Sandpiper: A Hidden Jewel

Located in McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Sandpiper is a unique community, consisting of 160 single level patio homes spread over 55 acres and nestled within the McCormick Ranch Golf Course. It’s a unique community, with the homes are spread out in a park-like setting, and 24 hour guard gated access.  

In the summer, it’s a quiet place since over 60% of the residents take off for cooler locales, including Canada, Alaska, Washington State, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, and more.  During the winter, Sandpiper comes alive as residents are out enjoying the expansive open spaces, walking, biking, chatting, and socializing with their neighbors.

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Since you can’t get into drive around and see the community without pre-approval of a resident or a real estate agent escort, your best bet to get a feel for Sandpiper is to check out an open house.  Sunday’s between 1 and 4 p.m. are your best bet.

Hiking in the City

Phoenix has a pretty incredible park system that give hikers a chance to hike some pretty amazing desert terrain close to home.  Last Sunday, I hiked Cholla Trail up the tail of Camelback Mountain.  It’s a challenging hike and well worth the time, if you are in condition, start early in the day, and bring plenty of water.  From the top, you have 360 degree views of the metro Phoenix area.  It’s amazing to be have the feeling of being in the desert, while surrounded by the Phoenician Resort and Fashion Square Mall, with Sky Harbor Airport and downtown Phoenix in the distance.

Phoenician Resort Hiking up – a bird’s eye view of the Phoenician Resort
McDowell Mountains from Camelback About half way up the mountain, still pretty easy hiking, northeast
toward the McDowell Mountains.
Almost to the top of Camelback Mountain Those really small blue spots are the Phoenix Fire Department crew out hiking.  They were cruising on their way up and must have gone down the Echo Canyon trail, because we never saw them again. 
Downtown from Close to the Top of Camelback Mountain On the top of the mountain  – downtown Phoenix to the
Piestewa Peak from Camelback Mountain At the top, Piewesta Peak and a full 360 view of the metro Phoenix


How to Pass a Home Inspection

Dave Hill, with Buyers & Sellers Home Inspections LLC, is a local home inspector that I’ve worked with many times in the past.  He’s prepared the following list that he shares with home owners to review in preparation for the home inspection. 

  1. Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work. If an outdoor fixture bulb is out, the inspector has to note that the fixture does not operate correctly.
  2. Provide access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel. Also, the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover. If the panel is locked, remove it.
  3. Install a new furnace filter and vacuum the register. It will be looked at during the inspection and be considered as a part of the overall condition of the furnace or heat pump.
  4. Ensure that windows operate smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open. Also, remove window security screws or provide keys for window security locks.
  5. Replace all damaged window screens, and make sure all operating windows have screens.
  6. Tighten all door knobs and tighten or repair all handrails. Also check to be sure that all interior doors will latch to the strike plate.
  7. Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull down, especially in a closet. The inspector will enter every attic.
  8. If you use your attic for storage, remove any items that will inhibit the inspector.
  9. Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor.
  10. Provide keys or unlock sheds and out buildings.
  11. Verify all utilities will be on at the time of inspection, and that gas pilots (including fireplaces) are lit.
  12. Remove or restrain pets on site.
  13. Empty the washer and dryer so they can be tested. The dishwasher can be run whether it is full or empty.

Some of these tips seem pretty obvious, while you may not have thought of others.   Whether this is a pre-inspection prior to listing your home, or a buyer’s inspection prior to finalizing the sale of your home, taking the home inspection seriously and following Dave’s tips will streamline the process and minimize disruptions.  Buyers can get very nervous when they receive a lengthly inspection report, so make it easy on yourself and take care of repairs upfront. 

Scottsdale Community Design Center Lecture Series

Fresh off the press from City of Scottsdale’s email update:

Scottsdale’s Community Design Studio, in collaboration with the ASU School of Design and Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory, is hosting a series of free community lectures to explore issues related to design, architecture, economics and sustainability.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 27 -Dan Hoffman, Downtown Planning in a Desert Environment, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 2 of the Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road.
  • Oct. 18 – Nancy Graham, the San Diego/Centre City success story, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Civic Center Library Auditorium, 3739 Drinkwater Blvd.
  • Nov. 6 – Julie Campoli, Visualizing Density, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Stage 2 of the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts Theater, 7380 E. Second Street.
  • Dec. 6 – Ann Markusen, Artist Centers – the evolution and impact on careers, neighborhoods and economies, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 2 of the Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP by calling (480) 312-2647.

On a Clear Day

The newspaper said the weather patterns changed at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but I think it was the day before.  Monday evening, all the convertibles had their tops down, and it’s been months since it’s been cool enough for that!

The summers in Phoenix are hot.  There’s no doubt about that.  Some people (me) love the summer, although by September, 110 degrees does get pretty old.  So, when the temps start to dip below 100, it’s a cause for celebration.

Scottsdale Bike PathYesterday was the day for us.  We hopped on our bikes and headed out, destination unknown.  Not a cloud in the sky.  A cooler breeze.  Temp about 85.  The kind of day, my husband calls a “bonus day”.

One of the highlights on this day out was on Pima Rd.  Not five minutes before, I was remembering a day like this where I sat in my backyard and watched nine hawks, spiraling overhead.  It was a gorgeous site…. mesmerizing.  All of the sudden, a car slowly drives by us, honking and pointing overhead.  Looking up, there were the hawks, and this time I counted 11.  Lazily, spiraling in the crystal blue sky.  Don’t know enough about hawks to know if they were hunting or playing.  Whatever, it was a magical site.

Hawks in Scottsdale

Just one more amazing reminder of why we live in Scottsdale!

Starting a New Business in Scottsdale?

The City of Scottsdale’s Economic Vitality Office, in collaboration with the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, Maricopa Community Colleges and the Small Business Development Center, has scheduled a free four session workshop entitled  “Starting & Staying in Business”.  The classes are scheduled weekly beginning October 16, from 4-6 p.m. at the Granite Reef Senior Center.  Topics include:  

  • Business Planning
  • Management Planning
  • Marketing Planning
  • Financial Planning

To register for this class or get additional information, email Rachel Busch or call her 480-312-7321.