Two Scottsdale Golf Courses Set to Reopen Just In Time for Prime Season

CamelBack Ambiante golf courseAmbiente Golf Course

In Paradise Valley, the 36-holes at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn is getting what amounts to a new course with the opening of the new Ambiente Course in early November. Ambiente, which means “environment” in Spanish, replaces the old Indian Bend Course, originally opened in 1970.

Designed by notable golf architect Jason Straka on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design, Ambiente has 12 entirely new holes. The work started with the rebuilding a desert wash that runs throughout the property to help restore flood control to the property. The plan also called for the removal of 100 acres of maintainable turf areas and reintroducing desert terrain, designed to solidify Indian Bend’s status as an Audubon Sanctuary course. Ambiente will feature five sets of tees (two sets more than Indian Bend) and stretch to over 7,200 yards, while the new forward tees have no forced carries and offer easier approach angles. In addition, the 122,000 square feet of greens features plenty of movement.

Sun Ridge Canyon Golf Course

Meanwhile, down the road in Fountain Hills, Ariz., SunRidge Canyon Golf Club will reopen on Oct. 4 with improved greens, bunkers, drainage and less areas to find trouble, as well as a new food and beverage operation.

SunRidge Canyon, a 6,871-yard par 71 designed by Keith Foster, closed down on July 1 to undergo multiple improvements. The greens have been heavily aerated and are in terrific shape, according to Kris Starr, director of golf operations. In addition, 31 tees were leveled and reseeded, key landing area as well as bunkers were softened, family and beginner tees were added to the course, and several overgrown areas were de-vegetated. The facility also added GPS systems for its golf cart fleet.

Off the course, SunRidge Canyon owners Don and Cindy Mischeff have formed a partnership with Michelin five-star, five-diamond chef Michael O’Dowd and concert promoter Ed Leclere to operate the new Wicked 6 Bar and Grill by MOD, named after the course’s tough finishing stretch.

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Swinging a Different Stick in Scottsdale – Polo Anyone?

PoloThe Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships aims to bring Polo, the Sport of Kings to the masses while providing a social backdrop for equestrian enthusiasts to learn more about the storied competition.

America’s most-attended polo event is expected to draw up to 15,000 polo fans and revelers to WestWorld of Scottsdale. With the breathtaking backdrop of McDowell Mountains and beautiful white tents lining the field, the Polo Party will again be a weekend destination for both local residents and tourists.

It all gets started on Friday, November 1st, when gates open at 3:00 p.m. for a sneak preview of the Championships and a fashion show. There will be an all-star match at 4:00 p.m. and then a 5:30 p.m. introduction of the players. It will culminate with a 6:00 p.m. Sunset Equestrian Fashion Show presented by Phoenix Fashion Week.

On Saturday, November 2nd, gates open at 10:00 a.m. for the Scottsdale Ferrari Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower. The first match on the docket will pit America’s high school champions, Work to Ride, against the country’s 2012 college champions, the University of Virginia who are also the winner of 10 Men’s National Championships, with 22 total trips to the finals. The Work to Ride team has been featured on ESPN and “60 Minutes” and are repeat National Interscholastic Polo Champions.

But heart-stopping polo action isn’t the only feature at WestWorld on November 2nd. Attendees will also enjoy a sneak preview of the 2014 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and see some serious horsepower with a preview of the world-famous Barrett-Jackson 2014 Collector Car Auction along with local car clubs lining the field. This year will also feature the 2013 Arizona Porsche Concours d’Elegance car show.

Can’t wait to get there?  Buy tickets HERE.

Want to live the Scottsdale Lifestyle?
If you would like to find out about homes for sale in Scottsdale,
call us at: 480-421-8116 or email Bill@BillCole.com

Are We Getting Back to Normal Financed Home Sales?

As the investors leave and find less expensive housing elsewhere and the lending restrictions ease we are seeing a strong trend back towards normal in financed home sales, although we are not quite there yet.

We can sometimes get too focused on counting houses instead of counting dollars. This is particularly true when looking at how homes are funded.

Here are the numbers for August 2013 and August 2012 based on Maricopa County Affidavits of Value (i.e. excluding HUD sales and trustee sales)

Financed Home Sales

Those who only count units will see a 3.5% decline since last year and conclude that the market is weaker. However buyers spent almost 19% more on homes in August 2013 than they did a year ago. A market with revenue up 19% is hardly a weak market.

