Uncovering the Hidden Gems of Scottsdale Real Estate: A Guide for Potential Homebuyers and Investors
Natural beauty. Access to education. Up-and-coming industries. A great nightlife. These are a few of the reasons that people flock to Scottsdale, Arizona. The self proclaimed “west’s most western town” has become a wonderful place both to live and to visit.
As a result, Scottsdale homes have become sought-after, and Scottsdale’s real estate market has made huge strides in the last few years. The average property value has increased, and so has demand. In fact, the demand for short term, furnished housing is at an all-time high.
If you’re an investor with your eye on the Scottsdale real estate area, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful, vibrant community and to see if the short-term rental scene in west Arizona is for you.
Birds Eye View of Scottsdale
UNDERSTANDING THE SCOTTSDALE REAL ESTATE MARKET
Scottsdale is located in south central Arizona, right in the heart of Paradise Valley. It’s situated on the eastern side of beautiful Maricopa County. It is also within easy driving distance of Grayhawk, Camelback, and most notably Phoenix, which is about 20 minutes west of the Scottsdale region. Nestled in the McDowell Mountains in the Sonoran Desert, just south of Lomas Verdes, Scottsdale is a beautiful city with incredible views and great hiking trails. The elevation changes by 4,000 feet when traveling from south to north. Its natural beauty has made it a magnet for nature lovers and golfers everywhere. It has also become a serious player in the AZ real estate market.
Scottsdale is bustling, but also intimate, as far as cities are concerned. It is home to about 240,000 residents. The city has grown almost 20 percent in the last 20 years. Also, of the 240,000 people who call Scottsdale home, roughly 160,000 of them were born in a state other than Arizona. In other words, it’s an attractive place to live, even by the standards of those born in other parts of the country.
At 240,000 residents, Scottsdale, AZ might not sound like the biggest or flashiest destination for tourists or homeowners. It’s only a fraction of the size of New York City, and it has a very different urban “mood” than many of its east coast counterparts. But visitors pour into Scottsdale every year for a number of reasons.
One of Scottsdale’s largest draws is its blossoming tech industry. The city is home to big names like GoDaddy and Yelp with strong stakes in their field. Maricopa County is also a strong contender in the realms of construction, retail, oil, gas & mining, entertainment and tourism. It’s home to HonorHealth, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Discount Tire Company, and major tourist attractions like the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. In other words, it takes a diverse set of skills to keep the city functioning.
Job growth is promising in Scottsdale – promising enough, in fact, for the city to score a bestplaces.net listing in 2023. Unemployment currently sits at 4.7%, which is below the national average, and job growth is predicted to hit 51.2% in the next ten years. For comparison, the national rate is predicted to grow by 33.5% in that same amount of time. Although the cost of living in Scottsdale is high, the average salary is well above the US average, too. The median household income in Scottsdale is roughly $90,000 per year.
Real Estate Market Overview
Houses in Scottsdale range from the thousands to the millions, but the average house currently costs about $700,000. The most expensive place to live include the Desert Mountain, Arcadia, Fountain Hills, Gainey Ranch, Troon Village, DC Ranch, Dynamite Foothills, Reata Pass, McDowell Mountain Ranch, Legend Trail, The Boulders, and Old Town areas. With an average house cost of $400,000, Old Town is easily the most affordable neighborhood on this list. In Desert Mountain and Troon Village, just to compare, a home will cost $2 million on average.
Currently, property in Scottsdale, AZ is hovering at about $425 per square foot – which is almost double what it was worth in 2020. According to Redfin, the price of a house in Scottsdale fell by almost 7 percent in April 2023. However, in a post-Covid world, it is still too early to track long-term growth trends – especially where housing is concerned. And since Scottsdale holds a lot of clout as a great place to live AND to visit, all signs point to it becoming a more vibrant, desirable destination in the years to come.
In other words, the value of Scottsdale real estate is very likely going to rise again in the near future. The small “dip” in 2023 makes this season a great time for real estate investors to ‘cash in’ on Scottsdale short-term rental opportunities.
Types of Housing in Scottsdale
Since Maricopa County is home to big industries, great sights, and opulent neighborhoods, it should be no surprise that Scottsdale real estate can reach into the millions of dollars. The city is home to beautiful mansions – properties of 4,000 to 7,000 sqft — and the mansion-heavy neighborhoods offer some pretty awesome amenities.
For example, the exclusive Desert Mountain neighborhood is home to gorgeous gated communities, villas, mansions, golf courses, clubhouses, hiking trails, restaurants, and other amenities – all built and operated with the neighborhood in mind.
