Neighborhoods: The Town of Paradise Valley

Roughly bounded by Chaparral north to Shea, between 32nd Street and Scottsdale Road.

Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town known primarily for its mountains, many resorts and expensive real estate. Paradise Valley is the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix.

Paradise Valley got its start as cattle grazing land which then developed into agricultural lots, giving rise to its current large, one- to five-acre lots. As neighboring Phoenix and Scottsdale began to grow and annex outlying areas, residents of 15 square miles were granted incorporated for the Town of Paradise Valley.

Known as a “jewel in the valley,” sprawling homes on large lots are a staple of Paradise Valley. Thanks to a special use permit in the area, housing density cannot exceed one unit per acre, so residents don’t have to worry about other homeowners crowding their views.

Most of the homes in Paradise Valley proper can be considered luxury homes. The subdivisions of Pennington Estates and Sanctuary both feature larger custom homes, many with beautiful views of nearby Camelback Mountain. The subdivision of Lincoln Ridge features six single-family homes on a cul-de-sac on East Claremont Street. Arroyo Heights is another smaller neighborhood, with roads that are small and narrow thanks to minimal traffic. Most of the homes in Arroyo Heights have at least one acre of land, creating more separation between the houses.

Homes in Paradise Valley (North) vary from one-acre parcels to luxury condominium complexes. Singletree Ranch features custom homes built in the early 1990s, in a gated community overlooking the Ambiente Golf Course. Sandringham is home to custom luxury homes on lots averaging one acre. Paradise Green features luxury homes built in the mid-1980s by the builder Dick Hanson. Saddletree is a condominium community centrally located near 69th Street and Shea Boulevard. Other subdivisions within this area of Paradise Valley include Good Earth, Fischer Valley Estates, Quail Run among others.

Other subdivisions within Paradise Valley (South) include Valhalla, Praying Monk View Estates, Heritage Hills, Marion Estates, Park Paradise, Village at Camelback Mountain, and Camelback Sierra.

A rated Scottsdale Unified School District services the town of Paradise Valley, with Kiva Elementary, Cherokee Elementary, Cocopah Middle School, Ingleside Middle School and Chaparral High School as the town’s public schools. Phoenix Country Day School is within the area of South Paradise Valley.

Despite the town’s relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise Valley is one of Arizona’s premier tourist destinations and a haven for spas and golf resorts, including the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia and the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback. Golfing options are not in short supply in Paradise Valley, as courses include the 18-hole course Paradise Valley Country Club which was established in 1953, as well as the Camelback Golf Club with its two courses, the Padre and the Ambiente.

Once you’re finished pampering yourself, enjoy fine dining at El Chorro or shopping at Paradise Valley Mall. Take the whole family to the nearby McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and spend the day playing with model trains or riding the Paradise & Pacific Railroad. Looking for more to do? Mummy Mountain is in the center of Paradise Valley, while Piestewa Peak (formerly known as Squaw Peak) flanks its western border and Camelback Mountain is on the southern border of Paradise Valley. All these mountains and their corresponding parks and recreation areas provide opportunities for walking, hiking and mountain biking. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve has multiple levels of trails for varying fitness levels, and Echo Canyon Recreation Area is a popular starting point to tackle Camelback Mountain, a difficult hike.

With enormous estates, gorgeous views of both Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, and plenty of golf courses, this upscale neighborhood in Phoenix is a great place to raise a family!

With upscale amenities comes a larger price tag. Median closing prices in Paradise Valley are $1.3 million and go upwards of $15,000,000.

Do you like what you see on Susan Solliday Fine Properties? Share what inspires you on any of the social media channels. Tag us at @LuxeRealtyAZ. Helping our PAGE FRIENDs raise their residential savvy one post at a time!

Paint Is Like Lipstick

Okay stay with me here. I understand that this is a girly analogy, but it is also completely true. When lipstick is done well (enhances skin tone and is applied correctly), it makes a huge impact and is often what your eye focus on first. The same goes with paint!

Paint is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to update a space. The key, of course, is picking the right color for your room that enhances the light and gives the the space the overall feel you desire.

I am often asked for advice on paint. Sellers want to create the best first impression and a fresh, clean coat of paint really dresses up a home. In the past few years, GRAY has really been having its time in the sun. Model homes are chock full of different shades of this modern hue and design magazines and furniture catalogues are constantly featuring it as well.

