Scottsdale and Paradise Valley Real Estate 

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Nov. 16, 2018

Paradise Valley - About and the History of.

History of Paradise Valley
The earliest history of Paradise Valley is fascinating. Although this beautiful city has only truly taken shape in last 75 years. The earliest true residents came over 2,000 years ago when the area was inhabited by a large tribes of Native American farmers known as the Hohokam. They were the first settlers to the area locals now fondly referred to as “The Valley”. The Hohokam’s were innovative. The Hohokam's pioneered the use of complex canal networks to irrigate the arid lands of the region. The Hohokam are arguably most famous for their architectural accomplishments (which include the Great Houses such as those still found at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The tribe occupied central Arizona, including the Paradise Valley and Scottsdale area, until around 1375 when it is believed erratic climate changes forced them to abandon most of their settlements. The few small villages that did remain became concentrated along the Gila River.
By the early 1800s, European settlers had found their way west and were using the land around Paradise Valley for cattle grazing and farming. In the 1860tys US troops patrolled the area but growth was still minimal. In an effort to encourage economic development of the arid regions of the Western states, Congress passed the Desert Land Claim Act of 1877. This allowed individuals to apply for up to 640 acres of land to farm and cultivate.
History of Paradise Valley, "Paradise is named"
This, in turn, brought three surveyors for the Rio Verde Canal Company out west in 1889 to survey the land in the Paradise Valley area for agricultural opportunities. Struck by the immense beauty of the spring wildflowers growing across the valley, the surveyors dubbed it “Paradise Valley.” At about this same time in late 1880ty’s Paradise valley’s neighbor Scottsdale was growing as a farming village was given the name “Scottsdale” in 1894 after its founder, U.S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott.

History Of Paradise Valley -Early housing and Real Estate
Going back to the earliest history of Paradise Valley, there was no reliable sources of water other than seasonal rainfall so the land was cheap. Well into the 1920s, development in Paradise Valley consisted mainly of modest adobe homes and what many might consider shacks built on large plots of land. With just a very few stately properties built by wealthy individuals from the 'east' drawn to Paradise Valley by the beauty and idyllic weather. Even after the second World war most homes were small and modest and yet a typical lot size was not less than 5 acres. Larger homes, A few of the predecessors to the grand estates of today i.e early stately Paradise Valley residences and schools were turned into guest lodges beginning in 1930 (such as the Hermosa Lodge, El Chorro Lodge and the Schildman Residence)
A few Images seen below, show the History of Paradise Valley in Pictures
PHOTOS OF EARLY PARADISE VALLEY.
history-of-paradise-valley-low
It wasn’t until the late 1930s, the modern history of Paradise Valley takes shape. Settlement began in earnest. It was around this time, in 1928, when one of Paradise Valley’s most notable historical buildings (not to mention one of the state of Arizona’s oldest independent college preparatory schools), The Judson School, opened its doors with seven students—all boys. In 1945, Henry Wick, who had taught at the school since 1938, bought it from George Judson and began offering English as a Second Language. These classes brought students from all around the world, representing a total of 30 different countries. Girls were admitted to The Judson School starting in 1956. This historic campus stood until 1999 when the 55 acre property was sold to a home developer. Who then built one of the most prestigious communities in Arizona aptly named Judson Estates. Today, there is still a small structure on the property which stands as a memorial to 72 years of The Judson School’s history.
The history of Paradise Valley evolves richly through 1930ty’s as it was becoming renowned for its stunning beauty, wide open spaces, and beautiful weather.

[caption id="attachment_2986" align="alignnone" width="485"]About Paradise Valley history Guest Paradise Valley 1930ty's[/caption]

As a result of the beautiful weather and scenic setting, the entire Valley became a draw for a number of the country’s most upscale resorts and in 1936, the Camelback Inn resort opened in nearby Scottsdale. With special attention being paid to the culture and history of Paradise Valley. Each casita at the Camelback Inn was built with adobe bricks made on the property, decorated with Native American art, and given a name that reflected the local cacti.

[caption id="attachment_2984" align="alignnone" width="529"]History of Paradise Valley Camelback inn Camelback Inn 1940ty's[/caption]

Other resorts, such as the Montelucia and Hermosa Inn soon followed, as did guest ranches such as Sun ‘N Sage, Diamond Lazy K, and Desert Lark. By the end of the World War II, Paradise Valley’s resorts were a go-to destination for the affluent. Today Paradise Valley is still one of the most beautiful and affluent communities in the U.S.
About Paradise Valley – 1960tys to Modern Day
As the cities of Scottsdale and Phoenix grew around Paradise Valley, The early Paradise Valley residents became determined to maintain the beauty and scenic beauty that inspired the name 'Paradise Valley'. So faced with mounting pressure from the swelling populations of nearby Scottsdale and Phoenix, residents of Paradise Valley formed the Citizens’ Committee for the Incorporation of The Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona. The committee’s goal was to incorporate the town of Paradise Valley so that urban sprawl and its subdivisions and shopping centers did NOT overtake the rural lifestyle to which Paradise Valley residents were accustomed. In April 1961, the Citizens’ Committee presented their petition for incorporation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and on May 24, 1961, it was granted. Paradise Valley, Arizona had been firmly established. April 1961, the Citizens’ Committee presented their petition for incorporation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and on May 24, 1961, it was granted. Paradise Valley, Arizona had been firmly established. A testament to the strength of a small group of early visionary residences from all different social strata. Especially true because at the time, Paradise Valley was still in it’s infancy with only about 2000 residences. Some of the more modest homes of the era, many with 5 acres could be purchased for a price of below $25,000. The history of Paradise Valley would not be what it is without these early homeowners. We applaud their foresight and passion. Today 5 acres in Paradise Valley might cost between $6,000,000 and $8,000,000. Add a nice home on 5 acres the price could exceed $12,000,000. Some of the early dictates established by the early Paradise Valley Committees was NO commercial Development in town limits (resorts only exception)... and residential zoning that would NOT allow more than 1 home per acre, unless the home was a within a resort community. The net result is beautiful streets, gorgeous stately homes with lush surroundings. Almost without exception when I show homes in Paradise Valley to Home buyers, with budgets of 1.5 million and more , the overwhelming response is,  'Paradise Valley is beyond compare for those seeking a beautiful luxury home, in a beautiful area,  that almost feels secluded but is only minutes to some of the best dining, entertainment and activities in the World '. The cities to me that most resemble Paradise Valley in the western United States is Beverly Hills and Bel Air California.
History of Paradise Valley Today. Facts and Stats
Today, Paradise Valley is a thriving luxury community of 13,000 people spanning across 16.5 square miles, with an elevation of 1,421 feet. Water is amply supplied by the Colorado river and natural resources. Residential taxes are some of the lowest in the nation, typically less than or equal to 1% of the homes market value. Strict zoning ordinances have kept commercial endeavors to a minimum so the community consists mostly of multi-million dollar homes set typically on lots of at least one acre each,  in a rare cases between 39,000 and 43,000 square feet.  In fact, local zoning ordinances have taken the town’s commitment to preserving individual privacy and space even further by restricting where a builder can place a home on a plot of land. The exact restriction is based on the height of the home’s exterior roof; for example, a home with an exterior roof height of 16 feet cannot be placed closer than 20 feet from the property line and a home with a 20-foot-high exterior roof cannot be closer than 40 feet to the property line. A home with 20 foot high roof line home must be 40 feet from property line and Paradise Valley homes with a maximum height of 24 must be 60 feet from the property line. This is referred to as the “Wedding Cake” rule and is intended to ensure each home has privacy and a view.
Paradise Valley has risen so far from its humble agrarian beginnings that it is now one of THE most affluent communities in America. And since we know you’re probably wondering what that means in actual dollars, consider this: a “fixer upper” starts around $1 million dollars and the most expensive luxury home ever sold in the state of Arizona (which sold for $35 million) is located here. (But don’t worry…with a range of $1.5 million to $25 million dollars, there are plenty of homes for everyone’s taste!) Some of the more prominent architects who have made their marks on the luxury homes found in Paradise Valley are Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo, Soleri, Bennie Gonzales, Ralph Haver, and Blaine Drake, to name merely a few. Today Paradise Valley continues to attract leading architects form around the world. To learn more about the designs and architects currently influencing and building Paradise Valley, Please call me. I would be happy to assist you.

History of Paradise Valley and demographics.

Residents include CEOs, physicians, small business owners, lawyers, software moguls, and plenty of other, famous and not-so-famous, names and faces make up the populous of the town of Paradise Valley.  Some of Paradise Valley’s most high profile residents included, a who's who of art, Hollywood and politics.

All of these residents contributed to and share in Paradise Valley’s natural treasures including:

Niki Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac , Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals

Robert Mitchum, tough guy actor owned a home on Mockingbird Lane. For many years Robert enjoyed attending Arabian horse events. Horses are quite a big part of the history of Paradise Valley. Even today, there are luxury estates with full horse facilities to train Arabian and Thoroughbred horses. One such Paradise Valley estate sold recently for 5.2 million.  Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States so popular here he has a community named after him "Cheney Estates".

Alice Cooper, guitar-slaying rock star and modern day Rock-n-Roll Disc Jockey! Who still shares his DJ skills with hosting a local radio show. You can tune  while in Paradise Valley. Those are just a few of the notables.

