One of the great things about the Phoenix metropolitan area is the abundance of unique weekend destinations for both food and fun. While I love all that my home city of Scottsdale has to offer during the week, I like to load the family into the car on the weekend and visit one of the many attractions that the rest of the Valley has to offer.
The Farm at South Mountain is one of my favorite spots to enjoy healthy breakfast fare which consists of fresh local produce, herbs, citrus and dairy. I wolf down the Southwestern breakfast burrito with a medley of fresh vegetables on most occasions. Located right next to the organic garden, the outdoor seating area commands instant relaxation. Even if your eldest child is actively trying to stab your youngest with a fork.
The 12 acre expanse of The Farm includes three separate restaurants. The Morning Glory is, predictably, a breakfast cafe. The Farm Kitchen is the original restaurant, and primarily serves lunch along with morning snacks. With park bench seating under the shady branches of a pecan tree grove, you’ll forget that you are in the desert while enjoying a made-from-scratch treat. The Quiessence Restaurant and Wine Bar is what you think it is: upscale dining. Phoenix Magazine tagged it as “the best restaurant in Phoenix” in January, 2007. Contemporary American farm cuisine is the moniker given to the menu. I don’t know what that means, but the organic, locally produced dishes are amazing.
Other attractions on The Farm include:
The Retreat: Straight from their website, The Retreat invites (by appointment) patrons to “Deeply relax and rejuvenate with massage. hot and cold stones, shiatsu, vibrational essences, facials, tea ceremonies, intuitive readings, healing sessions and more.”
The Artist Studio: Also according to their website, “The Artist Studio at The Farm is a new cultural/educational center working to promote creativity while connecting with deeper values in the natural environs of The Farm. Visit The Cottage, home to ever changing art mediums featuring the fine art of Artist’s in Residence. Relax and enjoy shopping for original gifts created by local artists. In The Studio we offer art classes, writing workshops, educational lectures, youth home school classes, field trips and staff retreats.”
The Doctor’s Office, likewise by appointment only, is home to a resident practitioner of naturopathic medicine.
Maya’s at The Farm is the organic garden which produces many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used by the three restaurants. Named for Maya Dailey, who tends the garden, Maya’s holds a farmer’s market every Saturday between 9 AM and 1 PM. In adjunct to the garden is a greenhouse and the chicken coup (my boys’ personal favorite). Watch those little fingers, though, as the chicken wire enclosure is electrified!
The Farm is a magical place to visit for special occasions as well as laconic Sunday mornings. I have been fortunate to enjoy birthdays, Easter brunch and just-because mornings within its friendly confines, and have never left in a bad mood.
Private parties and weddings are available for booking as well.
Whether you are new to the area, visiting for the season, or one who simply doesn’t often venture outside of your comfort zone in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, I urge you to make a trip to this special place. The coffee is good, the mimosas are great, and the setting is out of this world!
For hours and upcoming events, please visit The Farm at South Mountain.
6106 S. 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Paul Slaybaugh with Realty Executives is your guide to Scottsdale Real Estate. A Scottsdale native, Paul has been selling homes in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Paradise Valley since 1999, and selling the virtues of Arizona living even longer. If you are looking to buy or sell in the greater Scottsdale area, or just wondering where to get a decent cup of coffee and an omelet, Paul’s your guy.
In many respects, the heralded Real Estate bargains to be had in Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area should come with the disclosures required of weight-loss product testimonials.
“Joe Homebuyer’s results not typical.”
“Always consult a physician before launching an intensive home search program.”
“Stretch thoroughly and lift with your legs before attempting bank-owned property heist.”
For the purposes of this piece, we are going to focus on the first caveat. Every Valley resident has at least passing knowledge of some fortunate homebuyer who leveraged the current market to score a honey of a bank-owned deal. As big a nobody-turned-celebrity as the 170 pound guy in a Nutrisystem commercial holding up a pair of orca sized slacks as evidence of his former girth, Bob from accounting is the new gold standard for idolatry after securing the housing buy that set the office abuzz. Before following in Bob’s considerable footsteps, however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. His results may not only prove atypical, but in extreme cases, constitute patently misleading advertising.
