank Owned Home

People are always looking for a great deal, especially when it comes to real estate.  You can find a foreclosure in nearly every neighborhood.  And, August market statistics show these types of sales made up nearly 70% of the transactions.  Usually, they are priced to sell and don’t stay on the market very long.

We’ve seen the news segments showing a couple who lost their job, couldn’t get a loan mod, went through their entire life savings and finally had to walk away from their home.  Unfortunately, those stories of hardship are pretty common lately.

Distressed properties can be found in every price range.  Foreclosed properties are not just in the lower priced segments any more. 

But, I have to point out another side to the foreclosure story.  Homeowners that didn’t lose their jobs.  People with bank accounts as hefty as a small country.   People who lost equity in their home (who didn’t) and didn’t have a snowballs chance in Phoenix to make it up.  People that sat around the pool one night drinking their glass of Opus One and decided not the make any more mortgage payments.  These are the folks that coin the new term: Strategic default, and it’s the reason we’re seeing REO’s in the ultra-luxury market as well.

Thanks to Candy over at Candy's Dirt for pointing this one out: Here’s one bank owned beauty I just had to pass along.  And, I don’t know the full story behind it, but I do know that the couple that turned it back to the bank did at the time have income – significant income, I might add. Sure the bills must be exorbitant.  The maid and lawn service alone has to cost a small fortune.  Plus, the annual real estate taxes of $52,000 would surely put a dent in most people’s check books.  For whatever reason, they decided foreclosure was their best option.

Here’s what they gave up:

5 acres, 7 beds, 10 baths spanning 17,000 square feet in Paradise Valley (well, actually a total of 25,000 feet under roof).  The home features two pools, a 2 bedroom guest house of nearly 2,000 square feet, movie theatre, his and hers libraries, his and her dressing rooms, a billiards room, a piano room, a wine room, an exercise room and a Jay Leno-like garage to accommodate 21 cars.  Oh, I can’t forget the $1.2 million security and sound system and its own solar electric generating station.

Now offered for sale, it can be yours for a mere $15,995,000.  The bank has reduced the list price from its original asking price of $17,900,000. Check out the full listing here.

Now, I’m trying to figure out what the hardship must have been.  I’m guessing the true hardship facing the previous owners of this bank owned beauty is deciding on Brazilian hardwood or Italian marble for their new digs. 

Photos courtesy of ARMLS.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Casa Buena Home Offers Affordability & Primo Scottsdale Location

We've all heard it before: "Location, location, location." And most of the time, you have to pay dearly for those words!  Not so in this Scottsdale gem!

Between Shea and Mountain View just east of Scottsdale Road sits the mature enclave of Casa Buena, a highly desirable area largely because it's close to everything - all the shops, dining and entertainment venues people flock to Scottsdale for in the first place! 

And talk about affordable!! Here's a neighborhood just blocks away from affluent Gainey Ranch where Charles Barkley resides that most anyone can actually afford to have a home without having to liquidate the entire retirement account.

I've been sitting a fabulous home in Casa Buena open this weekend that's priced to move! It's been lovingly cared for, is absolutely spotless and gently lived in as it is a vacation home.  Just about 2,000 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, formal living, dining and a enormous family room with charming kiva fireplace and the hard to find 3-car garage.  Priced at $359,000, that's less than $180 a square foot and this baby is move-in ready and needs nothing!

Tasteful tile in all the right places, designer paint, wood plank ceiling in the kitchen and entryway, wet bar, plantation shutters everywhere, even the garage has been upgraded with epoxy floors! Definitely worth a look if you're out and about this weekend.  Just look for Tom Weiskopf open house signs.

What a great opportunity for someone - either as a permanent residence or to use a vacation home, Casa Buena is muy bueno!

Photos courtesy of ARMLS.

Friday, September 2, 2011

August’s Priciest Home

It’s hard to believe another month has past us by, and while most of you are packing up the station wagon and piling the kids in the back seat to head out of town, I’m going through the stack of closings from August.  It was fun to see the valley had some 50 homes that sold for an amount north of a million dollars this last month.  The winner of the valley’s most extravagant sale goes to a home in Scottsdale's exclusive Silverleaf, that swanking ‘hood at the base of the McDowell Mountains in DC Ranch with a sales price of $3,875,000. 

The custom estate was built in 2005 and sits in the Upper Canyon high above the valley on over 2 acres with breathtaking views from every direction.  The 7,182 square foot home includes 6 bedrooms, 6 ½ baths, a generously-sized guest house, 4-car garage, exquisite details such as Venetian plaster, stone, and hand scraped wooden floors, the requisite wine cooler that accommodates 1,000+ bottles to compliment the pizza you pull out of the Renato pizza oven.

A great open floor plan, terrific entertaining spaces inside and out, plus exceptional attention to detail is abundant throughout.  It’s easy to see why this home didn’t take long to sell. 

Here’s the details:

Listed June 9, 2011.  Closed August 31, 2011.
Total days on the market was 65 days.
Original list price was $4,795,000.  Final sales price was $3,875,000 – All cash.
Sales price per square foot: $539.54.

The home was originally purchased in January of 2005 for $4,550,000.

Photos courtesy of ARMLS