Enjoy the Unique Lifestyle of Scottsdale, Arizona

For the cultured yet progressive, Scottsdale, Arizona offers a unique variety of experiences and destinations. Incorporated in 1951, this relatively new city is influenced by the great Sonoran Desert that surrounds it. Desert vistas offer awe-inspiring beauty and ruggedness that, in turn, have innovated city adventures ranging from hiking to equestrian activities, and desert architecture to national sporting events.

One of many places for mountain and desert trail hiking is at Pinnacle Peak in northern Scottsdale. Hikers to this granite boulder area can see the Camelback Mountain to the southwest and catch a glimpse of the Four Peaks Mountain range 25 miles to the east. All the while, enjoying the giant saguaro cactus, plentiful banana yucca, and the army-green colored paloverde trees. Hikers share trails with rabbits, coyotes, snakes, lizards, and must, at times, make room for bobcats and mule dear.

While horseback riding is permitted on many of the desert trails, for equestrian-type competition and entertainment, the city of Scottsdale has Westworld as a venue. Westworld possesses a multi-use tented arena that holds 6,000, a 119-acre polo field, and a horse arena that holds 600.

Events held at Westworld include the Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in mid-February where 2,000 of these stately horses compete and show-off their precision. The Miniature Horse Show takes place at the end of March, beginning of April here. Lovely and delicate miniature versions of these fine animals demonstrate their skills.

The Annual Parada del Sol Rodeo also calls Westworld its home. Coinciding with the Parada del Sol Parade, concerts, and block party in Old Town Scottsdale, this rodeo has been a Scottsdale tradition since the 1950’s. The entire Parada del Sol celebration takes place in early March.

The more cosmopolitan Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction occurs at Westworld from mid to late January. A multitude of sophisticated affairs accompany this “premier” auto auction, including parties, chartable events and upscale fashion shows. Making Scottsdale truly a city where the rustic meets the refined.

In the 1920’s, veteran architect Frank Lloyd Wright purchased 600 acres of Sonoran Desert at the foot of the McDowell Mountains. Taliesin West, Wright’s summer residence and work community was born. It is still populated by Frank Lloyd Wright-schooled architects and their protégés. Taliesin West architecture seems to melt right into the desert landscape and become part of its surroundings, now located within Scottsdale city limits.

Another architect and artist has called Scottsdale home, Paolo Soleri. The community he’s inspired at the Cosanti exhibits experimental architecture using monolithic concrete structures. Soleri and the community of the Cosanti and the larger Archosanti, located west of Prescott, Arizona, are famous for the copper bells they create. The bells can be purchased at the Cosanti or be seen in local décor.

To quench a totally different passion that could only be elicited by a sports enthusiast, Scottsdale is home to baseball Spring Training and golf’s Phoenix Open. Spring training for the San Francisco Giants is at Scottsdale Stadium, located in central Scottsdale. Cactus League Spring Training exhibition games are prevalent at this venue during the season.

Historically known at the Phoenix Open, this yearly national golf tournament takes place at the TPC course in Scottsdale in late January. It draws a great deal of media attention as it is established as a more laid-back tournament on the golf scene.

The city of Scottsdale, without trying, is the arbiter of an abundance of activities exclusive to this desert haven. The color, sights and sounds of the desert work together to create an ambiance where the natural environment merges with human needs and desires.

Carefree in Carefree, Arizona: Desert Dwelling at Its Finest

On the north-eastern outer reaches of the Valley of the Sun lies Carefree, like neighboring Cave Creek, a hamlet nestled just to the north of Scottsdale. Principally known as a haven for retired folk, many of whom visit during the winter from colder climes and are known as “snowbirds”, however, of late, many year-round residents are opting for the tranquility of Carefree, while commuting to their jobs in either Phoenix or Scottsdale. Consequently Carefree, much like Cave Creek and the surrounding environs has seen considerable growth in recent years.

Spanish Village is a shopping center in the heart of Carefree with many eclectic stores and restaurants. It is also host to antique car shows, home shows, art shows and horticultural events during the course of a year, making it an extremely popular destination for both residents and tourists alike.

A little further south on Tom Darlington Road we have another shopping complex known as “El Pedregal”. This is a more upscale development with many art galleries, gourmet shops, boutiques and jewellers. There are several excellent restaurants at the facility, which is a two storey affair arranged in a circular fashion. There is a stage at one end and, due to the “amphi-theater” style arrangement, it is an excellent venue for the many musical concerts, of all genres, that El Pedregal hosts each year. Grab a glass of wine, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Carefree also has a general aviation facility with a 4100 ft. runway, which is home to many aviation enthusiasts covering vintage aircraft to modern experimental lightweight craft. This year, at a combined antique car and plane show. We were privileged to have a bit “flying fortress” of World War II vintage fly over in all it’s majesty. Very awe inspiring; an what a crowd it drew that day. We also were fortunate to have two F16 fighter jets do a fly-by from Luke Air Force Base. All in all a good day out for all the family.

That sums Carefree up really. Many people come to visit from all around, and some just cannot bear to leave. It has all the benefits of a small town with all the attractions and facilities of two major cities, Scottsdale and Phoenix, just a scant 30 minute drive away.

Visit Phoenix, Arizona

Located in the Salt River Valley, which is sometimes known as the “Valley of the Sun”, in central part of the state, Phoenix is the state capital and largest city of Arizona. As of the 2005, the estimated population of the city itself was 1,461,575, with an estimated 3,715,360 living within the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

The city has at an average elevation of 1,117 feet (340 meters), and is located in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert. The Salt River runs westward through Phoenix, but because of the desert climate and dams up river, the Salt River is normally dry – water only being present when water is released from dams that lie up river.

Attractions in the Phoenix area include:

– Arizona Biltmore

– Arizona Science Center

– Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum

– Biltmore Fashion Park

– Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

– Burton Barr Central Library

– Camelback Mountain

– Castles N’ Coasters Amusement Park

– Chase Field

– Chase Tower

– Desert Botanical Garden

– Encanto Park

– Enchanted Island

– Hall of Flame

– Heard Museum

– Hotel San Carlos

– Kierland Commons

– Mystery Castle

– Papago Park

– Phoenix Art Museum

– Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area

– Phoenix Museum of History

– Phoenix Zoo

– Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

– St. Mary’s Basilica

– South Mountain Park

– Symphony Hall

– Tovrea Castle

– US Airways Center

– Wrigley Mansion

Here is some more information about the area:

– Probably the best known educational institution in Phoenix is the University of Phoenix. The University of Phoenix is a for-profit educational institution that specializes in adult education.

– The main airport for Phoenix is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

– Professional sports teams in Phoenix include the baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the basketball team, the Phoenix Suns.

Cheap Health Insurance in Arizona

Health insurance isn’t cheap for most people in Arizona. In fact, more than half the people in Arizona who have medeical coverage report that the cost of their monthly premium is so high that they have trouble paying for it every month. However, there are a few tricks to saving money which could reduce the cost of your coverage considerably.

Start by simply paying your premium automatically each month out of your savings or checking account. If your company doesn’t have to send you an expense bills every month they’ll pass the savings on to you.

If you are a smoker or if you use chew you are not going to get the cheapest medical coverage available – that should come as no shock to you, but did you also know that if you start eating healthier and exercising a bit you can also save money on both your health care?

For many people there is simply no way to reduce the cost of tradition medical insurance to the point where it is affordable. So how about looking into something completely different? There’s a relatively new form of health care called a Health Savings Account, or HSA.

An HSA is a very special tax-exempt savings account. You fund the account with cheap tax-free dollars and then you use the money from that account to pay for all of your doctor’s visits, medications, and other health care needs. Any money left in the account at the end of one year rolls over so it is possible that eventually you could build up a rather nice tax-free nest egg.