Today Paradise Valley continues to be a mecca for the sporting elite, a-list celebrities, fashion moguls and more. The amazing weather is undoubtedly a contributing factor to their attraction to this beautiful town. The factors that make the weather so perfect; As part of the Sonoran region, the Town of Paradise Valley is in an “arid zone” Paradise Valley only receives an average of eight inches of rainfall per year. (Also, missing from local weather? Snow! yes. NO snow.) And with summer temperatures averaging between 90 and 105 degrees and winter temperatures averaging between the mid 60tys to high 70ty’s, outside activities are abundant and available year-round. In addition to world-class golf courses, tennis courts, and playing fields for you to use for your outdoor pleasure, hiking, biking, and nature trails abound nearby in Paradise Valley such as world renowned Camelback Mountain with a popular 1.2 mile trail, where over 300,000 nature enthusiast visit each year.. and of course the well known Mummy Mountain. (However, before setting out on a hiking journey it is highly recommended that you speak with someone experienced in hiking the local trails and familiar with the area. Please feel free to call me, Michael Chaisson at RL Sotheby’s Realty for suggestions and tips 480-450-4632.)
If indoor activities are more your style, rest assured that Paradise Valley also has you covered. While the city’s Planning Committee has continued to honor its predecessor’s legacy of preserving the natural, rural, residential feel of the community, you still have plenty of options for fine dining, retail therapy, entertainment, and more. Examples include The Phoenician Resort (built by Charles Keating at a cost of $300 million) and the new five-star rated Ritz Carlton Resort. But rest assured, if you can’t find it in Paradise Valley, it’s a only a short drive to nearby Scottsdale—where you can experience all of the urban sprawl--that is, 5 star dining, music venues, dancing, play activity, and all the social and cultural events one could wish for!

Moving to Paradise Valley
There are so many more details about this stunningly beautiful, charming, and affluent community that would make anyone want to call it home. One of the most notable is besides it's beauty, in comparison to other cities and Towns offering the amenities and benefits of living here; luxury home pricing is actually low in comparison. A beautiful, stately home for sale in Paradise Valley may sell for For example 2.5 million the same home in Beverly Hills California would exceed 8 to 10 million. Let's look at some of the other wins.
 First-class schools-Highly rated schools-Paradise Valley
 High per capital income
 Crime rates well below the national average - Paradise Valley also has it's own police force.
 A vibrant artist community

But let’s be honest: this article can only give you words. So come to Paradise Valley--take in the sights, feel the air, meet some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and explore the community. Minutes to Scottsdale, 9 miles from downtown Phoenix ..And while you’re here, take a home tour with me—Michael Chaisson, Realtor, RL Sotheby’s International Realty—for a personal introduction into the luxury lifestyle offered  in Paradise Valley.

Realtor -Specializing in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix

Michael Chaisson - Realtor
Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty
Premier Client Services
Ranked Top 1% Nationally
Circle of 26 Excellence Award Recipient
480-450-4632

Please feel free to browse this site for information on activities in Scottsdale, Arcadia and Paradise Valley (see resources Tab)and recommendations for the best restaurants and service providers in the community. I also encourage your recommendations.

Oct. 30, 2018

Home Buying Tip #1 When relocating to Phoenix - Scottsdale

Home Buying Tip #1 When relocating to Phoenix-Scottsdale

 

Homes for sale in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley rank as some of the most beautiful homes in the world and Scottsdale is ranked as of the Top Ten Cities in The United States to live.  So with endless home options and beautiful cities to choose from, including Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert and Phoenix many buyers forget the #1 most important consideration when searching for a home... Where are you and your loved ones going to be MOST comfortable?? Not just in terms of the home you choose, but where to live.  This simple but important home buying tip is not as carefully considered as you might think and COST home buyers THOUSANDS every year. 

So in order of Home Search Tips; The first #1 home buying tip is. “Search for a Scottsdale – Phoenix – Paradise Valley home near the lifestyle you are going to most enjoy. Seems obvious, however, I meet countless home buyers who bought a beautiful home in the farthest reaches of our beautiful city, who after only six months decided being further away with a nicer house was NOT worth the compromise to their life style.
At the time; these home buyers purchased the home, they fell in love with the nicer -newer- less expensive homes that are available further from shops, restaurants, entertainment and everyone else, including most of their friends or potential friends.  

So in summary Step #1 – Where to start your search?

If you are comfortable just enjoying a "Beautiful structure" …. and rarely go out…. or longer drives for milk… or to see friends will make you happy... than YES.. I can negotiate a better price on a nice home for you in the outer reaches of Scottsdale, Phoenix Gilbert or Chandler. However, if the mere joy of watching the rabbits run across your yard and admiring your newer counter tops is going to wear off in a short time; then you may consider a nice but likely slightly smaller home, closer the center of all the fun activities, events and new friends. AND to narrow it down more.. what neighborhoods are going to feel great to you ??   I am here to always discuss all aspects of finding and negotiating an amazing home for you.

For the very best in professional real estate services in buying or selling a home in Scottsdale, Phoenix or Paradise Valley,  Arcadia AZ , Please feel free to call me direct at 480-450-4632

Michael Chaisson Realtor

Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty

Premier Client Services -

Ranked Top 1% Nationally

Circle of Excellence Award Recipient

 

 

Posted in Home buying tips
Oct. 10, 2018

Complete GUIDE to Phoenix Golf Courses -

You asked for it, so here you go! Half of my clients looking for homes for sale in Scottsdale or homes for sale in Paradise Valley are 100% Golf lovers. So, for you my friends, here is your guide to over 30 of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix's top golf courses, complete with Golf Course ratings and Scale Guidelines. We scoured over 25 publications and sites to bring you the fool TEE. 

1.      Level of Difficulty: 1-10: 1 = Easiest / 10 Hardest

2.      Awe Factor: 1-10: 1 = Dud / 10 Amazing

3.      Value/Bang for your Buck: 1 = Lowest Value / 10 Amazing Bargain!!

4.      Course Layout: 1-10: 1 = Dud / 10 Amazing

5.      Service: 1-10: 1 = Terrible / 10 Amazing

6.      Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 1-5: 1 = Boondocks – 1hr+, 2 = Outskirts – 45+ min,3 = City fringe – 30+ mins, 4 = Sweet spot – 20+ mins, 5 = Stumble home!

# 1 - Troon North Golf Club
10320 E Dynamite Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ  85262 
480.585.5300
www.troonnorthgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 8
Awe Factor: 9.5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 6.5
Course Layout: 9.5
Service: 9
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2

Known as Scottsdale's "crown jewel," Troon North Golf Club offers players an unrivaled Scottsdale desert golf experience. The two 18-hole courses wind through scenic foothills and natural ravines in the cool shadows of Pinnacle Peak. The rugged landscape of Arizona's Sonoran Desert creates an iconic golf experience that remains unmatched in the Southwest. The course is famous for its ambiance, challenging natural terrain, and visual beauty. The fairways are immaculately groomed, featuring bent grass greens and impeccable customer service. The Monument and Pinnacle courses consistently rank as some of the best in the country and are at the top of many golfers’ must-play list.

What they say – “Still the king of the Scottsdale public “must-plays” thanks to a pair of courses that dish out cacti, arroyos, rock outcroppings and stunning vistas of Pinnacle Peak and the surrounding mountains. The Monument course is the more scenic of the two, but Pinnacle is the more cohesive test and is walkable, a rarity among modern real estate-oriented desert courses. A revitalized Dynamite Grille, with a new menu and bar, is now a highly regarded post-round option in the clubhouse.”  DG

#2 - SunRidge Canyon Golf Club
13100 Sunridge Dr., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
480.837.5100
www.sunridgegolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 8
Awe Factor: 9.5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 8.5
Course Layout: 8.5
Service: 9.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

SunRidge Canyon is a hidden gem located just outside of Scottsdale. SunRidge Canyon has the best vistas, golf property and design of any public golf course in the state. At SunRidge Canyon, each hole has a feel of its own and moves with the land, canyon and terrain. The front nine runs down through a dramatic canyon, slowly dropping 200 feet over a 9-hole span. The back nine slowly runs back up the canyon, ending with the notorious “Wicked Six”. Just about every hole on the back nine belongs in some advertisement for desert golf.  The holes are that good! The course is awesome, but the Wicked Six restaurant is second to none; offering a breathtaking patio that overlooks the Verde Valley, huge fire pit, live entertainment and an open-air kitchen. Truly one of the best facilities and environment you find at any course. SunRidge Canyon’s location is very convenient for people staying in the Scottsdale area- only 20 minutes from the heart of Scottsdale.

# 3 - We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
18200 East Toh Vee Circle, Fountain Hills, AZ 85264
480.836.9000
www.wekopa.com 
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 8.5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 8
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 3
Sister courses are Cholla, Saguaro & Walking Saguaro.  

The We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is located on the eastern edge of Scottsdale, blessed with stunning mountain vistas in nearly every direction. The Club offers players of all skill levels access to many great amenities, including a 21,000 square foot clubhouse featuring a full-service restaurant, bar and expansive patio. It's no surprise that Golf week magazine ranks the Saguaro course #67 in America's top 100 modern courses. The two courses are also the #1 and #2 rated public access courses in Arizona. The We-Ko-Pa's combination of beauty and accessibility is incomparable and unbeatable. Play the Cholla course to get a glimpse of desert wildlife.