I typically recommend a few that are neutral without being too modern. We want the color to photograph well and appeal to the largest amount of buyers. Here are my favorites for achieving this:

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt SW6204

All of these colors look great in pictures, are light and clean and really make white trim and doors pop. What better way to make a first impression!

Neighborhoods: North Central Phoenix (Arizona)

Roughly bounded by Missouri north to Northern, between 7th Avenue and 7th Street. Central Avenue runs north and south through the center.

The North Central Corridor is one of the pricier areas of central Phoenix, and with good reason. Large custom-built homes with deep irrigated lots, North Central has a decidedly rural feel despite its proximity to downtown Phoenix.

The neighborhoods encompassing this largely residential area have not received historic designation, but they do have some great history with homes built from the 20s to 70s. Downtown Phoenix enjoys the hustle and bustle of corporate offices, luxury high rise living, and university life, while North Central retains its calm charm and neighborhood family feel.

The historic Murphy Bridle Path on both sides of Central Avenue, listed in the City of Phoenix Historic Register, preserves the shady, unpaved gravel paths and old-growth Elm and Olive trees. From Bethany Home Road to Northern Avenue, you’ll see joggers, walkers, and baby strollers appreciating this linear park and heading to the many trending restaurants located within corridor boundaries.

Streets meander off Central Avenue around mature shade trees and carpets of well-kept grass. This residential calm in the middle of downtown is shared with most of our historic districts but the lush greenness and large acreage are in sharp contrast to most other areas of the valley, maybe most notably in the lack of walls like what you would find in the Midwest.

The Central Corridor has its own mix of architecture ranging from traditional French Provincial, Cape Cod, sprawling Ranch-style and mid-century modern Ralph Haver homes to more modern styles that blend seamlessly with their older neighbors. House hunters can easily lose themselves along the side streets and in the cul-de-sacs on any given evening as they admire the lovely streetscapes. All within minutes of high-end shopping and dining at the Biltmore Fashion Park (24th Street and Camelback, Phoenix), world-class resorts, and arts centers. A short drive takes you to downtown Phoenix and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The North Central Phoenix neighborhood is decidedly known for its schools home to some of the best in the state. Homes vary in size but have lots of space, and the large yards have pools for active kids. The biking paths along the Arizona Canal bordering North Central on the north offers another opportunity for outdoor activities as well as the many hiking and climbing trails.

A home in North Central can be had for $600,000 up to $4,000,000. More modest homes and townhomes are also available as you travel farther north and east.

If you like the homes of North Central, you may also like those in the Arcadia neighborhood farther east along Camelback or the estates in the Alvarado Historic District farther south on Central Avenue.

Do you like what you see on Susan Solliday Fine Properties? Share what inspires you on any of the social media channels. Tag us at @LuxeRealtyAZ. Helping our PAGE FRIENDs raise their residential savvy one post at a time!

Neighborhood: Biltmore (Phoenix, Arizona)

Located between 24th and 32nd street, just north of Camelback Road, you’ll find Phoenix’s upscale Biltmore neighborhood.

Plush green grass generously dotted with mature shade trees and fragrant citrus and rose gardens. Considered one of the city’s most coveted residential neighborhoods, formed with a rich and elegant history, the Biltmore neighborhood boasts stunning architecture, pristine homes, and spectacular mountain views all shoulder to shoulder with a bustling shopping center, burgeoning financial district, and two perfectly manicured, 18-hole championship golf courses. Biltmore homes for sale blend the community’s history with modern amenities, lush landscaping and just the right amount of seclusion and exclusivity.

The Biltmore neighborhood is centered on the historic Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. A jewel of the desert since 1929, this 5-star luxury resort built by Albert Chase McArthur, with mentor and famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright as counsel; and currently maintaining the iconic art deco style of the era. Throughout its history, the resort has been frequented by celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Demi Moore, presidents Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush, and untold dignitaries since its opening.

The Biltmore is known for a striking diversity in architecture and style from one home to the next. Tudor-style homes with grand entrances, European grandeur with elegant gardens, and modern masterpieces with clean, architectural lines all exuding an air of luxury and quality.

Prefer something a bit cozier, Two Biltmore Estates, a private luxury townhome community consisting of just 38 residences may be your cup of tea. Four-floor plans starting at 3,500 square feet and sprawling to a comfortable 4,800 square feet feature amenities such as fireplaces, his and her master baths, golf course views, and guest suites.

Home prices in the Biltmore neighborhood greatly vary depending on what you’re buying and location. The perfect home awaits singles, couples, and families and can vary from the high $100,000s for a condominium to over $10,000,000 for custom estates.

