To call this beautiful Estate Los Arboles home in McCormick Ranch a simple remodel would be a disservice. This Camelot Embassy model has been utterly transformed from a dated time capsule with great bones and potential into a modern Tuscan showplace. This was no slap-dash investor fix and flip with the same formulaic greys and whites that everyone else is currently buying at Remodels R Us, but a labor of love crafted to the demanding tastes of an owner who actually lived in the home.
The wall between the living room and family room was opened up to give the home a more modern, great room feel. The sunken living room, which was common in homes of this vintage across McCormick Ranch, was filled in. The kitchen was opened up to the family room … and oh, what a kitchen it is! All new (in 2014) cabinetry with loads of storage, slab granite counters, stainless steel appliances and vent hood, pendant and recessed lighting, a large walk-in pantry, breakfast nook with bay windows and more make it a must see.
Two gunslot windows on either side of the fireplace were replaced and expanded to bring in more natural light and take advantage of the view of the inviting backyard.
Where there was once a center atrium and bar, a huge walk-in master closet (complete with an organization system) now stands. The original closet was removed, paving the way for an expanded and fully remodeled master bathroom with a separate tub and shower. Anyone familiar with the limitations of late 1970s and early 1980s construction knows exactly what a rarity it is to find a decent sized master bath OR a generous master closet in these parts, let alone BOTH!
Indeed, this home is a unicorn.
Versailles pattern tumbled travertine stone flooring stretches throughout the entire home. Plantation shutters cover the windows, not that excessive sun is an issue with the ideal North/South exposure on a prime corner lot. Elevated ceilings greet you at the front door, accentuating the modern feel of the architecture.
The fourth bedroom was converted to a den/office; its entryway relocated to the front foyer. Even the laundry room is a work of art with new (2014) cabinetry, granite counter, and sink.
The backyard is, itself, a great place to entertain under the large covered patio, or cool off with a dip in the pool. Not relaxing enough? Slip into the in-ground spa that underscores one simple, but not to be overlooked asset this home has over other properties across McCormick Ranch: natural gas.
Estate Los Arboles is one of the ONLY pockets of McCormick Ranch that is serviced by Southwest Gas, meaning you can actually heat a pool here without spending a small fortune on propane. Yes, I’m looking at you, winter visitors!
With immediate neighborhood access to the walking path / greenbelt that stretches throughout the Ranch, it is a quick stroll to Comanche Park to the East, and the booming shopping center of Paseo Village to the West. New establishments like The Vig, Luci’s at the Grove (currently under construction – slated to open in the fall), Starbucks, and LA Fitness join community favorites like Lox Stock & Bagel to turn this once-sleepy center into one of the most vibrant hubs in the area. And you don’t even need a car to get there!
Frustrated with your South Scottsdale home search?
Dismayed by the dearth of affordable single family homes currently for sale near Old Town?
If the summer listing slowdown has you feverish, I have the prescription … and it ain’t more cowbell!
Coming to the rescue after the holiday weekend is a three bedroom, two bath mid-century red brick home right in the middle of it all. Remodeled with a newer kitchen (newer cabinets, new granite counter tops, newer appliances including brand new range/oven), dual pane windows throughout (barring one), and much more, this is the property you have been looking for if you want something you can move right into without being gouged by the insane markups being charged by flippers, amateur and professional alike.
*Pictures coming soon! Bookmark this post!
For more information, or to get in for a special sneak peak before it hits the open market, contact me today.
We are now live and accepting offers! Full property details below!
Paul Slaybaugh, Realty Executives | 480.220.2337 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Pulling into the stately neighborhood, your eyes take in not the exquisite custom homes, but the Sonoran Desert panorama into which they disappear. Rising out of the valley floor to the East are the majestic McDowell Mountains. The Northern skyline is dominated by the specter of Pinnacle Peak itself. The Western horizon is reserved for the dying sun and the shocking array of magentas and oranges that accompany its languid descent. Removed from the hustle-bustle to the South, you are as unconcerned with the problems of the human condition as the mighty Saguaros that dot the vistas that will yield to twinkling city lights come nightfall.
You are home.
And, oh, what a home it is.
Featuring over 5500 painstakingly designed square feet, this 1999-constructed Spanish marvel is the pride of Pinnacle Peak Vistas 3. The ground-level master suite is its own sanctuary within a sanctuary, highlighted by a luxurious master bathroom with a wrap-around shower and a walk-in closet larger than your first apartment.
The living room greets you at the front door with faraway views through the butted glass windows. A stacked-stone fireplace would steal the show in any other home, but is just another jaw-dropping feature here.
A wet bar joins the living and family rooms, offering an ideal layout for entertaining that would suit the Great Gatsby himself.
And the kitchen … oh, the kitchen.
The bards of old would have written sonnets about this kitchen. Alas, none would have adequately captured its full character. Designed for the gourmet’s gourmet, its story cannot be told simply. Yes, it has alderwood cabinets. Yes, it has the expected granite counter tops in a home of this caliber. Yes, it has high-end appliances such as a Viking range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and multiple ovens to go with a stone fan hood.
The island? It would be more appropriate to call it a continent.
Alas, one must experience this kitchen in the flesh to truly appreciate it.
A den and bonus/game room/sportsman’s paradise round out the ground floor.
Up the sweeping stairway you go to find a loft with a walkout balcony, and three additional bedrooms with some of the best views the Valley has to offer out of virtually every window.
Stepping outside, the rear patio is a room unto itself. With seating / entertaining areas to take advantage of the various views from every nook and cranny of the acre plus property, there is no wrong place to sit.
