4128 E. Hancock Dr: Remodeled and Ready for You!

4128 E. Hancock Dr: Remodeled and Ready for You!

There are remodels and there are REMODELS. This exquisite home stands out in the sea of haphazard remodels and cheap investor fix and flips that dominate the Scottsdale and Phoenix Real Estate market at present.

Located in the highly coveted Sequoya / Cocopah / Chaparral school district trio, this property features over 2200 square feet of remodeled excellence. Complimenting the mid 1990s architecture (rare newer home in this location), recent renovations include a complete kitchen overhaul. Highly upgraded level 4 slab granite counters and tumbled stone backsplash with granite in-lays top the warm, furniture-grade cabinetry. Whether you are a culinary novice or an accomplished Iron Chef, the new stainless steel Kitchenaid appliances are an absolute delight. As to the generous kitchen island, the term “continent” might be more appropriate. Featuring additional storage, breakfast bar and built-in wine rack, this is a work of carpentry art.

Much as you’ll want to linger in your new kitchen to savor every dining experience, you’ll eventually be drawn away by the allure of additional surprises. The sumptuous master bathroom is nothing short of a revelation. Featuring the same furniture grade cabinetry and slab granite counter tops that make the kitchen so appealing, the master bath includes a walk-in shower with dual showerheads. In need of a little rest and relaxation? There is no better place to unwind than in the new deep soaking tub. Forget about the day’s stresses until you reluctantly emerge to rejoin the land of the living.

Rounding out the master suite is a generous walk-in closet, and new French doors that lead directly to the backyard.

Of course, you need not travel far to find additional upgrades, for you are greeted with beautiful 20″ porcelain tile and new extra-tall baseboards as soon as you step through the front door. Along with new plantation shutters, ceiling fans and light fixtures, these features stretch throughout the home. Even the guest bath and laundry room have been overhauled with the same upgraded cabinetry and granite that we encountered in the kitchen and master bath. In short, nothing has been left undone.

As you might suspect from the amazing attention to detail, this unique home was painstakingly transformed by the current owners over the course of nine months to serve as their ultimate sanctuary. This was not to be a fix and flip, plans have simply changed.

The flexible floor plan includes two bedroom plus a den (could easily be converted to a third bedroom if desired), and an open great room concept. This is low maintenance living as the homeowner’s association is responsible for front lawn maintenance. The small patch of grass in the rear yard offers an inviting, manageable retreat. Suitable for permanent and seasonal living alike, the property is well-matched to the needs of a wide range of buyers. Whether you are searching for a home in the most coveted school district in the state or you are in the market for lock-and-leave vacation living, 4128 E. Hancock Drive can accommodate you.

There are many more upgrades than I can possibly list here, but I would be remiss not to mention the stacked slate stone (gas) fireplace in the family room, new French doors in the breakfast area, surround sound, security system and all new interior paint. You simply must view this property in person to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.

Offered for sale at $400,000.

Call Paul Slaybaugh with Realty Executives to arrange your private viewing today.

(480) 220-2337


Equal Housing Opportunity

The McCormick Ranch Subdivision Series: Playa Del Sur

The McCormick Ranch Subdivision Series: Playa Del Sur

Playa Del Sur in McCormick Ranch is a subdivision of 98 homes built primarily between 1980-1988, with scattered infill construction as recently as 2007.  A Hancock Homes development (previously known as Camelot Homes), Playa Del Sur is located just East of Hayden Road off of San Lorenzo.  The homes along the North side of San Lorenzo are the older models built in the early 1980s, while the newer construction can be found with greater prevalence in the Northern reaches of the neighborhood – notably in the cul-de-sacs that abut the McCormick Ranch greenbelt and bike path (Camelback Walk).

With access to the aforementioned Camelback Walk greenbelt system, residents of Playa Del Sur are located virtually equidistant to Cochise Elementary School / Mountain View Park (to the immediate East) and Lake Angela (to the immediate West after crossing under Hayden Rd).

The homes of Playa Del Sur average approximately 2689 square feet, 93 of which are single-levels and the remaining 5 are two-stories.  85 of the homes (87%) feature private pools.  The original homes of the neighborhood were built with block construction, while the newer properties are primarily frame-wood.

