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Marley Park; Worth the Wait

Arbor Walk

We were expecting our first child when my husband and I decided to move to Surprise, Arizona in 2009.  Having lived the “urban” lifestyle of Central Phoenix in the early years of our marriage, we were yearning for a more family oriented neighborhood.  We pictured ourselves pushing a stroller to the park where we would…

COMING SOON to Marley Park, Surprise, Arizona

Soon to hit the Market in the gorgeous neighborhood of Marley Park located in the heart of Surprise, Arizona, is 15351 West Corrine Drive. The first thing you’ll notice when you approach this well-cared for property is the unique Spanish-style architecture complete with authentic Spanish tile bordering the front window.  This is not the typical…

Gorgeous Low-Maintenance Home in Marley Park, Surprise, Arizona

This meticulously cared-for home at 13636 North 152nd Drive in the gorgeous neighborhood of Marley Park located in the heart of Surprise, Arizona, is ready and waiting for its new owner. The first thing you’ll notice when you approach this well-cared for property is the sprawling front porch that spans both the front and side…

Short Sales; Experience Matters

Did you know that obtaining a Cosmetology License in Arizona requires 1,600 hours of education?  Becoming a licensed Nail Technician requires 600 hours of education.  How many hours then, does it take to become a licensed Real Estate Agent?  In Arizona, just 90 hours.  That’s 40 weeks of training to become a Cosmetologist, 15 weeks…

The Road to Short Sale Success

As a newly licensed real estate agent in 2006, I had never even heard the term “Short Sale.”  Just starting out in the real estate world, with very little business and very little to do, I signed myself up for every available real estate training and seminar I could afford and even a few I…

What are the out-of-pocket costs of a short sale?

The AZ Short Sale Team does not charge any upfront fees and all REALTOR® commissions and closing costs are paid for by the lender from the proceeds of the sale. If included in the purchase contract, most lenders will also allow up to 3% of the purchase price to pay for the buyer’s closing costs…

Marley Park; Worth the Wait

We were expecting our first child when my husband and I decided to move to Surprise, Arizona in 2009.  Having lived the “urban” lifestyle of Central Phoenix in the early years of our marriage, we were yearning for a more family oriented neighborhood.  We pictured ourselves pushing a stroller to the park where we would meet other families with children who would eventually be our children’s schoolmates and lifelong friends.

My husband’s company does water/wastewater infrastructure work so he gets the “inside scoop” on plans for development.  I moved to Arizona in 2001, but had yet to even visit Surprise myself.  David insisted, however, that it would not only be a great place to invest, but a great place to live and raise a family as well.  He cited the Loop 303 Improvement Project and the Prasada Master Planned Development as two major indicators that Surprise was soon to be one of the best places to live and work in Arizona.  Surprise was also ranked the second-safest city in Arizona in 2010.

The Community of Marley Park stood out among the rest when we started hunting for our new home in Surprise in the fall of 2009.  The market at the time was saturated with distressed properties; short sales, bank owned and HUD foreclosures.  Marley Park was no exception, yet prices in the community remained higher than those of the surrounding subdivisions.  We were soon to learn that was for good reason.

Situated just two miles from the Surprise Regional Library, Surprise Aquatic Center and the Surprise Stadium, Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, Marley Park is ideally located.  Just minutes from other City of Surprise Parks and Facilities, its west entrance is directly across the street from the  Prasada Master Planned Development and less than two miles from the 303.

Marley Park is not a gated community.  Instead of closing itself off to the world, it welcomes it in with open arms.  It is however, a very defined community.  It is bordered by Reems Road to the West and Bullard Avenue to the East.  Sweetwater Road runs through the center of the community and, in general, the area West of 151st Avenue is bordered by Waddell Road to the North and Cactus Road to the South while the area East of 151st Avenue is bordered by Waddell Road to the North and Sweetwater Road to the South.  (Click here for a map.)

The community of Marley Park is defined by more than its physical boundaries, however.  It is defined by its residents and its unrivaled amenities.  In fact, Ranking Arizona has recognized Marley Park as one of the top 10 Master Planned Communities in Maricopa County.

The Heritage Club is located at the heart of Marley Park and provides a place exclusively for residents and their guests to gather for everything from informal get-togethers to celebratory events such as weddings.   The building itself is over 6000 square feet and features a full demonstration kitchen, fully equipped conference room, flexible meeting space, a youth/teen room, and a gorgeous event lawn spanning the back of the three-acre property.

Just north of the Heritage Club is the Heritage Pool House which provides additional recreation space that can be enjoyed exclusively by residents and their guests year-round.  There is a full size lap pool for the fitness minded, as well as a play pool with beach entry that is perfect for young children and the young-at-heart.  The cozy outdoor fireplace provides a great spot to mingle with neighbors while the indoor multi-purpose room and catering kitchen allow for meetings and parties of all kinds.