The hidden “gotcha” to many bank owned purchases right now are property taxes. While the institution that owns the property should pay off any back taxes as a condition of conveying clear title to the purchaser, many buyers fail to properly account for the bill they will be saddled with for the next couple of years (at a minimum). Unlike other parts of the country, where taxes are based solely upon purchase price, Maricopa County taxes are based upon the assessed value of the property. Many falsely assume that the home they are buying for $350,000 will reflect a tax basis commensurate with that value. As our budget revolves around 2 year property evaluation schedules, odds are very good that your current tax basis will reflect a value closer to the $1.1 million that the home sold for back in 2006.
*Click here for information about Maricopa County property taxes
*Maricopa County residents are entitled to appeal all new evaluations from the county assessor (typically go out in early Februaruy), but must do so within 60 days of the date they were mailed. Click to begin the Maricopa County property tax appeal process online.
Another thing to bear in mind is that while the assessed value of the property is likely to decline rather dramatically over the next several evaluation cycles, expect tax rates to rise in contrast. You should see an overall reduction to your bill in the future, but our strapped municipalities aren’t going to let go of all that revenue without a fight. Already firmly entrenched in the red, it is an almost foregone conclusion that the tax rates will be fully maxed out to legally allowable levels to offset as much of the lost potential revenue as possible. Your friendly, cash-strapped local government at work.
Another hidden sniper to these bank-owned bargains are Homeowner Association expenses. While monthly fees are typically disclosed upfront (or easily determined through a few well placed phone calls), former million dollar neighborhoods are fodder for massive asset preservation and capital improvement fees/impounds. You might well afford the $120 monthly fee, but the bulbous community enhancement fee that is due at the time of purchase could blow an unsuspecting buyer’s budget right out of the water. Given the many amenities that some such high end subdivisions boast, it would also be wise to expect and budget for future special assessments involving their maintenance.
There really are some amazing deals floating around the market right now, just make sure you can afford them. We are looking for a home you can maintain and afford, not a fad purchase that will lead to a lifetime of yo-yo budgeting.
You don’t want to end up back in the fat pants.
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You’ve been married so long that you’ve forgotten how to be single. Your t-shirts all have holes in them, you don’t shave on the weekends, and you haven’t consumed a “Diet” anything in years.
While your spouse may love you despite the fact that you have completely let yourself go, you are in for a rude awakening if you ever find yourself back on the market. Flaws are only endearing to loved ones, not strangers. Before you hit those nightspots, you’ll need a new wardrobe with the latest fashions. You’ll need to cut that hair and clean underneath those fingernails. Don’t even get me started on the unibrow. You need to put your best face forward if you are to attract one of those cute, little minx.
But what about when it’s your house that you are divorcing?
You look at your home, and you know that things just aren’t working out. Either you have lost that loving feeling or it’s simply time for a change. It may be amicable or there may be irreconcilable differences. Maybe you’ve always known that this house was only “Mr. Right Now.” Regardless of the reasons for your split, it’s time to move on. All of those things that you have lived with over the years? The creaky front door hinges? The balky A/C unit? The old, pale yellow linoleum that you originally detested, but grew to loathe? It’s all gotta be gussied up.
Now you can’t take every middle-aged home and turn it into a supermodel overnight, and that’s okay. You don’t necessarily have to be the best looking house on the planet, just the hottest little number in the club.
When you are elbow to elbow with competing properties, you don’t want your fly to be down. That’s not how you drag home a buyer of which your mother would approve. No, that’s how you pick up that other kind of buyer. You know the type. Offers you a hundred thousand off of list price and demands umpteen thousand dollars to repair things that cost a couple hundred. That is one coyote ugly buyer. Keep such buck-toothed, cross-eyed suitors at bay by using the right bait.
Trolling for a trophy buyer? Change out those tired carpets, paint those grimy walls, oil those squeaks.
Fishing for carp? Throw a big wad of Velveeta around your hook and toss it out there.
We have all heard the reports about the overwhelming levels of housing inventory. Vastly more homes for sale than qualified buyers. It can be quite discouraging to a seller. I have been through a great many of these properties, however, and the poor showing condition many of them display never ceases to amaze me. There may be a glut of houses for sale, but in my own myopic view, there is a whole lotta rough for every diamond. If I had to speculate, and I will, I’d hazard that many sellers have either given up hope or refuse to spend any money that they don’t expect to recoup in full.
Don’t fall victim to this mindset. Now, more than ever, you need to get your home standing tall if you plan to sell it any time soon. I know that these are lean times, but if you can afford to carry a non-selling house for months on end, you can afford to stage it properly to expedite the process of finding a new beau. After all, the sooner you find the next Mr. or Mrs. Right for your home, the sooner you can stop writing those alimony checks.