real estate gold           
                     Unique Property Specialists

        Our Best and Most Unusual Sales!
                         . . . and the stories behind them!  Preston's House Tours on TV

The Boulder House, N. 74th Place,  Scottsdale, AZ  $ 4.8 million.  Described by Stanley Marcus in his book, "The Book of Bests" as "the most original home in America."  This 4500 sq. ft. home was also featured on the Discovery Channel and  the cover of Architectural Digest and profiled on the pages of "The House Book" next to Falling Water and the Vanderbilt!  There will never be another property so unique and very special.  The site was used as an ancient Native American encampment and solar observatory by the Yavapai Apaches.  In fact, The Boulder House earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.  It began around 1980, when noted architects Gerry Jones and New Mexico architect Charles Johnson transformed tons of natural granite boulders into an 8,000 sq. ft. treasure of desert architecture. This residence,  on a 10 acre site, contains some amazing features, such as during the solstice, a crack in the boulders produces a beam of light that crosses the main Great Room and strikes a circular calendar chiseled in the rock by the ancients.  Simply extraordinary. Access a video tour by clicking on  TV shows button at the top of the page. . The residence was purchased by a major Native American Nation. Fox News feature tour on "The Property Man with Bob Massi:  Boulder House on Fox
Here's an informative webpage on the full history of the Boulder House Boulder House Webpage

Secret Ranch Sale for  $ 2,150 million. 38 patented acres with water and gold! The Golden Star Ranch in Cave Creek, Arizona on Golden Reef Road. This sale will be one of our greatest memories. Site of the historic gold mines in the area, with double artesian wells producing a miraculous flow of 12,000 gallons of freshwater a day into the desert.  A virtual Garden of Eden with over 50 varieties of fruit and nut trees, hundreds of flowers.  Also, a filming location for a Hollywood movie pilot directed by Adrian Carr (Crocodile Dundee) Formerly owned by the Mormon Pioneer Family, the Steele's, where Horace Steele labored in the mines. The Steele family, blessed with prosperity, give millions to charitable causes (Steele Indian Park, for example) We were so pleased that the new owners will preserve and protect this Legacy Property. It could not be in better hands. Few people have ever seen the land first hand and we would like to thank all the wonderful agents and buyers who came to see it when it was on the market. Our gratitude. 

Skyranch Home on the Runway, 8360 E. Autoplane Drive, $ 2.65 million,  with the largest hangar ever built on the field, with a 90-foot-wide hangar door and more space in the hangar than was in the house! This Skyranch home bordered the runway and also the world-famous Desert Forest Golf Course.  The home has been featured by multiple TV stations and also newspapers. It remains one of the largest purchases ever made at Skyranch. See a video tour of the property by clicking on the TV button at the top.  We have had the pleasure of selling this property TWICE over the years!

Stunning remote ranch property in a hidden valley near Bagdad, Arizona. The Homestead at Wildhorse Pass 836930 N. Wildhorse Ranch Road, Bagdad, AZ.  $1,114,723  With views that rival a national park, this 620 acre wilderness ranch had water rights of over 32 million gallons a year from Boulder Creek, large level areas for planting or building, and a sem-subterranean home included.  It was purchased by one of the largest mining companies in the world, Freeport McMoran.  it included multiple wells and over a  mile of creek frontage with large mature trees.  Sold November, 2017

Tonto Hills home with a 35-room Indian Pueblo!  Look at the photo above very carefully, and look for the rock walls on both sides of the home.  We've never seen this on a residential lot before.  This large parcel in Tonto Hills sold this year for $380,000. The sellers had taken care of and stabilized a fantastic group of over 35 rooms in a prehistoric Hohokam Indian Pueblo dating back to the 11th century.  Note the intricate rock work on the inset photo, showing a doorway, with Four Peaks in the background.  It was awe-inspiring to see the ruins scattered along the nearly 7 acre property that bordered the Tonto National Forest.  Described as "one of the most important archeological sites identified in the local area." One-of-a-kind and irreplaceable! Our thanks to Russ Lyon Sotheby's agent and local historian Mark Hazelton for his help and guidance.

