Scottsdale Real Estate Blog

Scottsdale real estate is always at the top of mind for The Kay-Grant Group as we assist dozens of individuals every month interested in finding or selling their next piece of Arizona real estate; whether that's looking for Old Town Scottsdale condos for sale, a downtown Phoenix loft for sale, or selling their house in northern Phoenix. The Kay-Grant Group are your premier Scottsdale Realtors.

This blog focuses on topics relevant to the Scottsdale and Phoenix metro real estate community as well as to those residing in The Valley that are interested in things to do around The Valley or the general going-ons in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Who is The Kay-Grant Group?

The Kay-Grant Group is owned and managed by Geoff and Andrea Lilienfeld whom reside in Old Town Scottsdale.  We are a group of passionate real estate agents that specialize in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and all places that we call "The Valley."  We are passionate real estate professionals that bring a strong business acumen to the Phoenix and Scottsdale real estate world.

In addition to being Valley real estate agents, we are also real estate investors.  We own several investment properties in Scottsdale and love to help those that are seasoned real estate investors, or those just getting started, to search for great investment properties and calculate the numbers.  If you're just getting started we can help you understand how to target great investment opportunities.

When it comes to selling homes we are extremely aggressive and execute marketing plans for every home we list, often times including aggressive mailing campaigns to neighbors and other individuals whom the home might be of interest to.

Need a Good Real Estate Agent?

If you're interested in purchasing a home and would like to work with premier Scottsdale Realtors, please Contact Us and we can get you setup on a custom search.  If you have any interest in selling your home, or just want to know what it's worth, Contact Us and we'll perform a market valuation to let you know what we believe your house, condo, or townhouse could sell for. 


May 15, 2019

NEW LISTING: 3-Bed, 2-Bath home in North Phoenix!

Close to Highways, Mayo Clinic, and PV Community College!

Check out this listing on Google Maps! 4615 E Libby St. Phoenix, AZ 85032

Phoenix Home for Sale Interior

Located less than 10 minutes from the North Phoenix/North Scottsdale border, near the intersection of East Bell Road and North Tatum Boulevard, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath single family home is in one of the most highly-desired subdivisions in the Valley! Some of the amazing features of this home include:

  • High vaulted ceilings provide a spacious feel throughout, and the large windows combined with the north-south orientation provide a bright atmosphere without the glaring sunrise and sunset.
  • A fully upgraded kitchen includes granite countertops, all-electric stainless steel appliances, and a convenient breakfast bar.
  • The backyard's covered patio and tasteful landscaping make it a great place to enjoy a relaxing morning or evening.

Want to learn more about North Phoenix? Click here.

Covered Patio of North Phoenix Home

The best part about this home is its location. Both AZ Highway 51 and the AZ Loop 101 are less than a 10-minute drive away; there isn't a section of the Valley that cannot be reached conveniently with these two highways. The neighborhood is also within a short drive of some of the best schools in North Phoenix, including Paradise Valley Community College. Other nearby points of interest include Desert Ridge Marketplace, along with several small-yet-popular shopping centers.

The listing price is $325,000, and with its premier location, the inquiries and offers placed on this home will be high!

Front of New Listing Home

Schedule Your Showing with the Kay-Grant Group Today!

If you have been looking for the perfect North Phoenix home in an enviable location, this is your great opportunity to buy this amazing home! Please call us at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible! 

May 15, 2019

Check Out our NEW Listing in Sunrise Condominiums in Old Town Scottsdale!

A beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom Ground Floor Condo

Check out the location of this listing on Google Maps! 3500 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Interior of Sunrise Ground Floor Condo

If you've been looking for a spacious ground floor condo for sale near all the fun and excitement of Old Town Scottsdale, then this is the perfect opportunity for you! The interior of the unit features new tile flooring, as well as granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Both bedrooms feature hardwood flooring, and the windows provide plenty of natural sunlight. 

There are not many ground floor condos in Old Town that offer a spacious patio, but this one is definitely the exception:

Sunrise Ground Floor Condo Patio

The wall is high enough to provide a unique level of privacy, and the patio itself is spacious enough to entertain friends or just relax and enjoy the beautiful desert mornings and evenings.

With a listing price of $215,000, this ground floor condo will not last long!

About Sunrise Condominiums

Residents of the Sunrise Condominiums community have access to some great amenities as well, including an upgraded pool/spa, fitness center, and clubhouse. The community is also nestled near the "Night Golf Capital of Phoenix", also known as Continental Golf Club.

If you'd like to know more, check out our Sunrise Condo community page, which includes a detailed description and video tour!

Interested in Buying this Ground Floor Condo for Sale?

Exterior of Ground Floor Condo

If you would like to schedule a showing, please call us at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will respond within the hour during our normal business hours. This is an incredibly popular condo community in Old Town Scottsdale, and condos in the Sunrise subdivision do not stay on the market very long!

