Central Phoenix

Most expensive bank-owned home in Phoenix

It's located at the Biltmore Estates golf course. Got a cool $7 million? All 18,000 square feet of this mansion can be yours. It's only the market for 6 months, too, which in the land of luxury real estate is about 1/10th of a second.

Last December (was that a mere 10months ago?) it was listed for $12,500,000. Talk about market decline! That's a drop of nearly 1/2 in 10months.

Here's some pictures of the compound...

Her closet

His closet. And, his library ... Clearly, the man who owns this home is A Very Serious Man who makes a lot of Very Serious Money.

The wine cellar (frankly, the way the photographer shot it, it looks more like an M.C. Escher drawing to me)

2 washers and 2 dryers. Because everyone knows the Very Wealthy have Very Dirty Clothes.

Apparently, the sheer weight of the former owners' wealth bent the space-time continuum in the ceiling of the master bedroom.... I'm a little dizzy looking at it.

Enjoyed these photos? See more foreclosed homes of the formerly Super Wealthy, elsewhere on our blog. And if you're actually shopping for a home in this exclusive price range, don't hesitate to call me. I actually do have regular experience helping buyers in the luxury markets in metro Phoenix, Arizona. I promise to keep my mild snarking to myself when we're home shopping.

Most expensive REO

Here it is, folks, the most expensive REO bank owned foreclosure home currently for sale in the metro Phoenix, Arizona MLS database. For a mere $18 million, this estate can be yours.

18mil EF

Seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, and over 17,000 square feet of living space. The home boasts two swimming pools, a billiard room, 3 family rooms, a theater room with actual movie-house projection system and seats that move with the movie action. Garage space for 21 cars. Home has an exercise room and a piano room, 2 libraries, and it’s own solar electric generating station.

The closets in this place will suit turn anyone into a clothes horse…

18mil closet218mil closet1

The house sits on 5 acres in Paradise Valley, on prestigious Mockingbird Lane.  Want to see it in person? Shown by appointment only; bank references required prior to showing. That’s Realtor-speak for “show me the money before I show you the house.”

18mil HALL18mil ENTRY

18mil POOL218mil POOL1

18mil LIBR

And, proving that even the excessively wealthy have sense of humor, at the entrance to this home’s theater room, Zoltar from the movie Big.


AMC Esplanade 14 movie theater will re-open as posh Fork & Screen

fork and screen logoBiltmore-area movie-goers have undoubtedly noticed that the  AMC Esplanade 14 movie theater at 2512 E Camelback Road has been closed down this summer.  In August, the Esplanade will reopen as the latest site of AMC’s newest concept, the upscale Fork & Screen.

With this renovation, AMC is trying to attract the posh “dinner and a movie” crowd to the Biltmore location. The new movie venue will offer luxe décor, top-shelf cocktails, wait staff and bartender service and even private suites in which to watch the movies.

Oh, and for all you jobseekers out there, AMC is currently hiring wait staff, bartenders, back-of-house people (dishwashers, cooks, etc), and even a theater manager. Search available openings on CareerBuilder.com, using the employer name “TD-AMC Dine-In Theatre”.

Sources & Links for this story:



Phoenix foreclosure bargains #1

Metro Phoenix can be a real estate investor’s wonderland, or your worst nightmare. It’s all in whether you choose your residential investment property carefully. Or not.

From time to time, we here at The Phoenix Agents @ Thompson’s Realty like to point out those too-good-to-pass-up houses. Here’s one…it’s a complete fixer-upper but priced about $30,000 below area comparable sold properties!



  • $45,800 -- bank owned

  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 1450 square feet, built 1955

  • 1 car carport -- 7,500 square foot lot

  • Area comps are $75,000-ish and about $950/month as a rental

Near 19th Avenue and Camelback Road in near-West Phoenix, this home is like a time capsule. It literally has not been touched since 1955: you can see the original curtains in the living room and kitchen.


This isn’t a house for the feint of heart or novice investors! It needs significant work – new roof, probably a new HVAC unit, tear down the back porch enclosure, re-tile the master shower, needs all the appliances, remove and replace window coverings, consider replacing the cabinets throughout the house and/or the linoleum floors.


