Sage ad­vice for es­cap­ing win­ter

Va­ca­tion homes in Scotts­dale, Ariz., over­look canal in U.S. desert city

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - BARB LIV­ING­STONE

AS­COTTS­DALE, ARIZ. lberta’s Pat Caf­faro and her hus­band Peter are part of the new wave of Cana­dian snow­birds find­ing so­lace from the cold win­ters, along with value for their dol­lars, in the Ari­zona real es­tate mar­ket.

As long­time condo dwellers in down­town Ed­mon­ton, they also had no prob­lem em­brac­ing a sim­i­lar life­style when it came to pur­chas­ing a home in Scotts­dale.

The cou­ple be­gan its search for a va­ca­tion home in the Van­cou­ver area, but found prices high — and, as Peter put it: “It still gets chilly there.”

So, in­stead, Peter, a semi-re­tired judge, and Pat de­cided to check out Ari­zona. With a re­al­tor rec­om­mended by an ac­quain­tance, they first checked out re­sorts in the north around Phoenix, but then fo­cused their search on an area where they could walk or take an in­ex­pen­sive taxi to the places they wanted to reach.

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more sto­ries and photo gal­leries.

They are not golfers, but the over 65-year-olds wanted a place with three bed­rooms for space for them­selves and their four adult chil­dren and their fam­i­lies where ev­ery­thing else was ac­ces­si­ble — in­clud­ing restau­rants and shop­ping.

What they found was Sage, a lux­ury bou­tique de­vel­op­ment along the Ari­zona Canal in down­town Scotts­dale, with views of Camel­back Moun­tain. The al­ready-con­structed project in­cludes 32 con­do­mini­ums, 16 two-level town­homes and two pent­houses.

Prices start in the low $300,000s US for the con­dos, ris­ing to $899,000 for one of the pent­houses.

Liv­ing space ranges from a 1,598-square­foot, two-be­d­room condo to a 2,155-square­foot town­home with an at­tached two-car garage — up to the most spa­cious pent­house at 2,760 square feet, with three dif­fer­ent condo lay­outs and four dif­fer­ent floor plans for the town­homes.

Be­sides be­ing close to the walk­ing/ bik­ing /run­ning trails along the canal, Sage also has a beau­ti­ful out­door swim­ming pool over­look­ing the canal, a fit­ness cen­tre, a cater­ing kitchen and an un­der­ground stone wine cel­lar, all in a pri­vate club­house.

There is also elec­tron­i­cal­ly­con­trolled un­der­ground park­ing for the con­dos and at­tached two-car garages for the town­homes.

The units, them­selves, in­clude pro­fes­sional grade kitchens — in­clud­ing Dacor, Bosch, Grohe and Toto ap­pli­ances with gran­ite and mar­ble coun­ter­tops, hard­wood floors and sold cher­ry­wood doors.

It also has vol­canic stone gas fire­places and large out­door spa­ces that over­look moun­tain and water views.

Like many projects in the U.S., Sage got caught in the fi­nan­cial melt­down, with the orig­i­nal de­vel­oper go­ing through bank­ruptcy.

Sage was taken over by it fi­nanciers, is­tar Res­i­den­tial, last Novem­ber. The new own­er­ship started sell­ing last Fe­bru­ary and more than 60 per cent of the homes have been bought — 25 per cent of those by Cana­di­ans.

A sec­ond phase is in plan­ning stages and would be lo­cated south of the cur­rent homes.

Open­ing prices were orig­i­nally $695,000 to $1.3 mil­lion, so Bren­dan Mann, prin­ci­pal of tsg (The Sol­vere Group) — which is do­ing the sales and mar­ket­ing for Sage — says the value is to be had in the units now avail­able.

While he pre­dicts the prices in the sec­ond phase will have to be higher be­cause there is lit­tle new in­ven­tory in Scotts­dale, that makes the re­main­ing units in phase one of Sage “good value at 50 cents on the dol­lar — the mar­ket was out of kil­ter be­fore.

“These are prices we last saw in 1999 to 2000. Peo­ple are buy­ing now for a re­turn in 10 years — be­cause in 10 years, they won’t be able to af­ford these homes.”

Mann de­scribes Sage as “a de­vel­op­ment with a bou­tique-style feel to it, in a quiet area, yet you get all the en­ergy of Scotts­dale just a block and a half away.”

That en­ergy is the restau­rants, art gal­leries and shop­ping of down­town Scotts­dale, in­clud­ing Scotts­dale Fash­ion Square Mall.

Lo­cated near the in­ter­sec­tion of Camel­back and N. Scotts­dale Roads, Sage is just a six-minute walk from the mall, an eight­minute walk from his­toric down­town Scotts­dale with its many bistros and lo­cal stores and a 20-minute drive to Phoenix’s Sky Har­bour Air­port.

The Caf­faros chose a three­bed­room unit over­look­ing the canal that they can get to on a three­hour flight from Ed­mon­ton.

They in­tend to chuck the win­ter boots and, go­ing for­ward, “spend as much time there as we legally can,” says Pat.

Sage is a lux­ury bou­tique de­vel­op­ment that in­cludes 32 con­dos, 16 two-level town­homes and two pent­houses along the Ari­zona Canal in down­town Scotts­dale.

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