Building Home In Rio Verde Foothills

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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


Home Search Gone Mobile

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Home Search

Home Search – Scottsdale Real Estate

Have Your Heard? Get out from behind your computer. Visit neighborhoods you are interested in. Using our Mobile Home Search App,  you can see every home on the market directly around you. Our information is complete and accurate as it comes directly from the MLS.

Get all the information directly in the palm of your hand on the go. The App is easy to download. Just text: 21NA   To: 87778. Enter your number and the App link is sent directly to you. Your phone number will NOT BE USED unless YOU CALL US. We will not pester you. We only wish to work with those clients that wish to work with us. Home Search.
Home Search
Home Search


The App has many features. Search, save your favorites, search by map, and so much more.

Once you find a home you would like to view inside, click the CONTACT button. We will check the sellers showing instructions and arrange a showing for you.

Finally, an App to help you find a home the way you want to… On the go… out in the neighborhood. How many times have you found a home on the computer you thought you liked only to visit it to find it’s located  next to something you don’t like?

Remember: text: 21NA  to: 87778

Home Search

Want to learn more about us? Visit:

Scottsdale, Arizona real estate and home sales.

Scottsdale: Pinnacle Peak Park Hiking

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Pinnacle Peak

Hiking at Pinnacle Peak Park, Scottsdale, Arizona

Hike along with me on the Pinnacle Peak Park Trail.

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You can access the Pinnacle  Peak Park trail from Alma School and Jomax roads. Go West on Jomax past the Pinnacle Peak Patio just before the back gate to the Estancia community turn left into the park.

The park closes at dusk. Park times are posted at the entrance. Park volunteers begin to clear the trail from the West side of the trail. They begin, typically, 45 min. before closing. Don’t get caught after closing with your car still in the parking lot or get a fine.

Want to participate even more in the trail? Join Friends of Pinnacle Peak Park. An all volunteer organization to support the trail and the maintenance of the trail. Over a quarter million people use the trail each  year. That takes its toll. Many organizations participate in maintaining the trail. Near and dear to my heart are the Eagle Scout Projects held at the park. So many, in fact, that a new plaque designated to those scouts who held their project on the trail will be installed this fall (2013). If/when you see a volunteer, thank them. they work  hard to keep the trail open and working for you.

Enjoy the video and the view.


Pinnacle Peak Park and Trail

©2013 ScottsdaleScott

Scottsdale: Community Facilities Districts Cost Homeowners More

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Community Facilities District

Scottsdale: Do you know what a
Community Facilities District IS?

Many people are not aware that Community Facilities Districts exist. Scottsdale, Arizona has five of them. Do you live in one of them? Are you considering buying a home in one of them?

Here is the list of Scottsdale, Arizona
Community Facilities Districts:
1) DC Ranch
2) Scottsdale Mountain
3) Via Linda Road
4) Waterfront Commercial
5) McDowell Mountain Ranch

Ok, so what is a Community Facilities District and why should you care about them?
In plain language, a Community Facilities District is an area that a home developer made arrangements with the city to develop the infrastructure of a community in advance of a city bond. Typically a 20 year bond. The developer is paid back over the term. There is no prepayment available without a penalty.

Homeowners care because they are paying for the improvements and infrastructure of the community. The homeowner may never know they are paying this additional money, because it is accounted for on the taxes. If the homeowner has a loan on the property the tax bill goes to the lender to pay along with the assessed tax bill. The additional money is collected through the homeowners monthly loan payment. The loan statement may or may not show this amount separately.

A homeowner can always request a copy of the tax bill at any time from the county assessors office.

The amount of the additional payment depends upon the particular situation or community and what improvements were made.

The issue here is that the amount payed for the Community Facilities District is not considered an assessment. Therefore, when purchasing the property if the check box is selected that the seller pays “all assessments”… this would not be one of them. Again, it is not considered an assessment. When a buyer looks as the tax amount for the property the Community Facilities District amount IS in the number.

Presumably, once the[pl_tooltip tip=”See Download Below” position=”right”]bond is retired, [/pl_tooltip] the amount is removed and taxes would appear to be lower by that amount. The specific timeframe would depend upon the community.