What they say - “The two layouts on tribal land owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai nation just east of Scottsdale equal any in the area. The Cholla course, a Scott Miller design, has incomparable scenery and holes that zigzag artfully through canyons, over ridges and down mountain slopes. The Saguaro course, a 2006 Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design, is wide enough that a spray hitter will still find his tee shot. There are few forced carries, so a golfer who struggles to get it airborne can also enjoy. Strong players will bask in the challenge of strategic bunkers, superb risk/reward decisions and cleverly contoured greens. Add elevation changes, mountain vistas and a forest of cacti to the mix and you’ve got an unbeatable combination.” RC

# 4 - The Boulders Golf Club
34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85377
480.488.9028
www.bouldersclub.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 9 
Value/Bang for your Buck: 6
Course Layout: 8
Service: 8
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2

If you want to get away from it all, this is the place for you. The desert wildlife and breathtaking scenery make this one of the most relaxing resorts in the US. As for the golf, there is a good chance you will encounter the natural desert terrain, as it surrounds each of these holes and finds its way into several of these immaculate fairways. Accurate placement of your tee shots is desired if you want the best chance to hit these greens. The South Course is the main attraction here, featuring impeccable fairways that manage to stay green even at the height of summer.

What they say - “Jay Morrish sculpted two superb courses from the prehistoric rocks that define this property in the charmingly named town of Carefree. The North course is the stronger, better balanced of the two, but the South has the more spectacular holes, including the par-4 opener and the par-5 sixth, with green sites tucked into six-story high boulder complexes.” AK

# 5 - Quintero Golf Club
16752 West State Route 74, Peoria, AZ 85383 
928.501.1500
www.quinterogolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 8
Awe Factor: 9.5 
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 8 
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 0

For a world-class golfing experience in the tradition of the world’s most celebrated golf courses, Quintero Golf Club near Phoenix offers players the opportunity for a pure game on a magnificent, secluded, Rees Jones-designed course. Quintero is known for having the finest playing surfaces, and the best multi-level bent grass greens of any golf course in Phoenix-Scottsdale area, or any course in the Southwest. Quintero Golf Club is located approx. 60 miles west of Scottsdale located on some of the best Sonoran Desert terrain a person will find anywhere in the world. Elevation, elevation, elevation! The changes in elevation are breathtaking and consistent through all 18 holes. All 18 holes move upward or downward, with only 3-4 holes on flatter terrain. This promotes spectacular views of the box canyon the course is located in. Course conditions are always top notch and scenery is probably the best of all valley courses. If not for the lengthy drive, proximity to Scottsdale and 1-2 quirky holes, Quintero might have moved up a few notches on this ranking to 1 or 2. Located just 20 miles from Wickenburg and in the middle of the Sonoran Desert allows a visiting golfer to experience the unspoiled west.

#6 - Grayhawk Golf Club
8620 East Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
480.502.1800
www.grayhawkgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 7 
Value/Bang for your Buck: 4
Course Layout: 7
 
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

Grayhawk Golf Club is world renowned and one of the first public, desert golf courses built in the world. Following shortly behind Troon North’s entrance on the desert golf world, Grayhawk built a gem in the North Scottsdale desert. Boasting 36 holes and the best clubhouse in the Phoenix area, Grayhawk fulfills every golfer’s desires. The course designs and terrain are very good, but depending on opinions, might not be in the top 10 in the valley. The star is the clubhouse, practice facility and restaurants! The course offers 4 restaurants, 2 practice facilities, numerous putting greens and landscape that rivals many 5-star resorts. Grayhawk’s location is nicely located 20-25 minutes from the Scottsdale hot spots.

What they say  - “This facility didn’t invent the “country club for a day,” theme, but it may have perfected it in the 1990s when Phil’s Grill (named for Phil Mickelson) was a beehive for tour pros. Lefty has moved back to his native San Diego, but the ‘Hawk still brims with ambiance, excellent service, above-average dining options and classic rock tunes piped to the practice range via faux-rock speakers. The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course has hosted most of the big events, including the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open (2007-2009), but the David Graham/Gary Panks-crafted Talon course offers more drama, notably at the par-3 11th, where golfers traverse a swinging bridge to reach the back tee, and at the island-green, par-3 17th that’s rimmed with colorful flowers.” BD

#7 - Verde River Golf & Social Club
29005 N. Verde River Way, Rio Verde, AZ 85263
480.471.3232
www.verderivergolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 8.5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 8
Course Layout: 7.5
Service: 7.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2

Hidden gem and value! Verde River Golf & Social Club is perched just outside of the Tonto National Forrest and offers the best vistas in the Phoenix area, bar none! It is a reasonably new development, so there are very few houses or structures on the property, which enhances the golfer’s experience. The layout is very good, but again the views and vistas take the show here. Turf conditions consistently rival the best courses in the valley. Value, Value, Value! Verde River Golf & Social Club offers value second only to Sunridge Canyon. You can enjoy Verde River Golf & Social Club for 2/3 the cost of many other valley courses while enjoying the same quality conditions and views of a Troon North or Grayhawk. If not for the proximity to Phoenix and Scottsdale, Verde River Golf & Social Club might be a bit higher on this list.

#8 – Verrado Golf Club
4242 North Golf Drive, Buckeye, AZ 85396
623.388.3000
www.verradogolfclub.com
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 8
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 8
Service: 8
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 0

Simply put, The Verrado Golf Club is Grayhawk on steroids without the clubhouse. The Verrado Golf Club offers a spectacular course layout and great Sonoran Desert terrain. The course is always in immaculate condition and clubhouse is awesome. If not for the proximity to Scottsdale and Phoenix hotels and other courses, The Verrado Golf Club is a must play!

# 9 - Southern Dunes
48456 AZ-238, Maricopa, AZ 85139
480.367.8949
www.akchinsoutherndunes.com
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 5.5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7.5
Course Layout: 7
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 0

Southern Dunes started out as a private facility in the southernmost tip of the Phoenix area. This private feel is still in Southern Dunes bones and provides a very cool atmosphere for golfers vacationing in the Phoenix Area. It is hard to put a finger on what makes this course so alluring.  Course condition is fantastic, the clubhouse is intimate and is decked out in dark wood accents throughout the building and the practice facility makes you feel like you’re at a private club on the east coast. The course layout is very solid but offers little in the way of views and elevation changes. With that being said, the course hosts many professional tournaments throughout the year and holds up against the very best in the valley. Proximity is the key to Southern Dunes not ranking a bit higher, as this course is 1+ hour drive from central Scottsdale.

What they say - “Located in Maricopa, 25 minutes south of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, Southern Dunes is a big, bold, 7,300-yard layout and possibly the very best work that Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley have done (Fred Couples consulting). Broad, fescue-framed fairways, artfully contoured bunkers and masterfully crafted undulating greens are framed by unobstructed mountain and desert vistas. Add a green fee that’s less than half of some of Scottsdale’s trophy courses and you have one of Arizona’s best values.” MC

#10 – TPC Scottsdale Stadium
17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
480.585.4334
www.tpc.com/scottsdale
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 2
Course Layout: 8
Service: 9
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4.5

Host to the largest tour event in the world! TPC Scottsdale is a tough course to leave out of a golfer’s bucket list when traveling to Phoenix area. Pristine conditions, great course layout, newly remodeled clubhouse and wonderful practice facilities. All of the aforementioned coupled with a great location right in the heart of north Scottsdale allows TPC Scottsdale Stadium course to make our top 10.

What they say - “Home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the best-attended (and rowdiest) stop on the PGA Tour, the TPC Scottsdale Stadium course is nobody’s idea of a beauty queen, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in thrills. The island-green, par-5 15th and drivable par-4 17th are two water-tinged, risk/reward greats. For trivia fans, note that the latter is the site of the only ace on a par-4 in PGA Tour history (Andrew Magee, 2001), while the loudest hole in golf, the par-3 16th, reached its zenith in 1997 when Tiger Woods carded a memorable hole-in-one.” AM

#11 – Legend Trail Golf Club
9462 E. Legendary Lane, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
480.488.7434
www.legendtrailgc.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 7
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 7
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2.5

Legend Trail is set 2,500 feet above sea level, which keeps the temperature very nice even in the shoulder months. This elevation also is set in the true Sonoran Desert which gets more rain and has a better climate than many courses in the valley. The front nine is a high quality nine, however, offers very little dramatic views or holes. Conversely, the back nine is one of the best public nines in the valley. The back nine offers sweeping views of the valley, ravines and many elevation changes.

#12 -Wildfire Golf Club
5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054
888.705.7775
www.marriott.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 6
Value/Bang for your Buck: 3
Course Layout: 7.5
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

36 holes of great golf located in the middle of a JW Marriott resort and next to “City North” complex. The two golf courses differ a bit, as one is a desert layout and the other has more of links feel to it. Both courses are immaculately maintained, and both layouts are highly regarded – Really a cool location and lots to do before and after golf within a couple miles.

#13 – Eagle Mountain Golf Club
14915 E. Eagle Mountain Parkway, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
480.816.1234
www.eaglemtn.com 
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 7
Value/Bang for your Buck: 5
Course Layout: 6.5
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

Eagle Mountain offers 18 holes of great golf and dramatic views of the Phoenix skyline. Eagle Mountain is the only course in the valley that truly offers a panoramic view of the Scottsdale and Phoenix cityscape. The course is a rugged desert layout with much elevation change, which keeps golfers guessing on each shot. Mounding effects throughout the course provide gentle bounces and kicks back into play, rather than out of play. This distinct factor makes Eagle Mountain one of the most playable desert courses in the valley.

#14 - Whirlwind Golf Club
5692 W North Loop Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226
 480.940.1500
www.whirlwindgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 4
Course Layout: 7
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2.5

Whirlwind Golf Club offers 36 holes of pristine golf. Pristine conditions are the predominant feature at Whirlwind, as they are consistently in the top 3-4 courses in the valley. The course layouts are very solid, however, offer very little elevation change or dramatic character seen on many dessert courses. As stated the clubhouse and turf conditions make up for dramatic features. Close to Sheraton Wild Horse Casino and only 20 minutes from Tempe, allows golfers plenty of nearby attractions.

