Search Modern Luxury

This Cullum Homes manse in The Estates at Paradise Reserve won a Custom Home of the Year Award.


Home Sweet Home

By The Editors

Photo Estates at Paradise Reserve home by INCKX Photography | Peter Lupus III photo by Carl Schultz


Real estate in the Valley is hot, hot, hot. Here is our insider’s guide to the faces and places shaping our homebuyer market, plus—what’s next.

Tech Crunch
For luxury home builders, the future is now. Technology and tricked-out home features will pave the way for a streamlined lifestyle.

It might seem easy to create a smart home with any number of gotta-have-it gadgets from big-box stores, but real estate industry insiders say luxury home buyers in the Valley want next-level features already included. Rod Cullum, president of Cullum Homes, says his clients are seeking high-tech, transitional residences with upgrades like in-home, glass-enclosed car elevators; refrigerated wine walls; steam ovens; and zonecentric air conditioners. Plus, he adds, “over the past few years, we have seen a trend toward more manageable lifestyle luxury homes, as many of our buyers are moving away from large estates that require a high degree of maintenance and upkeep.” To help them envision their future-forward lifestyles, virtual reality will become a popular touch point for buyers. “We currently have software that allows the potential client to walk through the home before it is even built,” says realty executive Scott Grigg of The Grigg’s Group. “VR goggles transpose architectural plans and finishes onto a specific lot so they can see the views from each direction.” Hello, tomorrow.

Silver Lining
The Village at Silverleaf offers jewel-box cottages and villas.

Rod Cullum has been building exquisite custom homes since 1985, but, occasionally, he’s been known to pivot to something smaller yet equally precious. “Every once in a while, we find the right parcel to do smaller, luxury lock-and-leave homes,” explains the principal of Scottsdale-based Cullum Homes, which was recently honored as the No. 1-ranked Valley custom home builder by The Phoenix Business Journal for the third year in a row. “We found that right parcel at Silverleaf.”

Against a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains, The Village at Silverleaf features seven cottages and 12 villas ranging from 2,700 to 4,900 square feet, all within a golf ball’s toss of elegant Silverleaf Clubhouse. The homes were designed in a warm Mediterranean style by Don Ziebell of Oz Architects—who also designed the clubhouse—and detailed with reclaimed wood flooring and beams, plus unique antiquities. The two-story plans also include an optional basement—perfect for wine cellars, media rooms or gyms. Thus far, nine homes have been sold, and three have been completed.

“Our buyers are people looking for a winter home and those who want to downsize without giving up amenities,” says Cullum. “We’re providing a lifestyle home next to a golf course. It’s the whole package.” From $2.4 million, Silverleaf Realty, 480.376.7122

A Star is Born
Peter Lupus III trades Tinseltown to tackle the Valley home market (and beyond).

“I am, but I’m not,” is the response Peter Lupus III often gives when Generation X-aged clients pair his face and name, then pause. They think they see his father, who shares the same name and played Willy Armitage in the original 1960s television series Mission: Impossible. (Though it should be noted that the younger Lupus dabbled in film too, both on camera and in production.) Lupus III became a rising star in an entirely different industry back in April, however, with the launch of a full-service Scottsdale-based brokerage, Clayton Nash Real Estate. His techcentric concept gives agents all the tools they need to succeed, like mobile apps and lead-nurturing software, while clients on the selling side benefit from global exposure and digital marketing, and buyers get access to aggregated listings. Clayton Nash recently absorbed Uptown Realty, turning its Arizona Biltmore-based office into Clayton Nash’s Phoenix hub, and it opened a Houston branch in June. “We’re looking at Vegas, then very shortly, Anaheim, [Calif.],” he says. But its founder and CEO promises, regardless of his venture’s stellar growth, the Valley remains the center of his universe: “My family’s here. We love Arizona.” 8777 E. Via de Ventura, Ste. 396, Scottsdale; 4455 E Camelback Road, Ste. A205, Phoenix, 480.454.5616