Tag Archives: Desert Mountain

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Hot in Scottsdale: An Insiders’ Look into what will become Scottsdale’s latest trends

Frank Aazami, of the Private Client Group, Russ Lyon I Sotheby’s International Realty, Scottsdale, says local home-building continues to look up.

Because of the imbalance between population growth and new home-building, the Valley has several years of rising prices ahead, he says. “How fast and how high they rise, I cannot tell, but the idea that prices could fall significantly in the near term because of excess supply is not in sight,” he says.
Aazami also expects a demand surge from California residents and companies. “Compared to most of California, housing in Central Arizona is still ridiculously affordable — even if interest rates were to double,” he says.


Arizona Residential Architects $5,000 donationArizona Residential Architects (ARA) recently donated $5,000 to the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center. SARRC is internationally recognized for the services it delivers to families impacted by autism, from early intervention for toddlers through vocational and life skills programs for teens and adults. SARRC is also an important contributor to national research trials seeking answers and effective treatments for autism.
Brent Kendle and other members of the ARA, a group of distinguished Valley architects dedicated to luxury residential design, attended the 15th Annual SARRC Community Breakfast May 2 at the Arizona Biltmore. Kendle’s wife, Jeri, is the president of the group.

The Dialogue House, designed by Wendell Burnette, AIA, and built by Construction Zone, both Phoenix, appeared on the April cover of Dwell Magazine. Completed in 2012, the 2,700-square foot-home is, writes Burnette, “a gestalt instrument for touching the full range and specificity of desert light.”

Swaback Partners, Scottsdale, is working on final plans for Iron Horse Hotel Arizona, a 165-room hotel, spa and conference center on the Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community adjacent to Scottsdale as well as numerous homes at Martis Camp, a North Tahoe, Nev., development masterplanned by the firm.

Nick Tsontakis, AIA design, Mummy MountainNick Tsontakis, AIA, is planning a 16,500-square-foot custom home atop Mummy Mountain. The contemporary-style home will include three elevators, an eight-car garage and two infinity-edge pools that will “fall” from the south and north sides of the home. “The home captures views on the north and south while hugging the mountain ridge in the center,” says the Scottsdale architect, who expects completion by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Brent Kendle, AIA, LEED AP, has several projects in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, four under construction and three others in design. The Scottsdale-based architect is also starting design for an 18,000–22,000-square-foot contemporary home outside London for a client who saw one of his Desert Mountain Scottsdale homes on a website in London.

Desert Mountain

Desert Mountain

Interior designers

The award-winning Ernesto Garcia, ASID, is still winning. At the most recent ASID Awards, the Phoenix interior designer was called five times, including a First Place in Residential.

Scottsdale’s inimitable Janet Brooks, ASID, has two homes under construction, in Desert Mountain and Whisper Rock. The second, designed by Clint Miller, AIA, and built by Archer Custom Homes, combines traditional 12-inch adobe walls integrated with contemporary building procedures.

Susan Hersker, ASID, and business partner Elaine Ryckman, Allied ASID, have two projects under way, a spec home in Desert Mountain and a major remodel in Estancia. “We are also working on furnishings projects where we are ‘de-Tuscanizing’ — getting rid of the heavy, dark furniture and fabrics. We are seeing much more interest in contemporary styles, lighter colors and patterns in fabrics and light-medium wood tones,” Ryckman says.

Studio V Interior Design, Katherine Pullen, partner, Allied ASID, partner, Scottsdale, has been awarded the interior design contract for the Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Est Est, Tony and Blake Sutton, recently completed a 7,200-square-foot Fountain Hills residence, combining the finest of European styling with contemporary lighter tones and textures. “The close working relationship with Hollanti Custom Homes, LLC made this a successful experience from start to finish,” says Bianca Olsson, who, with Elaine Alexander, served as co-designers for Scottsdale-based Est Est Inc.


Tom Monte

Tom Monte

La Casa Builders, Ron Steege and Tim Larson, principals, are offering a contemporary 6,000-square-foot design/build home in Paradise Valley. This hillside custom, available through Brian Miller Sotheby’s International Realty, will capture the indoor/outdoor Arizona lifestyle with views of Camelback Mountain, Papago Buttes and Phoenix city lights.

