Scottsdale.com's Fred Mercaldo recently interviewed Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate's Dori Wittrig who is President and Designated Broker and Laurie McCain who is one of the top Realtors. Sonoroan Lifestyle Real Estate represents the real estate sales at Torreon Golf and Country Club. They discuss owning Torreon real estate.
Mercaldo: Dori Wittrig, your team at Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate represents the real estate sales at Torreon Golf and Country Club. Tell us what's in store for people who want a mountain vacation home in a golf community.
Wittrig: We have a stunning range of mountain homes for a wide variety of families. Torreon offers cozy cabins ideal for those families who want a carefree week-end getaway; maybe a retired or soon-to-be-retired couple wants a more elegant mountain villa where they will spend a majority of their time. Torreon also offers the chance to design and build the elaborate custom home you've always dreamed of creating. Or, maybe a family compound works for several generations to enjoy together. We also have homes that offer a special golf membership that can be transferred to the resident, facilitating real estate partnerships or investment for rental purposes.
Mercaldo: Your team is currently selling the Golf Villas II at Torreon. Tell us why they're so special.
Wittrig: The Golf Villas II offer a combination of livability and custom home-style features and finishes that are the culmination of experience gained at all Torreon neighborhoods previously. We offer 2 and 3 bedroom configurations in either single level or two-story floor plans. The Golf Villas II include high- quality finishes like granite, stone-faced fireplaces, large living spaces and generous outdoor decks. Plus, each home features a 1-car garage.
Mercaldo: What type of membership is offered with the Golf Villas II?
Wittrig: Buyers of the Golf Villas II receive with their purchase a Family Golf Membership that has a value of $20,000, but they can also upgrade to a Unit Golf Membership. The Golf Villas neighborhood is one of only four neighborhoods at Torreon offering this Unit Golf Membership option. The cost is an additional $20,000.
Mercaldo: Why would someone want a Unit Golf Membership?
Wittrig: This is a special membership that is rarely found in a private country club setting. A Unit Golf Membership allows the resident of the home to be designated as the Club Member for the period of time they reside in the home. This facilitates partnerships who want to own a vacation home but only want to afford one set of monthly club dues; it also facilitates rental activity. Because Torreon is private, only members-or in this case their designees-have the right to use facilities like the fitness center, pool area or Family Center.
Mercaldo: So, the Family Golf Membership is included in the price of a Golf Villa II. What are the prices of these homes?
Wittrig: We offer three floor plans. The smallest, the 1277 sq. ft., 2 bedroom "Aspen" starts at $259,000; Next, the popular, single level Birch, has 3 bedrooms and 1578 sq. ft.. It is priced from $309,000. We're also pleased to introduce our newest plan, the two-story Cottage that offers 1636 sq. ft. and either a 2 or 3 bedroom configuration. The Cottage features two master suites, one upstairs and one down, and also has an upstairs loft that can be optioned as a 3rd bedroom. Downstairs, along with the main master suite, there is a separate powder bath. The living area of the Cottage features a large open kitchen with our largest granite topped island perfect for casual entertaining. Cottages start at $329,000.
Mercaldo: Do you currently offer any specials?
Wittrig: Yes, thanks for asking! Currently, we have a complete Ultimate Upgrades package that combines all our popular finishes like an Aspen tongue and groove ceiling, engineered wood flooring upgrade, upgraded appliances including washer, dryer and refrigerator, 2-inch wood blinds throughout-everything to perfectly finish a new Villa. These packages range in price from $35,000 to $53,000 and are currently being offered at $8,900 to $9,900. In addition, buyers who choose to have us custom build one of the three plans will get an additional $2,000 toward additional customization. More information is available through our Villa sales team of Candi Williams and Terri Ashley by calling 928-532-8563. There is also information available about the Golf Villas II at Torreon.com.
