The Carefree Times blog      

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Volume 1, November 2008 Edition






Commentary and Perspective from one of America's most unique small town areas, edited by Preston Westmoreland of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.
Was there Really a UFO Crash in Cave Creek? Carefree Times gets a taste of the X-Files

Upper reaches of the Go John Mine (grey area) were supposedly the place that locals watched the U.S Government recover the crashed saucer along Carefree Highway

 A exclusive       by Preston Westmoreland

Don't think that we're losing it here at the Carefree Times and watching too many X-Files, but this story has been kicking around since October of 1947 and always makes a good Halloween tale. . . .  Several years ago, a grizzled miner came up to me one night in Cave Creek, after I  emceed a "Meet the Candidates" forum, and what he said shocked me. .I only knew this man as "Pete the Miner" who worked the famous Mistress Mine near Seven Springs.  "You're not going to believe this," he said, "but a friend of mine watched some government agents back in the late 1940's, recover and truck away wreckage of what looked like a flying saucer.   He told me to look it up in the book by Timothy Good "Above Top Secret."  Sure enough, on page 394, there it was, a description of a UFO crash just south of the present-day Carefree Highway. So the story goes, the Cave Creek landfill was placed there to cover the site. The landfill is closed now.

  Debris along with dirt were trucked down to be placed in the Dreamy Draw Dam along Northern Avenue, a dam that many experts say was never necessary, and finally, Cave Creek Road was "bent" or aligned further to the east.  I was equally astonished when I told then Phoenix city-councilwoman Francis Barwood about this and she decided to investigate.  She called me soon afterwards to tell me that many of the records involving  whatever had happened were no longer available or had been destroyed!  There were markings on the old quadrangle map that showed the alignment for Cave Creek Road moved, an alignment that would have taken it toward the crash site. Decide for yourself, here's  a link to a rare interview done by Mufon,  with the  last surviving witness, Paradise Valley businessman and pilot Selmon Graves, who has since passed away. As a young man, he was the one sitting by the Go John Mine, watching what must have been an incredible sight. Click on the box below to launch the video. Please be patient while it loads"


Today's Quiz?????

What's the significance of this Carefree home and who lived there    (scroll down for answer)









































Moving to the Desert?  Would you know which cactus can tell you direction?  A quick and easy way to get help, what poisonous creatures can be found with a black light?  Take the desert survival quiz and see highlights of the program Stay Alive-A Guide to Survival in the Desert Southwest. Taped in the Carefree area









Pardon me, While I blow my own horn!Tempe, Az-What a thrill it was to recently be inducted into the Arizona Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. At a recent dinner at Marriott's resort at the Buttes, I was introduced by my long-time KTAR friend and host, Pat Mahon (right), who played the most famous blooper we did together of all. (look below for a link to hear this blooper "how did you learn about sex." It's a classic.  Pat explained to the audience how my radio career at KTAR went 26 years, lasted through 4 companies, 3 buildings, 9 general managers and 8 program directors. I am very proud of the fact that when I left and entered real estate, I was still number one in the afternoons in the Phoenix market.  I was able to interview over 27,000 guests, including Senator John McCain over 35 times and for every office he ran for in the state.  The Senator and Cindy even co-hosted with me for a week in New Orleans at the Republican Convention.  One of the highlights of my radio career was to fly with the Blue Angels, spend the day underwater on a nuclear sub, and land on an aircraft carrier.  NOW, back to the real work, and real estate! Here's that link to the best blooper, it will play in Windows Media: Blooper
Give us your comment: Email us your thoughts on the area and real estate trends to:




















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Welcome Back!

Greetings again to all our returning visitors and friends.  What a quick entry into "the season" we had the first weekend of November! Empty streets were replaced by thousands coming out to Carefree and Cave Creek for all the special activities.  Cave Creek celebrated "Old West Days" with scores of activities like Bull Riding and tours of the top ten art galleries.  Carefree's multi-million-dollar town center was transformed again for the popular Wines and Arts and Crafts Festival that can draw 20,000, featuring performances by our friend Esteban, and just south of Carefree, at the El Pedgregal Marketplace, designed to look like a Moroccan fort, jazz singer Alice Tatum and her group performed a Sunday afternoon concert along with wine tasting and other activities.  Just a taste of why you should include a visit this season to our wonderful community.

Who is this guy writing the blog?


Quiz Answer: What's the significance of this house and who lived there?

