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Phoenix Historic District Homes For Sale

What? You didn’t think we never left the cozy confines of Scottsdale, did you?

Don’t let the self-typecasting branding of this website fool you. We serve the entire metro Phoenix area. We have a particular affinity for the historic homes of downtown Phoenix. Here are the very latest historic home listings sorted by district.

Scroll to peruse live feeds for the latest homes for sale in the Phoenix Historic District of your choice (sorted alphabetically by district name).  Click on district links to view all historic homes for sale.

Alvarado / East Alvarado Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Ashland Place Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Brentwood Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Campus Vista Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,918 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
    Year built: 1948
    Days on market: 104
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,984 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
    Year built: 1954
    Days on market: 150
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Campus Vista Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Cheery Lynn Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Coronado Historic District Homes

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,475 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,049 sqft
    Year built: 1995
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 1.75 baths
    Home size: 1,867 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 2017
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 1,718 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 2016
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,365 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 1938
    Days on market: 3
    Broker reciprocity icon
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,918 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 2002
    Days on market: 3
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Coronado Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Country Club Park Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 1.75 baths
    Home size: 1,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1943
    Days on market: 54
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 73
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,346 sq ft
    Lot size: 23,086 sqft
    Year built: 1973
    Days on market: 93
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Country Club Park Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Del Norte Place Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Earll Place Historic Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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East Evergreen Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Encanto Manor / Encanto Vista / North Encanto Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,708 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 1958
    Days on market: 40
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,792 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1946
    Days on market: 100
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,382 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,712 sqft
    Year built: 1948
    Days on market: 126
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Encanto Manor / North Encanto / Encanto Vista Historic Districts.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Fairview Place Historic District Homes

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 977 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1946
    Days on market: 11
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,104 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1954
    Days on market: 159
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,900 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1938
    Days on market: 183
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,920 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 2017
    Days on market: 188
    Broker reciprocity icon
  5. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,181 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1936
    Days on market: 205
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Fairview Place Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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F.Q. Story District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Garfield / North Garfield Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Idylwilde Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 3.5 baths
    Home size: 1,899 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1938
    Days on market: 75
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Idylewilde Park Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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La Hacienda Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Los Olivos Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 1,934 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 2017
    Days on market: 8
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 6 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 4,407 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,056 sqft
    Year built: 1920
    Days on market: 9
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,699 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,068 sqft
    Year built: 1928
    Days on market: 10
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Los Olivos Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Margarita Place Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Medlock Place Historic District Homes

 

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Oakland Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Phoenix Homesteads Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,659 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,196 sqft
    Year built: 1948
    Days on market: 19
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 1,735 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1948
    Days on market: 37
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,722 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,761 sqft
    Year built: 1947
    Days on market: 140
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 3 beds, 1.75 baths
    Home size: 2,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 34,848 sqft
    Year built: 1935
    Days on market: 178
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Phoenix Homestead Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Pierson Place Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,448 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,780 sqft
    Year built: 1924
    Days on market: 105
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Pierson Place Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Roosevelt / Roosevelt Park Historic District Homes

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 550 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,583 sqft
    Year built: 1964
    Days on market: 4
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,706 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 2006
    Days on market: 8
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,262 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
    Year built: 2007
    Days on market: 15
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,441 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.62 ac
    Year built: 1982
    Days on market: 29
    Broker reciprocity icon
  5. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 904 sq ft
    Lot size: 25.96 ac
    Year built: 1945
    Days on market: 45
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Roosevelt Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Villa Verde Historic District Homes

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,151 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1929
    Days on market: 10
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 2 beds, 1.5 baths
    Home size: 968 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
    Year built: 1972
    Days on market: 28
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 879 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1928
    Days on market: 45
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 880 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1972
    Days on market: 86
    Broker reciprocity icon
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,958 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1946
    Days on market: 190
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Villa Verde Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Willo Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Windsor Square Historic District Homes

  1. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,804 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1986
    Days on market: 32
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 3.5 baths
    Home size: 3,020 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,245 sqft
    Year built: 1938
    Days on market: 127
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Windsor Square Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Woodland Historic District Homes

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

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Woodlea Historic District Homes

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 970 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 1934
    Days on market: 44
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Woodlea Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Yaple Park Historic District Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,927 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 2017
    Days on market: 79
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Yaple Park Historic District.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.


