Arizona's most comprehensive collection of Historic Information and Real Estate in the Downtown and Central Neighborhoods of Phoenix Arizona.

Dec. 3, 2016

What's Your Favorite Part About Living In Central Phoenix?


What's Your Favorite Part About Living In Central Phoenix?

Is it the Location, or maybe the Unique Homes? The Shopping or our sense of Community? 

INCREDIBLE Restaurants??

Cast your vote NOW!


Posted in Poll
Oct. 19, 2016

Mid-Century Gem with Midtown Location!

1326 E Verde Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85014

$437,000 3 BD 2.0 BA 1,916 SqFt


1326 E Verde Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85014


Nestled and situated on a very large culdesac lot between the Phoenix Country Club & Cheery Lynn Historic district is this wonderful mid-century gem with a midtown location convenient to everything!!

Owners have lovingly cared for & upgraded just about everything from flooring, kitchen, baths, new windows, A/C and tons of landscaping! Bedroom sizes are large for this vintage! Master w/ walk-in closet & ensuite w/ your own private exit to backyard/pool. Open concept floor plan is an entertainers dream w/ modern flare & design yet maintaining many of the original characteristics.

Quite possibly the best lot in Country Club Terrace! Come see today and experience why this small enclave of culdesacs is being transformed with many mid century renovations occuring now! HURRY! Click HERE for more photos!

Posted in
Aug. 8, 2016

Creative Writers Wanted

Attention Creative Writers, Students, Reporters and Staff Writers:

Historic Phoenix is in need of a part-time creative writer to assist with writing articles and biographies on the website and accompanying agents and photographers on location to our newest listings.  

This position will be a lot of fun for most people. We're a friendly bunch, and you'll be meeting with homeowners, seeing some beautiful homes and you'll be responsible for writing about them! In addition, we have a large informative website and a popular Facebook Page, and we'd love to feature some of your work here, too..  

Please take a look at a few of our individual property websites for examples of what we've written in the past and what style of writing we're looking for.. 

1502 West Lewis Avenue

1521 West Frier Drive

65 West Virginia Avenue

If you've got the skills and you're available to meet at Central Phoenix properties a few times per month (usually in the early evening) - then, send us some of your work to read and we'll be in touch. 

Please send links or pdfs to:

Thank you!
Don and the team at Historic Phoenix

Posted in
July 16, 2016

The Dog Days Of Summer Event


We envision our future offices – amongst marketing staff, photographers, desks and equipment – with plenty of dog beds filled with lazy pups and mangled toys. Zach will work right along side Raffi, his rescued Pittie mix that he brought home from a local rescue and Don will have Penelope (rescued Pittie Mix adopted from MAIN) and Shiloh (Bearded Collie from Urban Rescues) playing quietly next to his desk while he works away. Sigh.. Someday. 

We've gotten busier over the years as Central Phoenix has gained in popularity, and finding time to play with shelter dogs and volunteer at our local rescues has become harder and harder. But, seeing the faces of these pups day in and day out on our social media feeds says one thing abundantly clear; They still need our help. 

So Historic Phoenix is partnering with rescues all over the valley for The Dog Days Of Summer.




*   Rescue must complete the form located here and be a local approved 501c3
** Donations are paid through Driggs Title Company and ONLY at successful close of escrow.

To break that down into real dollars (and what those dollars mean to rescues), a client who purchases OR sells a $300,000 home gets to donate $900.00 to a local 501c3 rescue at close of escrow!

  • That's more than 30 BIG bags of premium quality dog food,
  • an equal amount of pet beds in varying sizes
  • and SO many spays and neuters!

If your budget is a bit larger, the check just gets bigger.. A $500,000 purchase or sale equals a $1,500.00 donation, a $750,000 purchase or sale equals a $2,250.00 donation, and a cool $1,000,000 sale or purchase equals a $3,000 donation at close of escrow!

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters are some of the busiest in the country, accepting more than 18,000 injured, lost or surrendered pets each year – and a dog or cat's most effective lifeline are our often overworked, usually taken for granted and ALWAYS broke local rescues. So ANY donation would be appreciated more than you can imagine. This money will provide food, bedding and medical care to SO many homeless dogs in Arizona and they’ll have you to thank for it.

Want more information? Click here to visit our Dog Days Of Summer Page!

