In the far West Valley, northwest of Sun City Grand and south of Wickenburg, you'll find plenty of raw desert acreage known as Whispering Ranch.
This undeveloped land will become some of the most desirable and sought after property in Maricopa County as the growth of the area continues. It is located about
13 miles west of Grand Avenue on Patton Road, just west of Wittmann and the Hassayampa River. Situated in an Unincorporated area of Maricopa County, to the
north and west of the Town of Buckeye, it encompasses approximately 19,000 acres (about 29 +/- square miles). It was originally subdivided in the late 1950's and
early 1960's into approximately 3,400 five-acre parcels and 90 twenty-acre parcels. At the southwestern portion of Whispering Ranch you will find the Toyota
Technical Testing Area (also known as Toyota Proving Grounds) occupying about 13,000 acres.
It is bordered to the North and West by Federal Land (Bureau of Land Management), to the south by the Toyota Proving Grounds and the proposed Douglas Ranch, and on the eastern side, civilization is being held back by the Hassayampa River (a dry riverbed most of the year, but it floods occasionally if we get a rainy spell). Essentially, it is an island of privately owned land surrounded on three sides by government property. On the southern border, the master planned Douglas Ranch (click here) development is slated to be the largest planned development in Arizona history, encompassing 100,000 homes, not to mention all of the other shopping, recreation, education and employment development. This community will incorporate all of the latest technology developed to this point.
Major Freeways - as well as the CanaMex Highway (now being called Interstate 11) - will cut through a couple of miles to the west of Whispering Ranch, based on current information. For More information on Interstate 11, (click here). In 2011, the Maricopa County Department of Transportation completed the study and recommended the north/south alignment for the Hidden Waters Parkway - a four lane divided parkway - running north/south through the area on the east portion of "The Ranch". In the Fall of 2013, the Transportation Department also announced they have completed the planning for another four-lane divided east/west parkway along the current Dove Valley Road alignment. This Parkway will run on the north side of the WAPA Power transmission lines that run through the center of Whispering Ranch. This Parkway will necessitate a bridge over the Hassayampa River on the east side of Whispering Ranch and is planned to run all that way to Wittmann and Grand Avenue to the east. The Town of Wickenburg has requested that the Dove Valley Parkway be extended all the way through Whispering Ranch to the west, but no decision has been made on that request to this point. I expect they will approve this roadway extension as a"feeder route" to Interstate 11 to the west of Whispering Ranch. Plans are in place to extend State Route 74 from where it currently stops at Grand Avenue (Hwy. 60) all the way to the west (through the Vulture Mountains Regional Park) until it also connects with the planned Interstate 11.
The 110 square mile (70,000 acre) Vulture Mountain Regional Park that borders the north side of Whispering Ranch was announced in January of 2012 by Maricopa County. This area will be managed by Maricopa County Parks Department in a situation similar to the White Tank Mountains Regional Park some 20 miles to the south and east. This Regional Park and Preserve area will keep this pristine raw desert area in is natural state for future generations to enjoy.
The twenty mile wide corridor between Wickenburg to the north and Interstate 10 to the south is where analysts predict the fastest growth of Maricopa County in the
next few decades. This is primarily because Whispering Ranch is sitting on top of the Hassayampa Aquifer, one of the largest untapped water resources in Maricopa County.
The abundance of ground water in this aquifer - and the ease of replacing water usage from the Central Arizona Project Canal - is why there is so much planned growth in this
part of the West Valley. Plans are in place for over 250,000 homes and 2 million new residents in this area of the West Valley over the next 20 years. As our economy continues
to improve, watch out!! This area is destined to GROW ! ! It's all about the water . . . and the water is here! !
From an investment standpoint, Whispering Ranch is still in its early "recession recovery" stages and has nowhere to go but up. We witnessed a parcel value increase
of 800% in 2005 before the current "Real Estate Adjustment" hit and prices declined back to todays reasonable prices. During the "Boom" years of '05 and '06 there was
a buying frenzy and it was a crazy period. Things have picked up in the past six months, activity has increased and prices have started rising, so now is the time to buy.
Civilization is moving this direction - as evidenced by the forward movement of groundwork at the Douglas Ranch planned community, the continued growth of Del Webb's
Sun City Festival, and now the announcement of Gates acquisitions of the planned Belmont ) and the current planning for the four lane divided Hidden Waters Parkway
and Dove Valley Parkway - so in my mind there is little doubt these parcels will be increasing in value in the future. This, of course, will bring the infrastructure (more paved
roads, water, electric, etc., which are missing at this point) and then you can imagine what will happen to the values. NOW is definitely an opportune time to get "your piece
of dirt"! Parcels in Whispering Ranch are still among the most affordable in Maricopa County, even with the increases we are currently witnessing. One past client said to
me . . . "This looks like what Cave Creek was when I bought there 50 years ago." Hmmm . . . makes you think, doesn't it.
With the recent Real Estate "adjustment", I'm getting a lot of calls from the contacts I have made in the past eleven or
twelve years - primarily from Buyers who have been thinking about buying a parcel in "The Ranch". The market had softened since the Real Estate frenzy of 2005 - prices
stabilized then dropped - but with all of the planned developments in the works, proposed roadway improvements and Buckeye, Surprise and Wickenburg annexation
plans, it is just a matter of time before this area goes through another "growth spurt". I have read economic articles indicating that the last Quarter 2012 may have been the
bottom of the market for our housing market. Sadly, as this relates to the vacant land market, I had not seen anything to indicate that the market was changing until last
November. Most seasoned real estate folks know that investment in raw land is a direct function of consumer confidence. When the consumer is comfortable with their
financial situation they will start making this type of investment. But with the combination of all of the factors listed above, interest is already increased. Activity has
increased, lower priced parcels have been replaced by more sxpensive listings, and we will see this tend continue as long as our economy stays strong.
Here are also two detailed maps of Whispering Ranch that you can print and tape together if you want. It might be a good idea to print out the instructions on how to use the map (below) to help you understand some of the roadway markings once you get out there. This map will be invaluable in getting around in the area, since there are no street signs, and just plenty of unidentified dirt roads running all directions. That way you can have a copy of a map when you head out. Hopefully you won't get too lost. Make sure you take plenty of cold drinking water, a cell phone, a full tank of gas and a sense of adventure. A snake bite kit and flare gun are optional items.
Click here for a set of instructions how to use this Whispering Ranch map, and to coordinate road names with compass points
once you are in the subdivision. Or you can grab a map out of the red information boxes on the large signs I have at both of the roads coming into Whispering Ranch. One
is at Patton Road and 299th Avenue on the Wittman side of "The Ranch" near the set of mailboxes, and the other is at Carefree Highway and 347th Avenue over on the
Vulture Mine Road side of "The Ranch". I try to keep maps and flyers in both boxes, but let me know if you see that one or the other is empty.
I would be most happy to assist you in any way possible - whether it is a personalized tour, additional information, specific research, or other questions you may have about "The Ranch". Please feel free to contact me by E-mail from this site, or you may reach me on my mobile phone (602) 505-7675.
Copyright 2004-2018, J. D. Liberty