View Camelot / Hancock Floor Plans in McCormick Ranch

The subdivision is zoned R-10 for 10,000 square foot lot minimums.  While most lots range between 11,000-14,000 square feet, they reach nearly 30,000 square feet at the largest (just under 3/4th acre).

Playa Del Sur falls within the Cochise Elementary / Cocopah Middle / Chaparral High School boundaries of the Scottsdale Unified School District.

In addition to access to the parks and lakes, Playa Del Sur is within walking distance of The Melting Pot, Zipps, Butters, and the other McCormick Ranch restaurants / shops North of Via De Ventura.

Lake Margherite in McCormick Ranch

Homes For Sale in Playa Del Sur of McCormick Ranch

Overview of McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale AZ

View all McCormick Ranch Homes For Sale

Thinking about buying or selling a home in McCormick Ranch?  Ray & Paul Slaybaugh have overly 50 combined years of experience specializing in McCormick Ranch Real Estate.  Contact us today.

(480) 220-2337 | paul@scottsdalepropertyshop.com


A well-heeled businessman strode into the foyer of a nondescript office building.  Tossing a nod over his shoulder at the exiting secretary who held the door for him, he failed to suppress the knowing grin that tugged at the corners of his mouth.  A quick appraisal of the surroundings threatened to dampen his buoyant mood, however.  The threadbare plaid couch in the waiting area appeared to be a reluctant holdover from his grandparent’s den, circa 1981.  Were it not for the well-thumbed magazines littered about the adjoining table, he would not have believed that clients were actually expected to plant their backsides into the hungry springs that surely laid in wait just beneath the sweat-stained fabric.  The secretarial desk, vacant now that the evening receptionist had departed, seemed smallish somehow.  The faux wood laminate counter tops didn’t mesh with his recollection of level four granite, either.  The walls needed a coat of paint.  The soothing antique white had faded to a sickly yellow.

How does someone run a business like this, he wondered.

A low, reverential whistle interrupted his silent consternation.

“Well, look at you,” the familiar voice gushed.  “I’m still paying for those shoes, you know.”

He felt a twinge of remorse as he looked down at the Italian leather loafers.  Whoever heard of tapping a line of credit for footwear?  The moment quickly passed.  The projection of success was a cornerstone principle to the manifestation of such.

“What price can you put on comfort,” he retorted.

“Sixteen hundred dollars and twenty eight cents.”

“Bah, it’s like walking on clouds.  Besides, how can you possibly remember the exact amount?”

“Come on back,” his counterpart responded by way of an invitation.

Settling into the chair opposite the desk in his host’s office, he considered the barren wall to his right.

“Where are the awards?”

“Packed them away last year.”

“Why?  I worked my butt off for those.”

“The game has changed, Junior.  In case you haven’t looked around lately, people are hurting.  Shoot, we’ve done our own share of hurting.  Nobody cares about your sales records.”

For the first time, he really studied the face in front of him.  The florescent lighting of the private office revealed deep creases that had remained hidden in the shadows of the dank reception area.  The urgency in the red-rimmed, greenish-brown eyes was as palpable as the fatigue.  There was an unmistakably hard edge to the countenance that seemed at odds with its hound dog expression.  He was looking into a face that had seen too much combat.

“You didn’t invite me here to talk about my shoes.”

“You’ve always had a good head underneath that fifty dollar haircut.  It’s time you started using it,” came the cryptic reply.

Sensing it was not his turn to speak, he let the silence expand before his counterpart continued.

“For starters, the cars, the vacations, the nights out … you’ve gotta knock all of that stuff off.  It’s time you started hanging on to the dough that earned you all of those plaques,” he said, motioning to the empty wall.


“No buts.  Look around, Chief.  This is what’s waiting for you if you don’t get it together.”

He clamped his mouth shut, deciding to let the enigma in faded blue jeans say his piece.  The sooner he got out of here, the sooner he’d make it to the range.  He didn’t have the slightest idea where the slice in his fairway driver had come from, but he needed to get it ironed out before the charity tournament on Saturday.  Children’s Leukemia this time?  Diabetes Awareness?  He couldn’t remember.

“Moving on,” his appointed conscience interjected.  “The real reason I asked you here today is to clear the air about the message you are promoting.  Torpedo the kids’ college fund if you like, we’re resilient, but your clients deserve better from you.”

Kids, he thought as he folded his arms and sat back in the chair, bracing for the sanctimonious diatribe that was sure to follow.  As in plural?

“Bear with me one second.”

His host pulled a worn, blue notebook out of one of the desk drawers.

“Hey, I’ve been looking for that,” he objected.

“Confiscated for your own good.  Our own good.  Let’s take a look at what you have been telling consumers, shall we?”

A brief pause accompanied the turning of pages.

“July 7th, 2004.  You told Mr. Davis that if he didn’t buy now, he might soon be priced out of the market.”

“I was right!  By December, prices in the neighborhood he was looking in had risen an additional ten percent –”

“And now it’s down forty percent.  I know you thought you were looking out for his interests, but you only considered the short term prognosis.”

“That’s not possible!  Property values never decline in Scottsdale!  We’ve been historically undervalued, especially compared to California.  We’ve remained stable when other markets have tanked!”

“February 2, 2005.  You told Mr. & Mrs. Flemming that the forthcoming bubble was a media myth.”

“Maybe not a myth, but it’s definitely a media creation!  If the talking heads wouldn’t go on the news scaring the beejeezus out of buyers every night-”

“Right, Katie Couric created no-qual financing and the subsequent investor-driven spike of artificial demand that led to a massive housing glut and a skittish buyer pool.  God help us if Anderson Cooper ever goes on air to tell us about the Easter Bunny.”

“You’re telling me they’re right?”

“You don’t know the half of it,” his colleague responded with chagrin.

“Yeah, yeah, well hindsight being twenty twenty …”

“March 8, 2006.  You opined to Mrs. Sanjeve that the market still had some legs.”

“Things have slowed down, sure, but prices are still inching up,” he responded meekly.

“You had to know things were getting ready to go sideways.  Prices may have held steady before the coming plummet, but days on market were starting to pile up.  Homes that received five offers before the sign even got planted in the front yard were now taking thirty to sixty days to sell.  The writing was on the wall, you just couldn’t interpret the black and white truth through those rose-colored glasses of yours.  Heck, you nearly got caught holding an investment property yourself.”

“I believe in our market.  Scottsdale has always been the apex destination in Arizona.  Our values don’t decline.  Ever.”

“There’s that pre-bubble thinking again.  Watch that reliance on past performance, Champ.  Any market that relies on human buyers and sellers is subject to downs as well as up.  No more fortune telling, you understand me?  From now on, save the tea leaves for the missus’s iced chai lattes.”

“She doesn’t drink chai,” he answered.

“She will.”


“August 18, 2007.  Right before their portfolio took an irreparable beating with the jumbo loan market disintegration, you advised the Echols that they act now before interest rates rise.”

“Wait a minute, 2007?  That one’s not on me!”

“Oh, you’re right.  My apologies.  Forgot which market I plucked you out of.  Do me a favor and send in 2007-2008 on your way out, would you?  He should be here by now.  Looks a lot like you, just a little stressed out.”

He chuckled.

There was a knock at the door.

“That must be us now.”

Instead of the expected visitor, however, a young woman poked her head into the room.

“Okay, your hour’s up.  I’m sorry, but I really need the room back now,” she said.

He looked at his younger self and gave an embarrassed shrug of his shoulders before nodding in the direction of the new arrival.

“Tracey here just got her license in the fall.”

A rueful shake of the head accompanied another pause. He glanced down at the neatly packed duffel of personal affects at his feet, wondering for the umpteenth time if the makeshift home office would hold it all. He raised his head and found the eyes of his disbelieving doppelganger.

“Last piece of advice.  Spare yourself the martyr act and list some freaking REOs.”



Just stretching my creative legs a bit, people 😉

The Day the Deal Stood Still

The Day the Deal Stood Still

The closing table is no place for incompetence.  The crescendo to a Real Estate transaction, the signing of loan documents and the final settlement statement is representative of a successful navigation of the escrow obstacle course.  If it were a cinematic experience, an empowering musical score would soar over the montage of conquered struggles that it took to get to this point.  While a few credits have to roll before the buyer can officially call the property home, namely lender funding of the loan and recordation of the deed, smiles and handshakes accompany the last executed signature in the two inch stack of paperwork, nonetheless.  In years past, agents and consumers alike have been spoiled by the well-oiled machine that was the title and escrow field.  Catastrophes arose, catastrophes abated and we lost our minds if a closing was delayed twenty four hours by unavoidable eventualities.

