Park Scottsdale is a collection of subdivisions developed by famous local builder, Hallcraft Homes, in the 1960s and 1970s. Covering large swaths of South Scottsdale (or “Classic Scottsdale” as it has been recently dubbed in some circles), these block, ranch style homes represent a slight step up from the red brick homes of Scottsdale Estates, Hallcraft’s original development of the 1950s and 1960s.
Floor plans include single, two-story, and tri-level models.
Park Scottsdale, along with Scottsdale Estates, Scottsdale Country Acres, Scottsdale Highlands, Village Grove, and several others represents one of the more affordable entry points into the Scottsdale Real Estate market. While prices can vary dramatically given the property ages, as some have been professionally remodeled while others continue to remain hermetically sealed in 1964, by and large this is one of the most cost effective neighborhoods in all of Scottsdale. For this reason, along with access to numerous public parks, proximity to Old Town Scottsdale and the Loop 101 freeway, it appeals to people from all walks of life.
Given the number of homes in the various Park Scottsdale subdivisions, there is typically no shortage of available housing options from which to choose.
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Greenery is at a premium here in Scottsdale. In the age of xeriscape, desertscape … moonscape, sometimes a front lawn is just what the house doctor ordered. In addition to the well known communities of Arcadia, McCormick Ranch and the Central corridor, there are a few scattered pockets that harken back to the mature, non-desert landscaping that many Scottsdale immigrants thought they left behind upon relocating to the Valley of the Sun. Aside from those name brand communities, however, they often lie just out of sight of the casual eye.
Vista Bonita in South Scottsdale is one such hidden gem. Secreted away in the 85250 zip code just East of the Scottsdale Road and Vista (just North of Chaparral Rd) intersection, few buyers I have encountered are aware of its existence. Originally comprised of 1960s era ranch style homes on larger than typical lots, some have been knocked down in favor of newer construction. Sitting at the gateway to downtown Scottsdale, it is easy to see why. The allure of modern architecture atop the prime central Scottsdale Real Estate makes for a “bucolic chic” neighborhood that few readily forget upon first encounter.
Though identifiable as one homogeneous neighborhood, Vista Bonita is actually made up of three legal subdivisions: VISTA BONITA LOT 9-19,VISTA BONITA 2 LOT 33-44 and VISTA BONITA 3A. For the purposes of this post, I will simply refer to these phases as Vista Bonita 1, Vista Bonita 2 and Vista Bonita 3, respectively.
Vista Bonita 1:
- 24 total properties, all single-level
- There are several commercial properties included in this subdivision in addition to the single-family homes
- 19 homes feature private swimming pools
- Average property size of 2555 square feet (includes both commercial and residential structures)
- Properties range in age from 1956-2004
- Mix of block / frame – wood construction & architectural styles
- Primarily zoned R1-10 for single-family residential on 10,000 sq ft lot minimums, many homes sit on approx. 1/2 acre lots. There is commercial zoning for several properties which sit on Vista Road at the entrance to the subdivision.
Vista Bonita 2:
- 22 total homes, all single-level
- 17 homes feature private swimming pools
- Average home size of 2295 sq ft
- Homes range in age from 1957-1992
- Mix of construction types & architectural styles
- Zoned R1-10 for residential lots of 10,000 square foot minimums, most homes sit on 1/3 – 1/2 acres.
Vista Bonita 3:
- 32 total homes, all single-level.
- 24 homes feature private swimming pools
- The average home size is 2360 square feet
- Homes range in age from 1961 – 2007
- Mix of construction types and architectural styles
- Zoned R1-10 for residential lots with 10,000 square foot minimums, most feature
All three phases of Vista Bonita fall in the Kiva Elementary / Mohave Middle / Saguaro High School districts
*Read More About the Scottsdale Unified School District
Homes on the extreme East of the Vista Bonita neighborhood back up to the canal / open area. Included in the few commercial structures in the neighborhood is the Lamar Day Spa. Nearby is the renowned Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall and the shops /restaraunts / art galleries / nightlife / etc of downtown Scottsdale. The Town of Paradise Valley lies just on the other side (West) of Scottsdale Road.
