Archive for March, 2011

Mar
20

Downtown Phoenix’s Central Corridor Real Estate Heats Up!

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When Michael Hauer decided to buy a home, the 25-year-old looked for something with architectural flair close to his midtown-Phoenix office.

 In December, he chose a 734-square-foot condo in One Lexington, a high-rise on Central and Lexington avenues.

Once called Century Plaza, the steel-and-glass former commercial building went through bankruptcy during the housing collapse, and the new owner cut condo prices by about half.

Less than a year after One Lexington restarted sales, more than 70 percent of its 145 units are sold or under contract.

Hauer thinks his new home is a good investment at $181,950 plus a $299 monthly HOA fee (based on his unit's square footage), which he'll start paying at the end of the year.

Such luxury-condo developments, meant to capture buyers wanting an urban lifestyle with access to Metro light rail and Phoenix's burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, are showing signs of life after the housing crisis sent several such properties into bankruptcy.

 

Dennis Kolodin, a Phoenix broker who specializes in urban properties and lives in a midtown-Phoenix high-rise, said he's starting to see an uptick in interest for high-rise and urban-living options.

"The urban-condo market in Phoenix is relatively small and relatively new," he said. As the economy picks up, he says, "it seems like some major pieces are now in place for development to continue along light rail and in downtown Phoenix."

Mini urban mansions

Just down the road from One Lexington at Central Avenue and Palm Lane (just north of the Phoenix Art Museum) is another luxury development that went through months of financial turmoil but is back on the market under new ownership.

 Chateau on Central is a development of 21 luxury townhomes that looks like miniature brick castles, complete with turrets. These Queen Anne Victorian-style townhomes boast 5,200 square feet of living space or more on five floors.

 

The homes went on the market for $1.389 million to $2.459 million in December (plus a $575 monthly HOA fee), when the new developers unveiled two model homes decorated by the Scottsdale design firm Est Est.

None of the units has sold yet.

 

Prices are about half of the townhomes' original asking price of $2.8 million to $4.5 million in 2007.

MSI West Investments bought the 21-townhouse development for $7 million last year after its financer, Mortgages Ltd., declared bankruptcy.

 

Each home has four floors plus a basement, a private four-person elevator, a two-car garage, a top-floor terrace and balconies.

 

There are no shared community amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools or cigar clubs, at Chateau. Joe Morales, a real-estate agent with Arizona Great Estates-Realty One Group, said that's because luxury buyers prize privacy over shared spaces. All the townhomes are zoned as work/live spaces, so buyers could set up professional offices in the basement or on the first floor.

 

Morales said he may seek a light-commercial buyer, such as a high-end restaurant or law firm, for the largest townhome: an 8,252-square-foot corner property on Central Avenue, currently listed at $2.459 million.

Sell vs. rent

One Lexington and Chateau on Central are bucking a trend. Other developers are putting rental signs on luxury and high-rise urban properties built during the height of the market and meant to sell as luxury condos. The 44 Monroe building in downtown Phoenix and West Sixth, formerly called Centerpoint in Tempe, are two such properties whose units will be leased rather than sold.

   

For Hauer, an architect in training with Gabor Lorant Architects, the clean lines of the contemporary One Lexington building won out over some older downtown high-rise properties he considered.

Remaining units at One Lexington (owned by the Macdonald Development Corp.) range from $165,400 to $981,900 for a two-story, 2,846-square-foot penthouse.

 

"The finishes were a big part of it," Hauer said, listing the Caesarstone countertops, stainless-steel Bosch appliances, bamboo floors and modern kitchen cabinetry.

The building's amenities include a pool, gym, community room, parking and a small dog run, which comes in handy for Hauer's longhaired Chihuahua, Margarita.

 

Hauer said he also enjoys sitting on his small 14th-floor balcony, looking north over the stunning midtown Phoenix skyline and the distant mountains, reading his iPad.

"That's the icing on the cake," he said.

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Mar
20

Ten Ways to Sell Your Home Quickly

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My first suggestion is to deep-clean the house and "make it sparkle!" Here are a few more tricks of the trade to help you get the most for your money.