Posted in
June 21, 2016

20 Restaurants in Central Phoenix that you should try!

Here are 20 independent restaurants in Central Phoenix that you should try:

  • Angels Trumpet Ale House, 810 N. 2nd St., Phoenix: Gastropub with 31 rotating taps of craft beer
  • The Arrogant Butcher, 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix: Seafood, steaks, wine and cocktails, comfort food
  • Barrio Cafe, 2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix: A neighborhood eatery providing authentic southern Mexico cuisine
  • Beckett’s Table, 3717 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix: A regional respite for comfort cuisine
  • Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix: Contemporary American gastro-lounge
  • The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, 108 E. Pierce St., Phoenix: Award-winning modern Jamaican cuisine
  • Cibo, 603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix: Amazing pizzeria tucked into a comfortable historic home
  • Corduroy, 2601 N. Central Ave, Phoenix: Occupies a building built in 1928 for an old grocery market
  • Coup Des Tartes, 1725 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix: Consistently ranked as the city best French restaurant
  • Desoto Central Market, 915 N. Central Ave., Phoenix: Combines several boutique eateries under one roof
  • Durant’s Fine Foods, 2611 N. Central Ave., Phoenix: One of Phoenix’s legendary restaurants
  • The Henry, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix: Ideal place to grab lunch with a colleague or dinner with family
  • La Piazza PHX, 1 N. 1st St., Phoenix: Continually ranked one of the best pizzerias in the city
  • Los Dos Molinos, 8646 S. Central Ave., Phoenix: Spicy Mexican dishes and margarita pitchers
  • Moira Sushi Bar & Kitchen, 215 E. McKinley St., Phoenix: Expands on the Japanese tradition with bold flavors
  • Pizzeria Bianco, 623 E. Adams St., Phoenix: Cozy, brick-walled restaurant serving wood-fired pizzas
  • Postino Winecafe, 5144 N. Central Ave., Phoenix: Italian cafe serving a wide selection of bruschetta and wine
  • Quiessence at The Farm, 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix: Set in a historic home with a warm country feel
  • The VIG Fillmore, 606 N. 4th Ave., Phoenix: Located in the historic 100-year-old Cavness House
  • Windsor, 5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix: Global comfort food and retro cocktails
Posted in
June 14, 2016

What’s the Perfect White Paint? 6 Designers Share Their Picks

From One Kings lane (click here for the entire article)

Sure, deciding to paint your walls white seems like the easiest way to go, but not all white paints are created equal (hence the endless number of options to choose from). So we asked a few of our favorites designers what they consider the perfect white paint; not surprisingly, no two answers were the same.


Darryl Carter

Huntington White by Benjamin Moore
“I use this color often because it is a very chameleon white that responds atmospherically as the day progresses.”


Grant Gibson

Linen White by Benjamin Moore
“The creamy undertones of Linen White can help add a glow and warmth to a space. It looks especially beautiful at night in a room full of lit candles. Often I also like to mix a blend of 50% Linen White and 50% Decorator White; it’s sort of a design secret that has been used for years.”


Kathryn Ireland

New White by Farrow & Ball
“New White is a great background color for me to build a room around. It pairs incredibly well with the earthy tones that I like to use in projects.”


The white walls in this gorgeous living room, designed by Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold, provide a clean backdrop for its colorful furnishings.The white walls in this gorgeous living room, designed by Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold, provide a clean backdrop for its colorful furnishings.

Sasha Adler & Lauren Gold

Snowfall White by Benjamin Moore
“This color is one of our favorite go-to whites because it’s a soft white that’s versatile enough to work with both modern and vintage architecture. We have used it to paint trim, bathroom vanities, and kitchen cabinetry.”


Ruthie Sommers

Ivory White by Benjamin Moore
“Believe me, I have made every white error you can imagine, but I love using Benjamin Moore’s Ivory White everywhere. My favorite place to use it is on the floor because it lights up the house like a lantern!”


Lulu deKwiatkowski

Atrium White by Benjamin Moore
“I painted my whole house in Southampton in Atrium White—the walls, ceilings, and moldings. It looks amazing and has incredible depth with a fresh appeal.”


 and here's more!



Posted in
May 19, 2016

Maximize Your Investment: Hire a Neighborhood Specialist

I’ve spent almost 20 years uncovering the details and benefits of living in downtown Phoenix. The parks where I walk my dogs in the evening, the restaurants where I meet friends for dinner, the dry cleaner, the handyman, the grocery stores, etc..

And as an Historic Neighborhood Specialist in Phoenix, this has also allowed me to tailor my marketing to those that would be interested in purchasing a home here. I've lived here, worked here and played here (since moving to Phoenix from the Midwest in 1996) and I've watched CenPho blossom into the vibrant city center that it is today. Today, I live in a sweet Coronado Bungalow with my dogs, a few chickens (yes, Chickens) and my Macaw, Charlie.

Additionally, I know the types of buyers who are typically attracted to each of our individual Historic Districts. For example, a 50 year-old doctor with a thriving practice, her husband and 3 young children might be more inclined to purchase a 4,000 sq.ft. Spanish Colonial home in the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District, whereas a young couple buying their first home together may want to step inside some hip renovated bungalows in the Coronado Historic District. My marketing for each property that I represent is geared toward this knowledge, too.

In my opinion, one of the biggest and most costly mistakes a homeowner can make, is not hiring and utilizing the listing agent that specializes (and also lives) in the area where they're selling. I understand that we all know someone that's "in real estate" and that it might be difficult to tell a friend that you’ll be listing with another agent, but how hard will it be to know that you didn't maximize what is - for most of us - the single largest investment that we hold today? If you’re leaving the downtown area, you might consider hiring your friend to find your next home instead of selling for potentially tens of thousands of dollars less.

“Don was fantastic! I had spoken to a few other Realtors about my mother’s house. They all were listed as being familiar with the historic districts. When I met Don I could tell he knew what he was talking about. He had fantastic suggestions and immediately had me hooked up with some great connections. We got an offer on the house before it was even listed! He was always available to take my calls and answer all the questions I had. I would recommend him to anybody!" — Jill

Jill is a great example of how a neighborhood specialist maximized her investment. When Jill inherited her mother’s 1000 sq.ft. home on a large lot in a popular historic district of Phoenix, she knew she would sell the property. She also realized that her mother’s home hadn't been updated in years, and that there were overgrown trees and shrubbery hiding most of the backyard and garage. Other agents that she contacted had already seen the condition of the home and rendered their lower opinions of value, but Jill was hoping for more.

She called me, and we met at her mother's home. After talking for a while and looking at the property, I gave her my opinion and it was significantly higher than the other agents. Why? Because I know the neighborhood!

  • I knew that investors were clamoring for neighboring properties to renovate and that there weren't many left.
  • I knew that her existing footprint would be added on to, since the average size of a home in this neighborhood was nearly double, and that there was plenty of land to do a large addition on, and
  • I knew that (in this case) the current state of the home had absolutely NOTHING to do with its value to an investor that was planning to renovate anyway. The value for this property was in what it could be – NOT what it was.

And only days after our initial meeting, I proved it with a full-price cash sale!

During our initial meeting, I will do for you, exactly what I did for Jill and so many others who hire me to sell their home.  I will help you decide what you want out of the sale, and then I will show you how get it.  If remodeling is necessary, we'll target key areas to update so that you will be able to get top dollar for your home.  I don’t just send you out somewhere to make those decisions alone, I walk through your home with you – room by room - so that when I leave, we all have a realistic punch list and time frame.

If you're entering the remodeling phase on your own, homeowners should also remember that real estate markets are local. Too often people will watch a show on HGTV filmed in another city across the country and make remodeling choices that are not appealing to our Central Phoenix market.

One great way to gauge what remodeling might be ideal for your own home before it sells is to identify the ideal price that you’d like to see the property sell for, then ask me to send you what is available and what has sold in the same price range right in your own neighborhood. Today’s MLS photos are large and many are pretty detailed, so we can treat them as a design magazine, noticing trends for color, counter-tops, tile and anything else you might be considering. In addition, we could spend an afternoon viewing these properties in person, so we can get the feel for where your home fits along-side others currently for sale.

If you'd like to talk about what I can do for you, call me anytime at (602) 919-8471

Thanks for reading,
Don Mertes, The Homesmart Elite Group 

Posted in
May 19, 2016

Choose Your Lender Wisely


"But I'm selling my home, so why should I care about a lender that the buyer hired?"

Lenders are the backbone of every great real estate transaction (and every poor one, too). They set the tone for a number of pieces in your real estate puzzle and can make the entire deal pleasurable or one that you'll talk about at dinner parties for YEARS to come.  

The lenders are also part of the contract that you will receive from a buyer wanting to purchase your home. When you say "yes" to the contract, you're also saying "yes" to the lender. After 20 years of listing and selling property for central Phoenix clients, I'm still surprised to see other listing agents skimming past this important piece of information. Namely, who is lending the money and what it their reputation?  As the seller, it's your right to know and it's your right to say "no!"

Great lenders, just like great agents, make the selling side of any transaction seem effortless. They allow you to concentrate on everything you'll need (like purchasing your next home, packing, scheduling movers, utilities, etc..) while they work on the buyer's side to arrange appraisals, assemble documents and prepare everything for a timely closing. 

What happens if a bad lender is involved? Well, just imagine having all of your possessions packed and loaded by the movers when your agent calls to say "there's a problem with the buyer's financing." I'll leave the rest to your imagination, but suffice to say that your dream could quickly become a nightmare...


It’s a misconception that when an agent recommends a specific lender to his clients, the agent gets paid (a kickback) as a result. But, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, it’s illegal!

The REAL reason that an agent recommends a lender is because we know they’re good. In fact, they’re probably great! And passing a great lender on to our clients makes us all look good! 