Adjacent to the Heritage Pool House is the future location of the Veterans Commemorative Plaza, a memorial to honor those who have or are serving in the armed forces.  The Plaza will include a 30-foot flagpole with a pentagon-shaped base representing the five branches of the military.  Sponsorship opportunities are available and dedication is scheduled for November, 2013.

As a resident of Marley Park, it’s easy to connect with neighbors and friends of common interest through poker clubs, garden clubs, kids clubs, moms groups, etc.  The Marley Park Community Association, an Arizona nonprofit organization, encourages the development of new clubs and groups.  Volunteer opportunities provide residents of all ages with the chance to contribute their time and talents to the community by organizing clubs, assisting with community activities or participating in charity events.

The West Valley Arts Council also partners with the Marley Park Community Association to provide Arts Camp, Concerts on the Lawn, the Taste of the Arts event and various art exhibits to Marley Park residents and the larger community.

One of the best features of Marley Park, and one that is a rare find in most Arizona neighborhoods, is the beautiful Arbor Walk that is linked by a network of fifteen individual parks.  Each park has a unique theme, giving the neighborhood character and charm that simply cannot be found elsewhere.  The Arbor Walk pathway is lined with a diverse array of shade trees including the beautiful Chinese Elm, the signature tree of the Marley Park neighborhood.

The largest of the parks, Heritage Park, is managed by the City of Surprise and is open for use by all Surprise residents.  This 25-acre park includes lighted baseball fields, an open field, an open-air amphitheater with a capacity of 1,600, play grounds, a splash pad, rose gardens and more.

Additional Parks located throughout the Marley Park Community are listed below:

  1. Arbor Park – Featuring a lush community garden that is cared for by resident volunteers year-round, Arbor park is a great place to stop and enjoy a bit of shade and, if the season is right, a handful of ripe strawberries as well.
  2. Mosaic Park – One of the favorite parks of neighborhood children, Mosaic Park features a splash play water fountain that is perfect for cooling off on a hot Arizona summer day.
  3. Hourglass Park – The unique hourglass shaped lawn as well as the human sundial allow anyone with an interest in science to learn about time, seasons, moon phases and calendars at Hourglass Park.
  4. Marley Park – Visitors can enjoy the shade of the trees lining the large lawn at Marley Park which is also an excellent place to fly a kite or play a game of Frisbee.
  5. Discovery Park – With an interactive flower design, a diverse variety of vegetation, and a large sand-filled play area, Discovery Park truly offers something for everyone.
  6. Founder’s Park – Founder’s Park showcases an Italian-inspired theme, complete with walls replicating the ruins of Italy, terraced steps, garden art and a natural field perfect for a game of Frisbee or football with the neighbors.
  7. Desert Garden Park – As diverse as Arizona’s own terrain, Desert Garden Park features softly winding pathways bordered by desert flowers, a picturesque butterfly garden and a native cactus garden.
  8. Wisdom Park – Children of all ages can let their imaginations run wild on the sunken ship play structure at Wisdom Park.
  9. Storybook Park – As the name implies, Storybook Park is the perfect place to relax with a good book in hand.  The park is also lined with “Story Stones” that offer tidbits of wisdom garnered from classic literature.
  10. Strata Park – Explore the fascinating strata layers of the rocky walls or discover a bit of the past in the fossil shaped play are of Strata Park.  This park gives its visitors a taste of Arizona geology.
  11. Bumblebee Park – Stroll through the petals of the flower shaped garden, relax under the shade of the giant bumblebee wings or enjoy an outdoor picnic in the honeycomb picnic areas of Bumblebee Park.
  12. Verdana Park – Surrounded by grills and picnic areas, the gazebo at Verdana Park is the perfect place for a gathering or party.  With a two-level play area, plenty of shade trees and patio style furnishings, this park offers something for everyone.
  13. Rose Garden Park – Shaped like a rose with a walkway for a stem and thorn-shaped play areas, Rose Garden Park represents the history or Marley Park which was once home to lush rose gardens.
  14. Starlight Park – Featuring informational plaques identifying well-known constellations and a bowl-shaped grassy area, Starlight Park is the perfect place to view the night sky.  Enjoy this park during the day as well in the observation-themed gazebo or one of the many picnic areas that surround it.

The most amazing thing about all of the Marley Park amenities is the sense of community that is fostered by their use.  The Marley Park Community Association hosts “Hometown Celebrations” throughout the year which bring residents together with neighbors and create the kinds of memories that those of us who grew up in small towns still cherish.

The Giannetto Family - Marley Park Star-Spangled Celebration 2013

The Star-Spangled Celebration on the 4th of July each year features a neighborhood parade and a big backyard-style BBQ for all of the residents.  The Homestead Harvest Festival brings residents together in the fall to celebrate fall traditions with pumpkin carving, a scarecrow contest and the annual Boo Bash and costume contest for Halloween.  To celebrate the cooling-off of Arizona in December, the Home for the Holidays event includes carolers, a visit from Santa, horse drawn buggy rides and real snow for the kiddos to enjoy.  Throughout the year, the Marley Park & Play Block Party Trailer, equipped with street games, party furniture, and BBQ equipment, is available for all residents to use anytime they want to get together with friends for some good, old-fashioned neighborhood fun.  The Marley Park Community Association also regularly hosts family events such as “Dive-In Movies” at the Heritage Pool House.

In addition to the many amenities offered within the community, Marley Park is anchored by Marley Park Plaza at its Northwest corner which offers the locally owned Bashas grocer as well as coffee, fast food, pizza, upscale dining, salon and nail services, dental and optometry services, banking, accounting, insurance, business services and more, all within walking distance of the majority of Marley Park’s homes.  The quickest path to Marley Park Plaza takes you through yet another picturesque park called Plaza Park.  The stunning sculpture situated on the corner of Marley Park Plaza in Plaza Park is called Penumbra which means “a partial shadow between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination” and was designed through the partnership of Marley Park and the West Valley Arts Council.  Plans for additional retail development at Marley Park Square (Litchfield and Waddell) ensure that shopping, dining and entertainment amenities will expand in the future.  Families with children will want to take note that Marley Park Elementary School, situated next to Heritage Park, is also located within walking distance of most homes in the community.

Even during the economic downturn of 2006-2012, home values in Marley Park remained higher than those of surrounding neighborhood and inventory remained relatively low due to higher demand for this amazing neighborhood.  Sadly, my husband and I were unable to find a home in Marley Park that met our needs and was within our price range at the time.  In January of 2010, we finally settled on a property a few miles away in the neighboring community of Surprise Farms.  While we were happy there for over three years, we kept a constant eye of the real estate activity in Marley Park.  Eventually, in early 2013, our perfect Marley Park home finally came on the market.  It was a HUD foreclosure property and in need of a lot of TLC so while certainly not “perfect,” it was perfect for our family.  We bought it, set to work fixing it up and happily moved into the community in June of 2013.  We were welcomed with open arms by our new neighbors and are thoroughly enjoying living in the neighborhood.  Marley Park truly offers a “best of both worlds” lifestyle with all of the positive aspects of small-town living, yet close proximity to everything offered by the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.  Marley Park was definitely worth the wait for our family and we are looking forward to living and raising our two children in this wonderful community for many years to come.

Click here to view available homes in Marley Park.

COMING SOON to Marley Park, Surprise, Arizona

Soon to hit the Market in the gorgeous neighborhood of Marley Park located in the heart of Surprise, Arizona, is 15351 West Corrine Drive. The first thing you’ll notice when you approach this well-cared for property is the unique Spanish-style architecture complete with authentic Spanish tile bordering the front window.  This is not the typical…

Gorgeous Low-Maintenance Home in Marley Park, Surprise, Arizona

This meticulously cared-for home at 13636 North 152nd Drive in the gorgeous neighborhood of Marley Park located in the heart of Surprise, Arizona, is ready and waiting for its new owner. The first thing you’ll notice when you approach this well-cared for property is the sprawling front porch that spans both the front and side…

Short Sales; Experience Matters

Did you know that obtaining a Cosmetology License in Arizona requires 1,600 hours of education?  Becoming a licensed Nail Technician requires 600 hours of education.  How many hours then, does it take to become a licensed Real Estate Agent?  In Arizona, just 90 hours.  That’s 40 weeks of training to become a Cosmetologist, 15 weeks…

The Road to Short Sale Success

As a newly licensed real estate agent in 2006, I had never even heard the term “Short Sale.”  Just starting out in the real estate world, with very little business and very little to do, I signed myself up for every available real estate training and seminar I could afford and even a few I…

What are the out-of-pocket costs of a short sale?

The AZ Short Sale Team does not charge any upfront fees and all REALTOR® commissions and closing costs are paid for by the lender from the proceeds of the sale. If included in the purchase contract, most lenders will also allow up to 3% of the purchase price to pay for the buyer’s closing costs…

How will a short sale affect my credit?

credit

A short sale will affect your credit in two ways. First, a short sale will be reported to the credit bureaus as an account settled for less than the amount owed and will remain on your credit report for seven years. Second, any loan payments that are more than 30 days late will have a…

What about the tax consequences?

Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income, but under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act enacted in 2007, taxpayers may exclude debt forgiven on their principal residence if the balance of their loan was less than $2 million. This law applies to debt used to buy, build or substantially improve a principal residence or to…

Am I eligible for a short sale?

The short answer is YES. Anyone who owns a property with negative equity is eligible for a short sale. Financial hardship is the most common reason for pursuing a short sale. However, there are many different reasons and circumstances that may lead a homeowner to consider a short sale. If any of the following describe…

Wouldn’t it be easier to just “walk away”?

It is true that the majority of foreclosures in Arizona take place through a trustee sale which is a relatively quick, easy and painless process when compared to the judicial foreclosures most often used in other states. This is not, however, a “get out of jail free card.” The foreclosure itself may actually be easier…