#15 – Talking Stick Golf Course
9998 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
480.860.2221
www.talkingstickgolfclub.com
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 3
Course Layout: 6
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 5

Talking Stick offers 36 holes of pristine golf located on Indian Reservation in the heart of Scottsdale. The course is always in impeccable condition, and design is above average on a flat piece of property. One of the courses is a resort/Parkland layout and the other is a links-style course. A beautiful view of the surrounding mountains, unobstructed by any buildings or homes, makes for an enjoyable experience for any range of golfer. With all of the aforementioned, the star of this course is the location and the best Casino (Talking Stick) in the valley.

What they say - “Though their flat fairways provide less drama than many Valley courses, you won’t find a more artfully crafted set of bunkers in town than at Talking Stick, which sports a pair of Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw-designed tracks on tribal land, complete with mountain views but thankfully no houses. The North is the more strategic of the two, but the South features more trees, making it a better summer course.” KL

#16 – Gold Canyon Golf Club
6100S. Kings Ranch Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118
480.982.9090
www.weddinsofgoldcanyon.com
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 9
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 7
Service: 7.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 1

Gold Canyon offers 36 holes of true desert golf. The Sidewinder course is quirky and unimpressive, but still a nice course for individuals looking for a quality rate. The star is the Dinosaur course, which is one of the best and most dramatic desert courses in the valley. With towering saguaros, deep ravines and vistas of The Superstition Mountains, the Dinosaur course is on one of the best pieces of land in the Phoenix area. Furthermore, the Dinosaur course would certainly rank higher if not for the 1 hour plus drive from Phoenix or Scottsdale.

What they say - “Forty-five minutes east of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport is Gold Canyon Golf Resort’s Dinosaur Mountain course, a Ken Kavanaugh design that should be mentioned in any discussion of Scottsdale’s best layouts. Home construction in the last decade has detracted from the aesthetics, but the elevation changes, the sheer variety of holes and in-your-face encounters with the Superstition Mountains make this worth the drive, no matter where you’re staying in town.” HK

#17 – Estrella Mountain Ranch Golf Club
11800 S. Golf Club Dr., Goodyear, AZ 85338
623.386.2600
www.estrellagolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 7
Awe Factor: 9
Value/Bang for your Buck: 8
Course Layout: 7
Service: 7.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 0

Mountain is a wonderful Jack Nicklaus Jr. designed golf course set in the foothills of South Phoenix. The design is superb, and the course views are very, very impressive. If not for the 1 hour plus drive from the Scottsdale area, this course would’ve ranked higher on this list.

#18 – Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
12575 W. Golf Club Dr., Peoria, AZ 85383
623.328.5100
www.trilogygolfclub.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 6
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 6
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2

Trilogy at Vistancia is an 18-hole links style golf course located on the outer edge of the Phoenix area. This location allows for a nice piece of property, set in a beautiful desert surrounding. The golf course is very solid and will test all types of golfers. The clubhouse is elegant and very well equipped for groups and couples alike. The only downside to Trilogy at Vistancia is the location is about 50 minutes from the Scottsdale area and can make for a long drive to and from the course. Conversely, if you are staying near Cardinal stadium or Coyotes stadium, then this course is only a 15-20 drive.

#19 – The Raven Golf Club at South Mountain
3636 E. Baseline Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85042
602.243.3636
www.ravenphx.com
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 4
Value/Bang for your Buck: 6
Course Layout: 7.5
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2.5

The Raven is an interesting property lined with pine tree and pine straw, which harkens a golfer back to the East coast. The property the course sits on is flat and unimpressive, however, the architect and builders did a great job of mounding and designing the course. The course is superbly designed, without any bad/quirky holes. The course is located about 10 minutes from Sky Harbor airport which makes for a great first or last round for travelers leaving or arriving on their day of play.

#20 – Legacy Golf Resort
7205 South 24
th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85042
866.729.7182
www.shellhospitality.com
Level of Difficulty: 4
Awe Factor: 4
Value/Bang for your Buck: 6
Course Layout: 6.5
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2.5

The Legacy is located right across the street from The Raven and has a very similar feel. The course is maintained better than The Raven but doesn’t quite offer the layout The Raven offers. The Legacy has a large, beautiful clubhouse and is one of the best-maintained courses in the valley. The course is located about 10 minutes from Sky Harbor airport which makes for a great first or last round for travelers leaving or arriving on their day of play.

#21 – Las Sendas Golf Course
7555 East Eagle Crest Drive, Mesa, AZ 85207
480.396.4000
www.lassendas.com
Level of Difficulty: 10
Awe Factor: 7
Value/Bang for your Buck: 6
Course Layout: 7
Service: 7
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 2

Let us start by stating Las Sendas is a golfer’s course! It is by far, the toughest course in the valley, which makes for a tricky rating on this ranking chart. Design wise, the course only has a few quirky holes, but is pretty solid. It seems Robert Trent Jones got a bit over his skis on this one, which makes you scratch your head on a few holes and has you licking your wounds after the round. The setting is superb and is set overlooking the West Valley and is a great spot at sunset and at night. Conditions at this course always very good!

#22 – Camelback Golf Course
7847 N. Mockingbird Lane, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
480.596.7050
www.marriott.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 6
Value/Bang for your Buck: 4
Course Layout: 8
Service: 9
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 1

Camelback has 18 holes of resort golf (Padre) and 18 holes of links-style golf. This rating is all about the new course Ambience! This course is set on an unimpressive piece of land; however, the builders and designers did amazing work to transform this course into a real gem. If this was only 18 holes, the overall ranking would’ve been higher as this course is brilliant.  A must see in the springtime when the native wildflowers are blooming.

#23 – McCormick Ranch Golf Club
7505 E. McCormick Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480.948.0260
www.mccormickranchgolf.com

Level of Difficulty: 7.5
Awe Factor: 3
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 9
Service: 7
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 10

McCormick Ranch has 36 holes of championship golf, set right in the middle of everything. Both courses are superbly designed and have zero bad holes. Both courses are also very challenging but fair and are the local golfers' favorite spot. The clubhouse is a bit dated and the course offers travelers not much in the way of the true desert golf experience (saguaros, canyons or vistas). But, if you are looking for a great tree lined/parkland course, with a design second to none, then this is your course.

#24 – Dove Valley Golf Club
7505 E. McCormick Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480.948.0260
www.mccormickranchgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 4
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7.5
Course Layout: 8
Service: 8
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 1.5

Dove Valley is another course set in the Sonoran Desert on the fringes of the Phoenix Area. A Robert Trent Jones design enhances this course’s appeal. The course design is very, very good (especially the back nine) and the conditions are always very good. This course would be rated higher on this scale if not for the location and proximity to homes and other obstructions visible from the course.

#25 - Kierland Golf Club 
15636 Club Gate Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 
480.922.9283
www.kierlandgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 4
Awe Factor: 4
Value/Bang for your Buck: 3
Course Layout: 6
Service: 9
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 5

The Kierland Golf Club, located at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, is the perfect place to savor the essence of championship-level golf in the desert. Located in the heart of "new" Scottsdale, Kierland Golf Club is set against the dramatic skies and picturesque mountain ranges of Arizona's beautiful Sonoran Desert, making this a must-play course for lovers of rugged outdoor play. This is one of the country's most luxurious resort destinations, and the three award-winning courses have won numerous distinctions, including being named one of the best courses in America by Golf week and Best Golf Shop 2011 by Golf World.

# 26 - The Pointe Golf Club at Lookout Mountain Golf Club
11111 N 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85020
602.866.6356
www.tapatiocliffshilton.com
Level of Difficulty: 6.5
Awe Factor: 7
Value/Bang for your Buck: 5
Course Layout: 5
Service: 8.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

The Lookout Mountain Golf Club is part of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, which has helped the resort become one of Phoenix's most popular golfing destinations. It is consistently ranked as one of Arizona's top 25 golf courses and it is a favorite of local golfers who are in the know. Adjacent to the Phoenix Mountain Reserve, the course tumbles across a rugged landscape that offers plenty of changes in elevation. Many holes play from elevated tees that offer both a challenge and a stunning view of the surrounding Sonoran Desert and Piestewa Peak. A great amount of variety is incorporated into the design, which is most clearly seen in the fairways that range from wide and open to narrow and tree lined.

# 27 -  ASU Karsten Golf Course
1125 West 1
st Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
480.921.8070 
www.asukarsten.com
Level of Difficulty: 7.5
Awe Factor: 3
Value/Bang for your Buck: 5
Course Layout: 7
Service: 7
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

ASU Karsten Golf Course is the birthplace of Phil Mickelson, so there is some history here that cannot be duplicated. Proximity to Central Scottsdale and 2 minutes from Tempe makes for a perfect location. The course itself is a Pete Dye course with some incredibly tough holes. If you like Pete Dye courses and the tricks he plays, this is the course for you. The scenery is spotted with a few power lines and buildings which take a bit away from the course and its offerings.

# 28 – Arizona Biltmore Golf Club
2400 E. Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016
602.955.9655
www.azbiltmoregc.com
Level of Difficulty: 5
Awe Factor: 5
Value/Bang for your Buck: 3
Course Layout: 6
Service: 8
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 4

Arizona Biltmore Golf Club has 36 holes of resort-style golf. Both courses have tree-lined and generous fairways. Centrally located and only 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix, this course is a great site for groups heading to D-Backs or Suns games. Furthermore, there are many world-class restaurants near the resort (Camelback corridor). Both of the 18 holes are very unassuming, but very playable and fun courses. The Links course has more character, but a touch more difficult than the Adobe course.