This property needs a lot of TLC, but look at those comps! You can do the basic fundamentals and a few cosmetic remodels and re-sell it (fix and flip) or do the same and turn the home into a cash-flowing rental property.

Use our Foreclosure Search to browse all Phoenix-area foreclosure homes.

If you’re looking for something like this home to invest in, please contact me. I work frequently with novice and experienced investors. In addition to all of Phoenix, I cover territories from Tempe to Surprise, from Glendale to Goodyear. Colleagues in my office cover all of the East and Southeast Valley (Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, and points east). We’ll all be happy to assist you with your real estate investing goals.

Standard Disclaimer – the property described in this article may not still be available when you read the article. The pricing and value advice offered in this article is meant as a guide only, and does not in any way create a guarantee or a client relationship with the Realtor author. In other words, I am a Realtor but I am not your Realtor… yet, and as such you are responsible for your own due diligence, investigations and negotiations, unless/until you hire me to assist you with same.

44 Monroe converts to apartments

In a nod to the general bad economy and the extra-bad resale condo market in Metro Phoenix, the hi-rise known as 44 Monroe in downtown Phoenix will convert from condos to apartments.

Why? Many, many reasons. The economy continues to be sluggish. Condo financing has all but dried up. The condo rental market has been hurt too, by the easy availability of single family detached housing rentals. Condos always fare worse than detached housing in a real estate-led recession...

See the article in the Arizona Republic about the 44 Monroe condo-to-apartment conversion.

We have a good deal of experience helping buyers and sellers in the Metro Phoenix condo market here at The Phoenix Agents. If you need guidance condo-shopping or condo-selling in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria or Glendale, contact us. Not quite ready to talk with a Realtor? Totally understandable. A, we're not "salesy" and B, you can read what our clients think about us on our Tribe page.

Chateaux on Central has new owner

Depending on your viewpoint, the red brick McMansions on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix known as the Chateaux on Central are either an eyesore or a diamond in the rough.

Back in the boom years, the Chateaux was built at an estimated cost of about $40 million with an additional $47 million provided by Mortgages Limited when the building went into foreclosure.

Wisconsin based MSI West Investments thought they were a bargain at $7million and snapped them up last March. They hired Rowland Luxury Homes to finish the build-out and punchlist items, and are putting out word they’re nearly ready to sell the luxury mid-rise condos.

The building includes 21 condo residences varying from 5,100 to 8,200 square feet. That means MSI West got the building for about $330,000 per condo.

Before the market fell apart, asking prices ranged from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 per condo. MSI West Investments say the condos will now start at about $1,300,000.

The local Fox affiliate, KSAZ Fox 10, did a short piece on the Chateaux; see below.

Insider’s Note: I love how the Realtor in the video describes these condos as “a lifestyle never before offered in the Valley.”

<sarcasm> Yeah, because over-the-top luxury is *never* offered in North Scottsdale or Paradise Valley. <sarcasm>

Frankly, I think $1,300,000 for a smaller condo here seems a little high. They are downtown Phoenix condos after all, and your typical buyer with a cool million or two to spend doesn’t think of looking in downtown Phoenix first. People with two million smackers go look at mansions in Paradise Valley.

I’m betting the prices will settle out to more like $925,000 up to $1,700,000.  Check back in about a year to see how I did predicting future sales prices for the Chateaux on Central.

Find the original Fox 10 news video on the KSAZ MyFox 10 website ; or view the Arizona Republic's coverage of the Chateaux on Central sale.

Pets abandoned in foreclosure homes

A shocking number of dogs and cats have been rescued from local foreclosure and short sale homes where their owners have abandoned them, leaving them to starve to death.

Your donation of food and supplies will help to save the lives of these homeless pets who have been rescued by Lost Our Home Pet Foundation.

Can you even imagine the horror of this situation for the animals involved? I’m almost ashamed to be part of the human race when I think that some people can do this to their pets. You just close the door and walk away?! You can’t even be bothered to pay the small fee to surrender your pet at a shelter?  It’s sickening.

Contact Lost Our Home Pet Foundation

or call 602-230-HELP(4357)

This organization is supported by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing System. And also by Chris Butterworth and Heather Barr, The Phoenix Agents at Thompson’s Realty. And our broker, Jay & Francy Thompson. And about a bajillion other cool peeps in town.