We also see that despite higher interest rates, it is financed purchases that are growing while cash purchases are down over 30% by unit and 13.5% by dollar volume. This is a big swing back to finance which has accelerated over the last 3 months. It would appear that loans are becoming easier to get. It also appears that cash is now starting to go out of fashion. Here is the trend for cash sales as a percentage of all sales over the first 8 months of 2013:

  • Jan = 35.0%
  • Feb = 36.3%
  • Mar = 33.4%
  • Apr = 34.3%
  • May = 32.3%
  • Jun = 30.4%
  • Jul = 29.3%
  • Aug = 26.7%

That’s a fall of 24.6% in 8 months. If we look at the dollar volume of all cash sales it has fallen even further – a 28.7% decline from a 31.8% share to a 21.9% share.

August 2013 had the lowest percentage of cash sales we have seen since December 2008. This is a big change in the market that no-one else seems to be commenting on yet.

*Contributing statistics, data, and commentary provided by ARMLS, Michael Orr, and the Cromford Report.

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Do You Know what The Raven Golf Club of Verrado Has to Offer?

Almost ten years ago, DMB, Inc. unveiled, what has now become, the wildly successful master planned community of Verrado.  Set on just over 8,800 acres, Tom Lehman and John Fought created what is now one of Phoenix’s premier golf destinations.

Tucked in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains, stretching to more than 7,000 yards, and offering awesome views and rugged natural beauty, the Raven at Verrado is an exceptional golf experience that can accommodate golfers of all levels.

Shortly after debuting in January, 2004, GolfWeek awarded the Raven at Verrado with “America’s Best 2005 – Top 40 New Golf Courses”. Many accolades have since followed, including Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 New Golf Courses You Can Play”, Golf Digest’s Power Rankings, and most recently GolfWeek’s 2013 Best Courses You Can Play.

The Raven at Verrado has a reputation for hosting some of the best golf tournaments in the Valley. The Gateway/All American Pro Tour puts the Raven at Verrado on their schedule every year, and sometimes twice. Additionally, the Raven hosts the Banner Thunderbird tournament, the Buckeye Valley Chamber, The Aqua Fria Foundation, Walmart, Westmarc and many other top charity fundraisers.

Heading into 2014 and beyond, the Raven at Verrado will continue to top the list of great courses in Phoenix. With a new addition to the management team, Jay Critcher, General Manager will fine tune the operation. Jay will also spearhead the team in bringing the first new golf course to Phoenix in many years. DMB, Inc. is currently working on a brand new Active Adult community with a dedicated golf club and amenities which should break ground by the end of 2013!

Want to live the Verrado Lifestyle, Enlist the Expertise of a Local Realtor?
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16th Hole at the TPC Scottsdale will get 20 New Skyboxes

TPC ScottsdaleThe popular PGA TPC Scottsdale event draws thousands of Scottsdale golf fans and many out-of-state visitors every year.

The 16th hole has become a special favorite. The high spirit of enthusiastic fans can be heard coming form the grandstands and corporate suites.    This year there will be even more rowdiness with the addition of 20 new Skyboxes at the 16th hole bringing the total to 192.  Let the fun begin.

Open organizers are also adding greenside suites and cabanas at the 16th.  Can it get any better?

TPC Scottsdale Is a Popular Event

Tom King, chairman of the Phoenix Open states that corporate sponsorship has greatly fueled the new additions to the event. The Phoenix open is often one of the most attended events of the PGA Tour.   The tournament drew 179,000 fans for it Saturday round earlier this year and just under 526,000 fans for the whole week. It is routinely the most-attended golf event of the year on the PGA Tour. Next year’s Phoenix Open will take place from January 27th to February 4th.

TPC Scottsdale Features Two Championship Golf Courses.

The Stadium Course

Since opening in 1986, The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale has hosted some of contemporary golf’s greatest moments. The course was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf specifically to serve as the stage for the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Tournament, an event that draws over 500,000 fans and is the largest spectator golf event in the world. In fact, the enthusiasm of fans transforms the 16th hole into “The Coliseum”, creating one of the most exciting settings in professional sports. This is just one of the many unique locations on the Stadium Course where fans witness history-making moments by the world’s greatest players on the PGA TOUR.

During the 51 weeks of the year when fans are not witnessing “The Greatest Show on Grass”, you can test your own skills on the same pristine fairways of “one of America’s best courses”, which are maintained to PGA TOUR-quality standards year-round. Lauded for its outstanding environmental stewardship, the Stadium Course is also the first golf course in Arizona to be designated an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary System.

