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Complete Guide to Buying a Luxury Home in Scottsdale Arizona

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Located less than 13 miles east of the state capital, Phoenix, and known by many monikers and descriptions – ” The Desert Version of Miami’s South Beach,” “Most Livable City,” and “The West’s most Western Town” – Scottsdale, Arizona is undeniably one of the most exciting cities worth putting on your radar for your next luxury home. This true-blue desert oasis offers the best of Mother Nature’s most majestic gifts, as well as a cosmopolitan lifestyle defined by upscale dining, retail, and recreation options, as well as an abundance of luxury homes. Living in Scottsdale, AZ, you’re in for a unique experience with the Sonoran Desert as your backdrop. 

Read on to discover the best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, AZ, what to look for in a luxury home, and the step-by-step guide to buying luxury homes here.


man riding bike on the sunset

There are many reasons why Scottsdale is one of the most sought-after destinations in Arizona. Besides its stunning desert location and the many gorgeous luxury homes in Scottsdale, AZ, here are other reasons to consider this gorgeous oasis for your next home.

  • Lifestyle. If you’re into exploring and experiencing the beauty of the Sonoran in all its rugged glory up close, then Scottsdale is the perfect place to start. Simultaneously, it is the perfect urban locale, complete with classy venues for shopping and dining, perfectly manicured fairways for rounds of golf, and colorful nightspots.

  • Weather. Given its desert location, you can expect warm weather and clear skies all year round, with beautifully mild temps during winter months. Summers can be sweltering, though, with temperatures going as high as 105 degrees, especially in July, but this only happens for around a quarter of the year. For the rest of the year, Scottsdale residents enjoy perfect weather with rare instances of snowfall.

  • Cost of living. As one of the wealthier cities in the Grand Canyon State, you can expect the cost of living in Scottsdale to be higher than average. In fact, it is more than 40% higher than the national average and around 35% higher than the state average, primarily due to the high cost of housing here. But Scottsdale more than makes up for this with an excellent quality of life, buoyed by great employment and investment opportunities and a strong economic muscle.

  • Attractions. Nature lovers, hikers, and bikers can go north and navigate the scenic trails leading to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Fancy seeing a landmark showcasing renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert creation? Then visit Taliesin West. For a blast into the past, Old Town Scottsdale is the place to go. And when you feel like cooling down after seeing the sights, enjoy some frozen treats at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

  • Education. Scottsdale is listed among the top cities in the U.S., with a robust school system based on public school test scores and graduation rates – thanks to the Scottsdale Unified School District.

  • Mobility. The city is walkable, and you can get to many places without a car. But if you need to go anywhere in the greater Phoenix metro area, Scottsdale also has an efficient (and free) trolley system that links to the Valley Metro Transit system. Biking is also a great way to get around, and Scottsdale has a dockless bike-sharing system.

Scottsdale real estate market 

Prices of homes in Scottsdale have been on a gentle upward trend for the past three years, essentially unbothered by major upheavals like the pandemic and a ballooning inflation rate.  

The Scottsdale real estate market is also becoming more balanced, with both sellers and buyers on the same footing. Buyers can have more leeway in negotiating for better prices and terms and fewer chances of them having to engage in bidding wars. 

The stakes are higher with regard to Scottsdale’s luxury homes as these, by default, are more expensive with figures going as high as $32 million. Some of these homes are also new construction packed with the latest amenities, smart features, top-tier appliances, and energy-saving capabilities, to name a few.


Scottsdale Arizona

Some of the most affluent communities in Scottsdale are golfing communities or those located in or around Old Town Scottsdale. Each of them has its own unique qualities that deserve to be taken into consideration as you narrow down your search for your next luxury home. 

These are some of the best neighborhoods worth looking at in Scottsdale:

South Scottsdale  

This section of Scottsdale is popular for its energetic and dynamic lifestyle, upscale shopping district, amazing spots for a colorful nightlife, and award-winning restaurants. 

Homes here include 4 to 5-bedroom homes alongside modern high-rise condominiums. There are also several new custom-built estates with amenities that exude luxury, including high ceilings, manicured lawns, and indoor pools.

South Scottsdale is also home to a vibrant art scene with art galleries and regular art walks that cater to art lovers of all ages. You can also visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Residents who love the outdoors can visit this neighborhood’s many parks, including The Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, Chaparral Park, and Eldorado Park. These parks feature hundreds of acres of walking pathways, biking trails, picnic areas, and amenities for sports like basketball, tennis, and volleyball. There are also splash pads and pools for a quick refreshing dip.

Golf lovers may enjoy Scottsdale Silverado Golf Club, Coronado Golf Course and Lighted Driving Range, or Continental Golf Course, while hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the trails and preserves in nearby Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain.

North Scottsdale 

North Scottsdale is home to some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the Scottsdale area, including Desert Mountain, North Troon, Ancala, and Boulders. The large-scale communities here have sprawling homes on expansive lots with stunning architecture custom-built by some of Arizona’s finest builders.