Pet Food Drive Locations

  • Wet or dry dog and cat food of any type

  • Pet toys

  • Cat Litter/litter pans

  • Water or food dishes

This is an ongoing project with no end date in sight.

ARMLS Support Center: Phoenix
5033 N. 19th Ave. Suite 113
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: SE Valley
1363 S. Vineyard
Mesa, AZ 85210
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®
4221 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: 480-945-2651
Mon – Friday 8:00 -5:00 EXCEPT Tuesday
which is 9:00 – 5:00

ARMLS Main Office : Tempe
130 S. Priest Dr. Suite 101
Tempe, AZ 85281
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Glendale
17235 N. 75th Ave. Suite E-160
Glendale, AZ 85308
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

ARMLS Support Center: Scottsdale
7600 E. Redfield Rd. Suite 170
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Mon – Friday 8:30 – 5:00

Phoenix's reverse traffic lanes: vote!

Image ID 1280927 by Stock Exchange user bredmaker (image credit to Stock Exchange user http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1280927; hat tip to Downtown Phoenix Voices.org for leading me to the survey)

The City of Phoenix is offering a survey on the usefulness or danger of their “reverse traffic lanes” on 7th Avenue and 7th Street.

I personally think these reverse lanes are an innovative method of handling Phoenix’s growing rush hour automobile congestion. Other people contend they’re dangerous and should be eliminated.  Go, cast your vote.

Vote on Phoenix’s reverse traffic lanes here.

Bother your Realtor. Please.

Recently a consumer visited our website to search the MLS and submitted an online question about a home she found there. I sent her our standard "thanks for visiting our site, let us know if we can help" email. This is the rest of the email exchange between she and I.
Thank you for getting back to me.

We do have a realtor but, he is a friend of ours so I like to look into things first before I get him involved. I would like to know the terms of the lease purchase. Money down, length of option, payments, etc. Could you please forward the information.

Thank you,
Looking in Desert Ridge

Hello Looking,

I'm sorry, I'd like to help but I can't.  I am a Realtor. But I am not the seller’s Realtor.  Our website is like most, it shows ALL properties for sale/lease and not just the ones where we represent the seller/landlord.

The Realtor's Ethics Code is pretty cut-and-dried: Realtors should not knowingly work with another Realtor's client.

Your questions are totally legitimate. Most important, the answers to your questions will be part of the negotiation process. Help with negotiations is usually the number 1 reason consumers hire a Realtor. And talking to the seller/landlord's Realtor on your own will probably weaken your bargaining position.

Presumably your Realtor friend will eventually earn a commission, so you shouldn't feel badly asking him to help.

Thing is, this isn't an isolated incident. We hear "I don't want to bother my Realtor" a lot.

  • "Yes, but my Realtor's out of town and I can't get in touch with him."

  • "I already have a Realtor but I don't want to waste his time so I thought you could just show me this house."

  • "My Realtor lives on the other side of town and I don't want to keep asking him to drive all over the place."

I LOVE helping clients. My clients. I do not love helping other Realtor's clients because I don't ever get paid for that sort of thing. I'm a very helpful, compassionate sort of person, but I can't pay my mortgage with compassion. And the IRS gets really cranky when I can't pay my taxes because I was helping other Realtor's clients and didn't actually earn any commissions for my efforts.

Consumers, please - bother your Realtor.  Gathering information, answering questions, offering good counsel and negotiating on your behalf are the job description. If your Realtor is too busy to be bothered with your questions, you need a new Realtor.

Fabulous, but too far out. . .

Recently a client and I exchanged emails about her housing options that reminded me of one of most enduring metro Phoenix’s real estate truisms:  fabulous is often also too far out (geographically speaking).

Since metro Phoenix has always had room to grow, geographically, it generally follows that the newer, fancier, nicer houses that many 20-something, 30-something and 40-something buyers want are miles out of town.

We had a saying during the boom years of 2004-2006 that buyers "drive until they qualify" meaning they drive out from center city until they hit a pocket where the builders have put up houses that those buyers can afford.

But really it's also true that buyers drive until they find the finishes & fixtures they desire at a price they can pay.


So what we often find is this . . . .