These days, I consider myself lucky if a closing isn’t delayed two weeks and my clients draw anyone other than Sparky, the one brain-celled signing agent.

With new disclosure regulations, a completely different settlement statement and a host of new concerns with the transfer of clear title due to the pervasiveness of foreclosure and short sale properties in our midst, an accomplished escrow officer has never been more vital to the process of a home sale.  Unfortunately, many of the good ones were forced out of the industry when the market hit the skids in 2007.  When sales finally began to rebound, the major title/escrow companies restocked their ghost offices.  As the predominance of these properties were distressed, however, it was the REO (bank foreclosures) and short sale divisions that welcomed new staff.  The resale divisions remain largely undermanned.

The REO division of a title company is an entirely different universe.  Like that of a REALTOR who specializes in listing bank property, transactional volume is ludicrously high.  Too many files on too few desks.  You can imagine how this translates to the urgency with which your file gets treated.  Another component that is not necessarily to the buyer’s benefit is the relationship between the bank and the title company they have procured.  Supposedly a neutral third party whose purpose is to convey the property from the current owner to the buyer, the myth of its transactional Switzerland is a tale taller than the Alps.  If the sheer dollars involved in a title company’s relationship with a bank (or the bank’s asset management affiliate) does not dictate outright obedience to the demands/whims of one party over the other, it sure does influence behavior.  I have been nonplussed during the course of bank property transactions (the buyer MUST use the bank-selected title company if his/her offer is to be accepted) in which the title company is the one contacting me with seller demands, essentially performing the role of the listing agent by proxy.

It is expected that one will have to tolerate a third party that is subservient to its master in a bank property sale (and not overly concerned with getting the file closed in a timely fashion to boot), but problems are now creeping into “normal” resale transactions between living, breathing human buyers and sellers.  For starters, with many resale divisions depleted of adequate staff, it is not an unlikely scenario to get stuck with an escrow officer who primarily handles REO accounts.  Flip a coin between whether said officer is overworked or under-experienced, but too often lately a less than exemplary job is being done.  Documents are not being requested/delivered on time, assistants are left to answer questions they are not ready to field, communication between the officer and the buyer’s lender is nonexistent … I’ve even encountered “signing agents” at closing who are neither the selected escrow officer, nor capable of explaining the documents upon which they want your signatures.  One clown literally tossed the paperwork in my lap and told me to explain it all to my clients.  Had I not been rendered utterly speechless, I would have ordered the hall monitor to escort the fresh lad to detention.

Mind you, these are not mom & pop style title companies, but reputable names that do a very high volume (perhaps too high?) of business.

The moral of the story?  Unless you are purchasing a bank property, and thereby resigned to the amusement of escrow fate, you have a choice in the matter.  As the buyer, you get first crack at naming the title company in your initial offer.  Sellers (upon direction from their chosen representatives most often) may list their own preferred company amongst the terms that are countered, but don’t cave.  Unless your agent can point to specific, positive dealings with said officer/company in the past, I urge you to stick to your guns.  Going back four or five years, a title company was largely a disposable part of the negotiation.  As long as you got your price, you let the other party get the perceived “win” of naming the company.  The recent changes to the escrow landscape make such a laissez faire approach to the title work fraught with peril.  Make this term non-negotiable.  More often than not, the other party will buckle rather than lose a sale over what many still consider a minor point.

When selecting a company, your chosen agent is the best source of advice.  We have favorites for a reason, and it is not monetary.  Through trial and error, we find excellence in all of our affiliates.  When we find a diligent service provider, we are loyal.  In this day and age, though, a little prevent defense is still warranted.  Ask your agent who underwrites the title policies of his recommended escrow company (title and escrow are not necessarily synonymous) before satisfying yourself as to its viability.

