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Commentary and Perspective from one of America's most unique small town areas, edited by Preston Westmoreland of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.

     Carefree times name            Preston photo
Volume 4, Fall,  2011 Edition
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This month's quiz- You are lost in the desert and don't have a compass, what cactus can do the job? Scroll down for the answer!
 organ pipe

US  Cities where Homes Sell the Fastest
By Paul Toscano,
September 20, 2011

Although the U.S. housing market continues to struggle, many local markets are doing significantly better than the country as a whole, with some places virtually missing the housing bust altogether.

While shifts in home values are important in any market, it's important for sellers to determine the length of time a property can expect to be on the market before it will be sold. The faster that homes sell, the faster an inventory backlog can be cleared, suggesting heightened demand and an upward trajectory in prices. Additionally, if a home is on the market for an extended period of time, it may turn off prospective buyers and force sellers to accept less-favorable offers.

To find the cities where this trend is the most extreme, real estate website analyzed the numbers to identify the cities where homes sell the fastest, according to the median number of days on the market. The numbers presented here are representative of home sales between mid-April and mid-July 2011.

During this time, the national median for time spent on the market stood at 117 days, while New York (168 days), West Palm Beach (175 days), and Indianapolis (180 days) were the cities where homes sold the slowest.

Also included in the analysis is the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), which represents the median measure of home valuations covered by Zillow. The information presented here also includes the proportion of listings with price cuts, the average amount those listings were reduced, and the “final discount from list price,” which is the average amount that was negotiated off the original list price before the sale.

So, where do homes sell the fastest? Read ahead to find out!

1) San Francisco  median time 59 days

Zillow Home Value Index: $655,400

Listings with price cuts: 22.55%
Average price cut amount: 6.05%
Final discount from list price: 1%

2 and 3)  (tied) San Jose and Seattle
73 days to sell
4) Alexandria, Virginia   74 days

Median time to sell: 74 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $402,500

Listings with price cuts: 33.30%
Average price cut amount: 4.47%
Final discount from list price: 2%

5 and 6) (tied) Woodbridge, Virginia
and Oakland, California 81 days
Oakland stats:

Median time to sell: 81 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $316,400

Listings with price cuts: 26.17%
Average price cut amount: 8.70%
Final discount from list price: 1%

Woodbridge stats:

Median time to sell: 81 days
Zillow Home Value Index: $230,500

Listings with price cuts: 20.54%
Average price cut amount: 5.66%


Maricopa County Active Listings-    19,316
County Listings in June, 2011-          22,300
Carefree Active Homes Listed-                69
Carefree Active listed in  June 2011         73
Carefree Bank-owned homes-                    5
Carefree Homes Under Contract-            10
Carefree Homes sold last 30 days-             5
Cave Creek Active Homes Listed-         213
Cave Creek Homes Under Contract-    149
Cave Creek Bank-owned Homes-           46
Cave Creek homes sold last 30 days-     48
Scottsdale Active Homes-                     1,883
Scottsdale Homes Under Contract-      913
Scottsdale Bank-Owned Homes-          270
Scottsdale Homes sold last 30 days-     407
Paradise Valley Active Listings-            277
PV Homes Under Contract-                    52
Paradise Valley Bank-owned Homes-  22
PV Homes sold last 30 days-                   31
Top Home Sale in the Valley
last 6 months-10814 E. Heritage Ct, 1610 Silverleaf, Scottsdale       $6.2  million



Thanks for reading our blog!  Check out our Winter Issue for the latest news and special events for our visitors!

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Real estate hot tips
Insider Commentary by Preston Westmoreland
arefree (PW)- The week before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I got a call from a local TV producer wanting me to appear in studio on  CBS 5 to discuss the safety of small planes and whether they were secure enough to keep away from terrorists.
It was a subject I was deeply familiar with. As a talk-show host, I did the only interview with the man who taught Hani Hanjour how to fly at Scottsdale Airport, and even the women at a local pilot shop who sold Mohammed ATTA a book on aircraft operating systems. And we also had a more personal story.
Preston on KPHO

hijacking story

(photos above) Westmoreland relates the harrowing story of the attempted hijacking of their aircraft at a forest strip in New Mexico to a CBS 5 audience.  The Arizona Republic described the incident as like Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

My wife Nancy and I had been camping out at a remote airstrip, when around 3:30 in the morning, a car crashed through the airport gate.  As we slept in the airplane, three drunk men got out of the vehicle and one of them said "there's a plane, let's take it for a ride."