5 miles (7-12 minutes) from downtown Phoenix your budget of $150,000 buys this:

160k buys this 5miles from Phx downtown

160k buys this 5miles from Phx downtown, KIT

  • about 1,200 to 1,400 square foot

  • 2 or 3 bedrooms ; 2 bathrooms

  • 1/4 acre lot, with no pool

  • built in 1950s

  • No HOA; you could add on another bedroom fairly easily

  • linoleum floors & laminate counters

  • overall, looks like it was remodeled on the cheap in late 1980s

10 to 12 miles (20-25 minutes) from downtown Phoenix that same $150,000 buys this:

150k buys this 12miles from Phx downtown, EF

  • 1,500 to 1,800 square feet

  • often with a pool ; usually about the same 1/4 acre lot as above

  • Built in the 1970s or 1980s

  • Probably no HOA

You can choose between an older kitchen in a fairly nice neighborhood. . .

150k buys this 12miles from Phx downtown, old KIT, nice NEIGH

. . . or you can choose a completely remodeled kitchen in a neighborhood most buyers would consider a step down from the neighborhood above.

150k buys this 12miles from Phx downtown, new KIT, lesser NEIGH

20-25 miles (45-60 minutes!) from downtown Phoenix $150,000 buys this. . .

150k buys this 20miles from Phx downtown, EF

150k buys this 20miles from Phx downtown, KIT

150k buys this 20miles from Phx downtown, BA

  • 1700-1900 square feet

  • rarely with a pool ; usually a small 1/10th of an acre (5,550 square feet)

  • Brand new build house or about 3-5 years old

  • HOA controls much of what you can do to the outside of the house

What’s more important to you - ?

Granite countertops and new cabinets or a quick 5 minute commute to downtown Phoenix?

5-year old house with generally poor insulation or a well-insulated 40 to 60 year old house that probably needs a new roof in the coming 5 years?

A little elbow room in your backyard or trying to plant a hedge to hide the 2-story house looming over your tiny backyard?

Long time readers know or will guess that I’d choose the teensy 1950s house over the new build in Surprise or Avondale every time. And that’s not just because I don’t have children. I’d raise kids in that teensy house in a heartbeat. They'll have more quality time with Mommy & Daddy because my commute to work is only about 8 minutes.

What about you?

Don’t leave your house naked

Just me popping in with a little tip for home sellers.


We’ve all heard of “curb appeal”. The home above has none of it. The home below, on the other hand. . . .


. . .  now that’s curb appeal!

These two homes are approximately the same floor plan in the same neighborhood. Neither is my listing. In fact, neither is for sale as far as I know. I just took pictures of homes in a Central Phoenix neighborhood I happen to like, so I could make a point about dressing up the front of your house when you’re trying to sell.

Obviously there’s a lot of difference between the two. Sellers, you wouldn’t have to do everything the homeowners in picture number 2 did to give this sort of home more curb appeal.

Adding shutters might be enough. Or get the grass lush & green. Full grown shrubs planted against the house might be expensive, but you could add some eye-catching color with small flowering plants like lantana or verbena. See Moon Valley Nursery’s website for more flowering ideas.

A fresh coat of paint goes miles towards snazzing up any home, exterior or interior. Those crisp white shutters really dress up the front of what’s essentially a plain red brick house.

Just some food for thought for the day.

With MLS photos, details really matter


what a difference a door makes, before


what a difference a door makes, after

There are a few crucial details that made the After picture much more appealing (not counting the angle at which the photos were taken):

  • red door

  • black shutters

  • green grass

  • possibly fresh granite gravel in the semi-circle shape

  • flowerbed filled with red flowers

  • white window rollershades all the way down

Red shows up exceptionally well on the Internet, where something like 90% of home buyers start their search. Yellow is the same. The contrast between the black shutters & white house is also eye-catching.

Usually I don’t recommend or like head-on photos of the front of a home. It tends to make the house look one-dimensional, as if it could be a movie facade. But in this case, it works, proving there’s an exception to every rule.

I'm betting the cash outlay for this seller was about $200 for the door, $120 for shutters and another $100 or $150 for the plants. Granite gravel can be pricey, as can sod. But as you can see, the results are beautiful and buyers will respond by coming to look in person.