May 1, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Owning a Pool in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Pool in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Beautiful Pool in Scottsdale

Even though the Sonoran Desert can get rather warm during the summer months, it’s hard to beat the feeling of jumping into your very own backyard pool. Plus, with our mild fall and winter season, most families in Central and Southern Arizona can use their pool almost year round.

While most of us have swam in a pool at a friend’s house, in a community subdivision, or even at the local YMCA, there are several factors involved in buying a home with a pool and owning a home with a pool that can easily be neglected or overlooked.

In this article, we will provide the insights and information you need to ensure that if you choose to buy a home with a pool in Arizona, the decision will be an informed one.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pool in Phoenix or Scottsdale?

Even if you don’t plan on building a pool in the backyard of a home that doesn’t have one, it still helps to know how much a contractor or homeowner invested into a backyard pool. Price can be difficult to gauge, since pools can be built in a wide variety of sizes and with several different features.

Utilizing the Home Advisor True Cost Guide,we can see that the average cost of installing a pool in Phoenix, Arizona is approximately $16,000. Here are some key focus points that contribute to these costs:

  1. The ground in Arizona is far from soft, and a large percentage of an inground pool building budget goes into excavating the dirt. There is also the cost associated with hauling all that dirt away to factor in as well.
  2. The cost of materials used can vary widely. For example, a concrete pool will cost more than fiberglass or vinyl, and vinyl will require replacement.
  3. Pumps, plumbing, and labor all factor into the final price.

Buying a home with a pool already installed and fully functional will save you the upfront costs and time required to enjoy all the benefits of a backyard pool.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Pool in Scottsdale/Phoenix?

How to Maintain a Pool in AZ

Once you have a home with a pool in Arizona, there are still costs associated with keeping the pool clean and the chemicals balanced to avoid algae build-up and any other type of infestation. 

Keeping a pool clean and running well can often be a time-consuming project; however, Arizona has plenty of highly-qualified professional pool service companies that can provide maintenance on a weekly basis. Quality matters when it comes to pool service, so expect to pay $100 to $125 a month. 

It's important to remember that repairs and insurance claims for illness as a result of poor pool maintenance can be costly, so make sure to stay diligent with your pool maintenance.

Does a Backyard Pool in Phoenix or Scottsdale Increase a Home's Value?

One of the most critical factors most homebuyers and homeowners take into account when adding anything to their home is if it will increase their home’s value. As is the case with most real estate decisions, there are several variables involved.

Location matters a great deal when it comes to pools, and since the Valley is one of the country’s most popular places to own a pool, the demand for them will be higher when compared to other markets, such as the Midwest and Northeast.

Still, the question remains: Does a Pool Increase the Value of a Scottsdale or Phoenix Home?

In most cases, according to an article in the Arizona Republic, the cost of building a pool is often more than the appraisal. However, this factor can vary depending on the area you live in and the demand for pools in a specific region.

A good starting point to determining the potential value increase is to compare homes for sale in your area with pools to those that do not. If you currently own a home and are interested in adding a pool, have your home appraised as is and get the appraiser’s input on how much value a pool could add to your home. If the appraiser states that a $30,000 pool may add $20,000 to the resale value of your home, it’s clear that most pool installations won’t be recouped should you sell your home.

However, it’s important to know that not all investments in homes are black-and-white. The (potential) extra costs associated with building an in-ground pool is made up for in factors that cannot be measured: enjoyment, satisfaction, and the status one achieves when they can enjoy the benefits of lounging and swimming in their very own backyard pool.

What To Look for When Buying a Home with a Pool in Phoenix or Scottsdale:

Enlisting the services of an experienced realtor can help you avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes homebuyers can make when they are interested in buying a home with a pool in the Valley. When you find a home with a backyard pool that you love, here are some steps you can take to ensure the pool won't be a burden:

  1. Make sure the pool is in good working order. As mentioned in previous sections, pools require a ton of maintenance and care, so a home with a pool that is fully functional and well-maintained shows that the owner used and took pride in their pool. A broken-down pool or a pool that is empty is never a good sign, and the cost to repair could be extravagant.
  2. Have the pool inspected just to be safe. When you buy a car, especially from a private party, a full diagnostic check is common. The same should apply to a backyard pool. Even if a pool is running smoothly, there could be trouble and potential safety hazards lurking that even the owner isn't aware of.
  3. Don't forget about the fence: Arizona law requires an enclosure around a pool that is at least 18 inches deep and over 8 feet wide, so be sure that the pool 1) has a fence and 2) the fence is still in good working condition. Replacing a fence can be costly, so don't take any chances.

By taking these precautions, you greatly increase your chances of buying a home with a pool that is well taken care of and is safe for you and your family.