# 29- Arizona Grand Golf Course
8000 South Arizona Grand Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85044
602.431.6488
www.arizonagrandgolf.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 8
Value/Bang for your Buck: 7
Course Layout: 6
Service: 9.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 3.5

The Arizona Grand Golf Course has 18 holes of desert/resort style golf. The course is a combination of easy fun holes, coupled with nice desert holes and scenery. There are a few quirky holes and dramatic elevations, which make the course tight in spots and sometimes tough to find good aiming spots. Arizona Grand is located 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix and 5 minutes to Tempe provides quick access to some of the best bars in town. The Staff at AZ Grand is second to none in the valley.

# 30 - The Phoenician Golf Club
6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 
480.423.2450 
phoeniciangolf@troon.com
Level of Difficulty: 6
Awe Factor: 7
Value/Bang for your Buck: 3
Course Layout: 5
Service: 9.5
Proximity to Prime Hotels, Restaurants and Activities: 5

The Phoenician Golf Course is one of Scottsdale's most popular golf destinations. The Phoenician is home to three courses: The Desert Nine, Oasis Nine, and Canyon Nine. The Desert Nine is the most popular course because of its unique layout, awesome desert views, and dramatic elevation changes. The Oasis Nine is a more traditional course, featuring tree-lined fairways and serene water features. The Canyon Nine is the lushest of the three courses. It’s located on the southern slope of Camelback Mountain, offering amazing views of the city and desert-landscaped terrain. Afterward, players can enjoy a post-round bite or meal at one of the resort's award-winning restaurants.

Other Great Golf Courses:

The Estancia Golf Club
27998 N 99th Place, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
480.473.4400
www.estanciaclub.com

Opened in 1995, Estancia is nestled on 640 acres of the northern slope of Scottsdale's famed landmark
Pinnacle Peak in a private, gated community. Honored internationally, the Tom Fazio designed 18-hole championship golf course offers 7,314 yards of superb golf, bent grass greens, and breathtaking views. Ease of play is impressive at 17,000 annual rounds and enhanced by an active caddy program. Estancia is a private club, owned and operated by its members.  Supporting a legacy of ambiance and friendship, a wide array of social-based activities presents numerous options for Estancia members and their guests. Our clubhouse amenities include dining, fitness center, tennis, pickleball and basketball courts, swimming pool, steam room, jacuzzi and massage therapy. Groups meet often for hiking, book club and bridge games.

Whisper Rock Golf Course
32002 N Old Bridge Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85266
480.575.8700
www.whisperrockgolf.com

Whisper Rock Golf Club provides its members with a pure golf environment. It is not a country club in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a private members’ facility focused solely on providing players with the finest traditional golf experience possible and a great ‘hang.’

Membership in Whisper Rock Golf Club is based solely upon sponsorship and invitation and is not tied to property ownership in any way. This allows residents to enjoy the cachet and ambiance of living in a private golf community without the financial commitment generally required to do so while also creating and protecting the core golf experience of the golf club.  The Lower Course, designed by PGA Tour player Phil Mickelson and architect Gary Stephenson, opened in February 2001. It features an exceptional design that emphasizes the “down in the desert” beauty of Whisper Rock’s lush natural washes and rolling desert topography. The Upper Course, created by celebrated designer Tom Fazio, opened for member play in January of 2005. This course highlights the stunning beauty of Whisper Rock’s numerous rock outcroppings and dramatic “uplands.” 

Whisper Rock’s membership is limited to 580 golf memberships for the 36-hole facility. This allows the focus to be on ensuring members the best possible access to their golf course while offering a large enough membership that individual members do not have to “bring their own game.”  Whisper Rock is committed to providing a golf experience and environment that has the chance to stand the test of time.

 

Desert Mountain Golf Course
37700 Desert Mountain Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
480.595.4000
www.desertmountain.com

Situated on 8,000 acres in the high Sonoran Desert. Tucked into the rolling hills and dramatic scenery of north Scottsdale, Arizona, Desert Mountain is among the finest private golf and recreational communities in the world and is consistently ranked among the top private clubs in the nation. It is the only private community worldwide with six Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, each one designed to offer an individual playing experience at all skill levels. But great golf is just the beginning. A wide variety of amenities, activities and events for every member of the family makes the Desert Mountain lifestyle like no other. Always evolving with new opportunities and experiences, this legendary community defines the ultimate in high desert living.

Mirabel Golf Club
37100 N Mirabel Club Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
480.437.1500
www.mirabel.com

This stunning Tom Fazio 7,147-yard, par-71 course is an exceptional example of the outstanding quality, craftsmanship and beauty that are the hallmarks of Mr. Fazio’s global reputation. Above all, he designs to create a unique golf experience for each player that is challenging, enjoyable, and memorable.  Tee boxes, fairways and greens that reveal a dramatic expanse of lush Sonoran Desert and majestic mountain vistas.  Thoughtful design that includes generous landing areas and forward tee positions for golfers from pros to beginners.  The age-old tradition of a caddie program, which places Mirabel among the most prestigious of golf clubs anywhere.  Highly qualified staff ensure a memorable Mirabel Experience every round.  On-Course Chef & Comfort Stations keeping golfers refreshed with complimentary snacks, cold beverages, home-made Mirabel treats and more!

 

Silverleaf Club
18701 N Silverleaf Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
480.515.3200
www.silverleafclub.com

At Silverleaf, golf returns to the golden age of its origins. Tom Weiskopf has crafted a signature course like no other for members of the private Silverleaf Club, where play is steeped in the game’s most anointed traditions of challenge and reward. With the par-72 championship golf course winding along 7,322 yards of inspiring terrain, it’s golf as it was meant to be played−rounds hard-fought and won in the spirit of competitive camaraderie.  Its breadth and spaciousness, splendid views and reliance on natural contours result in play that neatly balances the Weiskopf signatures of exciting risk and ample reward.  The par 72 course presents a degree of challenge that all players will applaud. Playability for every skill level is key. Multiple tees offer panoramic views along a course where, at every turn, the dramatic scenery inspires. Members just don’t play the course, they experience it.

Wigwam Golf Course
451 N Old Litchfield Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
623.935.9414
www.wigwamgolf.com

With three golf courses and multiple dining options from which to choose, The Wigwam is the ideal location for your next charity golf tournament, corporate golf outing or special event.  Are your tournament participants hardcore golfers? Then an outing on our “tough-as-nails” Gold Course would be a great challenge for them.  Or, are your tournament participants new to the game? If that’s the case, we suggest playing your tournament on our shorter, more user-friendly Blue Course.  Or, if you have a mix of new players and seasoned golfers, then our Red Course, with its wide fairways and generously-sized greens, is the perfect course for mixed groups.  In addition to golf tournament planning, The Wigwam offers a full assortment of catering options. Our team of catering experts can work with you and your budget to deliver the product that’s right for you.

The Club at DC Ranch
9290 E Thompson Peak Pkwy #1, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
480.342.7200
www.ccdcranch.com

Designed by Tom Lehman and John Fought, The Country Club at DC Ranch is a wonderful private course at the base of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. Spectacular views frame all 18 holes making the course one of the most prime locations in the entire valley. The Country Club at DC Ranch was designed for all levels of golfers. Kids and beginning players can comfortably develop their games, while the more accomplished players can certainly be challenged by the course's length, its deep bunkers and the subtle breaks on the greens. Our members call The Country Club at DC Ranch home. The community, the friendships and the course make this private gem a wonderful experience all around. 

For More on Paradise Valley and Scottsdale Real Estate , Activities, Living Please feel free to call me I am a Realtor but I am also a community ambassador.

 

Michael Chaisson Realtor

480-450-4632

Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty

Premier Client Services -

Ranked Top 1% Nationally

Circle of Excellence Award Recipient

 

Sept. 24, 2018

Scottsdale Restaurant Guide From Scottsdale Homes

If you live in Scottsdale or just visiting we want you to have a handy list of restaurants in the City of Scottsdale.

Click the link below for a world-class variety of restaurants. More than 40 restaurants listed. Choose everything from the best steaks in the city to south of the border Mexican gourmet.

https://arizonarestaurantweek.com/restaurants/scottsdale/

To learn more about the homes near any of your favorite restaurants or activities, please feel free to contact me or any member of my team. We are always happy to share recommendations for anything including restaurants (featured here) golf bargains, dry cleaners and awesome spas. All near the great community of Scottsdale.

To learn more about activities and make friends in Scottsdale please feel free to join the Scottsdale AZ Community on Facebook.  The most important part of buying a home in Scottsdale is the community. I believe in that strongly an as a Realtor in the greater Phoenix area. I make sure every client I work with finds a community that is a perfect fit for them.

Call with questions or to say hello. Michael Chaisson and Team Realtor - Scottsdale -Paradise Valley and Phoenix
480-450-4632

 

 

 

Sept. 16, 2018

TOP 5 Costly Homebuyer Mistakes

 

BEFORE YOU BUY A HOME KNOW THIS: There are five significant factors that will cost you THOUSANDS unless you purchase a home without even one of the issues noted in this real estate report. 

 

FIRST, what happens IF you, as a home buyer, make a mistake when buying? Below is a short cautionary story of a true home buying nightmare. The facts below apply to whether you are spending $300,000 or $10,000,000 on a home.