Skyranch Hacienda Estate on two lots, bordering the golf course and runway! Sold for $2.25 million! Premier airport property that was sited on two lots at Carefree Skyranch.  The property also included a massive hangar with openings on two sides and a two bedroom private and separate casita.  This residence was on the runway of one of the most prestigious airparks in the Nation, Skyranch at Carefree, a private world-class premier fly-in community. The 4bdr 6,000+sf main house,2bdr 1600+sf separate guest casita & 4400sf detached airplane hangar are situated on 2.3 acres. The estate borders the 11th hole of the renowned Desert Forest Private Golf Club, recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the US. The backyard is designed for the entertainer with a resort style pool, 1500 sq ft putting green, expansive patio inclusive of an outdoor fireplace and seating area, bbq & 2 intimate view decks.  This property is again available, after $ 1 million in improvements, for $ 3.7 million.

Cave Creek Mountaintop Estate with 54 acres, 42820 N. Fleming Springs Road, Cave Creek. Sold in 2012 for $3.8 million.  Fox10 called it "the greatest home they've ever featured.  Also showcased by the Wall St. Journal, KTVK-News channel 3,  NBC Phoenix and the Arizona Republic. This remarkable 10,000 sq. ft. Tuscan mansion on a private mountain was the biggest sale in Cave Creek in over 7 years, and surpassed all Carefree and Boulders sales in the last 5 years and was the largest amount of land available with a house in the entire Phoenix area.
While the property was listed by us, some of the Who's Who of Business and entertainment toured the remarkable property, Hollywood actors and producers, NFL quarterbacks, inventors, and international businessman.  The home can never be duplicated again, and in fact, might not have been possible, had  former silent movie star Grace Fredericks, the owner of the land next door, not given the owners an easement to go across her land and build the road along the ridgeline to the top. The gated features the home with antique wood flooring throughout, a gourmet kitchen by the pool, nature trails, an elevator, a media room with 3 staggered rows of electric leather chairs,  upstairs and downstairs bars, large wine cellar, and a Master Suite positioned so one can see the  sunrise and sunset from the same room.  Adjacent to the Master Suite is a full sitting room with fireplace and a large wrap-around outdoor patio.  The buyer was a Michigan industrialist and his wife.  See an amazing TV tour of the property from NBC in Phoenix and reporter Brandon Hamilton:  NBC Phoenix Tour!


Carefree Contemporary home on a 7 Acre estate lot, perched on a bluff.  8100 E. Grapevine Rd, Carefree.  $ 2 million. This view home was a rare horse property in Carefree and we negotiated the purchase from the FDIC after they seized a Nevada bank that went out of business. The construction loans had been with the bank.  The buyer has done much to improve the property, added a private gate and more, and it is now on the market again for $2.395 million.  The piece of land was one of the great estate parcels left in the town, with the property spilling over the bluff and across the stunning Rowe Wash. This is a hiker and equestrian paradise. We had the honor of selling this home twice!

Highest view property-12 acre gated estate on Cottonwood Canyon  844019 N. Cottonwood Canyon Drive, sold in 2016, $ 1.55 million.  This astonishing fortress-style residence featured by Fox 10 Arizona,  has double gates, full-size racquetball court, lap pool, nature trails, back-up generator and many features to make it one of the area's most incredible private sanctuaries.  One of the bedrooms was originally a metal-lined fallout shelter. The driveway is called "The Lombard Street of the Desert" as it rises multiple switchbacks up the mountain, resembling San Francisco's famous curved street!

150 feet higher than the summit of Black Mountain, Huge View Property in Tonto Hills! 42418 N. Sombrero Road, Cave Creek. Sold for $ 859,000.  One of the Highest and Greatest view property  in the Phoenix area, just across the border of the luxury Desert Mountain subdivision. This home rose above a 15,000 sq. ft. home in Desert Mountain, and had a better view, more privacy at a bargain price!  One of the prized homes in Tonto Hills that sits on the ridge overlooking the Phoenix area and a light show that comes on every night.    This Santa Fe-style residence, with a rugged, authentic look, and an "Old West" bedroom with distressed woodwork and a 1800's style rifle cabinet that looks like Tombstone, Arizona! This was the fire chief's house. We enjoyed selling this house twice!

