Welcome to my blog where I will be providing all information related to Phoenix real estate market updates, current real estate news, things to do in Phoenix, best restaurants in Phoenix, best hikes and so much more.



Dec. 2, 2023

New Homes In Surprise

Looking for a new home in Surprise, Arizona?  Richmond American has some awesome opportunities for you. At time of writing this post, here are some features:

* Mid 400s

* 1800+ square feet

* 3-5 bedroom

* Close to Westgate and The Wildlife World Zoo

* RV and/or 3 car garages available

* FHA fixed rate close by 3/29/24 (5.875%)

* Enjoy payments as low as $2,391/month for a $460,000 home with 4.875% (7.853% APR) 30-year FHA 5/1 ARM financing!


Interested? Comment below or call me at 480-233-6433.

If this home style or location does not match your needs, I have access to others!

Posted in New homes
Nov. 27, 2023

Phoenix Homes With Pickleball Courts

Pickleball has taken over the nation! Do you love to pickle? Do you get stuck in the kitchen like I do?

I put together this blog with some useful information about homes with pickleball courts so if you are looking to practice or play more, you can be aware of your options!

Community Pickleball Courts

One Scottsdale subdivision that has pickleball courts and is one of the most sought after communities is McDowell Mountain Ranch. MMR is known for its stunning mountain views and desert tranquility. Enjoy hiking, biking, and being outdoors...and in this case, playing some pickle!

Looking for a subdivision that's a little more central? Maybe closer to some of the "action"? Stonegate is a guard gated community that is a must see!

And even more central, literally in the thick of things is Gainey Ranch. Not only do you get in-town luxury but you are close to multiple resort golf courses, hotels, tons of shopping, Fashion Square Mall, upscale restaurants and so much more.


Your Very Own Pickleball Court

Don't want to share a court? Want your own? Here is an amazing Phoenix area home with its own pickleball court. In fact, it has 2!

Want your own pickleball court but want to have a Scottsdale address? Here is an amazing home in Scottsdale on almost an acre with its own pickleball court


City Parks

Sometimes a City Park will have an accessible court to play pickleball. Unfortunately, many times there is a waiting list. I found an old article with some of those Parks. The dates may change but it does give some great info on which parks/courts were available.


Build Your Own?

Want your own court, have the space, but don't know how to build a pickleball court?

Our friends at the Ben Lalez Team in Chicago put together this awesome post about all things for building and maintaning a pickleball court


So, sort through this list, grab your racket, some comfortable shoes and start pickling!

If you have questions about the area, want to know about pickleball courts for a different location reach out. I am here to help.

Blair Ballin

Hunt Real Estate ERA



Nov. 21, 2023

Top 3 Things To Do In Phoenix In The Summer

But it's a dry heat.... If you live here, that's usually the excuse you give. If you don't live here, all you can think about is your feet burning from walking on the sun: aka Phoenix streets.

So, you are thinking about moving to Phoenix and concerned about living in hell. Well, I can tell you after having lived here for 30 years- the summers can get to be a little toasty but how often are you really outside? It really is a dry heat and much better than some Chicago summers I used to live through. Sorry to my friends at the Ben Lalez Team in Chicago.

But there really is more to it than that and that's why I wanted to write this article and share it with you, so let's dig in to what are the Top 3 things to do in Phoenix in the summer!


Leave Phoenix...lol

So I love Phoenix and all and whether you are used to it or not, sometimes it is just nice to get away. And let's face it, I remember as a kid, every summer taking a summer vacation, so how is it any different now? And if you take a vacation every month, or for a few weekends all the better!

One of the most popular destination spots for Phoenicians is California. Especially Southern California. And more specifically Orange County. Even if it's not just for the weather, who doesn't love being near the Ocean? Enjoying some delicious food? Or taking a mini trip to Disneyland? FYI, if you happen to visit Coronado Island-don't be surprised to run into some of your neighbors. July is a premier time to make Coronado their destination spot. 

Don't want to drive for 6 hours or take an hour flight? Stay local and drive to Flagstaff-a quick 2 hour drive from North Phoenix. The temperatures are usually on average about 20 degrees cooler and whether it be for a weekend getaway, a month, or the summer, Flag (as the locals call it) is a sweet spot to visit the high country (elevation and maybe other stuff too) ;-)

Swimming pools in the summer?

Yup, you guessed it. And whether you think it feels like bath water or not, being able to jump in your own pool from June-August is awesome...and whether it's hopping on your inflatable unicorn during the day drenched in sunscreen...or late at night, enjoying a local Hazy IPA while gazing at the stars, yeah, I'd take that over a muggy, sweaty day any time.

Are pools harder or more to maintain? I don't know-- sometimes I feel like it is harder to maintain rocks since weeds pop up all the time. Do pool pumps, cleaning of pools, and the pebble-tek cost more? I guess. But I'd rather be able to enjoy a dip in the pool at my convenience, and you pay for convenience.  Look at some Phoenix homes with pools for sale right here.

