Tag Archives: Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills Market Statistics: Strong Upward Trends

The following is taken from the 2nd Quarter, 2011 Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate Market Summary for Fountain Hills, a 25-page analysis of the mid-year look at Fountain Hills’ real estate market. 
Request Your Free Copy by emailing me at DoriW@SonoranLifestyle.com

Fountain Hills 2nd Quarter Market Report-Ready NOW!

Maricopa County:  Perhaps the best way to explain what is going on in the Maricopa County Real Estate Market is to quote the Cromford Report from July 2, 2011.  The Cromford Report is a reliable source that tracks, among other things, data from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service:

According to the current ARMLS data, 2,216 homes closed on June 30 across all areas and types, the largest total we have ever recorded for a single day. It beat the previous record set on June 30, 2004 by nearly 57%!  Not only that, but the total for the calendar month of June was 11,141, also a new all time record for sales through ARMLS. We know that the total sales recorded by the counties may have been a little higher during the summer of 2005 because so many transactions were completed outside of ARMLS in those days (mainly new homes and FSBOs). However in June’s total we are not including the  homes purchased at trustee sales which were very few in 2005 and likely numbered over 1,500 last month. However you look at it, June 2011 sales volume was enormous…

Shadow inventory?  Foreclosure “tsunami?”  According to the “experts,” we’re supposed to be right in the middle of what was predicted to be “the bigger wave” of foreclosures, with much doom and gloom forecast.  But inventory is at an alarmingly low rate especially in desirable areas like Fountain Hills and the East Shea corridor.  Prices are stabilizing and the wave is looking more like something out of a 1960’s beach party movie.  While this certainly doesn’t spell the end of the housing crisis in Arizona, it does highlight what we’ve been saying all along…the Maricopa County real estate market is very resilient.  Unless the federal government succeeds in mucking up our economy to a much greater degree, we have survived the worst and can begin to feel confident in our sunbelt real estate appeal, once again.

Fountain Hills:  All indicators in the Fountain Hills real estate market are positive…..every last one!  This is the first time in recent memory that we’ve seen:

  • Inventory decreased in every category (homes, condos, land)
  • Sales pace ahead of 1st quarter 2011 in every category
  • Sales pace ahead of the 2nd quarter 2010 in every category
  • Prices increase over 1st quarter 2011 in every category

Distressed Property Sales comprise 36% of the $89 million of sales closed during 2nd Quarter, 2011 in Fountain Hills.  That’s a huge decrease from just 6 months ago at the end of 2010 when 50% of Fountain Hills’ residential sales were either Bank-Owned Properties or Short Sales (49% at the end of 2009)  Currently, there are 36 bank-owned properties listed for sale in Fountain Hills, the smallest number we’ve seen in over two years…and one-half of what it was in October 2010.

To be fair, the local real estate market was feeling euphoric one year ago at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2010, when inventory was reduced and prices had risen drastically the previous 6 months.  But, as most of us believe, this was more than likely an artificial market created by the incentives of the Homebuyer’s Tax Credit program.  It is no secret that the 1st and 2nd quarters of each year are usually Fountain Hills’ busiest.  And, we had a huge drop in business the second half of 2010 that resulted in an 8-year low in prices.  However, we at Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate are experiencing a very robust sales pace even this summer…with many more enthusiastic buyers than one year ago.

So, the next 6 months will officially tell us whether we have left the bottom of this market behind us.  And, while the long climb out of the problems of the past few years will not be a steady, uninterrupted incline, we do believe that if you’re waiting for the “perfect time” to purchase your next home or investment property, that time is NOW!

