An Exclusive Look Into a “Top 100 Best Places to Live” Community in Scottsdale, AZ

You’ve no doubt heard that Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the Top 100 best places to live and work. And finding the best places to live in Scottsdale is a real treat!  Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family, a golf community, or an active lifestyle community, there are several differentiators with each community differing- often drastically – from one another. Before you make a decision on the best places to live in Scottsdale AZ, take some time to discover the benefits of living in Arizona and the unique communities it has to offer.

Here’s an exclusive glimpse into how we define community living at Terravita, and what sets our lifestyle apart, and ahead, from other communities.

Living among Friends

We call our way of life community living for a reason. Not only are our homes and facilities intentionally designed to foster relationships and nurture connection between residents, but we have also created a neighborhood full of vibrant and like-minded individuals. To accompany this lifestyle we remodeled our community center and clubhouse, which was unveiled in January 2019 and has quickly become the central core of our golf community.

At Terravita, we also emphasize family and group activities. If you want to develop a skill or try a new hobby, we have plentiful opportunities to do so in the company of friends. So whether you become a regular at our art studio, or gather a group of neighbors for a weekly bocce ball tournament, you can’t go wrong socializing and having fun in a community living setting.

Enjoy the Finer Things of Life

Our residents also love the premium we place on quality, throughout every corner of our community. We keep all our roads in tip-top shape with regular paving and frequently update our golf course with improvements. We also ensured our new community center and clubhouse is first-class, with state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. Terravita members enjoy all the best in health and wellness, including classes in Pilates, Tai chi, water aerobics, yoga, cardio, strength training, and beyond.

We Don’t Do Fine Print

Another one of the best features of our community living model is the financial aspect. We manage money and have stable dues (with no assessments), which is unlike many other active communities. Beware of any community that assesses you for financial viability, or makes you jump through other hoops and/or sign off on other fine print in order to join. We keep things straightforward, and top-notch, for your benefit.

As you’re looking around at living in Scottsdale AZ, we encourage you to consider the benefits of living in a luxury private golf community. At Terravita we strive to provide something for everyone at every age. We’d love to take you on a tour and answer any questions you have. Please contact us any time.

How to Conserve Water with Sonoran Desert Landscaping

If you’ve recently created a gorgeous landscaped desert paradise in your back or front yard, or you’re looking to create one, it’s important to know how to best care for desert landscaping. Here’s an overview of the types of plants that work best in a desert climate, along with tips for modern desert landscaping. 

Caring for Your Desert Plants

Desert plants tend to thrive in as much natural sunlight as possible. Unless specified otherwise, plant desert trees, shrubs, and cacti thrive in areas that won’t be covered by shade or pool umbrellas, or blocked by an awning or patio. Remember that desert plants are used to living with minimal rain. Wait until you notice the soil is dry before you water these types of plants and avoid the tendency to overwater. Part of the beauty of a desert landscape is that it’s very low-maintenance compared to other types of landscapes.

If you’re still looking for desert landscape ideas for your yard, consider planting a mix of cacti, ground covers, and succulents. The following varieties do really well in the desert:

  • Cacti: Prickly Pear, Indian Fig, Golden Barrel
  • Ground covers: Red Spike Ice Plant, Tufted Evening Primrose, Morning Glory Bush
  • Succulents: Blue Yucca Plant, Agave Plant, Partridge Breast Aloe Plant


Water Conservation

Desert landscapes inherently conserve water as they require less moisture than many other types of landscapes and they’re generally very easy to care for. A large part of living in the desert is recognizing our precious resources and doing all we can to conserve water. One of the ways to conserve water with your desert landscaping is to water more in the warmer months, when it’s a necessity, and then backing off with the amount of water you use in the cooler months. When watering during the warmer months do so in the morning or evening as well.

Also, soils high in clay content hold onto moisture well but could retain moisture a little too well for desert plants. Consider adding some coarse sand to create the perfect mix of soil that will retain moisture, but not allow the plants to maintain too much.

Another way to minimize water usage is by grouping together the plants that need the most water, and then grouping together the plants that need the least. This way you can irrigate your plants according to their water needs and save water overall. This is called “hydrozoning.”

Harvest Monsoon Water

Did you know that we get more than half of our annual rainfall during the monsoon months? Instead of letting this precious water go to waste, you can be intentional about collecting it and using it to water your desert landscape. You can use your roof, with a system of gutters and downspouts, or implement a series of basins and terraces in your landscape design with sloping terraces that deliver rainwater directly to your plants. However you choose to do so, try to make use of this important natural resource as much as you can.

Birds are Your Allies

When creating the perfect desert oasis, you’ll want to attract the right type of birds that complement your modern desert landscaping. To attract cardinals, choose a sturdy feeder that can support their weight (between one and two ounces typically) and offer foods like crushed peanuts, safflower and sunflower seeds.

To attract hummingbirds, consider planting citrus trees or mandevilla. You can also think about planting nectar-producing plants or offering nectar in a hummingbird feeder.

If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your desert landscape, and proper cactus care, check out the Desert Botanical Garden’s workshops for homeowners.

As always, it’s important to check with your HOA to make sure your desert plants are approved before beginning to plant. If you’re interested in moving to a private community that is lush and beautiful with natural desert landscaping, contact us or view our desert inspired homes today!

