Searching Scottsdale Real Estate

Welcome to the blog about an Illinois REALTOR searching for Scottsdale real estate.   Whether you’re interested in Scottsdale homes, condos or townhomes, join me on my journey to find a 2nd Scottsdale home.  Search the Scottsdale MLS to get an idea of prices and what is currently available.

Posted in Intro by judyo     

Our Decision Was…

We had three top contenders.  As mentioned before, we would have had four if the Casa Granada townhome hadn’t already been sold.  Our top three were:

  1. Chateau Du Vie townhouse – this was the lowest priced unit and although it needed work, it was our favorite.  It was a two-story unit with a nice sized living room plus extra space on the main floor between the living room and kitchen for an extra blow-up bed if necessary.  There were 3 bedrooms upstairs and a total of 2 1/2 baths.  It also featured a large patio, carport and extra exterior storage.  It was close to downtown Scottsdale and the pool was close to the unit.
  2. Aventura condo – This also needed work but we loved everything on the main level and no unit on top.  It was steps from a very nice pool and we liked the resort feel of the large complex.  The patio was very small and we were towards the front of the complex.  The monthly maintenance was the highest here.
  3. Las Hadas Villas – This one also needed work, was two stories with 2 bedrooms and a loft (with a closet) and was the only one with a garage.  It was also steps from the pool and had a small patio, a larger private and partially covered patio plus a balcony off the upstairs master bedroom.

If none of these went through, we would have made an offer on the Heatherbrae House 2 condos.  The unit itself was spacious and it was close to downtown Scottsdale, but we weren’t crazy about the complex and the apartments that were across the street.  The pool was literally just outside our front door – we wanted it close but that was a bit too close.  At least we had a back-up if our top 3 failed.

Since we were leaving to go home the next day, our agent drew up three separate contracts.  She would only present one at a time, but this way if one didn’t get accepted she had the next one ready to present.  It was exciting!

Grayhawk Condominiums in North Scottsdale

I was excited to view some units in the popular Grayhawk condominium complex located in north Scottsdale. My brother’s good friends own a Greyhawk condo but I can’t remember which section he is in.  Greyhawk is so large it is divided into different areas offering varying styles and price ranges.

Grayhawk is definitely a lifestyle experience.  This is a resort area offering golf, walking and bike paths, a clubhouse, exercise facilities, dining and much more. It offers a natural, North Scottsdale desert environment and is very beautiful.

There were some Grayhawk condominiums in our price range and since the Scottsdale MLS doesn’t always offer a lot of data, it was difficult to tell from the listings whether these units would be big enough for us. It appeared that there was a little nook where you could put a desk and I was hoping it was large enough for a blow-up bed for extra guests.

Alas, the photos online were deceiving. Although the units were more modern looking than many we had seen (although we weren’t necessarily looking for modern), they were pretty small. I wanted to experience the Grayhawk resort lifestyle but I wouldn’t have been happy in the units we viewed that were in our price range.

As beautiful as the North Scottsdale Grayhawk resort community was, we passed it up.   And decision time was looming.

Posted in Grayhawk Scottsdale by judyo  1 comment   

Scottsdale Condos and Townhomes Search – Day 3

Camelback Mountain drivng down the 101

It was our final day to choose one out of the many Scottsdale condos and townhomes we viewed.  I viewed some units without my husband on day 2 and there were two I wanted him to see.  These two units were definitely on my short list and I wanted his opinion.

We had both liked two units we viewed together but found out that one of them was sold already.  Some buyers take 3 months or longer to choose a property, we had 3 days.

It wasn’t so bad as I had done a lot of homework while I was back home in IL.  I can quickly walk through a property and I know right away whether I like it or not.   Many buyers know if they like a property within seconds of walking inside.  That’s why it really doesn’t matter if a seller or listing agent or even the buyer’s agent points every nook and cranny out to a buyer.  They either like it and can imagine living there or not.  No amount of coercing or “selling” is going to change their mind.  My REALTOR was great as she let me do my own preview without saying too much but answered any questions I had.

We visited one new complex on this day which was Grayhawk condominiums, Venu at Grayhawk, and went back for a 2nd look at Las Hadas Villas Townhomes and Aventura Condominiums.  It was very exciting as this was the day we were out to narrow down our selection and decide which unit to make an offer on.