A few words about “shadow inventory:”   Across the Valley, we are hearing that the anticipation of a huge shadow inventory is a non-starter.  First, it’s
important to understand the various forms of shadow inventory.  Some experts consider it to be the foreclosed properties that are sitting vacant and off the market.  Others use a broader definition as any property that is either headed for default, is in default or has been foreclosed and is vacant and off the market.
Those that believe this is a non-issue are—in our opinion—analyzing the market place from an informed, realistic position.  Their comments generally include statistics that take into account the active sales pace of short sale properties that will remove the anticipated shadow inventory prior to foreclosure; they also take
into account properties that are purchased off the courthouse steps by investors that are either purchasing to hold or to fix and flip…creating a much more vibrant market than we saw several years ago when trashy default properties clogged the system.    In Fountain Hills, we are seeing both of those dynamics in play.  If a property is in decent shape and priced reasonably…it sells.    Statistically, there are only about 25-30 properties that might be considered “shadow inventory” by the narrower definition.  These properties are often plagued by prior title conditions (bankruptcy or actions for deficiency judgment); extreme hazardous conditions within the home (mold, etc.)  While there may be other factors that negatively impact our local market, we don’t believe “The Shadow” is lurking around us.

Enjoy the attached reports.  There is a lot of information in them, and we’re happy to help you analyze them for your own purposes or to send you more detailed reports such as our “Neighborhood Report” or some of the Cromford Reports that analyze both the local and valley wide market.  We look forward to being of assistance should you decide that now is the time to buy or sell your next property.


Dori Wittrig

Posted by Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate.  For more information about  the neighborhoods, homes, condos or land of Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, contact her at DoriW@SonoranLifestyle.comor by phone at 602-558-5901

Fountain Hills 2-Bedroom Resort-Style Condominium at FireRock Resort Casitas

9253 N. Firebrick Drive, #114, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
2 Bedroom / 2 Bath / 1064 sq. ft.  / 1 Carport   / $145,530

Welcome to FireRock Resort Casitas

Check out this Fountain Hills resort condominium at FireRock Resort Casitas, just in time to plan for a warm winter in the sunny southwest!  Fountain Hills is the perfect place to own a vacation condo or second home, a world class community with a hometown feel on the eastern edge of Maricopa County amid stunning views of several mountain ranges.   Only minutes from Scottsdale and Mesa, Fountain Hills is a world apart, a golf mecca with four public golf courses.  Firerock Country Club, the namesake championship course next door, is a private, member friendly club designed by Gary Panks and managed by community developer MCO Properties.

And in Fountain Hills, there’s no finer resort condominium community than FireRock Resort Casitas, with its lushly landscaped resort-style recreation area, complete with clubhouse, large heated pool and spa.  The community is
within walking distance to dining and shopping, plus there’s a Starbucks Coffee
Shop only a block away!

This ground-level condominium home offers great desert views from the spacious patio area. An elegantly decorated condominium featuring 2 master bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a great room with a spacious dining area, the well-lit kitchen offers granite counters and a convenient laundry room and pantry.  There is a carport included, plus additional covered parking possibly available.  Of course, a resort condominium at FireRock Resort Casitas provides worry-free ownership and eliminates the need to worry about grounds or building maintenance.   HOA fees are only $195 per month and include cable TV and trash service.  Best of all, the condo is competitively priced at only $145,530!

Don’t put off getting your stake in the game!   This is a great investment property or an outstanding winter second home in Fountain Hills, a community  Newsweek Magazine named Best Affordable Suburb for 2009. For seller financing incentives, agents and their buyers are requested to contact Bruce Laessig of Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate for details.  Reach him at 480-296-3806 or Bruce@BruceLaessig.com.  Learn more about this beautiful resort-style
condo in FireRock Resort casitas at your Fountain Hills resource for homes,
land and condos at www.TheSonoranLifestyle.com.  To view the property website of this great resort condominium, go to FireRock Casita #114.

Remodeling Your Bathroom? Call Whirlbath Refinishing

Remodeling a bathroom can be costly, but don’t you love it when you learn a tip or trick that gets a beautiful result at a fraction of the cost?

One of our Fountain Hills Clients recently had a whirlpool tub that needed renovating.  We were delighted to find Whirlbath Refinishing and their technician Adam Ebert.  Whirlbath Refinishing is a family-owned company, and one of those great businesses who take extreme pride in servicing their customers.

Whirlbath is a professional bathtub refinisher. They have the experience and knowledge to beautifully restore and refinish a tub the correct way. They follow strict guidelines and use the best bathtub coating materials available in the industry, installing a new spray-on tub coating.