The Champions Course

Built on the former site of TPC Scottsdale’s Desert Course, the Champions Course was designed by Randy Heckenkemper to fit seamlessly into the natural desert terrain. Rivaling its famous sister course in beauty and playability, the Champions Course is the consummate desert golf experience. The par-71, 7,115-yard course meanders over natural ravines and picturesque foothills, with five par-3s and a diverse variety of par-4s and par-5sm and a quartet of dramatic finishing holes make this golf gem a must play.

There are a number of reasons golfers choose to live in Scottsdale.
With sunny weather, lush Sonoran desert landscapes, mountain views , and world class golf  courses,
Scottsdale is a golfer’s dream.  Make it your lifestyle.
If you are ready to begin looking for golf homes in Scottsdale call us at: 480-421-8116.

Mortgage Rates Rise

Mortgage Rates In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS®), average fixed mortgage rates jumped along with bond yields amid recent Fed remarks that it could begin tapering its bond purchases later this year. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.93 percent last week to 4.46 percent this week; the highest it has been since the week of July 28, 2011. This represents the largest weekly increase for the 30-year fixed since the week ended April 17, 1987. Despite the recent gains in mortgage rates, homebuyer affordability remains strong for the typical family in most parts of the country, which should help fuel the ongoing housing recovery.

Mortgage Rates Breakdown

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.46 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending June 27, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.50 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.04 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.94 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.79 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.79 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.66 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.57 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.74 percent.  According to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac:

“Higher mortgage rates may dampen some housing market activity but the effect will be muted by the high level of buyer affordability, and home sales should remain strong. For instance, existing home sales in May rose to its strongest pace since November 2009 and new home sales were the most seen since July 2008.

Source:Realtytimes.com for RE/MAX

If you are thinking of purchasing a home, this may be the best time to do so with both mortgage rates and home prices rising.  Give us a call:(480) 421-8116

Name Your Price to Play Golf at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club

Arizona Biltmore Golf clubThe Arizona Biltmore Golf Club is hosting a Play n’ Pay promotion tomorrow from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Book a tee time, and you will be able to play a round of golf before picking your price.

Golfers can play a round of golf and afterward pay the price they feel is fair for the outing. For this exclusive offer, players will be able to choose what they think their experience was worth. The Biltmore will donate a percentage of the profits to the 100 Club of Arizona, which provides financial assistance when serious injury, death or life-altering situations occur for public safety officers. This is for a good cause, so be honest and fair about the price you choose.

The Arizona Biltmore Golf Club

The Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts a challenging 36-hole design, featuring two of the premier Phoenix golf resort courses: The Adobe and The Links. Built in 1928 and restored in 2004, The Adobe offers wide fairways and classic cross-bunkers for that extra challenge. The Links features rolling fairways, desert ravines and five pristine lakes that call for a high level of sportsmanship, bold shots and demanding accuracy.

The Adobe Golf Course

The Adobe course is considered stately and grand, a forefather of modern design. The Adobe offers a simplistic beauty hard to find in an era when trickery is a goal in golf course architecture. When you long for a relaxing yet challenging round, there are few equal. The lush, 50 year-old fairways and spacious layout are a reminder of the game the way it was meant to be – a time when graphite was for pencil lead and golf balls only came in one color. Like the great players of its day, the Adobe can tell you some stories.

The Links Golf Course

The younger of the Biltmore family, smart, fresh and a bit precocious, this celebrated layout has quickly earned the respect of golfers everywhere. Rolling fairways lined with luscious pines meander through some of the most stunning homes in Phoenix, Well-bunkered greens demand precision shot selection, and the contoured greens roll as they come. If you can accurately place the ball, you will be rewarded in your score.

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Rules of the 19th Hole in Phil’s Grill at Grayhawk Golf Club

phils grill at grauhawk golf c

Since opening in 1994, Grayhawk Golf Club has become one of Arizona’s most celebrated daily-fee golf clubs, mostly because of Grayhawk’s two exceptional 18-hole golf courses – Talon and Raptor . Both have earned numerous awards and accolades over the years, and have hosted high-profile competitive events such as the PGA Tour’s  Frys.com Open (2007-2009).  Other PGA Tour-sanctioned events include the Andersen Consulting World Match Play Championship (now known as the Accenture Match Play Championship), Tommy Bahama Challenge, the Williams World Challenge (now known as the Target World Challenge), FBR Open Pro-Ams, Tommy Bahama’s Desert Marlin, Thunderbird International Junior and The Detour.

After a round golfer’s head over to Phil’s Grille at Grayhawk.  If you are one of the lucky ones… before you sit down at Phil’s Grill at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., or any clubhouse grill room, make sure you know Gary Van Sickle’s Rules of the 19th Hole.

Gary Van Sickle’s Rules of the 19th Hole.

  1. There Must Be Fresh Popcorn
  2. There Must Be a Dress Code
  3. The Las Vegas Rule
  4. The Jim Nantz Commandment
  5. The Slauson Cutoff
  6. The One-Ball Drink Rule
  7. Hats On to You
  8. The Whip-Out Doctrine
  9. The No-Surfing Zone
  10. The Free-Range Policy

All food items within arm’s reach are community property. This stricture is unassailable. One last thing, Sport: You gonna finish those fries? Read more

When it comes to golf homes in Grayhawk, Bill Cole has you covered.
To schedule a tour of homes call Bill at: (480) 421-8116.

FHA 203(k) Loans Offer Way to Finance Repairs for Foreclosures

FHA’s 203K  loan program is designed to finance the purchase and renovation a home, all in one loan.

Purchasing foreclosures also means discounts, but with the markdown is the price of repairs. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures or REOs sold at an average discount of 27 percent compared to non-distressed properties in the first quarter of 2012. Through an FHA203(k) loan, potential buyers who want to purchase a discounted foreclosure but don’t have cash for the repairs may find a way to receive financing.

According to HUD, the 203(k) program is the department’s main program for rehabilitating and repairing single family properties, and it’s viewed as an important tool to revitalize neighborhoods.

In order to be eligible, the property must be purchased as a primary residence or it can be for a HUD approved nonprofit. Also, the property must be a one-to four-family residence that has been completed for at least one year.

The maximum amount that can be taken out for the property is based on the value or the purchase price of the property before rehabilitation (whichever is less), plus the estimated cost of rehabilitation or 110 percent of the property after improvements, according to HUD.

A down payment is required, and the minimal amount for a down payment is 3.5 percent of the accepted bid price plus the cost of financing repairs.

“FHA 203k approvals take more time, but are no more difficult than any other mortgage type,” said Green. “Borrowers should expect to provide the documentation required, and should respond to loan officer requests in a timely manner.”

Is a 203K Loan Right for You?

  1. Buy a “Fixer-upper” or REO property needing renovation
  2. Get funds to both purchase and upgrade your dream home
  3. Refinance and renovate your existing home

Advantages of 203K

  • Loan amount based on the home value including renovations
  • Only one loan needed to both purchase and improve
  • Refinance and rehab your own home
  • Can be used to buy property otherwise not eligible for financing

Who Qualifies?

  • A minimum down payment of 3.5%
  • A credit score of 640 or higher
  • You currently have no other FHA loans
  • You DO NOT have to be a
    first-time buyer

Are You Thinking of Moving Up?

Many homeowners are asking themselves if now a good time to move up is. Between price reductions and record low interest rates it may just be the right time.

With home prices still at record lows, Buyers can get more home for less money under today’s housing conditions. Buyers will also pay a smaller amount of interest over time and can snag that dream home for a fraction of its boom era price. Additionally, with the large number of distressed homes on the market, you may even find a home at a steep 10 to 20 percent discount.

Before you start mentally decorating that dream home, however, you should consider what “moving up” means for you. For some buyers, moving up means a better neighborhood. For others it means a bigger home with more space or amenities.

Here’s what every buyer should consider before making the move.

Where do you stand on equity? In simple terms, equity is the difference between what you owe and what your home is worth. You might already know this amount, but if you don’t, you can always call your lender to get more details.

Despite recent declines in home prices — and some areas have had steeper declines than others — if you’ve lived in your home for over five years you may have built a substantial amount of equity. Equity gives you some wiggle room during the selling process. You can rest a bit easier that you will sell for a profit instead of a loss.

What is the state of your financial situation? Some jobs are more stable than others. You do not want to take on a new financial burden if you fear that there may be downsizing at your company. Are you a two income household? What would happen if one of you were to lose your job? Can you really afford to move up? This means having at least 20 percent to put down, being able to pay off your current mortgage, and not having to lay a finger on your retirement funds to make the new purchase.

Are you willing to move during a market that is still seeing home price declines? Yes, you might be able to get into your dream home, but will be you also might see your new home’s value decline in the months and years to come.

What is pricing like for your current neighborhood? You may wish to get a comprehensive market analysis to find out the current value of your home as well as the specifics on your neighborhood competition.

What is your real reason for wanting to move? Are you an empty nester wanting to simplify life by downsizing to a smaller home, condo, or town home? Are multiple generations living under the same roof? Are you wanting to move to a newer neighborhood? Consider what it is that you really want.

Does moving up make sense for you at this moment in time? While there are some great deals to be had, it has to make good financial sense right now.

 

Thinking of Moving Up to a Golf Property?