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Take the Scottsdale Neighborhood Quiz!

Take the Scottsdale Neighborhood Quiz!

Considering a move to Scottsdale, but unsure where to start?

Looking for a winter home and wondering which neighborhoods offer golf and/or gated options?

Perhaps, you already live in the Valley and just want to know where the neighborhoods with unique homes, best schools or freeway access are?

Whatever your needs, allow us to take some of the legwork out of your search.

Take the Scottsdale Neighborhood Quiz by clicking the image below to find the subdivisions/communities that best fit your unique needs. When you finish, you’ll get a PDF report outlining the neighborhoods that most closely align with your preferences.

kierland

Finding the right home in the right neighborhood for you has never been easier!

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Welcome, Winter Visitors!

Welcome, Winter Visitors!

Greetings, Winter Visitors!

On behalf of the fine city of Scottsdale, I’d like to welcome you to the land of short sleeves and flip flops. Whether you are visiting us for the first time or have been making the annual pilgrimage for many years now, you are warmly welcomed. Literally.

There is no shortage of activities and attractions to enjoy during your stay. If I may be so bold as to offer a few suggestions, follow this link to read up on stuff to do in Scottsdale from a local’s perspective.

Now, if you are like me, you can’t help but toy with the idea of a second home purchase during the course of virtually every vacation you take. While those whims often fall by the wayside shortly upon returning home, they can make a lot of sense in Scottsdale’s case. I can only imagine how much you are spending per night in one of our five star resorts or furnished vacation rentals. If you plan on making an annual reprieve from the ice and snow a semi-normal thing, buying your own spot can be much more appealing than paying the hefty hotel tabs.

You can afford to stay longer, rent the place out when it’s not in use, and you get to sleep in your own bed.

Enough with the sales pitch, though. You wouldn’t have landed on this page if you weren’t already trolling vacation homes online. So without further ado, here are a few listing feeds created specifically with you in mind.

Low maintenance patio homes, gated condo / townhouse communities, homes near Old Town Scottsdale, homes near shopping centers, golf community homes, homes near attractions like Westworld and the Ice Den … it’s all just a bit further down the page.

See one you like? Call me and I’ll show it to you in five minutes. Okay, it might take slightly longer than that to set it up, but there is a message behind the hyperbole. I get very little rest during the high season. On call virtually 24/7 from January to May, I am here to help turn your pipe dream into reality.

 

Patio Homes

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,814 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1959
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 1.75 baths
    Home size: 1,330 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,764 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1957
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Scottsdale Patio Homes.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Townhouses

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 714 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1986
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 663 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1991
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 702 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1983
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Scottsdale Townhouses.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Condos

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 714 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1986
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 663 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1991
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 702 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1983
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Scottsdale Condos .
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Golf Communities

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 714 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1986
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 663 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1991
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 702 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
    Year built: 1983
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Golf Communities - Scottsdale Condo/Townhouse.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Old Town Scottsdale Homes

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,491 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,049 sqft
    Year built: 1982
    Days on market: 8
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 834 sq ft
    Year built: 2005
    Days on market: 8
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,126 sq ft
    Year built: 1964
    Days on market: 10
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Homes Within 1/2 Mile of Old Town Scottsdale.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Homes Near Shopping Centers

  1. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,099 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,325 sqft
    Year built: 1934
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,950 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 2
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,790 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,018 sqft
    Year built: 1953
    Days on market: 2
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all 85013.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Homes Near Salt River Fields