Lesson #1   

A doctor and his family purchased a home for $1.5 million. Eight months after the purchase, the doctor gets a higher job offer, closer to his wife’s family in another city. So the doctor called the real estate agent he originally bought the home with, the agent who had originally told him, “he had gotten a great buy”. So when the doctor asked the agent to “resell the home”, the doctor felt confident he could sell the home quickly because his then agent had shown him all of the 'sold comparables'.

 

The agent took the listing contract at just $25,000 over the price the buyer had purchased the home for, a minor amount at this price point. The market had gone up in the previous eight months so the number should have generated a quick sale IF the home had been purchased at a fair market price in the first place. Unfortunately, that was not the case. After nine months and TWO significant price drops NO offers came in.  

 

After many long frustrating months, paying a mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance on an empty home, the owner of the property released the Realtor who had helped the doctor buy the Scottsdale home and then hired me. I went through the home and I gave my client the list issues holding back the sale… AND shared why the variables associated with the home DECREASED its value in relation to the higher sold comparables he had originally been shown.  I was hired to sell the home, rather than reduce the price of the home any further.

 

My clients put in a relatively small sum of money towards making some minor improvements that ENHANCED the value of the home and lastly, we staged the home just before photos. The net result was we sold in a very timely manner, much to the seller’s delight.  Yes. We sold the home for top value.... but because of the mistake made on the original purchase, the seller LOST thousands. So here some lessons when buying. No matter how many homes you have purchased before, read the below. When we look at homes together we will discuss the plus and minuses of the home and property.  

 

TOP 5 FLAWS to watch out for when buying a home.

 

Lesson - #Improperly understood sales comparables

Don’t rely on the neighborhood sale comps solely or even ‘primarily’ to value a home, unless you have 10 plus years making value adjustments for variables that affect the value of the home.  I have 15 plus years and worked with top professionals around the US. I have new and experienced agents ask me all of the time to fix their calculations.

 

Lesson #2 Imperfect Floorplan.

One of the biggest and most understood value issues is Floorplan. It is a huge determination of value. A less than perfect floorplan is going to cost you. Call me to discuss the many floor-plan variables.

 

Lesson #3 Imperfect Location

The location of the home is hugely important and it's not as simple as you may think. It’s not just the location within the city or community or even the street the home is on within the community. Yes, all of those are critically important to the home's value but so is the orientation of the home, located on the lot. If any of these are off, you will not know until it comes time to sell. Let's talk before then. 

 

Lesson #4   Architectural Style is an 8, not a 10

The architectural style of home; do you know what architectural styles are selling for more than other architectural styles? If you love it but it’s a 7 and not a 10. .. great! But get the discount when you buy.

 

Lesson #5 Age matters…more than you think.

Even a few years age difference in a home can make a huge difference in value. Do you know the percentage value difference between a home built in 2014 vs 2017?

 

Lesson # 6  Elevation matters  Does the home sit up high on the lot? If not, be prepared to have the effect on the sales price.   

 

I have more home buyer tips and insider secrets for luxury and fine residential buyers. I am a Realtor specializing in buyer representation in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix. 

 

 

 

Posted in Home buying tips
Aug. 29, 2018

Scottsdale - Real estate market - Buying and Investing

How Does the Scottsdale Real Estate Market Look for Investors?

 

Scottsdale is a beautiful, cosmopolitan city in the State of Arizona, known for its beautiful weather, high-end shopping, fine dining, beautiful scenery and beautiful homes. Scottsdale is essentially a high-end suburb east of the state capital-Phoenix, with a population of about 247,000. Scottsdale's per capita income is approximately $53,000 or nearly double the national average level of $28,000.

The median household income in Scottsdale is OVER $73,000; significantly above the national average.

These attractive financial figures are explained by the dominant employment sectors including healthcare, technology, retail, and finance, which are all well paying economic sectors. Scottsdale success and beauty was not without planning. Scottsdale has a very active business community and political structure promoting the city to select businesses across the US. Scottsdale's planning has made it an easy sell. It has beautiful scenery, well-maintained streets, parks, recreation facilities and some of the most beautiful affordable homes in the US. 

Scottsdale is also home to some of the best hospitals and care facilities in the US. Combine those factors with a significantly lower crime rate in Scottsdale than other cities in Arizona and in the US as a whole. These positive factors make Scottsdale a 'win-win' for those living in and buying a home in Scottsdale. This is also positive information for any real estate investor looking to buy a rental property in the Scottsdale real estate market. Both short-term tenants & long-term tenants are likely to prefer Scottsdale as home. This translates into less 'tenant turn over';  meaning 'vacancy factor" is less a consideration than in other parts of the Phoenix area. 

Statistics

The Scottsdale real estate market is medium-sized with a total number of approximately 105,000 residential real estate homes. Since 2000, the total real estate appreciation in property prices in the Scottsdale real estate market has been 95% or an average annual real estate appreciation rate of 3.9%. About 35% of those living in Scottsdale, live in residential rental units, which translates into a significant demand for traditional rentals.

The Scottsdale housing market is dominated by single-family homes, followed by apartment complexes and then Scottsdale townhomes and Scottsdale condos. Two-thirds of all Scottsdale residential real estate properties were built between 1969 and 1999. Since the latest real estate boom, beginning in earnest in 2016, hundreds of new apartment units and condos have been built in Scottsdale. This investor frenzy has also affected older rental units. High demand from savvy investors and newly minted investors have driven prices for small and large complexes alike to new highs. The high prices trend is true of commercial properties within Scottsdale City limits, as well. 

 

What is the Return on investment in the Scottsdale Real Estate Market

 

The most important factor to decide, as a real estate investor, when considering buying a rental property in the Scottsdale real estate market is profitability or the return on investment for income property(s). Every investor has their personal profit formula and many calculation tools are available on the internet. However, as of this writing, profitability is still created when buying and now the market is in "High demand" which means new investors beware. Deals are few and far between. However, there is still opportunity. Please feel free to call me to discuss what the best second home options are to buy in Scottsdale and WHERE to buy homes in Scottsdale for maximum income return and pleasure. Patience is currently key. 

As of this writing, return on investment in Scottsdale was approximately 4.5.% which can be considered a marginal cash on cash return and only a decent cap rate, but it is far below what residential property investment would yield in other parts of the US. Does that mean not to invest in Scottsdale? Not in thisRealtor'ss opinion. Just make sure you buy right and do not buy simply as a short-term investment. Call me and I can explain in greater detail. 480-450-4632

 

What Are the Best Neighborhoods to invest in the Scottsdale Real Estate Market

 

There are several communities within Scottsdale that offer better home investment opportunities than others.

#1. Near the Old Town Scottsdale. Homes for sale in South Scottsdale offer the most affordable property price point, which in turn will generate the highest return on investment .

#2 Non-gated communities or non HOA restrictive communities in Central Scottsdale allowing flexibility short term rental through VRBO. VRBO rentals and other short-term vacation rental options have helped many home owners not only pay for their vacation home in Scottsdale but make a substantial profit. Again, experienced counsel is required. Call me. You can either make money or lose money based on several key factors.

#3 Luxury homes for sale in North Scottsdale (in non-restrictive communities) also offer attractive income potential.  Rates for these home in winter can range from $3000.00 per week to well over $25,000 per month. Buying a home in North Scottsdale as a second home or as an investment BE CAREFUL.. Call me. Most real estate agents do NOT have the experience to evaluate the investment potential of a luxury Scottsdale home.

#4 Paradise Valley an elite suburb near Scottsdale. Paradise Valley is considered the Beverly Hills of Arizona. Even older home in this community are in high demand as vacation rentals and many of these older homes can literally be purchased for land value. Interesting proposition. Buyers looking for second homes to purchase in Paradise Valley may come out for only 1 month of the year and rent the home for the other 11 months. Scottsdale and Paradise Valley have one of the strongest vacation rental markets in the US.

In conclusion, while the Scottsdale real estate market is not the only city yielding the highest return on investment, it is still worth serious consideration by real estate investors, especially those interested in owning property in one of the most beautiful, fun cities in the US, whether you are 4 or 100. The quality of living in Scottsdale is second to none.

Looking for more information on Scottsdale, it's history and statistics - click this link BELOW .

For information on Real Estate in Scottsdale,

Please Call REALTOR - Michael Chaisson 
RL Sotheby's International Realty 
Scottsdale   1- 480-450-4632

http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/scottsdale-population/

Posted in Home buying tips
Aug. 27, 2018

Is Your Phoenix Realtor Learning on Job?

Is your Realtor the best Realtor in Phoenix? Think about it. Of course, he/she is really nice and responsive whenever you call. That's great! BUT, are you getting the very BEST information about buying a home in Phoenix? Is your Realtor an experienced, honest, professional with YEARS of real estate experience? .... allowing them to provide you with excellent real estate advice as you decide on purchasing and negotiating one of the most expensive investments of your lifetime?

