Fabulous Friday

It’s been a jam packed week, so it was a treat to slip out with my camera for a few minutes this morning.

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My new clients spent the week searching for their next home, and kept remarking on how beautiful and clean Scottsdale was.  They are so right.

Scottsdale — a great place to call home!

Tour de Scottsdale Cycling Events Kick Off Tomorrow, 9/24/11, at DC Ranch

Tour de Scottsdale cycling events kick off Saturday, Sept. 24, with proceeds benefiting the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

To give you a taste of the final event: Last year, I watched the 7th annual Tour de Scottsdale, camera in hand. I “camped out” at the entrance to the Discovery Center on Thompson Peak Parkway, north of Bell Road for over an hour waiting for the race leaders.

Leader Pack - Tour de Scottsdale (Small)

Strong to the End (Small)

Close to the End of a Hot Day to Race (Small)

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It was a hot day last year and really tough on some of the riders. This year could be more of the same.

From the City of Scottsdale, this year’s events are scheduled as follows:

    • The Criterium and family fun ride take place tomorrow, 9/24/11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Races launch from Canyon Village at DC Ranch, and cyclists of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. The 1-kilometer Criterium race is on a short, closed course. Get details at www.WMRC.org
    • The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will host a Walk, Run & Roll, from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, beginning at the Market Street Plaza. It includes a 5K along trails in DC Ranch and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Families can walk, run or bike ride while conservancy volunteer stewards host a desert scavenger hunt along the way. A $20 donation is suggested. Get details at www.mcdowellsonoran.org
    • About 1,500 cyclists from around the nation and hundreds of spectators are expected at the 8th annual Tour de Scottsdale on Sunday, Oct. 2. The ride is a 70-mile tour around Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve and benefits the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. A new element to the Tour this year is a 30-mile "mini Tour," which includes some of the challenging climbs of the 70-mile route but is geared toward novice cyclists. Activities begin at 7 a.m. Spectators are free. Get more information at (480) 538-3540. Register at http://www.active.com/cycling/scottsdale-az/tour-de-scottsdale-2011-mk791.

More about biking and cycling in Scottsdale:

More Awards for Scottsdale this week

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In addition to being named 4th best city in the U.S by BusinessWeek.com this week, the city captured a few more awards for art, innovation, and more.

Scottsdale’s landmark Soleri Bridge and Plaza captured two top honors at the Valley Forward Association’s Environmental Excellence Awards. The Soleri Bridge and Plaza captured top spot in both the Art in Public Places and Site Development and Landscape categories.

Three other Scottsdale projects received awards of merit in the competition: The 96th Street Improvement Project, the Southern Scottsdale Character Area Plan and the Appaloosa Branch Library.

The city earned a Gold Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. Scottsdale earned the title for achievements in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning.

  • Learn more at .

Scottsdale’s Advanced Water Treatment Plant expansion won an Award of Merit in the Project of the Year category from the WaterReuse Association. The project was recognized as a significant contributor to advancing the acceptance of water reuse through outstanding, quality projects.

Business Week Rates Scottsdale at 4th Best City

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Business Week asks the question: Which Is America’s Best City? And then ranks Scottsdale as #4, in the nation.

And here’s why:

A wealthy Phoenix suburb, Scottsdale has the second-best schools among cities we ranked, low unemployment, and a high number of park acres per person. More than half the population has a college degree. Like many other Arizona cities, the foreclosure rate is high, but Scottsdale bucks the trend with low unemployment.

The detail are here: Scottsdale, Arizona (Scroll to the end of the slide show and then step back to slide 48 of 51.)  With a bit more from AZ Central.com, Businessweek.com names Scottsdale 4th-best U.S. city

If you don’t already live in Scottsdale, but would like to look around, try this easy to use search tool:

Looking for the perfect home?

When you start looking for a home, you need to get your list together. Age? Location? Features? Schools? Pool?

Use the Internet. Drive neighborhoods.

Categorize your “Got to have’s” and “Want to have’s”, because really there is no such thing as the perfect house. Ask someone who has built a custom home, if there’s anything they’d change!

If you’d like to see how the various zip codes and areas of Scottsdale match to your preferences, try the home search tool I mentioned in the video, the Scottsdale Neighborhood Suggestor.

A Couple Good Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent

If you are thinking about buying a house, there are a couple good reasons to have your representation, a buyer’s agent:

  1. You have an advocate looking out to YOUR best interests.
  2. A buyers agent will focus on YOUR home search, not selling their listing.

After you choose your agent, searching on-line plays a big part in finding your next home.  One of the most helpful tools is a custom home search web site where get the latest updates on properties that match your preferences.  You can also make notes of your favorite homes, and we can communicate (message) privately about each home.

Once you have your loan approval (or proof of funds for cash buyers), we get in the car and start looking. The first time out is really a time to calibrate. You’ll see in real life, what you’ve been viewing in listing photos. You’ll get the feel for floor plans you prefer. You’ll get a good sense of pricing and value.

From there, you home search begins in earnest. It may take a couple times, out, or more, but for most buyers, getting in the car is the next step in the adventure of buying a new home.

More home buying tips: