One of the great things about living in Arizona is all the unique properties, ranging from desert-dwelling adobes to log cabins that sit high on a mountain.
On the northern edge of the Phoenix area, a unique spot called the Rackensack property is now on the market. The property gives whoever lives there a chance to live completely off the grid atop a gold mine.
After several twists and turns up a steep, rock-covered road, you start to see your destination. A home, all alone, trying to touch the sky.
The Rackensack property is the dream, design and dwelling of the Underwoods.
Charles Underwood is a former rodeo star with belt buckles and battle scars to prove it. Ginger Underwood is a former fashion model with photo shoots around the world under her belt.
For 20 years they’ve lived at the home, 4,500 feet high and 15 degrees cooler than the desert down below without a single neighbor in any direction as far as the eye can see.
"This is God's gift," Ginger said. "If you look in any direction, we have 360° views, and it is stunning."
The hilltop home comes with the main house next to the second structure, carved into two casitas. Then a kind of spec house they’ve turned into a spa.
The home comes complete with a functional helipad if that’s more your speed.
The home all adding up to seclusion, serenity and silence.
"We say, ‘It’s not heaven. But you can see it from here,’" Charles remarked about the property, but, of course, this slice of heaven isn’t for everyone.
The terrain is rugged with plenty of critters to keep you company. And it’s not like the grocery store is right around the corner.
The property is 100% off the grid. From the rainwater harvest system, to solar power for electricity.
Listing agents Barbara Miller and Preston Westmorland with Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty specialize in exotic properties.
"I think it takes someone who is very clever, who has an engineering background, and knows how to handle off-the-grid rainwater harvesting," Westmorland said. "And likes to be in nature. Like Ginger said, the beauty and the wild animals. Someone who can appreciate nature and all that has to offer," Miller added.
Under it all, is the hidden gem of the property. An abandoned goldmine from the 1880s that's updated, freezing it in time.
Thousands of paying customers have donned a hard hat, ducked their heads, and toured the tunnels to see how Arizona’s old-timers used to dig for buried treasure. Charles has 14 more spots in mind for future structures, should the next owner of the home be so inclined.
As for the Underwoods, two decades were plenty to live in the home, saying it's time to move on to their next adventure.
"Being in the fourth quarter of our lives, we’d like a new adventure possibly. So we’ll see if God wants us to do something else," the Underwoods said.
The list price is steep. It’s just north of $5.7 million.
For the right buyer, it's a small price to pay for paradise.
The property is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest. It's less than a half-hour from the shops and restaurants in Scottsdale, or, if you have the money, it's about 10 minutes by chopper.
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