As part of your HSA you will also buy a very cheap health policy that has a very high deductible. This policy will have a deductible of over $1,200 if you are single or over $2,400 if you are buying a family plan. With deductibles that high it is obvious that this insurance will not pay for any of your medical bills during a normal year.

The point of this policy is to act as a safety net in the event that you should experience a catastrophic event such as a major accident or a calamitous illness that costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. At that point your low-cost health insurance kicks in, protecting your life savings and saving you from the possibility of being forced to sell your home to pay for your medical bills.

Regardless of whether you are interested in a traditional health policy or you are interested in learning more about an HSA account your best bet for finding cheap medical coverage is to look online.

Online health insurance specialists have virtually no overhead and so they are able to sell at prices that old-fashioned brick and mortar establishments can only dream about, saving you some serious money in the process.

Arizona Wholesalers Offer Investors Creative Ways to Buy Real Estate in Popular Areas!

One of the most sought after locations in Maricopa County is Gilbert, Arizona. Still incorporated as a town (The Town of Gilbert) rather than a city, Gilbert was founded in 1920 due to the rail siding industry. Its popularity over time changed from railroad to hay to being centrally located in the Phoenix metropolitan area, with a population of 215,000 in 2008. Bordered by Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa, the town of Gilbert represents a desirable upper-middle class neighborhood in the East Valley of the greater Phoenix metro area.

Along with the Arizona sunshine and small town atmosphere, Gilbert has become an exciting and affordable place for young families and retirees to call home. According to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS), the average sales price for sold properties since October 1, 2009 is $229,000 for a single family residence in Gilbert. With current interest rates, available inventory and its popularity, it is no surprise Gilbert Real Estate Agents and their clients commonly see multiple offers on homes, as bidding wars are normal for this area.

Many property owners, including investors and homeowners in Gilbert, take pleasure in the city living with the San Tan Village Mall, which is strategically located outdoors to enjoy the Arizona Sun. The mall offers a hundred stores and restaurants. In addition to the small town events, such as Gilbert Days (3 day Rodeo/Parade) and Freestone Park (outdoor recreation area) there is something that everyone can take pleasure in Gilbert, AZ.

Due to Gilbert’s attractiveness to investors and home buyers, its real estate stock does not stay available very long. According to ARMLS the average time a home is on the market is 65 days–that is from start to finish, meaning from the first day its listed (or available) to the offer negotiations (multiple offers), opening escrow, deposing earnest money and in some cases, obtaining a loan approval, signing documents for both buyer(s) and seller(s) and closing the transaction. Translation in today’s market-that is a pretty great turn around timeline for inventory!

Okay, so we agree Gilbert is a great place to live, invest and have fun, however the offer bidding, competition and escrow process seems too convoluted to even get started? Don’t let yourself get discouraged — if THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY! Gilbert’s real estate is waiting for you to start building your asset portfolio and increase your wealth; especially in today’s market- the price is right!

One way to set yourself up for success is to consider all of your options in purchasing real estate. Of course, there is the conventional way that will always be around and will always have benefits–find an agent, your agent locates homes to view according to your wants and desires, you and the agent submit an offer to seller’s agent; and if the seller isn’t a bank, you may be lucky to negotiate the offer in a timely fashion. Another avenue savvy buyers are purchasing properties today is from wholesalers directly. The wholesalers will purchase the properties in trendy areas, such as Gilbert and offer you a quick answer on your offer. In some cases, the wholesalers will offer seller financing to the buyer, which could be a HUGE benefit to the buyer if they are either not able to qualify for conventional lending or just plainly do not want to deal with it!

Don’t miss out on the great deals- check out your local real estate wholesalers and start building your wealth!

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Hot Areas to Look For Arizona Luxury Homes

Although the housing market has been hit hard by the economy, the prices of many Arizona luxury homes have been largely unaffected. In fact, the demand for Scottsdale luxury homes has been absolutely booming! Considering all of the great things the state of Arizona has to offer, it’s no wonder. The weather alone is reason enough for many people to pack up their lives and move out west.