This is common in D.C. Ranch, Troon North, Gainey Ranch, McCormick Ranch, and Paradise Valley as well. Entertainment, golf, dining, and leisure are built into the very neighborhoods.
That being said, not every house in Scottsdale is a mansion. The city is equipped to fit a wide array of housing needs, even in its most exclusive neighborhoods. Scottsdale residents will find apartments, condominiums, single-family homes, townhomes, and even waterfront homes for sale – typically starting in the $400,000 range.
Are These Neighborhoods a Good Fit For You?
Scottsdale has a lot to offer, and it draws residents and guests from around the USA for good reason. But how can someone know if it’s the right fit for his or her individual situation?
For starters, think budget. Knowing what you can afford to invest will help dictate whether a certain area is a good match for you. D.C. Ranch is home to expensive single-family Scottsdale homes, but it also offers many affordable options such as townhouses at much lower prices – all with the same access to the local amenities that a mansion-dweller would have.
Location is also a factor to consider. Paradise Valley is beautiful, exciting, and full of growth – but it’s actually a city in between Scottsdale and Phoenix. If your job is in the heart of Scottsdale, you might want to find a neighborhood that is better suited to your commute, avoiding areas like Paradise Valley or Pinnacle Peak.
You should also consider how much you want to prioritize getting to know the neighbors. For example, all Gainey Ranch residents are given membership to the Daniel C. Gainey Estate Club – a place just for homeowners that lets you mingle with the people in your neighborhood. If you value your privacy, or just want a little distance, you might opt for a neighborhood that is not gated, or does not make connecting its residents a high priority.
Quality of Life in Scottsdale
At this point, it is probably pretty clear that the cost of living in Scottsdale is higher than the national average. Scottsdale homes are sold at impressively high values, bringing high taxes with them into the picture. However, it also provides a pretty high quality of life for its guests and residents. Amenities are well-kept, opportunities are vast, and the area is very safe. The violent crime rate in Scottsdale is 166 people per 100,000 residents – which is incredibly low. The neighboring city of Phoenix’s violent crime rate is twice as high.
Scottsdale is also one of the top six cities in Arizona for “shortest commute” rankings. A Monday morning commute can easily make or break the week for many. Easy access to local stores, parks, and business offices is yet another perk of living in Scottsdale, and it adds a lot of value to the overall quality of living there.At the end of the day, home value and list price will always be measured in numbers — but as any homeowner can tell you, quality of life is a value that goes far beyond the calculator and shows up in the comings and goings of daily life.
Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club
BEST PLACES FOR SHORT-TERM RENTALS
If you’re looking to open a short-term rental in Scottsdale, a great spot is near Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club. This popular attraction draws thousands of golfers every year, and it is a prime hub for someone seeking to find consistent tenants for a short-term apartment. Continental Golf Club and Rolling Hills Golf Course are two other big draws in the Scottsdale area.
Waterfront properties also make great spots for short-term luxury homes. Look into areas like Chaparral Lake, Tempe Town Bay and Najahli Bay. These spots are ideal for boaters and watersports enthusiasts looking to have a good time in the Arizona sun.
One of Scottsdale’s “secret strengths” is a great lineup of museums. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West celebrates the spirit of the American West through art, history, and cultural exhibitions. The Musical Instrument Museum hosts a robust collection of instruments – over 5,000 – from all over the world, and is easily paired with a visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Between cultural opportunities and the nightlife in places like Old Town Scottsdale, investors have some great locations to choose from!
Why is Investing in Scottsdale Real Estate a smart move?
Short-term housing has become a popular alternative to the traditional hotel model – and not just for vacationers. The internet era has made it possible for work, play, and connection to happen remotely, leading more and more people to book short-term stays in destinations that offer them good opportunities.
For out-of-town vacationers, Scottsdale is a fantastic place to try new foods, get out in nature, and see impressive artistic and architectural landmarks. Scottsdale is a popular stop for golf enthusiasts, and almost every day is sunny. Almost half of Scottsdale land is designated as “open space,” so the town has no shortage of great places to hike, fish, or catch a sunset. Scottsdale is also home to family-friendly zoos, museums, and a host of other attractions.
It is probably no surprise that many of the “tourist draws” are also reasons that people decide to live in Scottsdale. In addition to all the amenities that make a great vacation, Scottsdale boasts a solid economy and lots of job opportunities. The tech industry is strong in Scottsdale and includes big names like GoDaddy and Yelp. Since tech is a sector of the workforce that gets bigger and more important almost every week, that means that many of the jobs in the Scottsdale area are great opportunities with a reasonable level of stability.