Best Places to Own a Home with a Pool in Scottsdale:

Scottsdale has one of the highest concentration of homes with pools in the state, making it the ideal city to own a home with a backyard pool. Whether you are looking for a home with a pool for sale in Old Town Scottsdale or North Scottsdale, there are several great subdivisions to choose from.

If you are interested in searching for a home for sale with a pool in Old Town Scottsdale, we suggest exploring Inmar Terrace, New Papago Parkway, and Scottsdale Estates. Not only do these communities feature beautiful pools, there are also no HOA's or fees!

For those who are interested in a backyard pool home for sale in North Scottsdale, the options vary widely depending on what you are looking for. If you want a home with a pool on or near a golf course, take a look at Grayhawk and Troon. Interested in a home with a pool in North Scottsdale within a secure gated community? Bellasera and Hidden Hills are an excellent place to start looking.

Best Places to Own a Home with a Pool in Phoenix:

From older homes in the heart of Phoenix to newer subdivisions in the quiet seclusion in North Phoenix, there are plenty of options for Phoenix homes for sale with a pool. Here are a few of our choices for the best subdivisions to help you with your search.

North Phoenix continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas in the Valley, and the homes for sale with pools don't stay on the market very long. Our top picks for North Phoenix communities perfect for owning a pool include Sonoran Foothills, Desert Peak, and Desert Canyon.

South Mountain and South Phoenix/Ahwatukee are also great areas for owning a home with a pool. If you are interested in buying a home in these regions, take a look at our Shadow Rock and Fairways at the Foothills community pages.


Backyard Pool in Scottsdale - Phoenix

Owning a home with a pool in Phoenix or Scottsdale can be a big responsibility, but the feeling of swimming and lounging in the clear water on a hot afternoon makes it en extremely worthwhile responsibility. We hope this article will help you understand the many nuances associated with buying a home with a pool, maintaining a pool you own, and the importance of regular upkeep.

If you are interested in learning more about the homes for sale in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and the entire Valley, give us a call at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will respond within the hour during normal hours. 

April 30, 2019

Check Out this AMAZING Optima Village Ground Floor Condo for Rent!

This Ground Floor, Pet-Friendly Optima Village Condo Won't Last Long

Ground Floor Condo for Rent in Optima Village

Located on the ground floor of our beloved Optima Camelview Village community, this condo is in the perfect Old Town Scottsdale location for those who enjoy the vibrant-yet-relaxed lifestyle of this amazing urban community.

Unit Features:

  • This condo has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms within a spacious 1839 square foot floorplan.
  • Interior features include custom tile flooring throughout, a large open floorplan, spacious kitchen with breakfast bar, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a contemporary master bathroom with dual vanities.
  • Large floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of natural sunlight into the kitchen, living area, and both bedrooms. The area surrounding the exterior of the windows provides the perfect place for pets to enjoy the outdoors as well!

Camelview Village Condo for Rent Living Area

Rental Terms:

This luxury condo can be rented for $3,000 a month with a 12-month lease.

Optima Camelview Village Community Features:

The luxury condo community of Optima Camelview provides unparalleled amenities for its residents. You will have access to indoor basketball and racquetball courts, a large fitness center, indoor/outdoor pools and spas, a party room with a catering kitchen, a putting green, a dog park, a professional on-site concierge service, and so much more! 

Don't miss out on the chance to rent this beautiful luxury condo. Contact Us today!

Did You Know...?

The rental unit is next door to another beautiful condo for sale? If you are interested in buying a 2-bedroom / 2-bathroom condo in Optima Camelview Village, check out our blog post describing this amazing ground floor condo for sale by clicking here.

Posted in Optima Camelview
April 19, 2019

Coming Soon: NEW Listing in Gated Old Town Scottsdale Community!

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Own This Indian Terrace Condo for Sale!Indian Terrace Condo for Sale Interior

New Listing Summary:

Located in the popular gated condo community of Indian Terrace, this beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom ground floor condo is ready for move-in. We own this condo, and we are equally enthused about finding the perfect buyer for this incredible property. Asking price is $244,000, with the option of purchasing the furniture on a separate bill of sale. If you are looking for a vacation rental or turn-key condominium near all the excitement of Old Town Scottsdale, this condo is the one for you!

Want to learn more about Indian Terrace and the area surrounding the community. Check out our Indian Terrace Community Page.

Condo Features:

Upon entering the condo, you will notice the hardwood flooring, custom lighting fixtures, and spacious living room. 

Indian Terrace Condo Living Room

The patio doors and windows allow plenty of natural light into the living room, dining room, and kitchen. The all-electric kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a unique masonry brick backsplash.

Kitchen of Indian Terrace Condo

The bedrooms are spacious, and the master bathroom features a separate dual vanity as well as the stackable washer and dryer area. The tall accent wall provides a private patio area, which can be accessed through a gate along the exterior.

If you are interested in viewing this property in person, or would like to learn more about the market trends of this subdivision and its surrounding communities, please call us at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will respond within the hour during normal business hours. Condos in this community typically don't stay on the market long, so don't hesitate to call!

April 11, 2019

Check Out our NEW Listing in Scottsdale Springs!

Be the First to Take a Look at this AMAZING Upgraded Condo for Sale in Scottsdale Springs! Listed at $249,000!

New Listing Scottsdale Springs Condo Interior

Scottsdale Springs New Condo Listing Summary:

This spectacular 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo features a spacious 1,130 square foot floorplan is in an incredible Old Town Scottsdale location! Near the intersection of Main Street and Miller Road, all the fun and excitement of Old Town is less than a mile away. If you are looking for a move-in ready condo in the Old Town Scottsdale area, we are certain you will LOVE this one!

Interior Features:

The current owner has invested over $80,000 in upgrades for this spectacular condo. Interior upgrades include plank hardwood flooring, custom lighting fixtures and cabinetry, an exquisite wine bar, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. State-of-the-art washer and dryer in the laundry room. The master bathroom features a separate vanity from the rest of the bathroom, and the master bedroom has plenty of closet space. The condo also has a spacious balcony perfect for enjoying your morning coffee or unwinding while watching the sunset.

Community Features:

Scottsdale Springs is one of the most popular gated condo communities in Old Town Scottsdale. In fact, we have a page dedicated to this incredible community, including its amenities and nearby restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. If you'd like to learn more about the Scottsdale Springs community and surrounding area, click here.

Interested in Viewing this Scottsdale Springs Condo for Sale?

If you would like to schedule a showing, feel free to Contact Us. As Old Town Scottsdale residents, we know this area extremely well, and can provide you with insights you won't find anywhere else! Please call us at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will respond within the hour during normal hours.

Jan. 14, 2019

Be The First to See Our New Optima Camelview Village Ground Floor Condo for Sale!

An Exquisite Ground Floor Condo for Sale in Pet-Friendly* Optima Camelview Village

*Learn more about the Optima Camelview Village Pet Policy

Ground Floor Optima Camelview Village Condo for Sale Summary:

We are always excited when a Optima Camelview Village condo becomes available on the market, and those interested in a condo on the ground floor will LOVE the location of this one. This Old Town Scottsdale condo for sale features 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in a spacious 1344 square foot floor plan. 

Want a virtual tour of this beautiful condo for sale?  Feel free to explore the interior by clicking below.

Optima Camelview Condo Interior Features

Upon entry of this stunning ground floor condo, prospective buyers will see the dining room, complete with a gorgeous custom chandelier, drapes along one wall and a unqiue-yet-tasteful patterned accent wall:

There is a sense of warmth and comfort felt whenever we walk through the door and into the living area, and we are certain you will feel it too.

Kitchen Features

The kitchen of this condo for sale features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, custom lighting fixutres above the breakfast bar and beautiful cabinets. Cooking in this open kitchen is a pleasure since the cook is able to enjoy the beautiful patio views provided by the floor-to-ceiling windows in this open floorplan condo.


Bathroom Features

Dual vanity in the master bathroom; single vanity in the 2nd bathroom. Master bathroom also features a large linen closet, a full mirror over the vanity, and a glass shower door with a striking accent wall. Bathtub, tile wall and full mirror compliment the other bathroom.

Bedroom Features

A cute chandelier hangs in the center of the master bedroom, adding a unique touch to the room. Other features include floor-to-ceiling windows and a large walk-in closet with several shelves perfect for organizing shoes and other accessories. Floor-to-ceiling windows are also in the 2nd bedroom; with over 300 days of sunshine in the Valley, there will never be a shortage of natural light in this condo.

Patio Features

The vast majority of luxury condos in Old Town Scottsdale don't have the space to provide a ground floor patio, but this condo for sale is certainly an exception. Residents of this condo have ample space to entertain a small group of friends and family. Beyond the masonry tile, the landscaping features several vibrant desert plants and cacti, providing a small oasis in an otherwise bustling neighborhood.

Interested in this wonderful condo?

We would love to hear from you. Feel free to Contact Us and we will do everything we can to make this dream condo a reality!

Have a Pet? No Problem! Optima Camelview Village is Pet Friendly!

