When someone asked famed outlaw William “Slick Willie” Sutton why he robbed banks, his smug reply was “Because that’s where the money is.” For those looking for luxury homes in Arizona, you might get a similar response when you ask them why they are buying a luxurious home in Paradise Valley or Scottsdale, “Because that’s where the mansions are.”
If you are looking for Arizona mansions for sale you've come to the right town, as the Phoenix metro area has among the highest share of million dollar homes in any city in the U.S., according to Business Insider. Read More...
Sure, Beverly Hills may be the first place someone thinks of when it comes to expensive, over-the-top luxury homes, but Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottdale have their fair share of luxury homes that compete with anything found in celebrity saturated Southern California. Arizona’s luxury homes attract a significant number of celebrities too, particularly aging 1970’s rockers like Alice Cooper and Stevie Nicks, along with many others.
However, California beats Arizona when it comes to paying top dollar for a beautiful mansion. A few years back, a mega-mansion sold in Beverly Hills for a whopping $165 million. Even in Paradise Valley or Scottsdale, two of the most exclusive areas in the Phoenix area, the highest price tag for any mega-mansion rarely, if ever, exceeds $25 million. Most are far less expensive.
Affluent folks began moving to Arizona a long time ago for a variety of reasons. The one thing most wealthy people had in common was a desire to live in a large, beautiful home. Some came to the state for its dry climate which helped ease symptoms for those suffering from respiratory conditions. Others came and stayed after striking it rich from the region’s natural resources. While still others found the state a perfect place to express some of their unorthodox - or as some would call it - odd-ball behavior and lifestyles.
One such character was Boyce Luther Gulley who, among other things, built one of Arizona’s first mansions. In 1929 he left his family in the Pacific Northwest and as far as his family knew, he disappeared from the face of the earth. In fact, Gulley had moved to Arizona and began a 15-year project building one of the state’s oddest mansions. Aptly called the “Mystery Castle”, this 18-room mansion had 13 fireplaces and was built from a hodge-podge of local materials including river rocks, telephone poles, and railroad ties.
One of the reasons Boyce Gulley moved to Arizona – besides the fact that the locals didn’t seem to care about his strange he behaved – was because of the climate. He had tuberculosis and he thought the dry climate would be better for him.
While hot, dry air may be good for damaged lungs, it’s downright uncomfortable – and some would say unlivable – when temperatures can exceed 100 degrees before breakfast. According to the weather service, almost one day in three the temperature tops 100 degrees in the Phoenix area. This blistering heat kept many away until the widespread use of air conditioning.
Thanks to the use of air conditioning shortly after World War II, luxury home construction took off in Arizona. The greater Phoenix metropolitan area boomed. Golf communities, luxury country clubs, gated age-restricted communities, and waterfront developments built around artificial lakes were being built everywhere.
Arizona was attracting hordes of people, particularly the affluent, from across the U.S. who couldn’t wait to leave the blustery weather of the Northeast and Midwest.
Cost of living
Not only is the weather beautiful nine months of the year, but Arizona offers multiple ways to stretch your dollar. First when you buy a home in Arizona, you get more house for your money. Second, the overall cost of living is far less expensive compared to other states. For example, the cost of living in California is 29% higher in California than in it is in Arizona.
Taxes and insurance
A large part of cost of living expenses are taxes. Sales tax and property taxes are lower in Arizona than in California. And if you are buying a home for $1.5 million or higher, this property tax difference can be substantial. In addition, Californians pay twice the rate in individual state income taxes than Arizonians. If that weren’t enough, for identical cars, the cost of auto insurance in California is $1,500. In Arizona it is only $470.
Less expensive homes on a square foot basis
As previously mentioned, housing costs in California blow away almost every other state, including Arizona. For example, the average price per square foot for an apartment in downtown L.A. is around $6,900. The price per square foot in downtown Phoenix for the same type of apartment is $2,145 – yikes! No wonder you can’t find any U-Hauls on the west coast. They are all packed-up and heading for the Southwest.
Less traffic, more spare time at home
But it’s not just dollars and cents that making living in Arizona a great place to buy a luxury home. It’s also lifestyle. While Phoenix and Scottsdale have traffic jams, they are nothing compared to the infamous highway delays around California or New York’s major metropolitan areas. What’s the point of having a 4-car garage when a baby can crawl on all fours faster than a person can get to work during rush hour in Southern California?
A better lifestyle
It’s hard to apply a value to the quality of life, but if enjoying leisure time and having easy access to your favorite activities are important to you, then Arizona is the place for you! The state has everything: biking, hiking, golfing and endless sunsets that cascade across the Sonoran desert. watching the sunset over the Sonoran desert. Try doing that in New York. For good reasons, many people call Arizona one big playground.
Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are located in the greater Phoenix metro area have some of the most impressive homes in Arizona, and perhaps even throughout the entire United States. These grand homes range from traditional Southwest/Spanish architecture to ultra-modern, minimalist designs. Not surprisingly, you'll also find stunning Arizona mansions for sale in Gold Canyon, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, and other lesser known cities throughout Arizona.
You can also find classical French chateaus with English gardens or large ranch homes surrounded by classic desert beauty. In other words, whatever your architectural taste, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are certain to deliver. And the quality and craftmanship is unsurpassed.
In Paradise Valley, for example, there are currently luxury homes for sale from $20 million to mid-$100,000’s.
For $20 million, you can get yourself an18,000sq ft, 9-bedroom mansion with 14 bathrooms thrown in for good measure. This home sits high above the city with striking panoramic views. The Southwestern architecture blends beautifully with its surroundings. In fact, it’s hard to distinguish the home from the hillside rocks on which this palace is built.
For someone who doesn’t want to use a GPS to find their way around a massive home, for just over $1 million you can get an amazing 3-bedroom, 2,300 sq ft luxury penthouse condo in Paradise Valley. This home is within walking distance to many shops, restaurants and golf courses.
Even those with more modest means can buy a beautiful home in Paradise Valley. A 701 sq ft, one bedroom condo can be bought for just $225,000. The apartment is in a beautiful complex with a pool and swaying palm trees.
Scottsdale also has some pretty impressive - and expensive - homes. For a modest $16.5 million, you can pick yourself up a 17,000 sq ft, 6-bedroom mansion that looks and feels as if you were in old Spain. It features massively tall ceilings and with a sweeping staircase that rivals the beautiful mansion featured in Gone with the Wind. And the views are to die for.
For $950,000 you can buy an amazing 4-bedroom, 4,300 sq ft home on over two acres of beautiful desert land. This home is surrounded by cactus and is a classic Southwest adobe-like structure that fits perfectly within its stark desert surroundings.
These are just a few examples of the homes you can find in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.
Your quest to live like those in Arizona’s “Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous” begins with a real estate broker or agent who knows their way around the luxury home market. You will not only save time and money, but you are likely to find the perfect home of your dreams.
Just as “Slick Willie” Sutton said – sort of – go to Scottsdale and Paradise Valley because that’s where the luxury homes are.
Included below are luxury homes for sale in Arizona. If you would like more information on any of these Arizona luxury homes for sale, just click the "Request More Information" button when viewing the details of that property. We can provide you with disclosures, past sales history, dates and prices of homes recently sold nearby, and more.
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