Stunning Paradise Valley Mansion with award-winning Mediterranean design.  On Marlette Avenue, sold for $ 2.4 million. This estate features antiques purchased all over Europe and built into the home, like the 17th century Spanish entry doors.  Featured on TV and a number of top magazines, there was no attention to detail that was overlooked.  Even the private casita, with two bedrooms, was loaded with antiques that conveyed in the sale.  A lucky and envied buyer indeed!

Scottsdale ranch, home and equestrian center with commercial zoning.  On Dixileta Drive.  This rare property with a commercial license, was sold 2016, $ 1.95 million, on over 6 acres. With three homes, huge open and covered arenas, over 24 stalls.  Maximum use was made of the available land in putting together this full-service equestrian facility.  Located in one of N. Scottsdale's prime areas.  One of the world's greatest retired hockey players lived next door!

5050 E. Cloud Road, Cave Creek, AZ.  Sold June, 2017   $ 2 million dollars.  This home was WINNER, National Association of Home Builders "BEST in AMERICAN LIVING GOLD AWARD! VOTED BEST ONE OF A KIND CUSTOM HOME in it's category. And the well-thought-out kitchen was chosen to be featured by Phoenix Home and Garden. This Creek-Side National Award Winning Home borders a Nature Preserve Land and near Cave Creek Regional Park. A true Natural Home with Earthen Materials, infused in a classic design. Vermont Blue Stone, Cherry Hardwood floors, Custom stonework, & translucent sinks. Property was on 9.5 acres,  with extra room in which to build  a large Car Collectors Garage, Tennis Court, Guest House or Equestrian Facility. 3 gardens on the property and  fantastic backyard entertainment area on the creek, with a showcase 70' heated lap pool with swim-up bar plus heated spa.

Historical mining property, "The Last Outpost" high on Continental Mountain, once owned by the Steele's, a Mormon pioneer family that arrived by covered wagon.  The Steele's set up a foundation to offer philanthropic assistance to worthy causes (Steele Indian park, for example) Featured on TV by Fox10 news reporter Brian Webb.  The rich gold ore of the mines was transported down to the valley stamp mill on a network of 14 tram towers. The mine tunnels and towers were used as a Hollywood filming site by Adrian Carr who did Crocodile Dundee.  A perfect getaway and sanctuary perched on a cliff with city light views, yet surrounded by wilderness.  Our buyer from Idaho was thrilled with the discovery, after all, it was rare patented land and the gold is included!  Double-gated, 40 acres, sold for $ 950,000. Then sold again, years later for #1,020,000. Check out the driveway, above left, winding up breathtaking Continental Peak!

One of the last Skyranch lots and it set a record!  Highest price paid for an acre of land in the history of Carefree and Cave Creek.  $ 1.5 million, sold in 2022 to an Idaho pilot.  This shows  the value of location, a prime runway lot at Carefree Skyranch, and bordering the Top 100 Desert Forest Golf Course, Home of some of the top golfers in the country.   The house on the bottom of the photo is historic, as it was a spec house built by Broadcasting legend Hugh  Downs along with master builder Gerry Jones.

Golf course royalty, the Pete Dye House in Carefree.  Pete designed the legendary 17th hole at  TPC Sawgrass, and hundreds of golf courses world-wide and was the inspiration for other great course designers.  They say Pete's sons use to get on the roof and hit golf balls into the desert when he lived here.  His home, with its intricate curved walls,  sold in 2022, and was located on Dog Leg Drive.  It went to a Seattle buyer for $ 1.815 million. Sawgrass photo credit:  Getty Images

The Church House, in Legend Trails 9848 E. Roadrunner Drive, Scottsdale, $1.385 million.  A warm and comfortable residence, with wonderful views, but nothing fancy.  Its the inspirational story that makes it a Best Sale. Our long-time clients, in ill health, and leaving the state, donated this  million dollar-plus  home to a local church so they could sell it and raise money. Nancy and I were honored to list it for sale. The buyer, a devout church goer, when learning it belonged to a local Carefree church, not only signed nearly a full-price offer, but dropped everybody's jaw when they announced a very, very generous 5-figure donation to the church's collection plate!  Everyone involved, very grateful, and pleasantly surprised to see such generosity. Much more than a house sale, and the reason we like the business.