It's always heartbreaking to show a client a condo or townhome they absolutely adore, only to share the bad news that the community doesn't allow pets of any kind, or have certain breed or size restrictions. This is one reason why Optima Camelview Village is such an amazing place to call home. Here are some of the basic guidelines you need to know regarding the Optima Camelview Village Pet Policy:

  • A maximum of 2 dogs, and up to three additional pets (bird, cat, rabbit, gerbil, etc.) per household.
  • Other than the dog park, pets must be leashed or carried in all other common areas.
  • Noise disturbances (i.e. barking), aggressiveness towards other pets or residents, and electronic leashes are not permitted.
  • Other than service animals, pets are not allowed in the pool/spa areas, sport courts, putting green, fitness center, stretching room, party room. or business center. They are also not allowed to sit on the common area furniture.
  • Breeding is prohibited.
  • Pet doors and pet structures on the patio or terraces are not permitted.
  • Pets must have proof of vaccination in accordance with Maricopa County requirements.

If you love this ground floor condo, don't hesitate to Contact Us today! Please call us at 480-387-3990 or fill out our Contact Form and we will respond within the hour during normal hours. Pet-friendly condos in Scottsdale are rare to find, and this Optima Camelview Village condo is a true gem.

Dec. 20, 2018

The Home Improvement Guide: Remodeling Tips to Increase Your Home Value

Whether you’re looking to sell or simply wanting to increase the value of your home, undertaking a remodeling project could be a smart move. Although it may sound like a significant project that will drain time and resources, it really doesn’t have to be. There are some simple tips and tricks that can make a remodeling project simple yet highly effective. It’s all about knowing the right ways to approach it. That’s where this guide comes in handy.

We’ve compiled information about every aspect of home improvement for increasing the value of your home. This guide is packed full of our top tips, pieces of valuable advice, and practical ways to approach your remodeling project. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have plenty of great ideas for improving your own home and increasing its value. And don’t worry, we cover areas for all budgets, meaning you can find inspiration even if your resources are limited.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’ve made the decision to sell, there are a few key points you should consider before putting your home on the market. You need to make sure it’s in the best possible shape, and that you’re in the right position to sell. Below, we’ve outlined some of the essential things you should look out for when deciding if you’re ready to sell:

  • Financial position. Do you have your finances in order? How much do you have left on your current mortgage, and can you afford to upgrade your house? Will you be buying a new property of switching to a rental? How much is your house worth and how much value do you want to add? These are all vital questions you need to ask yourself before you sell.  Also, keep in mind agents commissions and closing costs to determine what you will ultimately net. These normally total 7.5% to 9% of the selling price.
  • Seller. How are you going to sell your property? Will you try to sell it privately or will you choose a REALTOR? Again, it’s better to think of these now than once the process is underway.  Don’t forget, attempting to sell yourself often seems tempting, but it very rarely ends up netting more than using a REALTOR.
  • Are you emotionally ready? Moving house can be a big undertaking, full of stress and things to do. You have to be 100% prepared to take this project on, especially if there’s work or renovations to do yourself. Bear in mind that a good real estate agent can make the process much easier.

Once you’ve thought about these points and answered the important questions, you should be ready to start planning for a move and any home improvements to make it happen.

Terms to Know Before Selling Your Home

To help you navigate the tricky waters of property sale, we’ve created a quick glossary of essential terms you need to know. Jargon is rife in the industry, so this list can help you get ahead of the game:


  • Assessed value. The value of your home as assigned by a public tax assessor. This is used for tax purposes and may be different from that assigned by a private surveyor or the amount you actually sell for.
  • Closing. Also known as the settlement, this is the final step in the process where buyer and seller exchange contracts and complete the deal.
  • CMA. Comparative Market Analysis, or ‘comps.’ A report that shows the value of similar homes in your area which recently sold. It can help determine how much you should sell for.
  • Equity. The amount of value in the home that you own, essentially its value minus how much you have left on your mortgage.
  • Interest. Also known as the rate, this is the percentage of your loan you’ll be charged in costs by the lender.
  • Principal. The amount of money you borrowed in order to purchase a home. This will be the amount you’ll need to pay back with the addition of interest.
  • REALTOR. A real estate agent that is part of the Association of REALTORS . They are beholden to the code and ethics of their association.


The Value of Home Remodeling



You may be wondering why you should choose to undertake a home remodeling project. It may seem like a lot of planning, effort, and know-how is needed. But trust us, it’s not all that hard, and there are some tangible benefits of doing so:

  • Return on your investment. Whether you’re selling or not, home improvements generally have a pretty decent ROI. Small to medium renovations can result in big gains on the price of your home.
  • An easier life. Many renovation projects can increase the enjoyment you get out of your home. It can make rooms or features in the house more convenient and more appealing to prospective buyers.
  • Energy efficiency. Many home improvements, such as insulation or replacement windows, can help to reduce your energy bills. This not only saves you money in the long run but also means your house is more likely to sell. In some areas, this can lead to government, electric company, and other monetary incentives as well.
  • More space. Depending on the time of remodeling you take on, it’s possible to increase your functional space. Garage, “Arizona room”, loft or basement conversions can open up entire new rooms for you to make use of.
  • More appealing. Small renovations or home improvement projects can make your property a more tempting buy, giving you room to maneuver in the market.
  • A project. Undertaking renovations at your house can be a rewarding project. There’s potential for you to do it yourself, meaning you can learn valuable skills and gain knowledge about what to look for in other homes.
  • Safety. It’s possible to make your house safer by carrying out home remodeling. Whether it’s outdated wiring, safer access, or better home security, home improvement can make you safer.