In these neighborhoods, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Sonoran Desert and the Camelback and McDowell Mountains. Homes here are also developed with the intent of preserving the area’s natural terrain.

North Scottsdale is perfect for sports and fitness lovers. Communities here offer amenities for sports activities like swimming, tennis, and basketball – plus a fitness center. Other community amenities include a park with a swing set, picnic areas, a water fountain, and a good selection of restaurants for your every craving.

The area also has some of the best golf courses in the state. The Ancala Country Club has a fantastic 18-hole par 72 Perry Dye championship golf course while Boulders has two championship golf courses designed by respected local golf course designer Jay Morrish. 

Not to be outdone, Desert Mountain and Troon North are known as the best golfing communities in Arizona with seven incredible Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses located here. Troon North is also where you can find the Scottsdale Four Seasons Resort.

DC Ranch 

This 4,000-acre master-planned neighborhood at the foot of the McDowell Mountains offers gorgeous views of the surrounding desert. It’s divided into four sections:

  • Country Club Village
  • Desert Parks Village
  • Silverleaf Village
  • Desert Camp Village

All four villages except for Desert Camp are gated communities. Silverleaf, in particular, has homes equipped with 24-hour security for round-the-clock privacy, making it one of the safest neighborhoods in Scottsdale. 

DC Ranch is a complete community with a plethora of amenities like entertainment, shopping, and recreation. Residents can enjoy two community centers, 47 different parks, pools, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, nature trails, and even a community theater.

Another great feature here is the 18-hole golf course redesigned by known golf course architects Tom Lehman and John Fought, Officially called the Country Club at DC Ranch, this golf and country club boasts award-winning features and its stylish clubhouse, the Ranch Hacienda Clubhouse.

Old Town Scottsdale

For a more cosmopolitan neighborhood with an exciting nightlife scene, then Old Town Scottsdale is the place to be. Also considered Scottsdale’s downtown area, this neighborhood is known for its eclectic urban vibe and numerous shopping and dining destinations. It is one of the most prominent retail districts in the Southwest, with Scottsdale Fashion Square ranked among the 20 biggest malls in the country. 

Old Town Scottsdale comes alive in the evening with regular events, festivals, and block parties. There are over 100 dining and recreation options, from classic fine dining to new and hip restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

The neighborhood also has world-class art museums and over 45 public art installations. Meanwhile, the Civic Center Park allows residents to rest and appreciate the surrounding manicured lawns, trees, and flowers here.

Luxury home options in Old Town Scottsdale include 5-6 bedroom homes with top-notch security and luxury high-rise condominiums and penthouses that offer resort-level amenities and modern design – all within walking distance from shopping and dining hubs.

Gainey Ranch

This luxury neighborhood in Central Scottsdale was once famous for the exotic livestock being bred here like Arabian horses and Hereford cattle – all properties of the ranch’s original owner and the community’s namesake, Daniel C. Gainey.

This 640-acre gated neighborhood spoils residents with resort-style living and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Some of the grandest estates in the state are found in Gainey Ranch, including sprawling mansions boasting luxury features like water fountains, sculptures, and large manicured lawns.

Residents here also become automatic members of the exclusive Daniel C. Gainey Estate Club, which entitles them to use the club’s facilities such as a lap pool, spa, tennis court, and fitness center. The community is also conveniently located near some of the area’s best shopping and dining options at Gainey Village and Old Town Scottsdale.

Other neighborhoods of note 

Below are other exciting communities in Scottsdale you can explore for luxury living.

  • Pinnacle Peak
  • McCormick Ranch
  • Cave Creek


Now that you where to look for your luxury home, here is a step-by-step guide to buying your luxury home in Scottsdale, AZ.

STEP 1: Find a reputable local Realtor who specializes in luxury homes

Finding the perfect luxury home in Scottsdale is a task best done with the aid of a reputable local Realtor, specifically one who specializes in high-end properties. On top of their vast knowledge of the Scottsdale luxury real estate market, their wide network consisting of colleagues in the industry and affiliated professionals (home inspectors, lawyers,  service providers, etc.) can connect you to luxury home sellers who have their reasons for selling their properties offline. As a result, you find more luxury home options to choose from.

STEP 2: Understand the search process

With your Realtor by your side, understand your search parameters. By knowing the neighborhoods you like and features you want to see in your luxury home, you save time and narrow your search considerably to the ones that best fit your goals and requirements. 

STEP 3: Evaluate the homes you like

Evaluate your top choices of homes with your Realtor. Look through all the amenities and schedule home visits then weigh all the pros and cons of each choice. From there, you can further whittle down your search to the one that you choose to purchase. 

STEP 4: Consider your financing

The stratospheric pricing of luxury homes doesn’t make room for conventional financing. That said, luxury home buyers who plan on paying for the home in installments can take out a jumbo loan. But those who don’t want to be bothered by monthly mortgage payments can just pay the full amount in cold hard cash and complete the transaction at the soonest time possible.  