 

 

  

 

  •  If your master bedroom looks drab, add new linens, pillows, and shams to spice it up the bedroom and add a little color.
  •   Buy a bright colored shower curtain and rug to perk up a dull bathroom.
  •  Re-grout if your bathroom grout is chipped or discolored.
  • Eliminate clutter. Remove photos, knickknacks, refrigerator magnets
  • Organize your cabinets and closets.
  •  Clear off kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Put away appliances.
  •  Arrange your furniture so it focuses on your home's strongest feature (it may be a view, a garden, flowers, or a painting).
  • Remove excess furniture.
  • Create a "model home" look, clean, attractive with well-place items.
  •  Dress up your rooms with attractive area rugs and framed prints.
  • Install new light fixtures if they're damaged or unappealing.
  •  Paint your walls in neutral tones. Paint the front door if needed.
  •  Trim bushes and make sure the outside landscaping is neat and clean.
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Mar
20

Central Corridor Condo Market Shows Signs of Revival

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When Michael Hauer decided to buy a home, the 25-year-old looked for something with architectural flair close to his midtown-Phoenix office.

 In December, he chose a 734-square-foot condo in One Lexington, a high-rise on Central and Lexington avenues.

Once called Century Plaza, the steel-and-glass former commercial building went through bankruptcy during the housing collapse, and the new owner cut condo prices by about half.

Less than a year after One Lexington restarted sales, more than 70 percent of its 145 units are sold or under contract.

Hauer thinks his new home is a good investment at $181,950 plus a $299 monthly HOA fee (based on his unit's square footage), which he'll start paying at the end of the year.

Such luxury-condo developments, meant to capture buyers wanting an urban lifestyle with access to Metro light rail and Phoenix's burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, are showing signs of life after the housing crisis sent several such properties into bankruptcy.

 

Dennis Kolodin, a Phoenix broker who specializes in urban properties and lives in a midtown-Phoenix high-rise, said he's starting to see an uptick in interest for high-rise and urban-living options.

"The urban-condo market in Phoenix is relatively small and relatively new," he said. As the economy picks up, he says, "it seems like some major pieces are now in place for development to continue along light rail and in downtown Phoenix."

Mini urban mansions

Just down the road from One Lexington at Central Avenue and Palm Lane (just north of the Phoenix Art Museum) is another luxury development that went through months of financial turmoil but is back on the market under new ownership.

 

Chateau on Central is a development of 21 luxury townhomes that looks like miniature brick castles, complete with turrets. These Queen Anne Victorian-style townhomes boast 5,200 square feet of living space or more on five floors.

slideshow Chateau on Central

 

The homes went on the market for $1.389 million to $2.459 million in December (plus a $575 monthly HOA fee), when the new developers unveiled two model homes decorated by the Scottsdale design firm Est Est.

None of the units has sold yet.

 

Prices are about half of the townhomes' original asking price of $2.8 million to $4.5 million in 2007.

MSI West Investments bought the 21-townhouse development for $7 million last year after its financer, Mortgages Ltd., declared bankruptcy.

 

Each home has four floors plus a basement, a private four-person elevator, a two-car garage, a top-floor terrace and balconies.

 

There are no shared community amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools or cigar clubs, at Chateau. Joe Morales, a real-estate agent with Arizona Great Estates-Realty One Group, said that's because luxury buyers prize privacy over shared spaces. All the townhomes are zoned as work/live spaces, so buyers could set up professional offices in the basement or on the first floor.

 

Morales said he may seek a light-commercial buyer, such as a high-end restaurant or law firm, for the largest townhome: an 8,252-square-foot corner property on Central Avenue, currently listed at $2.459 million.

Sell vs. rent

One Lexington and Chateau on Central are bucking a trend. Other developers are putting rental signs on luxury and high-rise urban properties built during the height of the market and meant to sell as luxury condos. The 44 Monroe building in downtown Phoenix and West Sixth, formerly called Centerpoint in Tempe, are two such properties whose units will be leased rather than sold.

 

Two years ago, Daly, the Phoenix broker, conducted bus tours, taking dozens of urban-living enthusiasts to see high-rises and new condo developments around the Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe city centers. The economy put many of those developments, and his tours, on hiatus.

 

Today, Daly said he's getting more inquiries from out-of-towners looking for investment properties and second homes. And Valley residents are asking when his tours will resume.

 

"Right now, it's just a matter of time and energy," he said. "I think we'll be firing them up again in the next two to three months."

 

For Hauer, an architect in training with Gabor Lorant Architects, the clean lines of the contemporary One Lexington building won out over some older downtown high-rise properties he considered.

Remaining units at One Lexington (owned by the Macdonald Development Corp.) range from $165,400 to $981,900 for a two-story, 2,846-square-foot penthouse.