As you can see, there are some real benefits of home remodeling, and many of them will add genuine value and appeal to your house. If you’re thinking of selling, it can be a crucial undertaking beforehand.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Ultimate Home Remodel

No matter what size of remodeling you’re going to undertake, it’s vital that you have a defined plan and process in place. Doing so can prevent your time and costs getting out of control, and means you’ll be prepared for what’s to come. This step-by-step guide will guide you through the process:



This stage is nearly as crucial as the actual work itself. It will keep you on track and mean you’re prepared for every eventuality. Here’s what you should plan:

  1. The work. Consider the scale and scope of your remodeling. Will it be confined to one room or area, or will it be more extensive?
  2. The workers. Who will be carrying out the work? If you have ambitious plans, the chances are you’ll need professional help. Look for local experts and check with them regarding their availability. If you’re already working with a REALTOR, they can refer you to trusted professionals.
  3. The budget. Find out how much the proposed work is going to cost. Look for tradespeople who will give you a quote, or research material costs if you’re doing it yourself. Allow room in your budget for unexpected expenses. Finally, speak with your REALTOR about the return on investment expected for any expenditure.
  4. The financing. In some instances, you may be eligible for a loan or grant to carry out the work. Check with your local council/government to see if there are any incentives to help you out.
  5. The impact. If your project will involve a room or rooms out of action for a while, you’ll need to consider alternatives. For example, if you’re remodeling a bathroom, do you have another one you can use in the meantime?


6.      The cleaning. It’s best to make sure the area being improved is clear of unnecessary clutter. This will make it far easier for whoever is doing the work to maneuver.

7.      The routine. Before the work starts, make sure that your planned contingencies work. Try out your routine with the limited access to make sure no problems arise.

8.      The materials. If you’re carrying out the work yourself, make sure to buy all of the materials and tools you’ll need well in advance. This will mean you don’t have to go out mid-way through the project.

9.      The funds. Ensure that you have all the necessary funds available to pay for materials and labor. Keep in mind that the final cost can often be a bit more than expected, so plan for 20- 30% more than you expect to spend.


10.   The work.  With such good planning and preparation, the work will hopefully go smoothly, no matter who’s doing it. If you’re doing it, don’t rush. If someone else is, don’t rush them. However, if you’ve employed someone to carry out the work, don’t feel bad about asking for a status update or progress report every so often. 

Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

So, you know how a home improvement project should work, and the value that it could bring to your home. But how do you know what you should do? Thankfully, we’ve got you covered there too. Here are some of our top ideas for affordable home improvement projects: 

General Improvements

These are some remodeling ideas that can be implemented in almost any room in the house:

  • Lighting. Whether it’s new bulbs, new fittings, or even just new angles, your choice of lighting can transform a room. Try out different styles to see how they impact the ambiance or feel of different spaces.
  • Paint. Simply changing the color of the walls, or even one wall, can make a significant difference to a room. It’s an inexpensive way of making a change to the feel of it. Make sure to get plenty of samples and look at different styles to get an idea of what works and what color go together. Fresh paint can also make your home seem cleaner and more manageable.
  • Switches. The fixtures on your light switches may not seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but changing them for something that complements the rest of the room can make a noticeable difference.
  • Curtains and blinds. Your windows can be one of the focal points of any room, so having the right curtains or blinds can really highlight them Look for style as well as practicality, and try different material samples until you’re happy.
  • Flooring. No matter the room, a change in flooring can totally revitalize it. Whether it’s tiles in the kitchen or laminate in the living room, you have plenty of options that don’t have to break the bank. 


The kitchen can be one of the most profitable places to improve in your home. The ROI is often very high, making it a great choice if you’re thinking of selling. Here are some ideas:

  • Sink. The kitchen sink can make a huge difference to the overall feel of one of the most important rooms in the house. There are plenty of options for changing it out, many of them are affordable. It’s also not too tricky if you want to do it yourself.
  • Cabinets. You don’t have to replace your existing cabinets if you don’t have the budget. A simple coat of paint can totally transform the look of your kitchen. Just make sure the color complements your existing scheme. Don’t do this yourself though, unless you know how. Hire a professional cabinet painter or refinisher.
  • Worktops. Countertops don’t have to be mega expensive. There are plenty of options that look great and come well within budget. Look for places that sell and install prefabricated granite countertops to cut down on the cost.