Cool off on those warm summer days with a dip in the pebble-tec pool, or warm up from that faint nip we call winter here in Scottsdale with a soak in the adjoining spa. Either way, you can rinse it all away with the outdoor shower when you’re done.
A home of this size demands commensurately generous parking, and there are no disappointments here with the four car garage (standard two and a tandem two).
You will know the owners scrutinized every last detail in the construction of this house when you see the thought put into storage. Find a dead space in this home that was not utilized for extra pantry space, under-stairs storage, etc and I’ll take you to lunch.
Yes, this is why you moved to Arizona.
Whether new to the Valley, or a long-tenured resident, it makes no difference.
I find myself working the Scottsdale rental market more often these days than in years past. With a large percentage of the populace having been converted from homeowner to renter after selling a home short or losing it to foreclosure (thus, effectively eliminating themselves from the buyer pool for the foreseeable future due to credit damage and/or home ownership malaise), and would-be sellers opting to lease their current homes out rather than taking a huge equity bath if circumstances force a move, it’s an arena in which Realtors are currently in high demand. So it was that I was researching rental home availability for a couple of clients this afternoon in the McCormick Ranch area.
While I’ve been aware of a diminished number of available rental properties coinciding with rising rents for some time now, I was shocked by the dearth of options I turned up in ordinarily easy to fit parameters.
For instance, there are exactly ZERO active unfurnished, single-family home listings in the 85258 zip code (McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale Ranch, Gainey Ranch, etc) for lease under $2000 a month at present. None, zilch, nada. This in a zip code that has fetched an average price per square foot of $164.89 for single family homes in the past six months (Aug 16, 2010 – Feb 16, 2011) .
Extrapolating the sales price of a 3 bedroom, 1800 square foot house based on that per foot average, current resale market value would be approximately $296,892 without adjusting for +/- factors.
Intrigued, I was drawn to crunch the affordability numbers on such a property.
Given that many buyers today are trying to get a foot in the door for the least amount of up front expense as possible, let’s pre-suppose a 3.5% down payment for a 30 year, fixed FHA loan. Assuming an interest rate in the 5.25% range, and tacking on the additional .5% for monthly PMI, the principal and interest payments on a loan balance of $286,501 at 5.75% is $1671.94. Add in property tax and insurance estimates of approximately $170 and $70 respectively for a total monthly PITI payment of $1911.94. Throw in the $15/month McCormick Ranch POA dues, and you are sitting on an approximate monthly outlay of $1926.94.
It should go without saying that figure decreases with a larger down payment.
A twenty percent down conventional borrower, for example, avoids the monthly mortgage insurance, thereby getting a significantly better annual percentage rate (credit and all other factors being equal) to coincide with the lower principal balance.
Now to rent this same property, back to the MLS we go.
If you were in the market to lease an unfurnished, single-family home in 85258 today, you would have exactly six choices: the cheapest of which is a 1900 square footer currently listed for $2195/month in McCormick Ranch. It bears repeating that the CHEAPEST available rental property in the category today costs almost $300 more per month (less potential maintenance costs of home ownership, but also ignoring potential tax benefits) than it would to purchase the same house with the lowest down payment available to most borrowers.
That is staggering.
Thinking the paltry number of available rentals might be an anomaly confined to a sought after zip code, I delved into the cheaper, neighboring zips of 85250 and 85251 in South Scottsdale. Going back just six months ago, a prospective tenant had his/her choice of remodeled 1950s-1960s ranch homes in the $800-1500 / month range. After all, these are zip codes in which a single-family, 3 bedroom, 1500 square foot home can be had in the 150-175k range these days.
The current rental inventory?
There are 2 single-family homes for lease under $1500/month in 85250.
There are 5 single-family homes for lease under $1500 / month in 85251.
There is no moral of the story other than the context given to recent reports that tout home ownership in Scottsdale as having surpassed renting in affordability. I treat all such reports with healthy skepticism, as one must always question the source as well as the metrics used, but this is some news that actually jives with what I am seeing in the trenches. Much as it reads like more hot air designed to spur consumer confidence, there is merit to the attention given the growing disconnect between housing values and rental rates.
It’s a good time to be a landlord.
If nothing else, it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this trend has on strategic defaults and short sales. Homeowners who are confident that ample affordable rental options await them may have to think a bit longer and harder before walking away from an underwater mortgage if the monthly payment is still manageable (homeowners who walk more from the distaste for lost value than ability to pay, in other words). On top of the higher rents, the reduced competition allows a landlord to be pickier with the choice of tenant. Recent credit / financial woes are only overlooked to the extent of one’s prospects. When there are 10 houses to every renter, it’s easy to find a forgiving landlord. But when there are 10 renters to every home … not so much.
Long essay short, a homeowner may want to do some additional research before opting to become a former homeowner. There is danger of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire if precautions haven’t been taken to ensure that a markedly better living situation awaits.
While it has become an Olympic sport to predict the direction of the market with downward pressure on pricing here, and upward pressure on rates there, I’ll leave the prognosticating to the eggheads in the ivory tower. I will go on record saying this, however:
Prices are falling and rents are rising. Do the math.
Digging through my old archives for additional community information I could use to populate this site, I came across this video I shot aboard the Standard Pacific Railroad at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in McCormick Ranch (Scottsdale). Hard to believe it’s already been two and a half years since I shot this, as I barely recognize the cast in comparison to their 2010 doppelgangers. Time flies when you’re chasing your children around the house with a fire extinguisher full of holy water. Looking for something to do with the munchkins this weekend? There are worse ways to spend an afternoon. Enjoy.