I happen to use Jenny Werner with First Arizona Title.  Her policies are underwritten by the big boys at First American.  She chaperones her files quite adeptly to prevent avoidable delays and miscues, and is very responsive to consumer questions/concerns.  Whether you employ me to assist you in the purchase of a home or not, I highly recommend you write Jenny’s services into the agreement.  Your movers and peace of mind will thank you for it.  Eventually, the other party will as well.


Jenny Werner, First Arizona Title

11333 N. Scottsdale Road
Suite 160
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Phone: (480) 385-6500
Fax: (480) 385-6800


The Case of Paul Slaybaugh and His Accidental Relocation Team

The Case of Paul Slaybaugh and His Accidental Relocation Team

It will come as no ground-shaking revelation that I want your business when you buy or sell a home in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley or the greater Phoenix area.  It’s what I do, and I solicit that business, sometimes subtly, sometimes beat-you-over-the-head-with-my-resume overtly, within the confines of this blog on a daily basis.  While there is little mystery in the primary services I offer to local consumers (“buyer’s agent,” “listing agent” and “headache sherpa” are all acceptable guesses), there is another aspect to this diligent Realtor’s usefulness that is sometimes overlooked: the quality referral.

Sure, consumers think to seek the names of local contractors and professionals from their respective agents, but what of the out of area service providers?  Whether the client is relocating or seeking assistance for a friend or family member in another location, they often take to the internet or phone book to find assistance.  Little do many know that the very best resource for an out of area referral is none other than their own local agent.

In years past, we agents were often very brand loyal in the placement of our referrals.  Whether due to a conscious effort to keep things “in-house,” a matter of convenience, or a case of hoping the same corporate shingle would translate to a similar work ethic/methodology, we were limited by available resources.  These days, however, the explosion of Real Estate driven websites, blogging platforms and social media has helped connect forward-thinking agents in unprecedented fashion.  Through said arenas, we are able to far surpass the dark age reliance on blind selection from an incomplete list or static resume.  In the vibrant, transparent Web 2.0 world, true professionalism and terrifying idiocy are both quick to reveal themselves.  Through years of interaction with agents across these forums, I have cobbled together a relocation team by happenstance.  No longer do I have to cross my fingers when making a referral to another agent, as I have trusted professionals in countless nooks and crannies throughout the country.

Going back to Cali and need an agent to help you discover Topanga Canyon?  I’ve got you covered.

Topanga a little spendy for your budget?  Perhaps this Ventura County Realtor can find something more your speed.

Is the Pacific Northwest calling your name (or tapping it out via Morse raindrop code, as it were)?  You will be in good hands with the best Salem, Oregon Real Estate agent (and part-time Paul tormentor) that I know.

From the stockyards of Fort Worth, Texas to the West Bank of New Orleans, my network is comprised of not only outstanding agents, but truly exceptional people.

Do your folks back East want to join you here in Scottsdale?  I don’t blame them.  Make sure they speak to this Colts Neck, New Jersey Real Estate agent.  Whatever he tells them about me is a lie.

And your cousin needs an agent in Pennsylvania?  Tell this West Chester, PA Realtor that Dimples says hello.

Tired of the rat race of the lower 48 and eager to get your Jack London on?  Give my best to the Spouses Selling Houses in Fairbanks, Alaska when they find you the ideal wilderness retreat.

The online Real Estate community continues to prove a boon for consumers and agents alike.  While information is readily available for most any need, information alone cannot supplant the first-hand experience gained through established relationships.  Take advantage of the unexpected connections your chosen representative has forged during the growth of his/her online presence.  If I don’t personally know an agent in a particular market, you can rest assured that a member of my relocation network will.  Six degrees of Real Estate separation?  Hardly.  At most, I’ll require two.

Oh, and I also know to whom I wouldn’t send a client for all the consonants in Poland.  Consult your Realtor if for no other purpose than to ensure that no Gorgons make an appearance on the short list of candidates.

My reputation is on the line when I trust another agent with my clients’ business.  It is a responsibility I take seriously.  No matter where your Real Estate need arises, contact me before going it alone.  Chances are I am exactly one phone call away from ensuring that you or your loved one enjoy the Real Estate experience you deserve.  It’s the next best thing to packing up your agent and taking him with you.

Of course, if you are moving to Bora Bora, I’m willing to commute.


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