Answer:  One of the most stunning homes in Carefree was also one of the first. This location, bridging a small wash along Stagecoach Pass, was the location for K.T. Palmer's home, the co-founder of Carefree and is within 1/4 mile of Tom Darlington's first house, featured last month.

Real Estate Stat Box
Maricopa County Active Listings:  53,728
Maricopa County Actives Last mo.  52,692
Carefree Active Homes (last mo 116)  130
Carefree Homes Under Contract          8  
Cave Creek Active Homes                 499
Cave Creek Homes Under Contract     43 
Scottsdale Zip Code 85262 Actives      874
Scottsdale Zip 85262 Under Contract    31
Paradise Valley Active Listings          506
Paradise Valley  Under Contract          21
Paradise Valley Homes over $10 mil   15
Most Expensive P.V. Home listed$18.9mil
Homes sold in the last 30 days/1 year ago: Carefree-1/3, Cave Creek 29/27 Scottsdale zip 85262- 29/32, Paradise Valley  10/29
Current Carefree foreclosure/short sales 8

Cave Creek foreclosures/short sales    114  




Real Estate Hot Tips

Bubble-trouble. . ..could it be true that prices in the Phoenix area have slid back to what they were in 2004?Carefee/Cave Creek                        by Preston Westmoreland

Believe it. It's true, according to real estate guru R.L Brown and his respected studies.  And this is not what we meant when we say the "good old days." Keep in mind that this is not for all areas, but for many.   There are exceptions.  I know a couple who just sold their home at a North Scottsdale subdivision called Sincuidados, for around $ 900,000. They purchased it for about  $640,000 in 2006, , but in this market drummed down by 46% of all sales now bank-owned and short sales, they got lucky. Statistics below reveal an astonishing spike in the number of Cave Creek properties in trouble. Last month, there were 64, now 114. These include short sales, foreclosures, and probate properties.  Carefree remains strong with very few sellers in bank trouble.  (8)

    Everything that sells today is about price.  You must have your home in the top 1 or 2 of best neighborhood buys, or it will just sit there.  Don't expect to get over the appraised price Sellers who don't have to sell or are just hanging their house out on the market to see what happens, ought to consider taking them off for right now. It is just adding to the extreme glut of unsold properties, that still is not declining. 


















RL Brown views

the current real

estate market

Phoenix-According to noted real estate expert RL Brown, he anticipates new-home market-wide median prices could settle in the range of +-$195,000, not too far off the present level. While it is certainly a guess, he anticipates the continued inventory pressures on the resale market will push the median price for resale homes into the range of perhaps $145,000-$165,000. It could realistically be driven by banks unloading large inventories of repossessed properties under serious pressure from regulators and stockholders.

This means new-home price stability may be just around the corner while resale prices will very likely continue to fall. A sign that the market has bottomed for either new or resale homes or both will be found in the data re prices that we examine over the next few months. 

Resale homes are another matter, but if we use resale market velocity as the measure, the case can be made that because of well-priced short sales and REO’s, the resale market has shown some rather dramatic improvement of late. The resale market is moving homes at a better rate than it has for many months. It is moving those homes that represent the best values (and those may indeed be the short sales and REO’s), but that is what markets do in all but the very best of times. RL Brown continues to expect price declines in the resale market due primarily to competition between REO and “normal seller” properties.  In RL Brown’s view, the trend is better, but certainly not “great.” “Great” won’t come for some time. When it does, it will be at a more subdued level than we have recently been accustomed to.

RL Brown believes the market is in much better condition than it was just a few months ago, not because velocities have improved that much but because the industry has adjusted to the reality of the times and most of us have come to realize that this “recession” will not be what was called by some a “6-monther.”  

Today’s market varies greatly from neighborhood and from price range and product type to product type. The market of tomorrow will also be different from the market of 2005. 7,526 homes or condos were sold in Phoenix this last month, and that is a really strong performance based upon the national housing market and economy. 38,237 homes or condos have been sold in Phoenix in the last 12 months, so this is not a “dead” housing market even though it is not what we had or what we want for the future. Foreclosures will continue to be a major market disruptor and will gain much notice in the national and local press, as well as to be disruptive to our friends and neighbors and a large damper on consumer confidence. Eventually, once the nearest term resets are done and the feds have legislative remedies in place, the dampening effect will tend to subside. 

If our metro population does indeed grow by the forecast 184,000 people in the 2008-2009 period, some 37,000 homes and apartments will be required just for those newbies. This will put a large dent in the portion of the inventory overhang that is priced for these new residents.