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AZ Central – The valley’s priciest home sales

A former star guard with the Phoenix Suns, an orthopedic spine surgeon, the owner of the Greer Lodge Resort and an adult-entertainment entrepreneur are among the buyers and sellers in this week’s priciest home sales.


Jason Kidd, Lester Knispel and Jennifer Cerreto, as trustees of the Paradise Valley 2009 Trust, purchased a six-bedroom, 14-bath, 11,585-square-foot home north of the Phoenician Golf Club in Paradise Valley. This gated estate is approached through a tree-lined driveway that leads to a courtyard with a statuary fountain. The study/library is wood-paneled from ceiling to floor. Floors are alderwood and travertine. The ceilings include frescoes and crystal chandeliers. The basement recreation room features a wet bar and home theater. The home also has a heated pool, spa and eight-car garage. Kidd, who played for the Suns from 1996 to 2001, is a point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. Lester Knispel is president of wealth-management company Boulevard Management in Woodland Hills, Calif. The home was sold by William and Barbara Ebbert.


Christopher and Helen Yeung purchased a new five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath, 10,634-square-foot home on 1.3 acres southwest of McCormick Park in Paradise Valley. It includes a one-bedroom, one-bath guest house, and large detached studio with a full bath. The kitchen has Wolf, ASKO and Sub-Zero appliances, warming drawer, two pantries, breakfast bar and French doors leading into patio. The home has a media room/theater, billiards hall, tech center, fitness center, wet bar and climate-controlled wine cellar. The outside features a heated pool and spa, barbecue, fireplace, guest and entertaining courtyards and a covered walkway to the studio. Christopher Yeung is an orthopedic spine surgeon. The home was sold by Douglas C. Sandahl, as sole member of Paradise Found Investments LLC, an Arizona limited-liability company. Sandahl, the owner of the Greer Lodge Resort, has sold a number of luxury homes in the Valley in recent years.


Steven Craig Cooper paid cash for a five-bedroom, four-and-a half-bath, 9,064-square-foot home originally built in 2007 adjacent to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which includes a 1,102-square-foot guest house with one bedroom and one bath. The home also features a pool, two waterfalls and three-car garage. Cooper is an entrepreneur who built a network of successful adult-entertainment clubs. The home was sold by Mike Rieger, Colonial Capital Fund II LLC (Members are Ellen and Robert F. Leonard), Accretion Capital Fund LLC and Accretion Capital LLC.


Dean Graziosi bought a 7,486-square-foot home with a pool. The home was originally built in 2006 at Casa Blanca Estates in Paradise Valley. Graziosi is an author on cars and real estate, a professional motivator and real-estate investment expert. He created “Motor Millions” and “Think A Little Different,” guides that teach people how to make money with cars and real estate. His infomercials have appeared on TV since 1999. The home was sold by Walter Brown Jr. Brown is founder, CEO and designated broker of Diversified Partners, a commercial real-estate company in Scottsdale. Last year Brown bought a 7,445-square-foot home north of the Phoenician Golf Club for $4.7 million.


Rosanne Appel of Cherry Hills Village, Colo., paid cash for four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath, 4,904-square-foot home with a pool. The home was originally built in 1983 on the northern side of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley. It features a gated courtyard entry and an infinity-edge pool. The home’s great room features a wall of glass doors, ensuite bedrooms, one with built-in playhouse, a veranda and rear patio. The home was sold by Gary and Gail Hawkins of Idaho.

It helps not to be in a rush in the current housing market.

Dudebout said he and his family were prepared to stay in their old home until they found the right new house at the right price.

Another Ahwatukee real estate saleswoman, Christine Marek, said she has looked for houses for about a year with an executive who also is in no hurry to buy until she finds the perfect place.

“She is tickled every time we go out because the prices are all $200,000 lower than last year,” Marek said.

Eagan said she tells buyers “this is the time to buy the best, most expensive house you are ever going to live in.

“You can get a great deal. The challenge is you are really going to have to look.”