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,744 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,356 sqft
    Year built: 1978
    Days on market: 12
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 2,136 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,356 sqft
    Year built: 1982
    Days on market: 33
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,176 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,325 sqft
    Year built: 1973
    Days on market: 44
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Homes Within 1/2 Mile of Salt River Fields.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Homes Near Westworld

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,844 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,098 sqft
    Year built: 1995
    Days on market: 2
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,780 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1993
    Days on market: 2
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,092 sq ft
    Year built: 1998
    Days on market: 5
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Homes WIthin 1 Mile of Westworld.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Homes Near the Ice Den

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,852 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 2005
    Days on market: 2
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 4 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 2,764 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 2009
    Days on market: 6
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,528 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,613 sqft
    Year built: 1997
    Days on market: 9
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Homes Within 1 Mile of the Coyotes Ice Den.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Not seeing what you’re looking for? Create your own custom home search here!

 

 

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What Is a Patio Home?

What is a patio home?“Alright, alright. Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?”

– Gordie, Stand By Me

 

Patio homes: what are they?

If you have been in Scottsdale for any period of time, or have been shopping for a home from afar, you have undoubtedly encountered the term patio home more than once.

You know what a single-family home is. You know what a condo is. You even know what a townhouse is.

But what the hell is Goofy?

The term, patio home, is not a legal descriptor. It does not describe a style of ownership. It is really more of an idea than a legal thing.

For brevity’s sake, we’ll define a patio here in accordance with prevailing wisdom. Most consider a patio home to be a cross between a townhouse and a single-family home; a hybrid, if you will. Patio homes bridge the divide between traditional housing types. You can think of a patio home like a single-family home that has been plopped onto a townhouse sized lot. That’s a gross oversimplification, of course, as patio homes come in all shapes and sizes, but this post is to serve as a handy crib sheet, not a thesis.

The idea is to provide housing with relatively low outdoor maintenance without sacrificing the size of the home itself. In other words, patio homes are tailored to those who still want the privacy and comforts of a single-family home, just not all of  the headaches and expenses that come with the standard single-family lot.

The typical patio home may be attached to a neighboring property by one or two common adjoining walls (like most townhouses), or be free-standing (like most single-family homes). Many patio homes are single level, but they can have multiple levels, too. Patio homes typically do not have neighbors above or below them, as is common with apartment style condos.

Patio home ownership varies from development to development. Some entail fee simple ownership (you own the lot in addition to the structure). Some entail condo ownership (you do not own the lot, just a fractional interest in the common area).

Responsibility for property maintenance varies as well. Some communities have very active homeowner associations that provide for front landscaping maintenance as well as select exterior structural maintenance of the homes themselves. Other patio home communities more closely reflect single-family ownership, in which homeowners are fully responsible for all maintenance associated with their properties. You need to check community CCRs to determine exactly what is and what is not covered by the HOA in a patio home development.

If you like the idea of a smaller, low-maintenance lot, but aren’t quite ready to step all the way down to a townhouse or condo, a patio home might be just the thing for you. Popular with seasonal residents as well as full-time residents who frequently travel or simply prefer a little less upkeep, patio homes exemplify the lock-and-leave lifestyle that many Scottsdale home buyers seek.

So there you go. Not so Goofy after all, is it?

Ready to start your Scottsdale patio home search? Follow the new listing feed below for the very latest active listings, updated daily!

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,814 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
    Year built: 1959
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  2. 3 beds, 1.75 baths
    Home size: 1,330 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,764 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft
    Year built: 1957
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  4. 3 beds, 2.5 baths
    Home size: 1,757 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
    Year built: 1985
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,552 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
    Year built: 1967
    Days on market: 1
    Broker reciprocity icon

See all Scottsdale Patio Homes.
(all data current as of 1/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

 

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Earnest Money FAQ

Earnest money.

You’ve heard about it, been asked for it; you may have even written a check for it. What exactly is earnest money, though, and why do you need it when you buy a house?