The Arizona Biltmore Golf Club serves as a bridge between resort and neighborhood residential real estate with many homes nestled between The Links and The Adobe courses. These prestigious fairways are backed on the north by the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and Piestewa Peak, providing a picture-perfect mountain vista. Arizona residents and club members enjoy special pricing and tee times.

On the south lies Biltmore Fashion Park housing high-end boutiques and department stores to local storefronts and restaurants. This open-air, sprawling destination offers an elegant experience of shopping, holiday events and live music throughout the year. Neighboring shopping facilities include the Camelback East Village Shops, the Camelback Esplanade, and the ever-growing Town & Country shopping area. Grocery store options range from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and recently remodeled Fry’s Supermarket.

Residents travel here from all over to enjoy a selection of fine dining and fun such as Wright’s at the Biltmore, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Hillstone, Bianco Tacos, Zinburger, and AMC Dine-in Theatres Esplanade 14.

Although secluded and tucked away from the hubbub, the Biltmore is centrally located and arguably one of the best starting points in the city. The neighborhood is, for the most part, walkable or bikeable with many local biking and hiking paths. It takes about 5 to 10-minutes to navigate the neighborhood and a bit longer, 20 minutes or so, to reach downtown Phoenix, Old Town Scottsdale, Mill Avenue in Tempe, Midtown, Arcadia, and Camelback Mountain. Only seven miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the community is easily accessible with nearby freeway access.

The public-school system is the Phoenix Unified School District with top elementary and magnet schools. Basis Schools (5th to 12th grade), Phoenix Country Day and All Saints’ Episcopal Day School (pre-K to 8th grade), Xavier College Preparatory (All-girl Catholic high school), Brophy College Preparatory Academy (All-boy Jesuit high school) are a few of the neighboring private and charter academic options.

Do you like what you see on Susan Solliday Fine Properties? Share what inspires you on any of the social media channels. Tag us at @LuxeRealtyAZ. Helping our PAGE FRIENDs raise their residential savvy one post at a time!

Intro Part 2

I often forget that new people join our Facebook page or blog all the time and may not know as much about us as we would like. Since I threw my picture and a little excerpt about myself out there last week, I thought that this week I would feature the other half of Nectar’s dynamic duo, my husband Keith Renner.

For those of you who do not know Keith, he has been a Realtor since 2008 (yes, the worst time to get your license). He has a BS in Landscape Architecture from WVU (Go Mountaineers!!!) and worked for a large Central FL real estate developer before going into real estate. He has an amazing eye for design & space and that makes him our resident marketing guru. Let’s face it! My degree is in Economics so my brain does not work that way, but our combination of different skill is what makes us a great team.

On Saturday of this past week, he was showing an estate home listing in Celebration. When he and the prospective buyers walked out onto the pool area, he found the little fawn in the picture stuck between the retaining wall and the pond. The mother had been trying to help her baby over the wall but she took off when they inadvertently startled her. Keith was going to leave him so the mother would return but there was an alligator making its way toward him. So Keith scooped him up and put him safely in the wooded area where his mother had gone. He continued to check the area to make sure they were reunited. Honestly, everyday in real estate is an adventure.

I can’t say enough about this guy…. Fantastic Realtor & Business Partner, Awesome Dad & Husband, and Saver of Wildlife!!!

You can follow him on instagram @keith_renner

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

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Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide
No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.

A homeowners insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental damage, or certain natural disasters. In fact, most financial institutions require that you purchase homeowners insurance before they issue a mortgage. While coverage varies, most policies also help to protect you from liability should someone outside your household become injured on your property. And that liability coverage is often extended to include damage you (or anyone living in your household) may do to someone else’s property.1

With all the protection offered, it’s equally important to understand what a home insurance policy does NOT cover. For example, homeowners insurance won’t pay to repair malfunctioning systems and appliances within your home. And terms vary, but standard policies typically exclude coverage related to floods, earthquakes, slow leaks, power failure, neglect, aging, faulty repairs or construction materials, and acts of war.2

Homeowners Insurance Covers Things Like:

●      Structure

●      Roof

●      Windows

●      Furniture/Personal Belongings

●      Liability for Non-Residents Injured on Property

●      Liability for Damage or Injury Caused by You or Your Pets

Most Standard Policies DON’T Cover:

●      Malfunctioning Systems & Appliances

●      Floods

●      Earthquakes

●      Slow Leaks

●      Power Failures

●      Neglect or Aging

●      Faulty Repairs

●      Acts of War

[fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”2″ font_size=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” text_color=”” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=””]NARROWING THE COVERAGE GAP
[/fusion_title]So how do you minimize your risk when so many potential issues are excluded from a standard homeowners policy? Many insurers offer supplemental coverage options that can be tacked on to a basic policy. I explore this further in the section below on “7 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance.”