Here is the official description of a Community Facility District:

  • A political subdivision of the State
  • Within the corporate limits of a city
  • Formed by the City Council
  • On petition of property owners
  • Following a hearing
  • If approved at an election of – Property owners, and qualified electors (if any)
  • With authority to construct, acquire, operate and maintain public infrastructure (broadly defined) that will result in a beneficial use principally to the land within the District.
  • Finance construction and acquisition of public infrastructure with – General obligation bonds, revenue bonds, or special assessment bonds
  • Finance operation and maintenance of public infrastructure with – general obligation tax levy, special assessments, or operating revenue.
  • Governed by: the City Council or an appointed board (if over 600 acres)

Don’t make the assumption that all master planned communities are Community Facilities Districts. Grayhawk, for example, is not one even though it was purchased from the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) roughly at the same time DC Ranch was purchased. The two were developed differently and one is and one is not a Community Facilities District.

Download this brief history of the (5) Community Facility Districts in Scottsdale.

Keep in mind that just because a community is gated it does not necessarily make it a Community Facilites District. If a community is gated it stands that the roads belong to the Homeowners Association along with the responsibility to maintain them.

So, as you can see there are many different types of community, but the difference between them and a Community Facilities District is the deal the developer made with the city to construct the infrastructure of the community in advance of the bond to pay for them. Essentially the developer footed the bill and is payed back through a bond carried by the city for this specific purpose.

©2013 ScottsdaleScott

Cowboy Boots

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Cowboy Boots

Authentic Western Cowboy Boots

Tucson, Arizona is home of Stewart Boot Company one of Arizona’s finest boot makers. Don’t blink when you head down 28th street or you will miss it. However, Stewart Boot company has outfitted some of Hollywood’s most popular feet for decades.

I came to know them in the 1990’s when I pushed Stewart Boot company’s owner Victor to make a pair of Ostrich boots. He said it was the first pair they had made from exotic leather. You see, they are known for their cowhide leather. A thicker and durable leather that is then lined with a soft inner lining. My custom boots fit like a… hand made pair of boots. They are wonderful.

I grew up wearing sneakers. I was a basketball player. Therefore, having a shoe or boot with much of a heal would wear out my calves and tire my feet. However, when I moved to Scottsdale, AZ I wanted a great pair of boots. Stewart Boots was just the fit. Victor worked his magic and added what he likes to call “lots of bells and whistles” to the fit. I guess that’s boot maker talk for a little extra room here and a little less slant their. When I pull on my Ostrich skin boots for a night on the town they feel great. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a heal at all. I never thought it was possible.

Oh, I forgot to mention. My boots became famous as the local Tucson paper carried a photo of them and an article about Stewart Boot Company having added exotic leather to their offerings.

Even though Stewart Boot Company is located in a very unassuming one story warehouse type building… business is booming. It’s a good 5 months before you get your boots once Victor has measured and outlined your foot. So allow plenty of time to your schedule if you are thinking of getting a pair of these very special boots. I already have my order in for another pair. No self respecting Arizonan can have just one pair of boots!

Whether you are visiting our area or just made the move, I wanted to give you a bit of information about one of our local companies. One that offers a bit of the old West. Hand Made Boots. There is nothing like a pair.

stewart Boots is located at: 30 W. 28th Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. Ask for Victor. Drop by, pick out your leather and get a pair going for yourself.

Stewart Boot Company

Long Distance Fitting:

Sample Skins Available:

©2013 ScottsdaleScott

Isolated Thunderstorm In Scottsdale

By | Community, General, Outdoors | No Comments


Scottsdale, Arizona Isolated Thunderstorm

What does an isolated thunderstorm look like in Scottsdale, Arizona?

Scottsdalescott, Scottsdale real estate, pinnacle peak isolated thunderstorm

Take a look below. This photo was taken from Pinnacle Peak Park July 24th, 2013. There were three isolated thunderstorms that I could see from this spot. One to the East, one to the North (in photo), and one to the North West. The storm you are looking at was coming South toward Pinnacle  Peak as it crossed over Carefree, Arizona, through the community of Legend Trails then Troon North before finally reaching Estancia and Pinnacle Peak.

It was fascinating to watch the progression. And, yes I got wet. It was fast moving and  had no lighting thought. This is just one of many evening thunderstorms that have popped up due to the moisture from the gulf region heating up by afternoon and releasing in the valley.

Photo taken from iPhone 4, so it will be a smaller image.

Visit Pinnacle Peak Park

ScottsdaleScott is the official Mayor of Pinnacle Peak Park (according to FourSquare)


©2013 ScottsdaleScott