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AZ Central – Bidding wars complicate housing market

by Cathryn Creno – Sept. 4, 2009 11:55 AM
The Arizona Republic

It should be the best time to purchase a home in decades.

Prices are at record lows. Many, if not most, of the houses on the market in areas like the Ahwatukee Foothills are owned by banks – not emotional and capricious homeowners.

Instead, even seasoned real estate agents say it’s the most difficult market they have worked in decades. for sale in Ahwatukee right now. In a normal market there are 600. There also is a huge shortage of owner-owned well-maintained homes.”homesfamily single

And buyers say they are frustrated with the condition of houses they find on the market – plus they are getting caught up in unpleasant bidding wars with cash-rich real estate investors.

“I have six buyers who want homes in Ahwatukee, but we can’t find a thing.” said Pam Eagan, a long-time Ahwatukee real estate saleswoman who specializes in selling custom homes.

“There are 487

Eagan said the selection of attractive move-in ready homes is low because owners who are not having financial problems intend to hang on to their properties until prices rise again.

So instead of walking through their dream houses, buyers are looking at repos gutted by evicted former owners.

“You would not believe the condition some of these places are in,” said Nancy Nighswonger, an Ahwatukee resident who is helping her mother, Diane Moss, search for a comfortable home for her retirement years.

“We’ve researched 100 houses and looked at 20 since June. In one place all the appliances had been left out in the driveway,” Nighswonger said.

Buyers who want houses to live in must also compete with real estate investors who have deep enough pockets to pay cash for discounted properties. Banks are creating bidding wars on such properties by calling potential buyers and asking them to up their offers, real estate professionals say.

While that might sound similar to bidding wars for Valley houses at the peak of the real estate market, experts say there is a difference: In 2005 and 2006, home prices were set at market value and buyers could offer higher amounts, depending on the competition.

“Now sellers are pricing their homes 25 to 30 percent below the market because they want to take 8 or 10 offers to the bank (that foreclosed on the property),” said Pete Meier, who has sold real estate in Ahwatukee for 30 years.

“This is not the normal way things are done. “I have made five or six bids for some buyers and they have not been successful in buying a house yet.”

Mike Mendoza, another long-time Ahwatukee real estate salesman, said the upside to the situation is that “the market is starting to move again.”

Also, he said, buyers with the patience and fortitude to endure the bidding wars can wind up with great deals.

In some cases, houses in neighborhoods where houses recently sold for $600,000 are now at “FHA levels” — the $300,000 range, he said.

At the other end of the spectrum, houses that formerly sold for a million or more can be purchased for $500,000 now, he said.

Mendoza said he recently represented a house in Chandler that was offered as a “short sale” – the owners owed more on the house than what it was worth.

“I had nine offers on it,” he said. “It was a very nice house. A million-dollar property originally.”

The house sold for $449,000, he said.

Eagan was so thrilled by a similar success story that she posted a message about it on the day the deal was signed.

The family she was representing — Honeywell engineer Rudy Dudebout, his wife Tina Hynes and their three sons Eric, 6, Adam, 4, and Alex, 2 – had just paid $556,000 for a home that appraised for $1.2 million at the peak of the housing boom, she said.

The 1982 five-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot custom home backs to the South Mountain Preserve and has a pool, basketball court and a balcony overlooking a circular driveway.

“We had had our eyes on this neighborhood for a long time,” Dudebout said. “It does not have the uniformity of looks that you find in other parts of Ahwatukee. We also wanted a funner back yard for the kids.”

The Dudebouts wound up in two bidding wars for the house, one in December and another in April, when they signed the contract.

Right after they lost the house in the first bidding war, vandals broke into the house, stopped up the sinks and created a flood that destroyed a bathroom and the kitchen. Afterward the buyer pulled out of the deal.

“We were nervous about having to go through the remodeling but now I look at it as a blessing in disguise,” Dudebout. “If the house had not been vandalized (after the first sale) it might not have come back on the market.”