STEP 5: Make an offer

Study what would make an offer that is attractive to the seller and still beneficial to you as a buyer. Pricing may not be the only factor to consider as many luxury homeowners can afford to hold out for the price they want. Check for contingencies that you may want to uphold or waive. Your Realtor will be a reliable adviser who can help you in negotiating the best offer. 

STEP 6: Attend to all the details

Once the seller accepts your offer, it’s time to attend to the finer details of the transaction. This is where your Realtor can really come in handy. Apart from helping you with the necessary paperwork, they can also recommend their network of trustworthy professionals from affiliated industries (e.g., accountant, home inspector, legal adviser, home insurer, etc.) to attend to the nuances of closing the deal so that you won’t have to look for these service providers yourself.


If you want to find your dream home among the luxury homes in Scottsdale, AZ, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. In a desert setting with spectacular natural formations and unique flora and fauna like Scottsdale’s, you will want to be in a location that will give you a front-seat view of these wonderful landscapes. For families with school-age children, homes situated near top-rated schools are considered top choices. Upwardly-mobile singles, for their part, will be drawn toward locations that take them within the shortest distance to their places of work and areas where the nightlife scene is a-buzz with activity. Check your personal requirements and lifestyle choices and let these guide you toward finding the perfect locale for your new home in Scottsdale.
  • CONSIDER SQUARE FOOTAGE. Homes farther away from the city center will be considerably bigger than those within it. That’s why if you’re aiming for more space, sprawling luxury homes in Scottsdale’s lovely suburbs will fit your requirement. Meanwhile, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the abundance of high-end condos within the city proper that offer not only proximity to workplaces and schools but also the biggest concentration of retail, dining, and recreational options.
  • LOOK AT HOME MATERIALS AND DESIGN. Given Scottsdale’s desert location, the best designs for a luxury home here would be those that take into account the natural surroundings and hot climate and then integrate them into the design. Desert Modernism is one such style that allows living spaces to open up to the outdoors. Materials used here are sturdy enough to withstand extreme temperatures.
  • DON’T RELY ON PHOTOS ALONE. Photos are an excellent first step at finding a luxury home you like but don’t rely on photographs alone. Be sure to look at all your preferred homes in person if possible.
  • YOU’RE NOT JUST BUYING A HOME – YOU’RE BUYING THE LIFESTYLE THAT COMES WITH IT. That said, you need to know everything there is to know about the luxury home you’re eyeing and the factors that make it one. Is it the location? The premium materials? The size? Special amenities? Smart tech and security? Proximity to an upscale facility or attraction? All these should come into play as they constitute the lifestyle that comes with the higher-than-average price point of your new luxury home.


Scottsdale Arizona

Here are the most popular luxury home features to look out for:

  1. Walk-in closets and ample space

    By having ample storage space in your home, you avoid clutter and make your living spaces more organized. One example is a walk-in closet as this holds all your clothes, bags, shoes, and even jewelry and accessories in one place.

  2. Gourmet kitchen

    As the heart of the home, the kitchen deserves every home buyer’s attention as this is where all family members congregate the most. Apart from having high-quality materials and finishings like granite or marble countertops and top-of-the-line appliances with smart features, kitchens need to have islands, classy lighting and seating, and lots of cabinets.

  3. Open floor plan

    One dominant feature of many luxury homes is the seamless flow of space from the indoors to the outdoors. This open floor concept works perfectly with Scottsdale’s desert climate as homes tend to receive better ventilation and have more natural light streaming in. All these give a more spacious feel to the home.

  4. Entertainment facilities

    Entertainment and recreational facilities are often what set luxury homes apart. Some examples include expansive home libraries, fully-stocked gyms, wine cellars, swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas. 

    Most high-end homes also have a home theater with plush seating and surround speakers to give homeowners that exclusive cinema feel.

  5. Luxurious bathrooms

    Bathrooms in some luxury homes are given an upgrade that transforms them into spas. Essential features include a jacuzzi tub, high-pressure rain showers, his and her sinks, heated floors, and high-tech toilet set bidet systems, to name a few.

  6. Outdoor amenities and lush landscaping

    It’s not always sweltering hot in Scottsdale, and you’ll want to enjoy time with family in the privacy of your home’s exterior spaces. It’s for this reason that fully furnished patios and outdoor kitchens are becoming a trend among home buyers. Pools for cooling down and well-manicured and lighted lawns are sought after, as well.

  7. Smart technology and top-notch security

    Everyone wants to be comfortable and safe in their homes, which is why some favorite home fixtures include interactive speakers, motion detectors, smart lighting, and sensors for smoke, fire, and family members with health and mobility issues.


Eager to get started on finding your dream home among the luxury homes in Scottsdale, AZ? Make sure your transaction is smooth, stress-free, and – most importantly – successful with the Vikki & Carol Royse Luxury Division at Keller Williams Realty East Valley. With over 30 years of industry experience in handling luxury properties in Scottsdale, Chandler, and Phoenix, the team is dedicated to helping you meet your real estate goals and achieving the lifestyle you deserve. Give the team a call at 480.776.5231 or connect with them  here.

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