Talking Rock Ranch is a desirable, ranch-style golf course and residential community, set in high desert landscapes steeped in Old West history.
The enclave sits in the mountainous Williamson Valley, renowned for its biking and hiking trails and rocky scenery, and close to the city of Prescott.
The peaceful, high-altitude Yavapai County neighborhood is set around a Jay Morrish-designed championship golf course and is known for its large home plots and active lifestyle amenities.
Talking Rock Ranch is part of the Prescott quad-city area, formed of Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt, which is popular among buyers relocating from surrounding states, such as California, as well as colder states on the East Coast. Its mild climate, quality of life and affordability are key drivers, realtors said.
There is high buyer demand overall, and prices across the Prescott quad-city area have seen fast growth, with values increasing by $100,000 year-on-year over the past two years, agents said.
Talking Rock Ranch is located in Yavapai County, in northern arizona, 18 miles (or 30-minutes by car) north of Prescott. The luxury ranch-style subdivision lies just off the Williamson Valley Road to the south while Dillion Wash Road borders its northern edge. Chino Valley town sits to the east while open land stretches out to the west.
“Our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is currently showing active properties for sale in Talking Rock Ranch for prices from $950,000 to $3.2 million,” said Laura Spaeth of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Prescott. Sold homes since Jan. 1, range from $800,000 to $1.8 million, with 2,100-plus square feet to 4,100-plus square feet.
There’s a variety of newer neighborhoods in the Talking Rock Ranch subdivision, which are formed of three- and four-bedroom homes (ranging from 2,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet) being offered between $600,000 and $700,000. The price of larger luxury homes spanning more than 4,000 square feet are in the millions, Ms. Spaeth said.
Talking Rock Ranch has resale properties and custom-build plots in new phases coming to the market. At the Sterling Ranch section, there are 5-acre to 8-acre build plots costing from $300,000 to $450,000, and plots with around 10 acres from $400,000 to the high $500,000s, Ms. Spaeth added. All offer plenty of privacy and views and a custom home-build option.
Talking Rock Ranch is a growing, master-planned residential community, with luxury custom build options. It was designed in the early 2000s by Harvard Investments, a long-running real estate investment and development company in Scottsdale, arizona.
With capacity for around 1,600 home sites, there are currently about 400 homes built and a further 100 under construction.
Talking Rock Ranch has been designed to “reflect the historical tradition of the arizona ranch homestead,” meaning the homes are set over single story and typically have timber post-and-beam structures, and feature a modern rustic look, in varied designs. There are a number of luxury custom home builders who have lots available to build on and an on-site building and real estate company Symmetry.
It mostly has detached single-family houses and about 60 smaller homes (in the Ranch Cottages phase), ranging from 1,500 square feet to 2,000 square feet, with about 20 more to come. At the upper end, homes have three-bay garages, large grounds, and stunning views of the desert terrain or the golf course.
What Makes It Unique
Talking Rock Ranch is a “beautiful” subdivision, offering a healthy mountain lifestyle and a sense of community.
On its secure, gated grounds are hiking and running trails, with mountain views and diverse wildlife and it overlooks elevated rocky landscapes, with boulder formations and canyons.
Its roots date to the early 1900s, when it was a working ranch owned by Jack Cooper. The Talking Rock name comes from the ancient Native American rock paintings (petroglyphs) on the property. It has a year-round destination thanks to the local climate, which has four mild seasons.
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Just south lies Prescott National Forest’s designated wilderness areas, known as where the “desert meets the pines,” offering campsites, scenic forest trails, wildlife, such as deer and falcons, and impressive natural sites such as lava flows, lakes and rock formations.
Nearby, Prescott has plenty of history and amenities, and with a population of 43,000, it has a “small town appeal.” Embedded in lore and history, the former territorial capital has the country’s oldest rodeo, Prescott Frontier Days, created in 1888. Downtown Prescott has Whiskey Row, on Montezuma Street, where saloons once comprised its length.Talking Rock Ranch is 20 minutes from Prescott regional airport, 30 minutes from downtown Prescott, an hour and 40 minutes away from the arizona city of Sedona and two hours from the Grand Canyon.
Talking Rock Ranch has membership-only sports facilities and wellness and entertainment amenities, from fishing and golf to yoga classes. All the facilities are looked after by Troon Golf Management Company.
Its championship golf course features large practice areas and is inspired by the topography of the land. It was designed by the renowned golf course architect Jay Morrish, with Tom Weiskopf, and has been described as “spectacular yet playable” by Golf Digest magazine.
Other on-site activities include yoga, tai chi and Pilates classes and a one-to-one personal training service. The spa’s extensive menu has massage therapy, bodywork techniques and other treatments. And, at the windmill pond on the golf course, catch-and-release bluegill and bass fishing is available.
There’s also a wine, beer and whiskey tasting club and staff from Morgan’s bar and grill restaurant can deliver a selection of meat cuts and sides for residents to grill in their own homes, or they can hire one of their chefs to cook for them in your residence, Ms. Spaeth said.
Talking Rock Ranch has three membership levels, each offering access to the community amenities including use of the golf, swimming pool, tennis, fitness and social facilities of the Talking Rock Club.
In the surrounding area, there are a number of good schools, including Basis, a charter school (an independently operated private school), which offers education for kindergarten to grade 12, about 18 miles from Talking Rock Ranch.
Who Lives There
Talking Rock Ranch has a good mix of primary and second homeowners, according to Ms. Spaeth, though she declined to say whether the demographic is predominantly young or old.
Buyers, meanwhile, come from all over, but most significantly from California, as well as Colorado and Washington, according to LeAnn Carver, a broker at Bella Terra Realty in Prescott, who has worked in the area for over 19 years.
Another local real estate agent, who declined to be named, said that Talking Rock Ranch is not a traditional retirement community, but many buyers are aged 55 and over and are in their retirement.
With many new-build homes, Talking Rock Ranch is a premier master-planned golf community gaining popularity, with several lots available for custom build, Ms. Spaeth said. “As the inventory stays low, many buyers are turning to new builds to satisfy their needs.”
In Talking Rock Ranch, there are 13 homes on the active market at an average price per square foot of $579.03 and an average list price of $1.66 million. According to MLS, in the last 90 days, 11 homes have sold in Talking Rock Ranch, with an average sold price of $1.23 million and an average price of $428.55 per square foot.
We have seen many factors that have increased demand in [the Prescott area], Ms. Carver said. “We have many people relocating from other areas that have prices that are higher than ours, so they can sell their home there, and move here to a nice home and potentially have money to spare.”