Some homeowners also choose to purchase a home warranty, which covers many of the systems and appliances in your home that are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. Home warranties are separate from homeowners insurance, so if interested you’ll need to seek out a policy through a dedicated provider.

While terms vary, a home warranty will often pay to repair or replace components of your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and some appliances that fail due to age or typical wear and tear. Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties aren’t required by mortgage companies. But many homeowners like the added financial protection and peace of mind that home warranties provide.3

Keep in mind, if you do purchase a home warranty, you will still be responsible for paying a service fee, or deductible, every time you use it. And you will be limited to using service providers who are contracted through your home warranty company. 

[fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”2″ font_size=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” text_color=”” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=””]7 TIPS FOR PURCHASING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE[/fusion_title]Whether you’re shopping for a new policy on your first home or you’re considering switching providers on an existing policy, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not all insurance policies—or providers—are created equal. A little due diligence can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

  1. Prioritize Service and Value

When choosing an insurance provider, ask around for recommendations. Check with neighbors, friends, and family members, particularly those who have filed an insurance claim in the past. Find out if they had a positive or negative experience. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable insurance broker who can help you compare your options.

Don’t just choose the cheapest policy. Instead, search for one that offers excellent client service and provides the best coverage for the cost.

  1. Choose the Right Level of Coverage

Your policy limits should be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Don’t make the common mistake of insuring your home for the price you paid for it. The cost to rebuild could be higher or lower, depending on the value of your land, your home’s unique features, market factors, new building codes, and local construction costs.4

Also, consider whether you need a higher level of liability insurance to protect your assets. If your investments and savings exceed the liability limits in your policy, you may need to purchase an excess liability or umbrella policy.

Ultimately, you should make sure your coverage is adequate to mitigate your losses—but don’t pay for excess insurance you don’t need.

  1. Inquire About Additional Coverage

Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage options that can help close any gaps you have in your policy.

For example, if you’re in a flood or earthquake-prone area, experts strongly recommend that you add those coverages to your policy. In fact, flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard, and a significant percentage of insurance payouts are for homes outside “flood zones,” or areas known to be at risk of flooding. So even if your home is not technically located in a flood zone, you may want to add flood coverage to your policy, just in case.5

Expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, or artwork may not be fully insured by a standard policy. Ask about raising your limits for any items of particular value, or check with a specialty insurer about a separate policy for such items.

  1. Decide on “Replacement Cost” or “Actual Cash Value”

Insurers can use a variety of methods to determine how much they will pay to reimburse you for a loss, but the two most common are “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.”

If your seven-year-old sofa is damaged in a fire, replacement cost coverage will pay you the cost to purchase a new, comparable sofa at today’s prices. Actual cash value coverage will pay you for the depreciated value of the sofa you lost—so what you would pay to buy a seven-year-old sofa rather than a new one.6

While a replacement cost coverage policy will result in a bigger payoff if you suffer a loss, it will probably require a larger annual premium. Compare both options to find out which is the better fit for you.

  1. Consider a Higher Deductible

A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on a loss before your insurance company will pay a claim. Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.

Note that in some cases, your insurance policy may have a separate or higher deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by floods, windstorms, hail, or earthquakes.

While a higher deductible can save you money on your premiums, opt for one that is still affordable given your current financial situation.

  1. Try Bundling Your Coverage

Combining your home, automobile, and other policies under one insurer can often result in a significant discount. And some insurers offer additional benefits, such as a single deductible if property insured by multiple policies is damaged. For instance, if a fire destroys your home and your car, you may only have to pay the higher of the two deductibles. Bundling can also make payment and renewal of your policies more convenient.7

However, bundling isn’t always the best or least expensive option. In some cases, you may find better coverage options, service, and/or pricing if you split your policies between multiple insurers. So be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.

  1. Reassess Your Policy Each Year

Even if you’ve done all your due diligence before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, don’t set your annual renewal on autopilot. Instead, when it comes time to renew, take some time to consider factors that have changed over the past year.

For example, have you made any home improvements that would require you to raise your coverage limits? Have you made any security or safety improvements that qualify you for a discount on your premiums?8

Has there been a shift in market conditions that would make it more or less expensive to rebuild your home now? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.