Stay inside

It sounds obvious but really in most areas of the Country when it is 90+ outside do you flock to go outside to enjoy a walk? Play a round of golf? No. So, stay inside. Go to a Costco and cool off there. We are a dry heat so there is no question walking to your car here from wherever you go you won't be drenched like some Midwestern states. But be prepared for your car seats and steering wheel to feel like the Devil just touched your lucky car. But so what, you cool it off and be on your merry way.

We also have, like other areas, Museums to visit. The Musical Instrument Museum is a fabulous place to go in North Phoenix. Downtown has the Childrens Museum if you have kids. The Phoenix Art Museum is a lot of fun too. 

I get it. You are probably saying, "Blair, you told us to leave, get a pool or stay inside. That doesn't really give us many options." I disagree. I have lived in multiple states with a sweaty summer. I would take Phoenix almost any day over those summers. And I can swim any day...and guess what -- it's good exercise too. I can just relax. I can enjoy local establishments. So there really is a lot to do. And one thing I love about Phoenix is San Diego, Vegas and some other areas are just an hour plane ride away.

What next?

If you are thinking about moving to Phoenix and looking to buy a home--look for a home with a swimming pool. You'll thank me later. And if you want to yell at me-my phone doesn't accept those types of calls.

Phoenix is great. There are 12 months in a year. The Summer is about 3. The other 75% of the year is well worth it. Whether you love the Spring/Fall/Winter or shorts and flip flops almost year round, I would take the trade for 120 days 1-3x a year for the great that is the rest of the year.

When you do move to Phoenix and looking for something to do, hit me up, I have recommendations for things to do in the summer, best restaurants, referrals for contractors--I am here to help.




Nov. 17, 2023

Phoenix new construction


  • 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home
  • Just under 1500 square feet
  • 2 car garage
  • 1 story
  • Located in Surprise, AZ

Community center with a pool and tennis court

Through 11/19.  Rates as low as 5.75% (6.494% APR) on select quick move-in homes. Plus, receive $5,000 towards closings costs!


Blair Ballin (your new home Realtor)

Hunt Real Estate ERA


This home is listed with LandSea

Posted in New homes
Nov. 13, 2023

The Top 5 Best Scottsdale Golf Course Communities

Scottsdale Golf Destination Spot

When it comes to combining golf with luxury living, Scottsdale stands out as a premier destination for Chicago area residents looking to escape the cold winters.  With its stunning desert landscapes, world-class golf courses, and upscale amenities, Scottsdale has become a premier destination. In this article, we will explore the five best Scottsdale golf course communities that cater to golf enthusiasts and those who appreciate the finer things in life.

And compared to many other areas, Scottsdale's taxes are usually a fraction of the costs. So, let's dive right into the 5 best golf communities in Scottsdale.




Grayhawk golf

Grayhawk is one of the most sought after golf communities in all of Phoenix simply because the location is absolutely idea. With 2 18 hole courses there is enough to choose from. The Talon course has almost 7000 yards of awesome desert golf. The views of The McDowell Mountain Range are stunning. Be sure to play a round here. 

The other course is the Raptor. With over 7000 yards, this course is a challenge. Pack some extra sleeves of balls just in case.

Grayhawk is also one of the most popular Scottsdale golf course communities because of its range of housing. Grayhawk has condos, single family homes that are great for families, and also luxury homes, some of which are on the golf course.  View Grayhawk homes for sale here.



Situated in North Scottsdale, Troon is a golf community that boasts two 18-hole courses: the Monument and the Pinnacle. Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, these courses consistently rank among the best in the State. The real estate in Troon North offers a mix of luxury homes and townhouses, each with its own unique charm and style. With spectacular views of Pinnacle Peak and the surrounding desert, residents of Troon North enjoy a lifestyle that embraces the beauty of the Arizona landscape. Troon holds a very special place for many golfers from the North Chicago suburbs. Take a peek at Troon homes for sale here


Desert Mountain

Desert Mountain is a renowned golf community that spans over 8,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert terrain. With 6 Jack Nicklaus signature golf courses, including the famous Chiricahua and Renegade courses, residents have access to a golf experience that caters to players of all skill levels. The real estate in Desert Mountain is equally impressive, with custom-built homes showcasing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, city lights, and golf courses. This community offers a true sense of desert luxury and tranquility. Looking for a home in Desert Mountain?


DC Ranch

Nestled in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, Silverleaf at DC Ranch is an exclusive, guard-gated community that defines luxury living. Boasting a private 18-hole championship golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf, residents of Silverleaf enjoy not only breathtaking views of the surrounding Sonoran Desert but also a golf experience that rivals the best in the world. The homes in Silverleaf are architectural masterpieces, featuring Mediterranean and Spanish-inspired designs, with sprawling estates that offer both privacy and elegance. Don't forget to view the DC Ranch homes for sale.



Scottsdale established itself as a golfer's paradise, especially for Chicago residents looking to enjoy golf all year long,  and these luxury golf real estate communities elevate the experience to new heights. Whether you're a golf enthusiast or simply appreciate the finer things in life, these communities offer a unique blend of natural beauty, world-class golf, and upscale living. Tee off in style and make one of these exclusive communities your home in the Valley of the Sun.

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates