Black Mountain Blvd. Interchange

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Black Mountain

Changes Coming to Black Mountain Blvd.

There will be a town hall style meeting given by the City of Phoenix held at Pinnacle High School in the cafeteria on May 1st, 2014 at 6:00pm. Come hear what is in store for connecting the Black Mountain Blvd. with Highway 51. A new interchange is coming.

Things are happening all around you. Keep in touch. Know how these changes may effect your real estate values. Remember it is location, location, location.

This change would make accessing highway 101 and highway 51 from the Desert Ridge area easier by not having to work your way through the Desert Ridge Mall traffic. But, what happens to nearby homes on Black Mountain Blvd.? If anything? It remains to be seen.

If you want your comments heard by the city, attend the meeting.

If you want to know exactly what they have planned, attend the meeting.

I called Pinnacle High School administration to see if any of the monies could be used to increase the size of the Pinnacle High School parking lot (which is notoriously poor), but nothing is planned. The school is basically land locked by state land and I was told the state is not willing to sell it to the city to be used for the school.

More information on the interchange and the meeting can be viewed at:

Here is a map of the planned interchange for Black Mountain Blvd.
This map was produced by the city of Phoenix. To reach the City of Phoenix for more information, please call: 602-297-5203

Here is the schedule they have been following leading up to the project:
Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 2.10.19 PM

I have lived in the Desert Ridge and surrounding areas for over 15 years. I know it well and would be happy to help you or your friends in any of your real estate needs. I may be reached at 480-370-3214 or online:

Scottsdalescott, Scottsdale real estate Realty One Group

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

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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


Rio Verde Foothills

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Rio Verde Foothills, Arizona

The Rio Verdi Foothills area is an area designated by the borders of 136th street on the West, 172nd street to the East, approx. Jomax to the South (bordering the National Forest) and the National Forest to the North. This area startles Rio Verde Drive.

A point of reference: It takes approx. 15 min. driving time from the intersection of Happy Valley and Pima Rd. From this intersection you can around Pinnacle Peak mnt. one of two ways. One is North on Pima to Dynamite or the second is East on Happy Valley to Alma School rd. to Dynamite.

The area topography is gently sloping to the East from approx. 118th street and most of the area is in an alluvial fan. The Rio Verde River is just past 172nd street just beyond Needlerock Rd. This topography offers 360 degree views from most areas (depending upon the specific lot you are on). The views are spectacular.

Most commercial businesses that service the Rio Verde Foothills area are at the Dynamite and Alma School Rd. intersections.

Homes in the Rio Verde Foothills range from modular homes to full custom built homes. Homes range from $320k to a million for homes or upwards of $7million for ranches with 10 acres.

Lots range from 1 acre to large horse ranches of many acres. A typical lot is approx. 1.25 acres. Lots can range in price from $45k to $200k.

Roads: 136th street is the last paved road to the North with one exception. 160th street is paved to the North just before Dixileta. This is due to a development that was started on the North West side of 160th and Rio Verde rd.

All roads are the responsibility of Maricopa County and are dirt roads. Many of these roads cross washes (some washes experience significant water flow during heavy rain) that can be very sandy. Also due to dust speeds are kept to a min. A “washboard” effect develops over time. Some residents will smooth out the road from time to time, but need to follow dust abatement regulations from the county and therefore perform the work after a good rain. Otherwise, if you visit the area be ready for the bounce of the washboard effect. The best way to handle it is to go slowly.

Water: Most homes are serviced by hauled water. Private or shared wells are also available in some areas. Successfully drilling a well can have limited success. The area is known to have crushed granite for the first 200 ft or so and several layers of clay. According to professional well drillers the best option is to use the well drilling process that encases the well as the hole is being drilled. This can help prevent the clay from contaminating the well. Well drilling costs can be approx. $30 a ft. Many home owners put in a water holding tank (cistern) and connect the well to it. This way the home owner has the option of receiving hauled water or from the well. There are several choices for servicing by hauled water companies. One is Rio Verde Water.

The area is thought to be very horse owner friendly. Area residents prefer to keep commercial businesses out of the area and encourage horse type activities (according to the Maricopa County planning resources guide).

From: Maricopa County planning resources – Regarding Rio Verde Foothills
Given its strong economy, mild climate, and quality of life, Maricopa County is expected to continue growing rapidly over the next several decades. Whereas it took Maricopa County over 100 years to reach approximately 3 million population, DES projections show population rising to approximately 4.5 million by 2020, and more than doubling to 7 million over the next 50 years. Development over the next 20 years will continue to shift from Southeast Maricopa County to areas in the Southwest, west, and North portions of the metropolitan area.

This area holds a character of its own. Don’t be surprised when a driver in a passing car gives you a friendly wave like in days gone by.

Rio Verde Foothills
©2013 Scott Farmer