For those looking for the mature-landscaping and inviting feel of Arcadia and Paradise Valley Farms, but perhaps on a lesser budget, and with even more immediate access to Old Town Scottsdale, Vista Bonita bears a look.
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McDowell Mountain Ranch is a North Scottsdale master planned community nestled in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains (inconceivable, I know). Originally developed in the mid ‘90s (with fill-in development continuing for the next decade) with subdivisions from well-known builders including Camelot, Shea, Woodside, Ryland, Del Webb, Edmunds, TW Lewis, etc, the once Northern outpost to Scottsdale has become much more centralized with the subsequent completion of the Loop 101 freeway and ensuing development. Home to some 4000 residences and 26 subdivisions, this model of low impact development has become one of the most sought-after communities in all of Scottsdale and features property styles for virtually every budget. From modest townhouses to gated enclaves of $1,000,000+ single-family homes, the community appeals to full-time and seasonal residents from all walks of life.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve Access Points (click Image to expand)
In addition to the ample choices of housing (comparatively newer by Scottsdale standards, I might add), McDowell Mountain Ranch has gained its name brand appeal through its amazing confluence of amenities. From the newly completed aquatic center (city park) to the various community pools, parks and centers sprinkled along the community-wide walking path system, there is little that is not offered here. Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts will lose themselves in the raw beauty of the desert preserves which can be accessed through several trail heads. Boasting city and mountain views, the serendipitous challenge of the Sanctuary Golf Course is enjoyable to serious players and weekend duffers alike. Throw in the Alltel Ice Den (Phoenix Coyotes affiliate ice hockey center), Westworld (equestrian center), restaurants, shopping and conveniences, and McDowell Mountain Ranch is essentially a city unto itself.
As development continues in adjoining communities like Trails North at Horseman’s Park, Windgate Ranch and DC Ranch, this general area is where most Scottsdale home shoppers migrate for newer construction. Developed Northward from her shared border with Tempe, and essentially built-out save for a few isolated pockets, you either have to head North towards Pinnacle Peak (and beyond) or East towards Fountain Hills to find newer homes. Where many home buyers were once forced into the trade-off of an older property for a close-in location, the expansion of the Valley’s infrastructure has made that dilemma a thing of the past. With exit points at both Bell Road and Thompson Peak, McDowell Mountain Ranch enjoys the advantage of having two viable options for freeway access. Once on the 101, you can reach virtually any part of the Valley within 20-30 minutes.
For school information, community attractions and builder floor plans, please see below. Note that the floor plan library, while extensive, is by no means complete. We will be revisiting this post as we add additional builders/models to the list, so feel free to check back on occasion to keep tabs on our progress. Curious what the houses in this community are currently going for? Click on the map at the bottom of the page to view current active listings in McDowell Mountain Ranch.
Formerly bussed all the way down to Saguaro High School, McDowell Mountain Ranch high schoolers now attend Desert Mountain High on Via Linda just East of 124th St.
Younger kids don’t have far to travel as both Desert Canyon Elementary and Desert Canyon Middle School are located right in McDowell Mountain Ranch (SE corner of McDowell Mountain Ranch Parkway and Thompson Peak).
In addition to the public schools, the Notre Dame Preparatory High School campus lies just outside of the McDowell Mountain Ranch borders off of Bell Road.