Home Renovations for Every Budget

At some point, most homeowners will decide that something in their home needs a refresh. Whether you’re looking to do a full home renovation, refresh one area of your home, or do a smaller upgrade, there are a lot of home remodeling ideas to choose from. And regardless of if you’re planning on a complete remodel or a minor touch-up of your kitchen, bathroom, or backyard, it’s always a good idea to get organized.

Prioritize Your Projects and Plan

Walk through your house and make notes of the areas of your home you are considering updating. What don’t you like? How much time, money, and effort will go into fixing it? Is it a priority right now, or are there other things that you’d like to fix up first? Doing this can help you address potentially larger or more urgent issues you might not have considered. If you’re doing a complete interior remodel of your house, taking this kind of inventory will allow you to know where to start.

Do major repairs/upgrades first, so you can address minor issues later. Are you re-carpeting your home? If so, this can be a good opportunity to consider other updates to flooring as well, and then you can move onto smaller projects like repairing your deck or updating furniture in the living room later.

Consider Your Budget

Once you’ve nailed down your plan, you can decide which projects you’d like to tackle on your own, and which, if any, renovations you’ll want to use a contractor for. Projects take time, so it is important to do your research before you start knocking down walls.

We recommend basing the potential cost of your home renovation on the market value of your home. For example, if you’re debating a full kitchen remodel, then you’ll want to take into account that kitchens should cost about 10-15% of the price of your home. That said, even for lower budget projects like a bathroom remodel, it’s essential to build in at least a 20 percent cost cushion, because renovations never go according to plan, and things can add up quick.

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Home

Just looking for a few simple things to make a new home look like your own? Simply adding new light fixtures and painting the walls a different color in your living room to fit your style can make a world of difference. Easy home upgrades like a fresh coat of paint or a bold pop of color can dramatically transform any room into your own.

If you want to take your remodel plans to the backyard, there are a variety of home projects you can do to transform your outdoor area into your own personal resort. At any Terravita home, you have the option to update not only the inside of your home but the outside as well; remember to check with your HOA before undertaking any exterior modifications. Living in Arizona allows you to have the option to add a pool, a miniature putting green, and comfortable outdoor dining areas that you can enjoy year-round.

If home projects sound intimidating, another option is to seek out an already renovated home. Doing this will not only save time and effort but will offer a beautifully updated home with new fixtures and appliances. Tackling a home renovation at any level big or small is intimidating, but by taking the time to prioritize your projects will help you get organized and finish the project on time and within your budget.

It’s Citrus Season in Arizona!

February is here, which means it’s citrus season in Arizona! We’re one of four citrus-producing states in the U.S. along with California, Florida and Texas.  And because many of you probably have a citrus tree or two in your backyard, we’ve put together some great tips about where to find the best citrus, types of citrus available in Arizona, and how to care for those trees you might have.

Almost any citrus fruit can be grown in Arizona, but the most common types are lemons, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit; they are produced and commercially farmed in the warmer counties of Yuma, Mojave, Maricopa and Pinal. Making Arizona one of the country’s largest producers of tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

Where Can I Buy the Freshest Citrus?

If you don’t have your own citrus trees, we’ve got you covered. Aside from your local grocery store, there are plenty of fruit trees in Arizona in farmers’ markets offering locally grown citrus. Some of most notable markets with Arizona fruit trees in the Scottsdale/North Phoenix:

  • Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market on Cactus Road is open every Saturday and is one of the few farmers’ markets open year round in Phoenix.
  • The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market on Brown Avenue is open on Saturdays from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. through May and has great citrus trees in Arizona.
  • Farmers Market North Scottsdale on Pinnacle Peak Road reopens Saturday, February 17 and will run through May; it is open on Saturdays from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.
  • Arizona Orange Company has oranges for sale as well as lemons, tangerines, and grapefruit by the case, and orders can be placed online for home delivery.
  • The Orange Patch Too in Mesa offers a wide selection of fresh citrus and specialty foods.

How to Plant a Citrus Tree

If you’d like to grow and care for your own citrus tree, February is the best time to start. Stop by a nursery that focuses on citrus, like Greenfield Citrus Nursery or Whitfill Nursery.  First it is important to verify your HOA guidelines as some may not allow citrus trees.  We recommend purchasing a Dwarf Citrus tree that is in a 15 gallon container or smaller, as these comply with most HOA guidelines. Once you’re ready to plant, start by:

  1. Digging a hole that measures twice the diameter of the container of your new tree but around the same depth. You’ll want to make certain that the hole you dig is no deeper than the height of the container.
  2. Make sure the tree in the container is damp enough so that once you remove it and place it in the hole it will hold together.
  3. After the tree is placed, set a garden hose in the hole prior to filling it with dirt.
  4. Once the hole is filled with dirt, turn on your hose slowly and fill the hole with water (you’ll be able to pull the hose out once the tree is watered).

You can also plant your citrus tree in a container rather than in the ground. 

How to Care for Your Citrus Tree

Now that your Arizona fruit tree is planted (or if you already have a tree in your yard), you’ll want to water it frequently; typically every 1-2  weeks in the summer and ever 3-4 weeks in the winter. Make sure you stick to a schedule! Proper citrus tree care recommends that you fertilize your tree; you can purchase fertilizer at any local home improvement store.

Citrus Recipes

Since Arizona is such a large producer of citrus, there is often a lot of excess. There are thousands of great recipes that call for oranges, lemons and grapefruit, including cakes, salads, soups and main courses. Taking advantage of locally grown fruit is a great way to spark new ideas for recipes. Try out different types of citrus to add a fun twist to your personal recipes at home to take full advantage of citrus season in Arizona!