More proof that a couple hundred of these

Image ID 377234 by Stock Exchange user ede design ($1 bill picture courtesy of Stock Exchange user Leonardini)

can frequently get you several dozen of these

Dollars seamless background. ($100 bill picture courtesy of Stock Exchange user ede design)

at closing time.

Photo credits - Joanna Siravo of Coldwell Banker and Lisa M. Juel of John Hall & Associates. Disclosure: photos were taken about 3 years apart, this wasn’t a seller doing a fix-up before listing for sale. This Realtor was not involved in the sale of the home in either time frame.

Recommended blog and handyman

Psst...  I found a really outstanding blog and an excellent craftsman who does home remodeling projects in the Greater Phoenix area: The RemodGeek. I can't say enough good stuff about him, but his resume actually speaks for itself:
…spent years in construction, residential and commercial, and remodeling from foundation to punch list. I have been a Union  Carpenter, (both wood and steel stud), Remodeling Contractor, Crew Foreman, Superintendent, Project Manager, Cabinet Maker,  (both custom and production) Professional Drywaller, (from single family houses, and commercial drywall, including fire safety renovations, multi-hour drywall assemblies, elevator shafts, lead-lined radiation rooms, and fire rated partitions. If it can be covered in drywall, I have probably done it, multiple times.

I worked in the auto recycling (junkyards) and bodyshop business for 9 years. When I am not remodeling, I build websites, specialty computers, and networks for my internet clients.

Remodeling for Geeks masthead

That’s his blog masthead; it's him reflected in a shiny engine block. It's a good example of the creative level of photography the RemodGeek posts.  In the funny way of the Internet, RemodGeek and I haven’t met in person, yet. We've emailed, and his blog's in my feed reader.

No matter. The high level of quality craftsmanship he puts into his remodeling projects is crystal clear. If you need remodeling work done around the house, or just need advice on your next Do It Yourself project, check out his site.  <link : http://www.lemurzone.com/rfg/>

Note: Author was given nothing of value other than goodwill in consideration for writing & posting this piece. Whenever you're hiring people to do work on/in your home, do your homework: references, licenses, Better Business Bureau, Registrar of Contractors, etc. ThePhoenixAgents recommends vendors from time to time because we were impressed by them, not because we guarantee their work.

Changes to lead paint rules

Updated April 23  - Fantastic website launched by the EPA, HUD, the Ad Council and the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Get the facts about lead paint, prevention tips, and guidelines for Do It Yourself home renovations involving the potential to disturb lead paint. (LeadFreeKids.org)

As of April 22, 2010 federal laws regarding safe handling of lead based paint are changing. They’re becoming much more restrictive.

Though aimed mostly at contractors, who must now be EPA certified in safe lead based paint handling law, homeowners should take note. If you’ve ever done a renovation project you know that paint & plaster dust is everywhere! Even a simple project like hanging a new bookshelf can disturb quite a lot of plaster & paint dust.

Dust? I thought the problem was paint chips. . .

Federal law is changing because we’ve become increasingly aware that it’s not just  a matter of “don’t let your kids eat paint chips”. Rather, it’s the dust that renovations cause that is truly dangerous. "Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today."  (quote source). Further, some statistics taken in Maine showed that 60% of lead paint poisoning incidents were caused by renovation activities (Nat'l Assn of Realtors, via video link below).

Lead Based Paint chart shows older homes at more risk

The simple fact of the matter is that the older your home, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint.

Check out the EPA’s homeowner’s guide to lead-based paint. Also, check the EPA’s online document designed to educate contractors on how to comply with the new rule. Frankly between you and me, it’s not a great document. However, the National Association of Realtors produced a series of nifty videos about the rule change. It’s aimed at Realtors but still way easier to digest than the EPA’s government-produced document aimed at contractors. Go figure.

Your rethinking my devotion to historic homes Realtor,

Heather Barr

The way we were in the 1950s

I’ve heard about these things existing. They’re an urban legend, sort of. I knew they were out there but I’d never seen one in person.

Until now.