Did you hire your agent because they just seem like a good match for your personality or because they are a highly qualified Phoenix/Scottsdale Realtor? Over 1,500 grocery clerks, car mechanics, fitness trainers, unemployed persons, cooks and just friendly people get take the online course to get their real estate license each month. Is this the person you want negotiating and advising for you ??? 
True Phoenix real estate story #1 The other day, I followed up with a home buyer I had spoken to occasionally about buying a home. I called just to see how she was doing. She excitedly told me she just bought a home. After I congratulated her, I asked her why she hadn't called me, and she replied, "oh this other agent was always calling me and sending me new home listings."  Long story short, I looked up the property she purchased and saw that she paid a high number for the home based on the sale comps. The agent she used was a retired school teacher, who had recently completed real estate school. 
Now, I love school teachers and I have the HIGHEST regard for the profession. I also have a high respect for nurses and doctors and a great auto mechanic but I don't want any of those professions learning real estate on the job with any of my friends or family members!  Experience matters. This real estate agent likely cost the home buyer over $25,000.00
True Scottsdale real estate story #2 
A real estate investor recently visited my colleague's open house. The investor came in with his real estate agent and was considering buying the home as an investment (the agent was with the investor, with a mere two months experience, very confidently started showing the investor sales sheets that showed the house as a "good investment".) My colleague, a truly experienced, professional, Scottsdale Realtor politely let the inexperienced agent share the less than accurate data. Could this investor lose hundreds of thousands on this new agents advice? What do you think?  Experience matters.
True Scottsdale Real estate story #3 
One of the most personable, engaging Realtors I have ever met asked me to look at how she had priced a home for a seller in Paradise Valley. I looked at all of the details of the home, the sales in the neighborhood and a number of variables that affect the value of the home on the plus and minus side and shared with her. After a very careful analysis of the home, I found that she had priced the home about $600,000 OVER market. She screeched in despair!
But wait, she said, "I also had one of the top producers in Paradise Valley look it over" and he helped her come up with the listing number". The fact was the Top Realtor she consulted with was selling LOTS of homes and was doing great selling! He previously owned his own company and was the lead salesperson and he is also a very extremely engaging, charismatic Real estate agent.  This Real estate agent sounds great when he speaks and if you didn't know better, you would think he was sharing real estate gospel. The only issue was, he has a great delivery but limited factual knowledge. So, are you wondering how much the home sold for after over a year on the market and several price drops after two inexperienced agents came up with a number? The Paradise Valley home eventually sold for approximately $700,000 LESS than the initial asking price. How do you think that seller felt paying to maintain the pool, paying the taxes, the landscape, etc. on an empty home because the list price was less than accurate?  Experience and integrity matter.
True Paradise Valley Real Estate story #4
I was at the bar of a very nice restaurant the other day in Paradise Valley and as usual, I end up meeting some really very nice people and coincidentally they live close by and we start talking about social things and life and they tell me they are looking to buy a smaller home in Paradise Valley. They want to sell their big home in Paradise Valley and buy a smaller home in Paradise Valley "without a pool and less maintenance". We all have a "kumbaya moment" agreeing a 7,000 square foot home on an acre is a lot of home for two people. So I ask, "who are you working with" and they gleefully shared, "a friend of ours is working in real estate."  I asked them what area did their agent specialize in and they replied that they had no idea! Experience and integrity matter.
True Scottsdale Real Estate story #5
I have dozens of such stories. How about the true story about the real estate agent, who was not going to tell her clients (who loved her like a daughter) that the house they were in the process of buying had a major repair issue because she was afraid they would cancel and she wouldn't get a much-desired check!?  Experience and integrity matter.
I have seen it all. 
Hire an experienced, honest, real estate professional. If you meet a really nice Realtor you love or really like who does not have at least 5 years of experience than, take them on family outings, take him/her to lunch, name your favorite pet after them... but hire an experienced honest Realtor to represent you in the business of buying or selling a home. I would like to apply for the job of your Realtor, please call me to discuss professional representation in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix.
Michael Chaisson, Realtor
480.450.4632
Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty
Premier Client Services
Ranked Top 1% Nationally
Circle of 26 Excellence Award Recipient 
Posted in Home buying tips
Aug. 17, 2018

Relocating to Phoenix

 

Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun” as the locals call it is a great place for a new beginning and great living. It’s not only the largest city in Arizona but it’s also the state’s capital and one of the beautiful and fun cities in Arizona.

 

As of 2016, at 517 square miles, Phoenix was home to over 4.5 million people. The metropolitan area continues to grow as more families relocate to Phoenix and Scottsdale. It’s also home to an international community with a mix of languages heard especially at Arizona State University.   

 

Why Move to Phoenix?

The three primary reasons people move to Phoenix and Scottsdale are wages, weekends, nice people and warm weather. Phoenix’s 300-plus days of sunshine a year attracts industries searching for a warm, dry climate that won’t interfere with their distribution networks, telecommunications systems or administrative operations. Nine months out of the year, Phoenix residents enjoy pleasant, spring-like temperatures. 

While situated in the desert, Phoenix has lush greenery and beautiful tree-lined streets and parks. Canals bring water from the Colorado River 200 miles away. Also, the reserves of runoff water provided by rain and snow in the northern mountain range of Arizona are accessible and make warm but green oasis.

As a result, landscaping for parks, golf courses, homes and boulevards often include palm, olive, pine and citrus trees. The scent of orange blossoms fills the air in March and April. Roses, poppies and hundreds of other flowers bloom almost all year.

Phoenix is a critical location for the semiconductor industry and is the third largest semi-conductor city in the nation. The city brings in talent from all over the world to keep on top of cutting-edge technologies. Thinking of relocating to Scottsdale or Phoenix you are not alone. It’s one of the most highly desired locations in the U.S.

 

If you are a little older and considering relocating to Phoenix or Scottsdale, It may be reassuring to note, Scottsdale and Phoenix have a reputation as a popular retirement destination. A vibrant retirement community scene continues to grow here. Arizona has about one million residents at least 55 years with a combined economic impact of about $16.8 billion.

Those who relocate to Phoenix are often found outdoors, enjoying the city’s natural beauty, including parks, more than 1,000 tennis courts and more than 150 golf courses. You’ll also find plenty of municipal parks, hiking trails, bicycling routes, running paths, and equestrian trails and activity clubs. 

Finding That Dream Home

With the constant influx of newcomers to Phoenix, finding a great home for sale in Phoenix can be an exciting experience. With the help of an experienced Realtor, those new to the area can be assured of making an informed decision about one of the most important investments ever made in their lives – the purchase of a home.

I specialize in helping those relocating to the Phoenix and Scottsdale area find their perfect home. I’m always available to answer your questions and am happy to show you some great properties!

Pre-Moving Tips.

  1. Is your home ready for market? If not consult with a local real estate professional in your area. The goal will be to hire the Realtor that is going to work hardest for you !!… and that may not be the Realtor that has sold the most homes in the area. I will gladly explain, please feel free to call me for tips on how to find and interview the best Realtor in your local area. 
  2. Contact me: Michael Chaisson, 480.450.4632 You will be my MOST important client. I will
    get you started learning about the real estate market in Phoenix and Scottsdale and start sending you some of the best home options. We can discuss various areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale and what areas might suit your lifestyle goals. I will always make sure you get the very best home at the very best price whether you are looking to buy a home for sale in Scottsdale for between 2.5 to 6 million or in a for sale in Phoenix for $350,000. 

Moving Tips

Once we find your perfect dream home, the exciting part is moving. Here are some tips to, hopefully, make your life easier.

  1. Schedule your moving truck right away, especially if you’re moving at a peak time of the year. 
  2. Call the utility companies. Nothing is worse than arriving at your new home to find the electricity hasn’t been turned on. Don’t forget about calling the cable or satellite company. 
  3. When it comes to storage, if you’re moving to a smaller home and space is an issue, consider renting a storage unit before the move. AND great Moving tip; Ask yourself, “do you want to move that 6-year-old couch across the country or what other might be better off sold or donated?? 
  4. Take priceless items such as photos albums and birth certificates with you in the car. Don’t take a chance on movers losing items or damaging them. Photograph everything going into the truck. 
  5. Most of the time, there’s no way to know when the moving truck will arrive so be sure and pack enough belongings to get you by for a week or so.
  6. Use proper packing materials and label boxes by room. It’ll save time so you won’t find yourself opening each box to find out what’s inside.   I have more moving and home buying tips which I will gladly share as we search. It’s a team effort!

 

 

Aug. 7, 2018

How Phoenix Home values/appraisals are calculated

Want to know how Phoenix and Scottsdale Home appraisals are done?

One of the most important parts yet least understood part of the home purchase process is; How home appraisals are actually formulated. Home appraisals are ordered for three primary reasons.

1.      A phoenix homeowner is refinancing a previous home loan on a property and the new lender requires an updated appraisal; or a new lender needs an appraisal done for a new loan.

2.      A home buyer is purchasing a home and the bank requires an 'appraisal' in order to establish value and approve the loan based on the value of the security.

3.      The third most common appraisal is ordered independently by the home-owner to determine a home’s true market value prior to placing the home on market for sale.  

In the first two scenarios; it is the lenders primary goal to be assured they have a “valuable security” in the event of default. Not just a valuable security but one that gives them a security ratio that meets their guidelines.  If the borrower is qualified for an $800,000 loan on a $1,000,000 property (an 80/20), the lender/note holder wants confirmation the Scottsdale or Phoenix Home for sale and being purchased by their borrower is in fact worth $1,000,000.

So let’s get to it! How home appraisals are formulated? The myths and the facts in any home appraisal, the appraiser’s goal is to first, compare similar “sold” properties with the “subject” property (The Phoenix home for sale) and then make 'feature value adjustments’ up or down based on the plus or minus attributes of subject property vs. the properties being compared. Seems easy enough right? Well it is not so cut in dry in the luxury market of Paradise Valley, Scottsdale or Arcadia, Arizona. 

Here is the primary difference. In tract home communities where there are three or four floor-plans, most of the homes are on similar lots, with similar features, minor adjustments might be made for a home with granite counter tops verses Formica. In addition because the price range in tract communities is usually so much less, the value adjustments are less pronounced.  For example, if a subject property (home being appraised) is the same size as a home that sold two weeks ago, on the same size lot, built the same year, neither home with a pool; however one home had upgraded counter tops in kitchen and bathrooms. The appraiser may make a line item adjustment as a plus for the subject property of $5,000.00. If the comparable home sold for $350,000, the additional upgrade of the granite might allow the subject property to be appraised for $355.000.