Arizona Structures is expanding its expertise into Arcadia, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.
In just four years, the Gilbert-based general contracting company, led by partners Tom Monte and Dave Green, has established itself with new build and remodeling projects in East Valley cities such as Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler.

Scottsdale’s Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes is offering its Park Place Series of homes at select locations throughout the Valley. First built at Silverleaf in north Scottsdale, the 3,700–5,100-square-foot luxury homes have a cottage/vintage style and are perfect for empty nesters, says Tony Calvis, company principal with Gary Wyant. “They are lighter and refreshing but without sacrificing amenities or luxury.”


AlyshaanThe new inventory at Alyshaan Fine Rugs, in the Scottsdale Design Center, includes Ikat designs and bamboo silk rugs. The Indian-made 8-by-10-foot Ikat rug is handspun wool and natural dyes.

Scottsdale-based Hydroscapes, Roger (II) and Sheri Soares, is completing a variety of projects Valleywide. For one, an uncompleted pool/spa, they removed the existing spa and moved it to a different location and added copper spillways bronze-colored to match the house trim. The second is a combination play pool/diving pool with a spa and fire pit area.

Larry Langhurst and Bernie Becker, Woodesign, Phoenix, recently finished the Gagganeu kitchen at Allstate Appliances, Scottsdale. The showroom features a totally suspended design from automotive buffed and polished pau ferro. The countertops were miter-folded to continue the sweeping concept of the design.

In addition, with Scottsdale interior designer, David Michael Miller, ASID, Woodesign completed a large contemporary-style home in Desert Mountain, designed by Tempe architect David Wade. The home features a curved pau ferro kitchen, bees’s wing eucalyptus on all interior doors and giant sliding barn doors, also in pau ferro, Langhurst says.

Arizona Solar Solutions, Pat Lamore Jr. CEO, Phoenix, is offering a new generation of solar panel financing, up to 10 years at 2.99%, with no money down to those with good credit. With a monthly payment under $200, the company says that homeowners get a payback period of two years and can save almost $100,000 over the course of two decades — and increase equity.


At Desert Mountain in North Scottsdale, the dedication of the Jim Flick Golf Performance Center was held May 8 for community members and their guests. Special guests were Geri Flick and 2012 Charles Schwab Cup Champion Tom Lehman, who was the keynote speaker.

Flick served as the PGA director of instruction at Desert Mountain from 1987–2005 and spent five decades coaching more than 200 PGA professionals — including his most famous student, Jack Nicklaus, and countless amateurs and junior golfers.
In addition, Desert Mountain in Scottsdale has received the 2012 Developer Award from American Trails, a national nonprofit. Desert Mountain was recognized for a 6.6-mile private trail system within a 3,000-acre natural preserve in the community.

The three trails within the Desert Mountain trail system serve as a link between the community’s residential areas and three million acres of the Tonto National Forest.


Local Youth Honored at Digikids Film Festival

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale recently partnered with the Microsoft Store located at Scottsdale Fashion Square to showcase young Club members’ excellence in the area of multimedia art as part of the Digikids Film Festival. The program encourages Club members to learn and practice in digital arts, including movie making, music making, and graphic design.

The young honorees and the public got the chance to view their movies on the big screen, courtesy of the Harkins Theatre at Scottsdale Fashion Square. After the movie screenings, the festival moved to the Microsoft Store where a red carpet and awards presentation took place.

Award Winners
Pinnacle High School students Parker Bradshaw and Harrison Mosbaugh, members of the Club’s Vestar Branch in Desert Ridge, both took home “Best Actor” honors during the event for the exceptional work in their branch’s film “Living the Dream.”

Pueblo Elementary student Nhi Tran, a member of the Rose Lane Branch in Scottsdale, was named “Best Actress” for her work in her branch’s film, “Evil Dentist.”

Desert Mountain students Jake Davis and Aaron Fugelberg, members of the Virginia G. Piper Branch in North Scottsdale, earned the “Best Music Video” crown for their “White and Nerdy” musical short.

Rounding out the North Valley-area honorees were Copper Ridge Elementary students Jillian Miller and Samara Hamideh, members of the Thunderbirds Branch in North Scottsdale, won in the category of “Best Stop Motion” for their “Koala Cake” short.

