Rio Verde Foothills
Rio Verde Foothills Real Estate
Where is Rio Verde Foothills you might ask? Rio Verde Foothills located East of Scottsdale on Rio Verde drive. From Pima Road and Dynamite Road travel East and Dynamite road turns into Rio Verde drive at approx. 118th street.
The area designated as Rio Verde Foothills is from 136th street East to just past 176th street. It also includes areas on both sides of Rio Verde drive. The area is known for being an open desert horse ranch type of area. You will find an eclectic assortment of architectural styles and is typically zoned for a min. of 1 acre+ lots.
We are considering building a home in this area one day and as I went through the process of what it takes to do so, I thought I would share in this blog what I learn along the way. So the topic will be over many blog articles over many weeks/months.
First step obviously would be to consider the land. However, we already have a lot selected, so I wont spend much time on this. It is personal preference I suppose. The topography is undulating and you need to be careful of what views you have and what views will remain when your neighbor finally gets around to building too. Some areas do not allow two story buildings, so check to make sure you know if you can build upward or wether you are restricted. My feeling is that if you wan to get the best views (and sometimes they are 360 views) you will need two stories. Some homes in Rio Verde Foothills have two stories with walk decks on top. Others have balconies on the second floor that offer views.
So, where to begin? Find an architect? Get a general contractor? Find home plans you like?
We began by speaking with our friend and architect Sake Reindersma of Sake Reindersma Architecture in Scottsdale, AZ. Sake laid out steps we should take to begin the information or data gathering process. We wanted to find out if it was worth building, after all. We already know it is cheaper to buy an existing home. Unfortunately, our Scottsdale market is so hot the number of available homes is at a very low point and prices are rising 27% year over year. So, we look at building.
Sake laid out the steps to evaluate the utilities for our specific lot. Who are they? Where are they? Call each and find out what they would charge. Will we need a transformer box for electric? Or can one be used that is in place? I called SRP and gave them the lot location. They then turn it over to their planning dept. and research what is needed. They call back later once they know. They will plot out where the lines can go, whether they can be underground or above, and how much it will cost.
Phone service will most likely not cost us since they will put in the lines for free. We may even use a wireless service.
Bigger costs will be in the civil engineering plan. It could run $10k. We may also get a geological survey. Find out what we are dealing with underground before we get to actual building stage. This is also an area where most homeowners get their water brought to them (Hauled water). This requires a tank (or Cistern). Cisterns can run about $10K depending upon size. There are several parts to this type of system. There is a big holding tank (Cistern), there is a smaller pressure tank, a pump, and the electronics can vary depending upon how sophisticated you want to get. Tanks can be above ground or below. The type of tank that is underground needs to be strong enough to hold the pressure of the dirt that covers it. So, the digging of the whole, the higher-end tank and the whole process can triple the cost of an above ground tank. The above ground tank can be screened off on two sides if you don’t like the look of it. You can choose between a thick plastic or metal tank. Given the sun and heat we have in Arizona it was suggested to go with a metal tank.
There is a chance for a well and this could run $20k. The well would become the primary water source (we hope) with the hauled water system as back up. We’ll see. The water table in this area seems to be around 400ft. from talking to neighbors. The issue it the clay level. The best advice seems to be to use the well drilling process that lines the whole as you dig. This prevents the clay from getting in the well as you dig. If you get too much clay you dont get the water you need.
Once we have these basic costs we will return to Sake Reindersma Architecture and work out the plans. Sake suggested a system for the foundation and walls that will save money on heating and air conditioning in the long run. It is a poured cement system in foam forms. He said it will also be very quiet. Im liking that.
Once we pencil out our “needs” list we can begin putting it into a floor plan look. After that an “elevation” (what the outside looks like) can be selected. From there Sake can finalize building plans. All the while this is happening we will be working with the County on permits and such. Our selected general contractor can begin planning the process as well.
That’s it for now. Look for additional update on this process as we go along.
Scottsdale Scott, Rio Verde Foothills