  • Furniture. Again, it’s not always necessary to replace all of your current furniture. Repainting the drawers and dressers you have can make a massive difference.
  • Ceiling. Try skimming and painting your ceiling to create a clean and unique feel to the room. Go for colors that are conducive to a relaxing atmosphere. If there’s any chance your ceiling might contain asbestos, be sure to seek professional advice!
  • Wallpaper. Wallpaper isn’t as difficult to work with as it once was. Many newer designs are self-adhesive, making it easy to fix them to the wall. It can be a simple way of adding texture to your walls.

Mistakes to Avoid

Before you run off to start planning your next home improvement project, it’s worth reading about the potential pitfalls. It’s easy to get carried away sometimes, so knowing the common mistakes that others make is important. 

Health and Safety

If you’re remodeling your home yourself, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the associated dangers. Your primary concern should be ensuring that your workspace is safe, for you and those around you. Always follow the necessary health and safety protocols when you’re working, and wear proper protection.


Most projects will cost more than you expect. When you’re planning out the tasks you’ll be carrying out, make sure that you have extra budget to cover unforeseen costs. Make sure you account for every element, including any tools, nails, brushes, etc. that you’ll need. Then add an extra 30% just to cover emergencies. The last thing you want is to be caught short mid-way through a project.


Don’t fall into the trap of vaguely measuring a space. If you need something to fit in there, you have to make sure you measure it accurately. The same goes for things like curtains and blinds; you shouldn’t be guesstimating these things.

Ignoring the Professionals

It’s certainly possible to carry out many home improvement projects by yourself. However, certain tasks require the help of a real tradesperson. No amount of YouTube tutorials or how-to guides can give you the right level of expertise.

Using Cheap Materials

There’s no substitute for quality, and that goes for the tools, materials, and professionals you use. Although it’s tempting to keep your costs down as much as possible, you’re always better paying a little bit extra for something that’s high-quality.

Home Improvement Loans

If you’re set on undertaking a remodeling project but don’t quite have the capital to back it up, you have options. A home improvement loan can be a useful way of getting the money to take on your renovations. There are plenty to choose from, meaning you’ll have the luxury to shop around to fit your needs.

When choosing a loan, you’ll want to try and balance convenience, amount, service, and interest rate. You’ll also need to ensure that you can make repayments on any money that you borrow. Not doing so can have serious consequences on your financial health.

Thankfully, if you’re a homeowner with equity in your property, you should find it quite easy to find a loan with a low interest rate. This is because you’ll be able to use that equity as collateral on the loan.

You Just Finished Your Remodel. Now What?

Congratulations on finishing your project. If you’ve stuck with us, you’ve no doubt successfully completed your project. If you’re still in the planning stages, this is where you want to get to. All the hard work is done, so what now? Here are some things you should consider:

  • A walk-through. If you’ve hired contractors, you should have one final tour of the work they’ve done to highlight any issues and outline any future steps that need taking. If the tradesperson doesn’t suggest this, you should.
  • Clean. Once the dust has literally settled, it’s time to resume normal service. It’s a good idea to get everything cleaned and tidied away as soon as possible so you can use your new space. Any contractors should clear up behind them, but there will still be plenty of rearranging to do.

  • Maintenance. You’ll want your new renovations to stay in pristine condition for as long as possible. Make a checklist of what needs doing to maintain the space over a long period of time. 

Desert Landscaping Shouldn't Be Boring

If you’re in Arizona or looking for a condo in Old Town Scottsdale, bear in mind that there’s plenty you can do outside to make your home more appealing. Here are some of our quick top tips:

  • A desert oasis. Consider turning your backyard into a relaxing, spa-inspired escape. With a water feature, decking, relaxing chairs, and plenty of shade, you can have your very own desert oasis.

  • A desert garden. Don’t be fooled into thinking the desert has to be devoid of life. Many plants thrive in the hot and sunny conditions that Arizona offers. Try introducing some of the bright and colorful plant life that can make your garden a haven.  Optima Camelview condos in Scottsdale are a great mix of desert and lush greenery.
  • Outdoor lighting. Make your house more inviting, and safer, by illuminating it at night. There are plenty of options available that can transform how it looks on a night. 
Nov. 30, 2018

Optima Camelview Village Market Update - November 2018

The Optima Camelview in Scottsdale, AZ has seen its recent ups and downs over the last several years in terms of market prices.  

5 Year Optima Camelview Village Price Trend

The 3rd quarter of 2018 marked the lowest average price per square foot that the Optima Camelview has seen in the last 5 years.  This is largely due to extensive remodeling occurring following the settlement between the Optima HOA and the developers.