Alltel Coyotes Ice Den
McDowell Mountain Ranch Park and Aquatic Center
Westworld of Scottsdale Equestrian Center
McDowell Mountain Ranch Skate Park
McDowell Sonoran Mountain Preserves
Arabian Public Library
Sanctuary Golf Course
Builders | Floor Plans:
Camelot Homes | Vista | Castle Dome | Plan 932| Plan 932-5 | Pinnacle | Mingus | Crest| Summit | Ridge
Cachet Homes |
Centex Homes | Plan 732 | 733 | 734 (1st level) | 734 (2nd Level) | 736 (1st Level) | 736 (2nd Level) |Ladera | Montana | Tierra
Del Webb (Coventry) | Dante | Lido | Medici
Engle Homes |
Greystone Homes |
KB Homes |
Maracay Homes | Plan 700 | McDowell| Mesquite | Santa Rita | Sierra | Talima
Presley Homes | Aruba | Key Largo | Molokai | Samoa | Victoria
Ryland Homes | Plan 610 | Plan 616 | Plan 622 | Plan 624 | Plan 1744
Shea Homes |
TW Lewis |
UDC Homes |
Woodside Homes | Plan 2 | Plan 2X | Plan 3 | Plan 4 | Plan 4X | Plan 5 | Plan 5X
Latest Homes for Sale in McDowell Mountain Ranch
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Lake Margherite in McCormick Ranch
Water is a precious commodity in the desert. Dependent upon the CAP (Central Arizona Project) and SRP canal systems to fill our taps and water our lawns with the liquid gold of the Colorado and Salt Rivers, we do not squander our lifeblood frivolously … with the notable exception of Slip-N-Slide Saturdays, of course. Given the grand total of naturally occurring lakes in the Valley of the Sun stands at exactly zero, we denizens of the creosote jungle are drawn to a droplet of water like mercury to the top of a Sonoran thermometer. We weekend at Saguaro Lake or Lake Pleasant. We make semi-annual pilgrimages to the sandy beaches of southern California. We float the Salt River amongst a throng of Memorial Day humanity that is equal parts Coppertone and the AC/DC Back in Black album. We secretly adore the rains that the summer monsoons bring.
Given our propensity to flock to that which is scarce, waterfront communities are highly desirable locales in the greater Scottsdale area. There are few communities within the boundaries of the West’s purportedly Most Western Town that boast lakes on the list of amenities, and there is a reason for that.
When McCormick Ranch was originally developed in the 1970s, it was to be the first master planned community in Scottsdale. Believe it or not, the Hayden and Indian Bend Rd intersection (where initial development of McCormick Ranch began) was considered North Scottsdale at the time. There was really nothing else around. To lure skeptical home buyers away from the downtown Scottsdale area (what we now refer to as “Old Town”), developers threw the entire kitchen sink at them: parks, greenbelts, walking paths, golf course and lakes. Including Lake Angela, Lake Nino and the crown jewel, Lake Margherite, the community is a veritable desert oasis.
When Scottsdale Ranch was developed a decade later, planners adhered to many of the same guiding principles. East of McCormick Ranch, it was built around a lake system, walking paths and parks in much the same fashion. Once again, developers knew they needed to give people a reason to venture a little off the beaten path to buy their product. They were selling a lifestyle as much as housing. That lifestyle revolved around a meandering 42 acre waterway by the name of Lake Serena.
Flash forward a couple of decades and developers, by and large, stopped providing such extravagant amenities. The area had become well established and new residents came in droves. Land values shot through the figurative roof and builders saw no literal need to plop a man-made lake down on a parcel of land that could instead be used to build and sell another 100 or so more houses.
As such, there are relatively few waterfront options in Scottsdale outside of these two master planned communities. They just don’t build’em like they used to. While properties along the water in both developments are typically quite expensive, there are patio home and condo options that fit less extravagant budgets. To help you get started with your waterfront search, following is a compilation of lake subdivisions located within McCormick Ranch and Scottsdale Ranch.
*You may wish to bookmark this page as each subdivision name will eventually include a link to detailed descriptions and current active listings. It’s a work in progress.
Vista Del Lago
Island At McCormick Ranch
Palo Viento 1
Landings at Scottsdale Ranch
Lake Serena Estates
The Bay Club
For less costly options that are near the water, but not necessarily located right on it, there are a few older neighborhoods further South (closer to Old Town) that abut Chaparral Park. While the homes (and townhomes) in the area are far removed from the luxury market, it is a great option for those more concerned with location and amenities on a shoestring budget. For high end townhomes, there is the Scottsdale Waterfront option along the canal banks in downtown Scottsdale (Old Town). Pages dedicated to these neighborhoods will be added to the site over the coming weeks as well.
The right Scottsdale waterfront property is out there. We’ll help you find it.
Contact Ray & Paul Slaybaugh today to start the search for your Scottsdale AZ waterfront home!
(480) 220-2337 | firstname.lastname@example.org