Fountain Hills, Arizona — Green Home For Sale

Mid-century inspired earth-sheltered home, nestled into the hillside, oriented to the solstice, bringing bright light through 100 linear ft of floor-to-ceiling glass capturing outstanding mountain and sky views. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, theater, pool.

Listing ID: 20195

  • Energy Efficient Home
  • Solar - Photovoltaic

Asking Price (USD) $800,000
Annual Property Tax $2,380
Annual Utility Cost $900
Home Area 3,100 sq ft
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2
Total Property Area 1.3 acres
Year Built 1983

Property Description

Mid-century Modern Inspired Home with Views on Acre-Plus Hillside Lot

This contemporary home was designed and built by the owner in collaboration with architect James W. Scalise. The owner translated his knowledge and expertise in building mid-century homes to this earth-sheltered abode.

Low-Maintenance and Energy-Efficient
Truly ahead of its time in design and features, this low-maintenance, energy efficient, earth-sheltered structure is sited for views, nestled lightly into the hillside above an expansive desert wash, with no western or southern exposure in living spaces. The home is oriented to the solstice to bring in bright light through walls of glass that capture outstanding views of Four Peaks, the McDowell Mountains, the sky and the lush hillside. It's energy-efficient due to site orientation, design, construction and materials. The home offers privacy, a pool with swim jets, large patio, flexible living spaces and multiple atria. One would assume its earth-sheltering would create dark spaces, but with the 100' expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows and several atria, it doesn't. A reflective curving hallway wall of aluminum and glass mirrors adds to the timeless modern design that set this home apart from any other. Every room has a window to the outdoors, and it's easily forgotten that it's earth-sheltered.

Today's Kitchen in-the-Round
The kitchen, fitted by the owner in his professional millwork shop, is as in vogue and stylish today as it was when built. The frameless cabinets, with simple full-overlay doors follow the radius curve of the room and are finished in multiple layers of paint fused to a 1/8" clear acrylic exterior surface that makes them impervious to fingerprints or scratches. They have unique German-made handles. The dust-proof doors open to lighted interiors with built-in, pullout storage. A design in colorful stain on birds' eye maple cabinetry doors brings art into the space, breaking up the expanse of white cabinetry. The kitchen was updated with stainless steel, built-in, high-end appliances, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator fit seamlessly into the cabinetry.

Sleek Contemporary Design
The home is reminiscent of sleek, streamlined airline design, reflecting the owner-builder's taste and his passion, as he's also a pilot. The kitchen design details include a ceiling light fixture with recessed lights that is modern art itself. A Corian sink is integrated into the white and black accented Corian countertop and is surrounded by depressed areas to drain water. The range hood cabinetry integrates lighting and venting in a stepped design reminiscent of art deco.

Clean Lines and Clutter-Free Spaces
Clean lines and clutter-free spaces are indigenous to mid-century design and the home's details adhere to that mantra. A toaster and can opener are built-in to the Corian backsplash and pop out for use with a finger touch. A Corian cutting board mimics the ceiling light fixture and will convey to the new owner. Built-in trivets are conveniently placed on either side of the cooktop.

Low oak cabinets with a raised circular design, in the same pattern as the front door, surround the great room's living and dining areas offering incredible storage to keep clutter at bay, allowing the simplicity of the interior design to take center stage.

A free-standing, central fireplace, a fixture often seen in mid-century homes, is clad in classic blue pearl granite matching the floors, and it can be enjoyed from the living, dining and kitchen areas.

True Great Room Design
In 1983, the term, "great room" hadn't been coined, yet this home is a true great room design, comprised of the elevated, central kitchen above the living and dining spaces.

Other Spaces
The large master suite has a walkthrough closet, walls of glass windows facing the view, a curved glass block wall bringing light in from the great room, and a bathroom with a steam shower and an atrium with a tiled spa tub.

The home's other areas include a theater with an overhead projector, 10' wide screen and elevated, stadium seating; a large studio for a hobbyist or artist (with northern and eastern floor-to-ceiling windows), or it can be used as a library as it's fitted with a large expanse of shelving and cabinetry. The studio has a convertible bed/work table that folds behind doors, allowing this room to serve as a guest bedroom space; there's also an additional bedroom with an en suite full bath.

Consistent Temperature
Energy-efficient due to the home's concrete masonry unit (CMU), block construction reinforced with rebar and mortar, being partially underground, sited to avoid direct sun reaching the interior, there is a more consistent temperature throughout, keeping heating and cooling costs very low. Solar panels support the water heater, which can directly fill the master's spa tub for an immediate hot soak.