Taking home “Best Movie” honors for their “Prison Break” movie submission during the event was none other than the team from Arcadia’s own Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch, including:
* Christa Palacio, 9, of Pima Elementary School
* Diego Davila, 9, of Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center
* Adyson Anaya, 9, of Pima Elementary School
* Iliana Morales, 10, of Pima Elementary School
* Kimberly Sierra, 9, of Tonalea Elementary School

In addition, children from the Club’s Paiute Outreach Center in Arcadia were also honored with the “Best Scary Movie” award for their “A Pauite Haunting” short film submission. These honorees are:
* Jasmine Silva, 9, of Tavan Elementary School
* Jhosevetd Gutierrez, 13, of Ingleside Middle School
* Maria Gutierrez, 13, of Ingleside Middle School
* Melonie Alvarez, 9, of Tonalea Elementary School
* Jonothan Garcia, 7, of Tavan Elementary School
* Annay Lopez, 11, of Tonalea Elementary School

Taking home “Best Action Sequence” honors during the event was none other than the team from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa’s own Lehi Branch, including:
* Thalisie Paukgana, 11, of Kerr Elementary School
* Anthony Shippley, 11, of Kerr Elementary School
* Alex Miranda, 11, of Lehi Elementary School

In addition, taking home “Best Sound Effects” honors during the event was the team from the Club’s Red Mountain Branch, also on the reservation, including:
* Victoria Maynard, 10, of Whittier Elementary School
* Mekkhi Chiago, 11, of Whittier Elementary School
* Vincent Chiago, 10, of Whittier Elementary School
* Nate Wood, 12, of Whitman Elementary School
* Jared Wood, 11, of Whitman Elementary School
* Gregorio Martinez, 11, of Whittier Elementary School
* Alacia Carlisle, 11, of Whittier Elementary School
* Georgia Carlisle, 10, of Whittier Elementary School
* Hastiin Reina, 11, of Whittier Elementary School
* Elisette Hayes, 10, of Salt River Elementary School
* Amber Dorchester, 10, of Salt River Elementary School
* Arianna Flores, 11, of Salt River Elementary School

Taking home “Best Harlem Shake” honors, a new award based on the popular viral videos popping up online each day, during the event was none other than the team from Fountain Hills’ own Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch. Dozens of youth members helped plan the “shake” and participated in the video.

Each team of winners will now be entered into the national competition where it will be up against regional winners in all 50 states. National winners will be announced later this summer.
In addition to seeing their work on the big screen, the kids were honored at the event with a Microsoft Store goody bag filled with over $75 worth of items including a lunch pail, sunglasses, store discount cards, games and more.

Club members worked all year to master the skills of digital art through the program. The arts, which develops creativity and cultural awareness through all different types of mediums, is just one of five core areas focused on at the Boys & Girls Clubs. The non-profit organization also promotes leadership development, education, life skills and sports, fitness and recreation through their 100 youth development programs.

“We fully support creativity through technology, and we’re excited to deepen our commitment to the Scottsdale communities by providing technology and resources to the Boys & Girls Clubs,” says Melissa Brewer, Community Development Specialist at the Microsoft Store. “We were so impressed by the grasp youth have today on software tools and technology.”


Luxury Real Estate Market Retrospective: 2001-2012

News archives must be bursting with stories examining real estate’s regional and national trends after one of the most dramatic events in U.S. real estate history. However, with the old adage in mind that all real estate is local, we wanted a clear retrospective of the market we serve without the sensationalism and consistently inconsistent “expert” predictions.

Real estate veterans and industry followers are no doubt aware of the outstanding work Mike Orr has done as founder of real estate research firm The Cromford Report, and his recent appointment to Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at ASU’s School of Business. We’ve asked him to analyze specifically our luxury market since 2001.

Though it’s no secret that residential real estate is often a purchase driven by passion, our clients are increasingly concerned about home-as-investment strategy. With this in mind, we analyzed the most helpful statistics for luxury home investors in Phoenix’s Northeast Valley from 2001 through 2012. The analysis covers single family homes $1,000,000 or more in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, Arcadia, Biltmore, Cave Creek, and Carefree. It is our hope that a better understanding of where we’ve been will help us know where we are going.