If you’re considering purchasing one of the many Scottsdale luxury homes for sale right now but currently live out of state, you might want to look into the various neighborhoods in the city. Each one has a wide variety of great shops, restaurants, spas and outdoor activities to take advantage of, but there are three that are especially popular:

1. McCormick Ranch. This section of town is one of the most popular places for people looking to buy Scottsdale luxury homes. McCormick Ranch is a great place to raise a family, and is located near several fantastic golf courses. This is a perfect area for couples with children who love to hit the links!
2. Gainey Ranch. Located near McCormick Ranch, Gainey Ranch is one of the premier places to purchase Arizona luxury homes. There are several high-end stores in the area that sell some of the most fashionable clothing and accessories in the country. A real shopping Mecca, Gainey Ranch is a fabulous spot for fashionistas!
3. Old Town Scottsdale. Don’t let the name fool you, Old Town Scottsdale is one of the hippest spots to see and be seen. Several Scottsdale luxury homes are currently available for purchase in the area, which features some of the coolest bars, restaurants, stores, hair salons and nightclubs in the region. No matter what you need, you won’t have to travel far to get it if you live in Old Town Scottsdale.

Founding Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties in 1995, Sandra Wilken was first recognized for representing major developments in Scottsdale, including The Phoenician and Gainey Ranch, and in recent years has grown to service Arizona’s most prestigious communities in the Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Biltmore area of Phoenix. For more information about Scottsdale Luxury Homes or Scottsdale Luxury Properties please visit us at: Scottsdale Luxury Homes

Capital Cities Tour: Discover Phoenix, Arizona

The largest city in Arizona and the ninth largest city in the
country, Phoenix lies in the valley of the Salt River in a dry
river basin known as The Valley of the Sun. The original
inhabitants, the ancient Hohokam Indians knew about
irrigation techniques and could farm the area for centuries
but mysteriously disappeared between 1200-1300 AD.
Spanish explorers passed through, but never stayed.
Americans arrived during the Civil War when the U.S. army
established a post and shortly after a settlement grew in the
former Hohokam community. Named after the mythical bird
that rose from its own ashes, the city, like the bird, defies
nature. It’s modern skyscrapers rise above the dry desert to
support a thirsty population of more than a million people.
Phoenix has a unique character made up of Indian,
Spanish, and Wild West influences that compete against a
towering background of gleaming high-rise architecture. Its
perpetual sun and warm climate attract winter-averse
people of all ages, mostly retirement age.

Things to See in Phoenix:

o Arizona Capitol Museum

Designed by James Reily Gordon of San Antonio, the
Arizona Territorial Capitol (and later State Capitol) was
completed in 1901. Made of native Arizona tufa and granite,
the Capitol is crowned with a brilliant copper dome donated
by the state copper industry. Adorning this shiny, new-penny
crown stands the chalky white statue/weather vane, “Winged
Victory.”

This Capitol-turned-museum no longer functions as a
“working statehouse,” (the official state business takes
place in the modern buildings flanking the museum) and
therefore has the privilege of preserving the building’s
authentic antiquity. Not being used as a statehouse serving
a growing population of state employees, the building
escaped the blows of 1960s modernization and maintained
its turn-of the-century charm. It is quintessentially quaint. For
example, the spittoons in the Congressional Chambers
recall a more rough-hewn governmental body, and the
old-fashioned wrought-iron elevator cage throughout the
building’s four floors reminds visitors of the early days of the
clinking-clanging Otis invention. Little treasures like these
appear often, reminiscent of simpler, slower times.
Furthermore, nosy tourists get to peek and poke around
much more openly than in a functioning statehouse with its
state secrets and all. For example, you can visit the
preserved 19th century Governor’s office (complete with the
wax figure of the first state executive, Governor Hunt), the
Secretary of State’s office, the State Veterinarian’s office (very
interesting) and the Mine Inspector’s office (also very
interesting, especially the 19th century mining caps with
little kerosene lamps on top that miners had to set aflame
and wear on their heads before the invention of
flashlight-equipped hard hats.)