If you’ve made any changes to how you use your home, you may need to adjust your policy, as well. For example, if you’ve started a home-based business or occasionally rent out your home on a home-sharing site, you may not be fully covered by your existing policy.9

Finally, consider any changes to your financial situation that may require increased liability coverage limits. If you’ve grown your investments or inherited property, it may be time to purchase additional coverage to protect your expanding asset base.

[fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”2″ font_size=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” text_color=”” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=””]MINIMIZE RISK, MAXIMIZE VALUE[/fusion_title]Now that you understand the basics of homeowners insurance, you should be ready to start shopping for a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Your goal should be to minimize your risk while maximizing the value your policy provides.

While you never want to leave yourself without a safety net should disaster strike, you also don’t want to overpay for insurance you don’t need (and will hopefully rarely use). Aim to strike a balance that will provide you with adequate protection at an affordable price.

[fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”left” size=”3″ font_size=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” text_color=”” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]NEED MORE GUIDANCE? I CAN HELP[/fusion_title]If you’re in the market to purchase homeowners insurance or a home warranty, give me a call! I get a lot of feedback from clients on the best (and worst) insurance providers and I’m happy to share what I know.

I can also put you in touch with local, trusted insurance professionals who can answer your questions and help you find the best policy to meet your needs.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial or insurance advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


  1. Insurance Information Institute –
  2. com –
  3. American Home Shield –
  4. Insurance Information Institute –
  5. com –
  6. Texas Department of Insurance –
  7. com –
  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners –
  9. HomeAway –



Neighborhood: Arcadia (Phoenix, Arizona)

Roughly bounded 44th Street to 68th Street and Camelback Road south to the canal.

The large properties (some near 5 acres, but rarely less than half an acre) and the original luxury guest resorts along Camelback Road like the Royal Palms, will give today’s house hunter an idea of Arcadia property values at a glance. This is one of the most desirable and priciest addresses in Phoenix.

These custom-built homes from the 20s through 50s have been maintained and updated over the years. You’d be hard pressed to find a new home built to the same high-quality today. As a result, the estate homes in the Arcadia Neighborhood can quickly soar to over 6 million; you’ll have to be quick and aggressive when trying to buy one of these properties.

Lush, green, mature landscapes of irrigated orange and date groves still suggest a hint of “rural” as do the quiet streets dotted with Ranch, Revival, and Pueblo style homes. All within minutes of high-end shopping and dining at the Biltmore Fashion Park (24th Street and Camelback, Phoenix) or the Scottsdale Fashion Square (Scottsdale Road and Camelback, Scottsdale), world-class resorts, arts centers, and great restaurants. A short drive takes you to downtown Phoenix, old town Scottsdale, or Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Arcadia neighborhood seems meant for families with schools being some of the best in the state. Homes vary in size but have lots of space, and the large yards have pools and sports courts for active kids. The biking paths along the Arizona Canal bordering Arcadia on the south offers another opportunity for expending young energy without worrying about traffic.

If you love the Arcadia area but don’t have budget to support an estate, Arcadia Lite (to the west) or North Central Phoenix (7th Street to 7th Avenue, Camelback to Northern) offers mid-range prices for charming homes (mostly Ranch-style, built in the 50s and 60s). While you won’t have a lush, green Arcadia estate with acreage, you will still have the amenities as you meet neighbors over coffee at the bustling La Grande Orange market or over a glass of wine at Postino Wine Bar (40th Street and Campbell). Entry level begins at around $300,000.

Do you like what you see on Susan Solliday Fine Properties? Share what inspires you on any of the social media channels. Tag us at @LuxeRealtyAZ. Helping our PAGE FRIENDs raise their residential savvy one post at a time!

It’s me, Jana

Well it’s been a little while…

When we first started this blog several years ago, our main purpose was to provide everyone with insights into the real estate market here in Central Florida and information regarding local events. That was fun and helpful for a while, and we will certainly still do that, but I think we can do more.

I have decided to change this blog up and make it into a place to tell our day to day story. My husband, Keith and I, are 2 of the hardest-working real estate professionals you will ever meet and we have put our hearts, souls, blood, sweat and tears into building our business, and we truly love our community.  I want our blog to be a place where we inspire people to be excited about home ownership & design as well as be a resource to guide them through the process of buying or selling.  I will be posting every week, so check back often.

I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures in real estate.

Happy Friday!