All of these reasons make the Scottsdale housing market a promising resource for investors seeking real estate. The city is close to great entertainment outlets, strong workforce pillars, and even highly-ranked universities and educational centers. In 2021, Livability.com ranked Scottsdale, AZ as one of the 100 best places to live in the United States.
Since Scottsdale is such a common meeting point for industries, education, families, tourists and entertainers, it tends to draw almost as many migrant visitors as it does permanent residents. As more outsiders start to recognize Scottsdale’s many strengths, western Arizona will become more and more appealing to visitors, not just homeowners. Investors have noticed this, and they are beginning to pay more serious attention to the opportunities waiting in Scottsdale for short-term rental property owners.
Right now, Scottsdale sits on the edge of another season of steady economic growth. As such, the odds are very high that property purchased in Scottsdale will appreciate steadily in the near future.
Azure Cove by Rove Travel | Scottsdale
Considerations for Short Term Rentals
How can an investor make his or her short term rental stand out in a city full of vacation homes?
For starters, make sure you understand the amenities that appeal to tourists. At the moment, larger sized homes (those with three, four, or even five bedrooms) are doing very well in the Scottsdale rental game. Renters are also drawn to properties with fun, high-qualities amenities. Great examples of this are heated pools, mini golf course access, and movie theaters (either in home or on property). Rove Travel partners with its investors to curate a living space experience that is fun, fresh, luxurious, and efficient for both the renter and the owner.
With the right consultant, your short-term rental property will have the extra features it needs to stand out in an online listing. At the moment, there is a little bit of oversaturation in the market. However, with the right assets and a good property management company like Rove Travel at your disposal, there are still plenty of ways to succeed and stand out from other properties.
Challenges and Risks
A smart investor expects to face challenges and risks in the process of opening a short-term rental. In the right hands, challenges and risks do not need to become dealbreakers. The best first step is to cultivate awareness – to understand what might make the path to opening a rental difficult or risky.
One of the biggest challenges that Scottsdale property investors face is seasonal fluctuations in the housing market. The busy season in Scottsdale is typically November through May, when it is a little cooler. Scottsdale is always sunny, but the heat is more intense in the June-October months. Some rental property owners struggle to find tenants during the summer and fall “off season.”
Right now, the competition for real estate investors is also pretty high, at least when it comes to desirable properties. The short-term rental market is growing all across the United States, challenging the traditional hotel or short-stay model, and places like Scottsdale with great vacation appeal are hot on many investors’ radars. Potential investors need to understand that Scottsdale real estate sells quickly at high prices, so finding and procuring the property of your dreams might take a little time.
Finally, there are some limitations on property development in Scottsdale. There are township rules that dictate distances from the street, parameters on windows and balconies, and zoning laws that might impact an investor’s personal hopes and plans. An investor with an eye on Scottsdale should take the time to study the local property development laws before purchasing real estate – that way, there are no nasty surprises along the way.
WHERE SHOULD I START?
If you’re serious about buying real estate in Scottsdale, the easiest way to get started is to find a qualified real estate agent. There are many nuances involved in closing on a home and getting it inspected. And if you’re an investor who is not from Arizona originally, you might find that the housing market in your own state is different than the one in, say, north Scottsdale.
Partner with a realtor who is trustworthy, creative, licensed, and industry-savvy – someone connected to a real estate brokerage (or other service) who can help you navigate the Maricopa County properties available. A great way to start that is to connect with Rove Travel through our marketplace, which is an up-to-date listing of Scottsdale properties run by trustworthy real estate experts.
That agent will prove invaluable as you navigate open houses, listing information, and other processes. Someone with a localized knowledge of Scottsdale can support you in the negotiation phase, keep you posted on prospective properties, and provide the local connections you need as you walk through closing and inspection. They can also help you discern between list price and actual value of a home. For more information, or to peruse a great starting resource, check out Rove Travel.
EVERYTHING’S SUNNY IN SCOTTSDALE
The year-round sunshine isn’t Scottsdale’s only selling point. From its beautiful landscapes and great museums to its vibrant culture and pristine golf courses, this western gem has cemented itself as a great place to live, vacation, and invest.
Investors with their eyes on Scottsdale should take a step towards obtaining property soon. The city is a buyer’s market at the moment, but it won’t be forever. Soon, property values will rise and Scottsdale will become an even more competitive market than it is currently.
If you are a potential homebuyer who wants to buy property in Scottsdale, you can start taking steps towards your goal today. Check out Rove Travel to get started, see prospective properties, and connect with an expert.
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