And the road goes on forever...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let Me Show You Our Neighborhood

First off, this is the incredible desert available within a three minute walk from our lot. It takes you into another world immediately. Moving back a block, this is the way our lot looked four years ago when we purchased it as dirt. There were a few other homes in this section but nothing like what has mushroomed over the years. The last photo is recent.

We have a few main thoroughfares through the neighborhood, with E. 52nd Street being the primary one. It is broad and wide with some very spacious lots; most of which are developed now. However, I recently came across a series of lots not yet resold. As you can see from the asking price, we don’t seem to be affected by the pricing downturn evident in many other parts of the country. But then again, not a great many of them are selling either.

We have the advantage of being on a spur short block back from this main street which doesn’t really go anywhere as a connector and hence is rarely traveled.

A walk through the neighborhood is highly entertaining for the variety of styles, landscaping and unique ideas folks have come up with to personalize their abodes. The zoning here is conducive to RVs, stick built homes, casitas, or manufactured homes and park models. CCR’s are lax but for the most part, this section at least, seems to maintain an upper end feel to it and is not at all trashy-looking the way some of the older parts of the Foothills can be. Come along and let’s see what we can see.

One thing that the architectural style of the area lends itself to is privacy walls and courtyards. All perimeter walls are required to be Mexican brick; after that, anything goes. Case in point: this sea container that someone has painted and decorated up to resemble a casita.

One of my favorites from years ago was what I called wagon wheel casita. You can imagine my disappointment to see that the owners have now added on to the casita, drastically changing the cute appearance of the place.

Along with the courtyards goes gate details. Note the nice cactus touch on this beautiful metal sliding gate enclosing the carport.
Another is this larger home which looks like it may have first started out as a casita and then morphed into a full blown home, now with a guest house.

Some front walls are only high enough to add interest

while others contain an entire world behind their walls. This is an excellent example:

In the first picture you can see a doorway leading through a very tall wall which totally occludes what’s hidden behind. Since the doorway was open when I passed I zoomed in and saw the small desert garden, the wooden easy chair and the fountain, all tucked into the shade of the interior covered courtyard. Magnifico!

Some folks concentrate on their outdoor space, with the most bizarre example being this manmade palm tree! Why wait for one to grow this tall, right?

That’s enough for today but hopefully you now have a better understanding of our piece of the Arizona desert and our neighbors. Ah, we do love it here!