Mid-century Indoor-Outdoor Style
Mid-century style embraces indoor-outdoor living with little visual division between inside and outside spaces and this home follows suit. Many atria bring the outdoors inside, adding more light to the interior, the largest atrium being the entrance which is designed for an addition of an elevator should the new owner choose to ease the transition to the lower, earth-sheltered level.

The exterior is as modern today as it was in 1983 and any contemporary architecture lover would be drawn to its clean-lined geometry and color, shades of gray-pigmented synthetic stucco. From the street, it is unimposing and sits lightly on the land. The driveway is extra wide and designed with pavers, offering beauty and less heat transfer than an expanse of concrete.

Because the home is built into the hillside, you can walk across the roof, which is very low maintenance, simply constructed with layers of foam and gunnite topped with a layer of crushed granite, giving the appearance of an expanse of sand that you're tempted to place lounge chairs on and do some sun worshipping. Feel free!

A wide and extra deep 3-car garage offers plenty of storage and work space and is energy-efficiently cooled with a evaporative cooler.

The outdoor spaces are simple and elegant and offer plenty of seating and entertaining space. A rectangular Pebble Tec pool fitted with swim jets and solar cover takes center stage in the backyard, and there's a built-in BBQ and low landscape to showcase the views. The pool has a newer high-output, variable speed pump for efficiency.

Unique Modernity
Vintage, not touched since built, with the exception of expanding the master and studio spaces, this home offers contemporary fixtures, sleek cabinetry, timeless finishes and convenient, plentiful storage and built-ins throughout; showcasing a unique modernity. The owner's cabinetry was featured in another home in Architectural Digest Magazine and this home was featured in an Earth-Sheltered Homes book.

This earth-sensitive, well-cared-for, low-maintenance home is in move-in ready condition, but some changes could be made to accommodate today's extended families, such as dividing the studio into two bedrooms, or creating a 2nd master suite in the studio by adding another bathroom. The owner created the screening room with conversion to a bedroom in mind. The platform seating, screen and cabinetry are all easily removable. The lot is wide enough to add an extra garage in the driveway which currently parks about ten cars. With today's emphasis on minimal walls and open spaces, some atrium windows could be removed, lending visual expanse to the rooms; for example, the sliding glass doors to the spa tub could be removed to create the feeling of one large spa bathroom.

The owner-builder created a timeless masterpiece, sensitive to the earth honoring classic Mid-century design, and truly, no other home like this exists in the Phoenix metro area.

What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

It's energy-efficient due to site orientation, design, construction and materials. CMU (concrete masonry unit) construction built into the hillside creating an earth-sheltered home that's oriented to the solstice so there's no direct sunlight inside, yet the home is awash in bright light. There are no south or west-facing windows in the living spaces to keep the southwest's bright sun and heat out. The pool has a variable-speed pump.

Neighborhood Description

This home is in an area of homes selling up to $1 million. All custom builds on large lots where no 2 homes are alike. In proximity of the Desert Canyon Golf Course, close to main artery for easy commute.

Market Area

Fountain Hills is a master-planned suburb of Phoenix and abuts Scottsdale, Arizona. A scenic community of approximately 22,000 residents, it's surrounded by nature, and sited in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains that divide Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. The boundaries of the community are the McDowell Mountains, Indian reservations, the Sonoran Mountain Preserve and McDowell Mountain Park. At the community's center is Fountain Lake and Park, with one of the world's largest fountains.

School District

Fountain Hills Unified School District has a grade school, middle school and high school. The population lends to small enrollment, with more dedicated time for students.


The home is located in the Desert Canyon Golf Course area, but there is no HOA governing the neighborhood, which allows for unique architecture and interesting homes.

Home Type or Land

Single Family - Single Level

Location of Home or Land


Elevation of Home


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area No
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Forced Air - Heat Pump
Cooling System Conventional Heat Pump
Ventilation System Part of Cooling System
Part of Heating System
Whole House Filtration None
Whole House Vacuum Yes

Energy & Water

Energy System Municipal Energy
Solar - Photovoltaic
Water System Municipal
Wastewater System Municipal

Construction Information

Construction Type Masonry/Concrete
Exterior Finish Stucco
Interior Finish Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Interior Paint Low VOC
Floor Material Carpet
Roof Material Earth
Window Material Metal Dual Glazed
Insulation Material Fiberglass

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport Yes
Garage Type Attached
Number of Cars 3
Garage Area 1900 sqft

Contact Information

Peggy Moran

16704 E Avenue of the Fountains Suite 10
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 US
Telephone: (480) 888-6474

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