 

"The finishes were a big part of it," Hauer said, listing the Caesarstone countertops, stainless-steel Bosch appliances, bamboo floors and modern kitchen cabinetry.

The building's amenities include a pool, gym, community room, parking and a small dog run, which comes in handy for Hauer's longhaired Chihuahua, Margarita.

 

Hauer said he also enjoys sitting on his small 14th-floor balcony, looking north over the stunning midtown Phoenix skyline and the distant mountains, reading his iPad.

"That's the icing on the cake," he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/style/hfe/articles/2011/03/10/20110310high-rise-living-central.html#ixzz1GWLu5UTb

 

 

 

 

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Mar
14

SPUR CROSS STABLE: Horseback Riding in Cave Creek

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My family and I had the privilege to experience the wonderous Sonoran desert in Cave Creek, Arizona. Spur Cross Stable has some of the nicest horses in Arizona and it was pleasure to view the landscape on these beasts.

Here is their information found on their website. Prices start at $77 for two people for an hour ride. It's worth it!

  Phoenix, Arizona horseback riding in Cave Creek is at Spur Cross Stables – horseback riding stables providing horse trail riding for Phoenix, Scottsdale and Cave Creek.

Arizona horseback riding is our specialty, so come on out and treat yourself and your family to the Phoenix horseback riding vacation of your dreams in the Tonto National Forest.

Our Cave Creek horseback riding ranch is located on the site of an 1870 gold mine, so it’s rich in the history of this area.

 

Click here to make a reservation!

Our horse trail riding guided tours can be tailored specifically to fit your Arizona horseback riding needs, from 1 hour to a full day.

 

Design your own private ride or group ride, exploring natural wonders on our six Trailblazer Rides, with Cave Creek horseback riding journeys that include the 1) Native American Ruins Trail Ride, 2) Petroglyphs Trail Ride, 3) Seven Springs Trail Ride, 4) Stagecoach Stop Trail Ride,  5) Crested Headed Saguaro Trail Ride.

 

Go Arizona horseback riding early in the cool morning air, or later in the day to enjoy the sunset. Our friendly, experienced cowgirls and cowboys will mount you up on one of our 50 beautiful, gentle trail riding horses, many of which are rescues.

 

There’s plenty of time on this casual ride for pictures as our guides lead you through the towering Saguaro cactus, Prickly Pear and many other desert plants, shrubs and cacti.

    

 

Click here for detailed descriptions of our Trailblazer Rides.

Before your Arizona horseback riding experience at Spur Cross Stables, we take the time to introduce you to your horse, including all the tips you need to know on how to direct it throughout your Phoenix horseback riding journey.

 

So even if horse trail riding is new to you, you’ll feel comfortable and confident on your Phoenix, Cave Creek and Scottsdale horseback riding experience.

 

When you arrive here for Arizona horseback riding, be sure to say “Hi” to Sugar, Smokey and Primo our miniature horses, then enjoy feeding a cracker or carrot to one of our many small animals at this Phoenix horseback riding ranch.

 

 Meet Sally our mini Dexter cow, Gilbert and Norman our male pot-bellied pigs, Roscoe the mini donkey, and his buddies Jake and Lookout. And don’t miss Jack, our old pygmy goat.

 

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Of course, the best animal friend you’ll make during your Arizona horseback riding visit is the horse you’ll be riding, who you’ll be able to thank for the experience with a treat you can give them at the end of the ride.

 

Minimum age for horse trail riding at Spur Cross Stables is 6 years old, however we can accommodate younger ages in our Lil’ Buckaroos program for children who are not ready to ride alone on our Cave Creek horseback riding trails.

 

For more information, Log on to http://www.horsebackarizona.com

 

 

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Mar
12

The Phoenix Art Museum Culinary Festival: Devoured

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Devoured is an annual culinary event hosted by the Phoenix Art Museum,Local First Arizona and R Entertainment Co. to promote Arizona producers and purveyours of fine food and drink. They are devoted in their quest to making metro Phoenix an international dining destination.

Devoured is open to purveyors who support Arizona food, wine, and restaurant industries.  The event fosters lively food experiences and presents innovative culinary demonstrations along with showcasing local artisans, farms, food producers, and vintners.

In addition to enjoying the best food and wind Phoenix has to offer, Devoured guests receive general admission to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Southwest's premier destination for world class visual arts.

For more information, http://www.phxart.org/devoured/

 

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