Earnest Money FAQ 

Earnest Deposit FAQ


  • What Is Earnest Money?

When buying (or leasing) a home in Scottsdale, you will be asked to put up a good faith deposit to secure your position in the transaction. This consideration is known as an earnest deposit.

  • How Much Is It?

Earnest deposit amounts are negotiable. The amount of the deposit is one of the terms of the purchase agreement over which buyers and sellers may haggle. In my experience, a typical earnest deposit on a resale transaction is approximately 1-2% of the total sales price. Builders may require higher deposit amounts for brand new construction (largely due to the costs incurred to build your home). Banks may also require more on REO/foreclosure properties (because they are the spawn of Satan).

  • When Do I Pay It?

If you are following the standard boilerplate terms of the current AAR (Arizona Association of Realtors) purchase agreement, your earnest deposit is due upon the agreement being accepted and signed by all parties.

  • Who Holds My Deposit?

In nearly all cases, your earnest funds will be held by an escrow company, the neutral third party responsible for transferring ownership from the seller to the buyer. The company employed to hold these funds is another term of the purchase agreement that you negotiate with the seller. Earnest money can also be held in the trust account of one of the Real Estate brokers involved in the transaction, but this eventuality is primarily restricted to the rental arena these days. If you are buying a house, you can pretty much take it to the bank that you will be dealing with an escrow company.

  • Is This Extra Money That I Have to Pay in Addition to My Down Payment and Closing Costs?

This is a common misconception. The answer is no, this is not “extra money” that you are being charged. It is a portion of your total closing funds that is simply due up front. Upon closing, your earnest deposit will be applied towards your down payment and/or closing fees.

  • What Form Is It Paid In?

Typically, a personal check made payable to the chosen escrow company will suffice, though some opt to wire funds to the escrow company instead.

  • Can I Get My Earnest Deposit Back?

This is a loaded question, but yes, there are scenarios in which you can typically retrieve your earnest deposit. Assuming you negotiated the sale using the current AAR purchase agreement, you do have a few outs. First, you have an inspection period (usually 10 days, but negotiable). If you are not satisfied with the condition of the property, or the seller refuses your repair demands, you can withdraw from the transaction and have your earnest money refunded. Of course, this presumes that you have not agreed to any changes in the standard terms of the  contract (such as purchasing “as is”,  agreeing to non-refundable earnest money, etc).

Under the standard provisions of the contract, you can also get your earnest money back if your loan is declined (after your diligent effort to obtain one under the stated terms) or the home doesn’t appraise for the purchase price (unless you are paying cash as there is no appraisal/financing contingencies to fall back on). Once again, though, and I can’t stress this enough, the terms you negotiate with the seller can alter these provisions.

  •  What If My Deposit Turns Out to Be More Than I Owe at Closing?

Let’s say that you are employing a 100% financing vehicle, like a VA loan. Let’s also say the seller has agreed to pay for the majority of your closing costs. If the remaining costs owed by you at closing are exceeded by your initial earnest deposit, you are entitled to a refund of the excess deposit.

  • Can I Lose My Earnest Deposit 

Yes, you most certainly can forfeit your earnest deposit. As the purpose of this deposit is to demonstrate good faith to the seller and invest you in the successful completion of the transaction, your deposit can be forfeited to the seller as damages if you breach the agreement. Failure to close escrow, or backing out of the deal for any reason other than allowed for by a contingency to the agreement, is a surefire way to kiss your deposit goodbye. In the event that you wish to cancel a transaction, be sure to carefully review the terms of your contract with an attorney.

  • Who Decides If the Buyer or Seller Gets the Earnest Money if There is a Dispute?