Annual Sales

In 2001, there were 396 sales of single-family homes listed at $1,000,000 or more. At the time, Scottsdale (182) narrowly beat Paradise Valley (170) for units sold, but Paradise Valley had a slight edge in terms of dollars spent. Sales in these two areas made up 89 percent of the entire luxury market, with Phoenix trailing at 15 sales in the Biltmore area and 13 in Arcadia. Carefree (7), Cave Creek (4), Fountain Hills (4) and Rio Verde (1) were relatively small markets then, and while they have grown tremendously since 2001, 86 percent of sales are still in either Scottsdale or Paradise Valley.

Sales volume grew slowly in 2002 and 2003, before expanding dramatically in 2004 and 2005 when it peaked at 1,563, almost four times the sales volume a mere four years earlier. Scottsdale accounted for much of the luxury sales growth, thanks to its relatively undeveloped landscape with room for new projects in DC Ranch, Troon, Grayhawk, McDowell Mountain, Pinnacle Peak, the Shea Corridor and Desert Mountain.

Although sales began to decline after the frenzied peak of 2005, luxury home sales remained reasonably buoyant when compared to the market at large, until demand fizzled out in the second half of 2007. The broader real estate market collapse, as well as the stock market collapse in 2008, would destroy confidence in real estate for years to come. Foreclosures and short sales became part of the new vernacular, peaking in 2010 and representing 33 percent of transactions that year. Total annual sales have remained at a similar level for the past five years, but distressed sales have declined to 17 percent of transactions in 2012. Total sales in 2012 were at their highest level since 2007.

Sales Pricing

The Northeast Valley luxury market appears extremely volatile when measured on a shortterm basis, due to relatively low volume and a wide range of price points. Greater accuracy is obtained by measuring pricing over longer periods, and the best way to judge pricing is typically on a per square foot basis. The next chart shows the 12-month moving average sales price per square foot, meaning each month is the average of that specific month and the 11 months preceding it.

In 2001, the luxury market was already troubled by over-supply, and took another hit after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and resulting stock market weakness. However, by 2004 pricing improved and prices escalated quickly during 2005 and 2006.

Yet, while prices fell from mid 2006 onwards in less expensive markets, luxury market price per square foot continued climbing – despite a slowdown in sales – into the early part of 2008. However, the extreme economic recession and the failures of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers took their toll from May 2008 onwards; prices collapsed from the peak of $404 per square foot in December 2007 to reach $290 by May 2010, before drifting to their lowest point ($277) in February 2012. Although the decline from peak to trough was a significant 31%, this is far less than the 59% drop in average price per square foot experienced by the overall market in the Metro Phoenix area.

Pricing finally began to recover as distressed homes worked their way through the system and by the end of 2012, price per square foot had crawled back to $291 and continue to trend upward. “86 percent of sales are still in either Scottsdale or Paradise Valley” “prices collapsed from the peak of $404 per square foot in December 2007 to reach $290 by May 2010.


During 2004 and 2005, new listings grew at a slower rate than sales volume, but they continued growing in 2006 and 2007 as sales declined; projects began during what we now recognize as the peak took time to finish. This ominous imbalance led to the huge excess of inventory in 2008 when only 766 homes were sold across the entire Northeast Valley luxury market. The number of distressed listings peaked in 2009 at 21 percent of new listings before declining to 9 percent in 2012. The number of new listings in total was at its lowest in 2011; 2012 was the first year since 2007 to show an increase in inventory. By the end of 2012, supply was roughly in balance with demand.


The luxury market is most active during the spring, and most transactions close from March to June each year. Over the last 12 years, this period typically generates sales at a remarkable 39 percent higher rate than the rest of the year.

Summary and Outlook

Between 2001 and 2012 the luxury home market has experienced a period of great turbulence and volatility, though not quite the extremes suffered by the rest of the market. As 2012 came to a close, supply and demand are near balanced. Barring external economic shocks, the luxury market looks likely to be relatively calm and positive.

For a personal analysis of what these numbers mean for your home, please contact our office at 480-991-2050.