     A standoff ensued, and as we kept them at bay with a weapon, they decided to leave and fired a gun out of their truck, over our heads, as they departed.  We radioed a passing airliner and declared a Mayday, attempted hijacking on the ground with shots fired.  It was hours before any help arrived, but authorities finally caught he men and locked them up.  The FBI later told us that the hijacking law makes no mention about the size of the plane. Twenty years in prison and a possible death penalty can be applied, whether they took our plane, or a jumbo jet from Los Angeles International.
     During the tv interview, I also talked about the security of our local airport at Skyranch. It's gated and patrolled, has video surveillance, even night vision cameras, and every plane there is kept in a hangar.  Municipal airfields to the South, like Deer Valley and Scottsdale, are more open and aircraft owners  and staff need to be more vigilant, especially after hours.  Incidentally, Skyranch celebrates it's 50th anniversary as one of the great airparks in America. (see the story below)

Carefree Skyranch to celebrate their 50th Anniversary this November

Carefree (PW) It began as a dirt airstrip in the mid 1960's, as part of the original concept of Carefree and has evolved today to one of the nation's premiere gated airparks, as the place where celebrities like John Denver and Cliff Robertson flew, where Ed King of King Avionics lived and home of the hangar where Bayliner Boats first took shape. Prominent members included Capt. Bill Judd, highest-time pilot that TWA ever had, and Dr. Karl Edmark, inventor of the defibrillator.  Check out the before and after to see what a difference 50 years as made at Skyranch

original photo of the Carefree Airport


Skyranch today

   airplane lands into the sunset

KPHO Selects Cave Creek Home as "Best Deal!"
Cave Creek (PW) A private estate on a 75 acre mountain was selected to be profiled by CBS 5 in October, as "one of the Phoenix area's Greatest Deals." Reporter Katie Baker, seen below, toured the property and the 10,000 sq. ft. Tuscan home. The residence has been reduced from $ 16.3 million to it's current asking price of $7.2 million.  The home is also availabe with 55 acres of land for $ 5.95 million, or with 26 acres for $4.7 million.  It's represented by Preston and Nancy Westmoreland of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty in Carefree. (see aerial on the left)
KPHO CBS 5 taping
  Crested Saguaro

Rare Crested Saguaro, Boojum Trees make debut in Cactus Garden
Carefree (PW) On November 13, one of the most astonishing collections of cactii North of the Desert Botanical Gardens, will be dedicated  in the newly-planted Desert Garden in the Carefree Town center. The town has been long searching for the exact focal point for the town center, may have found the best. 
     Among the most-prized plants, pictured above, is a crested saguaro, with it's fan-line top. It reportedly took months to gain permission from the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture to gain permission to box and move the trophy cactus, which was privately owned and donated to the town.  The anomaly of nature is said to occur only once out of 20,000 saguaros. There are also boojum trees, which resemble an upside-down carrot with spindly branches, a native of the Baja peninsula in Mexico. The rare plants, which can cost thousands of dollars, can attain a height of 65 feet. Mark Wdowiak, owner of the Desert Foothills Landscape company, along with his wife, Juanita, have donated the extraordinary gardens, said to  be worth more than $1 million dollars, as a thank you for the town supporting his business over the last 20 years. 
boojum tree

(photo above) Rare boojum trees adorn the new Desert Garden at Carefree Town Center. (below) rare and dramatic cactii are everywhere!
variety of cactus

Answer to this month's quiz- What cactus can help you tell direction?
The Barrel Cactus, sometimes called "The compass cactus"
Because the hottest part of the day is in the afternoon, the barrel cactus zeros in on that late afternoon sun and points toward the Southwest! A great way to get your bearings.
barrel cactus

Wal Mart Opens!
Cave Creek (PW)-The long-awaited and controversial Wal Mart of Cave Creek is opening to customers the first week of October.  The 128,000 sq ft Superstore brought an estimated 300 jobs to the area and will swell the coffers of the Town of Cave Creek. Photo below was taken the week before opening. Note the cars of employees and stocking crews in the parking lot.
Wal Mart opens

aerial of fleming springs home