If it still seems easy, clear cut, it’s not and it gets more complicated as we move up to luxury homes. For this reason, there are appraisers certified to do appraisals on properties valued at over a million dollars. Below is an example of why there are appraisers certified for luxury homes and this is where it gets interesting.  Appraisals are done in the luxury market is fundamentally the same way as tract communities, for example the value comparison of  properties in very close proximity, size, age, condition, lot size, views, gated vs. non gated, pool, no pool, age range, size range, etc. However the stakes and feature variables carry substantially more weight and vary dramatically in the luxury home real estate market.
Not only do the standard variables carry more weight but features NOT as easily jotted down on a standardized form, have a significant impact on value. 

For example, the actual over-all presence of a home, how finishes are installed and feel of construction, design and floor-plan must be considered. In the luxury real estate market, particularly in Paradise Valley, we may see (2) 6500 square foot homes; both built same years, same size lots etc. However from a personal perspective, you may enter one of these homes and it may feel and look absolutely breathtaking whereas the other may feel like an oversized tract home.

So, what is the “luxury market value?  How the fit, finish and presence justified/quantified on a piece of paper? Can the luxury home appraiser check the adjustment box “breathtaking”? No, they cannot.  As an interesting note here; even if I were to itemize the finishes on the “appraisal” the homes may sound equal. Both may have marble, hardwood, etc. but again, the application, design and presence of one may make the luxury subject property’s market value (to the savvy luxury buyer) a million dollars more.  Having subjective variables like these carrying so much weight in the luxury real estate market. Qualified l   luxury appraisers must be allowed to submit appraisals with a very high degree of manipulation. There are so many variables factored into the value of a luxury home. I could write entire articles on any single value adjustment on luxury home appraisals. For example “Views”.

‘View' value assessment’ alone could be a book, especially in homes for sale in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

Don’t get me started I have been working as a Realtor specializing in Luxury Homes for a number of years. I’ve learned a thing or two… rather a book or two about luxury homes. One of the most interesting facts to me is, one of the most significant features affecting a Luxury Home’s value is not typically part of the appraisal.  This single feature can affect up to 35% of a luxury home’s market value. Yet little or no value is given to it on the appraisal. There is limited space here to review details but please free to call me to find out what that value adjustment is.

Let's get to a real life example of how appraisals work and how they can be manipulated. BTW, as I write this article I am not placing any judgement whatsoever on the ability of appraisers to manipulate an appraisal. However, to educate and dispel the myth that appraisal’s represent supreme value accuracy. I am here to share; home appraisals are simply a science of opinion. And depending on the experience of appraiser, the purpose of appraisal, the “intent” of appraiser; the completed appraisal for the same luxury home can vary dramatically.

Let me share a recent real life example.

I had a buyer interested in an exclusive pocket listing of mine in Paradise Valley.  The seller said he would be happy to sell his home for “appraised value”.   I said, “great”  the buyer would be happy to pay “true market value” which should translate to “market value” “appraised value' should be what others buyers paid for similar size, age, featured homes in the same community.
To make sure the seller felt 100% comfortable with market value, I provided the names of three very experienced Paradise Valley appraisers. I further suggested that the seller, “interview the different appraisers and “pick the most experienced Paradise Valley appraiser, with whom they felt most comfortable”. I offered “That I would need not information on whom they selected”.

Here’s what happened

10 days later I receive the appraisal from an appraiser based in central Phoenix. Not an appraiser specializing or intimately familiar with Paradise Valley homes for sale or the sold homes in Paradise Valley.  The appraisal came in approximately $125,000.00 OVER true market value. (I know this because that home later sold after 202 days on market for 125,000 less than appraisal)
You ask, how did that happen? First we have go back to the cornerstone of any appraisal which should be “like properties” with adjustments according to the “public's cash value assessment of attributes or negatives.”

Let’s look first at seller’s subject property.

The seller’s subject property was very dated with very basic finishes, condition was a '5', the yard had virtually no landscape and the pool was in a very odd location. All of these issues were fine with the buyers… again as long as they paid market value. However, the appraiser did not use “like home comparable”.  The appraiser used homes that “penciled out” as ‘like homes comparable’ i.e. same age range, similar square footage etc. but on other points the homes were not equal.
So rather than use all the sales in the last six months of equal, similar, condition, finishes, yards, age, size homes which sold for between 1.45 million and 1.575 million. The appraiser used “sold’ homes that matched only the subject property’s base attributes, age and size but were superior in all other areas. In this manner, the appraiser was able to adjust the subject properties ‘appraised’ value UP by matching only the base criteria i.e. size and age homes and then using sold homes that were perfection, beautifully remodeled, gorgeous yards, landscape, condition '9', impressive entries and interiors. In addition to support the two impressive “sold’ homes; the appraiser used “active listings” to also support what the subject home might sell for. The application of ‘active listings ‘is part of  standard ‘ home appraisals’ however, the appraiser used the most expensive “active listings “then made an adjustment downward from a “high point” rather than using comparable homes that were more reflective of the subject property.  So the appraiser manipulated the standards allowing for a higher appraised “market value”. Did the appraiser technically do anything wrong?  Actually not, technically, by guidelines she followed the rules. Was the finished ‘appraisal’ accurate or reflective of the homes actual market value? The answer was a resounding “no”. Did the buyers purchase the home? Again the answer was “no”.  My recommendation when ordering an independent appraisal is:

1. Make sure to use an appraiser very familiar with the area.

2. If you are appraising a luxury property make sure to use an appraiser certified to do million dollar plus homes.

3. Make sure the appraiser knows you are looking for an accurate, fair market value appraisal. Home appraisals can be very much how politicians play with numbers, you can manipulate numbers in ways to make your point. So make sure your appraiser does not "play" with the numbers. There are so many features that factor into a buyer’s value decision for a home. The very best most experienced Realtors have the knowledge to quantify those numbers into a reasonable range price when considering a purchase offer. Or assist in determining market value in order to sell a luxury home for the highest price. Please note I said the "Very Best Realtors"  I did not say, check with your friendly local real estate agent or your friend with a real estate license.

To learn more about the real estate market, luxury home finds, real estate trends, the best buys in this market, your home’s value in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Arcadia, please feel free to call me, I am always happy to discuss real estate.

Michael Chaisson, Realtor
480.450.4632
Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty
Premier Client Services Ranked Top 1% Nationally
Circle of 26 Excellence Award Recipient

Bonus Points
*Although all home appraisals are now supposed to be arm’s length transactions and lenders are not supposed to be able have any influence on the appraisals. Laws instituted as result of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Lenders are required to order appraisals through “independent appraisal management companies” Oddly enough Wells Fargo bank owns one of the largest independent appraisal management companies.


*Appraisers do not base any value adjustments based on what those improvements may have cost the home seller. Consult a Realtor to see what value may be added by improving one or more aspects of your home.

Posted in Home buying tips
Aug. 4, 2018

Lovin’ Phoenix! Get your move on !

Phoenix is one of the best places to live in America according to U.S. News & World Report. The publication recently ranked 125 cities using five categories: desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. 

 

PHOENIX IN THE TOP 20

On a scale from 1 to 10, Phoenix landed at #19 on the list with an overall score of 7. That’s a big jump from last year when Phoenix was #44 on the list. We've ranked just ahead of San Francisco (#20) but behind Dallas-Fort Worth (#18). 

At just under 518 square miles, Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the nation and has a population of over 1.6 million people as of 2017. 

The reason so many people love to live in Phoenix is due to lots of sunny days, a thriving job market and affordable cost of living. The Greater Phoenix area sees more sunny days than any other metro area in the country. That’s probably why 20 million visitors flock here each year.

In fact, If you have been one of those visitors and are thinking about moving to Phoenix or Scottsdale there are sooooo many great homes for sale in the Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley area, Be sure to contact me , I would be happy to provide specific data on housing market and/or if you’d like me to show you some homes for sale in Phoenix . I have a great team to help you relocate to Scottsdale or any part of Phoenix.

More on Phoenix and Scottsdale ! Besides beautiful and affordable housing in both Phoenix and Scottsdale some of the other reasons  people love Phoenix is due to the hiking and bike trails along with an array of museums, entertainment venues , hundreds of great restaurants, friendly people,  year round sporting activities and believe it or not , Phoenix is only a few hours drive to a beach !!  So you can still hit the waves pretty fast living in Scottsdale or Phoenix. And you can make a great living whether your CEO or employee.

Phoenix is actually ranked #1 for small-business wage growth, as well as population growth. We’re also a top market for construction job growth. 

 

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX

Phoenix is the best place to get a sampling of all the state has to offer according to the publication. While the downtown is populated with modern office buildings the heart of the city isn’t all about work. 

You’ll find sports stadiums, updated arts and shopping districts along with some of the area’s finest restaurants. Learn about Arizona’s history starting with its earliest Hohokam residents at the Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park. The latest technological developments are showcased at the Arizona Science Center. Plus there are plenty of hiking and biking trails that surround the desert mountains. 

 

COST OF LIVING

The average annual salary in Phoenix falls below the national average but at least living in this great city is more affordable than living in coastal metro areas. Since we have a booming tourism industry that helps in keeping costs down for residents, saving locals more than $1,000 a year in taxes. 

With all of that said, Phoenix is a great place to live... Be sure and reach out to me if you’re interested in checking out homes in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area!