Posted in Aventura Condos, Grayhawk Scottsdale, Las Hadas Villas by judyo     

Aventura Condos, Scottsdale AZ

Adventura condosI was really interested in the Aventura Condos complex as the pictures of the complex and the pools looked so nice.  I was also somewhat concerned as there seemed to be a lot of short sales in the area.  However, this was one of the largest complexes we viewed.

I learned that Aventura Condominiums were originally apartments and were converted.  There are several pools, hot tubs and more amenities including a clubhouse.  However, the monthly maintenance is high and we found out that what was listed on the MLS print-out was truly much higher (I see some listed at $251.00, we were trying to stay under $200.00/mo.).  We wanted a lower monthly maintenance but we were still interested in the 1st floor ranch unit we saw.

Like many condominium complexes, Aventura condos offer different floor plans.  The unit we liked was close to the entrance of the complex and was a single level 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit with no unit above.  It needed work but it was a very nice floor plan.  We put it on our short list.

When we went back for a second look we also viewed a 2nd floor unit.  It was Aventura condos poolinteresting because it looked like there was a buyer there with workers (it was marked active in the MLS – not contingent or deal pending – this wouldn’t fly in Northern IL).  It was also a very nice unit but you did have to climb exterior stairs for entry and it was above another unit.  Both units were close to a pool.

The MLS print-out of the unit we liked mentioned it had been on auction but the date had already passed.  This unit would have been perfect for when my Mom visited since it was all on one level.

We chose Aventura because pets and renting were allowed.  They are located in North Scottsdale and the address is 9450 E. Becker Ln., Scottsdale AZ  85260.

If you’d like to search the Scottsdale MLS please click the link.

Las Hadas Villas in Scottsdale AZ

On my second day of viewing Scottsdale condos I went without my husband to narrow down our list.  We planned on going out together the next day.  We had less than 5 days to view all the condos/townhomes and make a choice.

So my REALTOR and I had the Las Hadas Villas complex on the list.  This choice was an afterthought as our original search was only for 3 bedroom units.  I realized that some of the 2 bedroom units had an extra room (family room/den) and this one had a loft.  The pictures online were quite intriguing so I put it on the list.

Las Hadas Villas

This trip was heading north, away from downtown Scottsdale, the area I was hoping to find something.  I was going to an area of Scottsdale I had only visited briefly while watching our friend Steve Kostakes play piano at The Ocean Club, Maggianos and City Hall.  It was always at night and I never paid attention, but I knew it was quite a drive from Steve’s home in Gilbert.

So I was feeling a bit “lost” but was ready to view these north Scottsdale townhomes.  We pulled into a nice looking, ungated subdivision and I liked what I saw.  Stucco with tiled roofs and the pool located in the middle.

I’m not sure how my agent found this particular unit because it was set back and we had to walk past a couple of other units to get to this one – very private.  This is the only townhouse that had a garage and it was a two car garage.  That was a real plus, although most did have some kind of carport plus extra storage.  The pool was just around the corner and steps from the garage.

When we entered it was the most unique style we had seen so far.  And it was kind of beat up.  I learned what saltillo tiles were as they were on the entryway and inside.  There was a large, rectangular room that was the combination living room (with a fireplace) and dining area.  There was a galley kitchen, a laundry room and a main floor master bedroom with bathroom access plus a 2nd floor master bedroom with private bath.  The loft had it’s own closet.

There were many broken tiles on the floor which was a shame as I loved them.  There was no electricity on so it was difficult to see rooms without a window and the place just looked dark.  But there was something about this townhouse even though it needed some tlc.  It was unique and the bathrooms had beautiful original tile work.  The kitchen had beautiful tile but many were cracked.  I nicknamed this one the “bachelor pad” because the darkness made it look manly.

There was a private covered patio with a huge orange tree plus a little patio off the main floor bedroom and a small balcony off the 2nd floor bedroom.  There was ugly dark green carpet on the stairs and the upper level.

All in all, there was work to do on this one (as there was on others), but this was toward the top of our price range.  So I wasn’t sure if the work justified the price.  But I told my agent to put it on the list for a revisit with my husband.

Las Hadas Villas are located at 5640 E. Bell Rd., Scottsdale AZ  85254

Posted in Las Hadas Villas by judyo  5 comments   

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