Check it out . . . Look for the Vietnam War memorial in the
Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza nearby. A realistic war
sculpture; the detail of the three soldiers is heartbreaking.

o Historic Heritage Square

Historic Heritage Square is a part of Heritage & Science
Park that includes the Arizona Science Center and Phoenix
Museum of History. The historic square consists of eight
beautifully restored houses dating back from Phoenix’s first
settlement. Styles of houses range from the elegant
Victorian Eastlake architecture to humbler regional styled
homes. The Victorian “Rosson House,” for example was a
prominent home in Phoenix during the late 1800s and
serves today as the cornerstone of the neighborhood. The
“Duplex,” on the other hand, the youngest of the homes on
the block, represents the typical Arizonan house with its
sleeping porches of canvas and wood panels pushed out at
night to admit the cool desert breeze. The “Bouvier-Teeter
House” shows the Midwestern bungalow style. These
restored residential treasures from the original Phoenix
townsite share the neighborhood block with modern
museums, shops and restaurants. The “Bouvier-Teeter
House” for example, is now a restaurant serving Victorian
Tea, and the “Stevens House” is a doll and toy museum.

o Pueblo Grande Museum

Pueblo Grande Museum is a 102-acre park located on the
ruins of the ancient Hohokam village, settled by prehistoric
Hohokam people who lived in central and southern Arizona
from about 100 to 1450 AD. Expert farmers, they built
hundreds of miles of canals to irrigate their crops of corn,
beans, squash, and cotton. Living in adobe villages, the
Hohokam created red-on-buff pottery, wove beautiful textiles
and made shell jewelry. Historians estimate that either
drought, floods or internal strife, forced the Hohokam to
abandon the Salt River Valley in the fifteenth century. The
museum focuses on the Hohokam people and their Salt
River Valley lifestyle of agriculture, canal building, craft
production, trade and astronomy. Visitors can explore the
ruins of an 800 year-old platform mound, a ballcourt, and
reproductions of prehistoric Hohokam homes. The site also
includes the last remaining intact Hohokam irrigation
canals.

o The Hall of Flame Fire Museum and National Firefighting
Hall of Heroes,

What better site to establish a firefighting museum than in
the city associated with rising from ashes? Sponsored by
the National Historical Fire Foundation, the museum has
almost an acre of fire history exhibits–the largest collection
of firefighting equipment in the world dating back to1725,
including fire engines and some very peculiar fire
extinguishers. The Hall of Flame also sponsors the
National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which honors
firefighters who went beyond the call of duty, the real-life
Phoenixes.

Visit Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale is located east of downtown Phoenix. It is the center of so much in Arizona! – There MOST culture, BEST dining, and the superlative EVERYTHING you might expect from one of the state’s most affluent areas. Tempe and Mesa are to the south of Scottsdale, separated by the amazing Salt River. The Salt River Indian Community is confined to the city’s eastern border.

Many Scottsdale residents use the Loop 101 to get around the Valley of the Sun. The Loop 101 travels north and south before changing direction from east to west. Loop 202 runs along the south of Scottsdale. Gorgeous desert views, warm weather, and resort/spa style living are just some of the reasons people are elevated to the city of Scottsdale.

There is also the handy Scottsdale Airport for jet setters who have the means to carter and the need to do so.
Climate

The climate is typical of the southwest. There is a mild winter that is balanced by a long hot, dry summer. Many have claimed that the dry, hot summer conditions have helped to relive many of their allergy symptoms.

Summer days are clear and spectacular and the temperatures are truly remarkable. Spring and autumn are mild transitions into the other seasons. There is a brief monsoon season that is truly extraordinary.