The escrow company that holds the deposit is charged with interpreting the terms of the contract, and has the authority to release the deposit to the party deemed NOT to be in breach of the agreement. Say you, as the buyer, decide that you aren’t comfortable with the neighborhood’s governing covenant’s, codes and restrictions (CCRs). You inform the escrow company (in writing) of your wish to cancel the transaction. The seller objects, claiming that you did not exercise your right to cancel in a timely fashion. You had 5 days from the receipt of those documents to withdraw from the purchase contract, but did not inform the escrow company of your intentions until day 7. Therefore, the escrow company decides in the seller’s favor, and releases the earnest money to him/her as liquidated damages for your breach of the agreement.

 

Have any additional questions regarding the role of earnest money in a Real Estate transaction? Ask away in the comment section below (or shoot me a private message if you prefer) and I will do my best to address them.


Disclaimer

* It should go without saying that the above is not intended as legal advice. The general explanations may not directly apply to you. As every purchase contract is unique, the internet is not a reliable source for answers to questions regarding your specific agreement. Consult with your agent and/or attorney PRIOR to the execution of your purchase contract to fully understand the terms and protections afforded you. 

 

 

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How Long Should It Take to Find the Right Home?

Have you been searching for a home for six months? A year? Longer?

If you have not found the home of your dreams (or, at least, the home of your needs) despite a protracted hunt, it’s time to come to grips with this stark reality: you are dreaming too big.

The home buying process is not a one-size-fits all proposition by any stretch, but there is a core truth that is applicable across the board. If you have been actively searching for a home for longer than 90 days and written nary an offer, you have set your sights too high, and it’s time to start paring back your wish list. While it’s true that you need to give the market a chance to bear that which you covet, it’s simply a pipe dream if a full quarter of a year has elapsed with no sign of your white whale breaching the active inventory.

When the market was in full free-fall, those with time on their hands had the luxury of waiting it out. Sooner or later, the 3000 square foot, 4 bedroom, custom home on an acre in North Scottsdale would dip into their price range. Alas, with the suddenly resurgent market sending prices the other way and the inventory shrinking, the opposite is potentially true. The longer you wait on a ship that is not coming in, the further out to sea the fleet gets.

So what’s a 2012 Scottsdale home buyer to do? Adapt to the market and adjust your criteria. Maybe 2800 square feet will suffice instead of the 3000 upon which you had your heart set. Could you live with 3 bedrooms and a den as opposed to 4 true bedrooms? How about half an acre instead of a full 43,560 sq ft?

Or bump up your price threshold until you break into the kind of inventory that fits the bill. In an ascending market (which, by all appearances, the Scottsdale Real Estate market has entered into after a steep and lengthy decline), time is decidedly not on your side.

Does this mean I advocate rushing out and purchasing the nearest approximation of what you want? Certainly not. The rash of purchases made out of blind fear that prices were running away from buyers forever made for a willing accomplice to the 2005-2006 bubble. It’s never a good idea to make any crucial decision from a position of fear. What I do advocate is approaching your house hunt with a little more urgency than has been necessary these past five years. In a competitive environment which has reintroduced agents and consumers to bidding wars and a limited volume of quality homes from which to choose, the laconic wait-and-see approach will hamper your ultimate chances for success.

We are early enough in our fledgling recovery that prices are still within shouting distance of their low points and 30 year interest rates continue to be reigned in on a short leash. It remains an excellent time to purchase a home for those in the market, it simply has become more difficult than saying “eenie, meanie, miney, mo” to the myriad available options that were once scattered about in abundance.

For years, we’ve counseled sellers to reassess their pricing after “x” days on the market without an offer. Now it’s the buyer’s turn.

If you have been frustrated by the current inventory, or have lost out on multiple properties due to heavy competition, you have likely set your sights too high. Make adjustments to your “must have” list or increase the amount you are willing to spend if you have been actively looking for a house longer than 3 months. You are pining for something you can’t have. In a market on the upswing, the longer you wait to take corrective action, the greater the discrepancy grows between your wish list and the world around you.

You’ve got to be hip to the new rules if you want to be a player in this market.

 

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