When Joe Risi bought his $1.65 million Quail Run home on Mummy Mountain in 2013, it had sat vacant for five years.
Risi gutted and renovated the Paradise Valley home, putting in more than $1 million in renovations, including a new infinity pool, water features and landscaping.
“I made it more family-friendly and inviting,” said Risi, who spent more than a year on renovations. “It’s a coveted area and a great location. Mountainside homes are difficult to build because it’s an expensive process. It’s much easier to start with a shell of a home.”
Risi is the owner of Tempe-based Risi Cos. LLC, a residential real estate development company that specializes in infill properties. He also is co-owner of Tempe-based Real Safe Technology Inc. Risi and one of his sons developed the RealSafe mobile security app, which launched in September and is designed to help real estate agents stay safe.
Risi splits his time between the Valley and Laguna Beach, California, with his wife of 20 years and their five sons.
Because the home is on the mountain, renovations included putting in culverts, retaining walls and drains to handle water runoff and solve possible flooding issues, Risi said.
The stone home features a European-style, 1,000-bottle wine room, a yoga room, a movie theater and an elevator.
“I’m proud of the entryway with the large sweeping, curved staircase, stone floors, chandelier and 20-foot ceilings,” he said.
The home’s third level opens into a backyard with grass, overhead lights, a fire pit and a large entertaining patio with fireplace and barbecue.
“It’s rare to have a backyard with a lawn on the mountain,” said Risi, who was born in Phoenix and graduated from Sunnyslope High School. “This area has always been my preferred area.”
The rebuilt pool on the second level of the home features and infinity-edge pool. Visitors driving up to the home only see a feature of cascading water down a rock wall for a waterfall effect.
“The water is an inviting feature for Arizona,” Risi said. “And since we’re the only house on the street, our neighbors are the animals.”
A large rocky water feature with LED lights in the rocks also has cascading water from the third level into the pool.
Risi’s home is the latest in our ongoing monthly PBJ Cribs series, where Valley executives give an inside look into their homes.
PBJ Cribs runs monthly with a video, photo slideshow and Q&A.
Here’s more details on the Risi Quail Run home:
Size: 7,800 square feet
Lot size: 1 acre
Cost: $1.65 million
Year built: 2000
Bedrooms/bathrooms: Four bedrooms and eight bathrooms
The home’s conversation piece: The elevator, which can hold five people.
The most unique aspect of the home: It’s the only home on the street, which makes it private and quiet, and the highest house on the mountain.
What sold them on the home: The location and the view.
Biggest renovation since they moved in: Completely gutted and put in more than $1 million in renovations, including a new pool and landscaping.
Why they chose the area: The privacy of being the only home on the mountain, the views and the ideal location on Mummy Mountain.
Cool cars: 250cc Harley-Davidson motocross bike, 2016 Dodge Hellcat with a 707-horsepower engine, 2015 Bentley GTC, 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 2016 Toyota Tacoma, 1973 Pinzgauer, 2017 Range Rover HSE, 2012 Range Rover sport and 2016 Ford Mustang. He owned more cars but sold his car collection last year.
Coolest thing about the backyard: It has grass, which is rare on a mountain, and features a large entertaining area with stone floors, barbecue, fireplace and fire pit. A quartz vein down the mountain can also be seen from the backyard.
Collections: French poster artwork and the beginning of a wine collection