Scottsdale History

Many date the city to 1888. In that year Army Chaplin Winfield Scott arrived and began irrigating the land to support a small farming community.

Olive trees planted by Scott, himself can still be seen today in downtown Scottsdale. The trees are located along the center of Second Street and down Civic Center Boulevard south down to Osborn.

These trees were planted to indicate the border of his original 40 acre orange grove.

Then in 1894 and eastern banker bought up the land, subdivided it and then cleverly marketed it under the name Scottsdale. And folks bought it!

After World War II, the area grew into a small artist’s enclave. You can still se remnants of the days when the area was alive with creativity in the dusty relics lining roads and populating pawn shop shelf space. If you’re lucky you may see a street musician leaving the area to go to work. It is a place for wealthy living and all the artists there now have bank accounts.

Scottsdale Entertainment

Scottsdale’s motto of “The West’s most Western town” is evident when you walk its downtown shops. Shops with open doors and wide sidewalks give the welcoming feeling of the old west. And if you are of merely ordinary means you may feel as though some merchants are engaging in a little rustling!

But remember, you are in Scottsdale and there is a highly selective group of folks who can, and do, purchase here with truly remarkable frequency.

Scottsdale is home to more than half of the Valley of the Sun’s premier resorts. Fine art galleries, cultural facilities, unique shopping centers, upbeat nightlife, and well known restaurants are all part of the Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square is THE fashion stop in Phoenix- and this entire state, for that matter.

There is so much to do in Scottsdale! A wide range of community and cultural facilities, include art galleries, libraries, theaters, and museums are found in Scottsdale. Westworld is a major equestrian development that offers numerous events throughout the year.

Events ranging from Barrett-Jackson Car Auction to the Arabian Horse Show are located at Westworld. Scottsdale Center for the Arts has room for theater seating, exhibit halls, and a cinema. Scottsdale residents have many choices when it comes to entertainment.

There are four main sections of downtown Scottsdale:

o The Historic Old Town Scottsdale is the original town site with a mix of historic locations and shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

o Main Street Arts and Antiques District is a smaller section with fine restaurants, specialty shops, and art/antiques.

o Marshall Way Arts District is known for its Art Walks, diversity of media, and many local/national/internationally recognized artist galleries.

o The Fifth Avenue Shops is a combination of boutiques, Native American arts and crafts, and restaurants. It is an area that Scottsdale residents enjoy spending time shopping and browsing.

Scottsdale Outdoor Recreation

Scottsdale-golf; golf-Scottsdale.

Easy equation.

On the professional level there is the Scottsdale Open which is among the must-play tournaments for all the world’s top ranked players. Look at the leader board to follow your favorite player.

Golf is also popular at the club level and Scottsdale has over 40 expertly planned and maintained courses to choose from. Finding a course is easy. However, deciding which golf course to play first is one decision that many Scottsdale residents spend time planning.

Indian Bend Wash is a centerpiece for Scottsdale. The wash stretches north and south for several miles through most of the south central part of Scottsdale. It creates a green ribbon of grass. Along Indian Bend Wash, there are several parks, bike paths, fishing lakes, and recreational complexes. This area is a popular spot all year round for visitors and residents alike.

Destination Scottsdale, Arizona for Tourists and People Looking to Relocate

Scottsdale, Arizona was founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1951. It is located within the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix and has a population of over 220,000. It is Arizona’s fifth largest city. It is renowned for its luxurious living and is often compared with Beverly Hills in California. Because of this it has become a tourist mecca especially in the winter months when the temperatures are near perfect. Its resorts and golf courses are world renowned and attract many visitors.

Scottsdale is one of the premier art centers in the US with over 125 galleries and only New York City has more. The world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived in the area in the 1930s and created what is now known as Taliesin West. His architecture has had a great influence on many buildings in the area.