That same lender can make you look great to the listing agent who's looking over the offer on the house you're trying to buy, too. When a listing agent receives an offer on their client's property, they are representing the seller's best interest. So, if you've chosen a great lender (one that your agent has worked with repeatedly) your agent can relay his close-working relationship to the listing agent, which makes your offer stand out from others.  That lender will also speak directly to the listing agent and you'll shine again!

Good lenders are hard to come by and great ones? Well, they’re the people we try to keep busy with our client's purchases.

Great lenders do the following:


  1. They give you their cell phone number and they actually answer it when you call or text.
  2. They don’t have East Coast hours and a “press 1 to be connected to a lender” system attached to a centralized phone number.
  3. They ask for a TON of information right out of the gate (bad lenders generally ask for very little to begin with, then surprise you with the requests later, when you thought they already had everything they needed).
  4. They work WITH your agent in drafting contract-specific pre-qualification letters.
  5. They quickly answer the listing agent's questions and concerns when they call and send regular updates on your loan's progress to all parties without being asked.
  6. They never put off until tomorrow what they can get finished today.
  7. They deliver closing papers to the escrow company on time (often early) and stay in communication with your escrow officer.
  8. They know their underwriters and what they expect, and they assemble everything for them correctly the first time.  
  9. Oh, they’ll probably make you angry. They’ll ask for something, and hound you relentlessly until they get it. But, that's because they're on the ball and working hard for you!



Thanks for reading!
Don Mertes, The Homesmart Elite Group
(602) 919-8471


Posted in
April 23, 2016

How to program Custom Searches


Custom design your home searches.

Hey, it’s Don, Zach, Ami and Georgia bringing you a REALLY cool way to use our new website to search for EXACTLY what you want. It was a little confusing for some of our clients, so we thought that an email featuring a step-by-step way to do save your own custom searches might help out a TON. So, are you ready?


How to program your custom searches on

First, select "Advanced Search" from any of the search form boxes on any of our pages. You'll be taken to the next page for more choices.
Next, make your selections. Don't use the Neighborhood button yet, but select City, price, beds/baths, etc.. Then select "Map Search."
Now, zoom in on the area of town you'll be interested in, and you'll notice that the homes on the left will change as you zoom in on the map. When the area that you like is in view, select the Octagon shape at the top of the screen.
Now, begin drawing points on the map to narrow your search to the area you'd like to live in. Make sure that you completely connect all of the points on the map so that your final point is where you began. Then give it one final click. The area you've selected should be colored now as in the above photo.
Finally, Give your custom search a name so you'll recognize it later, and select how often you would like to be alerted when properties in your new neighborhood are listed! You can choose Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.. But Daily emails will give us the BEST chance of finding your home before someone else sees it and writes an offer!  

We hope that helps! And as always, we're here to answer any questions you might have. So enjoy the day, enjoy house-hunting on and we'll talk soon!

Thank you!
Don Mertes (602) 919-8471
Ami Maldonado (602) 732-1000
Zach Silvernail (602) 384-3809
Georgia Bates (602) 690-3025

Homesmart Elite Group and Historic Phoenix

Copyright © 2016 Don Mertes, Real Estate, All rights reserved. 
Posted in
April 21, 2016

Alvarado Historic District

Real Estate in Alvarado Historic District

Welcome to, your #1 internet resource for buying and selling historic Alvarado real estate. On this site, you will be able to find nearby school information, restaurants and grocery stores, buyer resources, seller resources, and search all Alvarado homes for sale. Our goal is to provide you with the most valuable information and service regarding historic Alvarado real estate and homes for sale. Through this site, we provide you with access to MLS listings and resources for buying and selling a home, but most of all, an easy way to access expert guidance as your time to buy or sell Alvarado real estate approaches. 

Selling Historic Alvarado Real Estate

In today's real estate market, it takes more effort, time, and resources to sell your Alvarado home. We are personally committed and passionate not only about selling your home, but selling it for maximum market value. We offer our clients a full line of services and a network of service providers to not only provide you with maximum market exposure through our extensive and aggressive marketing plan, but to provide a tailor-made solution to handle all aspects of your real estate transaction including pre-listing preparation to best showcase your home. We also work with an extended list of service providers who can help meet all your needs related to the sale of your Alvarado home. Find out what your historic Alvarado home is worth TODAY.

Buying Alvarado Homes For Sale

For most people, purchasing a home is the single largest and most exciting financial decision they can make. That is why we take finding a home for our clients very seriously. We're not only committed to finding you a home, but to finding you the absolute best home on the market at the best possible price, and if one does not exist on the market, we'll search off-market properties and do our very best to find you the right Alvarado historic home. This website also serves as a tool for clients to search properties currently on the market, receive up to the minute market updates through email, and even request showings. Start searching now OR let us do it for you!

Click here to see all the Homes for Sale in the Alvarado Historic District

Posted in