This is the text of the original CC&Rs on a property my buyer is purchasing at 24th St & Indian School in downtown Phoenix (the neighborhood was built between 1948 and 1958):

No lot or any portion thereof shall ever be sold, given, transferred, conveyed, let to, or occupied by any person who is, or whose spouse is of Negro, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Turkish, Mongolian or Filipino descent, or of other than the Caucasian race; it being understood, however, that this provision shall not be interpreted to prevent the occupancy of such by domestic servants employed by a proper owner or tenant.

I’m actually a little sick to my stomach now.

It’s hard to imagine that only one generation ago racism was so accepted it was codified into neighborhood rules and regulations.

These kinds of legacy, racist deed restrictions are no longer enforceable. Federal Fair Housing Law swept away this sort of ugliness.

It’s been my experience that most home buyers don’t actually read the CC&Rs governing the homes they buy. So most homeowners in this neighborhood probably don’t even know this language existed, let alone agree with it.

Still, it’s a jaw-dropping reminder of how far we’ve come in just a few decades.

What should you do if your neighborhood has a rule like this in it’s governing documents? Federal Fair Housing law trumps these rules, so technically, you needn’t do anything. But if you want to, you can gather support from your neighbors to file a revision to your neighborhood’s CC&Rs. Knock on some doors and talk with your neighbors.  It might be a great opportunity to meet some of the folks the rules said you couldn’t live next to some 60 years ago.

(hat tip to our Tucson-area Realtor extraordinaire, Kelley Koehler, The Housechick who wrote about this in September 2009)

Inuksuk – one thing Phoenix and Vancouver have in common.

Opening Ceremonies are tonight at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and I’m looking forward to it.  I love the Olympics, and I love getting totally into sports I haven’t seen, read, or heard about in the last 4 years!

Have you seen the logo for this year’s Olympics?

Vancouver Inuksuk

Did you know we have one of those here in Phoenix, standing in front of the Heard Museum on Central Ave a couple blocks south of Thomas Rd?

Inuksuk in Phoenix, Arizona

And from the plaque at the Inuksuk’s base:

William Noah, b. 1943

Inuit from Baker Lake, Nunavut

Inuksuk, 2000

Laminate sandstone

An Inuksuk is a marker that is built in the Arctic by the Inuit people.  The Inuit were the first people to inhabit portions of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland.  The Inuksuk has a roughly human shape.  The term Inuksuk means “to act in the capacity of a human” and is an extension of “Inuk,” meaning “a human being.”  In a part of the Arctic that has few, if any, distinguishing features, an Inuksuk can be an important orienting place marker for a hunter or traveler.  William Noah constructed this marker at the Heard Museum with the blessing of a representative of the O’odham, the native inhabitants of the land on which this Inuksuk sits.

Heard Museum Purchase with funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. E. Daniel Albrecht

Your sharing a little trivia Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

The Original “Subway Tile”

Everything old is new again.

The Original Subway Tiles

This is a snapshot of a bathroom – complete with the original bathtub tile – in a house at 16th Street & Bethany Home Road. It was built in 1952.

Obviously the pedestal sink is new and so is the medicine cabinet and glass shelf. The shower curtain setup looks like it’s straight out of IKEA.

There’s no real point to this post. Just another pass at trying to transfer my love of all things 50s real estate to some of our readers. If you're a mid-century modern lover, check out ModernPhoenix.net

Want to browse 50s' era homes currently for sale? Click here.

The Highs and The Lows #3

Wherein I periodically post about the highest and lowest priced homes in the local MLS. Properties must be:

  • single family, detached homes

  • bank owned

  • currently Active in the ARMLS (AZ Regional Multiple Listing Service)

  • located in the general metro Phoenix region (Wickenburg, Florence, Coolidge, etc are excluded but Surprise, Buckeye, Queen Creek, etc are included)

$12,500 – The Value’s in the Land

12,500 REO Dec 10 2009

Once again, a crispy fried special for the guy or gal itching to prove their handyman skills. Seems there’s a lot of those lately. Hmmmm. Former owner rage?

From the MLS description:

Property has been damaged by fire and is sold AS IS. Seller will not make any repairs. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY DUE TO SAFETY ISSUES.