Mercaldo: Laurie McCain, you are, undisputedly Torreon's most successful sales associate. You've been selling Torreon homes and home sites from the inception of the community in 1998 and have helped literally hundreds of Torreon residents buy and sell. In fact, Torreon folks often sell one home to purchase another within the community. It's known as one of Arizona's most successful communities. What makes Torreon so popular?
McCain: Torreon's popularity can be attributed to great execution in many areas that are important to Arizona families looking for a second home. Whether they're looking for golf, relaxation, family recreation, neighborhood camaraderie, world-class dining, or the impressive variety of stunning homes, there's plenty for every member of the family to fall in love with.
Mercaldo: There are other mountain golf communities, why is Torreon so special?
McCain: Take golf and recreation, to start with. At Torreon, there's a very dynamic combination of many facets that exist nowhere else in Arizona. Torreon offers not just one great 18-hole course, but two. And they are incredible golf courses, designed by the team of von Hagge, Smelek and Baril to tantalize all the senses and provide a challenge for every level of golfer.
Torreon residents also enjoy one of the largest club swimming pools you'll find anywhere, plus a state of the art fitness center. Kids have their own Family Center Clubhouse, complete with an arcade game room, game tables, a media center and outdoor sport courts that make it seem like Summer Camp every day. At the Family Center, there is also a catch-and-release pond and a junior 2-hole par 3 practice course for the kids.
At another location in the community, very near the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, an equestrian center provides the chance to either rent horses for trail rides, take lessons to improve your riding skills or even board your own horse.
For our residents who are business owners, and many of them are, we have several meeting facilities and private board rooms on property that allow for small to medium sized business groups, and there are rental villas to provide hospitality for these groups or for special events like weddings or vow renewals.
As you can see, there's plenty for everyone, and I challenge you to find a combination like this anywhere else in the state.
Mercaldo: Laurie, how has Torreon's popularity affected real estate values in this "interesting" market environment.
McCain: Let's face it, no one is immune to this turbulent real estate market, but at Torreon we've seen very few foreclosures or short sales, compared to other markets. In fact, our overall inventory is historically very low right now, and there are only two bank-owned homes on the market.
Mercaldo: What about custom home site sales?
McCain: Torreon custom home sites are, in my opinion, the best investment value in the state. If there's any market at Torreon that has been hit hard, it would be our custom home sites that were sold between 2005 and 2006 to investors. Currently, there are some lots that originally sold for nearly $300,000 available under $100,000. And of course, owning a Torreon lot provides the owner with a Social Membership so that they can access all amenities of Torreon, plus it gives them the right to purchase a Family Golf Membership and the full golf privileges associated with that membership.
Mercaldo: How does the financial strength of Desert Troon Companies help you when folks are contemplating the purchase of real estate at Torreon?
McCain: Of course, any savvy buyer should be concerned with the financial strength of the developer when purchasing real estate, whether it's a golf community or any other. We're extremely fortunate that Desert Troon Companies is one of the most well-managed companies in the southwest, with a very strong equity position in Torreon. Their vision, combined with great market timing, allowed them to sell more than 90% of the community in the ten years from 1998 to 2008, affording them a security of ownership that few developers ever have the opportunity to enjoy. Torreon will be a part of the company's portfolio for a good many years in the future. Their stewardship of the community is legendary, as well. Desert Troon has enabled the Club Manager, Joe Long, the opportunity to hire the best team available, from food service to greens management and golf pros. Torreon residents are blessed to be a part of such a well-run golf club.
Mercaldo: Dori, how would someone get in touch with your Sonoran Lifestyle Sales Team, including Laurie McCain and the other members of your sales team?
McCain: Our office is centrally located just off Summit Trail in the center of Torreon, which is accessed either by Hwy 260 from the Valley of the Sun, or by Hwy 60 from Tucson and the east Valley of the Sun. We are open 7 days a week. Our office number is 928-537-5300, and of course, more information is available at Torreon.com.