People from around the world come to play golf in Scottsdale. The city boasts over 200 of the finest golf courses around and this coupled with the idyllic weather in the winter months makes it a haven for golfers. Because of this many of the worlds top golfers make Scottsdale their home.

Scottsdale is a shopper’s paradise! It is filled with many upscale boutiques and high-end luxury stores. Scottsdale’s malls, including the world famous Fashion Square Mall, attract shoppers year round.

Dining out is a favorite pastime of tourists and locals alike. Whether it’s traditional Southwestern cuisine, the plethora of great Mexican restaurants or the myriad of other types of restaurants that abound throughout the city, the choice is both sophisticated and diverse.

Scottsdale has a nightlife that is second to none. The downtown area has over 80 bars and clubs which attract both tourists and locals. The scene included live music, trendy lounges, wine bars, and hip clubs.

The weather in the Scottsdale area is hot during the months of June through September the temperatures rarely go below 100 degrees. However advances in air conditioning makes life very tolerable. The bonus for those living in the area during the summer months is that prices for activities go down, way down! And of course this is more than made up for during the remainder of the year when the weather is mild, sunny and very pleasant.

With over 7.5 million tourists every year Scottsdale is a thriving area. Whether it’s the attraction of resorts, golf, shopping or enjoying the sun that brings you to the area you are sure to be satisfied. Scottsdale is now an international tourist destination. And with winter temperatures averaging out at 65 degrees it is the perfect place to move to and call home.

Scottsdale, Arizona – Where the Living is Easy

Scottsdale Arizona, is internationally renowned as a major resort destination despite barely squeaking into the top 100 of U.S. cities in terms of population. No Virginia, size is not everything.

Although its nickname is “the West”s Most Western Town” I have to say that really is a misnomer. In fact, construction of new horse corrals was all but banned back in the 70’s. Call me old fashioned but to be “Western” I think horses should factor into the equation somewhere. The only re-shoeing going on in Scottsdale today is a trophy-wife exchanging her Blahnicks for Jimmy Choos!

That being said, Scottsdale truly is a treasure. It has been written that in terms of entertainment and culture, Scottsdale ranks at #3 behind Los Angeles and New York. As someone who has lived, at length, in all three places, I have to say that Scottsdale is most definitely on the ascendancy; indeed it may already have surpassed L.A., in this humble scribe’s opinion. Certainly, theatre, dining and entertainment are L.A.’s equal, but housing costs are much lower, and the traffic here in Scottsdale is a breeze compared to the grid-lock that L.A. has become.

It is also the reason that many wealthy people, and in fact several celebrities, have chose Scottsdale for their second home. Spectacular estate homes in Scottsdale are available for a fraction of the cost of comparable homes in LaLa land. Of course, many are of new construction with all the attendant modern conveniences that would be expensive retrofits in Los Angeles. Plus we still have abundant land available here in Scottsdale, a situation not available in L.A. for many years.

Scottsdale is also well served by its own airport as well as Phoenix International Sky Harbor Airport just minutes away. Of course, the northernmost boundary of Scottsdale abuts Carefree,(which also has its own airport) even so it is still a scant 30 minute drive to downtown Phoenix.

Believe it or not, when the town of Scottsdale was incorporated in 1951 it was just one square mile. Today, it covers around 184 square miles.

As testament to its status as one of the premier golf and tourist destinations in the world, Scottsdale is home to the annual FBR Open Golf Tour, the most attended PGA event on the tour.

It is also home to the world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, plus a host of lesser auctions staged at the same time, such as Russo and Steele and Kruse.

While it is true that it can be an expensive place to live, it should be remembered that the older parts are quite affordable and are enjoying something of a renaissance. One of the benefits of the cooling real estate market, is that for some who felt the ship had sailed forever in 2004 and 2005, there is a second chance to grab a piece of the dream.

Whether your interest is cars, horses, museums, art, theatre, entertainment, shopping, nightlife or golf, there is something for everyone in Scottsdale, Arizona.