For our client, Whirlbath was able to replace a tub jet system that other companies refused to even consider.  They did it in a very workmanlike manner, and best of all, for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire tub, the solution other companies suggested.  The new buyer of the home got a new whirlpool tub and the sale closed on time…I love stories with a happy ending!

Adam Ebert, the second generation of the company, was a delight to work with.  He fit us into his busy schedule, even on a holiday week-end when we were scrambling to close the sale.  He went above and beyond the call of duty, delivering more than he promised, but you couldn’t even tell he’d been in the property after all was said and done.  Whirlbath provided a 2-year warranty, and the new jets passed re-inspection by AJF Engineering.

WhirlBath services not only bathtubs, but also sinks, showers, tile and countertops.  While we have not had the pleasure of seeing them in action for their entire range of services, but we have confidence in their work ethic and their commitment to customer service.  We highly recommend their service!  Give them a call at 480-585-2377 or check out their website at www.Whirlbath.com.

The Health Benefits of Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Yes, I said benefits.  Prickly Pear Cactus is more than A) a strangely beautiful plant that grows only in our corner of the world, mostly in the  Sonoran Desert, or;  B)  A nasty cactus that you warn others away from, but let’s face it…we each have to learn our own lessons!

The “Nopales” of the Prickly Pear Cactus

But there really are benefits.  The pad of the Prickly Pear Cactus, or “Nopale” provides a tasty vegetable substitute that I liken to a mild green pepper.  A few years ago on a hike in the Baja of Mexico, I also learned that the Nopales are beneficial to those with diabetes and that they have proven to help manage the need for insulin.  For more on this, check out this article I found online:  http://www.ehow.com/about_5110575_benefits-nopal-cactus.html\

Fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Jelly is also a tasty byproduct of the plant.  For years, Fountain Hills was blessed with a small gift shoppe and specialty food store known as The Desert Kettle, operated by our friends Reldon and Marilyn Schirch.  Each year, Marilyn and her daughters would collect the red pear from the plant–you’d see them all over town, armed with heavy gloves and long tongs.  The jelly was tasty and came in many forms…some spicy if she wanted to give you a real taste of the southwest!  Below is an easy recipe and suggestions:

PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS FRUIT JELLY  /  Ingredients:  Prickly Pear Cactus Juice, sugar, SureJel

Pick cactus fruit when fully ripe, use bacon tongs for this. Burn off the spines over a flame. Use tongs for this too. Cut fruits in half, put in pan with small amount of water and boil gently until fruits are soft.  Put in a jelly bag and drain off the juice.  Follow directions for grape jelly but use one cup less of the cactus juice than the recipe calls for.  This recipe needs a little experimenting to get just right.

Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker of Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate

Posted by Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate.  For more information about the glorious area of Fountain Hills, Scottsdale Mountain and the McDowell Mountains, give her a call at 602-558-5901

Furnished Model Home at CopperWynd Resort, Fountain Hills, AZ

14850 E. Grandview Drive, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
2 Bedrooms Plus Den, 2 Baths, 2 Car Garage;  Furnished, $425,000

Copperwynd Villa Model Home for Sale

This is one you won’t want to miss…a furnished former model home at the popular Copperwynd Villas and Copperwynd Resort in Fountain Hills.  Beyond a classic…this model home set the tone for all models in Fountain Hills!

This is THE popular Brindisi Furnished Model Home, with stunning, upper level views, perched high on the sought-after north hillside of CopperWynd Resort that straddles the boundary between Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, high in the McDowell Mountains.  There are two large balconies to enjoy the pristine panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, Sunridge Canyon Golf Club and city lights.

CopperWynd Resort

What a find!  A furnished, former model with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a den and is tastefully and beautifully decorated to be completely move-in ready.   Custom home finishes include granite counter tops, custom finished maple cabinetry, custom stonework, stainless steel appliances and beautiful window treatments.

This is the signature location and view that made The Villas at CopperWynd so popular…closest to the extraordinary CopperWynd Resort with it’s world class spa, fitness center, 2 pools and 9 tennis courts, casual and fine dining.  Membership is available separately.  Check out CopperWynd Resort in Fountain Hills.  To learn more about this home, call Sherri Ginsberg, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate, 480-818-0374.