The poor house might be hexed. It’s been foreclosed on 3 times since 1992. First, HUD took it back in 1992 and sold it in 1993. A mere two years later it was foreclosed on again, and resold to a new owner. That owner was foreclosed on this past summer and the bank relisted it as a foreclosure/REO property for sale for $31,000 in September. The fire must have happened sometime in September or October, after which the price was dropped to the current $12,500.

$6,500,000 – View in Exclusive Silverleaf Community

6,900,00 REO Dec 10 2009

13,700 square feet of Italianate luxury. Marble, travertine, barrel vaulted ceilings, etc., ad naseum. Wretched excess at it’s finest. Consumerist Keeping Up with the Joneses to the max.

The land (2.48 acres) was purchased in 2004 for just over a million dollars. The owner tried to sell it as “land + house plans” from December 2006 through May 2007 for $2,600,000. Sometime between May 2007 and May 2009 somebody built the existing home and tried to sell it for $8,900,000.

Mind you, they tried to sell it with no interior photos other than this

6,500,000 REO Dec 10 2009 Seriously? You want me to shell out nearly $9 million dollars and you’re going to show me only this?

The seller finally dropped their price to $6,950,000 before the bank repossessed it in October 2009.  I bet you could get the house from the bank for about $5.5M. ‘Course, it probably needs about a million bucks in finishing and furnishing. Feeling flush? Call me!

View previous Highs and Lows posts

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Fall Festival, Sat Nov 7th

Quick! Can you name 10 local businesses that you frequent?

In this age of mega-malls, chains and big-box stores, most of us can’t. I know I can’t, and I like to think I try to support local businesses. This Saturday, you can find 60 local businesses all in one spot.

  • Saturday November 7th, 2009

  • 10am to 4pm

  • Southeast corner of 16th Street & Camelback Road

image image courtesy of Local First AZ

From the Local First AZ website, more info --

This family-friendly street festival drew over 4,200 attendees last year with over 45 members participating.

This year, a record setting 5,000 are expected to attend and we'll have about 60 great local vendors!

  • Free food

  • Live music

  • Fun for kids – Bouncing Castle, Rock Climbing Wall, Diamondbacks’ mascot Baxter, jugglers….

  • Unique shopping

  • Live Music

  • Sponsors Include








    all images courtesy of Local First AZ

    The Highs and the Lows 2

    Wherein I periodically post about the highest and lowest priced homes in the local MLS. Properties must be:

    • single family, detached homes

    • bank owned

    • currently Active in the ARMLS (AZ Regional Multiple Listing Service)

    • located in the general metro Phoenix region (Wickenburg, Florence, Coolidge, etc are excluded but Surprise, Buckeye, Queen Creek, etc are included)

    $20,00 Fire Damaged Tear Down

    Fancy yourself a handy person? You’ll need to be. This 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Maryvale Terrace was torched.

    The Low 09 06 09 damage

    The exterior might be salvageable though and it seems like a nice big yard.

    The Low 09 06 09 EF

    The Low 09 06 09 BACK

    Recently, same-sized homes in the area that are move-in ready and remodeled have topped out at $80,000 to $90,000. I’m no contractor but it seems like you could rebuild this poor fire damaged little casa for $60,000. Again, I’m not a contractor but I’m not sure there’s room here to rehab it and sell at a profit.

    Paradise Valley Acre Plus, Rebuilt in 2007 - $4,085,000

    The High 09 06 09 EF

    Check out that view of Camelback Mountain in the upper left of this picture! That’s worth a million right there. The lot is 1.14 acres, so there’s another $900,000 or million in value.

    The house itself is 8,422 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, with a 4 car garage. It was completely rebuilt in 2007. Pictures seem to show it was 100% torn down and rebuilt, not just remodeled.

    The High 09 06 09 POOL

    The High 09 06 09 PAT

    The high 09 06 09 KIT

    Based on this picture, the home has everything you’d expect in a home in this price range: built in island and cabinetry that can pass for being hand carved in the mythical Old Country, miles of slab granite and travertine, stainless steel double stoves (probably Viking), high ceilings and crown molding … just enough to make your neighbors jealous.

    The High 09 06 09 DIN

    Personally, I say “so much for the idea that bank-owned homes are screaming great bargains.”  I think this house is probably worth about what they’re asking for it, maybe even less.

    What do you think?

    View other Highs and Lows posts.

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