While the price at the Optima appears to be going up in the 4th quarter of 2018, it should be noted that this is largely ue to a couple of sales of larger / remodeled condos.  These condos generally sell for a much higher price per square foot than the rest of the inventory in the Optima.

Optima Camelview Village Village Past 3 Months Sales

If we eliminate the 3 and 4 bedrooms properties we see that the prices in the Optima Camelview are showing an upward trend but not nearly as dramatic as when reviewing all sales in The Optima.

Optima Camelview Village 1 and 2 Bedroom Sales Only

It is very likely that we will see a somewhat flat price trend for the next 6 to 12 months in the Optima while the outdoor pools are rebuilt and the hallway refinishing completes.

As of the writing of this post, there were 43 Optima Camelview condos for sale on the AZ MLS.

The sales volume in the Optima Camelview is definitely looking healthy for 2018 with it on track to beat the last 3 years in terms of sales volume and possibly be the highest in 5 years.

Optima Camelview Village Sales Volume Last 5 Years

This level of sales volume is likely to continue in 2019 with the much lower prices that c ondos at the Optima can be prucahsed for.

Optima Camelview Village Pricing Past and Future

The Optima Camelview Village condos in Old Town Scottsdale has certainly had some turmoil over the recent years since the conflict began between the Optima HOA and the developers.  As discussed in a previous blog post about the Optima settlement and the impact its had on the community we expect that the price of condos in the Optima will rise in the coming 6 to 12 months as major projects are completed around the Optima.  These projects include:

  • Completely rebuilding the indoor pools, outdoor pool, and the corresponding spas
  • Refinishing of hallways
  • New water softening systems being put in
  • Dozens of other projects around The Optima!

We continue to believe that there is a buying opportunity to purchase condos at very low prices in the Optima though we, of course, have to disclose that we can't see into the future and as such this is opinion only and purchasing any real estate comes with inherent risk.

External factors likely to affect the price of the Optima Camelivew Prices

The Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall is undergoing some major renovations which are going to bring new shops and restaurants making the area an even more attractive place to own a home, especially if you're the type of really values ease and convenience and loves to walk everywhere (as most condo dwellers are).  This includes adding Ocean's 44, a Mastro's restaurant, right down the street from The Optima as well as Nobu.

If you do have any interest in purchasing or selling a condo at the Optima Camelview please Contact Us.

We work with lots of buyers and sellers in and around the Optima and Old Town Scottsdale.  We represent dozens of individuals every year with their purchases and sales of Old Town Scottsdale condos as well as other properties in The Valley.


Posted in Optima Camelview
Sept. 10, 2018

New Hotels In Scottsdale

Scottsdale residents and guests have several new hotels to look forward to in the coming years, according to an article in the Arizona Central, with Old Town Scottsdale receiving six of the nine proposed developments. It’s been over ten years since the last Old Town Scottsdale hotel was built, which was the W Hotel, located on Camelback Road just east of Scottsdale Road. 

Randy Grant, director of planning and development services in Scottsdale, says, “There’s a confidence in the market,” which would explain the sudden increase in proposals for new hotels. 

There are a few other reasons why an increase in hotels around the Scottsdale area can be a huge benefit to the city. University of Phoenix Stadium is scheduled to host its third Super Bowl in 2023; with the Waste Management Phoenix Open held the same week, there is always a high demand for lodging in the Scottsdale area. Plus, with several of the Cactus League Spring Training Facilities in the East Valley, and the close proximity to the Loop 101 providing easy access from Scottsdale to the sports stadiums in Glendale, building hotels is not only great for our tourism economy, it is a smart investment as our city continues to grow.

Aside from Old Town Scottsdale, one hotel will be built in North Scottsdale, while the other two developments are located in South Scottsdale. In total, nine hotels are expected to provide as many as 1,300 additional rooms. The largest of these hotels is expected to be The Edition at Waterview, which will be adjected to the aforementioned W Scottsdale, and will feature 246 rooms, while the smaller of the proposed hotels will offer 125 rooms.

Since there are laws in place that don’t allow buildings in Old Town Scottsdale to be higher than 150 feet, most will be less than 100 feet. The only exception is the proposed Museum Square hotel, which is expected to be close to the maximum height.

What does this mean for Scottsdale residents?

Although only one of these proposed developments is underway, it could mean an increase in construction around the Old Town area as these hotels begin to break ground and build. With less than five years before the next Super Bowl/Phoenix Open week, there is high anticipation that the majority of these nine hotels will be completed with enough time to accommodate the thousands upon thousands of guests that make their way to our great city during this exciting time. 

Vacation Rentals Market is also Booming in Scottsdale

Scottsdale condos are being purchased very frequently for the purpose of short term / vacation rentals. This is a quickly growing industry as tourists continue to pour in for Spring Traning. As more people try out staying in vacation rentals rather than hotels, this is becoming an extremely large industry in Scottsdale.